As we reach the end of 2014, it’s time for a bit of reflection, not least because this year marked ten years since we bought Urban Planters, an already thriving interior landscape company, and set off on a decade of exciting and very rewarding growth.
At the time of the buyout, we five directors were already heavily involved in the company, being franchisees or managers, and we shared then, as we still do, a love of transforming interior spaces with plants. Most importantly, we knew that there was so much more we could do to expand and evolve the business and, despite sometimes tough market conditions, it has flourished.
Office plants, as they are commonly known (but really they are plants for any space you like) have come a long way in the past ten years. Trends come and go in our industry as they do elsewhere, with tastes in plants and especially styles of container moving with the times. But above all this there has also been a steady growth in the variety of plants and pots available.
Plants can be towering trees, unusual cacti, or simple, elegant species; planters come in neon, light-up or stunning natural products, to name but a few. And then there is the rise of the living wall and green roofs. The former can create impact over several floors and can use different colours and textures to become a living work of art, while the latter brings nature to our man-made structures, improving biodiversity in often built-up areas and bringing a feel-good factor to those looking upon it.
Throw in terraniums, living wall art and even upside down plants dangling from ceilings, and these days you have a vibrant industry with no end of creative options for designing a planting scheme.
Stunning good looks aside, a planting scheme is now as much recognised for its aesthetics as its value to our health and happiness. Over the years, more and more studies are discovering the many ways in which plants can improve our lives. They make us happier, they reduce instances of illness, and near plants we work harder, stay longer, breathe cleaner air… there is no doubting the important role they play in keeping us healthy.
As we spend more and more time away from nature, interior plants can play a vital role in reconnecting us to our natural roots and have been proven, in more and more studies, that they make us feel happier, more alert, productive and creative as well as preventing sickness.
We still feel the same passion about bringing life to workplaces, leisure spaces and even homes with a really good planting scheme, and as the industry continues to grow and evolve the possibilities of what we can do grow with it.
Thanks to this, and of course a lot of hard work, not just by us, but our fantastic network of franchises, Urban Planters has gone from strength to strength. We now have ?? franchises across the length and breadth of the UK, plus one in Madrid and we are busier than ever.
We are proud of our strong and enthusiastic team of franchisees and their staff, who work with a wide range of clients, from local, family-owned restaurants, to government bodies and multinationals. Together, they have created a reliable local service, nationwide for our business.
So here’s to the future, and a huge ‘thank you’, to our franchisees, employees and our clients for a great ten years.
Tom, Rory Dave, Alan and Brendan