Meet Our Family

Denise Mathew, Director and Auntie

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What's a typical Boma work day for you? 
As the matriarch of the Boma (and the eldest by many years), I now spend most of my time helping and encouraging the younger managers who effectively run the Boma, and making decisions when needed.  I am actively involved in the administration of the business.  The horticultural/gardening business is very seasonal and is massively impacted by the weather so managing your cash, costs and stock is critically important for the survival of the Boma.  I am also responsible for Health & Safety in our company and ensuring that our people and the customers visiting the Boma operate in a safe environment.  I walk around the garden centre and the yard every day and spend time chatting to my colleagues at the Boma, understanding what is happening in our company.

What do you love most about gardening? 
Drinking a gin and tonic Sunday lunch-time, preferably with the sun shining, whilst reading the newspapers.

What does your garden look like at home? 
My garden was one of the first gardens designed and built by the Boma and I believe is one of the best.  For me it reflects my South African roots with lots of wood, packed with plants and loads of colour in the spring and summer. One day, when we sell our house, I am sure it will be the best selling point.  I will be very sad to leave it.

 

Denise's back garden

Denise's back garden


Sean Dunn, Managing Partner

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What is your background in Horticulture?
I started gardening with my parents at the age of 5. During my teens I worked weekends at local garden centres in Port Elizabeth South Africa. After I finished school in SA I was fortunate enough to undertake my national diploma in horticulture at Pershore College in Worcestershire and then continued on to complete my higher national diploma in horticulture at Writtle College in Essex. After college I was an assistant manager for a garden centre in NW London and in 2002 opened the Boma Garden Centre with my aunt.

What is a typical working day at Boma ?
Early morning start as I manage the maintenance department and need to set up the garden services staff for their specific day's tasks. Meet with garden centre staff later on in the day to discuss plans of action, ordering of stock and general every day running of the garden centre. Undertake site visits of various size gardens to provide clients with advice and well as garden estimates.

What do you love most about gardening ?
I love finding new and exotic plants, and I really enjoy planting plants together to provide seasonal interest to a garden. But what do I love the most? Being so close to, and having the ability to work with, nature. You never know quite what is going to happen due to mother nature. Oh, and I love helping beginner gardeners start to understand gardening and give them more confidence. 

What does your garden look like at home?
I have just moved home so at the moment I have a fair sized garden which I am excited about developing and wish to include a mix of traditional English country garden plants along side some carefully chosen shrubs with a few very tasteful exotic plants. I want to also have raised vegetable beds as I want to teach my son gardening next spring and I know that vegetable growing is a great place to start as you have the whole process from sowing the seed to eating the fruit.

 

Kim Glanvill, Garden Centre Manager

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What is your background in horticulture?
I grew up in South Africa with a very green background with horticultural parents and friends. We ran a garden centre for many years as well as my dad being a landscape designer and gardener. I started at a Hampstead-run garden centre after university and then moved to the Boma where I have been ever since.

What is a typical Boma work day for you?
My duties include: managing the staff in the garden centre, discussing through ideas of displays with the Boma, Ordering in of products, plants, composts etc, serving clients, giving them advice of their gardens and enquiries.

What do I love most about gardening?
I really enjoy planting up window boxes and containers. It is fun to experiment with colour, shape and texture in the different seasons. Herbs are also a wonderful thing to use and experiment with.

What does your garden look like at home?
I only have small space so I have window boxes and houseplants. 

Kim's back garden

Kim's back garden


Kathryn Maule, Maintenance Manager

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What's a typical Boma work day for you?
Setting teams up for the day, Out on the bike visiting maintenance clients and teams, going to new appointments or consultations, writing up quotes, organising teams and materials/equiptment for the day ahead

What do you love most about gardening?
Being outdoors, working with nature.

What does your garden look like at home?
It's an indoor shelf crammed with pot plants!



Charlotte Muswell

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What's your background in horticulture?
I started gardening as a child with my mum who is a keen gardener. I remember the excitement of seeing the first tulips we planted together in flower. When I was 14 I did work experience at the Chelsea Physic garden then went on to study horticulture at university.

What is your favourite area of interest in gardening?
I really enjoy using plants that are beneficial to wildlife. I try to provide nectar for pollinators for as much of the year as possible. I have lots of birdfeeders in the garden too so it’s always teeming with birds.  

What's a typical Boma work day for you?
I am the shop manager so spend most of my time in the shop - ordering seeds, bulbs, fertilisers, tools, garden-related gifts and Christmas decorations; or serving customers and giving advice on planting, pests and diseases, pruning, anything garden related.

Why do you love most about gardening?
I love it that when I am in my garden I feel totally at peace. I get so much pleasure from watching it change with the seasons and still feel excited when everything wakes up every spring.

What does your garden look like at home?
My garden is very small and most of it is in containers. It’s completely full of plants so there is barely room to move, but I love it. I have lots of evergreens to give structure all year round, and then use herbaceous, perennials, bulbs and bedding to keep it colourful and make it interesting through the seasons.

Charlotte's pot-filled paradise

Charlotte's pot-filled paradise


Ben Haggitt

 

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What is your background in horticulture?
I started working as part of a maintenance team for a large castle in Surrey. I then progressed into landscaping before I started work in a garden centre in Hampshire. I moved into growing in various nurseries, growing heathers and later herbaceous perennials before returning to the retail sector.

What’s a typical Boma work day for you?
My day to day routine involves serving clients, redisplaying different areas in the garden centre with plants to give people ideas how to use them in their own gardens. It is also part of my job to make sure that the plants are in the best condition they can be, by feeding, watering and pruning them. I am also involved with ordering plants from various suppliers around the United Kingdom and Europe.   

What is your favourite area of interest in gardening?
Herbaceous perennials

What do you love most about gardening?
The very outdoors itself is a wonder to all my senses.

What does your garden look like at home?
A veritable jungle of foliage married beautifully with the erect columns of thorny cactus produce a wonderful haven of tropical loveliness in my Epping apartment.

Ben's Cacti

Ben's Cacti


Bradley Smith

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What is your background in horticulture?
I first started growing tomatoes plants and geraniums when I was about 6 or 7 years old.  I have worked in Regents and Hyde Park Nurseries growing plants for the park displays. I have also worked in other London Garden Centres for around 15 years.

What’s a typical Boma work day for you?
This could involve displaying plants and maintaining displays, watering stock and helping to keep the garden centre looking at its best. Advising customers on what to buy and taking payments and deliveries at the tills.

What is your favourite area of interest in gardening?
Container gardening, as all the plants I grow are in pots or baskets.

What do you love most about gardening?
Watching things grow from a tiny seed or cutting to the full size plant in flower.

What does your garden look like at home?
As I have only a small roof terrace, all the plants I have are grown in containers which I usually have lots of colour with bedding plants in them along with many hanging baskets.

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