Why I’ve Started a Landscape Construction Business

Why I’ve Started a Landscape Construction Business

Here’s why I decided to go back to my first love and open up a landscape construction business in Dublin, Ireland.

My career path has taken many twists and turns. Now it would seem that it has come around full circle.

In the Beginning There Was a Garden

I’ve tried many different shoes on in my professional career.

It all started with gardening in my parent’s back garden from the age of 11. There was something about it that gripped me and gave me a deep sense of job satisfaction.

From there I went into landscape construction and from there I went to study horticulture in the Irish Botanical Gardens in Glasnevin, Dublin, Ireland.

It was the study of horticulture that led me to a TV show – No Experience Required on Ireland’s national broadcaster RTE.

This show inspired me to study landscape architecture, which led me to two things that really set the stage for where I am in my life now.

These two things were:

1. Generating the worlds biggest social media following for the topic of landscape architecture (around 1.5 million followers)

2. Working as a landscape architect for 3 years in Tel Aviv designing and planning outdoor public spaces.

It turned out working on large-scale public projects in an office was not for me. I drifted so far away from garden design and landscape construction that I felt there was no desire or clear path back to it.

Career Change

I focused on being an entrepreneur. Building my massive social media following into a business, that could sustain me independently.

I ended up selling this website and breaking away from landscape architecture completely.

However, at this point, I did generate a mass of digital marketing skills and operational skills. I decided to base my next career on that.

Another Career Change

Then by chance, I came across a vacation rental company. I decided to approach them to offer my digital marketing skills. They hired me. I ended up becoming their Head of Operations for 5 years.

Then I moved back to Ireland while continuing to work with this vacation rental company remotely.

and another…

I started up a business in the vegan world – operating a vegan food tour company, all the while, still having a full-time job.

This was successful in many ways and I ended up on TV again. Once again on RTE on a show – What Are You Eating?

With the pandemic, this business came to an inevitable end.

Starting a Digital Marketing Course

I continued to work my 9 to 5 and started pursuing an online digital marketing course to sharpen my skills.

It was this digital marketing course that resulted in the website you are on now. It also completely changed my approach to how I market myself.

An Unlikely Event

From there, by chance, my auntie wanted me to do some garden work for her. I reluctantly took it on. Feeling I was doing her a favor.

There was also that part of me that felt humiliated.

With all my effort and pursuits, here I was weeding someone’s garden, getting dirty, blistering my soft-skinned hands, and getting aches in my back.

The garden was beside the water. There was no barrier. I almost fell in about 10 times and almost lost my tools to the deep water.

I didn’t fall in or lose a single tool, but I remember thinking, that’s all I need now, I final nail in the coffin of ultimate humiliation. What a way to die.

My tools may have not fallen into the water, but my pride did.

And thank god it did. That pride wasn’t serving me or my career. That pride was keeping me stuck in my life.

It was doing this humbling job for my auntie that reminded me how much I love to do this work.

Yes, it’s tough work but that sense of job satisfaction came rushing back to me.

It was like seeing an old friend and having the best pints of Guinness together. “Why don’t we do this more often” we’d say to each other.

From One Job to the Next

From there my mother, wanted me to do a regrouting job on the family home patio.

This led me to get in touch with the main man – Seán J. Jackman – a friend of mine since I was 17. Somebody I worked with a lot in the past – We met while I worked in a materials supply company – The Patio Centre.

This was somebody I would have happily went into business with in the past but our lives took different turns – I went to Australia, Seán teamed up with someone else. That was life. Seán and I always remained friends.

Seán took on the job with me. We ended up ripping up an old patio that wasn’t laid very well and relaying it in a professional way.

Seán was also there for the family when my Dad fell ill and we needed someone to make the garden wheelchair friendly. This involved converting stepped areas to ramps and widening paths and landing areas to allow for unrestricted movement on wheels. The result was my Dad got to enjoy the garden more in his final years.

Back to the job of ripping up the patio. The whole time, I was so happy. This for me was highly unusual. Creativity was creeping back in. The juices were flowing. The ambition was rising. I remembered who I was.

Let the Games Begin

I casually mentioned to Seán that maybe I can get us more jobs and I asked him if he’d be interested.

Seán was interested.

From there the flame of ambition became a fire and we both knew that it was time to get this business up and running.

We decided to form a business together as equal partners – rediscovering what it meant to do work that has an impact and that matters to us and the people we work with.

Rediscovered Values

When it comes to work, job satisfaction is number 1 on my priority list.

It’s that moment when you finish a job and just don’t want to leave, because you’re captivated by how happy you are with the finished product. It’s that timeless moment that tells you that this is the right path for you to pursue.

I’m back to landscape construction, armed with a degree in horticulture, a degree in landscape architecture, digital marketing skills, operational skills, a wealth of life experience, and a fantastic business partner.

The time is right. The stars are aligned and we’re building an empire.

Jobs are coming in and the website for this landscape construction business is on the way – www.saslandscapes.ie

Sometimes to start a new chapter in your life you’ve got to revisit an old one.

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