Me & My Job - Geoff Oborne, the Cycling Gardener of Horsham

Geoff Oborne, the Cycling Gardener of Horsham - image: HW
Geoff Oborne, the Cycling Gardener of Horsham - image: HW

How did you get started in the industry? I started working in a small garden centre when I was studying horticulture at college. At 20, I began my own soft landscaping and garden maintenance business, and a few years later I began working in garden centres and nurseries. I did that until I began my cycling gardener business in October this year.

What prompted you to set up business on your own? It was a twofold idea. It was partly so that I didn't have to continue to work 60 hours per week as I was doing and also so that I could do something more locally based. I saw a gap in the locality for a gardener and in order to make the business work I needed small overheads, hence the bike.

What is the most challenging part of your work? At the moment, finding customers is definitely the hardest part. Once you have one or two they will talk to their friends and it quickly builds up, but getting the first few is difficult.

What is the best aspect of your job? I'm already feeling much fitter from cycling everywhere rather than spending the day in a car. It's nice to know that you're being environmentally friendly, too.

What does your typical day involve? I haven't got a truly typical day yet because I'm still in the early stages of getting clients signed up ready for the new year.

What advice would you give to someone starting their own business? Make sure that you are reliable and that you do what the customer wants you to do, rather than what you would like to do. Change the way you work to suit your client.

What is your biggest achievement? One of the things I am most proud of is gaining an MI Hort accreditation in 2006.


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