My recent Cornish stay, and my appropriately-named lodgings, the River Retreat, reminded me that we in the UK have a rich cultural heritage of writers and gardens, writers inspired by the immediate landscape. This heritage really was a source of inspiration for me when I was designing the M&G garden. I’ve always loved visiting these places: at one extreme, Thomas Hardy’s cottage near where I grew up in Dorset, right through to the other extreme, the areas around Poole Harbour that provided inspiration for Enid Blyton. (I’m not proud – I was a huge fan!) In Cornwall, we stayed as usual in the little village on the Fowey estuary, source of inspiration for Kenneth Grahame when he wrote Wind in the Willows. The creek he pootled up is just over the water. The whole area is also rich with the spirit of Daphne du Maurier; ‘Manderley’ is just around the corner, and the cove with the boathouse? Yes, that’s here too. And as for Poldark – we think we may have spotted him.