Mark Smith, manager at Swarkestone Nursery, faced his audience with a surprisingly long list of talents at his presentation to Ticknall Garden Club at their meeting in February. What a CV he offered; horticultural consultant, writer, broadcaster, TV presenter and movie star. He could also have added crime advisor and school governor.
His daily routine at the Nursery involves reviewing and ordering stock, arranging displays and advising clients. His long standing contacts with fellow horticulturalists help him to be at the forefront of new plants and innovations. His standards are high and aims for quality both in the annuals and perennials home grown at Swarkestone or when he travels to Italy for large specimens or topiary. When selecting from trade shows he has to second guess the future trends and admits to some disasters.
A ten minute feature for Radio Derby on gardening has now expanded to an hour’s garden programme. An obvious highlight of his year is when in the company of Andy Potter he mingles with the celebrities on media day at Chelsea Flower Show. He has even entered the world of internet television when he appears on Burton TV. Together with gardening articles for magazine and newspapers he can truly say he is media savvy.
And the movie star? Well he finds time to act as an extra in movies too.
The audience felt his whirlwind of activities truly qualified him as a Man for all Seasons!