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In meetings Oliver White has often described me as a lioness protecting my pride. It's not a bad description as I am protective of them - but also I am very very proud of them.
I happen to have employed a super talented bunch of people. Not just talented gardeners, they all have super skills outside of work.
Did you know that Oliver runs a farm when not at work- www.farmtofork.co.uk and rears geese, lambs and beef?
Ben Knight runs a small holding with his family and is a talented carp fisherman.
Jo could now work as a wedding planner I'm sure !- but she also has studied journalism in her spare time and has published articles in gardening magazines.
Chris Flower-aka the twitcher- has a great knowledge of all wildlife- especially birds- and is studying for a Masters in Forestry in his spare time. He also makes a mean Date Cake.
Tomos Glennie is becoming quite the mechanic (through poor car buys more than choice) but when back at home in North Wales is always helping out on the family farm.
Rosie Treharne is the ultimate in handy crafts and turns her hand to making all sorts of wonderful things- some of which are now stocked in our own Hestercombe shop.
Stephanie Newbury- one of our new students ran her first marathon last month..... and came first out of all the women! Unbelievable- well done Steph
and Charlotte Rodick has just been awarded a prize from the Worshipful Company of Gardeners for her horticultural studies at Writtle. This weekend she attended possibly the poshest and most prestigious ceremony, in the company of HRH Prince Edward the Earl of Wessex, to receive her prize!
So I have every reason to be proud.
We may look a dishevelled bunch in our muddy clothes, huddled over plants on rainy days but don't be fooled- as the saying goes- where there's muck there's brass!