• Photo of Why a horticultural approach to grounds maintenance will bear fruit

    Why a horticultural approach to grounds maintenance will bear fruit

    Time for a dirty secret. Years ago, when I was coming into the grounds maintenance business, I was told, “you make your money doing the work you don’t do”. You price the work into your contract and then work your hardest to avoid delivering it. From an ethical perspective, this never sat well with me or for many of us in the profession that work hard every day to deliver on our promises. But that cynical view is sadly still out there – particularly when contractors are racing to the bottom on pricing grounds maintenance as a commodity rather than…

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  • Photo of Three cost-of-living effects that may be here to stay

    Three cost-of-living effects that may be here to stay

    From Brexit to COVID-19 to the cost-of-living crisis, businesses worldwide have had to adapt to a host of unpredictable, evolving economic conditions. For instance, as lockdowns came to a close, over eight in ten employees who had been working from home said they planned to adopt a hybrid model. Pro Landscaper looks at which changes are here to stay. Mental health awareness Mental health has been at the forefront of society’s mind for some time now, so it is no surprise that this is one of the predictions on the list! With resources such as Perennial’s free Health and Wellbeing…

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  • Photo of Pro Landscaper’s Top 10 Most Influential Women

    Pro Landscaper’s Top 10 Most Influential Women

    For International Woman’s Day, Pro Landscaper has compiled a list of its Top 10 Most Influential Women in the industry. All 10 women below were shortlisted for Pro Landscaper’s Most Influential Awards 2022. In no particular order: Sarah Eberle – Garden designer: Eberle is a decorated garden designer across RHS shows, with 20 Gold medals to her name as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award from the SGD. Jane Findlay – Director, Fira & Immediate past president, Landscape Institute: Findlay laid the foundations for a modern Landscape Institute and a more forward-thinking profession, with a focus on the next generation.…

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  • Photo of In conversation with Mollie Higginson

    In conversation with Mollie Higginson

    Mollie Higginson, co-founder of the Young People in Horticulture Association, sits down with Pro Landscaper as she reflects on building a community, redefining the perception of horticulture and being a woman in the industry. Mollie Higginson is fast becoming a household name within horticulture. Having been named among Pro Landscaper’s 30 Under 30 in 2022, she is one of the founders of the Young People in Horticulture Association (YPHA), as well as an operations supervisor and sales representative at New Leaf Plants. The YPHA – founded by Higginson, Natalie Porter and Liam Cleary, set out to create a network and…

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  • Photo of Q&A with Tessa Johnstone

    Q&A with Tessa Johnstone

    For International Woman’s Day, Johnstone Landscapes’ director sits down with Pro Landscaper to talk diversity, education and authentic changes.   What has been the most exciting change for Johnstone Landscapes and/or the British Association of Landscape Industries in recent years? Johnstone Landscapes’ ability to work on projects we choose and want to undertake and work with clients we enjoy working with. I never take it for granted that the projects keep coming, but I am no longer inclined to accept a project if we are not happy with the elements that I know will make it a fun and worthwhile…

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  • Photo of Could the Four-Day Week Pilot change the horticultural industry?

    Could the Four-Day Week Pilot change the horticultural industry?

    The results are in for the UK’s Four-Day Week Pilot. The results were positive overall with many companies keeping the four-day week, staff reporting an increase in work-life balance and less fatigue, and revenue seeing a small increase. Of the 61 companies that participated, 56 are continuing with the four-day week (92%) with 18% confirming the policy is a permanent change. Companies’ revenue stayed relatively the same, seeing a 1.4% increase on average, weighted by company size, across respondent organisations. When compared to a similar period from previous years, organisations reported revenue increases of 35% on average – which indicates…

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  • Photo of Save our rivers

    Save our rivers

    Do you know what a river should look like? Really look like, that is. Over hundreds of years, the shape and flow of our rivers and marshland has been dramatically altered to drain land for farming, housing and commercial development. Instead of allowing our rivers to naturally meander and, during heavy rainfall, to slowly flood and gently deposit their silt and water on neighbouring plains, we have manipulated them. Riverbanks have been straightened and deepened with steep banks which makes water flow faster and keeps it hemmed in. With the impact of climate change and more intense weather events, we…

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  • Photo of In conversation with Matt O’Conner

    In conversation with Matt O’Conner

    John O’Conner has offered apprenticeships since 2011. The grounds maintenance company has utilised them not only to develop skills within the business and attract new talent, but also to help train managers already at the company. As with most good things, the apprenticeships have adapted over time. Speaking to Pro Landscaper, managing director Matt O’Conner said the company’s scheme “looks quite different today” compared with 2011, having initially focused on horticulture apprenticeships. Twelve years on, John O’Conner now has HR, digital and business management apprentices. “One of the hidden benefits of apprenticeships is the motivation it gives to more experienced…

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  • Photo of What can GoLandscape offer in 2023

    What can GoLandscape offer in 2023

    GoLandscape is an initiative that seeks to encourage school leavers to consider a career in landscaping, challenge false perceptions and demonstrate the broad range of skills that are used within the industry. A career in the landscaping industry can be incredibly exciting and rewarding, just the fact that you are working outdoors could be incentive enough. Landscapers make huge differences to outdoor spaces, turning over-run or barren areas into places of beauty and function. With it being such a varied sector, incorporating different job roles, it appeals to lots of different people with differing skill sets. There are several ways…

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  • Photo of Employing an apprentice

    Employing an apprentice

    BALI is committed to supporting the landscape industry in addressing the skills gaps and shortages, to this end we have produced a brief report to support employers who are considering taking on an apprentice to show the options that are available.   What is an apprenticeship? It’s a work – based training programme that combines on the job training with a nationally recognised qualification. An apprentice needs to be aged 16 or over and can be a new or current employee, who is living in the UK and not in full time education. Employing an apprentice can bring many benefits…

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  • Photo of From footwear design to garden design

    From footwear design to garden design

    One of the silver linings to the many lockdowns is the pause on life it has given, to evaluate what really matters. For me it is my family and pursuing my love for gardening. During the first lockdown our garden became our oasis of calm, a sanctuary to retreat to and nurture. To accommodate the bees, butterflies and moths that were visiting our cottage garden, I cultivated the borders with nectar rich plants; Verbena Bonariensis, Nepeta, Scabiosa. I even resisted removing a surprise intruder, the prolific Buddleja Davidii which attracted a host of pollinators. I also began to help my…

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  • Photo of The Environment Secretary’s pledge to create more green spaces and enhance biodiversity is not enough

    The Environment Secretary’s pledge to create more green spaces and enhance biodiversity is not enough

    Rishi Sunak’s Government has rejected Liz Truss’s deeply misguided opinions on biodiversity enhancements and green energy and instead approved plans for a number of nature reserves to give people access to green spaces and water within a 15 minute walk from their home. The newly announced Environment Improvement Plan would also see the creation or expansion of 25 national nature reserves, a further 500,000ha of protected landscapes and a fund set up for rare species, including red squirrels and hedgehogs, and the creation and restoration of 30,000 miles of hedgerow a year by 2037. These pledges are commendable but are…

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  • Photo of How are businesses tackling the cost-of-living crisis?

    How are businesses tackling the cost-of-living crisis?

    Leading companies within the sector share how they are supporting their employees The phrase ‘new year, new me’ is thrown around a lot in the month of January but there are some things the new year did not wash away, one of those being the cost-of-living crisis. Companies all over the UK have been working hard on finding ways to manage this crisis for their workers and their business alike. Businesses such as Tony Benger Landscaping, Johnstone Landscapes and Garden House Design have all introduced pay rises, for instance. “[Johnstone Landscapes] has tried to give the team some extra support…

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  • Photo of Ian Drummond top plant predictions for 2023

    Ian Drummond top plant predictions for 2023

    Celebrate Houseplant Appreciation week with Ian Drummond as he shares his top plant predictions for 2023. Ian says: Plants that are nostalgic, with a throwback to the 1980s will be the theme for indoor plants this year. With greenery –  like the ever popular spider plant and the much loved hanging plants, but also with colour –  the more vibrant, variegated and flowering plants are set to have their place amongst our indoor gardens in 2023.   SPIDER PLANT (CHLOROPHYTUM COMOSUM) Probably the most nostalgic house plant and one of the easiest to grow. It can grow in a wide…

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  • Photo of How to futureproof your landscaping project

    How to futureproof your landscaping project

    As we know, biodiversity and biodiversity net gain (BNG) are both hot topics at the moment. December’s COP15 ended with a landmark agreement to guide global action on nature through to 2030. While it will be a big challenge, BNG delivered in the right way, offers a genuine opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to nature’s recovery. Here are my top tips on how landscape architects can be ready for what’s big in biodiversity in 2023. Together is Better The great thing about BNG is that it combines the skillsets of the landscape architect and the ecologist. Understanding the legal…

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  • Photo of 12 Days of Christmas: December 2022

    12 Days of Christmas: December 2022

    As we prepared to bid goodbye to 2022, Pro Landscaper appointed James Groves as its new editor, with head of content Nina Mason moving to oversee content across publisher Eljay44’s wider portfolio.  Our final edition of the year presented Pro Landscaper’s 25 Most Influential for 2022, led by Landform Consultant’s Mark Gregory, the University of Sheffield’s Nigel Dunnett and garden designer Sarah Eberle. Andrew Wilson weighed in on the ups and downs of teaching garden design. In other news… Regrettably, landscaping and grounds maintenance contractor Cultura Group entered receivership just before Christmas, reflecting the reality of a challenging 12 months…

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  • Photo of 12 Days of Christmas: November 2022

    12 Days of Christmas: November 2022

    FutureScape’s tenth anniversary delivered the most successful iteration yet, with thousands of visitors attending the event at the ExCeL London on 15 and 16 November. Three new seminar theatres were added to the 2022 event – the Lighting Zone, the Urban Greening Zone in association with Maylim, and the Training, Education and Employment Village in association with GoLandscape. In Pro Landscaper’s November 2022 edition, Christopher Martin explored how we can create public spaces for those with autism, while Noel Kingsbury asked whether we could think more radically about large-scale planting. Our penultimate issue of the year also marked the British…

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  • Photo of What can we expect from 2023?

    What can we expect from 2023?

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  • Photo of 12 Days of Christmas: October 2022

    12 Days of Christmas: October 2022

    In October, Pro Landscaper announced the winners of 2022’s 30 Under 30: The Next Generation, in association with Green-tech. The initiative recognises those making incredible contributions to the landscaping industry. It covers a vast range of sectors including garden design, landscape construction, grounds maintenance, landscape architecture, sales and services. Meanwhile, with temperatures soaring across the UK and weather warnings being issued for extreme heat as record highs were set throughout summer, Pro Landscaper’s October edition looked at how companies are designing and building public spaces with climate change in mind. Elsewhere, Christopher Martin looked at how we could use the…

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  • Photo of Ten best garden design trends 2023

    Ten best garden design trends 2023

    Acacia Gardens announces its Ten Best Garden Design Trends 2023. As technology becomes more available 3D garden designs, videos, and virtual reality become the norm. Sustainable and sharing gardens, along with growing veg and flowers, will be popular. Pergolas take centre stage while internal and external continuity prevails, and garden styling and lighting shine. The overriding theme is that homeowners will enjoy their gardens more by creating outdoor living rooms and kitchens to entertain family and friends. Many of the Garden Trends for 2022 continue, including drought resistance and wellness themes. Look at Acacia Gardens Garden Design Trend for 2023 to see…

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  • Photo of 12 Days of Christmas: September 2022

    12 Days of Christmas: September 2022

    Autumn brought the beginning of a new chapter at Pro Landscaper; our September 2022 edition was the first following a significant rebranding. While our overall look underwent considerable change, the biggest focus was the flow of the magazine, enhancing the reading experience with streamlined and refocused approach to content. As part of the September issue, Chris Churchman pondered the landscape industry’s role and achievements in shaping the natural environment. Meanwhile, we took a look at Singapore’s fantastic Gardens by the Bay. In other news… Pro Landscaper looked at the significance of UK manufacturing, and also asked whether smart gardens could be…

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  • Photo of 12 Days of Christmas: August 2022

    12 Days of Christmas: August 2022

    As we hurtled towards autumn, Pro Landscaper caught up with Gareth Kirkwood, eight months into his tenure as CEO of Nurture Group after Peter Fane stepped down in January. “History is littered with organisations who have grown faster than the rate they can cope with”, he said at the time. “We’re building a platform for future growth.” As ever, our August 2022 edition featured a wide variety of key talking points affecting our industry. In this issue, Jason Knights stated that government inaction means businesses must take charge of biodiversity. Meanwhile, Nick Coslett highlighted the opportunities that solar panels can…

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  • Photo of 12 Days of Christmas: July 2022

    12 Days of Christmas: July 2022

    By the time a record-breaking, scorching July arrived, Ground Control’s Marcus Watson had completed his 1,400-mile cycle ride in aid of Alzheimer’s Society and penned a two-part series for Pro Landscaper, drawing parallels for business and personal success. Our July 2022 edition featured garden designer Mark Draper celebrating 30 years at Graduate Gardeners. Meanwhile, on the back of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Andrew Wilson pondered ‘the art of perfection’ and asked whether we should relax more. In other news… The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs published a review exploring how the horticulture sector can make use of…

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  • Photo of 12 Days of Christmas: June 2022

    12 Days of Christmas: June 2022

    Summer 2022 delivered an important reshuffle of the Pro Landscaper team, with Jessica Dean-Hill arriving as editorial assistant. In our June edition, May & Watts reflected on a 25-year journey in the landscaping industry, with a particular focus on the growing climate for private and commercial garden spaces. Meanwhile, Christopher Martin called on the industry to reduce noise pollution and “reap the biodiversity benefits”. “What I do not think we fully grasp yet, is the risk posed to the environment, to society, and to us physically from urban noise”, he said. In other news… The landscaping industry paid its respects…

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  • Photo of 12 Days of Christmas: May 2022

    12 Days of Christmas: May 2022

    As the RHS Chelsea Flower Show returned to its traditional May date for the first time since 2019, Pro Landscaper’s RHS special followed suit. A key highlight was Project Giving Back, a new initiative funding 12 gardens to offer charities the chance to promote themselves after what would have been a difficult couple of years for many of them. The 2022 iteration of the show was Sue Biggs’ last as director general of the RHS, handing over the reins after over a decade at the helm. In other news… Ground Control became certified as a B Corp, joining a growing cohort…

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