Sally Weber, 29


Landscape gardener


pounds 12,500


Beaminster, Dorset

How did it start

I did a work placement at a local garden centre when I was 16, and they offered me a weekend and holiday job. Then I went to horticulture college, which included another year's work experience. After that I made the decision to go into garden design so I transferred to a Higher National Diploma in Landscape Design and Management. I qualified and worked in a couple of private gardens and another garden centre before setting up Weber Landscapes in 1995.

Describe what you do

When I get a new enquiry I visit the prospective customer and garden. I only work within an hour's drive of my Yeovil base. The first session will be spent listening and finding out what is required. All sites are different - some are fields, others are existing gardens needing redevelopment. I use a click camera to take "before" photos and carry on taking pictures as long as I'm involved with the garden. I use the same builders for the hard landscaping - like paths and walls - and I will prepare the beds, plant, turf it and any other soft landscaping like pruning or moving existing plants. Spring and autumn are my busy periods with lots of planting, while the other seasons are better for the hard landscaping and designing.

How does your day start?

I generally wake up at 6.30am; my battery alarm clock bleeps me into action at seven. Breakfast is a bowl of Rice Krispies and a cup of mint tea. If I'm spending the day designing I like to get to the office by 8am. Sometimes if I'm working in a garden some distance away I get up earlier so I can start work work there at 8am.

What do you wear?

It's the same every day: a light green polo shirt with my tree logo and Weber Landscapes printed around it, and a dark green sweatshirt with the same thing, jeans and boots. My customers often laugh and say "Will we ever see you in a skirt and looking feminine?"

What's your journey like?

It's a 15 minute drive through the rolling countryside. In the morning I see the occasional deer, as well as badgers in the evening.

Describe your work environment?

The gardens I work in can be anything from a tiny terrace plot to a three- acre field that needs to be transformed.

How long for lunch?

Not long enough. If I'm out planting I will take a half an hour. I'll eat rice cakes, fruit and crisps. The customer will usually provide a cup of tea and some of them even make you cakes.

What stresses you out most at work?

The busy season, serving every customer, fitting everyone in. The key is being as organised as possible and forward planning. It helps to order plants, turf and hard landscaping materials well in advance.

What are the perks?

It's what I enjoy doing. Horticulture isn't my job, it's my life. It developed from a hobby, and it has become a whole way of living. I spend my free time visiting gardens. I talk to friends about gardening. I grow my own vegetables. I never get bored with it. There is always something new to learn.

Hours per week?

It varies, perhaps five 12-hour days per week. I try to have one day off over the weekend and the whole weekend off during quieter periods. I work when the work has to be done.

How much holiday do you take?

It's difficult, when you're setting up in business, to pull yourself away. But my boyfriend Rick and I hope to have a break this summer.

What time do you stop work?

I was finishing at 8.30pm last week, but I can leave at 5pm if I'm going out.

What do you do when you're not working?

For the past eight years I've been playing netball two nights a week and I play tennis. Sometimes we eat out, go for a drink or catch up with friends.

What's the first thing you do when you get home?

Eat, probably.

How do you feel on a Sunday night?

Happy with life.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    IT Technician - 1st Line

    £19000 - £21000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPOR...

    Special Needs Teaching Assistant

    £50 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Special Educational Needs Teach...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant Birmingham

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: The SThree group is a world lea...

    Year 3 Teacher

    £100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: KS2 TeacherWould you like ...

    Day In a Page

    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

    'You need me, I don’t need you'

    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
    How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

    How to Get Away with Murder

    Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
    A cup of tea is every worker's right

    Hard to swallow

    Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
    12 best children's shoes

    Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

    Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
    Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

    Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

    Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
    Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

    Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

    Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

    Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

    UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London