The gardens here at Farringford have been lovingly restored and designed by a small team of two, Alastair and Ellen Penstone-Smith. Together they have decades of knowledge and experience in Horticulture and have used the old plans, photographs, diaries and paintings to reflect how they would have been while Tennyson lived here all those years ago.
Alastair has a background in commercial horticulture and spent several years working in nurseries before embarking on a Landscape management Degree at Reading University. Alastair worked alongside Mark Flanagan for some time at Windsor Great Park building on his knowledge of estate management.
In 2008 he joined the team at RHS garden Wisley in 2017 he left his role as team leader of the woodland sections to embark on the restoration of Farringfords gardens.
Ellen has returned to the island after many years away pursuing her horticultural career.
After studying at the Isle of Wight college and volunteering at Ventnor Botanical gardens she left the island to study at RHS Wisley. Ellen spent three years at Wisley in a supervisor role before embarking on the Kew Diploma. After graduating from Kew, she spent several years working on a private estate in France before returning to Wisley.
Ellen is a qualified lecturer and taught horticulture including the RHS qualifications at Merrist Wood College before leaving this role to restore the gardens at Farringford.
Ellen researched and created the planting designs.
Both Ellen and Ali can often be spotted working in the gardens.