How did you get started in horticulture? We had our own IT business, which my husband still runs, but after I won the BBC Gardener of the Year in 2006, my husband and I found Bluebell Cottage Gardens and Lodge Lane Nursery, which by then were past their peak.
What does your typical day involve? When I'm in the nursery, it's answering questions from customers, advising on pests and diseases and the like. After the nursery is closed I sneak in some gardening work such as propagating, which is my first love. And in winter we are remodelling the garden — this year we put in a lot of perennials and grasses. I always do a garden at Tatton Park, which is 10 miles (16km) away. This year it was an office garden, for staff to enjoy their lunch hours in.
What is the best part of your job? I love it all compared with working indoors.
And the worst? Keeping the garden looking good and providing a good experience for visitors in relentless rain is a challenge.
What piece of kit can't you do without? I always keep my secateurs and pruning knife on me.
How do you relax? When I come in, it's mostly responding to emails and phone calls. Fortunately, my other half is a good cook and is usually ready with a glass of wine.
What does the future hold? Developing the garden is the main thing. Every garden should develop over time, and it gives us something new to show the regular visitors. I would also like to design a courtyard or urban garden for next year's show at Chelsea.