Rebecca Lemonius- Custodian/ 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 her gardener and learned by doing, taking courses including the art and craft of gardening at Great Dixter and GardenMasterclass. She finally worked out how to embrace clay.
It is a privilege to be a current 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.
Anna Ribo - Head Gardener
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 Arts in Denmark, sharpening her sense of colour and shapes 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