Essex-based Holland Landscapes is celebrating 30 years of creating amazing gardens.
It all began in the 1980s whenChris Baker (currently Holland Landscapes Director) was living a different life as manager of a betting shop, working indoors in a smoky atmosphere. At weekends, he would help friends and neighbours with gardening and home maintenance. In 1988, Chris gave up the day job, bought a truck and started his own gardening and property maintenance business. The rest, as they say, is history.
Today, Holland Landscapes is a thriving business, creating quality gardens throughout Suffolk and Essex. Directors Chris and Paul Baker head up a team of seven full-time employees and regularly use the services of local bricklayers, electricians and other specialists.
Director Paul Baker is probably better known in the wider landscape industry than his father: where Chris helps oversee the daily running of the business, Paul works with suppliers to ensure gardens are delivered seamlessly.
Paul is also the networker of the family, on most of social media platforms and a respected APL member. Paul juggles the challenges of raising a young family with his tireless work to promote the landscape industry. He strives to overcome damage done by ‘cowboy traders’ to the public’s perception of landscapers; Holland Landscapes has won 10 APL awards including the prestigious Supreme Award and the Young Achiever Award.
Biggest challenge in the last 30 years? “It’s always been hard to recruit really high quality staff,” says Paul. “In recent years, colleges have tried to attract a higher calibre of student, but there’s still a way to go before landscaping is recognised as a varied and rewarding career rather than a last resort. Having said that, the team at Holland Landscapes is amazing. I’m incredibly proud of them.”
Will Paul’s young son join the family firm? “He’s only 3,” says Paul. “He loves helping me in the garden, but he loves Paw Patrol more. So I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens.”