At Greengage we are really proud of our website and we can see plenty of new and old customers visiting and viewing our projects and checking out our services. We really wanted a way to connect with as many people as possible, so we are introducing a fortnightly blog to look at some aspects of gardening, our staff, our business and some of our personal gardening passions in more detail. We really hope you enjoy our first blog ‘In the beginning’ written by our head gardener Jude.
How Greengage began
The beginnings of the business started in February 2015. In my previous job back in London I had worked for 18 months in a secondary school doing various office and pastoral roles. It had its perks – the opportunity to travel in the school holidays, a beautiful commute through Richmond Park, some great moments helping students – but it didn’t really fit my idea of a dream job.
The majority of my work had been in outdoor education. After getting my qualifications I had instructed in various centres in England, Scotland, Wales and France and loved begin outside, working with great people and doing something that kept me physically fit.
When we decided to move to Somerset from Kingston upon Thames, I decided I wanted to set up my own business. I originally decided to keep the potential of the business as wide as possible and chose the umbrella term of ‘helping hands’. I quickly picked up work decorating, as a care giver and doing DIY, but the majority of my work and the work I found I enjoyed the most, was gardening.
In September 2017 I decided to further my knowledge and did my level 2 RHS Certificate in Practical Horticulture. This was an excellent course, combining classroom study with practical experiences, for example a day out pruning apple trees, being given our own ‘allotment’ section for the duration of the course and some fantastic learning opportunities in gardens such as RHS Rosemoor.
The following year I returned to do my Level 3. The business became JE Garden Services and built up a busy roster of regular clients and one-off jobs.
After nearly four years working on my own, I was finding more and more business and needed to take on an employee. I decided to turn the business into a Limited Company, employ someone to take over the invoicing, contracts and accounts and to hire a full-time gardener to work with me. This has enabled us to take on new clients, to do some exciting landscaping jobs and to invest into the business with new equipment, PPE and uniform. We are lucky to have several part-time ad hoc gardeners and landscapers able to join our team to cover staff holiday and to have a larger team for larger clearance and landscaping jobs.
Team member Finn Woods
After nearly a year as Greengage Gardening Solutions Ltd, we are looking to the future with plans to take on more staff, have more vehicles and equipment and continue providing the same great quality service we are known for. Two more of our staff will begin the horticulture course in September and we are looking to take on an apprentice.
We are always looking for qualified staff to join us or the right people to grow into Greengage staff ourselves so do contact us if you think you would like to work with our hardworking and dedicated team.
Take a look at our other blog ‘Jobs to do in the garden’ and we hope you return in a couple of weeks to read our next blog ‘Nature based play’.
Words: Jude Eastick, Company Director & Head Gardener