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Here to help on 01233 813340

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Meet the team


All Departments

01233 813340

For general enquiries or advice please use one of the above contact details. 

Sales & Marketing Department

Geoff de la Cour-Baker | Head of Sales & Marketing

01233 811309
07584 345408

Geoff joined Palmstead as a holiday job in 2001, but enjoyed working with us so much he's been here ever since. After helping to develop our Young Plants Department, Geoff moved across into sales, first as the manager of our successful Cash & Carry and then moving into designer sales and marketing.

As a holder of a National Examination Board in Occupational Health & Safety (NEBOSH) qualification, Geoff is also Palmstead's Health & Safety Officer.

Geoff also holds a degree in Religious Studies & Philosophy as well as Diplomas in Business Management and Workplace Psychology.

Away from work, Geoff spends his time engaged in spiritual pursuits, enjoys spending time out in the surrounding countryside and coast and is an avid reader and music obsessive...   

Martin Haskell | Digital Marketing Executive

Martin's career in horticulture spans 35 years in the private and public sectors managing landscape maintenance, projects and operations at a number of sites including Eurotunnel, Tate Modern, The National Maritime Museum and the London Eye. 

After having been a customer for many years, Martin joined Palmstead in 2018 as a member of our sales team, his role now includes digital marketing, photographing our plants, videography  and writing copy for our website and social media platforms.

Away from work, Martin's interests include photography, music and motorcycling.  

Adam Pope | Commercial Sales Manager

01233 811307

07792 354388

Adam has been with Palmstead for more than 15 years. He left a career in retail horticulture to join us to increase his knowledge of the commercial side of the industry.

Having started as an order picker, Adam was promoted to supervising goods inwards and outwards; has been involved with procurement and logistics and now works as our Commercial Sales Manager. 

Horticulture has been a passion for Adam from day one, so not surprisingly he has extensive plant knowledge. He finds the natural world fascinating and loves anything involving plants and animals.  

James Anthony | Designer Sales & Marketing Manager

01233 811308

07790 896526

Both James' parents have worked in horticulture for more than 25 years, which is where his passion for plants stems from.

Having spent three years working towards a degree in Primary Education in Leeds, James then spent five years in Retail Management within horticulture before joining Palmstead in May 2021.

With a love for houseplants, James grows and nurtures them from cuttings, fighting the sometimes addictive need to add to his never-ending collection every time he visits the garden centre.

Away from his fondness for houseplants, James Welsh ancestry shines through in his passion for supporting his national rugby team. Living much of his life in the west country, James' favourite garden (apart from his father's) is The Lost Gardens of Heligan' near St Austell in Cornwall.

Finance Department

Evelina Petraityte | Head of Finance & Administration

01233 811310
07909 685723

Evelina has been with Palmstead for two years; her role is to look after the finance and administration department, she is also involved in office management and taking care of HR.

Evelina says 'It's a privilege to work alongside such a fantastic team and learn something new every day. It's very rewarding to see the business growing'.

With a background in finance management in manufacturing and construction, Evelina says her diligence and willingness to learn has taken her to where she is today.

Evelina has been living in the UK for the last 16 years and now calls it home. Originally from Lithuania, she grew up spending summers in the countryside and always enjoys being surrounded by nature.

Away from work, Evelina enjoys reading, summer evenings by the fire and walks by the sea; visiting new countries and travelling across the UK. Her favourite place is Portmeirion.

Production Department

Jess Gibbs | Young Plants & Technical Manager

Jess has been working with plants since leaving school, initially working at a local nursery before going to Hadlow College to study commercial horticulture.

At Hadlow Jess also taught practical horticulture for a year after graduating.

After spending some time travelling, she found Palmstead and has worked in most departments of the nursery; with her extensive knowledge of the scientific aspects of plant production and development, Jess is currently our Technical Controller. 

Mark Chapman | Development Manager

While Mark has many years of experience with Palmstead, he also draws heavily on his background in the engineering sector to bring updates and innovation to the nursery.

Mark's maintenance team are active in keeping the nursery equipment and machinery running and in good order, while at the same time introducing updates and improving technology - usually aimed at efficiency, recycling and reducing Palmstead's carbon footprint.

Recent developments include the expansion of our rainwater harvesting network, along with improvements to logistics, handling and storage area for trees and plants.

Procurement & Supply Chain Department

Peter Curtis | Head of Procurement & Supply Chain

01233 811305
07972 802390

Having joined Palmstead from school more than 40 years ago, Peter has performed almost every job on the nursery, seeing many changes during his career, and these days is the Head of Procurement and Supply Chain.

From the original 3-acre site near Bekesbourne,  Peter has witnessed Palmstead's evolution into a major horticultural supplier at first hand, and has been responsible for much of that progression along the way.

Away from work, Peter shares a passion for football with his family and lists the 725-acre Trentham Estate in Staffordshire, amoing his favourite gardens.

Robin Harris | Transport Controller

01233 811317
07584 345407

Robin started his working life in the agricultural sector in Oxfordshire, before becoming a lorry driver at the age of 21.

After spending more than 35 years in the transport industry, Robin joined Palmstead in January 2018 and is now our Transport Controller.

He enjoys the challenge his role provides because no two days are ever the same, with situations often changing by the hour.

Robin is a keen sports fan, enjoying rugby union, golf and Formula 1.



Mark Hutchinson | Managing Director

01233 811303
07736 611203

Inoculated with horticulture from an early age, Mark's father was a significant figure in the world of geraniums. 

Whilst gaining a BSc in horticulture from Writtle College, Mark travelled and worked in Switzerland, US and the UK before landing at Palmstead in 1993.

Mark's IT skills have driven improvements throughout our SAP ERP and financial planning system, as well as developing our in-house irrigation and climate control systems.

Technology will always be an incredibly important part of the company; Mark keeps our systems moving forward and the business with it..

Kate Ruston | Director

Having been brought up by her horticulturalist parents (and Palmstead founders) John and Linda, the nursery has always been a family affair for Kate; and having worked on most areas of the nursery, plants have always been a passion in her life.

As well as an active commitment to the community involvement aspects of Palmstead's operations, Kate's awareness of the impact modern business sometimes has on the environment makes her the perfect ambassador for our commitment to 'People, Planet, Plants'.

With a responsibility for influencing a number of developments with the ecological aspects of Palmstead's operations, Kate leads our tie-in with 'Planet Mark', - an internationally recognised organisation associated with the Eden Project -  with whom we're working towards improving our sustainability credentials.

John Langman | Chairman

John's passion for plants started at the age of nine, when he began growing vegetables in his parent's back garden.

After leaving school, John worked at Mount's Nurseries in Canterbury for two years, before starting at Swanley College of Horticulture (now Hadlow).

On graduation John spent time working in The Netherlands and then took a sales position at Clifton Nurseries in Little Venice, London, simultaneously building up his own nursery stock at weekends on a 3-acre plot at Palmstead Hill near Bekesbourne, which would become the first Palmstead Nursery.

In 1988, after 20 years of growth, the business moved to the current site, a 50-hectare former hop farm at Wye, becoming one of the largest nurseries in the South-East.