Tell us about Growing Pains. How did that start, and what have you got planned next?
Growing Pains started with the idea of getting people out into the garden, to create accessible bags and boxes of bulbs delivered to the door. I started with simple packaging, and luckily one of my pals is the very talented graphic designer Patrick Schmidt, who, over a long day of pints, drew me up some daft graphics on a few beer mats, literally. It’s been great selling to local independent stores and Londoners, and the plan is to continue enjoying myself. I’ll see what happens, I really enjoy the day job, so there’s no rush, I’m pretty happy with how things are going so far. Working out how to make a website was groundbreaking enough. I’d look forward to an invite to Monty Don’s place – any chance you can sort that?
Many of us have little to no green space. How can we get involved in gardening without a garden?
Many people who buy bulbs from me don’t have gardens. Windowsills are a great place to grow from as they’re warm and have plenty of light for pots of bulbs. I would suggest starting with a small propagator on the windowsill if you want to grow seeds, and as soon as you see the first shoots coming through, you will be hooked. Bulbs are super easy, too, as they will sit happily in a pot on a windowsill or balcony. Tulips and daffodils are lush potted and flowering inside.
And what about those of us who aren’t blessed with green fingers?
I started growing pains with the idea of making gardening easy and painless, hence our easy-to-follow instructions. They are foolproof, just be patient.
Is there any hope of becoming a better gardener, even if you struggle to keep a succulent alive?
Succulents are a nightmare! Ditch them for outdoor plants and bring them to the windowsill, outdoor gardening is a totally different ball game. Start off with something easy, like allium bulbs and a pot, you can’t go wrong. You’ll be growing your own vegetables by summer.