Lewis | March 5, 2015 | 0 Comments
The latest blog post on one of our employees is here! The last two posts about our lead architect Rupert Davis and company director Stuart Barten have been very popular; this one will definitely follow suit, as I for one, believe this man is one of the most interesting I’ve ever met – I’ve never felt so engaged when I was chatting to him for information for this article! Of course, I’m describing our horticultural director David Reade.
A very varied work background began with working with computers and printers for a number of years, before the travelling bug caught David, and there he was chasing solar eclipses in Australia. Once he told me that, I wondered where his huge passion for landscaping and horticulture came from. To be able to be in the land Down Under, he worked in a garden for his “bed and board”. It turned out that he enjoyed it! Soon back in the UK, there he was landscaping, working from an apprentice to a senior member. It was during this time David achieved his RHS Level 2 qualifications.
Then, 7 years ago, an opportunity arose for David to work here, at Oakleigh Manor, where he could have free reign – this enabled him to express his creativity. At first, he was running alone, but now he has four horticultural teams at his disposal. You may think his title of ‘director’ means he doesn’t have a hands-on approach on site. You’d be wrong! His passion for soft landscaping has him both planning and bringing together beautiful gardens, both typing up proposals and being on his hands and knees organising a planting scheme.
A large part of his passion is naturalistic planting and working with the seasons; the anticipation of what comes next is what keeps this man going. However, he strongly states that his gardens are created for his clients, not for him. With a ‘right plant, right place’ ethos, he wants to make sure no plant appears out of place, totally suiting the garden, and complimenting features around it. He makes sure his teams carry the same ethos – a mission statement, if you will. He reiterates this stance along with the attitude he and his teams have when they enter a client’s garden: to be respectful, show the utmost care, and to be seen, but not heard. David explains that people inviting him and his teams into their home is a privilege, and they will behave as such. This caring attitude has resulted in a number of people not just being his clients, but also his friends.
In his own time, David loves nothing more than watching his football team on a Saturday, or walking the dogs. But the passion for horticulture never seems to let him go! He describes himself going round small, independent garden centres and nurseries as a “kid in a sweet shop”, and books and TV programmes on gardening are constantly on pre-record!
If I ever have the level of passion for something that David possesses for his industry, I will be a very lucky person!