Guild of Master Craftsmen - Business profile
Graham Anderson visits Country Landscapes and meets a talented horticulturist with a vision for the future...
Extract from an article by Graham Anderson
Overlooking his beautiful Japanese style garden complete with cascading waterfalls and stone bridge, Lee Thome seems more than just a talented horticulturist.
A glimpse of the imposing slate granite rockery, goldfish laden pond and a lawn maintained to golf green standards confirms him as a garden designer par excellence. With the help of his partner Anita Martin, this creative and forward thinking 30-year old has established a growing business with a refreshingly personal touch deep in the heart of Lancashire.
Established in 1991 Country landscapes emerged from an interest in gardening traced back to his early years. "I remember visiting Southport Flower Show as a youngster and from then on I became hooked," he said. "There's just something special about being out in the open air creating something people can take great pleasure from." Eventually Lee found himself carrying out small gardening jobs and it was only a question of time before his business acumen heightened an already blossoming ambition. Seven years of intensive training resulted in a host of impressive qualifications including The Royal Horticultural Society's Certificate, and a Licentiateship from the City & Guilds Institute. Having created the business early profits were ploughed back to buy quality machinery and tools for his base in Bury.
Lee says its important not to over commit financially in the early days but to build a sound business base.
"We believe in working with our clients not only to build up a trusting long term relationship, but also to give them value for money," he added.
From the smallest gardening job to maintenance, design and consultancy, Country landscapes continually strive to meet the highest standards in quality. His hardworking team of Anita Martin, Craig Goldsworthy, Phillip Robertson and trained seasonal staff are happy to work in all weathers, with Anita supervising as well as looking after the accounts side. She said: "I love the challenge this type of work can bring and of course it's much better than working inside."
So professional is Lee's approach he produces a regular newsletter aimed at keeping clients informed.
His own garden was awarded a certificate of merit in the Bury in Bloom competition, but it surely won't be long before Lee Thorne and Country Landscapes are picking awards for their dynamic and entrepreneurial approach to business!!
Graham Anderson writing for Business MATTERS.
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