After three years at Kew, Tom became head gardener at Rydal Hall where he oversaw the restoration of the Thomas Mawson gardens and developed a community vegetable garden. Next he worked with Arabella Lennox-Boyd at Gresgarth Hall before two years lecturing at Newton Rigg College.
During this time he, along with his wife Abi, secured the tenancy of Halecat Plants near Grange Over Sands and spent two years of their spare time overhauling the site. They reopened in 2011 and stock an eclectic range of plants. They also run courses and design inspirational borders.