I had a real reminder last week of how great it is to work in horticulture, when I went along to Perennial’s annual fundraising party (the UK charity providing support services to those in need in the industry e.g. disability, ill-health. www.perennial.org.uk ). It was a wonderful evening, raising record funds, and a very positive environment in which to catch up with friends and colleagues from across the sector.
Being amongst the 300+ people at the Skyloft in Millbank Tower and discussing exciting projects (past, present and future) made me feel very grateful for the opportunities that I have had throughout my career. I have been able to do great work and collaborate with many talented colleagues since leaving Merrist Wood College way back in the 80’s. My first job was for a London practice as a Landscape Designer and Manager (a real learning curve in my early 20s!). In 1991 I set up the Garden Company in Chipperfield near Hemel Hempstead and business has grown ever since (yes, we have a big anniversary this year!).
It is possible in this industry to make a significant positive difference to peoples’ daily lives, at home and in public spaces too, and the benefits of spending time in gardens and gardening are well known. I love to see people enjoying being in the gardens that we have built. I also feel privileged to work so closely with nature – my favourite gardens are those where we draw on the natural environment, creating havens where people relax and unwind. What a privilege to enable that to happen.
Interestingly, January is officially the nation’s favourite time to change job roles (according to a recent report from the recruitment site Glassdoor). Apparently it’s a case of New Year, new job for many people. For those of you (or your family/friends) that are looking for a career change and especially for young adults just starting out on their careers, I would like to shout out the praises of this wonderful industry!
For guidance about getting started on such a career change or new career – see the Society of Garden Design website (www.sgd.org.uk) and also the British Association of Landscape Industries (www.bali.org.uk). On a personal note, we are actively recruiting at the moment for people to join our busy practice – in landscape, maintenance or summer work experience roles. For details, please take a look at www.thegardenco.co.uk/careers.
To close, a ‘just-in-time’ Happy New Year to all of our clients, old and new, and to everybody that we work with – from all at the Garden Company.