Michelle wrote this poem in 2018 and it was read at her funeral.

I Miss the Hills

Sometimes I miss the hills

The beautiful, terrible hills

A gasping ascent to a transcendent summit

Misty slopes and jagged edges


There is a part of me in the hills

Deep in the folds of the coombe

I left something on the fell

Something deep and still


Most days the everyday is fine

Daily chores and routine

Feed the cat, catch the bus, cook a meal

The memory of hills a faint echo


There is a part of me in the hills

Deep in the folds of the coombe

Somewhere, faraway on the fell

Something deep and still


But some days I want the thrill

Of scrabbling and climbing a hill

Seeing the world from on high

Looking down on crows as they fly

I lost myself once in the hills

Never worried about getting home

I was close to the sky, deep in nature

Listening to the trills and raptures of the land

Written by Michelle Wake in 2018


I said goodbye to Michelle just over 2 months ago, it was a beautiful service. We listened to a song written and performed by John, her partner; heard her closest friends recount tales of decades of their adventures together and listened to her father’s perspective of his high achieving daughter. We sang ‘heroes’ along with her musical hero David Bowie and looked at a slideshow picturing her shortened but full life. The service was filmed and broadcast as friends and family in London, France and Australia could not travel to be there due to virus that has started to sweep through our country.

Michelle was greatly respected and well known within her Garden Design community. I was contacted by many of her colleagues who had wanted to be there that day but sadly couldn’t. She supported her industry not only by teaching at The Inchbald School in London but also through organising guest speakers and garden visits for the regional support group for fellow garden designers.

She deeply cared for the environment, being a member of the Green Party and the local anti fracking group. She was a keen walker and loved nature and cats. Instagram suited her well as not only did it showcase her impressive photography but her writing skills too.  (the_crafty_gardeners).

Although I only knew her well since we formed The Crafty Gardeners in 2017; Michelle and I talked often about the value of a good well designed garden in enhancing people’s lives. We shared a passion for life long learning and The Crafty Gardeners was our way of combining the two. Our ethos was to give people the ‘take home’ information they needed to improve their garden or enjoy flower arranging straightaway. We wanted to devise short, day long workshops that would fit with people’s busy lives. Judging from the many emails I have received recently and over the years she was a great teacher and had devised courses that people really wanted. Knowing how proud she was of what we had created I want to continue to run her 3 most popular courses as my tribute to her and by continuing to spread the practical knowledge of garden making, this will bring the beauty of nature, that she so cared for, into our lives.