Me & My Job - John Foley, owner, Holden Clough Nursery

John Foley, owner, Holden Clough Nursery - image: HW
John Foley, owner, Holden Clough Nursery - image: HW

How did you get started in the industry? The nursery was a family business but very overgrown, so we have given it a makeover. Having had so many years pottering around, experience is my real strength as I believe you cannot beat getting out there and getting your hands dirty.

What advice would you give to others starting out? Don't judge horticulture by the stereotypical image. It might not be cool, but if you persist with it, it is very enjoyable, satisfying and you can make money out of it, despite what some may think. You just get wet and cold now and then.

What does your typical day involve? Overseeing the running of our plant nursery with my girlfriend, Kate, and doing landscaping work for our local customers.

What is the best aspect of your job? Meeting customers and advising them on planting ideas, as well as being at the summer flower shows.

And the worst? The winter, when it quietens. But with spring around the corner, that never lasts long.

What is your greatest achievement at work? Winning the BBC's Young Gardener of the Year. Having no formal qualifications in horticulture, this is the nearest thing to it. It came straight after we won our first RHS Gold Medal at Tatton Park in 2011, so it was a bumper year.

How do you wind down after a hard day? We like to go to the pub for a meal and forget about work. It is important to get space away from the nursery, it helps keep a fresh perspective on what you have to do the next day.

What does the future hold? I hope to help encourage younger people into the industry by setting an example. We are building a tea room and lecture room at the nursery to attract new customers. We also hope to exhibit at Chelsea in the coming years, but not until we are ready and can really make an impact.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Papaver

Papaver

These compact, brightly coloured flowers can be very attractive for impulse sales, notes Miranda Kimberley.

Fertilisers Special Report - invaluable nutrition

Fertilisers Special Report - invaluable nutrition

Using the right fertilisers on your crops can make all the difference when it comes to securing repeat customers, Sally Drury advises.

IPM Essen Show Preview - New look for top trade fair

IPM Essen Show Preview - New look for top trade fair

Venue modernisation will mean better display space for exhibitors at Europe's largest trade fair for the horticulture industry, says Gavin McEwan.


Opinion... Gardening needs better promotion

Opinion... Gardening needs better promotion

British horticultural firms and organisations have not been the best at working together to promote our industry.

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking

Generations of ordinary British people have been let down by weak, visionless leaders -- politicians more engaged by the next election than our national best interest.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

Ornamentals ranking

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Tough retail pricing policies and Brexit opportunities drive the top 30 growth strategies.

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles