- What is your typical day?
I arrive at 8am and then we gather round the mess room and have a brief talk about what we will do that day. There is no typical day. I look after the herbaceous border and make a design plan for it every year. In April to June I am staking and tying. But we all muck in together to do the mowing, edging, hedge cutting and other tasks. We cut three and a half miles of hedges every year and there are 35 acres of short grass to mow.
- What takes up most of your time?
Any job here as there are only the six of us. Edging is a massive undertaking as there are four miles of lawn edge in the garden. Mowing can take one man six hours. Luckily we work as a team here - there isn't a specific person who just mows all week.
- What's the best thing about your job?
The interaction with the public. I used to do maintenance gardening and there just wasn't time to talk to people. Now it's part of my job. I am one of the leaders on the wildlife weekends that we run, during which we camp overnight and go out looking for bats and other animals.
- What's the worst part of your job?
When it rains. After about three or four days of rain we start running out of things to do inside. We do have a few glasshouses but mainly use them for Dahlia production. We get help from special needs volunteers and schoolchildren to pot them up.
- What piece of kit can't you do without?
My penknife and Felco No 7 secateurs with the rolling handle. I've just had them serviced and I realised how much I missed them. I've had them for 27 years now.
- What does the future hold for you?
I'm staying here. I feel it's a place I can stay until I retire. We are increasing our appeal to the public all the time - in the 10 years I have been here the visitor numbers have doubled. We are progressing with our path linking up the Hoe Fen wildlife area with other areas. Soon there will be access to parts of the garden 52 weeks a year.