*** 19 new member so far this year ***
05/01/2021 - Lockdown - Can gardeners work?
Current guidance in all UK nations allows for travel to work if you cannot work from home. This is one of the 'essential' reasons for leaving your home. Gardeners cannot work from home. Gardeners should only travel to work if they are healthy and need to work. Gardeners may be able to defer some work to reduce time away from home.
Gardeners typically work alone and outside. Gardeners can communicate with customers by telephone or electronic devices. Payments can be made online. Qualified gardeners can work independently and do not need customers to be present to tell them what to do.
Some gardeners will be unable to work because they are shielding or because they must care for children. The third Self Employed Income Support Grant (SEISS) covered November, December and January. There is to be a fourth grant to cover February, March and April. Members can discuss eligibility and read our advice in the members area. TGG members can refer to the guidance provided during the lockdowns in 2020 which has been available continually since the pandemic began. Guidance is subject to change.
Gov.uk guidance: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home
04/01/2021 - 125 New Members!
During 2020 we received 125 successful new member applications! This means that The Gardeners Guild now has over 700 registered members nationwide. We had a renewal rate of 93% which is above average and above target. TGG continues to grow and membership shows that there are significant numbers of professionally qualified gardeners offering regular garden maintenance.
01/12/2020 - Third SEISS Grant and Tiers
Members have been given details of the third SEISS grant and the new eligibility declaration that is required when claiming. Members have also been updated with links to the new Tier system of restrictions.
20/11/2020 - Level 4 restrictions Scotland
Current information indicates that there is no requirement for healthy gardeners to stop working or travelling for work under Scottish Covid-19 restrictions where they cannot work from home. Gardeners work outdoors and can communicate with customers by telephone: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-travel-and-transport/
03/11/2020 - November Lockdown
Current information indicates that there is no requirement for healthy gardeners to stop working under the new lockdown in England expected to start on the 5th November for 4 weeks. Members are well prepared and can enact the same safe working practices that they have been using continually since March. Advice from Government: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november
21/10/2020 - Continuing Covid-19 updates
Members have been updated with advice around preparing for lockdowns, the new levels of restrictions, information to help assess whether they needed the SEISS grants, information about the Job Support Scheme, deadlines, winter economy measures and member polls about personal Covid related decisions. We have also launched our 2020 Member Census as a survey of members' businesses to see how the 'new normal' is affecting professional gardeners working life.
07/08/2020 - NEW: Online Applications!
You can now apply for membership using our online application form! The online application is a new service currently being trialled. You can use it to apply for membership, submit evidence of your qualifications and set up your direct debit! Update: 11 successful online applications have been received in the first 2 weeks of going live!
20/07/2020 - Summer Competition supported by Tudor Environmental
Tudor Environmental have kindly donated the prize for our Summer Competition! To enter, we asked members to tell us what they have learned or are doing differently as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Members continue to be proactive adjusting to the new normal and implementing safe working practices, embracing changes as part of good professional practice. However, while apx 66% of members are positive about the future, others are still feeling the effects as some still need to socially sheild or are caring for children who have been home during school closures. Gardeners continue to be in high demand with visitor numbers to our website reaching a new all time high during June.
05/05/2020 - What Government support is available to you?
Use this tool to see what financial support is available to you:
20/04/2020 - Government help for Employers
Members can now access updates we have received from the Cabinet Office and an FAQ created by our legal partners to help them understand the CJRS that became available today. Members also have free access to our legal advice line for all HR queries they may have.
03/04/2020 - Gardening Supplies during shop closures
Many local garden equipment suppliers and repair shops are now closed so gardeners may struggle to get necessary sundries such as specialist fuel, strimmer line, oils, lubricants and spare parts. TGG partner Tudor Environmental has a vast specialist stock and offers a delivery service. Order online and get free delivery - www.tudorenvironmental.co.uk
30/03/2020 - Resource Guide for TGG members
We are keeping members up to date and have updated our special Covid-19 resource page in our members area. This now includes links to updated government advice, FAQ's, links to government financial support, accountant summaries, employee letter templates, articles, member polls, blog summaries, scam warnings, marketing tips, sample isolation policies, personal financial planning reminders and even a vegetable growing summary.
Latest Government information about the number of cases and health advice:
Social Distancing advice:
Main Index page to all Government Guidance:
Which businesses should close?
Public Health Guidance for Businesses that continue to trade:
Quote from Public Health England as of 30/03/2020:
''Keeping your business open
With the exception of some non-essential shops and public venues, we are not asking any other businesses to close – indeed it is important for business to carry on. However, you should encourage your employees to work from home unless it is impossible for them to do so. Sometimes this will not be possible, as not everyone can work from home. Certain jobs require people to travel to their place of work – for instance if they operate machinery, work in construction or manufacturing, or are delivering front line services.'' Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19
27/03/2020 - Government help for Self-employed
The Government has created some advice pages to help the self employed understand the new support scheme:
Some key points:
"The scheme does not cover people who only became self-employed very recently - they will have to look to the benefits system for support.
- It offers some parity with the employee scheme - 80% of profits up to £2,500 a month for three months initially. Unlike the employee scheme, the self-employed can continue to work...
- It is targeted at up to 3.8 million of the 5 million people registered as self-employed, who earn under £50k...
- The money, backdated till March, will arrive directly into people's banks accounts from HMRC as a lump sum for all three months, but not until June...
- The grants will be taxable, and will need to be declared on tax returns by January 2022...
- At least half their income needs to have come from self-employment as registered on the 2019-20 tax return filed in January, or averaged over the three previous years. Company owners who pay themselves a dividend are not covered...
- The banks will need to be relied on to support many of these self-employed with overdrafts to tide them over till the grant goes in their bank accounts in about 10 weeks' time...
According to our most recent member survey, gardeners tell us that on average 24% of their turnover is business expenses and overheads.
25/03/2020 - Should gardeners go to work?
After some initial confusion, Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, has now stated in Parliament on national television that people can currently go to work if they cannot work from home. Gardeners cannot work from home. Those who go to work should practice Social Distancing by keeping at least 2 meters from anyone. This is easy for gardeners who work alone and outdoors. Gardeners can communicate with their customers by telephone and email. Everyone should practice social Isolation when not working. This is supported by current Government guidance that requires retail businesses and restaurants to close because they encourage prolonged socialising. However, the same guidance states that takeway food businesses can remain open because contact is minimised and controlled. In a similar way, gardeners are well placed to practice effective and responsible social distancing. Note that the guidance is fluid and advice may change in the future.
Nicola Sturgeon says that gardeners should carry on: People working alone, providing community services such as gardeners or window cleaners can continue to work.
"If they can go about their business safely this can be good for the community and we would encourage them to do so," said Ms Sturgeon.
Latest restrictions guidance:
17/03/2020 - Helping through Coronavirus
We have been using our online forum to discuss the options for self employed maintenance gardeners. As well as sharing links to relevant government advice pages, we have also encouraged and started a SWOT analysis to identify a gardeners strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats during this pandemic. We have also suggested a coronavirus health and safety policy and members have been sharing their strategies. It is important for the self employed to keep advertising so that a 'slow down' does not become a 'stop' they struggle to restart.
26/02/2020 - TGG and Perennial
Perennial are keen to support professional gardeners and are always looking for ways to better understand their clients needs. Perennial asked us to meet with their team and provide a presentation explaning how a gardener calculates their fees, how they find customers and how to survive the winter. We are pleased to support them and look forward to working with them again to help professional gardeners all over the UK.
25/02/2020 - Tool Maintenance Training for TGG members
Our thanks to Stihl for hosting yet another free tool maintenance training day for our members! This years event was held at Bicton College near Exeter. Stihl very kindly provided free training, gifts, lunch and refreshments. Stihl's technical training manager, Steve Hall, travelled very far bringing demonstration tools, engines cut in half to show their inner workings, fuel demonstrations and sharpening equipment! Steve's technical knowledge is clearly evident and we thank Steve for the work he put into preparing the presentation and Stihl for supporting professional gardeners!
08/01/2020 - A new record high of unique website visitors!
During 2019 our website received more visitors than in any previous year! We also received 99 successful new applications and maintained our 13 year average renewal rate of 89%.
12/12/2019 - TGG Logo now a 'Collective Mark'!
This year we have been working to strengthen our trademarks. As well as increasing the registered trademark categories for our trading name (The Gardeners Guild), we have also registered our logo as a ‘Collective Mark’. What does this mean? Often, an organisation will have broad membership categories and want lots of people to use and advertise their logo. A ‘Collective Mark’ is different and can only be used by current members who have passed the entry criteria. This means that the logo is more exclusive. Because only qualified gardeners can join, the logo represents qualified gardeners and can only be used by members. Our hope that this will further our objective of making it easy to identify qualified gardeners - just as NIC EIC makes it easy to identify professional electricians and Gas Safe makes it easy to find qualified plumbers.
12/12/2019 - New TGG Terms and Conditions of Membership
Good terms and conditions are a protection both for TGG and for our members. The new terms put in writing what we expect of members and what they can expect from us. Our aim is to help raise awareness that qualified gardeners are professional contractors - having a professional contract of membership is therefore essential! Full terms can be found here: https://www.thegardenersguild.co.uk/terms.html
24/09/2019 - 'Increasing your Fees' Presentation 2nd October,
Matford Centre, Exeter
If you can attend the South West Growers Show on Wednesday 2nd October in Exeter (Matford Centre), TGG's Gary Edwards will be giving a short presentation on how a gardener can increase their fees. Gary did this as a day seminar in London for the Worshipful Company of Gardeners but will be condensing it to around half an hour for the SWGS. However, if any members or interested persons want to come and discuss the principles he will be happy to chat to anyone on a 1-2-1 basis at the exhibit afterwards. The presentation starts 12:00. However, SWGS have not booked the next speaker in until 2pm so there will be time for questions. Entry to the exhibition is free. If you are in the south west we hope you can attend! Register at www.swgs.co.uk.
23/09/2019 - New (Mobile Compatible) Members Area now Live!
The members area of our website has been revamped to give better access from smart phones! The new mobile compatible design is much easier to use on small devices meaning that members won't need to fire up a big PC to fully benefit! There were around 3600 discussions to transfer plus photos, documents, and the members profiles. We look forward to the next 3600 member discussions using the new mobile friendly design!
20/09/2019 - A successful Landscape Show 2019!
Our thanks to Landscape for another great show! We've been supporting this event for 8 years. 'Landscape' supported TGG when no one had heard of us. This year people came looking for us! We met gardeners who had traveled from as far as Scotland and Falmouth! Thanks again to the organisers and see you in 2020! - http://www.landscapeshow.co.uk/
06/08/2019 - Congratulations to member Giles Jeffs!
Giles wins our summer competition with a prize of a set of Felco No.2 secateurs. The secateurs were kindly donated as a prize by Tudor Environmental. We received a record 61 responses to the competition question which was posted in our members-only forum. We asked members to enter the draw by telling us their favourite (or least favourite) tool brands. The responses are a useful guide when members are thinking about buying new tools!
03/06/2019 3 trade events TGG will be
at - come and meet us!
TGG is pleased to confirm that we will be exhibiting at three trade events later this year! Can you come and meet us? We will be happy to discuss membership or give advice to anyone who is thinking of starting a garden maintenance business! These events are great opportunities for CPD, networking and identifying new trends. Come and meet us!
Tudor Environmental Open Day - 1st and 2nd August - Coventry
Meet the Tudor staff, meet area reps for Stihl and other suppliers, meet other gardeners! Generous supply of refreshments and sale products! TGG will exhibit on Friday only. Free entry!
LANDSCAPE 2019 - 17th and 18th September - London
Free seminars, free CPD. Established as the essential trade event, LANDSCAPE attracts garden designers, landscape architects, landscape contractors, local authority landscaping professionals, architects, facilities managers and interior designers from all over the UK and beyond. TGG exhibits on both days. Free entry!
South West Growers Show - 2nd October - Exeter
The South West Growers Show is the South West’s ONLY trade event that is aimed at growers and plant buyers from local authorities, garden centres, retail outlets and the landscaping industry. This is a unique event that brings together key growers and suppliers of specialist horticultural equipment and services. The South West Growers Show is the perfect event to see and source all the latest plant introductions and new horticultural products and equipment. Free Entry!
26/04/2019 - Garden TV Productions
In the past 4 weeks, TGG members have been invited to take part in THREE separate garden related TV productions! Great to see garden knowledge so highly valued! These are also good opportunities for gardeners who offer consultancy.
02/02/2019 - TGG Bronze Partnership with Perennial
TGG is pleased to renew its annual Bronze Partnership contribution to trade charity Perennial. Visit https://perennial.org.uk/ for details of the great work they do supporting professional gardeners!
31/01/2019 - TGG Business Training Workshop for Students!
TGG was pleased to work with Bankside Open Spaces Trust (BOST) today to provide a day of business consultancy to a class of Future Gardeners! BOST provide level 2 horticultural training on a course sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Gardeners. Over 15 students attended for a presentation that included cash flow forecasting (understanding business and personal income and expenditure), calculating fees, setting targets and budgets, building a pricing strategy, writing a business plan, marketing, diary planning plus a Q&A and presentation by TGG member Kate Cox! The purpose of the day was to help those who wanted to become self employed gardeners avoid many of the pitfalls of starting a new gardening business and smooth what can be a steep learning curve. Students were able to benefit from our member research (such as common questions asked by members, most popular advertising methods, average daily income targets and preferred months for a holiday) as well as our experience running TGG and forum discussion anecdotes. We look forward to working with them again where we could talk about legislation, H&S, essential equipment - the list goes on!
If you are an education professional and would be interested in hosting a workshop for your students please contact us at email@example.com.
28/01/2019 - Thank you Stihl!
Our thanks to STIHL for providing 2 free tool maintenance training days for our members hosted by Writtle University College in January! Stihl treated members to training, lunch and some gifts! Members really appreciate these events. They give members confidence when using the tools, form part of their CPD and helps with H&S. Thank you!
09/01/2019 - How did we do during 2018?
- 111 new members,
- 93% renewal rate,
- A new high of 611 paying members!
10/11/2018 - Over 100 new member applications!
We have now received over 100 new member applications and the year is not yet finished! That is already more applications than we received last year and means that we are on target!
30/07/2018 - TGG recommended in The Sunday Times
Good to see qualified gardeners being recommended along with experienced gardeners in the national press! A well written and balanced article that will help people distinguish between professional gardeners and general labourers: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/how-to-hire-a-gardener-m56q0wgj5
09/07/2018 - TGG exhibiting at the South West Growers Show
Come and meet us at the South West Growers Show on 3rd October where we will be exhibiting for the first time! This free event is a one-stop-shop for all the latest horticultural, landscaping, amenity and turfcare products! Equipment, innovations plus free workshops and seminars!
02/07/2018 - RHS School Mentoring Project - TGG members invited to apply!
A great addition to the profile of any garden consultant, this opportunity will help build enthusiasm for horticulture among 12-14 year olds. The Green Plan It Challenge project begins with a launch event in September. Over the course of 10 weeks students will work with their mentor to research, plan and build a model showing ideas for an innovative or exciting new garden for their school or local community. Mentors will offer advice using their knowledge of plants and the horticultural industry to inspire students and challenge them to think about the purpose of their design. Student teams then present their designs, competing against other local schools to see who is crowned the regional winner!
02/07/2018 - Now over 610 members nationwide!
Membership is still exclusively for qualified, self employed gardeners and we have no free student member category or affiliate/supplier category of membership. Our focus on self employed maintenance gardeners helps to communicate the message that qualified gardeners are professional and successful contractors. Despite the snow and heat waves experienced over the past 6 months, renewal rates are slightly above target at 91% and website visitors are up by 15% compared to the same period in 2017.
21/05/2018 - Paid Consultancy with Ofqual
TGG members have today been invited to apply to take part in paid quality assessments of horticultural qualifications as part of Ofquals ongoing quality standards reviews. A great opportunity for members to use their expertise and practical experience both as gardeners, business owners and providers of customer services!
15/05/2018 - Watch Your Back!
Celebrity gardeners are getting behind a national campaign launching in May which is using humour to help fight melanoma. David Domoney, Adam Frost and David Stevens will all appear dressed up looking 'ridiculous' in a campaign urging us all to think twice about our sun protection habits. Watch Your Back!, launched in 2016 by the Melanoma Fund, specifically targets men over 50 who are the least likely to cover up, but are most likely to die from the effects of excessive sun exposure. The message is 'don't be ridiculous, remember sun protection when out in the garden this summer'.
For tips and advice on staying safe in the sun please visit: www.watchyourback.co.uk
11/04/2018 - Increase in entry criteria for Consultant Category
Further to the success of our Consultant Category of membership we are increasing the minimum entry criteria for consultants. Already requiring that Consultant applicants have qualifications AND experience, we had the highest entry criteria in the industry for gardeners. Now, based on the high quality of applications and research from our annual member census, we are increasing the minimum number of points scored from 15 to 17. This means that applicants at degree level will also need a minimum of 7 years professional experience to be considered for advertising under our Consultant category. Today we have also received an enquiry for 2 consultant members to act as experts at 3 exhibitions - fully paid with lunch and facilities included!
29/03/2018 - We now have over 570 active members!
At the end of quarter 1 member applications and renewals are all above target! We now have over 570 active members in the UK!
21/02/2018 - Tool maintenance training by Stihl - just for TGG
Our thanks to Stihl and Stihl trainer Steve Hall who provided a days tool maintenance instruction for our members. Stihl provided training, facilities, breakfast, lunch, branded gifts and demonstration equipment - all without charge and exclusively for TGG members. We cannot express enough gratitude to Stihl for recognising qualified gardeners as professional contractors who warrant this level of support. Instruction included understanding how different engines work (including animated videos and sample tools cut in half to reveal the inner workings), servicing tips, cleaning and sharpening techniques as well as useful products such as sharpening tools, Motomix, resin removers, greases and application tools. We were also able to use Stihl battery powered equipment with many members deciding to opt for battery tools when their petrol tools next need replacing. An impressive day and we look forward to future events with Stihl!
10/01/2018 - Professional Rose care training at David Austin
Our thanks to David Austin Roses for hosting a professional Rose care training day for our members! Great training from Michael Marriott and support from Richard and his team. Thoroughly recommended! Look out for their professional open days later in the year.
02/01/2018 - How did we do during 2017?
- 97 NEW member applications received during 2017!
- 91% of members renewed! (our target is 90%).
- Membership grew by 10%
02/01/2018 - Perennial are our 2018 Charity of the Year!
Each year we feature a horticultural charity to promote and help raise funds where possible. Perennial is the only charity dedicated to helping horticulturalists. Learn more.
02/01/2018 - £447 raised for GreenFingers Charity during 2017
Our thanks to TGG members and the public who supported our 2017 Charity of the Year with their kind donations! Learn more about GreenFingers who do such great work!
10/12/2017 - Improved Events Directory
We have updated our 2018 events directory with information about trade exhibitions, shows, talks, training, garden visits and many other opportunities for members to network, meet up and add to their professional development and general industry awareness. Know of a good event? Let us know about it and we will add the event details to our members area.
21/09/2017 - Another successful exhibition at Landscape 2017!
Our thanks to the organisers of Landscape held at Battersea Park for organising such a worthwhile event. Our thanks also to our members who came to visit us at our exhibit. See you next year! Below is a picture of our exhibit before doors opened to the public.
11/07/2017 - New Vehicle Stickers for members only
We have commissioned a set of new vehicle stickers to help members communicate their dedication to being professional traders. As well as showing off their qualified status by being a TGG member, members can also advertise that they are insured and licensed waste carriers. The 'Caution!' sticker shows understanding of Health and Safety implications when transporting fuels, oils, pesticides and fertilisers.
02/06/2017 - Summer forum competition!
Our thanks to Tudor Environmental for donating a pair of Felco secateurs as the prize for our summer forum competition. To enter, members just need to comment on this question: What is most important for you when buying equipment to do your job?
15/05/2017 - The Guardian
RatedPeople had a full page advert in the Guardian some weeks ago about finding professional traders. Who do they use to represent professional gardeners? A gardener wearing the TGG logo!
- Tighter entry criteria is now LIVE!
Acceptable level 2 qualifications for new members no longer includes PA1 or CS30 or similar licenses that do not include training on plant care. Qualifications must be horticulturally relevant rather than just industry related.
25/04/2017 - New Consultant category of membership now LIVE!
To help distinguish consultancy from general advice we now have Contracting and Consulting categories of membership! This new category is design to support gardeners who offer this service and help them be found by clients who need unbiased advice.
25/04/2017 - The New TGG Member Register is now LIVE!
The new Member Register is mobile compatible, user friendly, has more options and should result in more work enquiries for members!
- TGG is now a Perennial Partner!
We're proud to support Perennial, the only charity who looks after all horticulturalists and their families, when times get tough.
- Now OVER 500 members!
The Gardeners Guild now has over 500 active members! Changes are being made to the Member Register to ensure that visitors can easily find a local qualified gardener and to ensure fair and equal opportunities for all members.
23/01/2017 - NEW TGG website launched!
Our new, mobile compatible, website is now live! The website is now easier to use on tablets and smart phones thanks to adaptive design, larger text and simplified code. Changes to the Member Register are also now in progress...
03/01/2017 - TGG Charity of the Year for 2017 - Greenfingers Charity!
Our 2017 Charity of the Year is Greenfingers Charity! Greenfingers Charity is dedicated to supporting the children who use hospices around the UK, along with their families, by creating beautiful, well-designed outdoor spaces for children to enjoy with family, friends and siblings, whether through play and fun, or therapeutic rest and relaxation.
01/01/2017 - 2016 Review
During 2016, 93% of members renewed their membership. We received 115 new member applications. This means that we grew by 21% and start 2017 with 489 active members! Other highlights include:
- New business and legal advice lines and over 1000 document templates added to member benefits.
- New partnership with AFH financial advisers (the same service offered to FSB members)
- Recognition by the RHS as the best place to find a gardener!
- TGG members Tom Stone, Miranda Munday and Graham Lawlor raising the majority of over £1100 for trade charity Perennial by running a sponsored 5K muddy assualt course achieving Perennials 'Golden Trowel' award for the highest amount raised for the event.
- It was our 10 year anniversary!
- TGG members were invited to be in the audience of the BBC's The One Show when they interviewed Monty Don.
- We have been busy investing in new office hardware, software, domain names, exhibition equipment and stationary for member packs.
For more information please visit our Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/thegardenersguild2017