30 May Holland Landscapes: 35 Years Of Building Beautiful Gardens
This year we celebrate 35 years of building beautiful gardens. Discover some of the secrets to our success in this candid blog post from Paul Baker.
In 1988, one man with one van started a landscaping business. That man was my Dad, Chris Baker. Today, Holland Landscapes is a multi-award winning landscaping company. We’re proud to have built over 500 beautiful gardens throughout Essex and Suffolk. And although many things have changed in the last 35 years, the one thing that remains constant, is that Dad’s ethics and values form the basis of everything that we do.
- A garden makeover should be an enjoyable experience for clients and landscapers alike.
- Never compromise on materials or workmanship – every garden deserves to be the best it can be.
- Attention to detail ensures a high standard of finish and a long lasting garden.
- Gardens should be built to last.
- People and property should be treated with the utmost respect.
- Offer good value for money.
- Fair pricing. Underpricing our work could potentially put our employees jobs at risk. But over charging clients is morally wrong. We take time and care to ensure that our quotes are fair to everyone.
- Never cut corners, Whether its insurance cover, staff training, workmanship or health and safety measures. They are part of our moral responsibility to our clients, our staff and the wider community.
Chris Baker, Founder and Director of Holland Landscapes
The World In 1988
I was only 6 years old in 1998 and naturally I have little memory of politics, economy, prices etc. So just for fun, I decided to take a look back at what was going on in the world when Dad launched Holland Landscapes.
- Inflation was 4.9%
- The Ford Escort was Britains fastest selling car
- A pint of lager cost 91p
- Petrol was £1.58 per gallon (that’s £0.35 per litre)
- Nurses went on strike for higher pay and better NHS funding
- By the end of 1988, average house prices were £57,245
- The £1 note ceased to be legal tender
- A mobile phone cost around £1000 (the equivalent of £3,000 today) and there’s no way it would have fitted in your back pocket!
- The internet was not yet publicly available.
Can you imagine? No internet, no websites, no social media and enormous mobile phones (if you could afford them that is) – what a very different world we lived in! However, one thing that hasn’t changed, is that people wanted safe, beautiful gardens and needed reliable landscapers to build them.
One of my first attempts at landscaping
What Are We Most Proud Of After 35 Years In Business?
Over 500 Beautiful Gardens
First and foremost we’re incredibly proud of the gardens we’ve built. It’s the end result of all of our work that really matters. We’re proud to make beautiful, well built gardens and to have happy customers.
It’s impossible to pick one garden to call my favourite. Each and every one of them holds memories of lovely clients, beautiful features, challenges and triumphs.
Dad and I have been privileged to work with some real characters during our time and we’ve learned something from each and every one of them. And let’s face it, if our teams didn’t do a good job, we’d never have made it to 35 years in business. I had a quick count-up before starting to write. The current Holland Landscapes team has combined experience of over 100 years. That’s a lot of knowledge!
A Thriving Family Business
Being a family business means that we take pride in our work, value our reputation and care for our customers. This is our livelihood and we want to keep building a sustainable business that will support our family for generations to come.
Having the quality of our work recognised by our Industry peers is an amazing feeling for us. And it gives our customers the confidence that they have made the right choice in selecting Holland Landscapes to build their garden to the highest of standards. In 2011 we were honoured to recieve the Supreme Award at the Association of Professional Landscapers annual ceremony – that’s the ultimate accolade in the landscaping world.
Paul Baker and Chris Baker recieving a prestigious APL Award
Accredited member of the Association of Professional Landscapers
APL Membership is not a matter of paying a subscription to display a logo. There’s a really rigorous vetting process to ensure that every aspect of a business is legal, honest and above board. And that’s before they start assessing the standard of our work! The business is re-visited regularly to make sure that standards have not slipped.
We’re proud to have retained our APL membership for over 20 years. That’s a clear signal to our clients that they can have confidence and peace of mind knowing that we are fully insured, working the the latest health and safety standards and that our workmanship is always at it’s best.
In House Designers For The Complete Design and Build Service
Back in 2016, expanded Holland Landscapes to include an in house garden design service. We called it Tapestry Design Studios. We wanted to offer a good, practical approach to designing and building a garden. Having an in-house designer means that we are able to built to a high standard without complications and that we can ultimately save our clients some money.
What Does The Future Hold For Holland Landscapes?
With a great portfolio of gardens behind us, a healthy order book, and an incredible team, the future is bright for Holland Landscapes. Dad is on the cusp of retirement and I’m now a similar age to he was when he started the business. Will my children want to work in the landscape industry when they’re old enough? Who knows – but I really hope they do.
Read Dad’s story in this blog – 30 years a landscaper and I’d only change one thing.