How did you get started in the industry? My first job in the industry was as garden centre manager at B&Q. Then I was PR/technical services manager at Fisons Horticulture and I’ve been self-employed since 1990.
What advice would you give to others starting out? Aim to do something that you feel passionate about and do it to the best of your ability.
What does your typical day involve? My work days vary — some days I am training and as a Garden Centre Association inspector I was obviously visiting many garden centres. Other days I am preparing courses and planning new projects or just catching up with admin.
What is the best aspect of your job? I like being able to take an idea from conception to completion and I love the fact that my work varies so much. Another big factor that makes working in this sector enjoyable is the people. It is a very friendly industry.
And the worst? It can be slightly isolating flying solo — I will definitely miss being part of the GCA inspection team. But the industry is like a big family anyway so it’s not too much of an issue
What have you been working on recently? The Grow Your Own Profits Roadshow, which will run next February and March.
What has been your biggest achievement at work? I wrote the Garden Care Certificate of Competence course and pack in 1992 and have put more than 3,000 staff through it to date. It became an industry standard and continues to be so.
What does the future hold for the industry? I feel the future is bright, provided businesses are willing to put the effort in, anticipate and meet changing consumer needs and join all the necessary dots.
How do you unwind after a hard day at work? A good walk, fresh veggie juice and, on occasion, a glass of wine.