Q. What made you decide to go for the role?
A. It brought together my passions: I've been gardening since I was six years old, I trained in horticulture at Reading University and held a whole range of horticultural positions. Along the way I had a few management roles, which I really liked, and got a masters in management. My third passion is communication: I was a journalist for 10 years. So the job at Kew brought all three together into a wonderful Philip-shaped blob. Combined with the fact that it's at the Royal Botanic Gardens, I was absolutely tickled pink to be offered the position.
Q. Would you say you have management style?
A. It needs to vary depending on what you need to achieve and who's around you. It needs to be consultative and you also need to make decisions and keep the pace up, so it does vary. I suppose my style is to support, but also to provide direction and be direct when it comes to high standards - you can't afford to let them slip.
Q. What do you do to switch off from work?
A. I go swing dancing. Ironically, however, I have made contacts at dance lessons that have been very useful at work, so I'm not sure if I'm completely switching off.