We met up with Jamie Butterworth to talk to him about his new business venture – Butterworth Horticulture.
Jamie, can you tell us a bit about your new venture?
I’m setting up a new soft-landscaping business called Butterworth Horticulture. We’ll be offering bespoke soft-landscaping design services, taking responsibility of every step, from soil testing and analysis, creating planting plans, project managing the delivery of all plants and installing irrigation to ensure the plant scheme survives.
We will take full responsibility for the health of the plants and end the age-old debate as to who is liable if any plants die. A designer would argue it’s the landscaper, the landscaper would argue it’s the designer, some might argue it’s the nursery, some might argue it’s the gardener, whereas I’m saying it’s us. Our planting schemes will be tailored to each site, and by managing the aftercare with remote-controlled irrigation, we know they’ll be looked after properly.
Planting adapts and evolves over time, so with that in mind, we will offer to amend up to 20% of the planting depending on the client’s requirements.
Where will your service fit into the existing landscape industry?
A dedicated soft-landscaping business like this doesn’t currently exist. I want to try and coin the phrase ‘horticultural design’, because I think there’s a gap in people who not only know about plants but can design with plants and work with plants. Now that the APL are offering accredited status to horticulturists, I think there should be a real push into this.
It’s important to note we won’t be doing garden design, or hard landscaping – we will only be providing soft-landscaping services. There’s a void of specialist horticulturalists with design expertise who can provide this service. Not only will we offer this service to domestic end-clients, but we’ll also work with existing landscaping and garden design companies to offer bespoke planting schemes.
Will you be working with other companies?
Yes, we will be collaborating with garden designers as a sub-contractor. The way we want to sell our services is that having a Butterworth Horticulture planting scheme will add value to their design. If, for example, we were asked to design, install and look after a planting scheme but not supply the plants, we would do it but without providing a guarantee for the life of the plants.
Eventually, I’d like to create a brand of horticulture and make Butterworth Horticulture an iconic brand in itself – of course, I know that it’s going to take a long time to get there!
Where does this leave you with London Stone?
It’s been over a year since the big launch with London Stone and it’s bought the industry together more than a lot of people ever thought it would. But, that said, it was always the plan to keep that as a one-year project and then go off on my own exciting adventure, and this is something I’m really excited to do. I’ll still be working closely with London Stone – so close, in fact, that our new studio is actually based inside their new Surrey show room.
Will you be expanding your team?
Yes, I’ve already got one member of staff ready to join. Her name is Gabby Pill and she graduated from KCL School of Design in December. She’ll be there for me to bounce ideas off, and to help with Vectorworks. We’re also growing and expanding our dedicated team of skilled trained horticulturists and landscapers.
Finally, what does the next year look like for you?
In the next year, I’ll mainly be taking everything one project at a time. Hopefully we will get the opportunity work on some fun and exciting planting projects, collaborating with designers, architects and landscapers. All whilst growing our team of trained horticulturists, and ultimately pushing horticulture to the forefront of our industry.
Humaira Ikram, Garden Designer and Lecturer, said:
“Planting design is an art as well as a science. A successful planting scheme depends on your in-depth knowledge of plants as well as a good eye when combining them. Jamie has both of these and to add to that he has always been a pleasure to work with”.
James Alexander-Sinclair, RHS Judge and Garden Designer, said:
“I worked with the indefatigable Jamie Butterworth on a garden I designed for the Moscow Flower Show. Having given him the vaguest of briefs and a couple of photographs of the mood I was after he set off into the wilds of Russia to find plants. The end result was exactly what I had in my head: the boy is either very talented or possessed by demons”.
In addition to Jamie’s new business venture, Jim and Lisa Wilkinson ( Directors of Pro Landscaper) are very excited to announce that Jamie has been appointed nurture editor of Pro Landscaper for 2019. This important section of the magazine will be expanded and built upon, with Jamie writing specialist pieces, conducting interviews and making garden visits, all with the aim of giving the reader more helpful and interesting content on all things soft landscape related.
Jim said: “We are committed to providing professional in-depth content in Pro Landscaper and this is why we have engaged Jamie to head up our nurture section. His knowledge and skills will fit perfectly with the magazine and we look forward to seeing some great articles in 2019”.