Me & My Job - Andrew Pitman, plant manager, Monkton Elm

Andrew Pitman, plant manager. Image: Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre
Andrew Pitman, plant manager. Image: Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre

- How did you get started?

I attended Brymore School to study agriculture and horticulture and then studied at Cannington College of Agriculture & Horticulture. During my time at college, I also worked at Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre. I worked my way up to assistant manager from a work experience role and am now plant manager.

- What advice would you give others starting out?

Choose a job that you love because we all work for so much of our lives. It is important to choose something you're passionate about.

- What does your typical day involve?

I organise the jobs lists for staff and the watering lists. I will also do the plant ordering and set up plant displays. During the day I give plant advice to customers, which I thoroughly enjoy.

- What is the best part of your job?

I love hosting gardening talks and gardening advisory panels. I have also been on BBC Somerset radio shows.

- And the worst?

I dislike windy days when dry plants are blowing around.

- What piece of kit can you not do without?

My sense of humour, my Felco Model 2 secateurs and Monkton Elm's phone system.

- What is your greatest achievement at work?

We won best in show at the Taunton Flower Show 2010 and also at the National Amateur Gardening Show on several occasions. My greatest achievement is being part of the team that developed Monkton Elm into a great garden centre.

- How do you wind down after a hard day?

I breed show ponies and hacks, which I display at county shows throughout the country. I also enjoy walking my dogs, drinking good wine and eating out.

- What does the future hold?

My future is at Monkton Elm and we are just setting out for another revamp to take us forward. My personal ambition is to design and build a Chelsea garden and to do more gardening radio or TV work.

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