GREG ANDERTON’S STORY
The earliest picture of me in my grandparent’s garden was with a watering can, so it’s safe to say that gardening has been in my blood pretty much from the start. I went to school at Lytham C of E Primary School and quickly joined their gardening club. We used to create hanging baskets and pots all around the school. It was a fantastic after school activity that not only encouraged creativity but was also a shared goal. Outside school my mum and dad and my grandparents loved gardening and I loved playing in both their gardens, even if I wasn’t doing the hard graft like them!
During my last term at Lytham C of E primary school I had a plant stall at the summer fair, using my own and donated plants to make my display, we took £40 and it was my first day in business. During High School I made a little catalogue that would be sent to neighbours, they’d order plants and I’d grow them from seed in my greenhouse. In 6th Form, I did my first garden project as head boy making a memorial garden for lost friends in front of school as well as revitalising the planting outside the school library. I expanded my enterprise to serve staff at school. I’d go in to the staff briefing and take orders for Mother’s day pots or Christmas planters – I will be forever grateful to my business teacher, Ms Fitzpatrick, for letting me put my business studies in to practice with a captive audience.
My best GCSE was business so I went on to Edge Hill University to study business. I commuted from Lytham so that I could still run my business and everything I saved on accommodation fees I ploughed in to the business. I loved my time there and can highly recommend the place to anyone. I’d always wanted to diversify the business in to services and saw an opportunity to work on some neglected planting beds outside the fire station. Marc’s Garage provided the sponsorship and my work started to get noticed. This is how my connection with Lytham in Bloom and business planting started; in 2014 I started off with 6 commercial clients, today we have around 50.
My first garden design project came in the form of a telephone call on my graduation day, I’d had several people ask previously and I’d kept saying no. Having had such a wonderful graduation day, I was on a bit of a high and just said yes. My first garden project was on South Park for literally the nicest couple. I loved making different layout options, sourcing the plants and handing the garden over to them completed was the best feeling ever. Since then, I’ve created over 20 gardens for some of the largest houses in Lytham down to small courtyards; both give me as much pleasure to work on. In 2017 I was part of the Lytham episode of the BBC series about in Bloom groups around Britain. They followed me making the annual Lytham Festival Hub Garden, it’s so cool to think people watched the series and saw my garden.
In the later part of 2017 I had been asked to give a talk at Lytham Hall for Trinity hospice. While setting up, I met Peter Anthony and told him my story about why I was there. I finished by saying ‘one day I’d love to have my own mini garden centre’ to which he replied – ‘let’s see if we can have you here’. I have never clung on to an opportunity so tightly before. In spring 2018 we opened the Garden Hub, I became an employer and started on an exciting journey. One of the biggest privileges of being part of Lytham Hall has been seeing it progress under Peter and Paul’s leadership, being part of somewhere that continues to go from strength to strength is very positive and motivates me a lot.
Plans for the future, well, this year we have launched our own gardening course ‘Greg Anderton’s Gardening club’ and of course I want to keep improving our hub. I would love to get back in to growing our own plants and I plan in the not-too-distant future to do one of the garden shows. Finally, I’d like to inspire more young entrepreneurs to start their own businesses – whatever happens in the future if I would look like to look back and say I helped someone realise their dream of starting their own business.