Sophie WalkerOn Tuesday 24th November, we were extremely pleased to welcome back to school 2003 leaver, Sophie Walker, who spoke to the girls about her work designing thought-provoking, conceptual gardens.

After initially studying Art History and working in the Arts, Sophie went on holiday to the Bolivian Amazon, returning to England determined to qualify in horticulture. Last year, Sophie became the youngest woman to design a garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, for which she designed a conceptual garden, Cave Pavilion, using only rare plants, many of which were new to science. Her interest in rare and unusual plants has led her to travel to jungles and deserts all over the world. Sophie works with modern day plant-hunters and is working with the Bahamian National Trust in the Bahamas.

Sophie is interested in the more abstract challenges and possibilities of the garden, which led her to Japan. She is currently writing a book on the Japanese garden which contemplates the conceptual and challenging qualities of the genre. The book will be published by Phaidon in spring 2017.

Sophie was previously voted People's Choice Award at RHS Hampton Court Palace for her garden A Valley Garden in 2013.