Morden Hall Park Garden Centre Manager, Matt Upton
Garden Centre Manager and Buyer
Meet Morden Hall Park Garden Centre's Manager as he shares an insight into his role, seasonal highlights and what makes the garden centre so special.
What’s it like working in a National Trust garden centre?
Non-stop! I love what I do and the autonomy (and expectation) that comes with the role. I am always thinking six months ahead, planning for the change of seasons, looking for new products and ways that we could do things better. I like the fact that we can, and should, be different to the average garden centre.
Do you have a favourite product or section in the garden centre?
No, not particularly, I love it all. The shady area has a wonderful unique feel to it, I love the fact that we are so close to the river giving us a gentle reminder that we are part of the park.
What’s your favourite time of year at the garden centre?
Autumn – I love the autumn colours and the plants that come into their own at this time such as Callicarpa. I also love Christmas!
" Tomorrow is promised to no-one "
What do you think would be most surprising to people visiting for the first time?
The diverse range of plants that we sell – and all of them are peat free. And the fact that the money we make goes back to the park.
What’s your biggest challenge?
Getting customers through the door. It can be hard sometimes as we have no roadside presence and are completely surrounded by the old kitchen garden wall.
What’s your vision for the future of the garden centre?
I am working on mapping out the next five years. I would like to think that we could be held up as an exemplary garden centre. We need to be really good at what we do, consistently. There are plans to improve the front and side of the shop and our aim is to be organic, peat free and to offer an ethical alternative to mainstream competitors.