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Putting down roots: meet our new gardening columnists

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Claire Ratinon and Alice Vincent sit shoulder to shoulder, chatting about recipes for cauliflower, the joys of reversible jackets, and why the heady scent of a house full of paperwhite narcissi is essential for getting through winter.

Despite the chill of the late winter day, the atmosphere of this photoshoot – held in south London’s Bonnington Square Garden – is warm and relaxed. A little way across the Thames from Westminster, this wartime bomb site was turned into a lush community space in the 1990s with the help of designer Dan Pearson. Saturday magazine’s two new gardening columnists punctuate collected moments for the camera with biscuits and gusts of laughter.

Alternating the column between two writers from next weekend (Ratinon will be writing about growing food one week; Vincent will look at cultivating flowers the next) will let us in on a planty dialogue that has been flowing for years. And yet neither woman fits the stereotype of the inveterate gardener who started out sowing and weeding at their parents’ knees: they both felt disconnected from the natural…

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