garden diagnosis

How PLANTANDGARDENDOCTOR began!

Since 1994 the study of Plants (Horticulture) has turned into a full time vocation for Lucy as Plant Advisor. She began her career working at a highly reputable Horticultural Company for selling plants, mainly perennial plants through an online and postal service but also as a chain of large and reputable Garden Centres in the UK, Europe. This business was established by one of the most recognised plants people in the UK, Alan Bloom of Blooms of Bressingham, Diss, Norfolk, UK. He developed a love of plants at a very early age and became one of the best known people for finding new varieties of plants and growing them at his nursery to sell in his business commercially. His business grew very quickly and and with this service he developed a mailing catalogue with over 1000 new and unusual plants. The catalogue was sent to clients so that they could then order the plants through the post. With this service came the opportunity for the Plant Doctor to begin her career as a Plant Advisor. One of her main jobs was to answer letters, emails and phone-calls from customers who wanted advice about plants, or even advice about what type of plant to buy to suit their conditions in their gardens. She was also responsible for the quality control of the plants despatched from the mail-order plant packing area. On top of these responsibilities Lucy also ran the Garden Design Service.

This became the beginning of her passion of plants and in 1997 Lucy entered higher education as a mature student to study horticulture. After 3 years she decided that a degree in horticulture did not give her the depth of knowledge of the plant pest and disease problems so she embarked on a one year Masters Degree at Imperial College in London, UK to study an MSc in integrated pest and disease management of plants. This involved the study of Plant Pathology, Applied Entomology, Biotechnology, Genetics, systematics of insects and mites, systematics of plant pathogens, biological control agents, theory and practice of biological control. All control methods related to each plant pest and disease especially aimed at finding the method with a biological control approach. However an understanding of alternative methods were applied so that the student could learn an integrated technique if necessary. The aim of the Masters was to develop recognition and understanding of the pest and disease management problems in cold, mediterranean, temperate and tropical regions.

In 2003 Lucy began working with her own Consultancy Company and in 2009, due to economic reasons, is now closed and she now gives advice online. In this time she worked as an all round Horticultural Consultant and Plant Advisor, specialising in helping clients with Mediterranean plants and planting, soil analysis, pest and disease advice, irrigation systems, landscape design and construction services, as well as writing articles in newspapers, magazine and her own small local tv gardening program. As a Plant Specialist it is necessary to point out that with every plant problem, whether pest, disease, nutrient deficiency or other, there is no one “cure all” control. Each pest, each disease, each nutrient deficiency, root, soil issues have their very own individual control methods. This is very important to understand. Therefore research and diagnostic information is required for each individual case. In 2009 Lucy began her interest in Organic growing. The benefits of growing Organic vegetables and fruits are huge for our own health. But it is more than this, we then begin to consider what benefits we are giving to our Planet, our animals, our water, our soils etc. The benefits far outweigh all the hard work and effort, as you begin to discover in the many articles and videos to follow on this plantandgardendoctor website – I hope you will continue this journey with me? Lucygarden diagnosis

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