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Lubera stops plant deliveries to the UK
Due to Brexit, we are not able to deliver to the UK. We are working on a solution on how we can continue to bring a wide range of Lubera plants to the UK and directly to our customers' homes in the future. However, such a solution will not be available before 2022 or 2023.

Interview with Toni Heyler, our translator

Toni, tell us how you bring language, writing and gardening together at the same time. Those are skills that a single person rarely has. ;-)
It just so happened that way. When I was 15, my first job was at a tree nursery and that is what first sparked my interest in horticulture. Also around that time, I was able to take a month-long trip to Germany with a school class and that got me interested in the German language and culture. In college, I continued to learn German and ended up earning degrees in both German and horticulture. Now I am fortunate that my job combines both interests. It works out really well.


You are an American - how did it come to be that you left rural Montana and came to live in an even smaller town near Stuttgart, Germany?
Like I mentioned, I was pretty young when I got very interested in the German culture. I also studied aboard for a year in Tübingen, Germany during college and was so excited about learning and knowing more that I told myself that after graduating I’d try living in Germany “for reals” for a few months. The months turned to years and now it’s already been 11 years!!! And since I grew up in the country I chose a rural setting in Germany to raise my family in.

How are American English and British English different from each other? For Lubera, you write for a UK audience…
When talking, it’s the accent or dialect. In writing, it’s the spelling. There are many words that are spelled different and there are even words that are used totally different.  One word that comes to mind is “torch”. When I think of a “torch” I think of fire and flames. In British English, a “torch” is a flashlight, actually something safe!

Is it easier for you to write in English or a German?
In English. But there are times when I have mental blocks and can’t quite come up with the right English word or phrase as fast as I’d like. I think that is because I’ve lived in Germany for quite a long time now. I speak English to my children, though, and have a good relationship with my parents, with whom I talk to multiple times a week.

Can you briefly introduce your family?
Yes. I have a husband and two sons, aged four and one. My parents and a younger brother live in Montana, USA. My husband’s family lives in Stuttgart.

You make your job as a translator work together with your family life, with two small children? How do you manage that? How do you stay organised?
That’s what I ask myself sometimes! Currently, I mostly work in the evenings and on the weekends. Thanks to my husband and his willingness to care for the kids, I am able to work these strange hours. This actually works out very well and even allows everything else in life to come together, if only slowly. We have tons of projects around the house; there’s always something to do. We know how to use our time wisely with both aspects of work and play. The last year has been a bit chaotic, but we have almost found the right balance.

Do you currently have time for gardening?
Not really, unfortunately. I go out and do what needs to be done the most. Sometimes, I wish I could be out in the yard all day and therefore, I often end up day dreaming when I am out there with the kids. We have lots of potential in our yard and so I make many plans in my head; my goal would be to make an attractive garden in all four seasons.

What is the special challenge in translating texts for Lubera?
I wouldn’t say that there is a special challenge, although each text does have to be translated accurately and they must be consistent. What I like is the diversity of the texts. There’s not only translating work involved, but also research and rewriting. And there’s not only one type of plant to translate, but there are many, many fruits, roses, perennials and other ornamental plants such as grasses, rhododendrons and conifers, just to name a few. It’s very fun and enriching to work with Lubera.

We hope that our second native English-speaking colleague, Francijn Surmoundt, will also have time to write an English article in the near future– when will you write your first blog article for Lubera?
Soon. I’ve planted a few plants bred by Lubera and since then, I’ve been taking pictures of the various stages of growth. I noticed that one blueberry plant has wonderfully large berries that are slowly starting to get blue and once we harvest them, I think that would be a good time to write a blog entry, in hopes of including a picture of the huge berries – BEFORE my sons eat them all! The label says the ripening time should be some time in August…

What is your favourite plant? And what is your favourite fruit?
Hmm…that is a good question. I guess I really don’t have a favourite plant, but rather a favourite group of plants and that would be perennials. I just love the variety of colours, textures, heights and the possibilities there are in combination plantings. Even though you didn’t ask, I will confess to you that my favourite flower is a dandelion. James Russell Lowell said it right when he stated that “a weed is no more than a flower in disguise”. ;-)
I don’t have a favourite fruit either. I love all fruits, especially sweet ones! I love that each season has its fruit highlights, which makes it easy to look forward to different kinds. The best fruit comes from our own garden and with kids in the house, the more fruit around, the better!


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