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Demand for garden design grew exponentially during the pandemic. Prolonged periods of isolation at home with no chance to travel significantly increased our spare time and invited us to look over our properties with a critical eye, creating the perfect environment for home improvement projects. As a much-needed outdoor escape during the long lockdowns, the garden – for those lucky enough to have one – was a particular focus for those seeking to renovate their residential space. Common improvements ranged from simply growing more plants to a total design overhaul and the introduction of new design elements such as the installation of a decking area or fire pit.
Consumer interest in garden design seems set to stay even though most restrictions relating to the Covid-19 pandemic have been removed. According to Pro Landscaper’s UK Landscape Barometer which compared 2020 and 2021 data, landscaping, design, and supply companies recorded high performance across all sectors with a backlog of orders stretching well into this year. If you are a self-employed garden designer looking to take advantage of this climate, read on for helpful ideas and insights into how to upgrade your landscape gardening business.
Expand Your Offering
A great way to attract new clients is to expand the range of products and services that you are able to offer. This is especially important in the current climate where major garden renovation projects are more popular than ever before. If you do not already have similarly qualified people as part of your team, consider hiring a garden designer or landscape architect to help you tackle demanding design challenges with the peace of mind that you are making expert recommendations.
As business starts booming (or ‘blooming’), why not take on a team of experienced gardeners? This would enable you to provide a complete garden renovation experience from start to finish instead of just the physical landscaping element, leaving your customers with a picture-perfect final product.
Upgrade Your Equipment
Ensure that your team has the type and quality of gardening and landscaping equipment they need to complete all work to a highly professional standard. Along with basic, good-quality hand tools such as rakes, shovels, forks, and shears, you will also need power tools such as a tiller to create and dig-over flower beds or a chainsaw for tree surgery. When it comes to topiary, a cordless hedge trimmer gives a fuss-free final flourish.
Nurture Your Client Base
A healthy client base is the cornerstone of any successful landscaping business. Market your business by advertising online: successful strategies incorporate the use of professional platforms such as Google My Business, which flags you as a registered company and allows customers to rate and review your services, and social media platforms to raise brand awareness and reach potential new customers.
In addition to getting the word out on the internet, offline marketing plays an important part in developing a successful business. Why not create eye-catching business cards that you can keep on hand to give out to interested parties who you meet in person? Another excellent simple strategy that should not be overlooked is word-of-mouth recommendations – new clients are much more likely to trust your business if they know someone who has had a positive first-hand experience. Delivering top-quality work on time will ensure you retain clients and gain repeat business in the future.
Stay On Top of Trends
A great way to appeal to your customers new and old is to anticipate and prepare for client requests by keeping up with the latest garden trends. A few of the latest 2022 trends for gardens include:
As a result of the pandemic and people choosing to entertain, work and relax outdoors, many clients are moving away from traditional open-plan gardens where a lawn and flowerbeds are the central focus. A more modern approach is grounded in the idea of garden ‘rooms’ or spaces that include lighting, heating, and overhead canopies, and can be used for dining or socializing as an extension of the home.
Tastes are turning to the dramatic, with daring pinks, vivid reds, zesty oranges, and deep purples all proving to be popular. Even the Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the year reflects this with the purple-leaved succulent Semponium Destiny taking the 2022 top spot last month.
Sustainability and Home Growing
Partly stemming from climate change concerns along with the rising cost of living, increasing numbers of gardeners are looking to grow their own vegetables, plants, and flowers and to make their gardens more eco-friendly. This is linked to a desire for ethically-sourced materials, a reduction in plastic packaging, and a move away from pesticides and towards more low-maintenance planting.
Increasing numbers of UK households are wanting to make the most of their gardens and outdoor spaces as a result of the pandemic, providing an excellent opportunity for landscape gardeners to attract new clients and grow their business. As summer drives a desire to make the most of the sunshine, capitalize on this renewed investment in enjoying the outdoors and help your customers to transform their garden into a space that they will never want to leave.