Turning a gardening round into a landscape business

As a young boy, Gerald used gardening to earn a bit of pocket money at the weekends. While still at school he did general garden maintenance and later on in life he worked on a kibbutz in Israel, looking after a children’s farm and planting vegetables.

Eventually Gerald enrolled on a two-year course in horticulture at Merrist Wood College, followed by a 10-week tree surgery course. A friend had begun the Wisley course, which inspired Gerald to apply. His schedule was busy as he studied the RHS Diploma in Horticulture at Merrist Wood College one day a week, and the rest of the time was working in RHS Garden Wisley.

After leaving the traineeship Gerald decided to pursue creative outdoor work, so he joined a landscape company, working on large, high-profile domestic jobs. Eventually this company closed, so he set up his own business and GA Landscapes was born.

The Wisley traineeship helped Gerald realise that horticulture could be a ‘proper career’. As a result of studying at Wisley, he had the opportunity to complete a bursary-funded study tour to the Pacific Northwest of America. He studied the rich diversity of plants in their natural habitats and in botanical gardens, further broadening his horticultural knowledge.

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