Nereida moves onto Sir Harold Hillier Gardens

It’s no wonder that with her HBGBS background and incredible passion for gardening, Nereida secured a post at the beautiful Sir Harold Hillier Gardens. Here she tells us about her placement, her motivations and more:

What made you choose horticulture and not an indoor job?

Well, I don’t know what made me choose horticulture but what I know is that since I work as a gardener I should be tied very fast to a chair to keep me the whole day working indoors. Anyway, it took me 32 years to discover what I really wanted to do. I had always been interested in open spaces, gardens and plants but never thought to incorporate them into my profession. Tired of working in jobs that did not give me any satisfaction I decided to enroll in a one year practical Craftsman Gardener course at Threave Gardens and settle my career in something I could truly enjoy: GARDENING!! and voilà! here I am.

What do you enjoy most about being a professional gardener?

I think gardens are living things and gardeners are just very lucky to see how they change day by day, month by month, year by year. Gardener’s work, effort and sweat are transformed in beautiful places that can be enjoyed by others taking them to a different scenario, travelling far away from their own worries or just letting their imagination run riot. From my point of view gardeners are immensely fortunate to work in such ideal workplaces.

What was the thing that surprised you most during your placement?

Finding out that weedy gardens are not a bad thing. During my placement at Myddelton House Gardens I learned how to love, admire and respect wild flowers within a garden (and outside the gardens of course!). For me they were just weeds, but now they are those marvellous plants with hidden beauty and with some unknown value.

Where do you think you will be in 5 years time?

Before I started my current job I could see myself working in another public garden renovation; working elbow with elbow with volunteers, people with learning difficulties, disable or other disadvantage people using horticulture as a therapy. However, after starting my job at Hillier Gardens, I think I will need more than 5 years to learn all the wonderful plants cultivated in these gardens before moving onto a bigger project.