Joe, along with his wife Dorothy, has built a reputation as the foremost expert in conifers in Scotland. He has run a small and very successful nursery in Armadale for many years. From his early days in horticulture as the convenor of the NFUS Glasshouse Committee at the inception of Scotgrow, to now where he still guides the family business through tortuous waters, Joe remains an open, friendly and generous character and one of the “go to” people for help and advice in Scottish horticulture.
Throughout his long career Joe has been a consistent force in supporting the trade and individual gardeners across Scotland. Besides running his retail and wholesale nursery he was a leading figure in the National Farmers Union of Scotland supporting the horticultural growers. For many years he lent his support to the growers over many issues and negotiated with government departments to help Scottish Growers combat the many problems that they faced. His NFUS committee worked closely with the HTA Scottish branch committee to create a Scottish Enterprise funded Scottish Horticultural Initiative that led to the creation of a post for a manager to support the development of the Scottish horticultural trade for the benefit of all Scottish gardeners. Besides this more political activity he spent uncountable evenings giving talks to local societies about the secrets and fun of gardening, inspiring many and entertaining all!
Joe, now supposedly well into retirement, still makes time to be involved in the daily running of the nursery and small garden centre. Joe has always been generous with his time and knowledge, alongside his boundless enthusiasm for all things horticultural and despite the passing of years, he remains a major “tour de force” for Scottish horticulture.