Me & My Job - Christine Howard, Howard Nurseries

Christine Howard, Howard Nurseries - photo: HW
Christine Howard, Howard Nurseries - photo: HW

- How did you get started in horticulture and what has been your route to working at the nursery?

I started at a young age as my father owns a horticultural business and I worked there part time. I also gained experience elsewhere by working in a local plant centre and nurseries. I went on to study business studies for three years followed by a degree in horticulture at Writtle College. After Writtle I worked at Houghton Hall walled garden in Norfolk. I have been in the family business full time for three years now.

- What does your typical day involve?

I don't have a typical day. I generally start in the office checking emails, then try to go round each department. I help where needed - either potting, packing or splitting, or I can be found in the greenhouse or office. During the run up to the show season I also meet designers for Chelsea and Hampton Court to help them with the show process. I also oversee human resource issues.

- What takes up most of your time?

Considering approaches to staff development. I arrange training, particularly for the apprentices.

- Do you get out of the office enough?

Yes. I am half in the office and half out.

- What is the best part of your job?

The fact that every day is different.

- And the worst?

The weather at this time of year.

- What piece of kit can't you do without?

My hat is glued to my head when it's cold.

- How do you wind down after a day's work?

I like going to the gym and occasionally to Newmarket races.

- What does the future hold?

I hope I can build and help move the business forward. I also plan to continue developing my business and plant skills.

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