Independently minded publishing

Design Grow Sell

A guide to starting and running a successful gardening business from your home

By Sophie Davies

Paperback £12.99
eBook £11.99 / $14.99
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Design Grow Sell

A guide to starting and running a successful gardening business from your home

By Sophie Davies

Jacket text

This book is aimed at garden lovers and anyone keen to turn their gardening talent into a business.

It’s for those who, while stuck in an office, have always dreamed of making a living outdoors, for second career-ers who have a flair for gardening and want a job that makes them happy and for anyone who would like to combine a love of plants of gardens with the freedom of being their own boss.

Uniquely, the book looks at the diverse opportunities that exist in gardening, from running a nursery to building a garden maintenance business, and from training to be a landscape designer to writing about gardening for a living.Taking the reader through how to pursue each type of business successfully, it looks at everything from researching the competition, training and internships, to how to get your first job, develop a network and grow the business.

As well as all the practical information required to start a gardening business, this essential guide profiles 20 individuals and tells their inspiring stories – from the doctor who became a garden designer and whose work ended up on national television, to the high-flying fashion director who gave up the rat race to make a living from growing traditional roses.

Packed with advice, tips and resources, this book offers everything you need to start your own successful gardening business.

About the author

Sophie Davies is an experienced journalist who studied garden design at the English Gardening School. She has written for 25 Beautiful Gardens, Homes & Gardens and The English Garden and had her own design practice until moving out of London. Today, when not writing, she spends her free time gardening at her home in West Sussex.


“An absolute must-buy for anyone looking to start a gardening business”

– Start Your Business magazine



1. Coming up with Your Initial Idea
What Do You Want to Do?
Further Research
CASE STUDY: Angus White, Architectural Plants
CASE STUDY: Sarah Mead, Yeo Valley's Organic Garden

2. Thinking Outside the Box
Ethical Businesses
CASE STUDY: Guy Watts and James Gubb, Streetscape
CASE STUDY: Jimi Blake, Hunting Brook Gardens
Specialist Businesses
CASE STUDY: Lisa Rawley, Fleur de Lys
The Career Changer
CASE STUDY: Sam Ellson, The Traditional Flower Company

3. Getting Qualified
CASE STUDY: Caroline Knight, The Quiet Gardener (garden maintenance)
CASE STUDY: Juliet Sergeant, Garden designer and lecturer

4. Forming a Company (Technicalities)
Company Set-up
CASE STUDY: Mark Yabsley, Pod Garden Design
CASE STUDY: Sue Gray, Damhead Nursery

5. Forming a Company (Practicalities)
In the Beginning
Day to Day
CASE STUDY: Louise Cummins and Caroline De Lane Lea, Gardenmakers
CASE STUDY: Alan Shipp, National Collection of Hyacinths

6. Establishing a Client Base
CASE STUDY: Hugo Bugg, Garden designer
CASE STUDY: Graham Gough, Marchants Hardy Plants

7. Building a Network
Your Network
CASE STUDY: Gill Chamberlain, Garden Rescue
CASE STUDY: Gilly Pollock, Plant nursery promoter

8. PR and Promotion
Local Presence
National Presence
CASE STUDY: James Alexander-Sinclair, Landscape designer
CASE STUDY: Georgia Miles, The Sussex Flower School

9. Dealing with Customers
CASE STUDY: Louise Dowding, Designer and gardener
CASE STUDY: Alison Marsden, Gardening by Design

10. Developing Your Business
CASE STUDY: Sean Walter and Keith Pounder, The Plant Specialist
CASE STUDY: Mike Kitchen, Rocket Gardens

Conclusion: Words from the Wise
On Starting Out
On Organisation
On Customer Care
On Staff
On Attitude
On Managing Projects
On Finances
And Finally


Published: 03/12/2012
Edition: 1st
Pages: 184
Formats: paperback - ISBN 9781908003393
ebook - ISBN 9781908003409
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If you’d like to get in touch with the author for interview or comment, or you’d like a review copy of this book, please contact us at or call +44 (0)1730 233870.


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