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This Week’s Guest Blogger is Kevin Dowding

Kevin Dowding

Twists and Turns

As a young lad I used to love helping my Grandad both in his garden on his vegetable plot and renovating and making good our garden. I loved being outdoors, close to nature, learning endlessly and never doing the same thing twice. Wonderful!

Through secondary school little consideration was given to my garden; growing up and school studies took precedence, then University, starting my own family, and a career in finance: it was all more important… then the opportunity presented itself. An open day at a local college that I called in on through nosiness and that was me enrolled on a Horticulture course and goodbye to office work.

The quiet, mundane, unexciting world of gardening has so far taken me and my studies/work to Edinburgh and the Lothians, London, Northumberland, then back home to Cumbria. My last four and a half years has been as Forestry Senior at Center Parcs and more latterly the Interior Plants Senior Ranger. The variety of learning, challenges, achievements, seasonality, patience, satisfaction and fabulous friends I have encountered along the way has been extraordinary and must be a terrific bonus that not every industry or profession can boast nor match.

Now I’ve put my roots down and staying put for the foreseeable future. The full circle back to horticulture, planting design and husbandry under glass is where I started and where I have happily returned.  The following photo collages are one of the environments in which I work along with a selection of plants my team and I currently grow that are brightening everyone’s day.

The continual learning, refinement and development of the art of growing plants is a daily challenge and reward for me and is the driving force inspiring me to higher standards and thereby providing more interesting and better quality plants for our 9,000 weekly visitors to enjoy and marvel over

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