Just a minute with Gary Collinson

on Tuesday, 31 July 2018. Posted in News

Our new Vice Chair gives us a minute of his time to get to know him better.

Gary LR

How did you get started in the industry/ or why did you choose this industry?

I’ve worked in horticulture since the age of 13 taking a part time job at a local Garden Centre. I found that I simply loved working around plants and have been in horticulture ever since. However in 1985, at the age of 21 I had an urge to travel and found a job in Interior Landscape working in Washington DC, USA for an Interior specialist company. I loved it and was hooked!

How long have you been in the industry?

A life time, you do the math!

What do you love about the industry?

The people and the natural ambience that exists within it, plus, who doesn’t like plants?!

What do you love about your job?

Well I sort of don’t really have one anymore, the industry has been good to me, but when I was running Botanical Group Services I guess the best part was good feedback from clients. Making people happy was always satisfying, that was the goal and confirmation you’d achieved that was deeply rewarding.

And the worst part of your job

Without out doubt it was not wining or worse still, losing a contract. It always frustrated me when clients made the wrong decision!!

Tell us something that most people don’t knowabout you

Not much I’m quite open, but what they don’t know, I can never tell lol!!

Who has been your biggest inspiration/ inspired you the most?

That would be Barry Wood, president of the interior landscape company I worked for in the States – Botanical Decorators. He started his business knocking on office doors selling pot plants and within 10 years had become the principal supplier of interior planting in Washington DC and surrounding area. I liked the way he ran his business too, it had a great vibe. The experience I had working for Barry shaped my career/life.

What is your proudest achievement?

That has to be building Botanical Group Services from nothing into a very successful business.

What’s your biggest passion?

I guess I’d like to say something like charity work or perhaps mountain climbing or something similar but sorry it’s Food!! I love eating out and also love cooking.

What’s your pet hate?

That’s easy – inconsiderate people who have no manners.

Name your ideal dinner guests

Scott Alexander (author of Rhinoceros Success, my PMA bible), Michael McIntyre, Keith Floyd, Bear Grylls, Holly Willoughby and Nigella Lawson and last but not least my wife to save me from embarrassing myself with Holly and Nigella!! I like food, adventure and a good laugh.

Holly Willoughby  Bear Grylls

Holly Willoughby ready for dinner & Bear Grylls ready for action

Your favourite way to relax/spend your spare time

Mostly just spending TIME with my family, otherwise hitting the gym, clay pigeon shooting, watching F1, cooking and occasional golf with my dad. Plus sailing whenever I get the opportunity.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Food – a proper chip butty. TV – Love Island.

What’s on your wish list?

• Crew a yacht across the Atlantic.
• Tour the Italian Riviera in an open top Aston Martin Vanquish Volante with my wife.
• To get to see my kids grow and be successful, whatever success means to them


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