CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

40 years of green fingers for the Graduate Gardeners

PUBLISHED: 09:00 02 December 2014 | UPDATED: 09:52 02 December 2014

The early days of Graduate Gardeners, which celebrates its 40th annivarsary this year (2014)

The early days of Graduate Gardeners, which celebrates its 40th annivarsary this year (2014)

Archant

Promotional feature: Philip Howard and his brother in law founded their landscape design, construction and maintenance company Graduate Gardeners 40 years ago, and helped it grow into the business it is today

The Graduate Gardener team todayThe Graduate Gardener team today

When Philip Howard gave up his steady teaching job in 1970 and told his friends that he was going to design and build gardens, they all thought he was mad. Undeterred, he set out to arm himself with a diploma from Merrist Wood College and then founded the company with his brother in law, in 1974. Both being Oxbridge graduates they felt the name would set them a cut above the rest.

The infant company blossomed and with the help of Stuart Gibbs, a fellow student from Merrist Wood, Graduate Gardeners became a regular exhibitor on main avenue at The Chelsea Flower Show, constructing for other designers and designing and building their own projects. Over 25 years, the company collected numerous RHS medals, including 6 Gold, on the way.

The company joined BALI early on and they were actively involved in regional events, taking on chairmanships and enjoying the support of a national organisation.

In 1984, the company moved into a purpose built and landscaped yard and nursery on a 3-acre site in the village of Bisley, in the Cotswolds. The new yard allowed the company to stock the full range of landscaping products, with the nursery growing some 40,000 plants in over 700 varieties

When Philip retired in 2003, Charles Price and Mark Draper, another Merrist Wood graduate with 11 years of Graduate Gardeners service already under his belt, took on the business and have driven it forward to new heights.

Graduate Gardeners has been entering projects annually for the BALI awards, winning 14, including 3 principal awards, since 2008Graduate Gardeners has been entering projects annually for the BALI awards, winning 14, including 3 principal awards, since 2008

They now run six landscaping teams, each led by a highly experienced site foreman, with as many projects on the go at any one time, as well as a further ten skilled staff working on the maintenance side. The company has stuck with the domestic landscaping market, finding this far more rewarding than the commercial sector, and has enjoyed entering projects annually for the BALI awards, winning 14, including 3 principal awards, since 2008.

The company has designed and built gardens for the RHS Malvern Spring Show, where they have won Six Gold medals and Five ‘Best in Show’ gardens in a row, and with nearly 100,000 potential customers coming through the showground this has proved to be a valuable showcase for their gardens.

In this, their 40th year, Graduates have not only won a Gold Medal and Best in Show at RHS Malvern but also Four National BALI Awards and, to celebrate, Managing Director Charles Price is bringing the whole company to the BALI award ceremony.

-----------------------------

For more about Graduate Gardeners, visit their website: www.graduategardeners.co.uk

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

Taking the classroom outdoors is fun, inspires fresh ideas, broadens horizons – and encourages a new generation to enjoy and care for the Cotswolds

Read more
Yesterday, 15:25

Chipping Campden – once the meeting place for a council of Saxon kings – now offers the warmest of welcomes to all its visitors, from the humble shopper to the seasonal shin-kicker

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

I send this postcard from Cirencester, complete with the discoveries and viewpoints from four members of my family – both the young and not so young

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

One hundred years ago this month the guns fell silent, marking the end of what was to become known as The Great War. Stephen Roberts remembers the impact the war had on Cotswold lives from 1914-1918

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Being a region so steeped in history, there are plenty of locations in the Cotswolds with spooky stories from over the years. From bloody executions, eerie apparitions and headless horsemen, we pick 23 of the most haunted locations throughout the Cotswolds to visit if you dare

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

New bat cams installed at Woodchester Mansion help study protected breeds while also becoming an added attraction for visitors. Jo Barber looks at the work of one of the UK’s foremost bat experts and the mansion’s valued volunteers

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

From an all-boy, all boarding prep school for just 30 pupils, to the quietly trailblazing yet still traditional school it is today – here is a snapshot of Beaudesert over its 110-year history

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Of all the castles in the region, none have seen as much war, romance and royalty as Sudeley over its dramatic 1,000-year history. And with such a colourful and eventful past, it is easy to see why some people believe there could be spirits from bygone eras which still wander the halls and corridors to this day

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Following a record year for ‘visitor giving’ donations via local businesses, applications are invited to fund conservation projects

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search