After leaving school Joe went to Art College and played bass in a band. He then travelled and worked abroad and upon his return started landscaping in North London and subsequently lived in Australia for a year landscaping in Sydney and Melbourne. He studied garden design at The English Gardening School based at the Chelsea Physic Garden in 1990 whilst simultaneously setting up a landscaping company.

Joe started presenting Gardeners World in 1998 and now designs gardens, presents on TV and writes. Joe is a father, a lifelong Arsenal fan, and surprisingly a keen but very average golfer. He is involved in various charities (see contacts).