Horticulture Week Podcast: Industry stalwart Richard Jackson on his horticulture life from Roy Lancaster via QVC to his own range

Richard Jackson and Matthew Appleby

Grower, journalist, QVC presenter and founder of the Garden Press Event and horticultural charity, Greenfingers Richard Jackson guests on this episode of the Horticulture Week Podcast.

Jackson, of Richard Jackson Garden, uniquely has won a Hortweek Garden Retail Lifetime Achievement Award (2016) and the Garden Media Guild Lifetime Achievement Award (2017).

He founded the Greenfingers Charity in 1998 and the Garden Press Event in 2006 and has worked for some of the biggest names in the industry - Hillier, Notcutts, Fisons, as a journalist for News of the World and a broadcaster for QVC from 1994, where he popularised TV garden shopping in the UK.

Jackson tells HortWeek editor Matthew Appleby how he found his way into horticulture and the huge influence of plantsman Roy Lancaster who "ignited my passion for plants”.

Replying to an advert in Horticulture Week, he later moved to a garden centre in Camden which was a joint venture with Camden Council and the Wellcome Foundation for long-term unemployed youngsters.

He discusses how to attract people into the industry and recounts tales, (including one surprisingly uplifting one!) of when he was gardening columnist for the News of the World and presenter on QVC, where his popularity influenced demand in the industry with up to quarter of a million plugs sold in a day.

Richard Jackson Garden has now entered the garden centre market with a "salon solutions" Plantsmith range, which won two GIMA awards this November. He discusses the thinking behind the premium range and his predictions for a more sustainable, peat-free, more diverse and more socially responsible sector of the future.

Podcast presenter: HW editor Matthew Appleby
Producer: HW digital content manager, Christina Taylor

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