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60 seconds with Jeff Sarnicki

We caught up with the Manager of Hayes' Rural Activities Gardening Centre to find out more about the work that they do, and to get some top tips on urban gardening!

Hi, and you are?

Jeff Sarnicki - Rural Activities Garden Centre (RAGC) Manager.

What does the RAGC do?

The RAGC is a Garden Centre/Plant Nursery that is open to the public 7 days a week.  Also we have a cafe on site.

Tell us about some of the work that you do.

We help people, specifically adults with learning disabilities, to achieve greater independence and supported employment through horticulture.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

Making a positive, daily difference to peoples' lives.

Do you have any top tips on urban gardening?

To me gardening is about trial and error. If something does not work, learn from your mistakes. The most important thing is to have a go.

You grow a whole array of plants, what low maintenance fruit and veg would you suggest new gardeners grow?

The list is endless, everyone is welcome to pop in to see us to discuss individual needs. I find growing chilli plants on a window sill or in a garden box can be fun.

In your opinion, what’s the best fruit or veg to grow outdoors in the winter?

Again this depends on the individual space. But personally I like growing garlic and onions over the winter period.

Tell us something about Hillingdon that not many people may know.

This year Hillingdon represented London in the Britain in Bloom awards - Hillingdon was awarded GOLD and overall category winner! Also, the RAGC sits on a 2 acre site.  We have just secured an additional 6 acres of adjacent land to expand.

A bit about you – what’s your favourite place in the world?

Coniston, in the Lake District. I was fortunate enough to visit 4 years ago, I have been back every year since, and will do for many more to come.

What did you want to be when you were just a kid?

I didn't know what I wanted to do when I was a kid.... I still don't know now.  But right now I do feel very lucky to be working at the RAGC.