I often hear landscape companies say, maybe arrogantly, 'we do not do garden maintenance' in a kind of way that infers it belittles their status.
I think a lot of this attitude comes from a previous period when a gardener was viewed (and still is by some) as a servant or a job that someone reluctantly took up when no other employment was available.
Times have now changed and it is fashionable to be 'in horticulture' - the Chelsea'ette way to explain that you are a gardener.
Television and lifestyle programs in particular have really propelled gardening to a much higher profiled occupation and even bank managers, solicitors and city workers are giving up the 'stress' of the power jobs in pursuit of a more tranquil and sedate outdoor existence.
However, Landscapers, the engine room of garden construction, still find it hard to utter the words 'I am a gardener'.
This I find is extremely sad and when I look into this further it is plain to realise that the Landscaper is actually cutting off a potential strong arm of business.
How easy would it be to construct an expensive garden, pack it full of wonderful plants and lay a fabulous lawn and then provide that back up service of a maintenance service to your valued client?
It does not take a rocket scientist to work out that if a well heeled client is going to spend a great deal of money investing in a garden show-piece that they will want to have that investment protected and of course, enjoy this newly developed garden room to it's maximum.
Garden maintenance can bring a landscaping contractor some security during very lean times when new build projects may well have dropped off. It may not be as high margin as construction but it has a pretty fixed cost base and every hour is paid pro rata (unlike a construction job that has a profit devaluation point where every hour over your target reduces not only your profit on the job but your potential to move onto another new project as well).
Think long and hard about the opportunities that exist when work is becoming scarce and look to diversify your portfolio when the opportunity arises.