Joseph Archibald

Hi, Joseph here!

Why ‘Migrant Gardener’ you may be asking?

Over the previous 10 and more years, I’ve lived in Asia – Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and China. I am from Scotland, UK, originally. Resided in England for some years as well. 



How about my academic background?

Started off when I was 18 years of age with a City and Guilds in Horticulture (I believe this is now referred to as an NVQ).

Then, gravitated onwards to completing a National Diploma and a Higher National Diploma – both in Horticulture.

And topped that off with an honours degree in the same – horticulture.

I do really enjoy the academic side of life. Notwithstanding, I do, also, feel that colleges and universities are somewhat antiquated. 

I always did well in writing up reports. But when it comes to exams and remembering stuff that is useless in terms of a future occupational focus – well, that’s most certainly not my forte in life. 

It’s my opinion that there should be a far, far stronger emphasis on occupational skills – hands-on learning. 


Work Experience

I started working in the horticultural arena when I was 17. I started out on what was then known as YTS – Youth Training Scheme. That position was with the University of Edinburgh’s ground’s department.

Not really knowing what I wanted to do, I turned to horticulture because I knew office work certainly was not for me.

After graduating college (diploma and higher diploma in horticulture in the bag) at the age of 23, I established myself as a local gardener and made my living that way.

I knew that management or lecturing was not for me, either.

Nevertheless, I did try my hand at management by joining Wyevale Garden Centre’s management training program at the ripe age of 32. I was stationed in Warwickshire, England.

Hmmm… that didn’t pan out too well – I quit after nine months.

A while later, I then set up my own landscaping/ gardening business.

This business was reasonably successful – at least I was able to pay the bills and have a beer or two, on occasion. 

At the age of 40, after a messy marriage, I opted to ‘up-route’ and go abroad.

Currently, I’m in the Philippines.



Northern Palawan - Coron
What’s it like to live in the Philippines?




More of a migrant gardener than a full-on gardening grafter, I decided to set up this website, in part to share some of the projects that I get involved with.

There are no garden centres where I reside in the Philippines; no other establishments that even sell potted plants or ‘proper’ potting soil. No fertilizers other than chicken and caribou (think large cow) poop. 

The best I can do is to purchase seeds online – and even that pursuit is pretty limited.

Nevertheless, I do try to persevere as best I can, though it is slow going: Welcome to the Philippines.

Wish to get in touch? Shoot me a message via this email:

Look forward to hearing from you!


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