Plant enthusiast blooms at Sandals South Coast
Aveney Williams having fun in her favourite place, the plant nursery at Sandals South Coast, where she ensures her plants are always in the best condition.

SENIOR nursery supervisor at Sandals South Coast Aveney Williams knew from a young age that a career in landscaping was where she would excel.

Taking a journey down memory lane, Williams shared that her first introduction to landscaping and agriculture was on her grandfather's farm in Clarendon.

It was there that the young girl found joy in not only the technicalities of the farming process, but also the beauty of watching the plants grow.

"When I was a child and I would visit my grandfather he would always invite me to tag along with him to his farm and this was an offer that I never turned down. I was eager to learn whatever he was willing to teach and also how to plant my own crops.

Senior nursery supervisor at Sandals South Coast, Aveney Williams inspects her plants with nursery attendant Richard Rowe.

"He taught me how to turn yams and to tell when provisions such as cassavas and bananas were ready to be harvested. For every grandchild born into the family, he would plant a tree in their honour; so this love for the land was always a part of me," Williams said.

When asked what plant she believes most likely describes her, Aveney said that she is best represented by the phoenix palm as it is a beauty to the eyes, although it has a lot of thorns.

Her strong persona was birthed from having to assume a motherly role for her two younger sisters at 12 years old after their mother migrated.

Williams noted that with this responsibility she had to learn many life skills to ensure her sisters always had her support, even after she departed home for boarding school.

Refusing to let her circumstances dictate her story, the flora fanatic used the skills she learnt from her grandfather and also from caring for her sisters to water her soil.

Just as her tree planted by her grandfather budded and grew, Williams blossomed into a true green thumb.

Since 2020 the College of Agriculture Science and Education graduate can be found in the plant nursery at Sandals South Coast tending to the plants she considers her babies.

On the resort, she is tasked with ensuring they are the healthiest and the best for distribution across all the Sandals and Beaches resorts in the Caribbean.

"The nursery is designed so that if there is a request for a particular plant of a specific height, colour or shape, it is readily available. I look forward to getting a plant that needs extra love and doing the necessary work to nurture it to its healthiest form," added Williams.

Being one of three women in her department, she said she was never fazed when it came to affirming herself and her skills to get the job done.

As a leader in the Sandals South Coast landscaping department, Williams credits her ability to bond with the team members, to her dedication to self-development and attention to her interpersonal skills.

"I had to learn how to connect with my team. Thankfully with experience in teaching agriculture prior to joining the company, I have been able to meet others where they are at. It is always a joy to pass on what I know to not only those I work with, but to anyone who cares to learn," said Williams.

While she continues to emulate qualities just like her grandfather, when it comes to passing on her knowledge, Williams was quick to point out that her career at Sandals South Coast has given her the opportunity to learn and grow in the field.

She jokingly shared that the plant nursery is like her own little lab and many of her days there are filled with trial and error.

For this plant mom, her job does more than take care of her financial needs. Working in a serene environment, according to her, has done wonders for her mental health and has brought an indescribable peace and calm to her daily life.

Away from work, the life of agriculture is still something she embraces, with a family garden back home in Clarendon where her family has employed a farm-to-table lifestyle.

Also a mother, Williams said that though her daughter does not have a love for the soil like she does, she appreciates everything that her job represents.

According to Williams, it is her desire to continue growing with the Sandals brand, with the hope of one day being able to serve in the capacity of landscaping business process manager and focus a lot more on the logistical side of the operation.

For now, she continues to hone her skills in the plant nursery ensuring that her resort and those across the Caribbean are always adorned with the plants that keeps them lush and beautiful.

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