Me & My Job - Julia Ireland, self-employed gardener

 Julia Ireland, self-employed gardener - image: HW
Julia Ireland, self-employed gardener - image: HW

What does your typical day involve?

It might be starting early in a garden, weeding, pruning and mowing, a trip to the nursery to get plants or a meeting with a new client. It usually involves being out and about. I study garden design at Capel Manor College so I usually catch up with studying after work.

What takes up most of your time? At the moment, watering and finding my secateurs. Otherwise planting and weeding.

What is the best aspect of your job? The variety, making people happy by making their gardens beautiful, being outside whenever there is a hint of sunshine, sharing my day with wildlife and being my own boss. I used to be office-bound. I am much happier now.

And the worst? The long winter was harsh last year and work was scarce. This summer has been wonderful though and there has been plenty of work. As a self-employed gardener, I need to think ahead and work while the sun is out and be ready for the slow winter months.

What is your greatest achievement at work? Last year I planted a garden with 1,000 bulbs. It looked magnificent in spring.

How do you wind down after a hard day at work? I am not sure I do - I'm a bit of a fidget. I play tennis or go for a walk, catch up with my design homework or add to my blog (http://gardenervsgarden.blogspot.co.uk).

What does the future hold? I recently finished the John Deere training award for horticultural journalism. I like to be informed and enjoy looking into all the issues that affect the horticulture industry as a whole so it would make sense to stay involved in journalism and blogging. However, I wouldn't stop gardening. I will finish my garden design course next year, continue gardening and keep up with the writing. I like variety and gardening is a varied career.


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