Gardening Business

 
Those visiting the 2012 Olympic Park will notice the superb display of beautiful wild flowers on the river banks and open spaces around the magnificent Olympic stadia. A lovely touch of natural beauty a visible statement to demonstrate the remarkable transformation of the park from a toxic wasteland.

Added on 29 October 2012 by

Gardening Business

Those visiting the 2012 Olympic Park will notice the superb display of beautiful wild flowers on the river banks and open spaces around the magnificent Olympic stadia. A lovely touch of natural beauty a visible statement to demonstrate the remarkable transformation of the park from a toxic wasteland.

As we admire the scene some may well pause to consider the planning and sheer hard work that must have gone into creating the apparently natural conditions which let these tall flowers grow.

Perhaps business can learn from gardening?

My perspective comes from University vacations long ago when I worked as a gardener for Derby City Council. I mowed the grass cut hedges trimmed borders got rid of pests and my back ached from all the weeding – weeds might just be plants in the wrong place but they sure find plenty of wrong places to grow.

The Head Gardener taught me how much was involved in creating the floral displays: to plan the borders the colour schemes with a dash of creativity to catch the public eye and choosing from the almost infinite range of flowers: long lived herbaceous plants to nurture and the many different perennials biennials and annuals to consider. Borders planned for size shape and colour combinations matching plants to their location: to ensure taller plants do not obscure ground cover plants. Most of all by thorough preparation to create fertile conditions for plants to bloom – deep digging beds enriching with fertilizer to give soil texture nutrients and chemical balance flowers need to flourish. What might look natural and random was in fact the product of planning and order.

With team briefings each day the Head Gardener prided himself on his organisation skill timing leading teamwork in an efficient unit to manage the maintenance of beds for the flowers to flourish gain strength and bloom brightly. What might seem random was actually highly ordered. All done with a tiny budget – gardening is last in the line for finance.

As we paused to lean on our hoes the flowers did our talking for us. We noticed how people smiled a little as they passed by with an extra spring in their step or some dallied for a moment to admire. Every now and again someone would stop to thank us for our efforts.

In short the best and brightest displays look natural but to let tall flowers grow actually requires effective leadership efficient management organisation and planning. Even the apparently natural English country meadows which have all but disappeared from the landscape actually need a special kind of husbandry and we must call on this again if we are to save them from extinction.

Today I work at Ashridge House in Hertfordshire UK and I count myself fortunate to be inspired by the floral displays planted by today’s generation of gardeners as I go about my daily business.

To grow tall flowers needs a feel for nature and creativity but also a great deal of leadership planning and skill to prepare the ground nurture the different plants to give their best in harmony and some judicious weeding to show the delicate and often most beautiful flowers at their best. When it all comes together there are few better ways of bringing joy and colour into our lives.

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