Barbara Segall alongside good friend and genius photographer Marcus Harpur had been working on the 2017 just published book, Secret Gardens of East Anglia for about 10 years. Although Marcus did get to see a draft of the book, he never got to see it published and passed away August 6th 2017.
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Together Peter Donegan and Barbara, sitting in Peter’s kitchen talk about the 22 secret gardens of East Anglia, their owners and gardeners, the garden media guild, life as a garden writer, just what it means to drink Guinness, sing lines from Oklahoma as you walk through the front door and rolling around in the daisies when the grass grows just that little longer; and Marcus, to whom we dedicate this episode of The Sodshow.
My thanks to Liz and the team at Frances Lincoln for being wonderful, to Rocky Coles for waiting in the garden after a long walk to be sure we had finished chatting; and to you for listening and saying hi.
The photo below was taken by Marcus’ brother Nicholas Harpur.
Marcus Harpur began his career in book publishing before joining his father, Jerry, to form Harpur Garden Images in 1992. Since then, he has been photographing and writing about gardens around the UK. A contributing photographer to numerous publications, his previous book with George Plumptre, The English Country Hosue Garden, was named Inspirational Book of the Year by the Garden Media Guild in 2014. His work appears regularly in magazines such as Country Life, The English Garden and House & Garden. Marcus saw the first copies of Secret Gardens of East Anglia, but died in early August 2017, a few weeks before its publication.
Barbara Segall is an award-winning author and garden writer living in a market town in Suffolk, with unrestricted access to the wonderful gardens of East Anglia. She edits two magazines, The Horticulturist, for the Chartered Institute of Horticulture and Herbs, for the Herb Society. She is also secretary of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Herb Advisory Group. She is involved with the National Gardens Scheme in Suffolk as one of its Assistant County Organisers and is a Member of Perennial, the horticultural charity that helps horticulturists in need.