A day in the life: Meet our new Senior Gardener York Gate – Jack Ogg

How did you get into Horticulture?

One of my earliest gardening experiences is convincing my dad to build me a pond in the back garden where I would spend all weekend watching the whirligig beetles and pond skaters dancing across the surface between the yellow flag iris and the white waterlily leaves. I get my love of plants from my mum she had a garden full of flowers when I was young.

Where have you gained your gardening experience?

My first job after leaving school was watering and weeding the pots at High Trees garden centre, and then I spent 4 years working as a landscape gardener doing paving, decking and fencing, and there was the odd planting job, but just not enough for me! I was then offered the Professional Gardeners’ Guild (PGG) scheme, with half my time at York Gate and half at Harewood House. After my training I was offered a place at Harewood working in the Himalayan Garden where I’d been ever since, until I came back to York Gate.

Is there a particular area (whether it be specific plants or garden style/theme etc) that you are especially interested in?

I could talk about this question for ages.. but basically I enjoy all aspects of gardening, but I have a real passion for unusual plants. I have a large collection of Amorphophallus and Arisaema. I’ve also got a growing collection of hardy orchids.

What are your first impressions of York Gate?

I started back at York Gate with the garden in its winter sleep, it’s a great time to start to really appreciate the intricate structure and form that York Gate is famous for. I’ll also get to see the garden go through a whole season from the off.

What are you most looking forward to about your time at York Gate?

I think I’m looking forward to seeing Spring in the Dell the most, I’ll be interested to see how some of the plants I planted during my training nine years ago have done, particularly the slipper orchids and the Trilliums.

What do you do when you are not gardening?

When I’m not gardening at work or in my own garden, I’m out walking in the Dales with my wife and two boys, Ellis and Ewan. We like to lift stones looking for bugs and worms and climb trees. I like to get out for a cycle when I have a few spare hours, but at the moment, Lego, plasticine and games take up most of my time!

Photo of Jack in 2009 as a trainee at York Gate, with Gardener David Beardall and some of the volunteers.