Here at Coolings we have a dedicated team who have been with us for many years. As you may know, Mark Reeve is our resident Plant Doctor, he shares some of his experiences over the years...
Mark, how long have you worked at Coolings?
25 years on this site, most of those with Coolings! I joined initially as Plant Assistant Trainee, working with the Director of Robinsons (as it was at the time). I once spent over 3 months helping him re-pot the entire conifer section through the summer whist listening to the Test Match on the radio.
What happened when Coolings took over the site in 1990?
Some staff decided to move on however, most of us decided to stay and we were welcomed into the Coolings family. It was during this time I commenced my formal training at Hadlow College studying one day a week whilst working the rest. Shirley Cooling took a personal interest and reviewed my grades weekly congratulating me on my progress.
So you have had a love of plants since you were young?
Yes, since I was about 7 I helped in my parents’ allotment. They let me loose in our garden once I became a teenager!
You are now the resident ‘Plant Doctor’ at Coolings, this must be an interesting role?
Yes well what can I say, I get all sorts of questions asked so there is never a dull moment! I really enjoy helping the customers and finding solutions to their problems.
What’s the most interesting question you have been asked?
Not one I can publish but we have had some entertaining ones over the years!
Can anyone come along with their plant problems?
Yes, I am on site most days and I ‘live’ in the blue plant pavilion on the main pathway. Please come along and visit, bring with you a sample of the plant or a picture as it makes it easier to identify different problems.
Thank you, Mark, for spending some time away from the pavilion and talking to us.