OBSESSED WITH INCREDIBLE PLANTS AND GARDENS
OWNER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR
Guy’s connection with Architectural Plants began as a boy. It spans Saturdays, school holidays and post university before the lure of the sea took him rowing the Indian Ocean in 2009. In 2011 he co-founded the charity Streetscape, created to train young people for careers in horticulture. Returning to AP in 2015 as Managing Director, he led the company’s transitional development here in Pulborough. Taking ownership of the business in 2021, he set to a series of projects to expand the site and the range of plants; developing teams across the company and improving the nursery infrastructure to facilitate increased homegrown production. Find out more about Guy on our Garden Designers page.
HEAD OF OPERATIONS & AP HOMEGROWN
Jay joined us in 2021, having previously worked in the Horticulture and Landscape industries for over 17 years. He oversees our external operations for Garden Design, Planting and Creative Maintenance whilst also managing our recruitment and training. Jay leads our AP Homegrown Apprenticeship Scheme, designed to deliver an inspiring programme of professional and personal development for apprentices who want a career in the horticultural industry. Outside of work, he is a busy dad and loves taking his 3 children hiking or biking at the weekend.
Our SALES TEAM
E-COMMERCE & OFFICE MANAGER
Emma joined us in the summer of 2021 having previously worked for a number of years specialising in Book Keeping and Payroll. As our Ecommerce and Office Manager, she plays a pivotal administrative role managing our accounts, supporting our teams, overseeing our IT, running our Online Shop and managing our stock system. Emma is also our key point of contact with many of our suppliers – although not for our plants. Putting the pedal to the metal Emma keeps the Sales Office engine revving over on turbo. She’s industrious, efficient, organised and sharper than a pair of Niwaki snips. Away from our nursery, Emma is a busy mum, keen gamer and partial to a slab of heavy rock now and then.
After a nine year break, Sarah’s return to AP has raised the numbers of Sarah’s to three. An extremely knowledgeable horticulturalist, she is now supporting the sales team with her sidekick Ben.
FRONT OF HOUSE
Ginny is here to greet you when you arrive. She’ll make sure you find everything you need and answer any questions you have before you start exploring our nursery. Working closely with our horticultural consultants, she’ll make sure one of our team is ready to meet you and help you start hunting for plants. She’s on hand throughout your visit and you’ll find her by our till ready to tag and wrap your plants before you head home to your garden.
Our GARDEN DESIGN TEAM
PROJECT MANAGER & GARDEN DESIGNER
Debbie joined Architectural Plants in 2013 and is our lead garden designer. She wants to give her customers a garden they can’t get anywhere else. She loves using topiary and creating blobberies and she gives each garden the iconic AP look. Find out more about Debbie on our Garden Designers page.
SENIOR GARDEN DESIGNER
Amy is an award-winning garden designer with over 15 years experience in the industry. She has designed gardens for RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and a number of 5 Star Trade Gardens at Chelsea. When she is not designing, she is a keen foodie and part of the AP running team. Find out more about Amy on our Garden Designers page.
Zac joined us in 2020 having previously worked in New Zealand designing and planting gardens. Drawing on his knowledge as a plantsman and with a degree in creative design, he loves to get to work on innovative designs that will transform your garden. If you are looking to be a bit daring, Zac’s ready to discuss exciting alternatives using a unique fusion of our plants and rarer specimens. In his spare time he’s something of a culinary connoisseur. Ask him for his Katsu curry recipe – it’s delicious.
Our Planting Team
PLANTING TEAM MANAGER
Freddie joined us in the Summer of 2016 and quickly made a huge impact on our Planting Team. In 2021, he took on the responsibility of managing the team and leading them on ever more ambitious (but never impossible) planting projects. If we plant your garden, Freddie will be leading from the front, directing team operations and making sure the job gets done to your total satisfaction. He has endless energy and enthusiasm – and the team follow – with the speed and precision of a finely tuned cohort. Pull up a chair if you can because the spectacle is enthralling.
Mattia joined us at the start of 2022 and has rapidly become an indispensable member of our Planting Team. Preparation and precision are his watch words when undertaking any job. He’s industrious, efficient and an incredible power-house: holding the record for digging and planting faster than anyone else in the team. He’s obsessed with plants with a particular leaning to Mediterranean favourites and stalwarts from his family homeland of Italy like our Cypress and Olive trees. Away from his work, Mattia is a busy dad and likes to cook and take his daughter to the beach at the weekend. If there’s anytime left he’ll squeeze in a gym visit or two.
Joe is our team’s ‘Mr Positivity’. Having left the army to start a new career in landscaping he joined us in early 2023. In swapping the rifle for the spade, he has proved to be a perfect fit for our team of well-drilled, precision plantsmen bringing a tenacious and motivated approach to every job. Away from his work he keeps his sights sharp pursuing the noble art archery.
CREATIVE MAINTENANCE TEAM MANAGER
Sam leads our Creative Maintenance Team. He joined us in early 2019 from Parham House Gardens where he had been for 7 years. An expert clipper, he is a total perfectionist and completely obsessed with his craft. A master of formal shaping and cloud pruning ‘Niwaki’ he also enjoys more innovative and creative challenges such as undulating blobberies and stripping palm trees. When Sam is not clipping in the winter months, he also supports the Planting Team where he relishes the physical challenges of being a plantsman.
PLANTING & CREATIVE MAINTENANCE TEAM
James started at AP in 2015, whilst completing his Level 3 Extended Diploma in Horticulture at Brinsbury College. He became a full-time member of our Nursery Team in 2018. During this time, he began to develop a good eye for displaying the plants on our nursery and also worked on two show gardens at the Ideal Home Show in London. Learning from Linda and Andy, he progressed to clipping and shaping our range of ‘Niwaki’, blobberies and other topiarised plants. Joining our Creative Maintenance Team in 2021 was the next logical step.
PLANTING & CREATIVE MAINTENANCE TEAM
Elis (a thoroughly lovely man), brings a versatile set of expertise to our Planting Team. Careful and efficient when planting, skillful and precise when clipping. He also has a thirst for new horticultural plant knowledge and techniques which he is always looking to use when working to transform your garden. Shaping blobberies, palm trees and redefining tired beds and borders are among his favourite jobs. Currently, he’s perfecting new ways to shape pines with a particular penchant for Pinus sylvestris. Away from work and when he is not busy with dad duties, Elis (also an accomplished musician with a background in Folk and Jazz) can be found gigging regularly with his band.
Our DELIVERY Team
DARREN ‘DAZZLE’ READ
If you love our plants you will probably feel the same way about the man who manages the delivery of them to you. Darren is our trusted driver and an expert when it comes to handling and loading plants both large and small. Every delivery is assessed in detail and every plant is safely secured and wrapped for protection if necessary. He is yet to come across a plant or tree on the nursery that he can’t deliver one way or another. He’ll also deliver anywhere in the U.K. No problem is too great for Darren and support team driver, John ‘Blazing’ Golzey as they are always ready to help if arrangements take a last minute or unexpected turn.
Our MARKETING Team
HEAD OF MARKETING
Jason joined the nursery in 2016 after an established career in the media and teaching. He learned all he knows about horticulture from Guy and Angus and managed the Nursery Team until 2020. He’s a homegrown hybrid and his favourite plant is Podocarpus salignus ‘Niwaki’.
Olivia joined us in 2021 from Collyer’s College and is currently completing a Digital Marketing Degree Apprenticeship at Chichester University. Obsessed with plants and producing content for our digital platforms, she also works on our online shop and is responsible for stock promotion and processing orders. With a particular enthusiasm for indoor plants, geckos and gaming there’s not a lot of time left in her social diary to squeeze in walking her dog and Young Farmers Events.
Our NURSERY Team
HEAD OF ESTATE MANAGEMENT
Matt joined in 2013. Whilst helping out on the nursery and irrigation he discovered his enthusiasm for the planting side of the business. He quickly proved to be an exceptional plantsman and went on to manage our Planting Team before handing over the reins to Freddie in 2021. Expertly knowledgeable, unflappable, organised and with a keen eye for detail, Matt now manages the running of our nursery estate and all our ongoing development projects.
Abi manages our Nursery Team and is AP’s resident action woman – she’s always on the go, keeping our nursery looking its best and driving production forward. In her spare time, Abi is a regular distance runner and keeps a burgeoning allotment.
PLANT HEALTH SPECIALIST
Richard is our Plant Health expert. There isn’t a leaf, bud or granite chip he doesn’t inspect. You might well see him on the nursery attending to our plants (he’s the chap in the green suit) or you might well require his services in your garden. Either way we are all safe under his watch.
Linda is highly skilled in clipping and shaping and trains all of our Niwaki. She has a keen creative eye for developing new shapes and re-imagining traditional forms. If she is not in her production zone working on her latest innovation she is quite likely out with our team on a Creative Maintenance visit.
Since joining, Laura has developed into an important all-rounder on the nursery team. Calm, efficient and hard working, Laura balances her essential husbandry jobs with a keen eye for display work, clipping and shaping our Niwaki, monitoring our growing on plants and nurturing the odd patient back to full health. She’s also a demon forklift operator and helps unload the busy schedule of artic lorries that arrive at our nursery packed with large plants and trees. Away from work Laura is a keen festival goer and loves to travel the world in her holidays.
Phil is responsible for overseeing the smooth running and upkeep of our irrigation system which waters all our plants. With over 40,000 to keep an eye on, this is a serious undertaking that requires a combination of crop walks, practical skills and experienced technical know-how. Having previously worked in IT management for many years, Phil put his experience to good use by recently upgrading our entire system with the latest digital monitoring equipment; also making significant improvements to our Pumphouse and methods to conserve water usage. He also works with our nursery team of expert Creative Maintenance clippers shaping and training a range of our homegrown Niwaki and is a keen Bonsai enthusiast. Away from our nursery, Phil is a bit of an inventor, thinking up all manner of useful horticultural hacks. He’s also a published author and enjoys windsurfing.
Experienced, meticulous and efficient, Colin is highly skilled in clipping and shaping. He is our longest serving team member responsible for planting, managing and developing our lake garden and surrounding grounds. When you visit, you are more than likely to spot him up a ladder tending to the Cupressus sempervirens or Pinus pinea.
On the nursery, Tina’s speciality is floral design. Her arrangements and other decorative work can be seen displayed around our sales and till areas. You will also see her trimming and tidying the plants in Span 1 & 2. Yuccas and Dasylirions can be tricky devils to manicure but Tina has a particular skill for making these look tip-top.
Phil has built everything from the office, to the lake walk bridge. A master craftsman, he’s a highly valued member of AP, you may even spot his plaque on the wall outside the office.
Now retired from the business, Angus founded Architectural Plants in 1989 and launched the company onto an unsuspecting and bemused British public the following spring. Previously a furniture maker, his fascination for plants that have their own spectacular ‘architecture’ has borne a flourishing culture of enthusiasts who share his obsession. Led by design, a meticulous pursuit for perfection and an interminable search for the world’s most exciting and rare specimens, he set the exacting parameters that are the benchmark for our ethos today.