The cultivation of Jo Hobbs: Gardener & Designer

As a child I was never quite sure what I wanted to ‘be’ or ‘do’. At school I liked art and I was quite good at it. And I liked pens…loved pens actually. I thought the idea of being a graphic designer sounded cool. And I liked those tilty drawing desks.

I also liked sport and I was quite good at that too. I could hit and chuck things a long way. I might have been brilliant at tennis except I was too nice and didn’t have a killer instinct… or the right clothes.

When I filled in one of those multiple choice careers questionnaires as a 14 year old the results said; ‘designer’ or ‘police’ or ‘librarian’ (I think everyone gets librarian).

So naturally when I went off to ‘Uni’ I chose… sport… well, Leisure Management. I enjoyed the course but the best bits were when I had to design fictional leisure centres or play areas for kids.

But I didn’t want to be a leisure professional, so while I was working out what I did want to do I got a job at a PR company; the best bit about that… designing their website.

Rather than listen to a few little clues…I applied to be a police officer. That would have been great, but having had epilepsy as a child put pay to those dreams. And actually that had become a dream, the first proper one I can recall.

But I did work for the police and that is what I did for the14 years, as an Analyst for West Midlands Police.

My love of gardening, gardens, plants and tools… (I love tools!)… came about several years ago with a new house, garden and an allotment.

Wanting to understand more about gardening, plants and growing food, I started the RHS Level 2 Diploma in Horticulture, including a practical year at Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

Finally I started listening to my heart and acknowledging what would make me happier, and it was being outside, with mud, digging, weeding, seeing things grow, thinking about plant combinations, planning and drawing beautiful spaces.

So at 42 I went back to my heart, to another dream, to what I was drawn to… to what I could draw with…PENS and TOOLS!

I took the plunge, left the security of West Midlands Police and began a new way of life and new career. And the best bit… having a tilty drawing desk.

Jo Hobbs