Landscape subjects: “The joy of working outside, of being in contact with nature”

François Ozouf is the co-manager of the Cotentin Paysage company. (© La Presse de la Manche)

Resident Vasteville (Manche)François Ozouf is co-chair of the company Cotentin Landscape. A company located in Hellevillespecializing in the maintenance of gardens and nature areas, landscaping, felling and pruning.

François Ozouf agreed to answer a few questions to explain his background.

Attracted by the diversity of the profession

News: Can you describe your course for us?

Francois Ozouf: I started my studies by passing a STAE baccalaureate, science and technology in agronomy and environment, then went on to pursue a BTS in horticulture. I passed these two diplomas at the Agricultural University of Coutances. I was an intern in companies during my studies, especially in Finland, because the school had a collaboration there. I stayed there for a month to study horticulture. It was interesting because I discovered a different way of living there. After my studies, I hesitated to work in horticulture or as a landscape gardener.

What guided your choice?

OF: The landscape care profession is much more diversified. There is maintenance, lawn mowing, total restoration of gardens and green areas, fencing, pruning or masonry. It was this diversity that really attracted me. This allows for different days.

So you were looking for work?

OF: Exactly. In particular, I worked for a landscaping company in Caen for a year and a half. Subsequently, I set up my own business. When my brother Philippe arrived at the company, we joined forces. We manage a total of eighteen employees. We work mainly in North Cotentin.

Outside in all kinds of weather

What are the qualities for you to be a good landscape gardener?

OF: It takes courage, because we work a lot outdoors in all kinds of weather. You should also enjoy interacting with the customers.

Is it easy for your company to recruit?

OF: No, it’s far from simple. This is partly due to the fact that there is a lot of competition today, micro-enterprises appear everywhere. We are currently looking for a few seasonal workers for the summer period. People who have accessibility, desire and good will. It is not necessarily necessary to be qualified, because in our job, some missions are learned on the job.

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Philippe takes care of the trees

Philippe Ozouf, 32, is François’ brother and partner. He also has a genuine passion for his profession.

Philippe Ozouf is a landscape architect and co-manager of the Cotentin Paysage company located in Helleville.
Philippe Ozouf is a landscape architect and co-manager of the Cotentin Paysage company located in Helleville.

Can you describe your course for us?

PO: I started my studies with a BEP in the development of natural spaces in Saint-Gabriel-Brécy. I continued with a BTA in game management. I then specialized in pruning by passing a Certificate of Specialization in Pointel. I did it as an apprentice at MC élagage.

Why did you choose to work in this sector?

PO: The pleasure of working outside, simply by being in touch with nature. Basically, I orientated myself in the maintenance of nature spaces because I wanted to take care of the coast. But the places are expensive, with few shops. That is why I specialize in pruning, more specifically the size and care of trees.

What are the qualities for you to be a landscape gardener?

PO: Do not be afraid to work outdoors with different weather conditions. It is also important to know how to communicate. In this environment, we often work in teams, at least in pairs. It is important to maintain a good atmosphere with colleagues. And if it is a person who does not know this sector of activity, a period of immersion in business is not insignificant. Because even though this profession is now more mechanized than before, it remains very physical.

From our correspondent Julien LUCAS

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