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Sarah Clare Raven (b. 1963)[1] is an English gardener, writer and television presenter.

She was born in Cambridge, the daughter of John Earle Raven (d. 1980),[2] a classics don and Senior Tutor at King's College, Cambridge,[3] by his wife Faith née Smith (Constance Faith Alethea Hugh Smith[4]), a daughter of Owen Hugh Smith (1869–1958).[5]

Raven graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in history and then trained as a doctor at the University of London.[6]

She is married to writer Adam Nicolson, 5th Lord Carnock (a title he does not use) as his second wife, and has two daughters with him, plus three stepsons from his previous marriage. Her family's move to a small farm in Sussex was depicted in Nicolson's book Perch Farm: A New Life.[7]

She now runs a garden and cookery school at Perch Hill, and is a guest presenter on BBC Two's Gardeners' World.[8] She writes a weekly column for The Daily Telegraph. The celebrated gardener Christopher Lloyd, a near-neighbour of the Nicolsons at Great Dixter, described Raven in the mid 1990s as "really energetic and creative ... promot[ing] a more dynamic and showy style of gardening than has been fashionable for many years"[9].

Raven's publications include The Cutting Garden, The Bold and the Beautiful Garden, The Great Vegetable Plot and Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook (U.S. title: In Season) which was named Cookery Book of the Year by the Food Writers' Guild in 2008.[10]


  1. ^ Her middle name Clare is found at the Peerage database.
  2. ^ Date of death taken from "A Rum Affair" New York Times Book Review], which has the first chapter of Karl Sabbagh, A Rum Affair: A True Story of Botanical Fraud, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  3. ^ Gardener's world | Food and drink | Life and Health
  4. ^ The Peerage: Constance Faith Alethea Hugh Smith
  5. ^ Andrew Purvis. "Christmas at Sissinghurst: While visitors to the gardens peer through the windows, Sarah Raven cooks an early Christmas lunch in her national trust kitchen". The Observer: Observer Food Monthly, November 16 2008. Retrieved 23 November 2008
  6. ^ BBC - Press Office - Sarah Raven. This reference is no longer available. Her current BBC biography has no educational background for her.
  7. ^ Penguin Books, 2000. ISBN 0140290893
  8. ^ BBC - Gardening - TV and radio - P to R
  9. ^ Letter to Beth Chatto, 29 October 1996 in Chatto & Lloyd (1998) Dear Friend & Gardener
  10. ^ Guild of Food Writers

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