Senior professional gardening and landscape consultant Alan Sargent has launched a new business venture for experienced horticultural consultants.
The Garden Consultants Association will be open to horticultural consultants with a minimum of 10 years’ experience and well-defined skills.
Sargent announced the new business at the last of a series of masterclasses, in Milton Keynes on Thursday (17 November). He told Horticulture Week that the reaction to ‘Looking to The Future – Developing a Consultancy Business’ seminars "had been phenomenal".
"I have been training for over 25 years now, always working with the more senior end of the scale and find that I can impart more knowledge by training trainers than I ever could teaching newcomers," Sargent said.
Everyone who has been on the current seminars has been a heavyweight and therefore it was no surprise that they were all clamouring for a forum for their talents. Hence the new association."
Sargent, a Horticulture Week expert columnist, previously founded the Association of Professional Landscapers and The School of Garden Management.
To gain a place in the new association, consultants must have attended Sargent’s School of Garden Management course. They must also be Full Members of The Chartered Institute of Horticulture and members of The Professional Gardeners Guild, Society of Garden Designers or hold similar status within the landscape industry.
The association will develop a training programme of consultancy development to ensure members are kept abreast of the latest developments in legislation, working methods and techniques.
Consultants in the association will provide services such as being an expert witness, working practice surveys, valuations, garden and estate advice, arbitration, site evaluations and assessments and senior staff training and procurement.
Other specialist skills will include ecology, wildflower meadows, water gardens, drainage, landscape specification, planning applications and garden design.