TIRED of board room politics Mark Moir decided to pursue his passion for plants.

Now 15 years on Newent Plant Centre is celebrating 15 years in business so we caught up with Mark to speak about his business:

What is your name? Mark Moir

What is the name and address of your business? Newent Plant Centre, at The Nest, Hereford Road, Ledbury HR8 2PZ www.newentplantcentre.co.uk 01531 670121

What do you sell / service provide? We are an independent Plant Centre selling a wide range of Garden Plants - Trees, Shrubs, Roses, Bedding Plants, Cottage Garden Plants, Climbers, Fruit Bushes as well as Terracotta Pots and Compost. Many plants are grown by ourselves here at the nursery, and we use several specialist local growers for other plants.

What is the most popular item you sell? We specialise in Heucheras and have a range of over 100 varieties - we grow all these on our nursery in peat-free compost - our customers love to see our plants growing in our polytunnel and return regularly to see what is new.

How did you get into the business? I've always loved being outdoors and working on the land - as a child every weekend was spent with my Dad and Grandad planting up vegetables or pottering about. My school suggested I should become a Solicitor but I ignored that and went to Horticulture College. After several years working in different garden centres and as a buyer for garden centres travelling all over the world sourcing plants, I decided it was time to get away from "board room politics" and back to hands on growing and selling plants. Its great to be able to share the knowledge and enjoyment of plants with customers.

What is the strangest request you have received at the plant centre? Most weeks someone will pop in and ask for the "lovely scented pink plant" they saw on the TV the night before - we have to then work out it what it was - it usually ends up us showing them a " lovely blue plant" and they go "Oh yes it was blue not pink" - We have to watch the TV Gardening programmes just for this!

Has the plant buying public changed over the past 10 years? There's a trend for "Instant" results - plants that are already almost fully grown so fill a garden and complete a project. Then there is the other extreme of "Grow your Own" - planting Vegetables and Fruit to grow your own food - most customers want to sow their own seeds or buy young plants to get started - so we have to cater for a wide choice of customer preferences.

There is also a huge trend for "Wildlife Friendly" plants - especially to encourage Bees - we are always trying to advise customers that all plants are good for wildlife not just the ones the media try to promote - a diverse range of plants that bloom across the entire year will create the best sustainable environment.

What is Ledbury like as a town to operate in? Wonderful - we have such friendly happy customers - we try to support other local businesses too as they do for us.

Anything else you would like to add? We have just celebrated our 15th Birthday - its a great time to reflect how far we have come - since we first opened in Newent in 2009 but moved to bigger premises near to Ledbury (we kept our name though). We've won several business awards and have 3 RHS Gold Medals from our plant showing days - our customers have always been so supportive when we go to shows and they seemed to enjoy our success as much as we do.