Hailing from an insurance brokerage background, Hever Castle Head Gardener Neil Miller proves that no matter what life path you are on, it’s never too late to chase your dream job.
Having been made redundant from his city job in the early nineties, Neil was in a state of limbo until he decided to grasp this unique opportunity and turn his passion for gardening into a career. Using his redundancy pay out, Neil gained the formal qualifications he needed and then started up his own gardening business. Not a natural academic at school, he marvelled that when you truly enjoy a subject it doesn’t feel like work.
Neil’s interest in horticulture started when he was just five years old when he would help his grandfather in the garden. His parents gave him a little patch to plant a potato and from there his passion blossomed.
After successfully running his own business for six years, an unusually wet summer meant times were tough and business was slow. In a definite instance of being in the right place at the right time, Neil was having a look around the gardens at Hever Castle and got chatting with the head gardener. He successfully landed a gardening job in February 2002 and then worked his way through the ranks to become Head Gardener in 2006.
Neil leads a varied team of gardeners, ranging from trainees to experienced professionals, who work hard to maintain Hever Castle’s award winning gardens. Neil can also regularly be found giving talks to local gardening groups and loves sharing his enthusiasm and knowledge with others.
If you would like to find out more about the award winning gardens at Hever Castle and to pick the brains of our gardeners, Neil and the gardening team conduct private guided tours of the gardens (an additional fee applies, pre-booking required).