Hi, I’m Ben and I’m a passionate horticulturist who has an interest in a wide variety of aspects with horticulture and also how other industries such as the food and entertainment sectors relate and require horticulture. I graduated from RHS Garden Wisley in 2014, so have a few stories from there and I’m currently in Sicily developing a horticultural project in conjunction with a culinary school.
From a young age I’ve always wanted to be outside, an early memory of mine is being in the garden, with my mum frantically rushing to stop me from eating soil—only once I had tried some though!
I became more interested in plants in my mid teens, and made sure that when it came to choosing a work experience placement, that I was able to work at Cambridge Botanic Garden. It had been one of my favourite places to visit as a treat, and was so different to the local park!
One of the great things about being in horticulture is there is so much to do and always more to learn. It can be so satisfying and rewarding, and with multiple ways of doing tasks you can have fun reaching goals in your own way. Horticulture can really bring out a passion and creative energy in people. If you enjoy the feeling you get after doing a job well and take pleasure in reaping reward for what you do, then horticulture can give you that!
The best thing about my job is being able to watch the season’s change, enjoying the diversity and working with what nature brings. With such a huge array of plants in gardens and collections, both preserved and in the wild, there is a guarantee that there will be something of interest- even if it’s not to your personal taste!
It’s always interesting to see the seasons change. Something which particularly caught my eye last year was the range of Magnolia’s flowering in spring (at Wisley) which really brightened up the garden, bringing a massive breath of freshness about the place after the wet and cloudy winter. Then as the weather warmed, Rhododendron’s stole the show with their vast array of strong colours before a swath of Camassia in amongst the long grass left you stopped in your tracks. Simply stunning.
But horticulture isn’t just about flowers. Although this area is very popular, its vital to remember the importance of height, shape, scent and edibility within the garden as well as germination requirements, plant origins and pollination to name a but a few.
I hope you enjoy reading about what I get up to as well as how I think and other useful information along the way!