We meet Moat Park’s newly appointed gardener!

Diary posted

28th August 2019

Moat Park Retirement Village In Essex

From a student job in a garden centre to a full-time post at luxury retirement village, Moat Park, – meet 25-year-old Tom Hagger!  

As well as tending to the grounds at the village, Tom has also set up a Garden Club for residents!  

Moat Park, Retirement Villages Group‘Time with Tom’ gives budding gardeners at Moat Park the chance to tap into Tom’s knowledge and share tips and advice on horticultural hot topics.  

The recently appointed gardener started his career path in journalism but was steered towards horticulture whilst in his first year where he was caring for plants and offering advice to people on how to look after their garden. 

Tom said: “I suddenly realised that this was something I was interested in and enjoyed. I started out at the garden centre, where there was about an acre of public gardens which needed some restoration and I helped with the process.  

“That started a career of seven years, and hopefully many more to come. My favourite part about Moat Park is the acer located on the island on the lake. It is such a lovely vibrant red and it stands out against everything else around it.” 

His main work at Moat Park, with its mature parklands and stunning ornamental lake, is keeping the grass short and the weeds out of sight. 

“I tend to think more as a plantsman, so I am always looking for areas which can be planted up,” added Tom – who puts spring and autumn as his top two seasons in the garden. 

“It is very satisfying to see everything come back to life after a long winter working outside. When you finally start to see flowers such as ‘Snakes Head Fritillary’ [Fritillaria Meleagris] growing in the woodland and fields of Narcissus shooting up in abundance everywhere else, it is a wonderful sight to behold.” 

Tom is one of a new generation of younger gardeners, and takes his inspiration from The Rich brothers, Harry and David – who are currently on our screens in the BBC ‘Garden Rescue’ series. 

“They have done a great job in demonstrating how younger generations are taking traditional methods/designs and giving them a different perspective. They are the youngest gold medal winners at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, winning their gold in 2013 in the Artisan category (my favourite category) and they’ve done a fantastic job ever since,” said Tom. 

Tom’s role is paramount to ensuring the grounds are kept in the best condition for residents, staff and newcomers.  

Moat Park’s most recent open day included live music from Acoustic Jass, seasonal drinks, buffet and great company all set in the acres of landscaped grounds. 

Moat Park, Retirement Villages Group


We look forward to seeing more of Tom’s great work at Moat Park as he continues to tend to several acres of mature parklands at this wonderful village! 

For more information about Moat Park, head here.