Lock on ... working together

How refreshing to see two organisations working together to the benefit of each other.

I am talking about the Association of Professional Landscapers and the Society of Garden Designers. Recently at Hampton Court this collaboration through a competition enabled both organisations to effect joint publicity while also drawing together like-minded organisations - both striving to increase the professionalism within the industry but also to increase public awareness.

All too often it is easy to stay focused on your own individual needs and not consider how other people or organisations may benefit one another. And this may not always be in a financial capacity - which is the immediate thoughts of most. Sharing information and gaining mutual benefit from each others' skills can often be as rewarding if not more rewarding, particularly if those skills are traded without the hassle of financial reward.

Recently, I undertook a job to design and build a garden for a disabled girl following a letter from her grandmother asking for help. Normally this type of letter would get a polite response saying that we are unable to assist. However, this one was different and the team at Notcutts felt compelled to help in some way, and it was only through mutual collaboration that the garden was achieved.

I spoke to contractors I knew and who had worked for us in the past, our local horticultural college, plus called in a few favours from suppliers and between us all we stripped out and completely rebuilt the garden and transformed it in to a sensory haven, the plants generously supplied by John Woods.

What we achieved other than the obvious transformation was a bond between all of those involved and one which will see us happy to return the favour. It also proved to me that people can work together for mutual benefit, particularly for such a worthwhile cause.

- Jason Lock is landscape director of Notcutts Landscape & Garden Design Consultants.

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