Former fashion designer turned gardener produces scarves

April 17 2024 | Garden

Gardener Felix Green has been one of the team looking after the 125 acres of Hever Castle & Gardens for nearly three years but he hasn’t always been green fingered.

He said: “I was a fashion designer for 10 years in a textile studio which supplies the prints for High Street brands. When covid happened the fashion industry was really affected by all the companies stopping doing new designs.

“I knew I was going to have at least a year out of work. I was suffering with anxiety. I lived in a flat in London at the time and started to grow a few things on the balcony and it took my mind off my anxiety.”

Heartened by how the planting had helped his mental health Felix looked into horticulture courses and came across the RHS course run at Hever Castle.

After the course finished a job came up on the team and he was offered a trial day.

Felix has not left his fashion roots behind though and works three days a week as a gardener and the rest of the time works on his art.

His artistic skill has seen him design a range of five hand drawn scarves which are now on sale in the Hever Shop, inspired by nature and wildlife.

After Felix has drawn the design it takes about a month for the finished product to arrive as they are screen printed and a sample produced to check the colours.

The scarves are made from 100% organic cotton and the packaging is recycled.

Felix was instrumental in designing and planting a dye garden at Hever Castle and eventually hopes to use the natural dyes from the garden in his scarves.

The root of rhubarb and the dried seeds of the coreopsis are among the highlights of the garden in terms of colours.

Felix explains that you can also add alkaline or acid like vinegar to the plants to make a different colour.

“You can get a wide range of colours from one plant,” he explains.

Felix will be running tours of the dye garden during Autumn Colour with visitors given the chance to find out more about the natural dyes and try them out themselves.

To read more about Hever Castle’s sustainable initiatives click here