Survey identifies lack of maintenance cost data in plans

Only 20 per cent of people designing landscapes and gardens provide annual maintenance costs as part of their plans, according to a survey carried out by Palmstead Nurseries.

The nursery, based near Ashford in Kent, surveyed 100 professionals in advance of its "Design for Maintenance" soft-landscape workshop on 17 September. It found that 88 per cent think an industry formula indicating future maintenance costs would be useful. More than 80 per cent said it might raise the status of and demand for skilled horticulturists.

Marketing manager Nick Coslett said: "The survey indicates that there are more opportunities for us to focus on aftercare. Designers have the ear of the client at the point of making investment in green infrastructure."

Conference speaker and landscape architect Richard Sneesby is keen to tackle the problem, which is most acute in the public realm.

He said he has seen "hundreds of examples of green spaces full of weeds, full of bicycles" where there is plenty of capital funding to create them but a proper maintenance budget either never existed or circumstances changed and then it was cut.

"Over time things start to become more and more disappointing and they start to lose the quality of the original idea. The garden festival sites that were supposed to regenerate rundown areas in places like Liverpool, for example, have now been fenced off because they are overgrown and dangerous.

"We need to think that if a garden costs £50,000 to create and a 10th of that to maintain a year then by 10 years it's a £100,000 garden."

Sneesby added that he agreed to talk at the conference because he wants to see whether a way can be found to build in a realistic idea of future maintenance into the design process.

Of the survey respondents who do provide future maintenance costs as part of their designs, only 41 per cent give a detailed breakdown. Most of those who do not said the client does not request them. However, 84 per cent of respondents said they think their clients would benefit from the knowledge.

The event, which also features garden designer and writer Dr Noel Kingsbury and RHS Garden Wisley curator Colin Crosbie, will be held at the Ashford International Hotel in Kent and costs £25 to attend. See www.palmstead.co.uk to register.


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