MFCH Table Talks: Debby Tenquist

by ally redmond

Today I am thrilled to bring to you the “MFCH Table Talks,” a blog series where I’ll introduce you to some very interesting people. If you are active on social media, you may have already seen that I recently started using Instagram’s Live feature, which allows those interested to tune in to my real-time conversations with some awesome guests.

The MFCH Table Talks  came about because as I celebrate the ten year anniversary of this blog this year, I wanted to film a series of interviews/conversations with guests here at home.  Obviously the virus put a stop to those plans, and I had to come up with an alternative way to introduce you to some of the fascinating people that I am fortunate to know.

There is no denying that living in the digital age comes with drawbacks, but it certainly also comes with benefits, including our amazing ability to connect face-to-face with anyone in the world. Especially now, with all of our lives largely on hold due to COVID-19, what better a time to pick up again with old friends and get to know some new people too.

For my new “MFCH Table Talks” series, I’ll be virtually inviting a guest – and you all – to my kitchen table, via Instagram Live. From friends, to partners I’ve worked with for My French Country Home Magazine and My Stylish French Box, to artisans who are experts in their crafts, my MFCH Table Talk guests will be inspirational people who I either know already, or who lead interesting lives that we’d like to know more about.  After the Live Instagram video is finished, the podcast of our conversation will be available here on the blog.  In fact you can already listen to my conversation with Serena Crawford, just HERE

To kick things off, I’m excited to invite you into my chat with an extraordinary designer Debby Tenquist. Debby trained in design, and specialised in oriental and asian art.  She worked as an expert for Sothebys for many years, and from there went on to design gardens.

Over a period of  ten years she designed many gardens, including the spectacular Garden of St Christopher in  Hyde Park, Johannesburg.  When designing a garden she draws on inspiration from many well known English gardens, and we both share some firm favourites in that department.

Designing the St Christopher in Johannesburg, was the project of a lifetime, and spans 6 acres.   The result is a breathtaking mix of  trees; lawn, architecture and mixed borders.  This garden is certainly on my bucket list.

Her studies and interest in plants culminated  several years ago when she created  Botanica Trading, a botanically-inspired, sustainably printed textile company.  She launched the company with a first collection called Incredible India and found immediate success.    Since this promising start in 2018, she has developed her collections and this year launched her latest designs under the name Tribal Range.


I have admired Debby’s work since I discovered her accounts on Instagram under her own name, and that of her company.  I’m excited to talk with her this coming Saturday on our Live Instagram, at 4pm French time, 4pm South African time and 10am EST.    I’ll be asking her questions about her creative process and how much of an adjustment was required to move from designing acres of gardens, to the minute detail of upholstery fabric.

The Live video will be available on my Instagram for 24 hours through to Sunday, and after that you’ll be able to listen to our conversation again on the podcast page of the blog here.

For For more on Debby, follow her on Instagram @debbytenquist and @botanicatrading and check out her website HERE.



Jane May 1, 2020 - 7:16 pm

I love Debby’s Instagram feed, such inspirational gardens! Can’t wait to hear you both tomorrow

Jane L


Greta May 1, 2020 - 7:17 pm

I already knew her passion for gardens, but somehow I wasn’t aware of her fabrics. How did I miss this?!

A Milne May 1, 2020 - 7:19 pm

I often visit the St Christopher garden and love it. Can’t wait to hear what Debby has to say on the Live video!

Thank you Sharon for this new series


Taste of France May 1, 2020 - 7:25 pm

What exquisite photos. I look forward to listening to your conversation. This is a great idea!

Martha Doane November 25, 2020 - 5:21 pm

When I was a little girl I always was always interested in decorating or rearranging our family homestead. What fond memories and hands on experience from this adventure. College, Ele. Ed. Major with a minor in design. Married an IBMer and was transferred to Raleigh,NC. We were given a realtor that showed us a French Country House. This home was Gods gift to us. I am blessed to be able to enjoy your ideas and your beautiful French pottery etc. How gifted and talented you are! Looking forward to all of your future posts!

Patricia August 18, 2021 - 12:21 am

Thanks for this interview! Didn’t this girl work for a writing service? I’ve heard that in addition to finding essay writers online, you can also try using a college essay writing service that is provided through a local college or university. These services are usually inexpensive and can give you some great help with your college and graduate school essays. College students often lack the experience and skills required to write successful, persuasive essays. An essay writing service is a good way for college students to learn essay writing and editing, and may even provide some valuable career advice after graduation.

cuphead September 20, 2022 - 10:35 am

The information is very special, I will have to follow you.


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