The Simple Things
My day in cups of tea Gardening guru
WE ASKED MASTER GARDENER COORDINATOR ALISON MCGRATH TO DESCRIBE HER DAY IN CUPPAS
Morning! When’s time for the first daily cuppa?
It’s always at 6am, before my husband leaves for work. Then it’s breakfast at home with the kids and always another cup of tea.
Tell us a bit about your work.
I coordinate a programme for Garden Organic, recruiting, training and supporting more than 60 volunteers who mentor new food growers across Leicestershire. If I’m having a 9 to 5 computerbased day, I’ll be in my attic home office. I enjoy sipping on a cuppa while looking out at the fields.
Lovely. Where else does your job take you?
I work everywhere I’m needed across Leicestershire. I find myself in meetings anywhere: the middle of a muddy allotment, a community café, garden shed or a formal meeting with council officials. My favourite days involve meeting the volunteers and their supported growers and lending a hand with a spade.
And what’s your own garden like?
I’ve got a long thin garden, dominated by a water-grabbing leylandii hedge on the north side. I’ve shoehorned 15 types of fruit into it though!
Strong work. Do you fancy another cuppa?
Yes! I run on tea. Earl Grey, hot please.
And what kind of mug do you fancy?
Anything large and robust.
Who are your favourite tea-drinking companions?
My volunteers ( pictured above), definitely. They’re an amazingly enthusiastic and knowledgeable bunch of gardeners who make other people’s lives better through gardening.
We hear that there are other perks…
There’s too much good cake in this job. It’s so hard to say no when someone’s made it specially.
Do you trust other people to make your tea?
A cuppa made by someone else usually tastes better. It’s full of love.