Careers in horticulture

When I talk about working in horticulture, what does your mind spring to? Perhaps a job as a gardener or a sales assistant at a plant shop? Yes, those are both important jobs in the horticulture sector – but I want to expand your mind beyond what you think this sector is limited to! There are hundreds – perhaps thousands – of different careers paths in the world of horticulture, and in this blog post, we’re going to hear from a selection of Plant Geek friends about what they do and how they do it!


The horticulture jobs covered in this article:

  • Marketing executive
  • International liaison for a public garden
  • Plant pot designer
  • Plant hybridiser
  • Tropical gardener
  • Company director
  • Marketing and PR manager
  • TV horticulturalist
  • Head gardener at a Japanese garden
  • Urban farmer
  • Communications specialist
  • Head of commercial operations
  • Managing director of a PR company
  • Photographer
  • Garden designer
  • Production manager
  • Account manager
  • Virtual marketing manager
  • Author
  • Landscape architect
  • Freelance journalist
  • Trainee gardener
  • Horticulturalist
  • Head of horticulture at a public museum and gardens
  • Illustrator


Dani Hawkins, Marketing Executive at CJ WildBird Foods Ltd

Where are you from? “Shrewsbury, Shropshire.”

Tell us about what you do! “Being a marketeer in the world of wildlife is a fun but important role. You’re responsible for providing people with advice and guidance on caring for the creatures in their back garden and beyond. Whether this be through an exciting and engaging communication strategy, attending events to speak with people directly or even joining forces on social media with amazing Influencers (just like Mr Plant Geek!) to spread your message further and encourage people to care for the nature on their doorstep.

“Each day offers new knowledge, experiences, and opportunities. If you love to write and get creative and love nature, then a job in communications could be perfect for you!”


Noriko Shirai, Liaison for Barakura English Garden in Japan
Where are you from? “I am originally from Japan and now based in Colsterworth, Lincolnshire.”

Tell us about what you do! “I have been working as a liaison for a Japanese company called Barakura English Garden who has an English style of garden in Japan and holds events, seminars and lectures with people in the UK Hort world. Barakura also sells some roses, pots and gardening tools imported from the UK. My job is to contact gardening experts and suppliers to arrange all sorts! I really enjoy my role since it gives me an opportunity to meet lovely people in the industry and learn so much from them.

“Michael Perry is one of the wonderful experts that I have met through this job. I believe horticulture connects the world.”


Andy Flynn, Founder and Lead Designer of POTR Pots

Tell us about what you do! “At POTR our aim is to place sustainability at the core of all horticultural products by employing a holistic approach to sustainable product design. We’re using design thinking to reinvent the landscape for botanists across the globe, starting with our first product, the POTR POT – a flat pack, self-watering planter made from waste material and posted directly through your letterbox.

“The horticultural industry is littered with a sea of products which have been designed purely for aesthetic purposes and often have short throw away life cycles. By being more conscious of not only what materials we use, but also how much material we use and how long lasting a product  is, we can greatly impact the carbon footprint of this industry.

“Most people are surprised to learn that the largest reduction in carbon footprint comes from the fact our products are flat packed, rather than the fact we use recycled materials. A simple change in the design which accounts for over 80% of our carbon footprint reduction!

“This is exactly why we love design – it allows you flip convention on its head and tackle problems from the ground up, solving problems at a fundamental level. Too many brands rely solely on the claim of using recycled material to justify their sustainability credentials – a holistic approach is required which considers the life cycle of a product from cradle to grave!”


Ganesh Anandhakrishnan, Nelumbo Hybridiser

Where are you from? “I am an aspiring Nelumbo hybridiser from India, creating hybrid lotuses for the urban garden space.”

Tell us about what you do! “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” – Robert frost.

“I followed the path of this sacred flower. Explored its diversity and it took me to a whole new world of immense possibilities and happiness, that has made all the difference.

“I, along with my friend Somnath Pal, have created many hybrid lotus and waterlilies, which are quite popular in the trade.

“Hybridisation is a technique, with your imagination as a pallet, to create art on nature’s canvas. The outcome is thrilling. Cant find any better rewarding job!

“When you follow your passion, the rest follows you. I even got featured on this blog because of my passion for plants.”


Nuno Prates, Tropical Gardener

Where are you from? “Born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal where I keep my plant collection in two tropical style gardens.”

Tell us about what you do! “I am a proud lover of tropical plants and a gardener of tropical style gardens in my homeland. The long experience in planting tropicals exclusively outdoors put me a bit ahead of what landscapes usually do. I create tropical rain forest scenery rather than a designed green area that people commonly call a garden. That makes me so glad and fulfilled that I consider all gardens I do mine.
“I am a 55-year-old gardener gardening for the last 45, always enthusiastic and seeking for more experiences in gardening.”

Joe Smith, Director at Greanbase Ltd

Where are you from? “Originally from Bronte Country in Yorkshire but now residing in a small village in the Midlands (it’s warmer!!) with my wife and 11 year old daughter Isabella.”

Tell us about what you do! “Along with the rest of my family and a few extremely valued members of staff we operate GreanBase Ltd which provides the Grumpy Gardener / Jennings brands to QVC UK / USA and other clients across the globe. We design and manufacture garden tools / decor and wild bird items and try to bring that “new” thing to customers.

“Working for yourself comes with the extremes of emotions and responsibilities; I guess we’re all different and I was probably destined to work for myself due to my natural personality. I’ve found that if you’re on a salary one can take that easy day off, but when one works for themselves you’ve got to look in the mirror at the end of the day and ask yourself if you’ve given 100%. It’s a lot harder to lie to the face looking back at you!!

“What I do is hard to describe, it’s wide ranging from visiting various countries looking for products / inspiration and building relationships with clients to sweeping the warehouse floor and packing goods for customers. A family business means you do everything, you don’t switch off, it’s basically a lifestyle choice.”


Chanel de Kock, Country Manager at Flower Council of Holland

Where are you from? “I moved to London from South Africa 19 years ago and live in my West London flat with my miniature Dachshund, Penelope.”

Tell us about what you do! “I am responsible for Marketing & PR in the UK for the Flower Council of Holland, and we are responsible for the collective communications and sector promotions for flowers and plants in France, the UK, Germany and the Netherlands on behalf of our Dutch stakeholders (growers, traders, and exporters).

“In the UK, our consumer activities are carried out through, and Our activities are all based on research to make sure we hit the right note with consumers, and we make sure to find engaging ways to inspire through our content, campaigns, horticulture trends, and newsworthy PR activities.

“Our objective is let consumers experience the that joy flowers and plants bring and to increase buying intent and in turn, drive sales. Our research provides valuable insights for the industry to use in their own marketing communications, and our campaign materials are also available for the sector to use to increase the reach of our campaign messaging.

“I love my job as we work with the most beautiful products, and the creative possibilities are endless. I always tell people I sell smiles.”


Camilla Bassett-Smith, TV Horticulturalist

Where are you from? “Born and bred in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and still living here!”

Tell us about what you do! “I gained my horticultural degree from Pershore College and after an initial career as a local radio presenter, I have spent the last 12 years specialising in gardening television – both on screen and off. This has included six years as Horticultural Specialist on BBC Chelsea coverage, Horticultural Consultant on ‘The Big Allotment Challenge’ (BBC), Horticultural Producer on ‘The Big Flower Fight’ for Netflix and ‘Inside Out Homes’ for C4 and Assistant Producer on ‘The Great British Garden Revival’ (BBC), in addition to time spent on BBC Gardeners’ World and recently advising on Marcus Wareing’s ‘Tales From a Kitchen Garden’ (BBC).

“For the past two years I have been regularly presenting alongside Alan Titchmarsh on his ‘Love Your Weekend’ ITV programme. Away from television, I am Editor of The RHS Daffodil, Snowdrop & Tulip Yearbook and Editor of The Daffodil Society. I also judge for the RHS South West in Bloom competition. I really enjoy my work as people in the world of horticulture are so friendly and willing to share plant knowledge. I’m always learning and of course always surrounded by plants, which I love. Botanical bliss!”


Andy Fisher, Head Gardener at Barakura English Garden in Japan

Tell us about what you do! “I’ve been gardening in Japan for the past 27 years, 24 of them at Barakura English Garden, where for 16 of them I’ve been Head Gardener. Initially a very daunting experience, working in an environment where most of the people you come in contact with don’t speak a word of your own native tongue. It makes you knuckle down and do some studying.

“As you’d imagine, we have the usual yearly garden work. Waking the garden up in spring, planting summer bedding, re-planting borders, pruning, tying in climbers etc. Some of the things I find interesting here are the differences between gardening in the UK and gardening in Japan.

“The climate: especially the area I work in, in Nagano prefecture, we get an inordinate number of sunny days, although when it does rain, it can be heavy, but doesn’t last more than a day or two, and clears up fairly quickly. Winters are colder than most of UK. We regularly get -15C to -17C and I’ve seen it drop below -20C. cold, but dry. Summers can be warmer and more humid.

“Pests and diseases: we do have the usual aphids, whitefly, caterpillars etc. but also some really interesting things too. Obviously being Japan, we have Japanese Beetles, dozens of different species. The scent of the rose (probably the chemical rather than the aroma) is similar to the sex pheromone of the beetle, so we have regular orgies in the rose flowers. Stem boring Long Horned Beetles, will make holes in anything. Dahlia stems, Lily stems, Rose stems, even trees and wooden beams, nothing is safe! And many more besides, both in the air and in the ground. Another part of my job I find interesting is dealing with them. Trying to keep a balance of nature conservancy and customer satisfaction, which can be very frustrating at times, but very rewarding when things work out right.

“One more difference between the area I’m in here and the UK (and this will make you groan when I get to the punchline) is the soil. The soil in this part of Nagano prefecture is a volcanic silt which sits about half a metre above a rich red clay. The silt itself is quite nutritious but also a little acidic. I don’t know if it’s the acidity or the nutrients and enzymes within it, but I think it is this which makes Hostas unpalatable to slugs. (There, I told you!) we very, very rarely get slug damage on our Hostas. Leaf miners come in in early autumn though!

“Barakura English Garden is also home to the Kay Yamada Garden School, which is predominantly a container gardening school, but we do cover many other aspects of gardening and horticulture in our lectures. And one of the great joys of my role as Head Gardener and lecturer is to rub shoulders with many horticulturists from the UK and elsewhere. Head Gardeners from the RHS, and National Trust, Nurserymen, garden writers and even Mr. Plant Geek himself.

“Getting to travel around the country on exhibitions, landscaping jobs and garden maintenance commissions also help to make my life quite interesting, as well as helping to translate lectures and video presentations, because for the past three years under Covid, many of our lectures have been on-line.”


Alessandro Vitale (AKA Spicymoustache), Urban Farmer and Content Creator

Tell us about what you do! “I’m Alessandro Vitale also known as “Spicymoustache”. I’m based in London and I have been an Urban farmer for 7+ years and content creator for the past 1 year, producing educational content about gardening and maximising the production of food in a small space (i grow my own food in 8×5 metres of space), foraging wild food, natural remedies and how to use every part of your fruit and vegetables with a zero waste approach for a more sustainable life even in the middle of the city. My goal is to educate people not only to grow their own food and re-create the missing link with nature but also reduce their impact on the environment by lowering their carbon footprint. The main point is to create digestible content in the most authentic way so anyone could do the same at home.

“Social media is a great way to target the young generation and inspire them for a more sustainable future. I started creating videos to share my love and passion for nature and received a great response from all over the world, currently counting 982k followers on Instagram, 1.8 million on Tiktok, 50.5k on youtube and the community keeps growing every day.

“I left my full time job around March and dedicated 100% to my content creator career but I also managed to start working with my personal gardening hero Charles Dowding, creating all his content for Youtube and Instagram. I’m releasing a book all about urban gardening in April 2023 and I’m already thinking about my second book which will be even more exciting and entertaining. I appeared on BBC gardener’s world (Friday 2nd September episode) and I also worked with many different companies to cover the sustainability topic like Natwest, BBC Earth, BBC, Vans, Canon etc. which gives me hope for a more eco-friendly future.

“My plans for the future are really ambitious as I feel this is just the beginning of my career and I’d love to have my own TV show and expand my company to help more content creators in reaching their goals.”


Mario Nederpelt, Marketing & Communications Specialist at World Horti Centre

Where are you from? Born and raised in the Westland area, Kwintsheul to be exact. Nowadays I live in Rijswijk, very close to The Hague.”

Tell us about what you do! “Hi! I’m Mario Nederpelt, 30 years old and I work as Marketing & Communications Specialist at World Horti Center in Naaldwijk (the Netherlands). The younger me never thought I would be working in our beautiful horticulture industry today, but here I am. When I grew up I worked in the nursery of my dad and knew very quickly I would never follow in his footsteps. But there’s so much more our industry has to offer, things younger me never thought of. I started my horticulture career at breeding company Dümmen Orange as Marketing Specialist, with a focus on tropical crops. I worked here for over five years and last May I switched to my new position at World Horti Center.

“World Horti Center is the knowledge and innovation center for international greenhouse horticulture. In our building, business, research, education and government come together to innovate, connect and share knowledge. It really feels like the clubhouse of the industry and this makes it so fun. We get visitors from all over the world that want to know more about our sector, a while ago we hosted the president of Ghana for example. A few of my day to day tasks: I maintain our socials, send out newsletters, write press releases and make sure to take photos of the events we host. Every now and then I give guided tours through our amazing building myself.”


Sirekit Mol, Head Of Commercial Operations (outside Europe) and Head of Marketing & Retail (worldwide) at Beekenkamp Plants B.V.

Tell us about what you do! “Being literally grown up between the cauliflowers and tulips, I always voted to not work in agriculture nor horticulture. My parents had a cauliflower farm and they were also working very hard, though it never seem to bother them and they seem always very happy. It taught me however, what to look for in a good quality cauliflower, something I took for granted. My education was in business management and after some flirting in different industry branches, such as fashion and accountancy, I ended up, unbeknown to me, at a breeders company, where they develop seedraised flowers such as viola and pansies. I loved the company, I loved the job. Of course my parents had to smile to themselves. For that company I had to chance to move to the United Kingdom, where I ventured out my growing and production skills and plant knowledge. I lived in the UK for 17 years, being a Salesrep for the Ornamentals products, then Sales Manager and then Marketing Manager for the whole of Beekenkamp Plants, which is a family business and I feel privileged to work for, they gave me opportunities.

“Now some odd years later, am back in the Netherlands. Nearer my friends and family, nearer the office (however not for Dutch terms) as the Head of Commerical Operations for everything outside Europe and Head of Marketing world wide. I love the job, I get to see how plants are developed, it’s behaviour and sometimes this takes years and years. I get to see how our plant are ending up in the retail and I get to see how our plants are ending up at the consumers.

“I can say with full passion now, that even though I grew up in the industry, even though I didn’t want to know anything about it when I was younger. I now am loving the industry because plants give me, surprisingly, the energy and the fulfilment, and it is rewarding.”


Holly Daulby, Managing Director at Honest Communications

Where are you from? “Born in Leicester, raised in Rutland and living in Derby – it’s safe to say I’m from the East Midlands!

Tell us about what you do! “I’m Holly from Honest Communications! At Honest, we specialise in PR and social media for brands in the home and garden world. I love my job because I get to work with passionate people and lovely brands with amazing products, all doing wonderful things. We get to find creative ways to promote our clients and their products, and no two days are the same. I can be working on strategies and campaign plans one day, at events and shows the next and then rushing back to my desk to meet copy deadlines, while juggling client meetings and journalist phone calls.”


Esther Ling, Photographer

Where are you from? “Born in South Korea. Adopted from an orphanage to a British family at the age of 2. Fiance to a 45 year old, Mum to three 20-somethings, Nana to a two year old, owner of crazy but soppy 6 month old cockerpoo puppy called Dave.”

Tell us about what you do! “Professional Photographer specialising in Food, Weddings and Social Environmental Portraits. I run food photography workshops and do 1-to-1 photography lessons.

“I’ve been a Pro Photographer for 21 years. My Instagram tag is @estherlingphoto & Food Diary blog

“I’m based on the very beautiful Norfolk Suffolk, South Norfolk border.

“Why do I love what I do? I love meeting new people through work and sharing hints and tips on creating better photographs.”


Makiko Sato, Garden Designer

Where are you from? Born in Tokyo and a garden designer based in London and Tokyo.

Tell us about what you do! My first career is hospitality skills through working for Imperial Hotel, the legendary landmark of Tokyo which is the fundamental source for me to create and entertain outdoor space. It was turned into a show coordinator working for several medal winning garden designers in the Chelsea Flower Show and other shows later on. (I have also studied horticulture in the UK.)

Then I finally decided to launch a career as a garden designer.

I am very proud of how I have come along all the way for being involving in the horticulture world. Whichever the way I take, there are creativities and hope, even challenging itself is very beautiful creation in the horticulture world. I really love nature.


Anastasios Kalantzis, Production Manager at Marathon Plants

Tell us about what you do! “I tried to limit myself in 3 different things I love and do more. I also tried to prioritize them…this morning I think the ranking goes like below:

“I love the diversity of tasks my profession offers! My role is a bit of planning, breeding, acting, see our plans growing, blossom and then marketing! It helps me become better and more complete as a person everyday.

“Most of the time we work in a “natural” environment, out of dark offices. I could see how this helped my mental health during the lockdown eras. Our business is growing plants that make people happier, this fills you with pride!

“You can never get bored in floriculture sector and you are always surprised by other colleagues’ achievements! New ways of growing, new hybrids, pioneer plant protection! My main role is to make sure that our cuttings will grow in beautiful flowered plants, and every year the progress done in the sector keeps my interest high!”


Wen Klopstra-Jiang, Account Manager Home Gardening at Takii Europe B.V.

Where are you from? “I came from Fuzhou, China. I am living now in The Netherlands.”

Tell us about what you do! “As Account Manager & Portfolio Manager of Home Garden at Takii Europe, I am mainly working with customers in UK and Scandinavian countries. I am also managing the portfolio of whole Sahin range, which offers high quality and innovative flower and vegetable seeds for home gardening.

“In my job I am working with the most beautiful flowers you can imagine. Breeding new stunning varieties for hobby gardeners is exciting. Just imagining how people will cherish those beautiful flowers in their gardens gives me great joy. All the people around me, colleagues, customers, everyone in this business share the same passion for home gardening. That gives me endless energy in my work.


Krystyna Bargieł, Virtual Marketing Manager at Wings With Power

Where are you from? “I come from Warsaw, the capital of Poland, and for a few years, I’ve been living in the Netherlands, near Arnhem, in the picturesque zone of the Veluwehom National Park.”

Tell us about what you do! “I had my first contact with gardening when, as a little girl, I set up a vegetable garden with my grandmother and sowed beans, dill, and carrots and looked after the seedlings of tomatoes that grew up on a wide, sunny windowsill.

“Since I was a child, I knew the taste of all fruits from the trees in the grandparents’ garden. My knees and elbows knew the roughness of the bark, my hair has been tangled in the thicket of branches more than once.

“I gained experience as a home florist, when, in the garden, I chose delicate cosmos, subtle dicentra, decisive calendula, and zinnia for a bouquet that was supposed to decorate the table during a Sunday dinner.

“When I grew up, I studied horticulture, I worked in a nursery, where I learned about the diversity and richness of plants far beyond my grandfather’s garden. It was over 20 years ago.

“To this day I am fascinated by the rich, plant world. I am still impressed with the precision with which flowers are built, and with the shimmering of the petals in the summer sun. I love to look at the diverse structure of the leaves and their wonderful autumn discoloration. And invariably, for over 20 years, I capture this world in pictures.

“I started working with clients – I advised, and I chose the best and most beautiful plants for their gardens. Over time, I started writing about plants – on websites, social media, and newsletters. For several years, writing about plants has been an important element of my services, which I provide as a freelancer for nurseries, Royalty Management companies, and horticulture corporations.


Photo by Ali Allen

Julia Parker, Expert Veg Gardener at Parkers Patch and Author

Where are you from? “Originally from Devon, I moved to the borders of East and West Sussex in 2005 after living 20 in London for twenty years and has spent the past few years turning a neglected part-walled garden back into a productive patch.”

Tell us about what you do! “I’m the author of The Little Grower’s Cookbook, a children’s book featuring sustainable gardening activities, recipes and projects. I also run fruit and veg growing workshops from my home all over the South East and enjoy visits to local schools to talk about the fun of growing something tasty and easy from seed, whilst using sustainable and recycled products such as seed trays and pots. I styled a greenhouse for the Alitex stand at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021 showcasing lots of sustainable growing ideas and I am a monthly contributor, talking all things fruit and veg, on BBC Radio Sussex and Surrey’s “Dig It” show.

“I’m passionate about growing food and eating healthily, and love encouraging others to do the same, no matter how big or small their growing space is!”


Marian Boswall, Landscape Architect

Tell us about what you do! “Our gardens, and being in touch with nature, are vital constants in a crazy world, whatever we as humans throw at each other! Alan Titchmarsh thanked the garden media recently for keeping people grounded to reality through nature. As a studio this need has kept us busier than ever.

“We take on large-scale landscape projects for impactful and innovative nature restoration, often around historic buildings. People are realising that, by looking after the land, we can tackle things like flooding, loss of biodiversity, climate change and chemical pollution in the air and water.

“I often put labyrinths into projects, to ground us to the earth and channel good energy. By having meditation spots, we bring ourself into the land’s energy. Walking a meditation spiral is good for both mental and physical health and biodiversity thrives at edges like mown lawn against longer grass. It’s so simple to create and has caught many people’s imagination. I love seeing them pop up on Instagram!

“Reclaimed materials, edible hedges, wildlife corridors made of dead hedges and planting between paving to channel water into the land – these are all typical of our designs. Using local reclaimed brick or stone is better for the planet, and if you buy new it’s more karmically sustainable if you know the human conditions in the quarry. We only want to bring in good energy!

“I and my team are horticulturalists as well as landscape architects – they go hand in hand. We always work with head gardeners, because when we leave is the real beginning. Current projects include a winery, a flood plain restoration, a regenerative estate masterplan, a successful lottery bid and natural capital projects including habitats for important species like otters and turtle doves.

“I think a big challenge is how best to help in this new world order without becoming overwhelmed as a studio. We’re very lucky that we get chosen, and careful how we choose back, to only take on work where we can really make a difference.”


Kim Stoddart, Freelance Journalist, Editor of The Organic Way magazine, Author, Speaker and Trainer

Tell us about what you do! “I’m a freelance journalist, editor of The Organic Way magazine, co-author of The Climate Change Garden book, speaker and trainer. I’m a bit of an all-round green rocketeer as I also make videos, provide horticultural design consultancy and business support for organisations that interest me.

“I made a leap from a career in PR and business into gardening nearly twelve years ago now when I moved from Brighton to the wild West of Wales. I’ve been writing and teaching about all things climate change and resilience growing since about 2013 when I started researching savvy solutions for the Guardian.

“I love what I do because I get to meet so many fantastic people running courses and I feel so passionate about helping people to grow nature-friendly food on a budget. We are living through such stressful times that this is an ever meaningful, supportive and important industry to work in.

“An updated version of The Climate Change Garden book I co-wrote is being published by Quarto in early February next year.


Yidah Leonard, Trainee Gardener

Where are you from? “I am from the Island of Trinidad & Tobago in the Caribbean, but moved to London permanently in 2020.”

Tell us about what you do!  “I’ve always been a passionate plant enthusiast and even grew my own fruit and veg back at home in Trinidad. Earlier this year, I decided to make it official and embarked on my horticultural journey where I began studying my RHS Level 2 and began working as a trainee gardener at Chelsea Physic Garden, where I got to learn all the ins and outs of what it’s like to work in and maintain London’s oldest botanical garden.

“It has been such a wonderful experience working with the most supportive and informed small team of gardeners there and I couldn’t of asked for anywhere better to start my professional garden career.

“There’s so much I loved doing at Chelsea Physic, but my favourite duty was working under glass and getting to learn how to care for the gardens entire plant collection from all across the World.

“Of course being from the Tropics, the Tropical Corridor was my favourite glasshouse as many of the plants immediately made me feel right at home! As a trainee gardener, I feel like so many opportunities await me in the World of Horticulture, so I am open to whatever comes next on this very green path. You can follow my journey on IG via @botanicallyjayy to learn and see more!”


Justin Hancock, Horticulturalist and Brand Manager at Costa Farms

Where are you from? “I currently live in the Pacific Northwest – outside of Portland, Oregon, but I’m originally from Northern Minnesota in the Midwest.”

Tell us about what you do! “As a horticulturist and brand manager for Costa Farms, I work to ensure we keep the end consumer in mind in what we do, from product development to communication via point of purchase materials (like plant tags) to website communication. This means dipping into research to ensure that I stay connected with the end consumer—their needs, desires, etc.; it means thinking about what kinds of plants we should be introducing next; it means thinking about how Costa Farms can educate and inspire; and, as Costa Farms grows into a brand (rather than just a wholesale grower), how the brand should present itself.  Having a horticulture degree allows me to be a liaison between marketing, category management, R&D, and other departments. I’m all about the plants, so it’s the perfect job for me.”


Errol Fernandes, Head of Horticulture at the Horniman Museum and Gardens

Where are you from? “I am originally from West London, now living in East London and working in South London. I love this city!”

Tell us about what you do!I am responsible for the care, management and development of our 16.5 acres of gardens. I manage a small team and 40 volunteers a week. Frederick Horniman the founder of the museum had a vision to bring the world to Forest Hill. This vision continues to inspire us in how we approach our work.

“The museum has a climate and ecology manifesto that overarches everything we do. We compost 97% of our food waste, we plant to encourage biodiversity wherever we can and have recently embarked on a journey to transform huge swathes of our lawns into meadows. We are also considering climate change in all of our plantings, from drought tolerant displays in front of the museum, our recently planted micro forest that will have a cooling effect on the garden and act as a particulate pollution filter and we’re also developing some rain gardens.

“No two days are the same and it is such a privilege to work for such a forward thinking organisation and have the freedom to be creative within my role.”


Lily Hammond, Illustrator and Owner of Uwu Studio

Tell us about what you do!I am the owner and creator behind Uwu Studio. Uwu means colourful in my family’s native tongue so I try to bring life and colour to all spaces I inhabit. I am the owner of Ipswich’s only artist led, independent art and plant shop! I am a freelance illustrator from Debenham alongside my business, but my work inspired primarily by two things. 1. Representing my culture and heritage. 2. Nature and all things planty!

“Growing up in rural Suffolk I’ve always been surrounded by nature and as I’ve grown older it’s increasingly become a passion of mine. I house over 50 plants in my bedroom alone, and from these I create beautiful illustrations and paintings which are turned into homeware, stationary and much more. I also decorate plant pots so opening my pop up shop in Ipswich, it only seemed right to sell houseplants too!!”


Do you work in horticulture? Want to inspire others? Let the world know what you do in the comments below!

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