Me & My Job - Jonathan Ward, owner, Ginger Horticulture

Jonathan Ward, owner, Ginger Horticulture - image: HW
Jonathan Ward, owner, Ginger Horticulture - image: HW

How did you get started in the industry?

When I left school. I spoke to the careers officer and said I wanted to work outside. He suggested agriculture, horticulture or the army.

The army was a non-starter and because I lived in the country I knew agriculture was hard work. Horticulture is equally hard work but I've never regretted it. I started working in a local garden centre in Lancashire then went to North America and New Zealand for various projects and after a number of redundancies I'm now working for myself on a number of high-profile accounts. Self-employment is equally secure as working for anyone else.

What does your typical day involve?

I am up at 6am answering emails, which is normal work practice nowadays. My work ranges from editing pictures for photo libraries to checking tattoo designs for being botanically correct. That's one of the strangest horticulture jobs - the tattooist said it is one thing you wouldn't want to get wrong.

What advice would you give to people starting out?

Don't be put off by the bad weather. It's worth sticking it out.

What is the best aspect of your job?

The variety. It's very rarely the same two days in a row. Last week, I was working on building a green roof and then I was looking at tattoo designs and the day after I was copywriting for someone's blog.

And the worst?

As a freelancer, the lack of work at times. But I don't think that there is security in any job.

How do you wind down after a hard day?

Mountain biking.

What does the future hold?

To get established as a freelancer rather than going down the fully-employed route. It's a case of building up contacts. At the moment, I'm looking at projects in the Middle East and working with a green roof project in London.

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