The Questions: Michael Perry

Michael Perry is Thompson and Morgan's New Product Development Manager and as he describes himself, a modern day plant hunter. I have met Michael several times and he has even visited my garden as part of the plant trials that I do for Thompson and Morgan.   Michael is also a committed fundraiser for the Alzheimer's Society and for Perennial.  Michael is currently asking people to donate to vote as to whether he shaves off or keeps his beard in a fundraising campaign for the Alzheimer's Society.  

Michael's adventures in order to raise money have led him on treks across the desert, founding the Grubby Gardeners who started off doing muddy obstacle races and then progressed to naked calendars (as you do).  I decided not to use a naked photo of Michael though for this blog, I chose one  instead from when I visited the Thompson and Morgan show garden at Jimmy's Farm.

The Questions

In which garden do you feel happiest?
In my late Nana’s garden, there would be so many memories of plants I grew up with, and of the gardening methods she showed me!
If you could only have five gardening tools, which would they be?
Secateurs, Fork, iPad, Trug,
If you could only have five garden-related books, which would they be?
Jekka’s Complete Herb Book, James Wong’s first book, The ‘Big Daddy’ RHS A-Z book, my own Thompson & Morgan catalogues and a BOOK Don Ellison gave me about Tropical Plants, but I can’t remember the name!
What was the most defining moment of your life so far?
I don’t even know how it happened, but a total change of confidence 5 years ago led me onto a completely different career path than where I thought I’d be. It allowed me to find the strength to do public speaking and even to appear regularly on TV!
What are you most proud of?
Being listed in The Sunday Times Top 20 most influential horticulturists last year!
If you won the lottery, what would you do?
LOL! Leave my job, travel as much as I wanted, BUT ALSO spread my plant and gardening knowledge throughout, working with development companies and getting involved in the PR side of things too!
Who are your garden heroes (no more than three)
James Wong, Bob Flowerdew, Christopher Lloyd
What skill would you like to learn and why (does not have to be gardening related)
To be able to confidently speak another language.
If you could visit any garden right this minute, which one would it be?
Maybe Tresco!
What is your current plant obsession?
Unusual climbers!
Which garden tool is never far from your hand?
Sadly my iPhone or keyboard!
What is your favourite gardening/plant related word?
I love how the word Echinacea flows, and the different ways it can be pronounced!
What do you wish you could do better?
Learn to be more tolerant with people!
What is the most important lesson you have learned so far?
About making commercial business decisions
What makes a perfect day for you?
Living the day at a lower speed setting, yet regular coffees!
If you had one piece of advice to offer to someone what would it be?
Just say YES to everything!
Gnome or no-gnome?
Classy gnome.

Michael's website:

Next time:  Charlie Dimmock


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