Don’t worry, I promise that’s an exaggeration.
That handsome chap on the left is me, Graeme Jago. Don’t let the film star looks fool you, I’ve actually been a self employed professional gardener since 2006, before which I worked in the Garden Centre industry for many years, managing the Plant sales areas of several large Garden Centres. I got my first job in horticulture working as an under-gardener at Littlecote House near Hungerford when I was 19 years old. At that time I could confidently recognise precisely one plant, Daffodils, and that was only because I was raised in North Wales.
Since then I’ve learnt to recognise a few more, and not just Leeks and Welsh Poppies. I consider myself very lucky to have a job that I love…well, mostly anyway, because some days it pours with rain, or is freezing cold, or I have to spend an entire day doing a particularly cruddy task. On the whole though the good days far outweigh the stinky, and few people have a more beautiful workspace than me.
My other big passion in life is photography, something I picked up 6 years ago, but have fallen in love with. Just as with gardening, it gives someone like me, who lacks any traditional artistic abilities, the opportunity to create something beautiful. My gardens require patience and planning and are constantly shifting and changing, but whilst photography requires many of the same skills to create a pleasing scene, it all comes together in minutes and seconds, not months and years, success (or failure) is instant, unless I’m shooting with one of my too many analogue cameras, in which case it’s not quite so instant.
When I’m not gardening, or trying to squeeze in a few seconds precious photography, time you’ll probably find me with my two boys, who are the best, only slightly nuts, and are already getting better at some video games than me. In the remaining nanoseconds of the year I try getting out on my motorbike, and playing video games in a vain effort to stay one step ahead of my children.