The Team

Rebecca Lemonius- Custodian/ Head Gardener

Rebecca followed a circuitous route to the world of horticulture. After graduating with a degree in Economics from Queens' College, Cambridge, she qualified as a lawyer and embarked on a legal career. 

Her first foray into gardening was a very over-populated balcony in London, followed by a garden of virgin clay in Kent. Undaunted, circumstances led to her and her husband, Lars,  purchasing Long Barn in 2007. The ancient house and historic garden became Rebecca's job, so she apprenticed herself to the head gardener and learned by doing, taking courses including the Art and Craft of Gardening at Great Dixter and a number of  Garden Masterclass programs. She finally worked out how to embrace clay. 

It is a privilege to be a custodian of Long Barn. The responsibility, whilst considerable, sits more comfortably by remembering Vita Sackvile West and Harold Nicolson were very much amateurs when they lived here. 

Gardening is something everyone should feel empowered to be involved in, there is rarely just one way to do things and trial and error is a great teacher. To paraphrase Vita, 'the first rule of gardening is that there are no rules at all.' However, Rebecca would add that seeking out some good advice along the gardening journey makes the path a little less bumpy. 

Andy Ferris- Senior Gardener

Andy's route into gardening began with a simple love of nature and the outdoors. Gaining an MSc in Animal Behaviour from University of Exeter, he initially pursued a career in conservation and had the fortune to venture to exotic locations such as Madagascar and experience unique flora and fauna. He eventually settled on horticulture as a way to enjoy an outdoor lifestyle whilst creating habitats to be enjoyed for their aesthetics and the ecosystems they can help to support.

With over 6 years experience running his own business caring for a variety of gardens in Kent and East Sussex Andy is RHS qualified and always thirsty for knowledge and new experiences.

Andy fell for the magic of Long Barn on his first visit one frosty morning. In the last 4 years he has brought his enthusiasm for wildlife and helped develop Long Barn into a thriving habitat for a diverse range of life. He has honed his horticulture skills in the garden and enjoys the meditative art of topiary pruning.

Emma Jo Real-Davies- Assistant Gardener

Emma pursued a career in media after studying English Literature at the University of Southampton. She worked in the radio industry for 8 years but became increasingly disenchanted with the pace of the lifestyle so she started volunteering at a community garden. 

Having always loved the outdoors, the community garden project reignited her love of horticulture and, like many, she decided to change career during the pandemic. Emma then studied for her RHS Level 2 qualification at Hever Castle and completed a WRAGS (Work & Retrain as a Gardener) scheme placement at Long Barn Gardens.

Emma works at Long Barn as an Assistant Gardener alongside continuing to use her media and presenting skills on TV. Emma has a gardening show on QVC and has featured on ITV and the BBC. She’s very keen to continue her horticultural education and is due to study the Art & Craft of Gardening course at Great Dixter next year. 

Emma instantly felt a connection with Long Barn, having studied Vita Sackville West & Virgina Woolf’s work at university. She adores the wildness and abundant planting style of the garden and particularly enjoys propagating and rose pruning. 

Russell Webb - Groundsman

Russell was born in Zimbabwe and grew to love nature and the outdoors on his uncle's tobacco farm and in the wider farming community. As a young man, he spent two transformative years in Israel, working in construction and in moshavs, expanding his global horizons.

In the late nineties he ventured into the bamboo business in South Africa, spanning installations, wholesale and retail. He travelled to China and gained a Bamboo Cultivation, Processing and Utilization Certificate in 2013 and served as an Executive Committee Member for The National Bamboo Association of South Africa (NBASA) from 2013-2015. In 2018, the United Kingdom beckoned.

In his words, fortune smiled when Long Barn sought a groundsman in 2019. Entranced by the gardens, Russell applied and is now nuturing his lifelong love for nature in this new chapter of his journey. 

Anna Ribo - Consultant Gardener/ Garden Designer

Anna's horticultural journey began growing up in the grounds of a slightly neglected Danish renaissance castle amongst the ‘ghosts’ of Victorian glasshouses, topiary and magnificent borders with the old gardener (and his antique tractor) as a grumpy, knowledgeable friend.

She studied Fine Art in Denmark, sharpening her sense of colour and shape and developing a knowledge and instinct for making planting work visually. After many years in London she re-found her roots and  was lucky enough to be offered to retrain  under the WRAGs scheme in a beautiful, private Sussex estate. She is Royal Horticultural Society qualified at Hever Castle and has studied the Art and Craft of Gardening at Great Dixter.


When not at Long Barn, Anna is making and creating other beautiful gardens,  offering garden design and advice firmly rooted in plant knowledge