Anna Baker Cresswell
Founder & Executive Director, HighGround Charity
Anna Baker Cresswell is the founder of charity, HighGround, which helps veterans and service leavers find opportunities in the land based sector.
Anna explains: “Why the landbased sector? Military people like to be busy; they like being outdoors; they are very good at sticking to the task and keeping going until it’s finished; they are very adaptable, but I think the overriding thing is, they just like being outdoors. Nobody really joined the military to drive a desk.’’
The charity also provides horticultural therapy for injured serving personnel at DMRC Stanford Hall.
Your three favourite flowers?
Lily of the Valley, Iris, Reticulata Rose
Tell us about your childhood garden?
My grandparents walled garden in Northumberland
Who or what inspired your career choice?
My Mother, a Nightingale Nurse
What is a typical day in the life of Anna?
I am a slave to my laptop but at some time during my waking hours, I can always be found in my garden.
No garden is complete without …
Something we’d find:
• On your bedside table: Unread books
• In your flower arrangement: My Mother told me to always use greenery
• In your garden shed: Bulbs from last year waiting to be planted out
The flaw you wish you didn’t have?
What would you be in another life?
One of my favourite aunt’s dogs
Be kind, be useful. (Sorry President Obama but I can’t better that..!).
Who is a horticultural hero?
Capability Brown, a fellow Northumbrian
What is the one flower or plant you’d never plant in your garden, but don’t detest when you see others plant it?
If there was a fire, and you could only keep one book on gardening, what would it be?
Susan Campbell’s, A History of Kitchen Gardening
For posterity, what would you like your work to be known for?
Seriously, my work with HM armed forces. Less seriously, for being a good friend and a good laugh and if not stretching too far, a good boss too.
Contact: https://highground-uk.org/ @HighGroundBoss @highgroundcharity
Quick fire: some favourite things
Book (fiction): The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
Film: Pretty Woman
Painting: Anything by Rex Whistler
Travel Destination: Australia
A cause near and dear to me: Horticulture as a rehab intervention for the military
Place to go for inspiration: The top of Preston Tower
A great walk near where you live: Bamburgh Beach
Thing to collect obsessively: Vases
Museum: National Army Museum
Garden in the UK: Chelsea Physic Garden
Garden anywhere else: I itch to go to Madeira…