Working in other people's gardens is a big responsibility, and right from the very outset I wanted to have a clear ethos based on my own mindfulness and values that would reflect my business, and ensure my customers get the best service possible.
Working with Nature
I'm not the first to say this, but working with Nature is at the core of everything I do (and given how our environment is changing so rapidly, increasingly important). It includes making decisions about what to plant where, how to manage soil and using pollinator-friendly pesticides - and even weeding! For example, I'm not an organic gardener (largely because of the plant availability), but I am a conscientious gardener.
I use peat-free compost whenever I can, always try to keep green waste on site to avoid transporting it (anyone who knows me will tell you I can go on about the joys of composting all night!) and use herbicides sparingly, if at all. It's also about the smaller things, such as leaving herbaceous perennials over winter to provide a habit for beneficial insects, or using rainwater where possible, and even not blocking up small holes under fences so that hedgehogs can move around freely!
Where the opportunity presents itself I like to reuse as much material in the garden as possible, saving plants that are healthy and disease free, or repurposing old path edging. Even selling plants comes with its own responsibility. For example, I'm registered with the Animal and Plant Health Agency so I can do this according to the current government legislation, which is designed to help reduce the risk posed by the spread of plant diseases.
Working with my customers
This might sound obvious, but it's hugely important to me that customers are happy with the end result - whether it's tidying up or planting. The only way to do this is by talking to customers, assessing their needs, listening to their ideas, and then discussing options before 'cracking on'.