Back in 1989 Andy Offord was given the chance to buy the market garden that was on the land where he had grown up and realise his ambition of starting and running his own business. His parents were moving towards retirement and were planning to sell off the land.
Andy purchased the land from his parents, which also included about 1/2 acre of greenhouses and started his market garden, growing lettuce, celery, runner beans and chrysanthemums. Produce was sold through Bristol and Birmingham wholesale markets as well as to Supermarkets via the now long gone Cheltenham based GMS.
To finance the move, he and his wife Alison sold their house in Hampshire, moving back to Newent along with their two young daughters. Home for over 2 years was a mobile home sited on the nursery while they built their own house, doing a lot of the construction work themselves.
To provide additional income Andy started landscape gardening, trading under the name of Living Landscapes. He travelled to clients gardens in
his trusty Vauxhall Astra with tools on the back seat and a barrow tied into the boot. It wasn't long before he upgraded to a van!
After the first year the business had grown too busy for Andy and Alison to cope with on their own. Andy managed to tempt Chris King away from his old employer Hurrans Garden Centres (alas, another business no longer around), to come and join Living Landscapes.
Over the years that followed Living Landscapes expanded and grew, taking on more staff and undertaking larger projects, including in 1998 the creation of the Old Maids Walk Park and re-instating the area around Newent Lake for Newent Town Council.
In 2005 another opportunity to develop the business arose when Living Landscapes expanded into retail, selling paving and landscaping materials, trading under the name Staunton Stone as a concession at Staunton garden Centre. 3 years later came the addition of 'The Watershed' selling pond and water gardening supplies. In 2009 both of these businesses moved out from Staunton and were relocated to a new site at Radway Bridge Nurseries just outside Hereford, opening in Spring 2010.
Both of these businesses have become a very useful add-on to the core landscaping business.
A further expansion of the retail side took place in Spring 2013 with the opening of 'The Petshed', selling Pet food and pet supplies and located alongside The Watershed at Radway Bridge Nurseries.
After over 25 years of trading, with bases in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire Living Landscapes now has a well established a reputation for quality work by friendly hard-working staff in the two counties and beyond.