The Landscaper’s Survival Manual
Since around 1990, I began what was to become a series of seminars, all aimed at training and enthusing all involved in the garden building industry. Not to teach gardening as a subject – although a couple of the seminars became Road Shows, with several different venues hosting the talks. These included The Waterscaping Road Show and the Hard Landscaping Road Show. I used to write for The Water Gardener magazine – a monthly column under the title of The Pond Doctor (not my choice of name!) and the hard landscaping talks and demonstrations derived from the practical seminars I used to run with The Traditional Paving Development Group, which specialised in retaining the old school practical skills and techniques.
Starting out in 1968, I went through all the usual phases of learning the business, gradually becoming more confident and versed in the skills of a Landscaper. Over the years, I went on to construct over sixty RHS Show gardens, thirty-seven as designer and builder. I project managed all of them, and as time went by, became an RHS Shows panellist, Assessor and Show Gardens Judge.
I founded The Association of Professional Landscapers in 1995, having spent the previous seventeen years active within The British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) becoming National Chairman for PR & Marketing for that organisation. Somewhere along the line, I joined the Institute of Horticulture, and was elevated to become a Fellow in 2011.
There have been many other chapters in my career, but always orientated around training and the passing on of all those practical answers to problems that one encounters during a long career.
In 2012, I presented two seminars, aimed at Garden Designers and Contractors, and out of these notes I wrote The Landscaper’s Survival Manual.
It is NOT a book on gardening. It is a hard nosed look at the journey taken over the first few years in the life of a garden contractor – starting out working in gardening in general, then branching out to specialise either as a designer, garden builder or somewhere in between.
Launched in May 2013, the manual was well received by the Trade Press, as a new and innovative addition to the very short list of books aimed at helping people into a successful business career as Landscapers.
‘Providing advice on business set-up and interesting ideas with regard to marketing and networking’ – Garden Design Journal
‘Everything you ever wanted to know – but did not know who to ask’ – Professional Gardener magazine.
‘Sets out the principles and processes of running a business effectively and efficiently – Horticulture Week.
‘It’s helped me more than any other book I’ve ever read’ Thomas Stone, writing in ProLandscaper magazine.
(UK Mainland only)