Me & My Job - Hamish Martin, owner, Secret Herb Garden

Hamish Martin, owner, Secret Herb Garden - image: Secret Herb Garden
Hamish Martin, owner, Secret Herb Garden - image: Secret Herb Garden

How did you get started in the industry? I always loved herbs and wanted a change so I decided to follow my passion. I was in the wine trade then sold Inverarity Vaults and did a diploma in herbology at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. We opened in 2014. We're much more than just a herb nursery. We live in a static caravan with four children, five dogs, a cat and chickens and pigs, but we are building a house.

What's the best aspect of your job? I walk out of the front door and I'm in it. I have a real passion for what people call weeds, hence the sticky willy and nettle and couch grass beers we make and sell. You don't need to travel the world or huge herbaceous beds - just look down at your feet at the dandelions and daisies. Everyone comes to the garden to see something different. There's so much scope to what we offer - courses, herb products, weddings, vintage, cafe and events.

What are your plans for the future? To grow more veg for the cafe. We've started weddings and full-moon garden dinners under glass. We have restaurant chefs from Timberyard and The Gardeners Cottage cooking for them. I know the drinks trade inside out, hence the beer. So a vineyard, why not? I'm doing work on which grapes to plant here. There is a vineyard in Fife but they don't have a variety I want. I need the right variety for up here because we've only got a six-week season.

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