guest is a person who in this day and age, does something unusual for a living
– James McGrath is a gardener. Well, just about everyone who listens to this
show is a gardener. But James is a professional gardener — not a landscape
architect, horticulturist, contractor, biochemist or turf -manager. He gardens
for a living plunging his gloved hands into the soil, weeding, planting,
pruning, edging and designing green spaces. And James went to school to turn
his life-long love into an avocation – applying for and being accepted into the
Longwood Gardens Program in Kennett Square, PA.
There are not
many schools for gardening in the US, unlike the UK, for example, and other
parts of Europe. Longwood turns out the most sought after gardeners for public
institutions and private estates.
the Longwood Program, he traveled to England where he worked as an intern at
Great Dixter, the late Christopher Lloyd’s celebrated garden in East Sussex.
Then he spent several months at the Jerusalem Botanical Garden, and finally,
worked as the “kitchen gardener” on a private estate in The Netherlands. He
chronicled his experiences abroad on his blog, www.avantgartdener.blogspot.com.
Can one make a living – in the US – as a gardener? James says it is possible.
He currently is the assistant foreman for a New York City design and install
firm, consults and does a bit of designing. He has just started designing the
first garden all his own — behind a church rectory in Bedford Stuyvesant,
Brooklyn. To contact James McGrath: firstname.lastname@example.org
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