Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) warns on plant knowledge

Landscape designers lack basic plant skills in a career where traditional workplace boundaries are becoming blurred, according to a new industry leader.

New chair of the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) Mark Gregory said: "One of the biggest issues in our sector is a complete lack of plant knowledge.

"There are technical skills in abundance, but basic horticultural skills are in decline." He called for better career paths and gardening at secondary school level.

Former chair Adam Frost said issues such as ethical sourcing, sustainability and specialist sub-contractors are more prevalent for landscapers. "Landscaping has had a tough year but the future is looking bright," he added. "We need to ensure we are working right across the industry to capitalise on the opportunities."

Gregory said it was increasingly clear that traditional divisions between commercial, domestic and maintenance work were being blurred and the service package must recognise this.

The APL, which was set up for domestic landscapers, now includes major commercial contractors working on domestic gardens.

"Lines are becoming blurred," said Gregory. "I will look critically at what our members need in tough trading conditions. There are members holding on tight, helped by services from the HTA."

Gregory, managing director of Landform Consultants, was made chairman at last week's AGM. He said the APL was moving into a new phase of development.

Gregory is building Jim Fogarty's Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne and Nigel Dunnett/Matthew Wilson's RBC Rain Garden show exhibits for Chelsea 2011.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Sargent's solutions - regulations and legislative requirements underline the professional status of landscape contractors and gardeners

Sargent's solutions - regulations and legislative requirements underline the professional status of landscape contractors and gardeners

Regulations benefit individual gardeners and landscapers as well as the wider industry, Alan Sargent explains.



Customers do not often know about the different leaf colours and shapes offered by hollies, Miranda Kimberley reports.



These heralds of spring are highly suited to being planted in tree circles, grass and rock gardens, says Miranda Kimberley.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Horticulture Week Top 50 Landscape and maintenance contractors

See our exclusive ranking of landscape and maintenance contractors by annual turnover. 

Industry Data

An exclusive report for HW subscribers revealing the key development trends, clients and locations for 2017.


Free to subscribers, the essential guide for professional plant buyers

Download your copy

Products & Kit Resources