Hazel Southam

Saturday 11 September 2021

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Hazel Southam is deep in preparation for the 2020 RHS Chelsea Flower Show… a year and several months late. The pandemic has meant delay after delay, which, when you’re the project manager for one of the show gardens, does not make for a straightforward life.

But it’s finally happening, and Hazel’s understandably very excited about the Bible Society Psalm 23 garden - and it does sound wonderful, immediately conjuring up thoughts of greenness, quiet waters, a place for the soul to be restored, clearly something we all need more than ever.

This all represents something of a career-shift, after 30 years travelling the world as a freelance print journalist, and reporter on religious affairs. She’s written 2 books - one about the year she picked up a debilitating illness on her travels, at the same time as her father’s traumatic dementia decline. It was an especially tough period, and what got her through was riding a horse called Duke. And, just out now, This Blessed Plot, charting her first year as an allotment holder, in which she reflects on the unexpected bonus it provides to ‘go beyond myself and reach out to God in his creation’.

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