We Build Outdoor Spaces!
We specialise in all aspects of landscape construction for your garden and property. Originally bricklayers & carpenters by trade we have fine-tuned our skills to what is now known as the modern-day landscaper.
Sussex based teams of professionals dedicated to providing quality, bespoke craftsmanship to your outdoor spaces.
We offer a great, simplified design process consulting projects from conception to completion.
Whether you have a clear objective or need some inspiration let our expertise help guide you through the design challenges of your garden step by step.
We are big believers in well-balanced gardens whether traditional or contemporary. Striking hard landscaping complimented with the right plants to soften never disappoints.
Ross Conquest our Head Consultant & MD founded the company when he was 18.
”I’ve been landscaping since I left school and I can honestly say each year is just as exciting and as challenging as the last. The materials and trends are continually changing which allows us to push the boundaries of design and creative building”.
“Having the honour of a garden that you designed being built at RHS Chelsea, the most prestigious flower show on the planet, is both exhilarating and frightening in equal measure. This is especially so if it is your first time there, and you haven’t even met all of the contractors that are going to be turning your line drawings into a 3D reality. My fear of not having worked with the these guys was immediately removed on the first day that the build commenced. Ross and the other teams involved were exactly what I needed to lift Mind Trap from the drawing board and from out of my head and start the incredibly tight build schedule.
Many people think that the skills of a Landscape contractor are limited to putting down a few flags to make a patio. I can assure you that being able to perform an emergency welding operation on a few vital elements of the garden is far and above what many contractors are able to do. RHS Chelsea Flower Show is not a regular garden construction scenario. You are playing with some of the best designers and landscape contractors out there and the level of detail required in a show garden, and especially at Chelsea is like no other. Conquest landscapes excelled at the show.
Conquest Landscapes were not only incredibly hard working, dedicated and enthusiastic, they went beyond any expectations that I had.
It is important to be able to get along with everyone on the site, and it was a genuine pleasure and honour to work with Ross (even if he did take the hand out of my Northern Irish accent). I’m not sure he will ask me to make tea ever again mind you after I served him, what could only be described as dirty dishwater.
Any garden designer should remember that without the right contractor to work with, your design will never work. You get the right guys on the job as we had at Chelsea 2017 and everything is a dream. Not many can say that the first garden they were an integral part of at Chelsea was awarded a coveted`Gold Medal’.
We started off as work colleagues, but I know we left the Chelsea show ground as much more. I would have no hesitation in asking Conquest Landscapes to be involved in any future projects, especially the best flower show on in the world. Thank you Ross.”
“As a garden designer, I am often asked to recommend a landscaping contractor who can bring my designs for my client’s gardens to life.
Having worked with Conquest on a number of occasions I have found Ross and the team to have an attention to detail that ensures high-quality workmanship.
This, combined with their experience in working with traditional and new materials and their understanding of the complexity involved in building modern gardens, means that the construction phase of my client’s projects have run smoothly and their gardens built as per the design specification.
As members of the Association of Professional Landscapers I have peace of mind that their work is regularly inspected and I am looking forward to continuing to work with Conquest Creative Spaces in the future”
A plantsman, A bricky, a chippy, a paver, a tiler, a plumber, a ground worker, a sparky, a weatherman, a salesman, a clerical officer, a surveyor............. = A LANDSCAPER!— Conway Landscapes (@conwaylandscape) February 19, 2018
”I guess for me the bug started when I would look through the landscaping material catalogues and say to myself ‘’we will never be able to use products like that, how would we get the budget or the clients?’’ But to my surprise, the hard work does reap and so do the budgets for those materials.”
”I am passionate about landscape construction and I’m always looking to improve myself no matter what I become or do, you can always do something better! I think it helps in this game to be a bit of a perfectionist, after all, a beautiful garden is considered a luxury so expectations are high”.
”Achieving the ‘dream build’ or ‘dream design’. There have been some favourites in recent years but you’re always chasing what feels out of reach I guess.”
Because it’s not just about flowers and garden parties. I really valued what Mark Gregory said a few years back in a London Stone catalogue;
“Designing and building gardens to a high specification takes creativity, careful planning and skilled execution. There is no other trade discipline that demands the varied and diverse skill set needed to be a modern-day landscape design and build company.”
Strength to strength
When asked about how the company was founded, Ross explains: “I set up the company when I was 18 after being made redundant from another paving firm, and the business has moved from strength to strength, progressing naturally over time. Presently, we work on two to three design projects at a time and have a solid reputation for achieving bespoke hard landscaping within the industry.”
The company’s current standings come up, and Ross tells us: “We rebranded at the start of this year, from Conquest Hard Landscaping to Conquest Creative Spaces. I’m amazed to say that we’re celebrating our tenth year in 2018 – a huge milestone for everyone here.”
“I get bored easily, so I love being involved in the latest technologies. Therefore, design and build ticks all my boxes with endless possibilities of creativity.” Ross’s ‘hands-on’ approach to business is somewhat unusual, and he explains that: “I keep getting told I need to act like a director and get off the tools, but I find it so hard – I don’t want to!”
Ross describes his thoughts on how the landscaping community has changed over time: “It feels like there are a few new age landscapers who have made it in the industry solely through being exceptional at landscaping. Sometimes it’s not all about business and making money, it’s about passion, skill and how far you can push yourself.
“There is a big misconception of what a landscaper is, or what a good one is anyway,” Ross says. “I’m originally a brick layer, but my carpentry skills easily match my masonry now, and there’s so much more to being a great landscaper; lighting, irrigation, design, planting, fabrication, engineering and management skills, to name a few!”
Matthew Bradley Memorial Cup
On Friday 16 March, Ross and the team at Conquest Creative Spaces were awarded the Matthew Bradley Memorial Cup for Construction at the APL Awards 2018. When asked about the significance the award holds to him individually, Ross tells us: “It’s incredibly personal to me, and I’m so honoured. After talking to a great many people on the night of the APL awards, everyone is in consensus that the memorial cup is an incredible honour which is immensely humbling. It makes all the hard work worthwhile.”
Once asked about how he felt accepting the award, Ross explained: “I felt emotional, but so proud. Besides being a bit speechless, I smiled because I kept thinking about memories both Matthew and I shared; like how drunk we both were at the Hampton Court press day last year, the one day in the show garden world you should probably behave yourself!”
“Matthew passing was such a tragic event and it’s a strange feeling to accept something like this – he truly inspired me. We did a toast for Matt, with Will Gadd from Gadd Brothers who built two Chelsea gardens alongside Matt, and Rhiannon Williams, designer at Landform. We were also joined by Rhi, who was Matt’s girlfriend, Matt’s parents Donald and Margaret, Mark Gregory from Landform, a personal inspiration of mine for many years, and of course my partner Sarah with our expected baby boy in the oven.”
Since the age of 19, Ross Conquest has been running his own business based in West Sussex. Conquest Creative Spaces has experienced a tremendous few years, going from helping other landscapers build their RHS Chelsea Flower Show gardens to being the main contractor, delivering gardens at the world’s most prestigious garden show.
Often referred to as ‘the future of landscaping’, Ross and his team have built up a great reputation, and up until a month ago 2020 looked like it was going to continue in the same vein. The team was in great shape, the order books were healthy and he had secured another two RHS Chelsea show gardens. Then the RHS revealed it had no choice but to cancel all of its shows up until 30 June, including Chelsea.
Ross explains: “The news of the cancellation of 2020 RHS Chelsea didn’t come as a surprise but was still a massive disappointment. A lot of time and effort had already gone into this year’s gardens – meetings, prefab, calls etc – all having costs that won’t be reimbursed.
“We had a Conquest team working on the prefab for four weeks prior to the cancellation, which of course meant they were unable to work on other jobs. Also, during the RHS Chelsea month (build and show) you make sure your diary is completely clear of other work. Though the decision to cancel was correct and I 100% support it, it will obviously have an effect on the business.”
Ross explains that the big issue for his company now is cashflow. He has now put some of his team on furlough but has kept a skeleton crew on board working on a remote West Sussex project which will hopefully keep some cash coming in. He is also looking at the government lending scheme, which despite sounding simple and easy is not quite the case, says Ross. “We have looked at the CBLIS (Business Interruption Loan Scheme for SMEs) and to understand it, you need to be a professional form filler.”
Ross continues: “We are okay at the moment, but if it goes into June and July we would be really concerned. I have just been to see a nice job that would fill the void of Chelsea if we secured it and the situation has improved.”
Being part of an association has helped Ross in the long run, though. “On a positive note, a couple of years ago I went on the APL business course, and without the knowledge I gained from it I think I would have really struggled to cope. It taught me to keep a clear head, plan and think about your response. And if you want to think really positively, there aren’t many times as a business owner you can really take time to think about ‘working on your business, not working in the business’; maybe this is a small silver lining to our current situation.
“Let’s hope everyone keeps safe and we can all get back to normal as soon as possible.”