1 June, 2018

Career growth

As a novice gardener at home and a Personal Assistant to three heads of Marketing at M&S, Zoe enjoys a challenge.

But getting her garden started was no easy feat, Zoe’s space has some unexpected features, “I have a tiny courtyard garden. It’s full to bursting with plants, plus a brightly coloured tool shed, Brick BBQ and raised flower bed. There is a lot to look at and whenever people come around they always manage to find something new they hadn’t noticed before. It’s a fab space to entertain in!”

Zoe was by no means an experienced gardener when she began, either, “this is my first garden and I’ve transformed it over the last 2 years from an empty drab space to a vibrant, colourful and fun entertainment area.”

Naturally, Zoe regularly watches Gardeners’ World and was surprised to discover a competition that suited her perfectly, “the “Every Space Counts” competition was specifically for small gardens and mine clearly qualifies! Friends and family encouraged me to enter and I sent off the required 4 photos and 100 words, never expecting to hear anything back let alone be 1 of 5 finalists!”

“The day of filming was so nerve wracking and I’m definitely not a natural in front of the camera. My 3-minute segment is the last of the finalists to be shown on 1st June, then its open to a public vote. The winner is announced at Gardeners Worlds Live at the Birmingham NEC on June 14th. I’m really looking forward to attending the event as I finally get to meet Monty Don, my gardening hero! Even if I don’t win I’m still really proud to have got this far and love spending time in my tiny garden.”

Although Zoe is quickly becoming a television star, she hasn’t forgotten about her M&S colleagues, “I’ve had fantastic support from the team and colleagues I’ve worked with across the business over the last 5 years.”

If you’re looking to follow in Zoe’s footsteps, luckily, she has some very simple tips, “If you’re new to gardening just give it a go! It can be hard work, but it is so rewarding, which is exactly the same advice I’d give on joining M&S!”

Inside M&S