Me & My Job: Paul Sadler, gardener, Rooksnest, Lambourn

Paul Sadler, gardener, Rooksnest, Lambourn. Image: HW
Paul Sadler, gardener, Rooksnest, Lambourn. Image: HW

How did you get started in horticulture? I worked on bulb, cut-flower and shrub nurseries while on a working holiday in Australia in 2000. This, plus its fantastic landscape and native plants, started the bug. I applied for the traineeship at Cambridge University Botanic Garden and when I got it spent a great year there. Being a glutton for punishment, I then became a student at Kew working towards the diploma, during which I went back to Australia on a travel scholarship.

What does your typical day involve? A lot of everything. I can be mowing, looking after the lawns, working in the greenhouse or weeding and tending the herbaceous borders.

What takes up most of your time? At the moment, I would have to say lawn work. New metal edging has meant I have perfected turning turf.

Do you get out of the office enough? Oh, yes.

What is the best part of your job? Being able to see the change of seasons. There's that lovely moment when you feel the warm sun on your back for the first time in the year. I also have a six-minute walk into work, so there is no daft commuting for me.

And the worst? The niggles, aches and pains in the body.

What piece of kit can't you do without? My new Silky Super Accel 21 pruning saw and Felco 2 secateurs. Without these, I would be lost.

How do you wind down after a day's work? Entertaining my three-year-old son. And sometimes a leisurely swim helps me take stock while doing laps.

What does the future hold? I would like to have more of a management role, possibly working in a larger garden. I am also looking to improve my skills by going to the Historic & Botantic Garden Bursary Scheme masterclasses and attending courses at rural skills centres.


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