Building new pathways: Our Review of 2013 and Outlook for 2014

2013 has been a year of rejuvenation, progress and promise.  Our business has developed new links and built new pathways, in more ways than one, through social media and targeted customer acquisition strategies.  Throw in a brand new product launch of our GrassGreener artificial lawn, a new website and fresh, strong corporate branding and the message remains a bold one – Paxman Landscapes are ready for the next challenge.

Our business strategy is now clearly defined, with each sector of commercial, domestic and maintenance landscaping now distinct and a tour de force in its own right.

Recent project completions in both domestic and commercial sectors are testament to our landscaping and project management skills, as well as our team’s commitment to the prompt and impressive completion of hard and soft landscaping schemes with the utmost of professionalism.  We have ongoing projects continuing into the New Year across all disciplines.

We have thrown fresh light on our own strengths this year with increased promotion of the business in the media, particularly with the two trade bodies for UK landscaping, BALI and APL.  This has strengthened our credibility and broadened the awareness of the Paxman and GrassGreener brands and, more importantly, our credentials and capabilities within the industry.  Here’s just a little of what we’ve achieved on social media alone this year: Developing and Executing a Social Media Strategy in UK Landscaping:

We continue to forge new partnerships and are busy building a portfolio of clients, completed projects and a strong supply chain and network.

Most importantly, we have a strong team at Paxman Landscapes.  Our managers and operatives have taken a great pride in their workmanship and this has boosted our will to succeed and improve, with better procedures and a clearer perspective on future plans.

We will be continuing our promotional plans throughout 2014, building momentum for GrassGreener artificial grass and domestic, commercial and maintenance landscaping in the Spring at the Harrogate Show, with further showcases for both brands planned through the calendar.

With the construction output in the three months to October having risen by 6.4% compared to a year ago, and by 2.5% compared to the preceding three months (Source: Office for National Statistics), the Paxman team are looking forward to the challenge of 2014 with a fresh outlook, an encouraging workload and with the support of a very strong team at every step.

Merry Christmas 2013

From all of us at Paxman Landscapes, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a positive, successful New Year.

Regards

Justin Paxman

Managing Director, Paxman Landscapes UK Limited

December 2013

It’s SHOWTIME: Harrogate Spring Flower Show 2014

Following the successful launch of the new Grass Greener artificial lawn product at this year’s Harrogate Autumn Flower Show in September 2013, Paxman Landscapes are proud to announce that their show garden design for the Spring Show 2014 has been accepted.

Harrogate Spring Flower Show 2014

“Tropical Dream Courtyard”

Under the Professional category, Paxman Landscapes will construct a “Tropical Dream Courtyard” to demonstrate their skills and prowess in the art of design, construction and combination of soft and hard landscaping.  Brimming with planted gems, the garden has an air of the tropics and will be scattered with ferns, climbers, bamboos, grasses with tropical nuances along the way.The courtyard garden  will showcase Paxman’s skills and experience in the construction of walls, raised beds and pathways.  Garden structures, lighting and a seat for visitors to stop and take in the end results will make this garden a showstopper.

The Harrogate Spring Flower Show will run from 24th to 27th April 2014 at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG2 8NZ.

December 2013

Fairfields Care Home, Heckmondwike

Main Contractor: Wates Living Space
Contract: Fairfields Care Home
Contract Value: £

Overview
Redeveloping a former school site, the care facility comprises 53 residential flats for extra care housing and dementia care.   Constructed by Wates Living Space, this development was part of the Kirklees Excellent Homes for Life project, which will build 466 new homes for rent across Kirklees upon completion of the scheme.

Supplying over 1,000 tonnes of topsoil, the landscaping team also planted over 10,000 shrubs and herbaceous plants.  The soft landscaping plan, peppered with additional bulb planting, hedging,  trees and turf formed a framework for the creation of wildflower meadows.  Dementia gardens, shade courtyards, butterfly gardens and herb garden zones were brought to life, enriching the outdoor experience for residents and visitors alike.

The project, commissioned in September 2012, did not allow site work until August 2013, when the groundwork and planting began to take shape. Seven weeks later, the project was complete and ready for residents to start to appreciate and to look forward to in its full glory in the Spring.

 

Creating a brand new outdoor living space – Fairfields Care Home, Heckmondwike

After successfully securing the provision of soft landscaping at Fairfields Care Home in September 2012, Paxman Landscapes have now successfully completed the project, on budget, on schedule, and are looking forward to the residents moving in and enjoying the grounds next year.

Artists impression of Extra Care Housing

Artists impression of Extra Care Housing

Redeveloping a former school site, the care facility comprises 53 residential flats for extra care housing and dementia care.   Constructed by Wates Living Space, this development was part of the Kirklees Excellent Homes for Life project, which will build 466 new homes for rent across Kirklees upon completion of the scheme.

Fairfields before image

Groundwork commences, Summer 2013

Supplying over 1,000 tonnes of topsoil, the landscaping team also planted over 10,000 shrubs and herbaceous plants.  The soft landscaping plan, peppered with additional bulb planting, hedging,  trees and turf formed a framework for the creation of wildflower meadows.  Dementia gardens, shade courtyards, butterfly gardens and herb garden zones were brought to life, enriching the outdoor experience for residents and visitors alike.

The project, commissioned in September 2012, did not allow site work until August 2013, when the groundwork and planting began to take shape.  With sustainability, hardiness and plant suitability as priorities, the Paxman team arranged to grow all the plants under contract with a local nursery.  All herbaceous and shrubs species were then sourced or grown to the exact specification required.  With over 95 different varieties to manage, the collaboration with the local grower was vital and a huge appreciation was afforded to their superb efforts to ensure the timely delivery of consistently high quality batches of plants to the exact specification.

From rolling sleeves up on site in August 2013 and with a fantastic collaborative effort across the supply chain, the soft landscaping was complete within 7 weeks.

Newly-planted stock, Autumn 2013

Newly-planted stock, Autumn 2013

Justin Paxman, Managing Director of Paxman Landscapes commended all involved, “I would like to thank Wates Living Space, their suppliers and all of their staff for all the efforts in successfully completing this prestigious project on time and to the delight of the new residents.”  He added “Supplying soft landscaping schemes bursting with plants pulls in many facets from our landscaping network – this scheme’s success is a prime example of the importance of a strong team and thorough project management.”

December 2013

Paxman Landscapes Assist in Wates Community Days

Over the past 24 months we have built up a positive, mutually beneficial relation ship with major contractor Wates Living Space/Construction. Earlier this month we contributed to two Community days that Wates held in Batley and Tankersley.  Our involvement consisted of strimming down over grown areas of a Care Home grounds and donating a number of shrubs to a primary school.

Wates said “Thank you all for the donations for the community day… we achieved so much!”

PAXMAN LANDSCAPES – from wilt to full bloom using social media

Paxman Landscapes took centre stage at the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) Networking Seminar in Kent on 23 October 2013.‏ Justin Paxman (director) delivered a speech to delegates on the renewed success of his commercial and domestic landscaping company, now resurgent after difficult times.

The business has bounced back in style after seeing sales drop by 33% in the year to February 2011. A decrease of that magnitude will always be detrimental to any businesses and Justin’s company was not alone in feeling the pinch as the recession bit. It was sink or swim time.

The choice facing the company was either to plough on as before, hope and risk sales diminishing further or reinvent the business model and come back fighting. Justin chose the latter.

Business overheads were cut by moving premises and making prudent staff redundancies. A revised sales forecast reflected the changes made. At the same time Justin was studying a Foundation Degree in Landscape and Garden Management at Askham Bryan College in York and it was there he recognised the importance that social media could play in future marketing activity.

A new look website was launched as a fresh marketing and sales strategy promoted the use of LinkedIn and Twitter as social media platforms to secure new commercial connections and a Facebook account promoted closer links with domestic customers. Paxman Landscapes wasn’t using social media because everyone else seemed to be, it was used as a tool to effectively reach realistic and sustainable targets.

Thanks to the positive results engendered by the new marketing and sales strategy, for two consecutive financial years enquiries rose by 40% and sales increased by 15%.

A new network of connections were secured within the commercial market with activity on Linkedin proving pivotal in providing networking opportunities with  building industry professionals.

Justin Paxman said, “It’s been an interesting and hugely rewarding last few years. Sometimes it takes a step back in your life to see where you need to go next. We’ve moved the business into the modern era and are starting to reap the rewards.

“The staff at Paxman Landscapes have worked very hard too,” he continued. “We are all very proud of the high standard of service we offer our customers and I’m looking forward to where we can take the business over the next decade.”

Earlier this year Paxman Landscapes used LinkedIn to contact 50 professionals of which 10% positively responded. This created a link with industry professionals who the business had previously not spoken to and resulted in a raised profile and several large tenders secured.

Add to that the new Grass Greener product which was officially launched at the Harrogate Show in September 2013 and business is blooming.

View the presentation summary on Youtube.

BALI Acceptance

Paxman Landscapes have been proudly accepted into the British Association of Landscape Industries. This news comes following our meeting with them back in early 2013.

The formal acceptance of Paxman Landscapes into Bali, will hopefully open us to new opportunities, as well as providing our customers with a greater level of trust in not only our levels of workmanship, but also that we will offer support and the correct protocol is followed throughout any work pursued, from this point onwards.

For information about our induction, and the quality assurances that we now offer, click here.

APL Gets Government Boost

Great news from the British Government, as they have shown “optimistic commitment” to the horticultural industry and the latest industrial strategy for construction, by supporting the APL (association of professional landscapers) and any of the businesses therein.

Changes made subject to this support include increasing the percentage of the industry and general promotion of APL landscapers, as they are renown for only accepting companies that pass their standards. This in turn ensures superb quality work when using an APL registered name such as Paxman Landscapes.

This is backed up by the statistic that only 0.01% of the 2 million APL registered projects were problematic.

Apprentices

In June 2013, we took on two new apprentices Chris Wall and Chris Wimpenny, here at Paxman Landscapes. The goal of our company is to grow and with it comes many new opportunities for people to become involved with our projects and work along side us to help bring peoples ideas to fruition. We feel it is a crucial responsibility of our company to help keep the horticultural gears turning, and with the average age of most horticulturalists being 40+, we are supporting our local economy as well as the RHS initiative – Growing for schools, by bringing in young blood; ensuring that horticultural expertise can pass on to the next generation.

If you are interested in becoming an apprentice at Paxman Landscapes, please follow us on:

Facebook – www.facebook.com/pages/paxman-landscapes-uk-ltd

Twitter – @paxmanlandscapes

Ash Dieback

In 2013, the ash dieback became widely apparent, with trees suffering from a disease. Chalara dieback of ash is a serious disease of ash trees caused by a fungus called Chalara fraxinea, including its sexual stage, Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus. The disease causes leaf loss and crown dieback in affected trees, and usually leads to tree death. This issue is still trying to be contained but continues to cause problems to this day, and ash tree populations are dwindling due to the severity of the problem.

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