How did you get started in the industry? I joined Indoor Garden Design in 1993 after four years with Ken Hayford floristry, where I started as an apprentice. I recently celebrated 25 years in the industry and took over from Ed Wolf running Indoor Garden Design last year.
What advice would you give to others starting out? There are lots of full-time courses such as amenity horticulture and interior landscaping. I’d recommend taking a course and backing it up with work experience, either part-time or as a volunteer. You can’t beat first-hand experience.
What are you working on? With the World Cup, everyone wanted Brazilian planting — Wentworth, the Four Seasons Hotel and OK! magazine. They wanted lots of palms, strelitzia and Guzmania. For Efig National Plants at Work Week (14-21 July) we were raising awareness of the benefits of plants in the workplace.
Who are your main clients? Big corporates are still the biggest part of the business — blue-chip companies moving into new offices. The growing part of the business is hotel work and events.
Who are your main suppliers? Koburg from Holland.
What are the major industry issues? The corporate side has been on the back burner for a few years. When times are tough it was something they thought could be left. But facilities managers are now putting indoor planting higher back up on what’s needed for their building.
What are your plans for the future? To raise awareness of the health benefits of plants in the workplace and people’s perception of office plants, rather than just having a yucca in the corner.
And to get interior landscaping BREEAM recognised. At the moment it is highly recommended. I’m also on the RHS tender ornamental committee. Then there’s Christmas. We do most hotels on Park Lane.