Me & My Job - Frances and Terry Garside, owners, Farmington Trees

Frances and Terry Garside, owners, Farmington Trees - image: Farmington Trees
Frances and Terry Garside, owners, Farmington Trees - image: Farmington Trees

How did you get started?

We moved back to the UK from Italy in January and started a small arboriculture and horticulture business in the Cotswolds, as well as acting as agents for Bellwood Trees and JA Jones. That came about by chance through a friend of a friend and we're now trying to get both nurseries better established in Southern England with the private/local authority/developer market. Both operate nationally but are based in the north. We met at Wisley after changing to study horticulture to do something more vocational and we were married earlier this year.

What does your typical week involve?

We try and fill half the week with contracting and the other half with focusing on the agency. We do arboriculture services and offer specialist gardening advice.

What is the best part of your job?

We feel lucky that the agency work landed on our plates because it keeps things interesting. We might remove a tree completely one day and be arranging for lots of trees to be planted elsewhere the next day, so we find it's a really nice balance for us.

What is your greatest achievement so far?

Wisley was amazingly useful technically and being RHS-trained has certainly opened a lot of doors. Our employment in Italy was actually down to the RHS connection. We went there for an adventure and to try and get relevant experience in the industry. To that end, we went to see a contact Daniele Zanzi at Fito-Consult in Varese, Italy. He is a pioneer arborist and he gave us both a job. Our biggest client was the Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, who has a vast collection of trees.

What does the future hold?

We hope to continue in this line of work as the agency takes off and would like to focus more on that than the arboriculture and horticulture business. But while we're young we will do the practical side too.

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