Related to: 'Rhapsody in Green: A Novelist, an Obsession and a Laughably Small Excuse for a Garden'

By Terence Conran

Plain Simple Useful

Terence Conran has always believed that objects – and surroundings – that are plain, simple and useful are the key to easy living. Here are three projects to get you started on creating a contemporary living space.

Alex Mitchell

Alex Mitchell studied at the Chelsea Physic Garden. She has a weekly column in the Evening Standard and writes regularly for magazines and newspapers, including the Sunday Telegraph and Gardener's World magazine. She is the author of The Edible Balcony (2010), The Rurbanite (2013) and Gardening on a Shoestring (2015), published by Kyle Books.

Amber Butchart

Amber Butchart is a BBC television and radio presenter, and an associate lecturer at London College of Fashion.Her series A Stitch in Time aired on BBC4, exploring the stories behind the clothes worn by some of the most fascinating figures in history. She presented From Rags to Riches for BBC Radio 4 and Civilisations Stories for BBC One.She is the author of four previous books, Fashion Illustration in Britain, The Fashion of Film, Nautical Chic and Amber Jane Butchart's Fashion Miscellany.

Bob Flowerdew

Bob Flowerdew is a regular on BBC's 'Gardeners Question Time' and writes for 'Amateur Gardening' and 'Gardeners World' magazines. His garden has featured on many television programmes and in several leading publications.

Bob Purnell

Bob Purnell is a writer, broadcaster, lecturer and award-winning garden designer who also runs a small nursery that specializes in container plants. He writes for numerous gardening publications including BBC Gardeners World.

Chloë Callow

Chloë Callow is editor of Caffeine magazine and is thoroughly steeped in the world of coffee. She works as an expert in water filtration for the coffee industry, and has written articles and reviews for a range of coffee and cocktail magazines and apps. She has also worked with the UK chapter of the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe.

Darina Allen

Darina Allen is Ireland's best-known food ambassador and the bestselling author of Ballymaloe Cookery Course and Forgotten Skills of Cooking, which won the prestigious André Simon award in 2009. She campaigns for local produce, is a member of Slow Food Ireland and set up Ireland's first farmers' market. She has won many awards including the Guild of Food Writers' Lifetime Achievement award in 2013. www.cookingisfun.ie

David Austin

David Austin is the creator of the English Roses, an entirely new style of roses that have achieved international recognition. With his eldest son David J. C. Austin, he owns one of the world's leading rose nurseries, David Austin Roses. At Albrighton in Shropshire the family-run business has created rose gardens containing over 800 varieties. More than 1.2 million roses are grown for sale every year and the team carries out one of the largest rose breeding programmes in the world, selecting each year's new introductions after eight years of trialling. Born in 1926, David Austin has been breeding and hybridizing roses for more than sixty years and is still very active at the nursery, devoting most of his time to developing new roses. His previous books on roses include the best-selling David Austin's English Roses (Conran Octopus), which won a Garden Writer's Guild Award. He was awarded the Victoria Medal of Honour by the Royal Horticultural Society in 2003 for his services to horticulture and the Dean Hole Medal by the Royal National Rose Society. He has received an Honorary MSc from the University of East London for his work on rose breeding, and in 2007 was awarded an OBE.

Dr Ross Bayton

Dr Ross Bayton gained a Bachelor's degree in tropical ecology, and later a Masters and a PhD, both in taxonomy. He is the co-author of RHS Genealogy for Gardeners and RHS Gardening School (both Mitchell Beazley), and worked for three years at BBC Gardeners' World Magazine.

Holly Farrell

Holly Farrell spent two years at RHS Gardens Wisley where she gained the Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture, and the RHS Certificate and Diploma (both with Commendation), and where she won the Nicholson Prize for overall contribution to RHS Garden Wisley as a trainee. After working as Head Gardener on a private estate she now combines designing and improving gardens for private clients with her developing career as a garden writer for publications such as Kitchen Garden and the RHS magazine The Garden. Holly is the author of RHS Plants from Pips, RHS Gardening for Mindfulness and Planting Plans for Your Kitchen Garden: How to Create a Vegetable, Herb and Fruit Garden in Easy Stages. She lives in Oxfordshire.

Hugh Johnson

Hugh Johnson is the world's pre-eminent writer on wine. First published in 1977, his Pocket Wine Book sells hundreds of thousands of copies a year. His winning formula of insight, critical appraisal of the world of wine, plus valuable vintage news and wine recommendations has been often-imitated but never bettered. With the publication of his first book, Wine, Johnson established himself at the age of twenty-seven as the most refreshing and authoritative voice on the subject. During the past four decades he has written books that have become landmarks on the subject, including his classic The World Atlas of Wine, co-authored with Jancis Robinson, his Wine Companion, first published in 2003, The Story of Wine and Hugh Johnson on Wine. In his spare time he writes about gardening from his home in London.

Ian Drummond

Ian Drummond is Creative Director of the Indoor Garden Design Company alongside Pippa Robinson and David Grace. A true north London boy, Ian uses garden and horticultural design to express his understanding of city living. He has worked on art installations for the Barbican Art Gallery and on the Living with Nature Exhibition at St Pancras Station. He has also scooped up an impressive array of medals for design schemes and interior gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Ian's work mainly focuses on creative projects - film premieres, fashion shows and charity functions, including the BAFTAs and the annual Sir Elton John Aids Foundation's White Tie and Tiara Ball. He is also chairman of eFIG (European Federation of Interior Landscape Groups) and an RHS committee member.

James Wong

James Wong is a Kew-trained botanist, science writer and broadcaster based in London. Graduating with a Master of Science degree in Ethnobotany in 2006, he pursued his key research interests of under-utilized crop species and traditional food systems through field work in rural Ecuador, Java and southern China.He is the author of the best-selling books Grow Your Own Drugs, Homegrown Revolution and, for Mitchell Beazley, RHS Grow for Flavour (more than 64,000 copies sold) and How to Eat Better (more than 85,000 copies sold). He has presented BBC2's award-winning series Grow Your Own Drugs and co-presented, with Dr Michael Mosley, The Secrets of Your Food - a major BBC series on the science of food. He has a column in the Observer magazine.With his obsession for food almost eclipsing his love of plants, James's small London garden serves as a testing station for all manner of crops from around the world.

Joy Larkcom

Hailed as 'the doyenne of the kitchen garden' by Sarah Raven, Joy Larkcom has been growing and writing about vegetables for more than forty years. Her work has been influenced by travels in Europe, China, Japan, the USA and Canada as she's sought out new edible plants and cultivation techniques. Over recent years she has concentrated on the 'potager' concept, making the kitchen plot a beautiful feature in itself. She created several small potagers in Suffolk before moving to Southern Ireland, where a fan-shaped potager has been made on a windswept slope.Joy is a well-known author, journalist and lecturer. Her other books include Oriental Vegetables, Salads for Small Gardens, The Organic Salad Garden, Grow Your Own Vegetables and her recently published memoir, Just Vegetating. Joy has won the Garden Writer of the Year award three times and was awarded the prestigious Veitch Memorial Medal for services to horticulture. In 2003 she was presented with the Garden Writers' Guild Lifetime Achievement award.

Judith Miller

Judith Miller began collecting in the 1960s while a student at Edinburgh University in Scotland. She has since extended and reinforced her knowledge of antiques through international research, becoming one of the world's leading experts in the field. In 1979 she co-founded the international best-seller Miller's Antiques Price Guide and has since written more than 100 books which are held in high regard by collectors and dealers.Judith Miller appears regularly on TV and radio. She is an expert on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow and has co-hosted the popular BBC series The House Detectives, ITV's Antiques Trail, and Discovery's It's Your Bid. She has appeared on The Martha Stewart Show and CNN. She is a regular lecturer and contributor to numerous newspapers and magazines, including the Financial Times, the Daily Telegraph, BBC Homes & Antiques and House & Garden. She has lectured extensively, including at the V&A in London and the Smithsonian in Washington.

Kara O'Reilly

Kara O'Reilly is an experienced and prolific writer and editor of lifestyle and interior design features. She has worked on and contributed to some of the most influential style magazines and newspapers on the market, including Style at the Sunday Times, Elle Decoration and Livingetc. Kara is currently Interiors Editor at luxury lifestyle magazine The Resident.

Kate Gould

Kate Gould has been creating award-winning gardens throughout London and south-east England for twenty years. She specialises in transforming ordinary small spaces into the extraordinary. She has won six gold and one silver gilt medal as well as 'Best in Show' at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Her 2018 Wild West End garden has been recreated in Old Quebec Street to create a tranquil space metres from Oxford Street and make the area more green.

Matt James

Matt James is a garden designer, broadcaster and senior lecturer teaching on horticulture degree programmes at the Eden Project, Cornwall, where he also manages a respected HND in Garden & Landscape Design. Channel 4's The City Gardener introduced Matt to the gardening public; the series was later broadcast around the globe. Two series about urban garden design in the US soon followed. Matt continues to make regular appearances on television and radio, including BBC Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time. Matt's previous four books include RHS The Urban Gardener (Mitchell Beazley), and he has also written widely for many publications in garden design and gardening. Matt has won awards for his design work and continues to run a design practice based in Cornwall, working in the UK and abroad.

Matthew Keightley

Matt Keightley is an award-winning garden designer with more than 12 years' experience in the landscaping industry and a reputation as one of the UK's most exciting young garden designers.He made waves within the landscaping industry in 2014 when, as a debutant at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, he was awarded the RHS Silver-Gilt Medal and the highly acclaimed BBC People's Choice Award for his 'Help for Heroes' show garden, dedicated to the wounded men and women of the armed forces. One year later he was back at Chelsea, this time working with Prince Harry for his charity Sentebale.Matt's 'Hope in Vulnerability' show garden earned him another Silver-Gilt Medal and the BBC People's Choice Award for the second year running. In 2017, he was appointed to design an RHS/BBC Radio 2 garden for Chelsea with presenter Jeremy Vine. A contemporary space designed around the sense of touch, this immersive, tactile garden featured bold geometric forms juxtaposed with a soft, elegant planting palette.Matt is now working on projects in the UK and Germany. His personable character and extensive horticultural knowledge ensure that he is a regular guest presenter and speaker at various garden design events and seminars.www.rosebanklandscaping.co.uk

Orla Kiely

Orla Kiely is the visionary and founder of a global brand. An expert on print and colour, she has created a world that is renowned for its individual voice and unique perspective on both fashion and homeware. Her flagship store in London's Covent Garden is the epicentre of a global business that has won four prestigious UK Fashion Export Awards. Her work is presented at London Fashion Week, and extends into luggage, stationery, gardening and homeware. The Orla Kiely design studio has collaborated with leading brands such as Heal's, Clarks, Apple and Uniqlo.

Rachel Pedder-Smith

Rachel Pedder-Smith is a botanical artist who trained at the Royal College of Art, London. She is best known for her ground-breaking and exquisite 18-foot Herbarium Specimen Painting, displayed at Kew Gardens. Her work is part of the collection at the RHS's Lindley Library and she has been awarded four RHS Gold medals.