Why I… #lovehorticulture

The latest edition of the industry’s leading magazien celebrates horticulture and asked Andrew why he loves horticulture. Here is his response in full.

“More than anything else there’s a bond that is created by horticulture. It’s something that is hard to explain but when you’re in it you tend to get it.

Before I started my career proper I spent my childhood helping my Dad out at his allotments, one of which was behind Barclays Bank in the village. It’s where we talked because typically men don’t talk to each other but working side by side you do. I then spent teenage years picking fruit for Chivers Farms in the summer alongside my friends, a band of youngsters scratched to pieces by gooseberries but with healthy tans and with many laughs.

I didn’t choose horticulture straightaway but eventually I made the right choice and went to study at Askham Bryan College. The course was brilliant and we were another band of students bound together by a love of plants, parks and gardens. We even had a song and we supported each other as we started out in more ways than just studying. I look at the groups of students we have at London College of Garden Design and I see a similar thing happening. A love of horticulture brings people together and gives them a support network that goes above and beyond just plants.

My work is often with communities across a wide range of ages and abilities. When you experience the camaraderie of vision-impaired veterans in there 80s or talk to a 104 year old veteran about his garden you get it. The power of horticulture to help children escape tough family situations, to give young adults a new start when they’ve been carers all their lives, to let adults with learning challenges live independent lives and the elderly with dementia in care home settings is in many ways immeasurable.

But we are starting to measure it and the powers that be, those who hold the purse strings are starting to understand. When we see the power that they hold being directed to plants, parks and gardens, that will make me love horticulture just a little bit more.”

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