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John Simmons OBE VMH has had a long professional career in botanical horticulture managing large gardens and supporting wider interests of horticulture and conservation through honorary positions including presidencies and trusteeships with many related organisations. From 1972 until his retirement in 1995 he was curator at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, after which he directed the development of the arboretum at Castle Howard in Yorkshire. Fascinated by wet gardens and ponds since childhood, in 1986 he purchased a two-and-a-half-acre wet meadow in North Norfolk, England. This book stems from his subsequent experiences of developing a private garden on this ploughed but otherwise abandoned site.