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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.

Life beyond the military - outdoors

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

Guiding principles?

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?

Monkey Puzzle

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: @HighGroundBoss @highgroundcharity

"No one joined the military to drive a desk!"

Quick fire: some favourite things

Book (fiction): The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe

Film: Pretty Woman

Painting: Anything by Rex Whistler

Smell: Jasmine

Meal: Risotto

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…

Anna Baker Cresswell
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