Paul – landscaper
When I was at school I didn’t know what career I was going to pursue. However, the particular advice I would give someone who wanted to do landscaping or horticulture is to learn biology as that is a sort of core subject at school that has the most relevance to horticulture… Definitely biology was particularly helpful in my career because you learn how plants grow, about photosynthesis and what plants require to grow well, that sort of thing.
I worked at a local garden centre, which had a landscaping division designing and building gardens. This is when I realised that I had a natural flair for landscaping and learning plant names.
I realised from an early stage that I would need specific qualifications to develop my career, so I enrolled on a 3 year horticultural apprenticeship with my local parks department, in Banbury. It was a good general grounding in horticulture because I experienced everything from looking after bowling greens to planting trees. The apprenticeship also included day release to a local horticultural college, to gain my City & Guilds qualification. Once I completed my apprenticeship I did full time diploma courses at both Pershore College of Horticulture and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, graduating with Honours in both.
I now run and own a successful landscaping business in Berkshire called Primaflora Design and Build Ltd, which turns over approximately £1 million / year.