Social housing giant Peabody has appointed Ginkgo Landscape Contractors to improve biodiversity across its estate as part of a huge maintenance contract.
The three-year job covers the upkeep of flower beds, shrubs and 8,000 trees across the estate of more than 20,000 homes across London. The 21-year-old company employs 70 staff and has a £3m turnover. The project is worth £800,000 a year
Ginkgo director Dan Curran said: "Winning the contract shows how a smaller company can succeed over the big corporate boys.
"It's heartening to know organisations are interested in quality not solely based on price. We are a horticulturally-driven firm rather than a bunch of cleaners who turn their hand to a bit of grounds work on the side."
Ginkgo landscape manager Tony Woods added: "The whole package including planting will be done to attract more wildlife and biodiversity into the estate. This is not just about maintenance but regeneration."
Rather than using stock amenity plants and trimming them when they grow too large, the team will use a subtler plant palette and a more nuanced upkeep regime to emphasise stem colours and flowering times.
"Residents will see a more focused approach to the planting and maintenance of gardens and the introduction of a landscape where plants display their curves and graces," said Woods.
Peabody expansion Home numbers rising
Peabody was founded in 1862 by US banker and philanthropist George Peabody. It recently purchased the Crown Estate housing estates to take its total number of homes to more than 20,000 on 160 estates. Peabody runs training programmes on subjects including gardening and food growing for its residents.