How did you get started in the industry? My granddad Alan introduced me to horticulture when I was about three. Later I spent Saturdays and holidays at a local plant nursery. From there I applied for a weekend job in Nottcutts’ Woodford Park Garden Centre and still work there on weekends.
What advice would you give to others starting out? Like anything you are passionate about, you have to be determined. Find a college that offers courses in horticulture. I was lucky enough to go to Reaseheath, which was fantastic.
What does your typical day involve? Usually the head gardener has a list of jobs. Now that spring is upon us we will be getting more visitors at Tatton so the focus will be preparing the gardens for the public.
What is the best aspect of your job? You are in the great outdoors. No two days are the same and Tatton is always planning wonderful events. We are planning a wonderful garden for RHS Flower Show Tatton Park.
What have you been working on recently? Each area of the park, including the garden team, has chosen one of Roald Dahl’s books to bring to life. We have had to combine our gardening and creative talents.
What has been your biggest achievement at work? When one of the very experienced garden team tells me I’ve done a good job, then I know I’m on the right track.
What does the future hold for the industry? Every horticultural article says that young people should be encouraged to get into the industry. High schools have a part to play in this to give it a more positive image as a career. I did all my own investigating and it would have been great to have had a talk on the various aspects of horticulture as a career.
How do you unwind after a hard day at work? Nothing beats a cup of tea and reading a copy of Horticulture Week.