How did you start in horticulture?
As a kid I always enjoyed being outside, climbing trees. I went to university to study architecture but realised I wanted to be working with plants in a practical job. After leaving my architectural studies I worked at RHS Harlow Carr as the trials gardener. I studied for an HND in organic horticulture at the Welsh College of Agriculture and worked in the organic production unit there. Following that, I began my degree in Edinburgh and am now studying for a BSc (Hons) in horticulture with plantsmanship.
Who, or what, was your inspiration?
My grandmother, who was passionate about floristry.
What is a typical day for a 4th-year student?
Typically half the day is spent in lectures and the other half is spent in the library or on the computer. For my dissertation on mycorrhiza I have to spend some time in the lab. One of the best features of our course is our debates on topical issues like climate change and foot and mouth.
Do you get out of the office enough?
I can be glued to the computer. But I live opposite the botanic gardens and walk there when I need some fresh air.
How do you wind down?
I love going surfing - I go every evening if there is enough light. Also cooking and spending time with my wonderful girlfriend.
What does the future hold?
I hope to graduate in July with a good degree. In August I will be going over to North America to study for an MSc in horticulture, using the Martin Maclaren Horticultural Scholarship. I want to soak up as much information as I can, and plan, after my return, to get into research and advisory work that will be practical and useful for UK growers.