Pro Landscaper’s Lockdown Little Interview
Manoj Malde, Manoj Malde Garden Design
You’re self-isolating – whos’ your favourite person to be locked up with?
Jacinda Ardern because out of all the Prime Ministers of all the different countries she seems to have integrity. Other world leaders could take a few lessons from her. If it’s not her, then it would have to be Henry Cavill because he is just great eye candy (are you really going to print that?).
One thing that’s changed in daily routine that will continue post-lockdown?
Zoom meetings will definitely continue. They have really kept things going for many small businesses. I think many designers have learnt that they can do presentations online and that will continue to become a norm.
How many cups of tea/coffee are you now drinking per day?
I tend to drink a cup of tea in the morning and another in the afternoon – I have stuck to that.
Best new series or book you’ve discovered?
‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ by Heather Morris (based on the true story of Lale Sokolv) and I cannot wait to read ‘Cilka’s Journey’ which follows on from this.
‘The Hidden Life of Trees’ by Peter Wohlleben – I would recommend everyone read this book. It is fascinating.
What do you miss most about pre-lockdown life?
I am a people person and I enjoy face to face communication. I miss dinner with my brother’s family and getting together with friends. I miss being able to travel.
DIY or gardening?
Gardening all the way. But I also do love looking at interiors. I enjoy working with colour, texture and print, which stems from my fashion background.
What time is ‘wine o’clock’?
I’m not a massive drinker but I do love the occasional glass of red with a lovely meal. Best time is at dusk watching the light fade and thinking tomorrow is a new day.
What is your background noise when working from home?
At the moment, it’s cowboy builders next door who have been doing my head in throughout lockdown. No regards to CDM, no hard hats, wearing trainers. However, if I want energy then it’s Nightcrawlers and if I want something calming then it has to be The Protecting Veil by Steven Isserlis
In hindsight, what would you have prepared in advance?
In hindsight, I would have gone to Crete for lockdown. It would have been a far better place to isolate and Greece seems to have managed the whole COVID-19 situation a lot better than we have.
Realistically, I wish I had built up a fantastic marketing strategy for when we come out of this nightmare and also managed to put a healthy fund aside to be able to help others.
Is the government doing a good job of keeping you informed?
I believe the government has done a fairly good job of keeping people informed although some of the information has sent mixed messages; it also depends on how people translate those messages too. Whether the decisions that the government has taken are right, that is questionable.
What’s your predicted date for returning to normality?
Really depends on what we now deem normal. I don’t think things will ever go back to how they used to be, but I would say that some real sense of normality will come at the beginning of next year. Our death rate is still far too high. However, I really do hope that this has been a real wake-up call and made people realise the importance of gardens and outdoor space to our wellbeing
Best new follow on social media?
I love Instagram; it’s visual, colourful and creative. Two that come to mind are Helen Fickling – loved her pics of her travels in India – and Matthew Wilson. I loved his informative video clips.