The sustainable landscaping team making South Hams gardens green and gorgeous

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The sustainable landscaping team making South Hams gardens green and gorgeous

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With an emphasis on sustainable practices and planting hundreds of trees to offset their (limited) carbon footprint, Tellus Landscaping is all about quality for customers and the environment. Here owner, David, explains how he and his team do garden makeovers with a difference…

Tell us how Tellus Landscaping came about?

I’ve been doing landscaping as a business for three years now, and it was born out of a passion for creating gardens. My wife and I have a four-acre smallholding near Plymouth that we’ve had for about six years. It was run down when we took it on, and we’ve spent a lot of time nurturing it. So that’s where it started. Then when I decided I wanted a change of careers, the passion turned into a business, and it’s one I am thoroughly enjoying so far!

What did you do before landscaping?

My background is corporate. I used to run leisure attractions such as zoos and aquariums. I did that for 25 years and eventually I had enough of working in that environment. I wanted to work for myself, but I also wanted to be able to work outside rather than sitting at a desk.

I started by helping a friend with landscaping, and I loved it. So earlier this year my wife and I struck out on our own. We set up Tellus Landscaping, which is wholly owned by us, we don’t sub-contract work and so far we have been very busy.

Have you always lived in Devon?

No, I am Scottish. I arrived in Devon in early 2010 when I came here for work, that particular role lasted 5 ½ years and was thoroughly enjoyable, but by the time it came to a natural end I had met my wife and bought a property and fallen in love with Devon. I didn’t want to leave, and as I said, by that point was looking for a career change anyway. To work in that industry you have to be willing to move and I wanted to stay here. Devon is a lovely a county with lovely people and I thoroughly enjoy being a part of it.

What exactly does Tellus Landscaping do?

It’s a 360 degree landscaping service from design to implementation. We design gardens from scratch, work with the owners and then get on and build it. Will so also do smaller projects such as installing patios, paths and fencing, but our passion is for total garden makeovers where we can make a real difference.

The wonderful thing about this kind of work is that it changes the way people live their lives, which is really rewarding, and the way we work chimes well with our own beliefs in sustainably and living in harmony with the environment.

We work hard to be as sustainable as possible in everything that we do. We look to incorporate natural species wherever we can and to be as green as possible. For example, we won’t lay artificial grass, we try to avoid plastic as much as we can, we always look for natural materials to use and we do a lot of carbon offsetting and recycling or upcycling of materials.

What are people most surprised about with the way you work?

The amount of preparation required to do a job properly. We pride ourselves on the quality of our work and the longevity of it. For example, we’ve recently built a new a 90 square metre patio for customers in Wembury. This meant excavating 60 tonnes of soil, bringing in 14 tonnes of hard core base material, and installing nine tonnes of slabs. Everything we do is pretty much the same as a builder would do, but it’s outdoors and we add plants into it.

What are you looking forward to in the coming months?

It’s tree planting season at the moment so we have 300 trees to plant as part of our own carbon offsetting plans. We analyse all of our own carbon budgets and offset that in the winter by planting trees, so I love that.

In the New Year we’re off to repair a patio that someone else did and did badly. We’ve then got an orchard to plant for The Landmark Trust. In Spring we are already booked to complete a total garden makeover in Plymouth.



The sustainable landscaping team making South Hams gardens green and gorgeous
The sustainable landscaping team making South Hams gardens green and gorgeous
The sustainable landscaping team making South Hams gardens green and gorgeous
The sustainable landscaping team making South Hams gardens green and gorgeous
The sustainable landscaping team making South Hams gardens green and gorgeous

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