Val Bourne has been a fanatical gardener since the age of 5. In her twenties she worked in vegetable research and she has always grown her own fruit and vegetables without chemical use. She has a large allotment and fruit and vegetable patches amongst her extensive flower garden in the Cotswolds. Val serves on two RHS panels which meet fortnightly to assess the Dahlias and floral trials. She lectures nationwide and in Japan and South African. She writes regularly for the Crocus website and for the following publications: Daily Telegraph, Saga, Oxford Times, Grow It, Hardy Plant Society magazine; Homes and Gardens, The English Garden, RHS The Garden, The Rose Magazine. The Natural Gardener won the Gardening Writer's Guild (GWG)Practical Book of the Year in 2004 and her books have been shortlisted for major GWG prizes for New/Practical and Inspirational.