How I Got Started: Sue Beesley, owner-manager, Bluebell Cottage Gardens and Lodge Lane Nursery

Sue Beesley, owner-manager, Bluebell Cottage Gardens and Lodge Lane Nursery. Image: Sue Beesley
Sue Beesley, owner-manager, Bluebell Cottage Gardens and Lodge Lane Nursery. Image: Sue Beesley

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.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Trees and Shrubs - Planting benefits

Trees and Shrubs - Planting benefits

The message that health, the environment and business all benefit from trees is finally getting through, but are nurseries seeing an upturn? Sally Drury reports.

Arbutus

Arbutus

These evergreen trees and shrubs have decorative bark and can flower and fruit simultaneously, says Miranda Kimberley.

Four Oaks Trade Show 2018 - Product Solutions

Four Oaks Trade Show 2018 - Product Solutions

The latest products have all been designed to make growing more productive and to help sell more plants, says Sally Drury.


Opinion... Democracy is a hindrance to good place making

Opinion... Democracy is a hindrance to good place making

A farmer close by the small village of Green Hammerton in North Yorkshire is promoting his farm as a site for 3,000 new homes. It is slap-bang in the middle of the countryside at the mid-point between York and Harrogate.

Opinion... How to increase UK plant supply

Opinion... How to increase UK plant supply

Why don't UK growers produce more of the plants that the UK market demands?

Opinion... Co-operation is industry's best card

Opinion... Co-operation is industry's best card

What a great trade this is when one of us needs help. "The Container Revolution" co-operative exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is a good example.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 60 Ornamentals nurseries

See our exclusive RANKING of ornamentals nurseries by annual turnover plus the FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles