How did you get started in the industry? Since I was born I went with my father to the nursery to help him. When I was four years old I went on sale trips in the Netherlands. When I was a kid of 11 years old my father gave me some plants to grow for him. These were Veronica repens, Thymus ‘Doone Valley’ and Aceana microphylla ‘Kupferteppich’. So I grew these plants and I was selling them back to my father.
What does your typical day involve? It starts at 7am making fresh-brewed coffee for the office staff and visitors when they come in early. Just before 7.30am when everybody starts in the company I say good morning to all members of staff and have a short meeting with the division managers if needed. Further on during the day I am at my desk, giving people answers to their emails and checking out plants at our nursery locations. Also taking phone calls and having meetings with members of staff.
What is the best aspect of your job? Hunting new plants across the world and, when they are in the nursery, checking them out in our trial area, seeing how they develop. Walking around with customers, suppliers and looking together at the plants and discussing possibilities. Visiting the customers during the year to see how they grow and or manage the plants. I love to see more than just the office or meeting room.
And the worst? Chasing people over unpaid invoices.
What piece of kit can you not do without? My laptop is always with me wherever I go.
How do you wind down after a hard day at work? Spending time with my girlfriend and our three children. Plants are great but family is the most important thing.
What does the future hold? I have my dreams in developing the business further. Day by day we are making smaller and bigger steps towards making the dream come true.