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.

Andrew Wilson

Andrew Wilson is a founding Director of The London School of Garden Design and an award winning garden designer, lecturer and writer. He is Chief Assessor for the RHS for show gardens and has been assessing and judging for over 12 years, mainly at Chelsea and Hampton Court flower shows. He writes a regular column for Gardens Illustrated and has contributed to a series of books, including Influential Gardeners, The Book of Garden Plans and the Book of Plans for Small Gardens (all Mitchell Beazley). He is also the founding editor of The Garden Design Journal and regularly contributes to the RHS journal The Garden.

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.

Colin Lewis

Colin Lewis is a respected bonsai expert who has studied bonsai in Japan, has written a number of books including Bonsai Survival Manual and Practical Bonsai and regularly demonstrates bonsai techniques.

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.

Guy Barter

Guy Barter is former Chief Horticultural Advisor of the Royal Horticultural Society, having joined the organization as superintendent of trials at RHS Garden Wisley in 1990. Prior to that, he gained experience in the commercial horticultural world after graduating with a degree in horticulture. Guy now runs the RHS Members' Advisory Service, which provides answers to an enormous range of questions and supplies evidence-based advice for thousands of gardeners and is author of RHS How Do Worms Work.

Heather Couper

Heather Couper is a past President of both the British Astronomical Association and the Society for Popular Astronomy. She is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and the Institute of Physics, and a former Millennium Commissioner, for which she was awarded the CBE in 2007.

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.

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.

Joanna Farrow

Joanna Farrow loves having fun with her food, having giving cakes and cookies a whole new look in Dress Your Cake and Dress Your Gingerbread. A home economist and food writer, she has also contributed to numerous food magazines and has written a number of other titles, including Ready Steady Cook for Kids, Good Fast Family Food, Cake and Peek-a-boo Cakes.

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.

Kay Maguire

Kay Maguire is the author of the award-winning RHS How to Grow Your Own Crops in Pots, which was published by Mitchell Beazley in 2013. She is a regular contributor to gardening magazines such as BBC Gardeners' World, The Garden and Amateur Gardening, as well as being the video producer for the RHS website. Kay trained at The Royal Botanic Garden Kew, where she gained the Kew Diploma, and was the Horticultural Editor of BBC Gardeners' World for six years. She is now a freelance writer, editor, producer and most importantly, grower.

Lia Leendertz

Lia Leendertz is an award-winning garden and food writer. She writes a monthly almanac column for the Telegraph, a monthly column for The Garden magazine and a long-running series on growing and eating seasonally for Simple Things magazine. She also contributes frequently to the Guardian and Gardens Illustrated. She is the author of several gardening books and the cookbook Petal, Leaf, Seed: Cooking with the garden's treasures. Lia appears monthly on BB6 Music with Cerys Matthews.Find out more about Lia at www.lialeendertz.com, on Twitter @lialeendertz and on Instagram @lia_leendertz.

Malcolm Hughes

Malcolm and Kathy Hughes have been bonsai enthusiasts since 1975. Malcolm was elected President of the European Bonsai Association in 1995, is currently a consultant to the Japan-based World Bonsai Federation, and is also an accredited Royal Horticultural Society judge. Kathy is secretary to the Federation of British Bonsai Societies and organises the World Events Calendar for the World Bonsai Friendship Federation. She also lectures on bonsai topics and has contributed numerous articles to Bonsai Focus.

Marianne Majerus

Marianne Majerus is a leading garden photographer whose work is widely published in magazines and books. Her books with George Carter include Gardening with Herbs, Gardening with Containers, Projects for Small Gardens, and Living with Plants and The New London Garden (both Mitchell Beazley)

Matthew Biggs

Matthew Biggs trained at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, has presented numerous television programmes, notably Channel 4's Garden Club, and is a regular panellist on BBC Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time. He has written several books, including RHS Lessons From Great Gardeners (also Mitchell Beazley). Matthew contributes to several magazines, including the RHS's The Garden, BBC Gardeners' World and Gardens Illustrated. He lectures at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Oxford University Botanic Gardens and the Cookery School of Michelin-starred chief Jean-Christophe Novelli, and is Course Director of the Plants and Plantsmanship course at the English Gardening School.

Nigel Henbest

Nigel Henbest has been Astronomy Consultant to New Scientist magazine, Editor of the Journal of the British Astronomical Association, and Media Consultant to the Royal Greenwich Observatory. He is also a Future Astronaut with Virgin Galactic.

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.