Wed, 06 Sep 2017 19:59:14
Advice and Mentoring Service
What is it? It's whatever you want it to be!
Maybe you lack confidence or experience in a particular area or skill assosiated with gardening?
Often the service would take the form of a visit (or visits) to your home to assist you. You can expect a hands on approach, not a case of telling you what to do and watching! More showing you how to do it, then helping you do it, hopefully a time will come when YOU CAN DO IT ON YOUR OWN!
The range of subjects is endless.
Planning and design - Selecting suitable materials - Hard landscaping skills
Plant selection - Seed sowing - Propagation - Pricking out & potting on
Planting - Caring for new and established plants - Pruning
Starting a new garden - Renovating a neglected one
Coping with everyday garden tasks
Establishing a pond
What training and experience do I have to pass on?
My family has been in horticulture for three generations, growing a wide variety of plants since the 1930's. Everything from edible potatoes to 'Chilean Potato Vine' ( a decorative climbing plant, real name Solanum Glasnevin, look it up, it's a beauty!). Top & soft fruit, salad & vegetable crops. For the last 10+years we have grown exculsively ornamental plants. Everything from pansies to palms, bizzy lizzies to silver birch, flowering cherries to ornamental cabbage, to name but a few!
As a teenager I studied horticulture at Hadlow College. After this I spent many years on the family nursery growing mostly edible crops. In the early '90s we increased our ornamental plants output, these very quickly came to dominate our production. Soon we were asked to carry out various landscaping tasks. This has developed to become a large part of our business, anything from cutting a lawn to a complete garden construction.
This started my interest in garden design. Largely self tought, this now keeps me occupied for many an evening in my office. With drawing board and a mass of books and brochures, on plants, and hard and soft landscaping materials, it keeps me quiet for hours!
During this time I also completed the PA 1 & 6 qualifications, licencing me to carry out chemical spraying operations anywhere. On qualifiying I was asked to complete further training, so that I may assess other candidates for these qualifications.
Later I was asked by a local paper, to help with preparing gardening articles. This has lead to me writing articles on many gardening subjects.
More recently together with my daughter Hayley, we have started wrought iron work. This is in part a hobby, making gates, railings, obelisks and other artifacts as time allows.
I am however, still actively involved in the core part of the business. This being construction and maintenance of our clients gardens, together with grounds maintenance of a wide variety of premises.
As, I hope you can see, I have training and experience across a broad base of horticulture and gardening. It's difficult for me to pick out any one speciality, so if you think I can help you, give me a call!
FAMILY AND STAFF-The people to whom I am forever grateful!
My parents Margaret & Cyril for teaching me right from wrong and so much more. Even though he has past his 80th birthday, I can still rely on my Father to provide assistance on the nursery, should I need to be absent for any reason.
My Wife Kerri, for all her support in good times and bad, for understanding the long hours and total commitment that any job with plants requires. Also for looking after Finance, Accounting and Administration in the business.
My daughter Rachael who assisted me ably in the business until her own choosen professions filled her time. And for teaching me to dance(Ballroom & Latin) and so much more.
Hayley my younger daughter, who has now re-joined the business after 10 years in engineering. And who's cheerful attitude to life, her own occupation and hobbies brings me so much pleasure.
John, a friend who has worked part-time since 2001. Ever reliable and adaptable, at his best when constructing a new garden area. A pleasure to watch on the dance floor.
The most senior of us all Roy, with us since Spring 2006 who was earning a crust before I was even born. However he is quite possibly the fittest of us all, his HOBBY is competing in full length Triathlons on a regular basis. He has the stamina to see any job through!
Norman, who for a long time was known to me as 'Ann's husband', has been with us since around 2012. After many years in which Ann would not let him near the garden, he seems to revel in the opportunity to work the soil. Long may his enthusiasm last.
Dave joined us in 2013 after a long career in engineering. Throughout that time he has been a keen gardener, working an allotment for many years now.
From time to time we find ourselves looking for additional staff. We look for people who are hardworking, willing to tackle jobs that others might leave to someone else. Friendly and well mannered, you will be very fit, age is not a barrier, whether young or old.
You will probably already lead an active life, with various interests. A good knowledge of plants, gardening or DIY is helpful, though not essential.
Vacancies tend to be for weekday, on a part-time basis. So if you think you might be up to working with us, please contact us by email, including full details of yourself (your personal details, interests, experience, times when available, what you feel you can bring to our business, ect), at firstname.lastname@example.org
This picture was taken during a visit to the nursery, by a local community group, for a talk, and demonstration, on the planting up of hanging baskets,given by myself, Colin Boakes.
Annual Poppies with Iceberg Rose.
A picture from my article, "Repairing your lawn", I am gratefull to my daughter, her friends, and their barbeque for making this picture possible!