Me & My Job - Liz Sims, manager, Vernon Geranium Nursery

Liz Sims, manager, Vernon Geranium Nursery - image: HW
Liz Sims, manager, Vernon Geranium Nursery - image: HW

- How did you get started in the industry?

My parents started the nursery in the 1970s and after their retirement last year and a change in ownership, I am now running the business. I joined 20 years ago and have been hands on growing and expanding it into the largest specialist geranium nursery in Europe. No qualifications - just masses of experience and passion.

- What advice would you give to others starting out?

Think big, keep a level head and follow a sensible path, but always think outside the box. We started in a small greenhouse in the back garden and grew to a 1.6ha site.

- What does your typical day involve?

Every day is different. I'm very involved in searching out new varieties and keeping up to date with the "geranium world". I especially like to discover new varieties from "hobby" gardeners.

- What takes up most of your time?

Putting the catalogues together and making available the best selection.

- What is the best aspect of the job?

Being involved with the plants and getting to know all their different growing habits.

- And the worst?

I can't think of any down sides.

- What is your greatest achievement?

Keeping the collection available through difficult economic times and overcoming upsets such as the boilers failing on a freezing night. Specialist nurseries are struggling in the UK and if we don't look after specialist collections, we'll lose them forever.

- How do you wind down after a hard day?

My three teenage children keep me laughing - and busy.

- What does the future hold?

I'm looking forward to expanding our collection, seeking out the new and keeping it all available in the UK, so that gardeners are able to continue to enjoy geraniums, many of which were introduced in the 1700s.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Tree planting guide - three basic rules

Tree planting guide - three basic rules

Choosing the right plant, correct planting procedure and best aftercare are the three basic rules for sucessful tree planting, Sally Drury explains.

Tree planting - what are the benefits of planting trees?

Tree planting - what are the benefits of planting trees?

Mitigating climate change, providing windbreaks and reducing the risk of soil erosion are some of the best reasons for planting trees, says Sally Drury.

Tree and shrubs - nursery market

Tree and shrubs - nursery market

Growers are more optimistic now that garden designers and landscape architects are seeking more mature trees and shrubs, writes Sally Drury.


Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Viewing top-quality plants, both growing and on sale, always gives me pleasure.

Editorial ... More analysis and insight from bumper HW issue

Editorial ... More analysis and insight from bumper HW issue

Welcome to this bumper 72-page July edition of Horticulture Week magazine, packed with exclusive analysis, insight and expert advice on the biggest issues impacting all sectors of the UK horticulture industry right now.

Edwards: Will a weak pound and tariffs on imported stock be good for UK nursery production?

Edwards: Will a weak pound and tariffs on imported stock be good for UK nursery production?

At the time of writing - a few days after the general election - sterling has weakened and we still have no idea of what Brexit means.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

Ornamentals ranking

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Tough retail pricing policies and Brexit opportunities drive the top 30 growth strategies.

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles