How I Got Started: Paul Barney, owner, Edulis Nursery & Landscape Design

Paul Barney, owner, Edulis Nursery & Landscape Design. Image: Paul Barney
Paul Barney, owner, Edulis Nursery & Landscape Design. Image: Paul Barney

How did you break into the industry? While studying environmental biology at Oxford Polytechnic I started growing macrobiotic crops. Later on, I started supplying unusual lettuces to restaurants which, back hen, paid ridiculous prices for them. After an MSc in soil science at Reading university, I worked at the Centre for Alternative Technology where they were trying to be self-sufficient in food. I then got a government grant to start a landscape business, which kept me in Wales, while also working on planting native woodlands there.

As I got more into the design side, I retrained as a landscape architect and specialised in using reed beds for sewage treatment, of which I built a few. But wanted to grow again too, which is why in 1993 I set up Edulis.

Who was your inspiration? Bill Mollison, the founder of permaculture; Lawrence D Hills, who set up the Henry Doubleday Research Association (now Garden Organic); and Oehme and van Sweden, who created the "New American Garden" style.

What's the most difficult job you have done? Designing an edible roof garden for the Reading International Solidarity Centre, using plants from all over the world that had never been grown on a roof before.

What does the future hold? I will try to keep both the growing and the project management going. I wouldn't want to be stuck in an office the whole time, and now that edibles have become much more popular again, I can increase volumes. And interesting new plants come along all the time.


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

Trees and Shrubs - Planting benefits

Trees and Shrubs - Planting benefits

The message that health, the environment and business all benefit from trees is finally getting through, but are nurseries seeing an upturn? Sally Drury reports.

Trees and Shrubs - Planting products

Trees and Shrubs - Planting products

Young trees face a tough challenge to get established. Sally Drury looks at some of the best products available to help ensure successful planting projects.

Arbutus

Arbutus

These evergreen trees and shrubs have decorative bark and can flower and fruit simultaneously, says Miranda Kimberley.


Survey

What kit and machinery do you most want to read about in Horticulture Week?

What kit and machinery do you most want to read about in Horticulture Week?

Horticulture Week would like your help to identify the machinery you most want to see reviewed.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

BUSINESS LEADs

Build your business with the latest public sector tenders covering landscape, arboriculture, grounds care, production and kit supplies. To receive the latest tenders weekly to your inbox sign up for our Tenders Tracker bulletin here.

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 plus the FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS

PLANT SUPPLIERS GUIDE

Free to subscribers, the essential guide for professional plant buyers
 

Download your copy

Products & Kit Resources