Meeting the Challenges of Estate Management
Managing a large estate is very different to looking after one’s own back garden. Here Compass Garden and Landscape Design, who offer estate garden management in Somerset and across the south-west of England, outline some of the key differences and how we offer an ideal service.
It’s not just the size of the garden, but the work that goes with it. According to figures released in 2020, the average UK garden is 188 square metres in size, whereas estates such as Kew Gardens in south-west London (300 acres) and Buckingham Palace Gardens (40 acres) are much larger and therefore need much more significant managing and looking after.
Everything takes a lot longer on larger estates. For instance, mowing the lawn may take a matter of minutes in some private residences, but at the mentioned places it may take a whole day or even longer. You also have to factor in other tasks, such as the pollarding of trees, which you won’t normally have to worry about in a small domestic garden.
On estates, it’s a year-round job for more than one person, so you need a team of dedicated and qualified staff who know what they are doing. They will also need direction (usually under the control of a Head Gardener), as well as an overall vision and plan to ensure that everyone’s tasks are properly co-ordinated.
Junior members of staff may need mentoring and training. This also applies to more experienced staff as well, to ensure they keep up to date with the latest techniques and trends.
The Importance of Seasonal Work
The importance of this is also magnified because of the size of the tasks at hand. You have to think about ordinary maintenance tasks such as pruning, weeding and lawn care, as well as taking out and storing away any garden furniture.
You also need to think more long-term too – is the soil eroding and does this need remedial work, or is there a one-off project coming up? A lot of this may be at the mercy of the weather so you may have to be flexible in terms of setting your priorities.
Many estate gardens are open to the public for at least part of the year, which will impact both your soft and hard landscaping choices. In planting terms, you may need your beds to be blooming all year round, so you want a mix of species to ensure there’s always some visual interest. Compass’s planting design service – which is also available throughout the south-west of England – means we can help here.
And when it comes to your hard landscaping, you may need to create distinct boundaries (with fencing, pathways, discreet signage, etc.) so the public knows which areas are open and which are out of bounds.
The Need to be Part of a Team
Garden management is something which forms part of the wider task of looking after an estate, and not something which applies to your average back garden. You need to liaise with other staff on the estate and check that your work doesn’t create any problems for neighbouring properties and farms (and vice versa). Also, staff inside the house should be aware of what you are doing and when to minimise any potential Health and Safety risks.
Estate Garden Management in Somerset from Compass Garden and Landscape Design
At Compass Garden and Landscape Design, we offer a high-quality consultancy service for anyone who wants help managing their garden estate.
We have a support programme in place for owners of large estates and exclusive properties. We help the staff to maintain and improve the garden and can usually source the best plants and machinery at a competitive rate.
You can see the restoration work we have done at The Hall Estate in Bradford on Avon, by clicking here.
To learn more about our estate garden management services, follow this link. You can also call us directly on 07920 051549.