How did you get started in the industry? Towards the end of my decade living in Italy I was approached by the owner of a 100ha nursery who needed help with export sales to England, Turkey and Russia. I enjoyed the challenge so much that I decided to move back to England and start a nursery.
What advice would you give to others starting a nursery? Automate and computerise everything that you can and employ the best and the brightest people that you
What does your typical day involve? Every day is different, but a typical day might start at 6am walking the dog and contemplating the next 12 hours, followed by a meeting with the nursery manager at 7am. After that there is a quiet hour spent in the office before the office staff arrive at 9am. The next nine hours are generally a blur.
What is the best aspect of your job? Building relationships with our contract growers and developing new customer accounts.
And the worst? The great British weather, although, through growing plants in both southern England and Italy, we have discovered some comparative benefits of our climate that have enabled us to produce a more finished product after growing on Italian product. This particularly applies to bay, holm oak and box leafed privet.
What are your plans for the business? To build on our unique strengths — we are the only UK nursery that also contract grows in Italy and the only volume producer of bespoke plant topiary made in the UK. Agrumi is having an open week at our nursery in the New Forest on 24-28 February.