Snapshot: Paul Martin

You may have noticed a new face in the garden over the past year. Paul Martin joined the team in March 2017 as maternity cover for one of our gardeners. He is a career-changer who previously worked as a graphic designer for a range of high-profile clients. Sadly it’s now the end of his contract, so it’s the ideal chance to reflect on his year with us at Winterbourne.

Verbena bonariensis in the Walled Garden, photograph by Paul Martin, career change, Winterbourne House and Garden, Digging for Dirt

Verbena bonariensis in the Walled Garden, photograph by Paul Martin

“I have always had an active interest in gardening throughout my life, right from an early age in Ireland. I find it relaxing working in my own garden and love creating a garden that I enjoy spending time in. I had grown somewhat disillusioned about the industry I had been working in for the past 22 years and thought it was time to see if I could change my life, to pursue a career that embraced my passion.”

The Pink and Blue Border, photograph by Paul Martin, career change, Winterbourne House and Garden, Digging for Dirt

The Pink and Blue Border, photograph by Paul Martin

“I took a Practical Horticulture course, part of which actually took place at the Winterbourne Centre for Horticulture (where I discovered Winterbourne for the first time). Initially it was solely for pleasure and to refine my skills but it ignited a passion to learn even more. I continued studying and successfully completed a Diploma in Horticulture from the RHS.”

The Lime Walk in autumn, photograph by Paul Martin, career change, Winterbourne House and Garden, Digging for Dirt

The Lime Walk in autumn, photograph by Paul Martin

“Graphic design and gardening are not too far removed. Great garden design themes such as colour, texture, form, simplicity and repetition are equally relevant to great graphic design. I have a good eye for what works aesthetically and great attention to detail – skills essential to making a garden look great.”

The Pink and Blue Border in autumn, photograph by Paul Martin, career change, Winterbourne House and Garden, Digging for Dirt

The Pink and Blue Border in autumn, photograph by Paul Martin

“I love taking photographs around the garden and sharing them with my friends. Feel free to follow me on Instagram… my profile name is paulgardens. Taking a photograph gives you a chance to appreciate the environment around you and documents that an apparently empty border in the depths of winter has so much life waiting to fill it in summer. It’s magical.”

Badger damage on the Scree Lawn, photograph by Paul Martin, career change, Winterbourne House and Garden, Digging for Dirt

Badger damage on the Scree Lawn, photograph by Paul Martin

“The physicality of horticulture was a bit of a shock initially, coming from a job that was office-based. Relentless lawn repair, fixing the badger damage during my first couple of months was quite an introduction! However I persevered and feel stronger, fitter, healthier and happier than ever before… and the lawns look great again.”

The Scree Lawn in autumn following repair, photograph by Paul Martin, career change, Winterbourne House and Garden, Digging for Dirt

The Scree Lawn in autumn following repair, photograph by Paul Martin

“I can now appreciate the sheer amount of hard work that goes into making a garden great. There has been nothing more wonderful than feeling the warmth and appreciation from our visitors about our hard work. It makes it all the more worthwhile sharing my experience and the garden’s beauty for everyone to enjoy.”

Tomatoes ripening in the Walled Garden, photograph by Paul Martin, career change, Winterbourne House and Garden, Digging for Dirt

Tomatoes ripening in the Walled Garden, photograph by Paul Martin

“I loved taking over the vegetable patch in the Walled Garden (my favourite part of Winterbourne) for the last year. I only have a small plot at home so it has been wonderful to scale it up and propagate, nurture and showcase a wider range of vegetables. The monster cabbage and kale looked great this year, as did the tomatoes until they were sadly smitten by blight.”

Tomato blight, photograph by Paul Martin, career change, Winterbourne House and Garden, Digging for Dirt

Tomato blight, photograph by Paul Martin

“I fully intend to continue my career in horticulture and have had no doubts about my change of direction. I have learned so much from the talented team who keep Winterbourne in tip-top shape and I have learned that I have a true talent for gardening. Winterbourne has helped that flourish.”

Paul's worn out gardening boots, photograph by Paul Martin, career change, Winterbourne House and Garden, Digging for Dirt

Paul’s worn out gardening boots, photograph by Paul Martin


Send Paul your best wishes for his future career using the comments box below or share your favourite pictures on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter using the icons at the top of the page.

10 Thoughts on Snapshot: Paul Martin

  1. Stephen Martin

    Reply

    Great pictures,and great work, you and the team have the place looking well.
    Good luck for the future ,I’m sure you will do well wherever you go next Paul

  2. Rosie Jones

    Reply

    You will be truly missed and it has been great knowing and working with you
    Goodluck for the future and hope you continue to enjoy Winterbourne as much as I have and still do
    It has been my emotional rock over past 2 years with lovely people I have met to share its pleasures

  3. Juliette Keaveney

    Reply

    Great to hear you so happy and doing so well. A brave career change that’s obviously paid off. Ju x

  4. Sue Worwood

    Reply

    Could not think of a more wonderful place and the photographs are lovely. It looks as if you are already enjoying you new career. Best of luck. Sue W.

  5. Tony Bucknall

    Reply

    Hi Paul and I’m glad you had a good time at Winterbourne and whenever we met I noticed you always had a smile on your face and clearly enjoyed your work here even in the torrential rain and freezing conditions which was great to see. You and the garden team did an amazing job with the badger damage and I still can’t believe how the reformation was achieved when I look out from the nursery when taking people round on history tours. I wish you good luck in the future and hope your dreams become realities. Tony from the Archive Team.

  6. Andra

    Reply

    Beautiful photos of an amazing garden, hope your talent for photography, horticulture and graphic design lead you to a great new career

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