Ruth Chivers gained a degree in Business Studies and then worked in higher educational administration and financial publishing. She developed a keen interest first in plants and gardening, then garden design, attending an evening class to improve her knowledge. She decided to make a career change, and in 1993 took a diploma course at the College of garden Design, then based at Pershore. Her interest in garden history was further developed through studies at Birkbeck College, University of London. Ruth has been a medal winner at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show, and she has designed gardens of all sizes in the UK and the USA. She lived in northern California for six years, where she continued as a garden designer, writer and lecturer. She has been a Registered member of the Society of Garden Designers (MSGD) since 1998, and is also a certified Member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) in the USA. Ruth is also a member of the Garden Media Guild, and writes for consumer magazines. She is the author of the Gardening Which? Guide to Small Gardens and co-author or collaborator on other books such as Meadows by Design and 1001 Gardens You Must See Before You Die.