‘I needed growing space’: why I escaped to the country

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When landscape designer Jack Wallington and his partner saw this farmhouse in West Yorkshire, they knew it was time to swap London for the countryside

In February this year, my partner, Chris, and I left London with a car full of boxes, houseplants and our cat, Rumbles. After 20 years in the capital, we were heading to a new life in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, to grow organic produce and be better connected to nature. Chris grew up in the valley and we felt drawn to the area’s creative scene, rugged landscapes and excellent baked goods.

Also, I am a gardener. The southern British climate is changing, with hotter, drier summers making gardening conditions harder. Dry spells in spring and summer have become longer and more regular. Certain plants, such as dahlias, salad crops and fruit trees that need moisture, are struggling. Summers have become a watering marathon, choosing which plants to save and which to sacrifice. I started switching to drought-tolerant flowers and edibles, such as Hylotelephium, figs and herbs.

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