Christine Woodhouse

It occurred to me one day that I had more plants on my desk than paperwork.

I first found myself interested in plants when I worked in an office in Chelmsford. It occurred to me one day (when a colleague commented) that I had more plants on my desk than paperwork. I used to feel trapped at my desk and I never began to think until then that I could possibly work in horticulture. I was always told to ‘get an office job’!

I found myself applying to work in the planteria of a local garden centre, it was a great way to learn about plants. They said if I wanted to learn more I could study a City and Guilds - my first horticultural qualification! In the evenings I studied the RHS General Certificate in Horticulture and in 2003 I was accepted onto the traineeship at Hyde Hall which clarified to me what I wanted to do. I continued to study further at Advance and Diploma level.

Since then, I feel that I have been very fortunate, getting a full time position in 2005, passing all my exams, and now as a Team Leader using all my accumulated skills and knowledge to teach and guide others. But I will always fondly remember my colleague from years ago whom; without her observations, would I be where I am today?

I have been a Team Leader for four years and I have a team of three horticulturists, a trainee and an apprentice. I have always enjoyed every moment of my time here at Hyde Hall as it’s a great rewarding job and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.