How did you get started in the industry? I am a career changer. I was interested in urban farming in America and people said why don’t you go learn more. When I moved to London I’d spent almost 20 years in finance working at UBS and so I thought I’d do something completely different and get qualifications in horticulture. I went to Capel Manor College to do an RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture in 2011 and I volunteered at Spitalfields City Farms. I wanted to do more and it turned me on to horticulture. I felt horticulture was incredible and exciting. After my course I joined agency Andersplus and worked in all different kinds of companies for two years, which was good experience. I’ve been with Leveson nearly three years and I really like the properties, the owner and my colleagues.
What advice would you give to others starting out? Don’t give up and don’t let others dissuade you from what you want to do. Every day I’m learning.
What does your typical day involve? Working on anything from window boxes to the large gardens of private residents, mostly in west London. For example, we look after Winston Churchill’s former home off Kensington High Street, the Egerton House Hotel and the home of the first Duke of Wellington, Aspley House.
What is the best aspect of your job? I’m outside every day instead of being behind a desk like I used to be.
And the worst? Sometimes I can’t feel my fingers when it’s cold.
What has been your biggest achievement at work? Feedback from clients and making people smile. A job well done and getting recognition for that, and making people happy.
What does the future hold? The future is wide open. I don’t know and that’s what’s exciting about it. I’m taking it one day at a time.