I am woken up by the girls around 6.30am and the daily challenge of getting out of the door on time for school starts. Breakfast doesn’t always happen for me, but nothing gets in the way of my first cup of tea!
Every day is different and very weather dependent. I have inside days and outside days.
Inside days involve working on garden re-designs, planting plans and construction drawings, researching products and keeping the wheels of the business oiled by keeping up to date with emails, phone calls, invoicing, ordering and, increasingly, social media.
Outside days involve visiting sites to liaise with the client and the contractor, overseeing deliveries and nursery visits to select the best plants I can.
The garden design industry is busy all year round – I have worked in the snow on Christmas Eve before! It is particularly hectic from February to November when builds and planting are at their peak but many clients are very organised and start the design process in the autumn so that we are all ready to build and plant it in the spring in time for the summer. The quietest month is often August because so many people are away.
Lunch is normally a snack on the run or a coffee and some fruit.
As the children are young, my working day pauses most days at 3pm for the school pick up and then on to their various clubs and activities. We try and have tea all together in the evening but sometimes I will go for a run when Steve gets home or a swim/bike training session with Chester Triathlon Club.
In the summer months I often have client meetings in the early evening either to discuss new commissions or present concept ideas or final designs. I normally get back from these about 8pm and then often re-start my working day invariably late into the night. In the summer I’ll try to get into my own garden! Even though it’s my job I still find gardening very therapeutic.
Saturdays are busy as I also teach the clarinet, violin and piano at home, so this is all fitted in round the girls’ netball and gymnastics. Luckily I have a very supportive husband!
January 2015 saw Parmé Garden Design’s 14th anniversary which as a business owner I am really proud of. 2014 was crowned with being shortlisted at the Northern Design Awards in November in the Landscape Garden Design category. Running my garden design business is undoubtedly hard work but the continual opportunities to challenge myself creatively is what drives me.
Jeans, wellies and a company fleece.
What is the favourite part of your job?
Creating something beautiful out of unloved spaces that make people happy.
What is the least favourite part of your job?
The cold and the wet.
What would be your dream job if you weren’t doing what you do now?
If I was younger, a musician or professional athlete.
How do you relax when you are not working?
Spending time with the family is always the aim, particularly as the girls are still young and it’s going very fast, but sport is a big part of my life so any opportunity to train and/or race I take! Nothing makes me happier than being by the sea with my family.
What is your favourite film?
The Bridges of Madison County.
What is your favourite book?
Most Secret by Nevil Shute.
What is your favourite song?
Insomnia by Faithless.
If a film was made of your life, who would you like to play you?
Have you had your 15 minutes of fame yet?
I was a session violinist for Paul Weller and Take That back in the day.
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