Pro Landscaper April 2018

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Concept to Delivery


April 2018









Making the most of


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the professionals’ choice

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April 2018

April 2018 | Volume 8, Issue 4





Welcome to April 2018 Welcome to the April issue of Pro Landscaper. We’re sure you’re heralding the arrival of spring (even though at the time of writing there’s still a few inches of snow on the ground) and the start of landscaping’s ‘silly’ season. This month kicks off the RHS show season at Cardiff, followed swiftly by Chelsea next month. We’re keeping up to date with contractor Ed Burnham and garden designer Robert Barker as they debut with gardens at this year’s RHS Chelsea, turn to page 22 for the second instalment. Inside this issue, you will find our regional focus on Manchester. The north of England is a thriving area for the landscape industry with some very interesting work taking place, so here we are highlighting some of the people working in this region and fascinating projects worthy of a read.

Eljays44 Ltd 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA Tel: 01903 777 570 EDITORIAL Editorial Director – Lisa Wilkinson Tel: 01903 777 579

March saw the APL Awards at The Brewery in London, a fabulous event where we were again reminded of the excellent work being undertaken within our industry. The Pro Landscaper team all agreed it was so good to see young businesses walking off with awards for their outstanding work. Not only that, but the event is an important networking opportunity, and this is something which cannot be underestimated. Making new contacts with landscapers, garden designers, suppliers and of course us (don’t forget we love to hear all your news) is definitely the way to spend a very productive day! We also attended the national launch of the BALI GoLandscape initiative at RHS Wisley in March. The pilot for GoLandscape was launched at FutureScape 2016 in the South Thames

ADVERTISING Business Development Manager – Jamie Wilkinson Tel: 01903 777 588 Deputy Sales Manager – Jessica McCabe Tel: 01903 777 587

Deputy Editor – Nina Mason Tel: 01903 777 583

Horticulture Careers – Laura Harris Tel: 01903 777 580

Features Editor – Abbie Dawson Tel: 01903 777 604

Managing Director – Jim Wilkinson Tel: 01903 777 589

Content Manager – Claire Maher Tel: 01903 777 601


Production Editor – Charlie Cook Tel: 01903 777 578 Subeditor – Kate Bennett Tel: 01903 777 597

Subscription enquiries – Emily Maltby Tel: 01903 777 570

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Making the most of


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region with the aim of encouraging new people to join the landscape industry. In his speech, BALI Chief Executive Wayne Grills promised no quick fix, but reiterated that this initiative will only begin to show results in the years to come and with the help of people working in the sector currently. Don’t forget to find out about our series of Pro Landscaper LIVE regional events taking place around the country this month. We kicked off with Bristol at the end of March and on 17 April we’re visiting Guildford. Coming up in May and June we have dates in Manchester and Leeds so contact the team if you’re interested in coming along to any of the events. As always, have a great month and we hope to see you out and about!



Design – Kara Thomas Pro Landscaper is proud to be an affiliate member of BALI

Printed by Pensord Press Ltd, Gwent, UK Published by ©Eljays44 Ltd – Connecting Horticulture Pro Landscaper’s content is available for licensing overseas. Contact jamie.wilkinson@ Pro Landscaper is published 12 times per year by Eljays44 Ltd. The 2018 subscription price is £95. Subscription records are maintained at Eljays44 Ltd, 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA, UK. Articles and information contained in this publication are the copyright of Eljays44 Ltd and may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publishers. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for loss of, or damage to, uncommissioned photographs or manuscripts. Whilst every effort has been made to maintain the integrity of our advertisers, we accept no responsibility for any problem, complaints, or subsequent litigation arising from readers’ responses to advertisements in the magazine. We also wish to emphasise that views expressed by editorial contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers. Reproduction of any part of this magazine is strictly forbidden.

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Professional Landscapers

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MANAGEMENT Managing Director Jim Wilkinson Director Lisa Wilkinson Business Development Manager Jamie Wilkinson

Cover image © Marian Boswall

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April 2018 27


8 Agenda What are the benefits and pitfalls of collaborating with other garden designers or landscapers?

10 News Our monthly roundup of industry news

14 News Extra Industry experts weigh in on whether the hessian and wire on rootball trees should be removed when planting

Concept to Delivery

April 2018


16 APL Awards We report back from this year’s ceremony

19 Association News The latest updates from efig, SGD, BALI, RHS, APL and Parks Alliance

22 The Chelsea Diaries Robert Barker and Ed Burnham share their progress as they plan their Chelsea debuts

27 Let’s Hear it From Marian Boswall

32 Company Profile Green-tech

34 Landscape Architect’s Journal HLM Landscape and Urban Design

36 View from the Top Marcus Watson on how Brexit is likely to impact the sector

39 Wind of Change Where do hire companies stand in the landscaping industry, asks Angus Lindsay

40 The Power of Two Andrew Wilson explores the concept of garden designers working together

43 The Garden Route Adam White recounts another magical and flower-filled trip to South Africa


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Artificial Grass Five podium projects in which artificial grass was used to its best effect


Making the most of


64 Dizzy Heights

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Anji Connell recommends outdoor furniture for transforming balcony spaces

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44 The Parent Trap Is parental influence behind our skills shortage, wonders David T Binks

46 Give and Take We visit Knowsley to find out about its controversial parks strategy INSPIRE

51 Bird’s-Eye View Landscape Associates Ltd refreshes an urban garden in Teddington

54 Fine Dining A Tunbridge Wells eaterie is transformed by Farlam & Chandler

58 Turn of Events NT Killingley delivers a new events space for the University of Leicester


68 News The latest news from Manchester

70 Agenda Is the Northern Forest a worthwhile investment?

72 Urban Landscape Design An interview with Mark and Holly Youde from the Chester-based practice

76 Stephen Martlew The founder of Stephen Martlew Landscape Architecture talks to Pro Landscaper

78 David Keegan David talks about local design trends and his most exciting projects

80 City of Trees We find out how the charity is connecting the people of Manchester with trees

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117 Natural Selection Peter Wilder shares his experiences working on the new grounds of the Natural History Museum

121 Deep Trouble Sean Butler shares his tips on dealing with unforeseen discoveries

122 Back to Basics Robert Webber’s useful advice for garden lighting beginners

123 Honest Values and Ethics

A look into the values of CED Stone Group

124 New School Joshua Noakes on the differences between studying landscape architecture in the UK and Australia

126 Fair Play 82

There’s Something About Salford We find out more about the new RHS Garden Bridgewater


Reinventing the Past Robert Hughes Garden Design creates a sleek urban garden


Business Class A contemporary business complex is created by Landstruction and CW Studio NURTURE


Nurture News A roundup of news from the UK’s growing sector


Designer Plants Lee Bestall runs down planting for form and structure


Species Selection New contributor Jackie Herald hails new advice for resilient urban trees


Fragrant Flowers Andy McIndoe recommends shrubs and climbers with pleasing perfumes

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Why it’s more important than ever to provide areas for children to play

100 Summer Days Bring the summer into your life early with the geranium, says Ian Drummond

101 Think Small Jamie Butterworth considers the best of smaller perennials

102 Hedges Six UK nurseries pick their top two British-grown hedges

105 Fertilisers Five of the latest and best fertilisers

106 Nursery Factfile A look into Boningale Nurseries EDUCATE

111 Pro Landscaper Business Awards: Winner Profile Gristwood and Toms

112 Retaining Walls Sam Hassall breaks down the costs of retaining walls

115 Retain Staff Tips on how to attract and retain high quality staff, from Jeff Stephenson

128 Resin Bound The benefits of resin bound paving


Product DNA Lagonda, Perfectly Green

132 Stihl: Cordless Power Reporting back from the Stihl press event

135 Electric Dreams Why Thanet District Council has switched to electric mowers

136 Ride-on Mowers Four of the latest innovations

139 Book Reviews We review three new landscaping and horticulture books

140 Look Out For Adam McGarry

143 Trading With The Resin Mill

146 Little Interview Quick-fire questions to the people who make up our industry

Pro Landscaper / April 2018


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Marcus Watson

Jackie Herald

Joshua Noakes

Andy McIndoe

Managing director, Ground Control

Founder, The Extra Room

Landscape architecture student, University of Sheffield

Leading horticulturist

As Britain prepares to leave the European Union, Marcus considers the effects that Brexit could have on the landscape industry, including the staff shortages and lower grounds maintenance budgets that could result. He encourages us to remain positive, though, by promoting the value we bring as an industry and through people development, saying that we can shape the outcome of Brexit on this sector.

With 30% of urban trees failing during their establishment phase, our new Nurture columnist Jackie Herald looks at how we can improve species selection for a better urban treescape. Attending the launch of ‘Tree Species Selection for Green Infrastructure: A Guide for Specifiers’, Jackie reports on how this new digital resource will help us to select a diverse and resilient range of trees for our cities.

One of our inaugural 30 Under 30s, student Joshua Noakes shares his experiences of studying landscape architecture at the University of Sheffield, as well as the six months he spent on exchange at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Joshua notes the different approaches of the two establishments, but does he have a preference? Find out on page 124.

This issue sees horticulturist Andy McIndoe share his pick of reliable scented shrubs and climber for providing fabulous fragrance throughout spring and summer. From the spring-flowering and delightfully perfumed Osmanthus delavayi to the creamy yellow flowers of Pittosporum tobira, which exude their delicious orange blossom fragrance in summer, Andy’s suggestions are truly ‘heaven scent’. @MDrWatson @Jackieherald

@JoshuaNoakes @AndyMcIndoe

Angus Lindsay Head of fleet, idverde Andrew Wilson Garden designer and lecturer Adam White Director, Davies White Ltd David T Binks Managing director, Big Hedge Co. and Landstruction

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Other contributors Anji Connell Interior architect and landscape designer

Jeff Stephenson Head of horticulture and aftercare, Bowles & Wyer

Ian Drummond Creative director, Indoor Garden Design

Peter Wilder Principal, Wilder Associates and Survey Drone Ltd

Jamie Butterworth Horticultural consultant, London Stone

Sean Butler Director, Cube 1994

Sam Hassall Managing director, LandPro Ltd

Robert Webber Founder, Scenic Lighting

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Whether on a specific project, a show garden or as a practice, collaboration with other landscapers and garden designers is common in the industry – but what are the benefits and pitfalls? We ask an experienced few what they have found to be the pros and cons of collaborating.

Hugo Bugg Director, Harris Bugg Studio

Working and collaborating with Charlotte (and the rest of our design team) helps us to test, question and push one another to deliver better work. Naturally, there is always the risk of disagreements and conflict, but because we share a central value of producing exceptional work, the ‘ego’ is moved aside! Positive tension, when channelled in the right way, can be really productive and creative as long as it is anchored in the core value that it is about the quality of the work, not about being right. On the flip side, there is also the risk that collaboration becomes consensus and the work becomes diluted or confused. We are conscious of the risk of watering down; how we work together feels like a creative conversation that builds and develops. 8

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Roxy Jaudat Director, Mango Landscapes The UK has embraced outdoor living and recently we have been investing into our gardens and outdoor spaces more than ever – great news for designers, gardeners and hard landscapers, as there is plenty of work to share harmoniously. Collaboration is a powerful thing, providing all the skills and knowledge required to create and build beautiful gardens. Fortunately, pitfalls seldom seem to arise when two people are collaborating. Uncertainty about whose budget carries certain responsibilities, or around access and timescales on busy developments, can bring the occasional challenge – but overall, I am unaware of too much drama in our industry.

Tamara Bridge Owner, Tamara Bridge Garden Designs Working both as an individual and as a collaborating designer, it’s good to see both sides of the coin. As much as I enjoy the freedom of making decisions when working on a design, working as a duo creates a different energy. Kate Savill and I can work through a concept,

bouncing it around and very quickly forming a clear concept; when we have to explain it to each other, we clarify the narrative of the design very quickly. We have overlapping styles and skills as well as the unique ones we bring to the table, which enriches the design process and covers a lot of ground at the same time. So far, Kate and I have not had a cross word, and long may that stay true. I think the key to that so far has been respect, honesty, open-mindedness, and an equal passion and ambition to execute work to the highest standard.

Adolfo Harrison Co-founder, Cityscapes

You can tell when a landscaper is a true collaborator when, after hearing what can’t be done at any practical or economic hurdle, they start suggesting solutions on how to overcome the issue, with a glint in their eye. The dialogue that ensues invariably results in new and exciting ideas that would not have been considered otherwise, and it’s this generous engineer in them that means we love collaborating with landscapers. Despite being designers ourselves at Cityscapes, we also collaborate with other garden designers; we’re keen to push not just concepts to their limits, but also our profession.

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Into that mix we also add artists, dancers, fashion designers and architects. Their alternative approach to our medium has resulted in gardens up in The London Eye, underground in tunnels, and even as temporary performances, all helping to widen the expectations we have of gardens at the same time.

Richard Kay Chairman, Green-tech The benefits of collaborating on a project are immeasurable for both a supplier and client. The blue chip and high-profile projects that we are involved with are becoming more complex due to time restraints, space on site and site works programmes. By ensuring strong communication lines, we are able to understand the potential risks and variables on a project. We can manage both the site and client expectations, which improves customer relationships and ultimately leads to a satisfied customer and a successful project. There are, of course, times when things don’t go according to plan. Having a close working relationship with our customers allows Greentech to have honest discussions about the problem and deliver a suitable resolve. Whatever we do, we always take a long-term view, and we know we are stronger together.

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Holly Youde

Matt Keightley

Creative director, Urban Landscape Design

Director and head designer, Rosebank Landscaping

We love collaborating with other professionals within the landscaping industry, and find that doing so opens up new opportunities, builds relationships, provides innovative and creative ideas, and offers a fresh way of approaching our business. Partnership with others is not always easy, and as with any relationship, you need to find a common ground that connects you – whether this is having the same ethics and drive, or being open to honest liaison. It doesn’t always work out the way you expected, and that’s fine – you move on and learn from it. For any collaboration to work, it’s important to keep clear lines of communication open at all times. We welcome collaboration because it challenges us, as well as bringing a different energy and new ideas to our projects. This teamwork generally results in a really cohesive project, presenting clients with a scheme that goes above and beyond their expectations.

We find it hugely beneficial to have the capacity to design and build in-house at Rosebank. From the very beginning of the design process, we are analysing the space, bearing in mind aesthetics, logistics and engineering; collaboration is the key to ensuring a seamless transition between the drawing board and the reality of a garden coming to life. The world of landscape design is one that never ceases to amaze me. We cross paths with all sorts of fascinating and talented individuals on the journey towards delivering an outdoor space for clients. We collaborate with architects, interior designers, M&E consultants, specialist suppliers and sculptors; we have even found ourselves working with shepherds, discussing appropriate paddock rotation for rare breed sheep! A meeting of creative minds is a fascinating and, most of the time, enjoyable process; for fleeting moments we join forces and become a team that is focused on one goal.

NEXT MONTH Are mergers and acquisitions good for the industry? Have your say: Pro Landscaper / April 2018


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NEWS Sullivan Street Partners acquires ISS Landscaping

Oxford Street transformation plans receive widespread support

ISS UK Limited has successfully exchanged contracts to sell ISS Facility Services Landscaping to Sullivan Street Partners, a private equity company based in London. Completion of the deal is set for 30 April 2018. The new company will trade under the name Tivoli and continue to carry out grounds maintenance for public sector, defence and corporate clients across the UK. The senior management team will remain in their existing positions, with Phil Jones staying on as managing director. The sale will see the transfer of 1,100 operational staff and support functions to Sullivan Street Partners. “I would like to thank ISS for their support over the past several years, building ISS Landscaping into the strong grounds maintenance business it is today,” said Phil Jones. “Together with Sullivan Street, I look forward to the next phase

Plans to transform Oxford Street and the surrounding area have received widespread support. The plans – subject of a recent consultation by Westminster City Council and Transport for London – proposed a traffic-free area between Orchard Street and Oxford Circus, delivered by December 2018 to coincide with the launch of the Elizabeth Line. The aspiration is to create safe, accessible and inspiring public spaces with improved pedestrian crossings, wider pavements and additional taxi ranks. Local residents were at the centre of the plans, which aim to address road safety and air quality issues; around a million people were contacted with emails, letters and leaflets. This followed an earlier initial consultation in the spring of 2017, which saw 62% of the 12,000 responses supporting the principles behind the plans. More than 22,000 responses were received as part of the second consultation. Of those who

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of development, where, together, we will make Tivoli the preeminent environment for talented staff to build a grounds maintenance-focused career, and for clients to continue to experience the very best service levels in the market.” “We have been highly attracted to the grounds maintenance market for some time, and the business within ISS provides a fantastic base from which to grow,” said Sullivan Street director Layton Tamberlin. “We are looking forward to meeting the transferring staff and working with them to make Tivoli a market-leading independent grounds maintenance business in the UK.”

responded to the online consultation directly, 64% supported all or some of the plans, with 33% against them. TfL received around 7,000 written responses supporting the scheme as part of a Living Streets campaign, and a further 632 written responses as part of a local campaign against the proposal.

TfL and Westminster City Council are now considering the issues raised by the response. These include traffic and air quality on residential roads, provision of a safe cycle route through the wider area, management of the public space, and ensuring that Oxford Street remains accessible for all. To view the full consultation report, please visit:

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Holland Landscapes celebrates 30th birthday Holland Landscapes, based near Colchester in Essex, is celebrating 30 years in the business. The company was founded by Chris Baker in 1988, with Chris’s son Paul joining 10 years later. Chris and Paul are still at the helm as directors, and have developed Holland Landscapes into the thriving business it is today, designing and constructing gardens throughout Suffolk and Essex. The business includes a team of seven full-time employees, and uses the services of local bricklayers, electricians and other specialists. Chris and Paul

also recently founded a second company, Tapestry Design Studios. Holland Landscapes has been a member of the APL (Association of Professional Landscapers) since the late Nineties, and is one of the few landscaping companies to have won 10 APL awards, including the

prestigious Supreme Award and the Young Achiever Award. Asked what the biggest challenge has been in the last 30 years, Paul said: “It’s always been hard to recruit really high quality staff. In recent years, colleges have been trying to attract a higher calibre of student but there’s still a way to go before landscaping is recognised as a varied and rewarding career. Having said that, the team at Holland Landscapes are amazing and I’m incredibly proud of them.”

Remembering John Brookes John Brookes FSGD MBE has passed away at the age of 84. Known for practically creating the modern profession of garden design, John began designing gardens back in the Fifties, and completed projects all over the world. Aiming to inspire a new wave of garden designers, John published more than 25 books about landscape and garden design – his first being ‘Room Outside’, released in 1969. “John Brookes played not only a mentoring, but also a parental role in my life for many years,” said Andrew Duff MSGD of Inchbald

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School of Design. “He will be remembered for his extensive writings, lectures and his ability to communicate garden design to the masses. Above all, he showed us that ‘a line is not simply a line but a conversation’.” Ann-Marie Powell MSGD told Pro Landscaper: “The first time I met John was while filming at Chelsea in 1999. I was in my mid-twenties, and overwhelmed at meeting one of my icons. I needn’t have worried — John’s sharp wit put us all at ease. It’s not only his trailblazing influence as a designer I

NEWS IN BRIEF Pro Landscaper Digital

The Pro Landscaper website is set for momentous changes! From Spring 2018, it will be packed with exclusive content that cannot be found on any other site, or in the printed edition of Pro Landscaper. If you have a story to tell, get in touch with us at digitaleditor@

RHS Awards announced

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has announced this year’s recipients of the RHS Annual Awards, with its highest accolade, The Victoria Medal of Honour in Horticulture, awarded to Charles Williams, Carol Klein and Peter Catt. A full list of the awards and winners can be found at

TigerTurf strengthens UK operations shall miss, but his generosity, sense of fun and kindness.” John was always giving back to the industry, teaching for two years at Inchbald School before founding the Clock House School of Garden Design. His legacy shall continue as garden designers of the present and future look back and see that he helped to start it all.

TigerTurf UK has appointed of Simon Clare as sales and account manager for the South. Simon was previously the multi-sport project development manager for Notts Sport Ltd. Simon will be responsible for managing a number of contracts, and developing existing and new relationships to achieve annual sales targets.

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Gillespies renews public space in the heart of London Landscape architecture firm Gillespies has designed a new public square at the foot of the Leadenhall Building, in the City of London. The practice was commissioned by The Leadenhall Development Company Ltd, City of London and Aviva to rejuvenate the existing thoroughfare, which sits at the historic junction of Leadenhall Street and St Mary’s Axe. The new square – at 3,325m², the third-largest open space in the City – is the setting for a number

of iconic buildings, including 30 St Mary’s Axe, The Leadenhall Building, The Lloyd’s Building and The Scalpel, a 35-storey tower that is currently under construction. The square also offers enough open

Writtle University College’s team for the Young Gardeners of the Year unveils design Young Gardeners of the Year is an annual competition organised by celebrity gardener David Domoney, giving students invaluable experience of designing and building a show garden. Delivered in association with The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, this year’s competition will be held for the first time at Ascot Racecourse, during this April’s Ascot Spring Garden Show. Won last year by Writtle University College, the competition will see six UK horticultural colleges compete for the title. This year’s, Writtle’s team has designed a garden based around a ‘floating’ platform, anchored by a full-sized tree. The entrance to the garden is lowered and filled with harvested rainwater that is traversed by porcelain stepping stones; the team has suggested that a pump system could be

included so that this water can be used to irrigate the garden. Steps then lead up to a decking area made of recycled plastic and raised on stilts, creating the illusion that it is floating among the plants. Through this, a full-sized tree grows, providing natural shelter. The teams will have five days to build and plant their designs, ready for the Show’s opening day on 13 April 2018. Entrants will compete to win Gold, Silver Gilt, Silver, or Bronze awards, and the overall winner will receive the Best in Show trophy. Visitors can also vote for the People’s Choice Award.

space to accommodate exhibitions and performances. Gillespies’ design for this space restores the site’s unique character, but offers a contemporary interpretation. High quality paved,

ramped and tiered pedestrianised walkways provide generous connections, simplifying the flow of people, while curved stone planters animate the space, with integrated seating providing opportunities for visitors to pause and relax. At night, the square is transformed through light installations that imitate swaying reeds in the wind. The redesigned space has reinvigorated the area, creating a fresh, appealing and multifunctional plaza for people to enjoy.

idverde launches revolutionary ‘Performance Campus’ idverde, European provider of green services, has launched its new UK Performance Campus, completing a Europe-wide rollout of facilities to develop its colleagues. The Campus is led by head of learning and development Elaine Callaghan. Under her leadership, idverde will offer learning and development opportunities for employees, with programmes for apprentices, supervisors, managers and leaders. idverde is on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers and will draw on its Apprenticeship Levy contributions to fund appropriate elements of the Campus prospectus. The business is pleased to appoint Damon Lee

as learning and development specialist; he will guide the first tranche of apprenticeships in the London region. Where idverde needs specialist input, it will partner with other organisations to support the delivery of its Level 2 Horticulture and Landscaping. The Performance Campus launch began at High Elms Country Park in Bromley, with idverde’s chief executive Doug Graham welcoming the first cohort of apprentices for Level 2 Horticulture on their learning journey. A key element of any apprenticeship is the 20% ‘off the job’ learning, which must be recorded and will include classroom training, learning practical skills, revision, reading, research and assignments.

For your daily news update, please visit the Pro Landscaper website: 12

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Pro Landscaper / April 2018

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SHOULD WE BE REMOVING ROOTBALLING MATERIALS? Opinion is divided on whether the hessian and wire on rootballed trees should be left on, peeled back or removed entirely when planting; Pro Landscaper explores the topic, asking industry experts what they would recommend


ccording to BSI Group, the UK standards body, the hessian and wire on rootballed trees should be loosened or removed when planting: “BS 8545:2014 Trees: from nursery to independence in the landscape – Recommendations advises that once a rootballed tree has been positioned in the planting pit, the hessian, twine and wire cage should be loosened. “If wire encircles the stem diameter as part of the wire cage of the rootball, this should be cut and removed. The removal of wire baskets, hessian and twine used in the rootballing process (where feasible without rootball disturbance) ensures that future development is not inhibited once the tree is positioned in the planting pit.” Concerning the biodegradable aspect of the materials, BSI Group commented: “When left in place, hessian and twine can remain strong for 14

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News Extra British Standards.indd 14

MILLIONS OF TREES ARE PLANTED EVERY YEAR WITH THE WIRE NET ON THE ROOTBALL, BOTH IN LANDSCAPE PROJECTS AND IN NURSERY CULTIVATION, AND THEY ALL THRIVE several years, and this is long enough to cause serious constriction in the basal stem area. “Wire baskets can last for as long as 30 years after transplanting. Where a wire basket is left in place, the top of the root flare usually grows into one of the horizontal upper wires, and roots become girdled as they develop. This restricts the transport of water to the stem and carbohydrates to the rest of the root system.”

According to Steve Evans of Kingston Landscape Group (KLG), however, it is not common practice to remove these materials. When carrying out a large project recently at a park in south London, KLG planted a number of rootball trees into pits, leaving the biodegradable wire and hessian on the rootballs. The only modification made was to loosen the wire at the base of the tree. Steve was then informed by the client’s architect that the hessian and wire should have been peeled right back or removed, as stated in BS8545:2014. The rootball trees already planted will now have to be removed, adding an extra week onto the project length and potentially causing damage to the trees. What do the nurseries recommend? Both Hillier Nurseries and Deepdale Trees suggest that there is no harm in leaving the hessian and

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wire in place. “The hessian and wire are designed to be left on the rootball,” says Hossein Arshadi, director of the amenity division at Hillier Nurseries. “They are both biodegradable, and when left on for underground guying anchor systems they can help stop the soil from disintegrating while the rootball is pressed with the guying system. “In some cases where the wire has been tied too closely to the base of a trunk, it is advisable to cut the wire and peel it back around six inches so that it does not cut into the trunk of a tree while the materials biodegrade. Otherwise, I would recommend leaving the materials on the rootball.”

WHEN LEFT IN PLACE, HESSIAN AND TWINE CAN REMAIN STRONG FOR SEVERAL YEARS, AND THIS IS LONG ENOUGH TO CAUSE SERIOUS CONSTRICTION IN THE BASAL STEM AREA Mark Godden, sales director of Deepdale Trees, agrees: “The hessian biodegrades, and the wire breaks down relatively quickly without restricting root growth, so there is no reason to remove it. “Removing the net and hessian from a large tree is quite a lot of work and is complicated – some of the trees we sell are 14m high, with a two-and-a-half metre diameter rootball wrapped in hessian and wire. How do you remove that easily on site without causing damage to the root system? “I can see why the British Standard might recommend removing it, because you’d get soil-to-soil contact, but it is unnecessary –it creates extra workload and could potentially cause damage to the root system. “The British Standard needs to take into account that there is a variety of different systems available for growing and delivering trees; the same methodology cannot be applied across the board.” Managing director of Majestic Trees, Steve McCurdy, is also concerned that the British Standard does not reflect common practice: “Less than 5% of trees planted each year have their wire nets removed at planting; literally

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millions of rootballed trees are planted every year with the wire net on the rootball, both in landscape projects and in nursery cultivation, and they all thrive. It is not practical to remove it, and the stability and integrity of the rootball are highly likely to be compromised. “Furthermore, there are many experts who would say that keeping the biodegradable wire net on the rootball protects the roots so that air pockets don’t open up, allowing the roots to dry out and providing voids where water can collect. “The wire is highly degradable – if you consider all the settlement or heaving of structures caused by tree roots, where buildings and concrete walls are damaged by the vigorous growth of roots, a low-grade, thin, degradable wire will not restrict the growth of a large tree.” Tony Kirkham, head of arboretum at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, concurs: “When planting a rootballed tree with hessian and wire mesh – whether the tree has been lifted directly from the field or rootballed following growing on in a contained system such as an Air-Pot container – it is important to keep the hessian and wire intact and not to remove it. This prevents the rootball from falling apart. “When the tree is planted in aerobic conditions, the hessian and wire mesh will break down and rot off very quickly – within two or three months – as they are untreated and low grade, and I would hope that all trees are planted in aerobic conditions. “The hessian should be just visible on the top of the rootball after the final planting – that means the planting depth is correct. “I have witnessed tree roots pushing through this hessian within four to five weeks.” With such a significant discrepancy on opinions, should the British Standard be amended? Or does the ‘common practice’ of leaving the hessian and wire on need to be addressed?

Let us know what you think by contacting


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APL Awards 2018

Supreme Award Winner: Ryan Alexander Landscape Design & Build

Commercial Garden: Urban Landscape Design Ltd

The 2018 edition of the APL Awards saw the industry come together for a memorable evening of celebration The annual awards ceremony took place on Friday 16 March at The Brewery, London, to celebrate and recognise the outstanding landscaping carried out by APL members. Ryan Alexander Landscape Design & Build, based in Berkshire, took the Supreme Winner award for its project Dean Grange, a luxury family home. This entry was also the winner of the Project Value Over £200,000 category. The judges commented: “An impressive and inspirational achievement for other landscapers with the opportunity to interpret all available space with creative planting achieved to perfection. Each area tells a story and was built for a reason and purpose. Outstanding!” The standard of entries exceeded expectations and yet again there was a record-breaking number of submissions, and individual entrants, for the judges to deliberate over. On the judging panel were industry experts: Richard Barnard as chief judge, Bob

Sweet, Steve Smith, Robin Templar-Williams, and the APL’s general manager, Phil Tremayne. The record-breaking 360-strong audience heard from industry stalwart, Chris Collins, who regaled them with tales from his career – including highlights of his time as a gardener at Westminster Abbey, the changes he made while in the role, and being the first gardener there to have a computer. The APL Judges thanked everyone who participated in the awards and give their congratulations to the winners. The APL encourages the winners and finalists to use their entry to promote their businesses, the industry and APL membership. The APL looks forward to seeing everyone involved, as well as new entrants and partners, again for the 2019 APL Awards; entry is now open via the APL Awards website. For more information about the winners, visit

APL Designer of the Year: Wardrop Designs

Supplier of the Year – Grower North Midlands: J A Jones, sponsored by Pro Landscaper

Soft Landscaping: Creative Landscape Co

Project Value £60,000-£100,000: Langdale Landscapes Ltd


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Supplier of the Year – Manufacturer: London Stone, sponsored by Pro Landscaper

Garden Feature: J B Landscapes Ltd

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Community Garden: Kingston Landscape Group Ltd

Project Value £100,000-£200,000 Landscape Associates Ltd

Raoul Curtis-Machin, HTA director of horticulture

& Build

CATEGORY WINNERS AND FINALISTS Supreme Award Winner Sponsored by Bradstone • Ryan Alexander Landscape Design & Build Project: Dean Grange Project Value under £20,000 Sponsored by The Turf Club • Winner – Green Rooms Landscapes & Gardens Ltd Project: Modern Courtyard Central Brighton • Gold – Agentsgreen Ltd Project: Backenbury Village Garden • Gold – Conquest Creative Spaces Project: Pocket Garden • Gold – Lanwarne Landscapes Project: Chelveston • Silver – Mango Paving & Landscaping Ltd Project: Garden Re-Vamp • Silver – Original Landscapes Ltd Project: Pickwick Road • Silver – Thorburn Landscapes Ltd Project: Clonmore St Project Value £20,000-£35,000 Sponsored by Citation • Winner – Lanwarne Landscapes Project: Georgian Close • Gold – Creative Landscape Co Project: Paradise in a Berkshire Town • Gold – Thorburn Landscapes Ltd Project: Berrymeded Road • Gold – Timotay Landscapes Project: The Village Garden • Silver – Agentsgreen Ltd Project: West Ealing Outdoor Room • Silver – Ayegardening Ltd Project: Lyndhurst • Silver – Conquest Creative Spaces Project: Koi Garden • Silver – InsideOut Home and Garden Improvements Ltd Project: Castle on the Hill Project Value £35,000-£60,000 • Winner – Habitat Landscapes Ltd Project: The Guest Room • Gold – Agentsgreen Ltd Project: West London Garden Design and Re-Built • Gold – Chester Gardener Project: West Heath Drive • Gold – J B Landscapes Ltd Project: Tranquil Terraced Garden • Gold – Landscape Associates Ltd Project: Teddington Garden • Gold – Papillon Designs and Landscaping Ltd Project: Creating more interest in a town garden • Gold – RG Landscape & Construction Ltd Project: Ipswich/Stride – Contemporary Garden

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Project Value £60,000-£100,000 Sponsored by Namgrass • Winner – Langdale Landscapes Ltd Project: Redlands Road Project • Gold – Bowood Landscapes Ltd Project: Porters Garden • Gold – Frogheath Landscapes Project: Mayfield • Gold – Frosts Landscape Construction Ltd Project: Distillery Wharf • Gold – Langdale Landscapes Ltd Project: Plaxtol Garden • Silver – Timotay Landscapes Project: The Social Garden Project Value £100,000-£200,000 Sponsored by The Turf Group • Winner – Landscape Associates Ltd Project: Town Garden – Kensington, London • Gold – Creative Landscape Co Project: Windrush – A Riverside Garden • Gold – Lanwarne Landscapes Project: East View • Gold – Timotay Landscapes Project: Contemporary Cheshire Garden • Silver – Wheelbarrow Project: Mulberry House, Mawgan Porth Project Value Over £200,000 Sponsored by ecodek • Winner – Ryan Alexander Landscape Design & Build Project: Dean Grange • Gold – Langdale Landscapes Ltd Project: Coldrum House • Gold – Living Landscapes Project: Private Residence, Surrey • Gold – Outdoor Creations Project: Betchworth Garden • Gold – Waratah Gardens Project: The Woodland Garden Hard Landscaping Sponsored by Bradstone • Winner – J B Landscapes Ltd Project: Caledonian Road • Gold – Habitat Landscapes Ltd Project: The Guest Room • Gold – Landscape Associates Ltd Project: Town Garden – Kensington, London • Gold – Lanwarne Landscapes Project: East View • Gold – Lanwarne Landscapes Project: Georgian Close • Gold – Papillon Designs and Landscaping Ltd

Project: The Outdoor Kitchen, Ellon • Gold – Urban Landscape Design Ltd Project: Urban HQ • Silver – InsideOut Home and Garden Improvements Ltd Project: Castle on the Hill • Silver – Susan Young Garden Design Project: Slope to Stage Soft Landscaping Sponsored by Classiflora Zelari • Winner – Creative Landscape Co Project: Paradise in a Berkshire Town • Gold – Landscape Associates Ltd Project: Teddington Garden • Gold – Langdale Landscapes Ltd Project: Plaxtol Garden • Silver – Creative Landscape Co Project: New Garden • Silver – Rococo Landscaping & Building Ltd Project: Terraced Garden Overall Design & Build Sponsored by Green-tech • Winner – Landscape Associates Ltd Project: Town Garden – Kensington, London • Gold – Creative Landscape Co Project: Windrush – A Riverside Garden • Gold – Green Rooms Landscapes & Gardens Ltd Project: Modern Courtyard Central Brighton • Silver – J B Landscapes Ltd Project: Tranquil Terraced Garden • Silver: RG Landscape & Construction Ltd Project: Ipswich/Stride – Contemporary Garden Garden Feature Sponsored by Easigrass • Winner – J B Landscapes Ltd Project: Caledonian Road, Gabion Walls • Gold – Lanwarne Landscapes Project: East View – Walling • Gold – Living Landscapes Project: Private Residence Surrey • Gold – RG Landscape & Construction Ltd Project: Chelmondiston – Brick Wisteria Walkway • Gold – Rococo Landscaping & Building Ltd Project: Terraced Garden – Water Feature

Commercial Garden Sponsored by Boughton Loam • Winner – Urban Landscape Design Ltd Project: FED – Care Home Seaside Garden • Gold – Frogheath Landscapes Project: English Woodlands Carpark • Gold – Kingston Landscape Group Ltd Project: Dickens Yard • Silver – Frogheath Landscapes Project: Hydro Hotel • Silver – Mango Paving & Landscaping Ltd Project: Kiddi Caru Day Nursery Community Garden Winner – Kingston Landscape Group Ltd Project: Tubs Hills Gold – Landform Consultants Ltd Project: Coniston Court Gold – Timotay Landscapes Project: Cherry Lane Adventure Playground Silver – Oakley Landscapes Ltd Project: Greening Grey Britain APL Designer of the Year Sponsored by NCC Streetscapes • Winner – Wardrop Designs Project: Hampstead • Gold – Aralia Garden Design Project: Essex Country Garden • Silver – Wardrop Designs Project: Barbican Roof Terrace APL Rising Star Award Sponsored by Fresh Horticultural Careers • Winner – Daniel McGeoghegan Myerscough College New Company of the Year Sponsored by Makita • Winner – Beetlestone’s Garden Maintenance Supplier of the Year Sponsored by Pro Landscaper • Manufacturer Winner – London Stone • Grower South Winner – Classiflora • Grower North/Midlands Winner – J A Jones HTA Benevolent Fund Award • Winner – Agentsgreen Ltd Project: West London Garden Design and Re-Built

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BALI briefing BALI unveils its secret garden for RHS Malvern BALI is returning to the RHS Malvern Spring Festival on 10-13 May 2018 with a garden trade stand. Working with the association’s Midlands committee members, the 5m x 4m garden – designed by BALI Designer Jane Bingham of The Cheshire Garden – will be built and supplied by BALI members, featuring a variety of quality

materials and products from some of the country’s leading companies. James Brash from Isola Garden Design will support the garden’s construction, Ready Hedge will provide trough hedging, Westminster Stone Company will supply its National Trust range of paving and decorative aggregates, Harrod

UK will provide three archways, and cast stone manufacturer Haddonstone will loan classical garden busts. The backdrop of the stand will be adorned with a Green-tech green screen. Wyevale Nurseries will provide the plants and British Sugar TOPSOIL are also supporting. Trade campaign success BALI’s #SucceedwithBALI campaign comes to an end on 31 March; more than 100 leads have been generated thanks to the digital and print advertising campaign, which was sponsored by Westminster

Stone Company. BALI plans to launch three new campaigns in the 2018/19 membership year. Entries open for 2018 Awards BALI Registered members can now submit their schemes for the BALI National Landscape Awards 2018, which will return to Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London on Friday 7 December 2018. There are sponsorship opportunities available exclusively to BALI members – contact Diane McCulloch diane.mcculloch@ for details.

plants@work outline plants@work 2018 Awards Ceremony With the applications in, the judges will visit all of the entries – find out the winners at the ceremony on 26 April, at the Weston Roof Pavilion, South

Bank Centre, London. The event will start with a buffet lunch at 1.30pm, followed by a short opening speech by biophilic architect and designer Oliver Heath. The award presentations will follow, with the event finishing by 5pm. The event will be sponsored by Koberg, and tickets are now available at £70 each – 10% off for bookings of 10 people or more. Reserve your places at WELL Building Standard Oliver Heath – along with Interface, for whom he’s an

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ambassador, and with support from others, including Biotecture – has produced a guide to the WELL Building Standard. Download a copy at www. Favourite Office Plant of the Year Every year we find out the nation’s favourite office plant, and we’d love you to nominate your favourite(s) – up to three. Our judges will select a winner from the three with the most votes. Send suggestions to

National Plants at Work Week (NPWW) Our annual campaign to promote plants in the workplace will soon be here (9-13 July). How will you use this campaign to spread the word to a wide audience? In the past, companies have held kokedama workshops, given away free plants, and produced promotional materials. We look forward to hearing what you will do and seeing your posts on social media during the week.

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APL update APL Awards 2018 This years APL Awards were, once again, a huge success, with a record number of entries and attendants. Read the full write-up in the APL Awards feature (pages 18-19) in this month’s Pro Landscaper to see all our winners!

APL Show Gardens in 2018 This year the APL is continuing its presence at some of the country’s leading shows and will be building gardens at Ascot Spring Flower Show, BBC Gardeners’ World Live and RHS Hampton Court Flower Show. Built by APL Member Simply Green Landscapes, the Ascot Spring Flower Show

APL Awards 2019 now open for entries Are this year’s awards inspiring you to get involved? If you’ve worked on a project that you are proud of and want to show off, enter the 2019 APL Awards at

garden is designed by Claudia de Yong and is called ‘What Lies Beneath’. Many thanks to its sponsors, London Stone. APL WorldSkills 2018 is open for entries The 2018 Landscape Gardening WorldSkills UK Competition is now open for registration. The 2017 competition was a massive success, with Adam McGarry taking home the gold, and four of our competitors making it through to Squad UK for their chance to compete at international level. To be eligible to enter, competitors must be at least 16 years of age on 1 September 2017 and eligible

to hold a UK passport. You must also meet at least one of the following criteria: 1. Be employed in the UK, having completed a relevant qualification in the last 12 months. 2. Be studying towards a relevant UK qualification. 3. Be working towards an apprenticeship in a relevant UK trade. For more information on how you, your apprentice, or someone you know can enter APL WorldSkills 2018, email The closing date is 7 April, so make sure you don’t miss out!

RHS report RHS London Orchid Show and Plant Fair, Lindley and Lawrence Halls (5-7 April) The RHS London Orchid Show and Plant Fair includes a selection of spring plants, gardening sundries, and exotic orchids from Hobbs Orchids Ltd, Burnham Nurseries and more. Lawrence Hall will host a preview for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018, including talks from designers; visitors will see a Show Garden feature from designer James


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Orchid exhibitor at RHS London Orchid Show ©RHS/Andy Paradise

Alexander-Sinclair, who will discuss trends at this year’s show. An evening event on 5 April (5-9pm) offers a show preview with food and music. RHS Cardiff Flower Show, Bute Park (13-15 April) The RHS Cardiff Flower Show will include Show Gardens, 60 nurseries, interactive activities,

and the new Regeneration Gardens, showing how small, modestly priced garden interventions can make significant changes. Spring Plant Fair, RHS Garden Hyde Hall (21-22 April) The Spring Plant Fair is the perfect opportunity to get your garden spring-ready. Be inspired by 30 nurseries selling rare plants and garden sundries. There will also be a programme of talks and demonstrations. hyde-hall

National Gardening Week, all RHS Gardens (30 April-6 May) Starting a fortnight later than in previous years to take advantage of more spring plants in bloom, National Gardening Week will encourage everyone to ‘Share Your Passion For Plants’ at events around the UK, including the four RHS Gardens, with speakers providing advice. www.nationalgardening

National Gardening Week

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Parks Alliance matters

Parks Action Group gears up The clocks have changed, slightly warmer weather is here, and parks and green spaces across the country are erupting with signs of spring. Everything is growing – the amounts of people and wildlife enjoying our green spaces, the day-to-day management requirements –and the amount of waste and litter to be dealt with. The Parks Alliance (TPA) has been busy on behalf of parks. Our role with the

government-convened Parks Action Group group is picking up pace as we begin to address securing the future of our parks. We were delighted with the sector and public response to TPA and 38 Degrees’ campaign lobbying the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to reinstate targeted,

significant, ring-fenced parks funding from 2019. We hope the message sent by more than 175,000 people will persuade HLF to continue to fund parks with ‘heritage’ (historic and/or biodiversity). We have welcomed the Third State of Scotland’s Greenspace Report, published by Greenspace Scotland, which reveals a wealth of urban green space in Scotland and a direct correlation between declining local authority budgets and declining public satisfaction. The report tracks the decrease in local authorities’ public spending on green space in Scotland – from £27,814 per 1,000 people, in 2010-11 to £21,794 per 1,000 people in

2015-16. This is yet more evidence that declining resources for parks and green spaces have a negative impact on the communities that use them.

Let’s hope for some good weather over the next month – both to increase the enjoyment of our parks and to let us complete those management chores.

SGD bulletin The SGD Awards 2019: open for entries The SGD Awards are back, and eligible SGD members are invited to submit their applications in a range of categories. This year, a new category, ‘Fresh Designer’, is added to the line-up, open to UK garden or landscape projects of any size that demonstrate a flair for design, dynamic design solutions or something ‘special’.

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In addition, the Healing or Learning category is expanded to include community gardens. In total, 15 award categories are open to a variety of different membership levels. Categories range from Large Residential Garden to Planting Design, Garden Jewel and International Garden, for which judges are keen to see gardens of all sizes and concepts built outside the UK. Now in its seventh year, The SGD Award scheme is intended to recognise and reward the best in landscape and garden design, and is a

Matt Keightley MSGD Judges Awards winner 2017 ©Marianne Majerus

fantastic way for SGD members to promote their businesses and raise their profile. Shortlisted and winning gardens will be selected by a panel of independent experts, and winners will be announced at the ceremony on 1 February 2019. Don’t miss out – start organising your submissions now. Main award entry forms and fees must be received by 25 May 2018, with discounted prices

available if submitted before 27 April 2018. Student award entries forms and fees must be received by 10 August 2018, with discounted prices available if received before 13 July 2018. To find out more about the SGD Awards, this year’s judging panel and the key dates for entry, please visit

Emily Erlam Winner Roof Garden 2017 ©Richard Bloom

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Chelsea Diaries

Designer Robert Barker and contractor Ed Burnham will be keeping Pro Landscaper in the loop as they prepare for their Chelsea debuts this year in the brand new Space to Grow category…

Ed Burnham Burnham Landscaping Garden The CHERUB HIV Garden: A Life Without Walls Designer Naomi Ferrett-Cohen Sponsor CHERUB The pace quickens! It’s been a full-on month of organisation, meetings and emails. Our main features have been the focus of our attention as construction of our dome and bench commences.

The garden acts as a metaphor for the journey that an HIV patient takes, with the white dome representing a clinic and area of safety from the outside world. The dome, constructed by Aztec Modelmakers, is being made from laser-cut polystyrene pieces glued together and coated in fibreglass. The complications have arisen in trying to include three watertight

windows into the rear, to allow light, but not rain, onto the judges. As you leave the dome, the path takes a route to the opposite end of the garden, breaking through four walls that represent the obstacles encountered in search of freedom. Finally, you are welcomed into a seating area – a symbol of a society without prejudice. It is here that our bespoke bench, expertly crafted by Allan at Aztec, will sit; its back rest will feature patients’ handprints. With the pre-building underway, our attention turns to the H&S documentation, risk assessments, method statements and logistics. We have a schedule worked out

and delivery dates are being booked. As a small business, this is all done by myself, so it is a juggling act. Would I have it any other way? Of course not – we’re enjoying the process to date.

Robert Barker Robert Barker Garden and Landscape Design Garden Skin Deep Contractor Terraforma Landscapes Sponsor Harley Street Skin Care I am very lucky because I have a talented team and supportive sponsors, but until the garden is completed in late May, we are all obsessing over jigsaw pieces that hopefully will all fit together. To help me get a grip of the sheer size and scale of the


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garden I built a scaled model; I sometimes do this for clients with large projects, but I will always create a model for a show garden. It is of course common for a designer to create computergenerated visuals from a twodimensional plan, but actually building a model gives you such a clear view of size and scale. Being

able to touch something also makes it that much easier to imagine yourself within the space, and see how the space will work. After a trip to my local craft store I built a model of my garden with foam board, modelling scenery foliage and then creating the sculpture out of floral foam. It took time to do but I enjoyed doing it. The model also raises questions and problems. For example, the garden appeared to be slightly unbalanced, having just two clusters of water features, so an additional cluster has now been designed. It has also made me want to add more of a textural

element to the path. London Stone have been amazing in helping us get the materials right. May is quickly approaching, and no matter how much we all obsess over the details, I can’t wait to see all of the pieces of the jigsaw come together.

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Let’s Hear it From


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This month we met with landscape architect Marian Boswall, who runs her practice from a converted stables on her farm in Kent. She spoke to us about her path into landscape architecture, her practice and speciality...

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y interest in gardens came from spending time gardening with my grandmother, which was later developed when I owned a small roof terrace in London,” says Marian. “At that time I was a management consultant, having started out as a buyer of interiors at Marks & Spencer. I remember I had these awfully gaudy baskets on my terrace (which I loved) and spent time tending them lovingly before I cycled off to work. We moved here to our Arts and Crafts house in the late Nineties – the attraction was its six-acre garden, which the previous owner told me ‘looks after itself’. I soon found this was a massive overstatement, and enrolled on garden design, garden history and horticulture courses so that I could sympathetically redesign it. I did garden history, garden design and RHS level 3 at Hadlow, and then started to think about next steps. I talked to a tutor about perhaps going into medicinal horticulture, but she advised me to do landscape architecture, to work on a wider canvas. I applied to the University of Greenwich and did landscape architecture, and followed on with a part-time master’s.” One thing we’re always interested to know is how newly minted garden designers start to gain clients when their training is complete. “After I’d done the advanced horticulture course, people began asking me to do designs for them, and I quickly realised there’s a lot more to it – which can be quite scary if you get it wrong. It started with word of mouth, friends and family, then some contractors and architects – it built and spread pretty quickly.” 28

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Many people come to garden design because they possess a natural creativity, and Marian is no different. “I studied art early on and would have loved to pursue it through art school, but I was quite academic, so my parents encouraged me to take that route,” she explains. “After my education, I tried to find something that was blue chip and arty, and Marks & Spencer fit the brief perfectly. Following that, I became a management consultant at A.T. Kearney, which felt like a glamorous move. It was exciting and very high octane, but it just didn’t work with children.”

IT’S REALLY EXCITING TO UNCOVER ALL THE LAYERS OF THE HISTORY OF A HOUSE AND ITS SURROUNDINGS, AND WE OFTEN USE ARCHIVES AND EVEN ARCHAEOLOGISTS TO HELP So began Marian’s journey into the landscape industry. Wanting to be sympathetic to the renovation of her new garden, she started with the garden history course, which appealed to her academic side and love of research. “The course covered garden styles through the ages, which gave me a good idea of how mine should look, and funnily enough it all came full circle when I later lectured on historic garden conservation at Greenwich,” she tells us. “As we do a lot of work

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on historic gardens, it’s really exciting to uncover all the layers of the history of a house and its surroundings, and we often use archives and even archaeologists to help with this.” Marian is often sought out by clients with historical gardens, although she states that her practice designs all types, including roof terraces and some smaller gardens. Because of her speciality, Marian has worked with a number of top architects that are specifically known for working on historical buildings, including Ptolemy Dean, ADAM Architecture, Julian Harrap and Jamie Fobert. Academia Backtracking a little, we expand on Marian’s lecturing. “I really enjoyed the five or so years I taught – it satisfied the academic in me, and I was also able to cherry pick students, which was really good,” she says, laughing. “Two of my first employees were Sue Willmott, an RHS award winner, and Alick Nee who is now senior landscape architect at Andy Sturgeon Garden Design. I had a wonderful time teaching, but because the teaching hours were reduced it became less satisfying – and anyway, we were becoming very busy here. I currently have a great team working alongside me. Jamie Liversedge is a consultant landscape architect,

Francesca Vacirca is CMLI and she is mentoring Ellen Roelvink through P2C. Joe Ennis and Sophie Pollock are landscape architects, Caroline Jackson has a BSc in landscape management and lectures at Wisley as well, and we jointly work on all our projects.” What’s currently on the drawing board? “We mainly work on country estates,” Marian says; her face lights up as she describes her recent work on a woodland management design as

part of an ongoing project, where she’s had to gain an understanding of the ecosystem that will take the estate through the next 100 years.

I REALLY ENJOYED THE FIVE OR SO YEARS I TAUGHT – IT SATISFIED THE ACADEMIC IN ME The business operates within a triangle from Kent up to Oxford and down to Devon. It doesn’t currently have any overseas projects, but as Marian speaks French and Italian, she could quite easily take on work from abroad. She notes that working with a very good team of contractors makes the large geographical area easier. Marian reports that the beginning of this year was very busy for enquiries and that work is coming in constantly. There are some exciting projects on the go, including the Watts Gallery at Compton in Surrey, a delightful walled garden at the Birling Estate in West Malling, and the Blackthorn Trust biodynamic healing garden.

1 Surrey Manor House borders 2 Wealden Estate planting 3 Brede Valley Walled Garden 4 Sevenoaks Masterplan

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What are her future plans for the business? “We’d like more public realm work as we’re finding that very enjoyable, plus the larger country gardens and estates which we specialise in.” The industry We move on to major issues affecting the landscape industry and Marian agrees that plant health is something that affects the business, noting that she has recently changed plans for a Mediterranean scheme, making it incorporate more native species. She is particularly interested in working with nurseries to grow plants and trees that thrive and survive in our climate. Another need, she says, is to bring more new people into the industry, and to that end is very interested in the GoLandscape initiative set up by BALI to encourage more people to join the horticulture and landscape sector; this has just launched throughout the country after a successful pilot in the South Thames region. Marian would like to see the introduction of garden design apprenticeships, but it seems that this requires more work before it can become a reality, due to the legislation involved. Marian became involved with BALI via an introduction from David Dodd, owner of The Outdoor Room. She was contacted by BALI CEO Wayne Grills and put forward as design director, looking after its 60 landscape architect

and garden design members. She likes the fact that BALI encourages cross-industry partnerships, and plans to work together with current SGD chairperson Sarah Morgan, who also taught at Greenwich. Marian will soon be setting up a series of BALI webinars to kick off the collaboration, which Sarah and several top contractors will be involved in. With her busy practice based in her own garden, how does Marian get away from work? “I go ski-touring – walking up mountains at La Grave in France.” A small amount of research tells us this is not a holiday for the fainthearted – good luck, Marian! 5 Parterre Axonometric sketch 6 Lake Cascades 7 Planting combinations

CONTACT Marian Boswall Landscape Architects Bailey Farm, Staplehurst, Kent TN12 0DN Tel: 0207 305 7153


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Green-tech won the Supplier category at the Pro Landscaper Business Awards 2017. We speak to co-founder and managing director Rachel Kay to find out what makes Green-tech an award-winning company, and learn about the apprenticeships and training that make it the ideal sponsor for 30 Under 30: The Next Generation 2018 Can you tell us about how Green-tech was founded? In 1994, the company that Green-tech’s chairman Richard Kay was working for went into receivership. Richard and I had always wanted to work together and took this as an opportunity to start trading, initially selling chemicals and fertilisers to golf courses out of the back of a van. From there, we gradually expanded our team, turning over £160k in year one and doubling turnover every year for the first five years. In 2000, we moved the business from Richard’s parent’s farm into an industrial unit, and two years ago we relocated to our own purpose-built site at Rabbit Hill Business Park. How has it developed since? In 2000, we were probably turning over £2.5m. We’d moved sites, enabling us to put stock on racking in specific places, expand our range and increase our service levels. In 2002, we started co-composting soils, and now we manufacture soil at 15 sites throughout the UK. We’ve made six acquisitions in irrigation products, pond liners, erosion control, pet food and wildflowers. It’s a diverse range, but they link in. Around 33% of the products that we sell are either produced or manufactured by ourselves. We also have a lot of exclusive deals with key suppliers and partners, meaning we are more committed to the products and will invest in product development with that partner.


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in numbers

Established 1994 Employees 80 Turnover £12.7m Awards 6 BALI Awards, 1 APL Award, 1 Pro Landscaper Business Award

How has your client base changed? We moved away from the golf market when agricultural merchants starting focusing on it. Instead we concentrated on the landscaping market, which we love, and the business just flourished from there. Today our main client base is landscapers, landscape architects and designers, foresters and civil engineers. How does Green-tech work alongside its other brands, such as Green-tree and John Chambers Wildflower Seed? Green-tech is the parent of these brands, but we market them separately – they all have their own distinct branding, website, advertising, and social media channels. Although they are all relevant to the landscaping market, there are niche markets that they appeal to as well. Where its relevant we do promote the brands under the Green-tech umbrella – we are the one-stop-shop for supplies.

Rachel Kay

How is the business now structured? The structure is quite flat. Up until October last year, only Richard and I were directors. There are now seven additional directors, who were formerly heads of departments, and we’re always looking to see how we can improve or bring new innovations to the market. Richard and I have an ‘open door policy’ and have personal relationship with everybody who works for us, which is really important. We’re looking to sustain this as our staff members go up – we’re at 80 employees now. How do you source the products you supply? Sometimes it’s a product we’ve come across, other times we’re approached by the manufacturer. Either way, we need some exclusivity so that we can get our teeth into the product and we also need to receive technical support from the manufacturer. The majority of the products we supply are sustainable or provide a sustainable function. We always respond to customer demand and endeavor to find appropriate solutions – this has often led to us sourcing new products. Do you supply nationwide? Yes, and we also export; we supply to 17 countries globally. This is only a small part of the business at the moment, but we see huge potential and it is an area we are keen to develop. What training and apprenticeship opportunities are available at Green-tech? About 10% of our employees are under the age of 20, and we currently have three apprentices – one in marketing, one in sales, and one in dispatch – who are working on completing their NVQ Levels 2 and 3. Two of these apprentices are about to finish and will be offered positions, as they have worked out really well for us. We would like to expand the number of apprenticeships going forward.

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We offer a training matrix for all employees following the Annual Personal Development Review, as well as appraisals that identify training needs for both employees and us as a business. The training that we provide is a mixture of in-house, product and sales, external courses, and management and personal development courses. It’s quite wide ranging – Richard and I are very supportive of apprenticeships and further education.

Which industry associations is Green-tech involved with? We’re an affiliate member of BALI and have been headline sponsor of its awards since 2015. Our sales director Richard Gill is chairman of BALI North East and Yorkshire, and Richard Kay is on the BALI board of directors.

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We are also involved with the HTA and the APL, supporting its WorldSkills UK landscaping competition in 2017. We sponsored the SGD Awards last year and we have committed to sponsor it again in 2018. What are your plans for the upcoming months? In terms of exhibitions and road shows, we are attending about 42 events so far this year, including FutureScape. We will also be running between 20 and 30 CPDs for architects each month, and are sponsoring Pro Landscaper’s 30 Under 30: The Next Generation 2018 and the BALI National Landscape Awards 2018. There’s going to be further recruitment, particularly to strengthen warehouse and distribution operations, and a big push on Flexible Lining Products, our latest acquisition. We also have new websites coming soon, which will allow for easier online ordering. What is the one thing you think the industry could and should do better? Promoting the landscape industry – both the

achievements and the benefits – to the wider public and other industries, to ensure that quality landscaping is encouraged, and so that people see the value it brings socially, economically, ecologically, and environmentally. 1 Nottingham Trent University 2 The Green-tech team 3 Green-tech acquires Flexible Lining Products 4 ISO accreditation 2017 5 Green-tech open day, September 2017 6 Resibond 7 Four Pancras Square, Kings Cross 8 Richard Gill, Chris Swan, Barry Browne and Drea Questari 9 Green-tech invests in the future

CONTACT Green-tech Ltd, Rabbit Hill Business Park, Great North Road, Arkendale, Knaresborough HG5 0FF Tel: 01423 332100 Twitter: @Greentechltd Email: Web:

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Concourse – night view from north


SHORTLISTED Chester Bus Interchange



From university accommodation to regeneration schemes, HLM Landscape and Urban Design is experiencing success on a national – and global – scale


ounded by three students more than 50 years ago, HLM has developed from a small, architecturally led practice to a global company specialising in architecture, landscape and interiors. David Hutchinson, Graham Locke and Tony Monk set up HLM in 1964 after winning a design competition for a new civic building in Paisley. The three of them had a key focus on the connection of architecture to community and placemaking, leading to a landscape architecture team being introduced 20 years later. Now with a team of 14 landscape architects, HLM Landscape and Urban Design is a thriving department in its own right, accounting for around 10% of the business’s overall turnover. Represented on the board by director Simon Bell, the team is led by new associate director Alethea Ottewell, who joined HLM as a graduate in 2002. Together with Simon, she is taking the team from strength to strength. A multidisciplinary practice, HLM Landscape and Urban Design works closely with the architectural and interior teams on all projects as 34

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Queen’s Centre

part of an integrated approach, working across a opportunities for flexible use. This will be in a variety of sectors, including healthcare, living and contemporary style, to express the ethos and custodial, education, commercial and defence. image of the university as it competes to attract The team is currently working on a £100m students on an international stage. mixed-used development in the heart of The appointment is part of the university’s Sheffield city centre that includes 972continuing regeneration of its public realm, as well bed student accommodation. The as its ongoing relationship with HLM. “Client development, due to be completed in July, satisfaction is critical to our approach – building a will be connected to the wider city close working relationship to by new pedestrian links through ensure the highest levels of service the site and will incorporate and design solutions are elements of the site’s former achieved,” says Alethea. history of warehouse structures The Concourse space beside and street patterns. the Student’s Union is intended to A new landscaped public realm be a social hub for the campus, will include urban tree planning, with improved accessibility, lighting planting that supports drainage, and visibility, and opportunities for and a public art installation. The flexible use of the space with a Alethea Ottewell development will also include large area surrounded by seating biodiverse brown roofs and green roofs. steps for formal and informal use. Also within Sheffield, where one of HLM’s six The practice’s other five UK studios are located UK studios is based, the team has been in London, Manchester, Cardiff, Glasgow appointed to design a public realm scheme at and Belfast, with international studios in Dubai the heart of the University of Sheffield’s campus. and Abu Dhabi. HLM has become a multi-awardThe Concourse, from the Students’ Union winning practice globally; one of these awardacross to the Alfred Denny building is designed winning schemes is the Queen’s Centre for to be a key social hub for the campus, with Oncology and Haematology in Hull. improved visibility, a dynamic lighting scheme, The new £70m unit at Castle Hill Hospital won new seating areas, large tiered seating, with a a 2009 RIBA Award and is a critical part of the lenticular art wall , the space providing Healthcare Solutions Consortium. Designed for

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Queen’s Centre

Hollis Croft – completion date July 2019

The Movement street view

Queen’s Centre

The Movement

AS A MULTIDISCIPLINARY PRACTICE, HLM WORKS CLOSELY WITH THE ARCHITECTURAL AND INTERIOR TEAMS ON ALL PROJECTS Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, it has become a catalyst for social regeneration and the transformation of specialist clinical healthcare services in the region. The unit’s design needed to blend seamlessly into its neighbouring hillsides and woods, and the materials were chosen carefully to achieve this, with brick, render, glass, timber, stone-coloured blockwork and small roof tiles all combining to create a residential impression. HLM is now working on a £2m landscape for a mixed-use scheme on the site of the Middlesex Hospital Annex. This Grade II-listed building will be refurbished, and the site will be redeveloped to provide 142 residential units Design for Middlesex and 397m² of Hospital Annex commercial floor space. Work is set to begin early next year. “A key component is the reintroduction of a historic link and the

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creation of new private and public amenity spaces on a complex and constrained site,” Alethea tells us. “Additional private amenity is provided on the upper floors with a landscape courtyard and residents terrace.” HLM has previously provided design input for The Movement, a £70m mixed-use regeneration scheme on the former Greenwich Industrial Estate. HLM proposed a multi-use games area for the scheme’s roof gardens to provide sports facilities efficiently without impacting available space at ground level. Through collaboration with artists, the design of the play space was developed to include the integration of coloured paving and a poem by Lemn Sissay for a fun, educational element.

The team was also involved in the development of the £13m Chester Bus Interchange, with nearly £2m of public realm to complement the new building. The scheme included the realignment and resurfacing of the surrounding streetscape and the creation of two new public plazas, tying the site in with the wider Chester masterplan. The new public realm and interchange building act as a prime gateway point to the historic city centre, with improved pedestrian and public transport links to the city and out to the wider Chester area. “Over the forthcoming months, we will continue with our current portfolio of projects, working with clients, contractors and architectural colleagues at HLM, Llewelyn Davies and Sidell Gibson,” says Alethea. “We will also be looking forward to new projects and opportunities across our sectors.” HLM will be exhibiting at the AUDE conference from 9-11 April and is looking to continue its work with the Landscape Institute through Simon Bell’s involvement with BIM and landscape architect Mark Lawton being chair of the LI Wales. A multi-talented practice, HLM is moving forward – and is here to make a difference. CONTACT

Images ©HLM


HLM Landscape and Urban Design Twitter: @HLMLandscape

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VIEW FROM THE TOP MARCUS WATSON Marcus Watson weighs in on how Brexit is likely to impact the landscaping sector With Brexit looming, inflation on the rise, a weak pound and imports increasing in price, the UK’s economy is anything but certain. As we prepare to leave the European Union, there is a feeling among our European neighbours that we are a less welcoming, less open country. This is making our perennial skills shortage more acute, particularly across the agricultural, medical and hospitality sectors. This has had a knock-on effect across many other industries, including our own. As an industry, we have much work to deliver and a responsibility to our customers and communities – but, unless we take action, we face the possibility that we will have fewer people to deliver our services. Economic growth is slowing down and costs are rising – particularly employment costs (which we must welcome – after all, we want our friends and colleagues to be fairly rewarded!). Without highlighting the value that we bring to society, communities and customers, we could see margins squeezed, impacting the sustainability of


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some organisations. As an industry, we employ tens of thousands of talented people, and many tens of thousands in our supply chains rely on our custom. We must encourage our customers and communities to see the value and benefits we bring, however challenging their cost pressures might be.

WE MUST ENCOURAGE OUR CUSTOMERS AND COMMUNITIES TO SEE THE VALUE AND BENEFITS WE BRING Furthermore, if our landscaping and grounds maintenance sector is to compete on quality and value, it is more important than ever for us to invest in the skills, training and development of our people. We must be leaders in this respect, adding value to the careers of people who might not have considered land-based industries. We need to attract great people, showcasing the exciting opportunities that are available, whatever their age, country of origin or background. We are competing for talent with other industries: let’s make sure we win the debate. I firmly believe that adopting a strong focus on quality, value and people development will help negate one of the risks of Brexit. Every cloud has a silver lining, and Brexit might help us when it comes to making political decisions that matter to our industry. For instance, I believe that the right thing for our environment, economy and communities is to allow trained professionals to use safe and effective herbicides and pesticides – but the licensing of such products is under threat from certain campaign groups who do not promote a balanced view on their use. After Brexit, we may have more control on the licensing and use of the products that we rely on.

And now I turn to another potentially changing landscape. If, as an industry, we are not able to solve the quality and value vs. cost-down riddle, with customers themselves facing increasing prices and reducing budgets, they may continue the trend for de-scoping their grounds maintenance requirement and lowering standards (sometimes under the guise of increasing biodiversity; this, of course, should be encouraged, but such areas still require maintenance and management). We are already witnessing the negative impact of such changes, where lower budgets and reduced maintenance regimes fail to break the flowering cycles of some invasive or injurious species, which are given greater opportunity to spread. In my ‘View From the Top’ article in April 2017, I presented the case that, post-Brexit, we may see a growing trend in the mergers and acquisitions market, with overseas investors and private equity houses looking for deals in the UK, supported by a weak pound. My hope is that these acquisitions and investments are for the long-term health of acquired firms, not short-term returns. The landscaping sector has gross revenues of over £60bn, traditional growth of 2-3%, and more than 16,000 businesses serving the public, private and commercial sectors – we need to look after it. For many, Brexit has cast a cloud, and there are risks and uncertainties. But by remaining positive about the value we bring, and taking action on obvious risks, we can help shape the future we wish to see. ABOUT MARCUS WATSON Joining Ground Control in 2011, Marcus Watson champions outstanding customer service and innovation in the grounds maintenance, arboriculture and landscaping sectors. Last year Ground Control was recognised with a Queen’s Award for Innovation, celebrating the company’s application of technology.

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ANGUS LINDSAY Angus Lindsay considers the place of hire companies in the landscaping industry The first few months of 2018 have been a bit of a whirlwind, with some significant changes affecting our industry: the demise of Carillion and the associated fall-out, the decision by A-Plant to pull out of the groundscare hire business, along with the folding of another national hire supplier, who will no doubt rise phoenix-like from the wreckage of the business and reform. On top of this, Iseki has parted company with Textron to go it alone, Nurture Landscapes has taken over industry stalwart Gavin Jones, and ISS has secured new owners, ending much speculation and rumour. It’s barely even spring – so who knows what the rest of the year holds for us! While it would be easy to jump on the bandwagon and criticise all and sundry for the collapse of Carillion, the fact is that it has done significant damage to the reputation of contractors as local authority suppliers, and we all need to up our game and restore confidence with these important clients. We should also consider the abuse of power

Diggers and dumpers have a year-round application, so are ideal for hire

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by some larger organisations, which forces many businesses into administration – constantly squeezing suppliers and subcontractors and pushing credit terms from an agreed 60 days to 120-plus. Personally, I feel there should be a legal limit set for the maximum number of days’ credit allowed, as they do in some European countries.

THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A READY MARKET FOR A DUMPER OR AN EXCAVATOR, BUT NOT SO MUCH THE VERTI-DRAIN OR FLAIL COLLECTOR The decision by one of the UK’s largest hire suppliers to pull out of the groundscare market is not really a surprise. Our industry is seasonal and very much affected by changes in budgets and client demands; to service this fickleness, hire companies need to hold a large range of expensive equipment, which may only be used for a couple of months of the year. A piece of machinery that was flavour of the month one season could find itself gathering dust in a shed the following year. To do this nationally stretches the hire company even further, and very few have managed it successfully. It’s easier with construction-type equipment, which in most cases have a year-round application – there will always be a ready market for a dumper or an excavator, but not so much the Verti-Drain or flail collector. This can lead to high monthly costs and even higher de-hire damage costs, and the associated arguments about what is and isn’t chargeable damage makes you wonder if hiring is a cost-effective option. Done correctly and with expectations managed from both supplier and hirer, it is a valuable alternative to buying for expensive and limited-use equipment. This has been proven by several

Expensive to buy + limited seasonal use = expensive to hire

businesses that seem to have got the recipe correct: they haven’t become too big, they supply good-quality equipment that people will use and for which there will be a foreseeable use for, they don’t get into a pricing war just to win business, and they are realistic about the equipment they supply and ensure it is operated correctly – simple. Is there a future for the hire company in our industry? Most definitely, but only if they don’t get too greedy and or try to change things too radically. Hire companies must work with customers to understand requirements and, most crucially, they mustn’t overpromise and under-deliver.

ABOUT ANGUS LINDSAY Angus spent several years working on arable farms in Scotland before joining VSO in Egypt, implementing a mechanisation programme, managing field operations for a commercial cotton plantation in Nigeria and working as a contract instructor for Massey Ferguson in Yemen. He gained an MSc in agricultural engineering and mechanisation management at Silsoe, joining Glendale as machinery manager in 1994, and then idverde UK in 2009 as group head of assets and fleet. Contact:

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Andrew Wilson explores the concept of garden designers working together as a positive business format Gavin and I have recently celebrated our 10th work anniversary as a partnership, having created a plethora of successful gardens and landscapes – many of them award winners. Both of us would agree that putting two heads together has played a great part in our success, producing gardens that neither one of us could have created on our own. Garden design can be a solitary experience – something I refer to often as the ‘home alone’ scenario. Most garden designers are still self-employed sole traders. When the workload is steady, or at least regular, that template can work well – but if demand increases, one person can often find themselves run ragged, juggling too many balls. It is possible, of course, to employ a junior, a recent graduate perhaps, but is it likely that they will be part of the design process? It’s much more likely that they will be a CAD monkey or an admin support, which still leaves the principal running around like a headless chicken.

IF DEMAND INCREASES, ONE PERSON CAN OFTEN FIND THEMSELVES RUN RAGGED, JUGGLING TOO MANY BALLS As partners, the design thinking, development and delivery is a shared experience; one perhaps playing devil’s advocate, or providing an objective or alternative view. This helps to refine ideas and concepts, and tightens up design solutions without having to expand the practice with a full design team. For the detailed development, one can take on the construction while the other 40

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goes into planting design mode. Each knows what the other is doing, and development is regularly discussed so that both partners own the result. Some might say, “all well and good, but what if I don’t want to work with a partner all the time?”. Well, collaboration is for you. As a course director at the London College of Garden Design, I encourage our students to talk to each other, learn from and about each other, and understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Not all students will be perfect planting designers, or have optimum hard landscape design capabilities; some will have a better head for business, while others will be more creative and innovative. Partners or collaborators should not simply be best friends who want to work together – in fact, working together can be a quick way to lose best friends! They should instead be people who can fill in gaps and provide alternative but complementary skills and inputs; this, ultimately, is what makes more efficient or effective business sense. Collaboration allows designers to work together some of the time and go it alone some of the time. Philip Nixon and Marcus Barnett met while studying and decided to work together to design a Chelsea show garden in their first year after graduation. Savills snapped them up for its next two show gardens, but in the real world they went their separate ways, still friends but each doing their

own thing. Tom Massey and John Ward did a similar thing when they produced a conceptual show garden for Hampton Court a year after they had graduated, having met on their course. The result was a Best in Show and, although they are friends, they work separately until the right collaboration comes along. In reaping the rewards of our success as Wilson McWilliam Studio, ironically Gavin and I have changed our format on, more or less, our 10th anniversary. We are now collaborators, rather than partners – still mates, but designing together when we need or want to. There is only so much time in the working week, but we continue to believe that two heads are better than one. Watch this space. ABOUT ANDREW WILSON Andrew Wilson is a landscape and garden design consultant, director of the London College of Garden Design, an author, writer and lecturer.

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Adam White returns to South Africa to explore the costal landscape south of Cape Town, known as the garden route South Africa is a botanical paradise and one of the most biodiverse regions on earth, so it’s no surprise my partner Sarah and I decided to return after such an amazing experience in Cape Town last year. This year we decided to explore the ‘garden route’, the world’s smallest and most diverse floral kingdom; here we discovered the fynbos vegetation and garden-filled towns along South Africa’s southern coast. Many of the plants used in

Babylonstoren Gardens

gardens around the world originate in South Africa, including Agapanthus, Clivia, Protea, Aloe, Crassula, Kalanchoe, Strelitzia (bird of paradise), Dais (pompom tree), Plumbago, Cape chestnut, Erythrina (coral tree), Carissa (Natal plum), Arctotis, Euphorbia (crown of thorns), Thunbergia (black-eyed Susan) and Kniphofia (red hot pokers). The ‘garden route’ is a scenic drive through a truly beautiful and unique landscape, taking in the coastal route from Mossel Bay, through George, to Storms River. Our journey took in 10 nature reserves all woven together with fynbos, forest and wetland vegetation. We stopped at Storms River, where the mountains drop off sharply into the Indian Ocean. Many small rivers have cut steep canyons into the mountains before dumping into the ocean. A kayak adventure allowed us to explore deeper into Storms River gorge and experience the long, bottomless pools,

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deep caves and ancient forests. The river water is a translucent brown colour, apparently due to the leaves that fall from the overhanging forest trees. From Storms River we took a short side trip to see one of the largest remaining Yellowwood trees (Podocarpus falcatus), locally known as The Big Tree. Standing guard over the treetop canopy in the heart of the forest, this 900-yearold tree towers over the canopy, standing 36m tall and with a trunk circumference of 9m. Just past the town of George, we turned northward into the mountains along Route 62 and headed towards the remote town of Montagu. Here, we visited The Secret Garden, a garden that has been lovingly restored to the way it would have been in 1838. What really impressed us was how the garden is watered – a series of low narrow channels connects all of Montagu’s original gardens, leading to a mountain water-fed dam in the town centre. After 180 years, the system is still fully operational – and proving very useful during the current drought.

Cyperus papyrus

The Big Tree

Back on the road, whole hillsides of Aloe ferox sprawled across the rock faces, and I got quite excited when I saw Crassula rupestris growing in the wild – it looked more impressive than the one growing in our bathroom. Huge fields of plums, apricots and peaches are also grown here, the discarded fruit stones crushed up and sold as material for footpaths. As we approached the winelands area just outside Cape Town, we arrived at our final


Tetragonia decumbens, common name Dune Spinach

destination, Babylonstoren. Set within 3.5ha of cultivated fruit and vegetables, the garden at is at the heart of the Babylonstoren farm. The Franschhoek mountains create an impressive backdrop, and all of the 300-plus varieties of plants in the garden are edible or have medicinal value, with everything from blood oranges to asparagus, mushrooms to persimmons supplying the farm’s two restaurants. The Healing Garden is the latest addition and is laid out to follow the form of the human body, with herbs to heal everything from the head to the heart, lungs, digestive system, organs, skin, bones and feet. Will we return to South Africa a third time? There’s a high possibility – there is still so much more to see and explore. ABOUT ADAM WHITE FLI Adam White FLI is a director at Davies White Ltd, a double RHS Gold Medal, double People’s Choice and RHS Best in Show award-winning Chartered Landscape Architects practice. He is a Fellow and President Elect of the Landscape Institute. Social media: @davies_white

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In the first of a two-part series on young people in landscaping, David T Binks attempts to understand why the sector isn’t more of a draw Having recently exhibited at various career fairs during National Apprenticeship Week, the perennial question of what attracts young people to our industry still looms large. While watching crowds of beleaguered parents dragging their largely uninspired adolescents around in search of their ‘chosen path’, it became apparent that the issue of getting young people into landscaping apprenticeships perhaps lies less with the youth than it does with their parents. Now, not all teenagers look to their parents for guidance, but their views and opinions are likely to have been formed by some level of interaction with their elders. The few glimmers of hope we had during these open days came from students who had a familial link with horticulture or landscaping – those who’d enjoyed helping parents or grandparents in the garden, or experienced the joy of growing their own plants and felt the connection with nature that working in our industry provides. So, what is potentially preventing parents from advocating a career in landscaping?

A common factor between parents of today’s teenagers is that they are typically members of ‘Generation X’ – they were around at the birth of the internet, are comfortable with technology, have often had free university education, and aren’t averse to career changes. I don’t want to tar everyone with the same brush, but over the course of my time at the career fairs, it became apparent that Generation

NOT ALL TEENAGERS LOOK TO THEIR PARENTS FOR GUIDANCE, BUT THEIR VIEWS AND OPINIONS ARE LIKELY TO HAVE BEEN FORMED BY SOME LEVEL OF INTERACTION WITH THEIR ELDERS X’s opinion of ‘being a gardener’ and ‘getting your hands dirty’ isn’t a positive one, and they were vocal in dissuading their children from pursuing this route. Obviously, there is more than just one external influence at play here, but research suggests that there is a correlation between the arrival of the internet and people’s decreasing interest in the natural world.

Couple this sentiment with a screen-staring ‘iGen’ teenager and you create the perfect storm for the position that our industry currently finds itself in: a huge skills shortage, due to a rapidly declining grassroots interest in landscaping. The need for this age group to be perpetually connected via social media – to be digitally integrated – is leading to a disconnect between them and the natural world, giving rise to what the American writer Richard Louv calls ‘naturedeficit disorder’. This isn’t a medical condition – rather, it is a way to describe the psychological, physical and cognitive costs of human alienation from nature. Clearly, there is no silver bullet to remedy this situation – that would require as colossal a cultural shift as the onset of the internet – but it’s critical to try and raise awareness of the issue. At landscaping forums in recent years, the need to make clients understand the financial value of landscaping has always been a hot topic, but educating society on the social and environmental value of creating landscapes is also key – partly to reconnect people with nature, and partly to energise young people into seeing it as exciting career path. Despite decrying the effect of the internet on society, we are going to have to harness the power of social media in a bid to educate both children and adults. How this manifests itself is another conversation altogether, but we need to create a platform for making landscaping (in all its guises) accessible and a bit sexier – maybe an edgy and informative YouTube channel would work? ABOUT DAVID T BINKS David T Binks is managing director of Cheshirebased the Landstruction Group which now has 40 employees. Set up in 2010, Landstruction has won Gold Medals at RHS Chelsea and RHS Tatton Park. Big Hedge Co. supplies and installs mature hedging and topiary nationwide.,


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T HE SCHO O L O F R ES I N 12/02/2018 12:28 09:21 21/03/2018



and take Pro Landscaper visits Knowsley near Liverpool to find out more about the borough council’s controversial plans to sell 10% of its parks to protect the remaining 90%


fter almost 10 years, the UK government’s austerity programme rumbles on, presenting massive challenges to all those working in local government, including parks departments. Pro Landscaper is not necessarily the place to debate the rights and wrongs of this; what is within our remit is examining the impact of those cuts, in terms of the provision of service itself and with regard to what local authorities can do to maximise the few resources they have left. This has provided a consistent theme throughout this series on local authorities’ parks offerings, with councils now employing a variety of tactics from an operational point of view. Most commonly, this has included an embargo on the use of bedding plants, an increase in cultivated ‘wilder areas’ across the publicly owned estate, and a thinning of the workforce. Councils are also starting to take advantage of the natural synergies that exist across departments, with the promotion and development of parks being seen as easy wins when it comes to health and wellbeing, anti-pollution measures and community


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WE’VE ALREADY HAD ABOUT A 40% CUT IN OUR BUDGET OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS, WHICH WE’VE COPED WITH WITHOUT IMPACTING STANDARDS engagement. One thing that has generally remained sacrosanct, though, is the ownership of the parks – no surprise, given how integral these spaces are to peoples’ lives. This, however, is beginning to change, with Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council recently announcing plans to sell off 17 of its green spaces, with the estimated £40m proceeds being ploughed back into the remaining green spaces through a trust. For reasons that will become apparent, the local authority believes that this is the only solution, having taken a monumental hit to its income since 2010. Many people in the borough, however, are less enthusiastic. Quality and equitable provision Knowsley is a borough of Merseyside that includes the towns and districts of Kirkby,

Prescot, Huyton and Halewood, among others. It is approximately 30 square miles in size, with a population – as of 2016 – of just under 150,000. As the situation stands, the funding for its parks will run out in April 2019. Caroline Holmes, the council’s public open spaces manager, discusses the history of Knowsley’s green space provision, as well as the rationale behind one of the historic developments in the history of British parks. “We’re quite a new borough, so we don’t necessarily have the historic parks that you’d find in some of the bigger cities,” she says. “Instead, we had to start from scratch for the most part, building on new housing developments in places like Kirkby, which were essentially overspill from Liverpool. We’ve spent a lot to try and create open spaces, as well as working with existing green sites in order to turn them into parks. It’s been a bit of a journey, which we’re just embarking on the next stage of now. “In the last five to 10 years, we’ve tried to invest in quality as well as equitable provision across the borough, providing things like play areas and sports fields. We found that a lot of areas didn’t have a lot of green space for residents to enjoy, and if they did, the facilities were very limited. We tried to do as much as we could to fix that, including investing over £8m in external funding in improvements, as well as supporting many friends groups to get involved. This approach has resulted in the provision of

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high quality green spaces across the borough and Knowsley achieving 18 Green Flags for its parks.” The borough has several ‘destination’ spaces – such as Bowring, its oldest park. This was opened in 1907 as a gift from Liverpool’s first Lord Mayor, and is about to undergo a £2.6m Heritage Lottery-funded restoration of its gardens, stable block and coach house. It also boasts a municipal golf course. “Bowring is a beautiful, historic site,” Caroline tells us. “It’s still got many of its original features, including the ha-ha, which is a dropped wall creating the illusion of complete access across the site. From a distance, it looks like the livestock could walk across the formal gardens, but on closer inspection you see that’s not the case. It’s quite fun. “As part of the restoration, we’re partnering with Myerscough College, which is going to deliver arboriculture and horticulture tuition on site, as well as green-keeping qualifications. We’ll also be using it for a host of community activities, such as working with local school children on time capsules. That all starts around April or May, and it’ll happen over the summer.” The hard sums Knowsley Council has seen around £100m of central government funding cut from its budget since 2010. This has led to a considerable shortfall in terms of money for essential services. In the middle of February, the council announced that council tax would be rising by almost 6% at the start of the new financial year, made up of a 2.99% Council Tax increase and a specific Adult Social Care precept of 3%. Knowsley’s intention to establish a trust for its green spaces is likewise an attempt to free up funding to provide social care, education, and so on – services that, by their nature, have to

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receive greater priority than parks. “We have to look at different ways to deliver non-statutory services,” says Caroline. “What we’ve come up with is quite radical in the sense that we’re the first local authority to go down this route. We’ve gone down this route because we want equitable provision so that everyone can access high quality green spaces, and to ensure that we protect 90% of our parks, a total of 144 green spaces, for future generations. We’ve chosen the 17 sites specifically so that if, for instance, an area’s losing its playground, we can provide another one nearby. “There are also spaces, such as Court Hey Park, up until recently home to the National Wildflower Centre, where a section has been identified for possible sale. Here we’ve been looking at another approach, such as bringing in a partner to rent the building, which could possibly negate the sale of the land. We appreciate how important this park is for the community and want to protect as much of it as possible.” According to Caroline, following public consultations undertaken by the council, it was found that around 60% of locals understand and support the rationale behind setting up the trust. As is understandable, however, there are those who don’t want to lose their local park. “Clearly, we understand how difficult all this is, particularly for residents who live near the parks in question,” Caroline tells us. “When it’s the green space near your house, it’s very hard to accept.” There’ll be a final decision from councillors on how to proceed in November this year. How has Knowsley’s strategy changed when it comes to parks upkeep? “We’ve got 43 people who work across the service,” says Caroline. “They are responsible for parks and green spaces, as well as cemeteries. We also have some green space ‘rangers’ who organise physical exercise programmes, commissioned by Public Health. “Regarding investment in the parks themselves, in terms of planting up we score everything on Green Flag criteria, even though they’re not all Green Flag standard. We only have a couple of parks now where we put bedding in, and we do leave more wild areas – something that we call ‘differential mowing’. We’ve already had something like a 40% cut in our budget over the last two or three years,

which we’ve coped with without impacting standards. We’re very proud of that. “One thing we have done is to make sure that if we’re getting rid of something, we have a really interesting feature to replace it. We’re swapping out a rose garden in one of our smaller parks – which kept getting flooded – with a maze garden. The worst thing would be to put something in and then not be able to look after it properly. We had a lovely garden designed around a clock face motif, but it took up so much time in terms of maintenance.” Knowsley Council’s parks and green spaces offer is a precious resource for those who live in the borough. While the current situation is not ideal, Caroline and her department’s commitment to making it work gives cause for optimism.

1 Stadt Moers park lake, Whiston 2 Halewood sign post 3 Mill Dam green gym, Kirkby 4 McGoldrick Park, Huyton 5 Ten Acre Pits, Huyton 6 The Pasture, Cronton Pro Landscaper / April 2018 47

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LANDSCAPE ASSOCIATES LTD An urban garden is refreshed with an eye to attracting wildlife



FARLAM & CHANDLER The outdoor area of a Tunbridge Wells eaterie is transformed



A new events space for the University of Leicester



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BIRD’S-EYE VIEW LANDSCAPE ASSOCIATES LTD Landscape Associates Ltd refreshed this urban garden in Teddington with an emphasis on biodiversity and in particular attracting wild birds


uring the initial site visit, the team from Landscape Associates Ltd was struck by the abundance of wild birds in this small urban garden, largely due to its proximity to Bushy Park. The garden demonstrated a high level of biodiversity, and so the team’s primary objective was to maintain and enhance this within its design. The existing borders featured several plants that held winter form, such as Rudbeckia, Symphyotrichum and Hydrangea quercifolia, and it was obvious from subsequent site visits that additional species of this variety should be introduced to further encourage biodiversity. With plans to extend the property, the owner initially instructed Landscape Associates to leave the area adjacent to the house as it was. However, the client later decided not to pursue these plans, and the team was invited to redesign the space in a second phase of works. Fortunately, this had little impact on the first phase, other than some replanting.

PROJECT DETAILS Project value Phase 1: £22k Phase 2: £38k Build time Phase 1: One month Phase 2: Three months Size of project 180m2

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Design and build When producing concepts for Phase 1, Landscape Associates focused on creating areas to encourage wildlife through the introduction of new plants, while also retaining many of the garden’s nature-rich existing trees and shrubs. In addition to devising a wildlife-friendly planting scheme, the team spent time sourcing a suitable water feature that could be used by the birds, as well as providing sound and Pro Landscaper / April 2018 51

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movement for the clients to enjoy. Phase 1 featured a limited palette of materials, including the existing Indian sandstone, which Landscape Associates matched due to budget restraints. The team also introduced a brick paver for the circular patio area towards the rear of the garden, choosing a product they felt complemented the existing brick boundary wall that was located close by. The scheme was completed with exterior lighting to highlight and showcase elements of the design; however, shortly after installation there were incidents of squirrels chewing through some of the electrical cables. As a result, the team specified that twin-walled cable ducting should be used during Phase 2, enclosing all exposed wires and helping to prevent any further incidents. The next phase of the project involved removing the original softwood pergola and decking, redesigning the space and building a new pergola from FSC-certified Iroko hardwood, chosen for its durability and its colour after ageing. The garden’s beautiful white Wisteria – a standout feature of the original garden – had unfortunately overgrown the existing structure, and the pergola’s softwood frame was also beginning to rot under its weight.

This Wisteria had long provided a safe habitat for a host of small birds, and was also the client’s favourite element, so it was imperative to preserve and incorporate it into the new design. Landscape Associates carefully removed the existing timber frame and, while supporting the Wisteria, built the new hardwood construction around it. With slatted screens below to create an intimate space for entertaining guests, the new solid structure also provided ample support for the weighty climber. A great success, it flowered the following season despite heavy pruning and the disruption from the build. Now draped with pendulous racemes of snowy white flowers, the completed Iroko pergola acts as a stunning centrepiece for the garden and has already started to weather nicely.

ABOUT LANDSCAPE ASSOCIATES Landscape Associates offers quality-assured standards, a personal approach and an uncompromising eye for detail. Its teams operate throughout London and the home counties. It has received a number of BALI awards, and holds multiple medals from the RHS Chelsea, including three Gold.

1 Beehive water feature ©Yuri Buckeridge


2 View of the garden from the house ©Yuri Buckeridge

Design and contractor

3 Dining area with Wisteria above ©Yuri Buckeridge

Landscape Associates

4 Iris sibirica ‘Silver Edge’ ©Yuri Buckeridge

Lighting contractor

5 Hunza downlight ©Yuri Buckeridge

Platinum Wiring Ltd

6 Before phase two ©Landscape Associates 7 Before phase two ©Landscape Associates

Light fittings

8 Wisteria pruning to expose the existing frame ©Landscape Associates

Hunza from Landscapeplus

9 Wisteria after pruning ©Landscape Associates

Paving London Stone Carpentry (including supply and install of Iroko timber) Jonathan Blackburn Lawn Royce Turf and Irrigation Ltd Plants

Orchard Dene Nurseries North Hill Nurseries

BEFORE BUILD During/before images ©Landscape Associates

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Summerhouse Buy Sheds Direct Water feature and some pots/planters Pots and Pithoi Bird bath, garden sculpture and furniture Client’s own

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FINE DINING FARLAM & CHANDLER A Tunbridge Wells eaterie gains a versatile and intimate outdoor dining space that is sympathetic to its surrounding landscape


he Beacon was formerly an early 18th-century pleasure and tea garden, nestled in a 17-acre wooded valley that includes three beautiful lakes. Turned into a hotel in 1950, it had become tired and was in need of a new lease of life when current owner Pete Cornwell, of Kent-based restaurant group I’ll Be Mother, took over in 2014. With The Beacon lovingly renovated to create a country pub with an elegant, modern British restaurant, the garden needed to reflect and embody this new character. Brief Farlam & Chandler was invited to redesign the garden and terrace in 2014. The brief was to reconnect diners with the environment, the origins of their food and the beautiful views and surrounding countryside, translating the ethos of the I’ll Be Mother family. Using only local designers, specialists and tradespeople, as well as locally sourced materials wherever possible, the new terrace was to offer outdoor dining space as an extension to the indoor restaurant, reflecting the style and spirit of the kitchen. Design and build Farlam & Chandler worked closely with the restaurant’s interior designers, SGS Architectural Interiors, to craft a modern yet rustic dining experience from the inside out. Three connecting dining spaces were created, 54

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each with their own identity and ambience: a flexible and sociable area on the main deck, constructed with Kebony timber and overlooking the lakes and countryside beyond; a more intimate lower decked terrace, sitting beneath an iconic pergola whose timber structure mirrors the I’ll Be Mother logo and frames views of the Weald; and a secluded paved area, tucked beneath a canopy of mature grapevines to provide a cool, relaxed space. The three terraces are dressed with informal pots and reclaimed sinks filled with scented herbs, and the areas are unified by the concept of productivity and sharing. Sourcing materials A fundamental part of the brief was that all materials were to be sourced as locally and sustainably as possible. Naturally occurring sandstone was gathered from the grounds and repurposed for the garden walls, echoing the magnificent sandstone outcrops that characterise the Tunbridge Wells landscape. With budget in mind, existing paving and bricks were also lifted and relayed for some areas, while Kebony timber – a fully sustainable and highly durable wood that requires little maintenance beyond normal cleaning – was selected for the main deck.

1 Framed panoramic view across the Sussex Weald 2 Drinks terrace beneath the shade of the vines

WINNER Tunbridge Wells Civic Society Award for ‘Refurbishment of restaurant in landscape setting’

PROJECT DETAILS Project value £75,000 Build time Six months Size of project 380m2

3 View through the welcome area to the private dining terrace

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Special requirements It was important that the terrace could be used year-round, in all weathers and for all occasions: weddings, parties, intimate suppers. Its south-facing, exposed aspect meant that shade and shelter was essential, so large parasols and bespoke pergolas became an integral part of the design, offering much-needed cover and the flexibility required for different occasions. Careful consideration was also given to the selection and layout of the furniture in order to accommodate the restaurant’s various social needs. Challenges The Beacon’s rural location, lofty perch and terraced layout presented the team with several challenges during the construction phase. Access via a narrow country lane meant that the project was logistically difficult, especially in terms of deliveries – and once on site, most materials had to be moved by hand instead of with machinery. As with all commercial projects, hitting the completion date for the grand opening was crucial and put pressure on the project build – but despite the obstacles, Farlam & Chandler successfully delivered, creating a unique space that connects visitors to the wider landscape and enriches their dining experience. 4 Intimate lower decked terrace beneath an iconic pergola, mirroring the I’ll Be Mother logo 5 Sunrise at The Beacon 6 Early morning view of the iconic pergola 7 The original terrace area 8 The original welcome area 9 Original terrace needing a new lease of life

ABOUT FARLAM & CHANDLER Farlam & Chandler is a creative collaboration between Harriet Farlam and Ben Chandler, who have a combined 25 years of experience within the garden design and construction industry. They work on varied projects worldwide, from coastal gardens to country estates and landscapes in the UK and USA.

Portfolio 2 Beacon Garden Kitchen.indd 57




Farlam & Chandler

Original BTC (Davey Lighting) Interior designer SGS Architectural Interiors

Hard landscaping contractor (all timber elements including pergola and decking) davey-lighting Decorative mirrors Aldgate Home Pots and decoration

Inside Out Construction Ltd

le petit jardin


Larger pots


Riverhill Garden Supplies


Sandstone, reclaimed sinks and furniture How Green Nursery Ltd

Salvaged onsite

Drinks bar Interbar

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Fielding Johnson Square at the University of Leicester was redeveloped as a clean events space


T Killingley was appointed as the principal contractor for the redevelopment of an existing underused car park, situated at the heart of the University of Leicester’s main campus. Barry Chinn Associates was appointed as lead designer for the project, with Bridges Pound undertaking the engineering detail. Project background The existing area comprised a combination of heavily patched tarmac and a single line of ash trees that were set within diamond tree pits. There was a limited amount of ornamental planting with low ecological value, which looked tired and formed a visual barrier between the space and the adjacent pedestrian route. The brief from the university was to create a high-quality, multiuse events space that catered for the needs of various user groups and could easily host marquees and hold a wide variety of 58

Pro Landscaper / April 2018

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events showcasing the best of Leicester. Prior to works commencing, the university conducted a trial closure of the Fielding Johnson car park to assess the impact on staff and visitors. During the trial, a number of events were held in the space, demonstrating its potential to hold bigger and better activities once it was transformed. Design The paving layout was designed to create a clutter-free space, with clear, unobstructed access routes connecting to the surrounding campus. A palette of carefully selected hard

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Photographs ©Steve Carr



2017 LJCC Merit Award for Craftmanship WINNER

Hard Landscaping Construction (non-domestic) – Between £300k -£1.5m

1 The heart of the campus is now a vibrant events space 2 Liquidamar styraciflua trees frame the central square 3 Furnitube benches provide a simplistic seating solution 4 Charcon Andover paving adds warmth and depth

PROJECT DETAILS Project value £570k Build time June 2016 – December 2016 Size of project 1,600m2

landscape materials was chosen to complement the architectural styling of the buildings. Warm sandstone was selected to wrap around the Grade II-listed Fielding Johnson Building, forming a plinth around its base, while clean lines of granite were used to continue the strong axis leading towards the fully glazed library building. A combination of contemporary silver-grey concrete aggregate paving was chosen for the main central square, with dashes of more natural tones included to add warmth and depth and feature contrasting bands dissecting the space. The planting scheme employs a combination of ornamental and herbaceous plants, chosen to

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provide spatial definition and attractive seasonal interest. Trees were picked to best meet the needs of the site, with formal upright species Liriodendron tulipifera ‘Fastigiatum’ selected to line the central pedestrian access route leading to the library, and Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Worplesdon’ – large-stature trees with incredible leaf shape and dazzling autumn colour – used to frame the central square. Minimal street furniture ensures an uninterrupted space, with the large granite units working as both retaining structures and seating areas around the perimeter. Simplistic benches, tree grilles and handrails were fitted, their bold Pro Landscaper / April 2018 59

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lines and minimalist colour palette chosen to tie in with the clean granite paving and the straight contrasting bands within the central square. In addition, the installation of Wi-Fi and lighting helped to create a practical and safe environment for students and visitors. Challenges There were many demanding logistical and operational constraints involved with the development. The confined nature of the site, as well as the need to maintain pedestrian routes at all times, provided a challenge to the programming of the scheme. A decision was made to split the works into two phases, completing the main central courtyard area first to allow access around the perimeter of the site, before undertaking the adjoining

pathways to allow pedestrian access through the newly paved courtyard. Careful stock control was key to make best use of limited storage space, and weekend working was undertaken in areas where pedestrian routes needed to be closed. The segregation between deliveries and students, teachers and visitors was critical to ensuring a safe, successful project. Material and plant deliveries were arranged and timed to avoid the busiest periods of day, arriving on rigid axle lorries with designated haulage routes. NT Killingley’s site manager worked closely with on-site security to ensure safe access was maintained, and a banksman controlled all plant and vehicle movements. The outcome of the project is a practical area, with the transformed square linking a number of buildings and spaces at the heart of

campus to provide a much-improved, vibrant outdoor space for socialising, relaxing and studying. Working collaboratively with both the university and Barry Chinn Associates, the scheme was completed to the highest standard of workmanship.

ABOUT NT KILLINGLEY Established for over 40 years, NT Killingley oers an award-winning commercial landscape and earthworks contracting service. The hard landscaping teams undertake urban regeneration and renewal schemes, public realm development, decorative and specialist surfacing and general hard landscape projects. The company also has a strong background in soft landscape works.

REFERENCES Principal contractor

Tree grilles

NT Killingley


Lead designer


Barry Chinn Associates




Bridges Pound


Scoutmoor Yorkstone Diamond Sawn slab and sett paving, Granite sett and flag paving, slot drains



Trees (supplied by the university)


Crowders Nurseries Hilliers

Charcon Andover Washed paving Electrical

Aggregate Industries

Tarmac, geotextile, cement, drainage products, kerbs

Parsons Contracting (Chesterfield) Sculpture


Donated to the University

Streetscape FJM grout mortar Larsen Building Products MOT Type 1, sand, muck away Central Construction Services Ltd


Pro Landscaper / April 2018

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Project location: Leeds, West Yorkshire This much-used city centre roof terrace, used by staff to relax away from the office, was starting to need a lot of maintenance to keep it weed-free and looking good. The solution was to fix Eternal 30mm Superior directly onto the existing paving. The resulting terrace is a low maintenance and non-slip area that can be used all year round, whatever the weather. Price per m²: £18 WWW.ETERNALLAWNS.COM



Project location: Royal Albert Basin, Beckton, London

LazyLawn installed more than 350m2 of award-winning Wonder Yarn 36mm grass to add an aesthetically pleasing, bright and relaxing area for the residents who lived at a new block of apartments at the Royal Albert Basin in Beckton, London. Price per m²: £29.99 WWW.LAZYLAWN.CO.UK


Project location: King’s Cross station, London


Project location: Wimbledon, London Trulawn Regal was used to turn a domestic terrace in Wimbledon into a greener, more communal lounging space. With a 32mm pile height, Trulawn Regal offers a luxurious look and feel and easy maintenance – the ideal balance for an area that is difficult to reach. This project required limited ground preparation, as the existing patio stones were in good condition and thus suitable for a direct lay of artificial grass on top. Price per m²: £23.99 WWW.TRULAWN.CO.UK

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Thousands of Londoners, visitors and tourists relaxed in comfort while sitting on the steps at King’s Cross station thanks to this Perfectly Green installation of Norfolk Artificial Grass. Unable to fix the grass to the actual steps, Perfectly Green devised a frame system to cover the area and provide a surface to secure the grass to. The project was commissioned to be in place for six months and highlights the options and flexibility afforded by artificial grass in more unusual applications. Price per m²: £24.95 WWW.PERFECTLYGREEN.CO.UK



Project location: Silverleigh Care Home, Axminster, Devon Easigrass installed a therapeutic sensory garden for residents with dementia at Silverleigh Care Home, creating a stimulating yet therapeutic environment proven to have a positive impact in dementia health. In two weeks, Easigrass created a vibrant green oasis, complete with an exclusive grass-covered gazebo, planters, and a collection of Easi-Animals. Price per m²: £55 WWW.EASIGRASS.COM

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In the first of a two-part series on balcony living, Anji Connell selects the perfect outdoor furniture for creating an oasis in the sky The perception of greenery beyond any room makes an impactful connection with the outdoors. With a little imagination, a concrete jungle can be transformed into a lush and versatile green space with pots, plants and other exterior goodies. First, consider how you want to use the space and the furniture you’ll need, so you can work the plants around these more substantial structures. Don’t forget to check how the arrangement looks from the inside looking out! Furniture New durable materials and manufacturing processes mean we have more choice in stylish yet functional and comfortable pieces. The new Botanical Planter Screens designed by Helen Kontouris for Len are objects of sculptural beauty – and definitely objects of desire. Soon to be launched, they can be used

Botanical Planter Screens by Helen Kontouris


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Prime by Martha Sturdy

individually or grouped together to form green walls, space dividers, acoustic panels, screens, or simply a botanical statement. They inject a stately yet playful leafy architecture that lends instant appeal, and look good even with minimal plant growth. They are perfect for hiding an ugly view, and for turning an urban space into a verdant oasis or thriving vegetable garden. Each planter screen is 5.6ft tall and 3.6ft wide, with an aluminium planter and a vertical stainless steel screen finished in UV-stable textured powder-coat, available in matte black, white, olive green or burnt red. LA-based metal worker Eric Trine and Brooklyn-based textile designer Ellen Van Dusen have collaborated with West Elm to create an exciting and eclectic outdoor collection. The collection sees jade powdercoated, hand-finished steel frames meet Ellen’s bold, graphic fabrics to create a bright lounging spot, and consists of an armchair, sofa, coffee table and side table with loose, weather-resistant Dacron-wrapped pillows in a fun squiggly print. Another sculptural metal series is Something Beginning With’s Halo range, a collection of outdoor metal chairs, lounge chairs and sofas, with side and coffee tables featuring beautifully rounded metal bases. Gregory Bonasera and Anthony Raymond are the creative forces behind Porcelain Bear, makers of beautifully

considered, perfectly formed porcelain furniture, lighting and homewares that are finely handcrafted in Melbourne. All pieces possess a deep, intuitive understanding of porcelain that allows them to push the boundaries of the material. Porcelain Bear’s Enigma Chain plays a delightful trick on the mind – the links resemble thick, robust metal chains, yet each one is handcrafted from porcelain. Used over a plain wall, window, opening, door or as a screen, they look stunning, playing with light and casting beautiful shadows. The company’s Polar Tile System is a faceted tile with two motifs used alternately to create a subtle repeat. The system includes wall tiles as well as various dining table configurations, coffee tables and a selection of side tables, providing endless possibilities for customisation. Prime is a stunningly bold collection by Canadian artist and designer Martha Sturdy, showcased at Paris’s Maison&Objet trade fair in January; the pieces, consisting of deliciously vibrant geometric resin furniture in primary colours, are made to order. The collection’s resin saturation level varies, with opaque sunshine yellow juxtaposed against deep, solid chilli pepper red,

Something Beginning With’s Halo range

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ATEM sofa

while an electric blue table and stools allow a small amount of light through, creating subtle translucence. The ATEM sofa was also launched at Maison&Objet this year and is designed by Marco Lavit Nicora of Paris-based Atelier Lavit – a tribute to transparency. Japanese studio Nendo’s minimalist Picto furniture and accessories collection, for Chinese lifestyle brand Zens, was another superb Maison&Objet January debut. The collection consists of four pieces of furniture inspired by the Japanese kanji letter system: a side table, a stool, a small shelf and a container. Like kanji, where one word is a combination of multiple meanings, Picto arranges three-dimensional shapes in different ways to make a variety of furniture pieces. Each piece features the same triangle-shaped base, while the tops vary

Kaufmann Mercantile Swing

Corkabitation Fraction collection by Christopher Gentner

Nendo’s minimalist Picto furniture Wiid Design Cork: concrete and cement bar stools

according to the function: a smooth, flat surface acts as a table top, a slightly bent surface provides seating. The Fraction collection by Christopher Gentner is an experimental selection consisting of a brass wall sconce, circle candle, bottle stand, seven-light piece, floor lamp, three stool designs, a swinging drinks table, a mirror and a console table, the result of Christopher taking a look at his own creative process. Designers François Bauchet and Galerie Kreo have continued their longstanding cooperation by bringing out the Azo collection in a super-strong new material made from

sand, resin and concrete. The recurring element of these designs is a clover-shaped support column. RS Barcelona’s Plec collection, meanwhile, is a collection of large, medium and small dining tables with accordion-shaped legs that create fabulous light and shade effects throughout the day. The pieces are steel structures coated with polyester paint, with the table-top available in a range of steel or marble colours. South African designer Laurie Wiid van Heerden, of Wiid Designs, continues his enthusiasm for cork with an all-cork furniture collection called Corkabitation, which includes a low table, low stool and a triangular seat, as well as a Cork & Steel bar stool and a Cork, Steel & Cement bar stool. Have fun capturing the simple joys of childhood with Kaufmann Mercantile’s reimagined rope swing for the young and young at heart, available in a

RS Barcelona’s Plec collection

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Anglepoise giant outdoor lamps

choice of bold and beautiful colours. The cushion is waterproof, crafted from UV-resistant polyester fabric. At the heart of the seat is an upholstery-quality foam, reinforced with a plywood core. Two braided polyester ropes complete the swing. Finally, bring some light to your balcony or rooftop scheme with an Anglepoise Original 1227 Giant Outdoor Lamp – guaranteed to make a statement. Look out for part two next month, where I’ll be taking a look at the best pots, planters and living wall products to enhance a balcony space. ABOUT ANJI CONNELL Internationally recognised interior architect and landscape designer Anji Connell is a detail-obsessed Inchbald Graduate, and has been collaborating with artisans and craftsmen to create bespoke and unique interiors for a discerning clientele since 1986. Anji is a stylist, feature writer and lover of all things art and design.

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NEWS URBAN LANDSCAPE DESIGN STARTS WORK AT ROLLS ROYCE & MCLAREN SHOWROOM Construction of an outdoor customer area at the new Rolls Royce & McLaren showroom in Wilmslow, Manchester has commenced; it is being designed and constructed by local design and build practice Urban Landscape Design. The project will enhance the customer experience and provide a flexible area for the showroom to hold events. “We are enjoying working with Rolls Royce and McLaren on this project – we share the same attention to detail that is demonstrated in their desirable high-performance cars,” said Mark and Holly Youde, directors of Urban Landscape Design.



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LANDSTRUCTION ANNOUNCES TWO NEW SENIOR APPOINTMENTS Landstruction, one of the North’s fastest growing full-service landscaping businesses, has strengthened its senior management team with two board level appointments. Joining the Chester-based team is experienced regional director Alan Wilkins, who will be responsible for Landstruction’s continued growth, focusing specifically on the company’s dedicated maintenance and land management departments. “I am delighted to become part of this young and ambitious team,” said Alan. “This fast-growing business is full of fresh ideas and I am very much looking forward to playing an integral role shaping its future development and success.” His appointment follows that of non-executive director Carl Allen, who will work alongside existing members of the senior management team to help shape the strategic vision for Landstruction and support the growth of the complementary Big Hedge Co. business. “I am delighted by the appointments of both Alan and Carl, who will be key to the company’s continued growth over the coming years,” said Landstruction managing director David Binks. “It is a real coup for the business.”

Garden design and landscape consultancy Warnes McGarr & Co has announced it will be designing and project managing The Poisonous Garden for RHS Tatton 2018. The exhibit will entertain and educate visitors about the gruesome and deadly side of plants, showing a darker side of horticulture that isn’t frequently seen at flower shows. “We are honoured to be asked back to RHS Tatton again to design and manage this show-stopping exhibit on the 20th anniversary of the show,” said Michael John McGarr. “As soon as we heard about the concept around The Poisonous

Garden, we were onboard and instantly thinking about what this would look, feel and sound like for visitors. There is so much scope to create a truly jaw-dropping experience to delight visitors over the weekend in July.” “I knew Warnes McGarr & Co would be the perfect company to work with on this project,” said RHS show manager Isobel Coulter. “From their Cactus Direct Garden ‘2101’ in 2017, I could tell that our ideas and ambitions matched and that they’d be able to take on the challenge of this interesting and immersive feature at RHS Tatton 2018. I’m really excited to see it all come to fruition!”

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BARNES WALKER CELEBRATES FANTASTIC START TO 2018 Garden design, construction and project management practice Barnes Walker is pleased to announce a successful start to 2018. This year, the practice has been awarded the Best of Houzz 2018 award for Design, and was nominated in six categories at The Grafters Awards 2018, including the awards for Best Landscape Architecture practice in the North West and for Best Projects Under and Over £5m. The practice has also received planning

permission for a 26-home masterplan in Cumbria. The development will comprise a mix of traditional family homes built alongside a village hall, pavilion and new village green. “What a fantastic year we’ve had so far – and to top it off, Anne Windsor, who works with us, was crowned winner of the Big Ideas, Small Budget award at this year’s Society of Garden Designers awards night in London,” said Barnes Walker director Ruth Cournell. “We were all thrilled for her, it’s a very welldeserved award.”

CW STUDIO RELOCATES Manchester-based landscape architecture practice CW Studio has announced its relocation to a larger space – the XYZ Building in Spinningfields. Building on project wins and successes in 2017 and early 2018, CW Studio has growth plans to support some exciting new projects. New projects include Cornbrook Hub in Castlefield, Manchester, a residential scheme with public realm and a funky roof terrace with a running track on the 14th floor, a new business park with extensive outdoor space for people to enjoy, and a large private garden in Anglesey with incredible views of the sea. “We wanted to stay in keeping with our company culture of fun, vibrant, forward thinkers, so the XYZ Building was the obvious choice for us, and we look forward to seeing new and old faces there,” said director Carolyn Willits. “Following our recent win at the Society of Garden Designers Awards, we think 2018 is going to be a fantastic year!”

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PRO LANDSCAPER LIVE RETURNS TO MANCHESTER Following its successful 2017 launch, Pro Landscaper LIVE will be returning to Manchester to educate, inform and inspire the local landscaping sector. After the success of last year’s event in Manchester, hosted at Mere Golf and Country Club, the team is pleased to announce its return on Thursday 31 May 2018. As in 2017, the afternoon will take the form of a welcome lunch, several topical seminars and an industry debate, which will include some of the most influential landscapers, garden designers, landscape architects, contractors and suppliers within the industry. The day will close with a drinks reception and a three-course evening dinner, providing delegates with the perfect opportunity to network and discuss the day’s event. A full agenda, as well as seminar topics and speakers, will be announced shortly. Pro Landscaper LIVE is free for delegates to attend and will be based on an invite only, first come, first served basis. For more information, please contact Amber Bernabe on 01903 777 581.

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AGENDA Q: IS THE NORTHERN FOREST A WORTHWHILE INVESTMENT? Earlier this year, it was announced that The Woodland Trust will work in partnership with community forests across the north to form a new Northern Forest. The Northern Forest will see more than 50m trees planted over 25 years and will stretch from Liverpool across to Hull. The project will deliver major environmental, social and economic benefits that complement the significant growth, investment and new infrastructure that is planned for Northern England. So far, it has received almost £6m government backing to help with the first points of action; Pro Landscaper asks – is a worthwhile investment?


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Managing director, Dreamscape Gardens I think it’s a great idea to plan and prepare for the future wellbeing of our planet and children, and planting millions of trees certainly does that. People argue that the funding could be better spent on the NHS or creating more jobs, but I believe that creating the new Northern Forest will do that and more. Jobs will be created and recreational activities increased, which, coupled with cleaner air, will reduce the burden on the NHS. A high number of children nowadays have problems such as asthma, and by planting more trees we can reduce that problem and children will grow up with a better understanding and respect for the environment. As designers, we love wildlife, and this project will benefit birds and insects as well as humans. And finally, with the change in climate, trees are needed to soak up rainwater to alleviate flooding issues, something that seems to be a more frequent occurrence recently.


Director and garden designer, Warnes McGarr & Co While the planting of any new trees should always be applauded, in a climate where councils are actively removing trees in urban environments to reduce maintenance budgets, we must ask what is being done to ensure that the Northern Forest will be extended into our cities, where radical increase in green space is desperately required? Councils need to seek proper consultation to provide an urban greening infrastructure that does not revolve solely around the planting and maintenance of mature trees. Although these trees are valuable assets to our cities, they do not form the whole picture, and further emphasis should be placed on green roof and wall applications, which make up a broader approach to urban greening. The backing of community-based urban allotments, and the protection and reclamation of brownfield sites for such purposes, could also hold the key to urban greening, and combat community apathy towards such issues. So, in concept the Northern Forest is a great initiative, but it needs to be built upon to include the urban environment.

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Managing director, Urban Green For me, the immediate answer to this must be yes. We are a partner of Manchester’s City of Trees project and we support its ambition to plant a tree for every man, woman and child in Greater Manchester. This is particularly important at a time when tree-planting rates are at an all-time low in England, meaning that, after decades of growth in woodland cover, there’s now a danger of deforestation. Negative reactions to the Northern Forest seem to stem from scepticism that this is an example of a government ‘greenwash’ and a distraction from other issues, such as HS2’s destruction of ancient woodlands. Ancient woodlands are irreplaceable and newly planted woodlands will take hundreds of years to mitigate any losses – we need to have both, not one or the other. As a headline, £500m sounds big, but the government is only funding an initial £5.7m, with the rest to come from charities or sponsorship, and a largely volunteer workforce over the 25 years. It could be argued that the initial investment isn’t enough to deliver a suitable kickstart, or to ensure the woodland is sufficiently managed and protected for generations to come. I have no doubt that this investment could be repaid many times over – not just in economic terms, but in the tangible social, environmental, physical and mental health benefits the Northern Forest could bring. There will be much scrutiny of the project as it develops; ultimately, though, if the Northern Forest is the nearest thing I can get to creating a tree-covered landscape for future generations, I must give it my support.

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Associate director, Atkins, member of the SNC-Lavalin Group The notion is a romantic one, creating new and linking existing woodlands into one huge forest, for the benefit of the millions of people who would live within a short journey of it. It’s not just about trees, though: people forget that a true woodland embraces wetlands, grasslands, parks and green open space. One value of the Northern Forest is to draw attention to the positive part the natural world plays in our lives and national psyche; it’s these associations that make the prospect compelling. The forest would help to fight climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, as well as reducing flood risk, increasing property values, boosting the economy through tourist attractiveness, and creating richer, more varied habitats – and that’s before considering the benefits to health, through leisure, play and recreation. The role that nature plays in helping us to recharge and exercise is underestimated, and the expenditure to create the forest might even be offset against cost savings to the NHS over its implementation period. The battle is in the logistics – how to navigate the many ownership, stewardship and access rights, across several major unitary authorities? It’s also unclear what will be delivered through policy, what is backed by legislation and what is aspiration. The project is expected to cost £500m over 25 years, with only £10m so far committed by the Woodland Trust and the rest still to be raised. The argument to spend money and energy on existing resources is valid, but it should not prevent the pursuit of this venture. I am keen to support it, and will follow its progress keenly.


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URBAN LANDSCAPE DESIGN Chester-based Urban Landscape Design is a practice that covers both design and build projects throughout the North West. Pro Landscaper meets founders Mark and Holly Youde to discover more.


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How did you both get into landscaping? Mark: My family has been in the reclamation business for a number of years, which is where I first discovered my passion for experimenting with landscaping materials in creative ways. At the time, I was following another of my passions, as a motor racing instructor. I wanted to find a way to combine the teaching and nurturing side with the creative outdoors aspect. Holly: I have always had a desire to be creative and be involved in business development. I was working in events management in the motorsports industry when I met Mark. We found that we shared a love for the outdoors and landscaping, and Urban Landscapes grew from there. I wanted to develop my creative side and started studying landscape design. How did Urban Landscape Design come about? H: About 13 years ago, we started doing design and build landscaping projects for friends and through recommendations from friends. I was still studying at the time, so it was a steep learning curve, and Mark was out on site. We didn’t advertise – all our business came through word of mouth, and we remained a relatively small business until six years ago – since then we’ve continued to grow. M: At that time, we decided to make some changes to develop and expand the company. In order to do so, we needed the time and space to grow, so we moved to our current premises and I became office based, with dedicated teams carrying out work on site.


Have you always traded as Urban Landscape Design? H: We originally each had our own sole traderships: Urban Landscapes and Urban Landscape Design. We wanted to streamline the business and decided to merge the two, forming Urban Landscape Design Ltd.

1 RHS Tatton Show Garden 2017 with Gabriel Ash and Lilly Gomm ©Victoria Lee 2 Residential project in Lymm, Cheshire

How many staff do you employ? M: We have over 20 staff – six office based, and the remainder out on site. All are fully versed in our health and safety procedures, as well as being fully trained and vetted. They all understand our ethos and they all have the same drive and ethics as we do, to make a difference within the landscaping industry. We also have several trusted subcontractors, that we can call on from time to time if needs be. Most of these are ex-employees who we can rely on. Is this a good catchment area for staff? H: When we advertise for positions, we always have a good response, most from applicants who live further

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4 afield and are willing to travel when they understand our principles and commitment to the industry. Most of our staff have a half-hour commute. M: We have extremely high standards as a business, and it can sometimes be difficult to find suitable candidates who meet our requirements, which is why we are prepared to look beyond our local catchment.

3 A seaside garden for a dementia home 4 Rear garden on old rectory in Chester 5 Communal area barn conversion, Cheshire 6 U rban Landscape Design’s headquarters 7 The growing team, pictured in early 2017


What’s your typical client? H: Most of our projects are high-end residential design and build schemes. We specialise in unique new-build properties and comprehensive redevelopments with a need for extensive development to the site. These projects either come from our own design and build schemes, or from independent designers. We actively seek to work with other designers and feel there are extensive benefits from collaborations within the industry. M: We have great working relationships with a number of local designers and feel passionately about working together within the industry to help it move forward. We respect the designers we work with, and they understand our principles and values, which is why many of them return and trust us to bring their designs to life. Where are most of your projects based? H: We cover an expansive area of the North West – Cheshire, South Manchester, North Wales and the Wirral are all within an hour of us.

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How is your work split? H: It varies throughout the year, but currently it’s 60/40 between domestic and commercial projects. M: We love the variety both domestic and

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6 commercial projects provide. We enjoy the challenge that each domestic project brings to the table – no two are the same. We tend to be more selective when it comes to commercial projects. Smaller independent commercial companies have more individual projects, and we find that they will actively look to work together in order to achieve the best outcome for the client. We all want the client to be happy and get the most out of their outdoor space. H: We enjoy working alongside commercial developers who provide the opportunity for more bespoke prestigious projects. We enjoy the challenge and like to produce something unique. Do you provide maintenance? H: We don’t provide a maintenance service for our domestic clients, however there is a high demand for a quality maintenance provider, which we have struggled to find – so we are considering it for the future. M: Most of our commercial projects require a maintenance package as part of the contract. This usually covers a three to six-month period, with basic requirements in place. What’s a stand-out project for you? H: We constructed a seaside-themed garden for a dementia home in north Manchester. Knowing how the outdoor area we built has been beneficial to its residents and the community is hugely rewarding. M: Dementia gardens help stimulate the senses for the patients. There were a variety of different elements involved in this garden to remind residents of seaside holidays, such as beach huts, fishing boats, a pier and resin bonded gravel to give the

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impression of sandy beaches. It’s had such a positive effect, and for us, it's so fulfilling to know we have helped in more ways than one. What’s your favourite thing about working in the North West? H: We have such a diverse area and this is reflected in the projects we work on. Our gardens vary from rural country grounds, working with traditional and reclaimed materials, to modern designs for new-builds or city centre roof gardens. We love the variety, and it challenges us to look for new trends and materials that we can use across the board. There are also a number of talented peers within the area, and we seem to have the same drive to work together and improve standards within the industry. What lies ahead for Urban Landscape Design? M: We want to help grow the landscaping industry and enjoy bringing likeminded professionals together. We've started holding events at our offices over the past few years to help achieve this and are looking to hold more in the future. We are proud to have been shortlisted in the APL Awards, Pro Landscaper Business Awards and High Sheriff of Cheshire Awards for Enterprise this year. H: We want to keep moving forward and improve the business and the industry. We now have a business consultant on board who, with a fresh approach, has had a positive effect already. We want to strengthen our business and establish ourselves as the North West's leading landscaping company. M: We have a plan and vision for where we would like to be, involving the whole Urban team, who all have the same desire to drive the business forward.


URBAN LANDSCAPE DESIGN LTD Urban Landscape Design Ltd is an outdoor specialist offering a comprehensive landscaping service throughout the North West of England and North Wales.

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Stephen Martlew set up Stephen Martlew Landscape Architecture in 1995, in a shared cooperative workspace in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Initially, much of the practice’s work was centred on housing regeneration projects and public realm issues for social housing clients around the Greater Manchester area. Since then, it’s worked on a wider variety of projects, including new schools, award-winning public realm projects for public and commercial clients, and new-build housing projects for private developers and social housing providers.

City life “Approximately 80% of our work is currently in the Greater Manchester area or the North West, although we’re open to opportunities further afield,” Stephen tells us. “We have worked in other parts of the country, notably large projects for new secondary schools and sixth form colleges in Nottinghamshire.” He has worked on many prestigious projects in the city centre, including ITV studios. “It’s a novelty working on something like the ITV project – particularly being involved in constructing the new Coronation Street set,” he says. “It’s satisfying to help shape your city’s environment with new green space and public realm.” To source work like this, the practice is part of various frameworks for social housing providers and local authorities. Most of its work comes from referrals or is repeat work from existing clients, and a large amount has come through housing regeneration. Architect trends “I like the vibrancy of Manchester and I’m interested in getting the balance right between regeneration and gentrification,” Stephen tells us. “Manchester has always been a dynamic, commercially oriented city, and it has been successful at stimulating economic growth.” He feels that, over the past few years, development in the city centre has focused mainly on new apartments and residential development, and although there is



Stephen Martlew, founder of Manchesterbased Stephen Martlew Landscape Architecture, sheds light on architectural development in the city centre, his most prestigious projects, and his hopes for the future of the city’s public space

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“I ENVY THE WAY THAT COUNTRIES SUCH AS THE NETHERLANDS SUCCEED IN PROMOTING CYCLING AND REDUCING THE DOMINANCE OF THE CAR WITHIN URBAN AREAS” recognition of the need for pocket parks and urban green space to make neighbourhoods more liveable, little has been incorporated into new residential development areas. “The tendency is to maximise the build on each plot, building to the edge of the pavement and resulting in a claustrophobic cityscape with little breathing space. I feel there needs to be more of a strategic plan, incorporating green space into the development framework to make Manchester a more attractive place to live and work in.” Stephen explains that many of the new developments are apartments aimed at young single people, with little for families. “There has been little provision for new infrastructure such as parks and green spaces, although a new primary school has been built in New Islington. This is mainly because local authorities have been starved of funds; and there is little money to maintain the public realm properly. “Public spaces also tend to be treated as ways to generate revenue, whether through Christmas markets, festivals or ice skating rinks. This is good to an extent, as it brings people in, but it also erodes the validity of public space as symbolic or emblematic of the city.”

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The next step Much of Stephen’s recent work has been based around new private sector residential development – either apartment blocks in the city centre or housing schemes further out for private developers and social housing organisations. Upcoming projects include an apartment block in Ancoats that incorporates a roof garden, and a contemporary housing development in Chorlton for First Step Developments. “It’s likely that private developers and commercial housing developments will form the mainstay of our projects over the next 18 months,” Stephen says. He hopes for a relaxation of austerity to boost funding for schools and public open space, and would also like to see more joined-up thinking in the North West, linking improvements to roads and infrastructure with improved public space. “I envy the way that countries such as the Netherlands succeed in promoting cycling and reducing the dominance of the car within urban areas, promoting a healthier lifestyle and more liveable cities. Perhaps the new Manchester mayor will bring in a new sense of vision in this respect, mirroring some of the good work which has been initiated by the London mayor.”


1 Port Street Development: elevation of new apartments on Great Ancoats Street, Manchester, for developers Mulbury City 2 Port Street Development: axonometric view of roof garden with hedging, herbs and espalier apple trees

STEPHEN MARTLEW LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE Stephen Martlew Landscape Architecture is a Manchester-based practice with a creative, design-led approach, emphasising the creation of meaningful places that are sensitive to the needs of clients and end users. W:

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DAVID KEEGAN Pro Landscaper speaks to David Keegan of David Keegan Garden Design to find out about his work in Manchester, local design trends, and his most exciting project to date David, how did your career begin? I used to be a freelance photographer. I did fashion and personality portraits of famous people for magazines such as Tatler and the Telegraph Magazine. I became tired of accommodating superegos and I started the organic process that resulted in where I am now.


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How did you go from photographer to garden designer? I was living in a flat in Hammersmith and built myself a roof garden, and from there people started asking me to do theirs. I relocated to the North with the intention of going into furniture restoration and built another garden, and again I got requests to do them for other people. Then I saw an advert in a magazine for a TV show wanting people who were interested in garden design, so I applied, and after two years without hearing anything, I got the call to say I was going on. Contestants were supposed to be amateur, and I’d been working in the industry for a couple of years, but they told me not to mention that and to still take part. Doing that show was probably one of the best things I did because, although I didn’t enjoy the process, it impressed a lot of people and I started getting some big projects.

Moving to the modern day, how is your work split now? Before the financial crash in 2008, my work was split 50/50 between commercial and domestic projects. Since then, however, the only commercial work I’ve tended to do is community gardens. There wasn’t much work at that time and I got out of practice, and as a natural progression I have tended to focus more on the domestic market. What’s do you consider to be the best project you’ve ever worked on? In December, I worked on plans for what’s going to be a new residential centre for young adults with autism in north Manchester. It’s probably the most interesting and exciting project I’ve done, and it will be the first of its type in the UK; it’s a completely different approach to how we support people with mental health issues in the community. It represents some kind of hope, as it will only accommodate people who are originally from that catchment area, who are currently in care centres all over the country, away from their families. When I was commissioned, I was asked if I would be happy to collaborate with the people who were going to provide the care, as well as with the architect, and it was an incredible process – unlike any teamwork I’ve done before. They were incredible people; the architects practice is part social enterprise and uses the profits from its commercial work to fund communitycentred projects like this one.

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Is a lot of your work in north Manchester, then? I work all over the North West; probably 50% of my projects are in Manchester and Greater Manchester, and other areas I cover are Derbyshire, Cheshire and Lancashire. What’s the average cost of your projects? In my experience, project value tends to be lower in Manchester than in the other areas I work in. The average in Manchester would be £30-40k, while outside of the city the value can be anything from £80-250k, and generally takes longer to build.

6 Have you noticed any garden design trends? I’ve seen growth in demand for artificial lawns – people seem to ask for something low maintenance without realising that even artificial grass requires maintenance. I’ve also noticed that recycling materials has become a major concern – people

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seem to have a much more educated approach to the use of recycled materials, wanting to reduce waste and increase use. What’s fantastic is that people are becoming more conscious of the house as part of the landscape, as opposed to the landscape being an extension of house – realising that landscape provides context for house and not the other way round. As a consequence I now find I am often engaged at a much earlier stage of the process where new build, or renovations, is concerned and sometimes even before an architect is appointed. To me that spells a new respect for the importance of our understanding of outdoor space and gardens. Are there any issues with working in Manchester? I think there’s a difference between the North and South in terms of the attitude towards spending money – I sometimes look with envy at some of the projects in the South and the budgets they’re allocated. I think there needs to be an education on how much gardens cost. I’d suggest that, round here, we have more of a domestic market, but the problem with that is often that people will happily spend £30k on a kitchen but only £10k on a garden. I think TV is partly responsible for the common misconceptions around how much it costs to design and build a garden – shows give people a false estimate, where they see gardens transformed for £500. That’s not realistic, and, to be honest, I expect that it’s a nationwide misconception.



1 Bespoke pavilion, constructed of FSC English larch and oak 2 Bespoke David Keegan-designed oak gate for a country cottage 3 Fish pond with viewing portals 4 The Sculpture garden, inspired by an English National Opera production of Handel’s Xerxes 5 Winter garden night-time hothouse view 6 The restored hothouse, part of a larger project in Oldham

DAVID KEEGAN GARDEN DESIGN David Keegan is a multi-award winning garden designer based in Manchester, whose design philosophy centres on a naturalistic planting style. W: www.davidkeegangardendesign

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CITY OF TREES We speak to Sarah McNally, marketing and communications manager at City of Trees, to find out about the charity’s work connecting the people of Manchester with trees



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reviously known as Red Rose Forest, City of Trees relaunched in 2015, though it remains true to its core values of planting more trees and bringing woodland back into use for Greater Manchester. The charity was reinvigorated when Michael Oglesby, chairman of Bruntwood and head of the Oglesby Charitable Trust, approached the team with a vision for a greener Greater Manchester. Ambitions and aims “We describe City of Trees as a movement,” explains Sarah. “The idea is that it shouldn’t just be us planting trees – it should be about everyone coming together to do more. We have ambitious goals, and need the support of organisations across different sectors to truly reinvigorate Greater Manchester’s landscapes.” City of Trees’ partners range from other charities, including The Woodland Trust, the RSPB and Lancashire Wildlife Trust, to private companies and developers, such as Bruntwood – it takes a lot of people to make the changes that City of Trees wants to make. The charity’s aim is to plant 3m trees – one for every man, woman and child in the region – and bring 2,000ha of woodland back into a useful state for the community, all within a generation. Engaging the community “People really get behind the message of planting more trees,” says Sarah. “We’ve seen a huge amount of support from the community – from schools, who want to use local woodlands as outdoor classrooms, to developers in the city region, who want more street trees to green up the areas around their sites.” To achieve its goals, City of Trees requires funding. Currently, this comes from a range of sources, including charitable grants from The Oglesby Charitable Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and contributions from private partners and individuals. “Each year City of Trees spends at least £1m helping connect people to the places that matter to them,” says Sarah. “As a charity we rely on the support of the local community and businesses to help us continue our vital work.” Flagship projects City of Trees is working on a number of flagship projects, including City Re-Leaf, which has identified around a thousand locations across Manchester and Salford city centres where street trees could be planted. “There isn’t much space in the city centres to create new parks and green spaces, so street trees are a great way to reintroduce wildlife and green

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the city centre,” says Sarah. “This will allow us to reap the benefits of trees without making big changes to the city, and we can work with developers. We hope the first trees will be planted in 2019.” A second project is the Trees for Learning scheme, part of DEFRA’s initiative to plant 1m trees with primary schools across the UK by 2020. City of Trees is working with schools across Greater Manchester to plant 60,000 trees, as well as teaching children about the importance of trees and why we need to plant more and protect the ones we have. City of Trees is also working with the Forestry Commission to create a vast new public forest. Arrowing north from urban Salford through the Irwell Valley and beyond the M60, the City Forest Park aims to transform a landscape once scarred by coal and chemicals. It will join up a jigsaw of woods, wildflower meadows and heath, planting thousands of new trees and creating 45km of paths and cycleways. Finally, City of Trees is in the early stages of a partnership with Transport for Greater Manchester, exploring the ways in which locals can be encouraged to take green routes. “We’re identifying where there are spaces that we can ‘green up’, improving key routes and making it feel safer to encourage people to walk and cycle,” Sarah tells us. Getting involved City of Trees holds professional engagement events throughout the year to share its goals with landscape architects, designers and developers in the area. It also supports members of the public in organising fundraising activities such as cake sales and work dress-down days, and encouraging people to take part in Tough Mudder events and marathons to raise money. “We always welcome new ideas,” says Sarah. “If people want to find out how they can support us, the best way is through our website or social media.” The Northern Forest City of Trees is one of the Community Forests collaborating with the Woodland Trust in the creation of the Northern Forest, which will see 50m trees planted across the North, from Liverpool to Hull. “All trees we plant in the city region will form part of this new mosaic of woodland,” says Sarah. She believes that the Northern Forest will be hugely beneficial, helping to tackle climate change, combat flooding, improve air quality, increase biodiversity and create wildlife habitats. “People have really got behind it,” she tells us. “There’s power in numbers – with people’s support we can make more things happen.”


7 1 Tree planting 2 Street trees in Manchester 3 The City Forest Park project ©Jill Jennings 4 Launch of Trees for Learning with Springwatch Unsprung presenter Lindsey Chapman 5 Oak leaves 6 Installation at RHS Tatton Park 7 Organised nature walks ©Jill Jennings

CITY OF TREES Contact: City of Trees team, 6 Kansas Avenue, Salford M50 2GL Tel: 0161 872 1660 Twitter: @CityofTreesMcr W:

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Regional special



SOMETHING ABOUT SALFORD Salford City Council’s “visionary” outlook on green space helped to make the city the perfect location for RHS Garden Bridgewater, the largest garden project of its kind in Europe



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nown for its significant role in the Industrial Revolution, Salford has since become the fastest-growing borough in Greater Manchester. It is also a flourishing commercial hub, helping to progress the Northern Powerhouse with the addition of MediaCityUK, a 200-acre mixed-use development that is home to the largest cluster of digital companies outside of London; the first phase of the developmemt was completed in 2011, and is an important media base for both the BBC and ITV Granada. The city also boasts more than 60 parks and open spaces, which make up 60% of the city and are maintained by Salford City Council’s in-house grounds maintenance team. “Salford is a city born out of the Industrial Revolution, when lots of people were crammed into tight spaces, so a great challenge for us is bringing nature back to the people,” says Cllr Derek Antrobus. “We are focused on getting greenery to the heart of the conurbation, which means working hard to create new parks in the city and improve access to these spaces for local people.” The council recently worked with the Environment Agency on a new £10m flood basin to protect 2,000 homes from flooding; when it’s not acting as a flood basin, the vast expanse of open space – only 1.2km from the city centre – acts as an urban wetland for the public, right next to one of the most deprived estates in the country. “We understand that the environment that people live in has been ruined by the Industrial Revolution,” says Derek. “We’re still trying to recover from that, but we have a conscious plan for that recovery, focused on making greenery more accessible to people. RHS Garden Bridgewater is a part of that.”

RHS Garden Bridgewater Spanning 154 acres, RHS Garden Bridgewater is the first project of its size for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in more than 100 years, and is its first new garden in nearly two decades. The £30m project is a collaboration between the RHS, Salford City Council and Peel Land and Property, which acquired the site in the Eighties. It will see the restoration of the grounds at Worsley New Hall in Salford, part of the third Duke of Bridgewater’s estate, after full planning permission was granted in June of last year. Alongside MediaCityUK, RHS Garden Bridgewater will be a huge boost to the Northern Powerhouse, and is expected to generate £24m a year for the local economy by 2034 – just years after it has opened.

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4 3

6 “The RHS has been interested in finding a fifth garden for around 20 years, but the search was reinvigorated about five years ago as part of our current strategic investment programme,” says Anna da Silva, programme director for Bridgewater at the RHS. This is a 10-year, £160m investment strategy, which was initially intended for 10 projects – one of which was to find and develop a fifth RHS garden. Looking at where the other four gardens are based – Wisley in Surrey, Rosemoor in Devon, Hyde Hall in Essex and Harlow Carr in Yorkshire – Anna says there was a clear gap in the north-western side of the map. “We could see that there were many gardeners in this part of the UK and lots of interest, with no RHS garden for them to visit, and so this became a priority.”




1 Walled garden: aerial view ©Tom Stuart-Smith 2 The River Irwell flood basins and new wetlands 3 Environment Agency Salford Flood Improvements scheme 4 Anna Da Silva 5 Derek Antrobus 6 Arrival entrance for RHS Garden Bridgewater, © Tom Stuart-Smith

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Selecting Salford Though many potential sites were visited, Worsley New Hall had an immediate impact. “As soon as it was visited, everybody could see that it had fantastic opportunities,” says Anna. “It has a huge walled garden, large landscape terraces and a lake. The site also has great biodiversity, with a huge meadow and a large area of woodland. It’s in an existing heritage setting, so there were also many interpretation and community engagement opportunities." The site adjoins the Bridgewater canal, which is one of the main cycleways into the city, and connects to Chat Moss, a large area of peat mosslands that is currently part of a restoration project between Salford City Council and the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, following a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Councillor Derek Antrobus sees all of these projects as part of a wider scheme. As a trustee for the Community Forest Trust, Derek has been involved in the progress of the Northern Forest since early on, and sees both the forest and RHS Garden Bridgewater as contributing to the Northern Powerhouse, as well as being part of the same endpoint. “RHS Garden Bridgewater is going to be a major gateway, and not only into the peatlands to the west – I can see it becoming a focus for people who want to enjoy the brand new green spaces that will be created along that region,” he tells us. “These initiatives are transforming the identity of places, and that’s not just about identity in terms of how we’re seen by people from outside the area – it’s also about how people see their own places and begin to take a new pride in them." Similarly, the RHS sees Salford as an ambitious city, with Anna describing the council as “visionary”. “It nursed the MediaCityUK development, which has had a massive economic and social impact on that end of the city and beyond,” says Anna. “Now, it’s brought RHS Garden Bridgewater to the other end of the city, and is doing everything it can to facilitate it.” To encourage visitors to explore the city further, the RHS is looking to signpost them to other areas of Salford, including Chat Moss and the canal link, which



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extends to MediaCityUK. The council is keen, however, for this not just to be a green oasis for people from outside the city to visit – it wants Salfordians to feel ownership of it, and one of the ways the RHS is working towards this is through community engagement projects. Community engagement Since hosting two public consultation days in November 2016 – attended by more than 600 people – the RHS has been involving the local community wherever possible. “The site is an amazing canvas,” says Anna. “We have an eight-page Gantt chart covering from now until the opening, plotting all of the building and growing, with every opportunity included for community engagement. “The first thing we did was train local volunteer tour guides, many of whom have a pre-existing relationship with the site and bring their own stories with them. They have taken hundreds of people around the site in the last few months, and we’re hoping to ramp that up come the spring.” Next year, the RHS is looking to introduce traineeships and apprenticeships, and it is committed to creating more than 140 jobs in the garden and a further 180 in the local economy by 2029. The next stage Work began this winter to clear and prepare the grounds in the Walled Garden, which is due to open to the public in 2020, with volunteers booked in until July to assist. The RHS is also looking into ecofriendly ways to clear the land, including the use of pigs, which will be used to turn over the soil and rid the area of invasive weeds. Students from the local sixth form college who are studying animal husbandry are volunteering to help look after these. The 10-acre Walled Garden, one of the largest of its kind in the UK, will include a Paradise Garden designed by landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith, who has created the masterplan for RHS Garden Bridgewater. This will have fruit and vegetables growing, and community teaching allotments. Once the Walled Garden has been opened, the remainder of the garden will open in phases. RHS Garden Bridgewater will be an exciting addition for both the RHS and for Salford, and we look forward to seeing how the relationship between the organisation and the city continues.



9 7 Hard-working local volunteers ©RHS/Mark Waugh 8 Masterplan, arrival entrance for RHS Garden Bridgewater, drawing ©Tom Stuart-Smith 9 The walled garden ©RHS/ Mark Waugh

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Regional special



robert hughes garden design took inspiration from this property’s thirties architecture to create a sleek urban garden


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Project value £25k Build time Seven weeks Size of project 113m2

aving the luxury of two private gardens and being able to dedicate one space for their children, the clients wanted to create a contemporary, urban garden for themselves to enjoy. They wanted a space that had the ‘wow’ factor, with bold lines and an industrial feel. At the same time, the garden needed to be inviting, with a relaxed atmosphere – a space that was modern, but without being too stark or clinical. It was during the initial consultation that the designer picked up on the Thirties-style architecture of the property and somewhat Art Deco decor of the sitting room, which backs onto the garden; they suggested using this as inspiration for the garden. The planting brief was to create interest and warmth using texture, but the clients weren’t fussy when it came to colour; Robert decided to incorporate subtle splashes of white and purple tones.


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This project is the first phase of a three-garden project that includes the two private gardens and the front garden of the property. Each of the garden designs shares a contemporary theme while maintaining a different atmosphere and use. Design The client made it clear from the initial stages that they wanted to allow Robert the freedom to create a garden that wasn’t too influenced by their suggestions, instead allowing ideas to develop naturally. Although it is a contemporary garden, the Art Deco theme made the design process fun and interesting. Aspects of the garden, such as the paving border and the custom-designed water feature and wall-hung screens, subtly demonstrate some of the patterns found in Art Deco architecture, art, interior and furniture design. As the existing garden was quite small, featureless and flat, and the views out to the space were limited, the clients required height interest to bring the garden to life. A wood store was also needed. In response to this, the idea of the screens and the pergola were introduced, providing a frame around the striking white stems of the Himalayan birch.


Challenges While on the exterior it was a simple garden of formal lines, getting these lines to match precisely was a challenge. Most of the build ran smoothly, with good weather throughout, and the garden’s situation next to the road also helped, as materials could be craned over the wall. A major challenge, as with any small garden, was to incorporate lots of interest and cater for several different viewpoints, without creating a busy, cluttered space. The greatest installation challenge was constructing the water feature and making sure it was low maintenance. Materials Most of the materials were sourced from local suppliers in the North West. The granite paving, slate walling and pebbles were sourced from Landscape World in Widnes, and the Yellow Balau fencing was sourced from Whitmores Timber in Winsford. Stockport Metal Fabricators created the bespoke metalwork according to detailed custom designs, and all the plants and trees were sourced and supplied by Ladybrook Nurseries, Bramhall.


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REFERENCES Paving and walling Landscape World Timber Whitmores Timber Metalwork Stockport Metal Fabrications Lights Water blade and pond lights Water Garden Plants and trees Ladybrook Nursey



Landscaper Graeme Neald

1 Illuminated stainless steel screens 2 Textured planting, water feature and naked bench 3 Art Deco-inspired water feature and rill 4 The garden by night 5 Patio area framed with contemporary pergola 6 Wood store by night 7 Himalayan birch stems in front of stainless steel screens



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Robert Hughes has been creating gardens for over a decade. Heavily influenced by the natural landscape, as well as forward-thinking architecture and design, Robert uses contrasting traditional and contemporary materials in bold and simple ways to create his award-winning gardens. W: www.roberthughes

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BUSINESS CLASS Project value £105k Build time Eight weeks Size of project 1.7 acres Best Commercial Build Award at the Northern Design Awards 2017

1 Visualisation of a view into the courtyards by AP Visual 2 Grids of grasses with David Harber sculpture ©Darren Chung 3 View towards the courtyard from the entrance to the development ©Darren Chung 4 Granite paving surrounding to contemporary office buildings ©Darren Chung 5 Bird’s eye view of the proposals – visualisation by AP Visual


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landstruction and cw studio create a series of modern outdoor spaces for The colony, a contemporary office and business complex in wilmslow


he Colony is a combination of luxurious offices and professional business space set within spectacular landscaped grounds. Located in Wilmslow, the state-of-the-art venue also offers a private members club as well as a sophisticated and luxurious setting for both weddings and events. The site had been on the market for a while and the default position from previous viewings was to convert the site into residential use. The cofounders identified the need for a high-end, discrete space for local businesses to work at within Cheshire. They also had a shared concept that was in quality development, and the design needed to add value with both internal and external hospitality areas. For the landscape design, the brief was to create a contemporary and elegant landscape that provided an attractive and high-quality setting for the new modern buildings. Perfect pairings Designed in conjunction with McNulty Architects and built by Nomadic Construction, The Colony covers a site of just under two acres and includes a stunning kitchen architecture showroom, 20,000 square feet of flexible serviced office space, and ‘The HQ’ – a

communal working area with an onsite restaurant and bar, micro-offices, meeting rooms and outside space. Designed by CW Studio up to the planning stage, the exterior landscape was then completed by Landstruction and aimed to connect the building with its rural setting, as well as creating a peaceful and intimate setting for its users. The collaborative approach between both CW Studio and Landstruction provided the perfect combination of skills and expertise to deliver an exclusive backdrop to the recently renovated buildings. Design and build The new-build offices within the Cheshire greenbelt use the rural vernacular in a contemporary way, and the landscape design for this new development aims to connect the buildings with their incredible rural setting and create a peaceful and intimate setting for their users. At the heart of the development is a courtyard featuring a grid of formal planting beds that contain swathes of grasses. A spherical puddle stone artwork at the centre creates a strong focal point, while stone seating provides places to meet and rest. Striking ornamental grass planting around the buildings echoes the surrounding countryside, while a


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meadow with mown paths visually links to the borrowed landscape beyond. A private members’ bar opens onto a granite terrace with seating and lighting for daily activities and special events; just next to the terrace, open space was kept for a helicopter to land on. Open views of the borrowed landscape beyond are retained and bring a unique sense of place to this development. Granite setts create a high-quality setting for the buildings and provide a shared space for people and vehicles. Corten steel signage and planters bring a pop of colour, and a warmth that echoes the timber cladding and slatted screens. Sourcing materials The established and ongoing relationship with two key partners provided the perfect support as well as improving the efficiency of the sourcing process. Natural stone providers Hardscape provided both technical expertise and inspirational options for the granite paving. They provided the perfect collaborative and consultative approach to the ethically sourced hard landscaping materials used. Landstruction has worked with David Harber on several occasions, including at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show; his award-winning artworks engage with the unique spaces they are commissioned for, and the customised sculpture was the perfect accompaniment to the elegant outside space.

6 The central courtyard under construction ©Darren Chung 7 Corten signage on granite paving ©Darren Chung 8 Space for the helicopter to land, for those all-important guests ©Darren Chung

REFERENCES Visualisations AP Visuals


Architect McNulty Architects Bespoke building and home renovations Nomadic Construction Stone sculpture David Harber Natural Stone Hardscape



Landstruction was founded by Gold Medal winners at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show (2015) and RHS Tatton Park (2011-2013), and excels at hard and soft landscaping. Based in Chester, Landstruction believes in delivering a bespoke customer experience on all commercial, private and maintenance projects. W:


8 90

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CW Studio is a design-led landscape architecture practice founded in 2012 by director Carolyn Willitts. It has a unique background, uniting commercial landscape architecture practice with Carolyn’s previous role in theatre design, creating a fresh approach to landscape design. W:

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Lee Bestall runs through planting for form and structure



Shrubs and climbers that provide pleasing perfume



IAN DRUMMOND Bring summer into your life early with the geranium



Six UK nurseries pick their best Britishgrown hedges





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NURTURE NEWS Bernhard’s Nurseries supplies Wakehurst’s Winter Garden

Following a successful tender bid, Bernhard’s Nurseries is supplying 13,000 plants to the newly created Winter Garden at Wakehurst, Kew’s Wild Botanic Garden. Plant supply is now underway, and the project is due to be completed in March. “We’re delighted to be supplying plants to such an iconic location,” said Bernhard’s general manager John Marsden. Southern sales manager Lewis Normand added: “I’m sure the public will be engaged by this new addition to the garden and I’m very much looking forward to seeing it myself when complete.” Bernhard’s Nurseries is a 70-year-old family-owned grower based in Rugby, Warwickshire. A long-established Hardy Nursery Stock grower, Bernhard’s has broadened its offering in recent years. With the addition of Lewis Normand to the team, the grower has increased supply to southern England and contract production for show gardens across the UK show calendar. A new Rugbybased wholesale cash and carry will be opening shortly to cater for walk-in trade customers.

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Hortus Loci growing more than 20,000 plants for Chelsea Flower Show gardens Specialist plant and tree nursery Hortus Loci is no stranger to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and 2018 looks to be its busiest to date. Show gardens using plants supplied by Hortus Loci in 2018 include The Lemon Tree Trust Garden by Tom Massey, Wedgwood Garden by Jo Thompson, VTB Capital Garden by Stuart Towner, Welcome to Yorkshire Garden by Mark Gregory, and The RHS Garden by Matthew Keightley, plus partsupply for the Morgan Stanley Garden by Chris Beardshaw. Hortus Loci will also supply the Laced with Hope Garden by Laura Anstiss and Frost Landscapes in

the Artisan Gardens category, as well as The Cherub HIV Trust Garden by Naomi Ferrett-Cohen, The Thames Water Garden by Tony Woods and The Seedlip Garden by Catherine MacDonald in the Space to Grow category. The gardens by Tom Massey and Stuart Towner are among the most anticipated. Expectations are high for Stuart’s Cornish-inspired VTB Capital Garden, while Tom Massey’s The Lemon Tree Trust Garden will showcase Mediterranean plants and aims to highlight the plight of refugees

Cultivation Street aids schools with sizable donation During April, more than 10,000 plants will be given away to school gardens and community gardening projects across the UK through the campaign Cultivation Street. Cultivation Street was founded by Chartered horticulturalist and broadcaster David Domoney, and supports communities and schools across the UK. This year the campaign is sponsored by Calliope Flowers, which supplies a range of geraniums; it has provided 10,000 plants to be donated to projects across the UK. Of these, 8,000 will be made available to Cultivation Street

Ambassador Garden Centres, which will pass them on to local schools and communities. The plants will be divided into packs containing 12 plug plants of Calliope geraniums, a grow-yourown guide, a planting calendar, and a packet of vegetable seeds. Another 2,000 will be issued to communities and schools. “This is the biggest plant giveaway the industry has known,” said David Domoney. “This is good news for gardening.”

British Sugar TOPSOIL launches all-new website British Sugar TOPSOIL’s new website,, is now live. Site visitors will find a fresh, easy-to-navigate design menu bar that provides all the options, including information on how and where products are manufactured,

individual product specifications and applications, a calculation tool, how to plan an order, and case studies. Site visitors with questions can speak directly to a member of the TOPSOIL sales team, who will respond promptly by email to ensure customers choose the right product. The site will be under constant review to make sure it provides up-to-date information. Future plans include adding video content showing the manufacturing process and interviews with product users.



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Heptacodium miconioides

Agapanthus ‘Blue Leap’

Hedera helix ‘Woerneri’ with Amelanchier

Three Laurus heads pruned as one

Designer PLANTS Lee Bestall considers how changes in his client base have led to an increased interest in form rather than plant choice

In recent years I’ve noticed that our client base has changed; no longer are the bulk of our enquiries from gardeners who want ‘two of these, three of that and a few of them’, but from people who don’t like ‘gardening’. Thankfully many of our clients appreciate and enjoy the visual benefits plants provide, but we are increasingly being asked to provide form rather than diverse planting schemes, particularly in smaller gardens. Now I know there’s nothing new about standard Laurus and Taxus spheres in a formal scheme, or in fact any of the plants in this scheme, but increasingly it’s not about the plant choice, but the form which is of interest to our 96

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clients. They don’t care if its Fagus, Taxus or Carpinus, as long as it’s a 2m high pyramid which can be up-lit from four sides. They leave it to us to choose the most suitable species for the location. To this end, I’ve decided to focus on some of the plants that offer the opportunity to be up-lit, back-lit and ‘controlled’ to maintain year-round structure within the garden, a group of plants that our studio refers to as our ‘plant ornaments’. It feels great that clients are starting to think like designers in terms of volume, balance and unity (even if they are not actually aware that’s what they’re doing), and I think the shift we’re seeing is probably down to three things: the maturity of our business, me as a more experienced designer, and working with clients who understand these key design principles, even if their skills have probably been gained in interior design.

PLANT FOCUS Laurus nobilis Originally planted as three half standards, we’ve allowed the heads to grow together to form one ‘head’. We’ve under-planted with Agapanthus ‘Peter Pan’ and Buxus (which is kept healthy thanks to the wonders of TopBox). Helleborus ‘Silver Dollar’ Used as an under-plant, this variety has a beautiful metallic foliage and provides flowers when

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Taxus Cones and Buxus Hedge

Buxus Sphere and Laurus nobilis

Buxus and Lavandula


Helleborus ‘Silver Dollar’

we need them the most. They only grow to around 30cm high so form a beautiful carpet in the dappled shade under this multistemmed shrub. Heptacodium miconioides This is a beautiful shrub for under-planting and up-lighting, and works well in a border or in a large container. Their leaves turn a beautiful shade in autumn, and the late summer white flowers have a gentle scent when warm. Agapanthus ‘Blue Leap’ Planted en masse within our in-house constructed planters, and mulched with shiny black pebbles, the striking blue flowers provide structure and form, and follow Allium cristophii, giving a second flush of flowers.

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Hedera helix ‘Woerneri’ These ivy panels have been framed with an Iroko ‘picture frame’ which really does take this plant to a new level. By using a common plant as a wall covering, but clipped in such a way, provides a much better surface than traditional fencing.

ABOUT LEE BESTALL Lee Bestall is a multi-award-winning garden designer based in the Italianate grounds of the

Plant list • Agapanthus ‘Blue Leap’ • Agapanthus ‘Peter Pan’ • Allium cristophii • Amelanchier lamarckii • Buxus sempervirens • Hedera helix ‘Woerneri’ • Helleborus ‘Silver Dollar’ • Heptacodium miconioides • Laurus nobilis • Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’ • Nepeta x faassenii • Rudbeckia fulgida • Taxus baccata • Thymus vulgaris • Tilia cordata (pleached)

Sitwell’s family home, Renishaw Hall, designing gardens and managing their implementation throughout Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

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New contributor Jackie Herald introduces us to a new guide that aims to help those who specify trees to build resilent urban forests


Aesculus indica leaves in sunlight

©Andrew Hirons

ow can we improve species selection for a better urban treescape? In May 2016, Myerscough College and the University of Lancaster received a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) grant to explore this question. Given that 30% of urban trees fail during their establishment phase, and many more underperform, understanding the whys and wherefores of species resilience is vital if we want to establish effective ecosystem services through well-planned, well-designed and well-managed green infrastructures (GI). When selecting plants, most of us base our decisions on nursery recommendations and catalogues. However, according to a Trees and Design Action Group (TDAG) survey of professional specifiers, many catalogues offer conflicting advice and tend to prioritise aesthetics over hard technical information.

TDAG is thus launching a new digital document, Tree Species Selection for Green Infrastructure: A Guide for Specifiers. The guide is co-authored by Dr Andrew Hirons of Myerscough College and Dr Henrik Sjöman, scientific curator at Gothenburg Botanic Garden in Sweden. The document emphasises the need to acknowledge the natural heritage of a tree, to ensure that the chosen species is capable of


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thriving on the planting site. To this end, at the recent launch event Dr Sjöman offered us “a little crash course in succession”. And what a relevant revelation that was! In essence, early succession tree species – often referred to as ‘pioneers’ – have unlimited sunlight and (often) poor soil quality; they have to grow rapidly and must withstand wind. As they

THE GUIDANCE IS SUCCINCT AND ACCESSIBLE, WITH A WELL-CONSIDERED SUITE OF SYMBOLS become established, more shade-tolerant species settle in their understorey. The point at which a species occurs in a natural forest’s development is often indicative of its stress tolerance. Hornbeam, for example, is a late succession species, and therefore does not tolerate exposure to full sunlight and wind when it is establishing. It follows that, when specifying new trees to plant, it helps to assess the site’s light, humidity, nutrient and shade conditions. The guide features more than 280 individual tree species, with a profile page for each, and is primarily aimed at urban GI schemes. The explanatory guidance is succinct and accessible, with a well-considered suite of

Acer palmatum sango-kaku

©Andrew Hirons


symbols indicating the degree of tolerance to factors such as waterlogging, drought and shade. To indicate the use-potential of each species, six surrogate site types have been defined: park, paved, SuDS, small garden, coastal and transport corridor. Supporting information covers factors such as size and crown characteristics, natural habitat, environmental tolerance, ornamental qualities, potential issues, and notable varieties. (This is need-to-know information; if, like me, you want to know more about how trees function from root to leaf tip, Andrew Hirons’ latest book, Applied Tree Biology, co-written with Peter Thomas, would be a good addition to your bookshelf.)

“This is our opening gambit in a conversation between specialist academics and the people who are specifying and purchasing trees for different landscape settings,” Dr Hirons explains. The digital guide is designed to be as dynamic and flexible as possible, so that users can flick back and forth easily and the latest data can be incorporated in response to emerging needs. Register your interest at uk/treeselection and you will be notified as soon as the online species selection tool goes live. ABOUT JACKIE HERALD Jackie Herald is an award-winning designer of community spaces that engage the imagination and make links between indoors and out – thus her practice’s name, The Extra Room. Her goal in planting design, as in her writing, is to improve people’s health and wellbeing.

20/03/2018 16:40


Andy McIndoe recommends shrubs and climbers that provide pleasing fragrances through spring and summer


he scent of flowers and aromatic foliage bring a garden to life at any time of year. In winter, familiar fragrant favourites include Daphne, Sarcococca, Viburnum and hamamelis, all widely used in planting schemes. Through spring and summer the choice of reliable scented shrubs and climbers seems comparatively sparse, so here are a few suggestions.


Pittosporum tobira

Although a plant of Mediterranean gardens, the evergreen Pittosporum tobira is surprisingly hardy. With shining dark green leaves gathered in whorl-like formation at the ends of the shoots, it is a handsome shrub for town gardens and milder areas near the coast. Loose clusters of cream, then creamy yellow flowers appear at the tips of the shoots from early summer; their fragrance is not unlike orange blossom. Honeysuckle is one of the best known climbers for scent, however some varieties have

Osmanthus delavayi

Osmanthus x burkwoodii and Osmanthus delavayi are two of the most useful evergreen structure shrubs. The former is bushy and upright in growth, the latter more open and spreading. Both have small dark green leaves and tiny tubular white flowers in mid to late spring. Osmanthus delavayi is the showiest in bloom and deliciously scented. It is also good mixed with other shrubs and perennials and succeeds in sun or partial shade. Osmanthus x burkwoodii is also scented and a useful hedging subject as well as a mainstay in a mixed border. There are a great many Viburnums, many of them fragrant. Although not the most prepossessing of plants, Viburnum carlesii ‘Diana’ is a star in the scent Viburnum carlesii ‘Diana’ department. Flowering in late spring it is worth a place in any garden where attention can be paid to cultivation. Propagated by grafting, suckers from the rootstock quickly take over if not removed. Not a good choice for low maintenance schemes, but it will satisfy anyone’s craving for scent in spring. Grow it with Cornus alba ‘Sibirica Variegata’ whose green and white, pink tinged leaves will maintain the interest when the Viburnum’s flowers have faded. Fragrance is considered an essential quality in any rose, however roses are not without their challenges and few can be regarded as low

Andy McIndoe.indd 99

maintenance. Where space allows the lovely Rosa ‘Roseraie de l’Hay’ has the benefit of a fabulous rose perfume along with disease resistance. It suits informal, naturalistic planting and is far less Rosa ‘Roseraie de l’Hay’ demanding than most roses. Its rich crimson purple flowers look good alongside purple foliage and it makes a good planting partner for Philadelphus ‘Belle étoile’, possibly the most fragrant summer-flowering shrub. The arching stems are garlanded with creamy single blooms, stained purple at the base of the petals. The scent is amazing; pure orange blossom with a hint of sweet spice.

Lonicera periclymenum ‘Graham Thomas’

no fragrance at all. Any selections of the common woodbine, Lonicera periclymenum are reliable for that heavy honeysuckle fragrance. Lonicera periclymenum ‘Graham Thomas’ has creamyyellow flowers which are freely produced well into autumn, in sun or shade. Evergreen climbers are few and far between, especially those that flower well, and Trachelospermum jasminoides is therefore justifiably

Trachelospermum jasminoides

popular. Small, shining, dark green leaves, bright green when young, and red in winter. In midsummer flowers of creamy-white smother a plant in full sun. The fragrance is heavy and delicious. Philadelphus ‘Belle étoile’

ABOUT ANDY MCINDOE A surprising midsummer fragrance comes from the tiny creamy flowers buried amongst the silver willow-like leaves of Elaeagnus ‘Quicksilver’. Although planted for its foliage, the flowers certainly make their presence felt as they exude their heavy fragrance, reminiscent of that which fills the air on a tropic night.

Andy McIndoe is a practical horticulturist with more than 30 years’ experience in ornamental horticulture. He has designed and advised on gardens of all sizes and has been responsible for 25 Gold medal winning exhibits at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Twitter: @AndyMcIndoe

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20/03/2018 15:23


Don’t waste time longing for sun and warm days – bring summer forward with the ubiquitous geranium, says Ian Drummond


’ve been thinking about how we spend months yearning for spring, but the moment it arrives, it’s suddenly not enough. I’m not complaining – spring is gorgeous, we all love the longer days, and the drama of plants stampeding out of their winter dormancy is always a thing of exquisite beauty. But still, somehow, we can’t help mentally projecting ourselves forward right into the heat of summer – it’s our way of extending that halcyon season.


Ian Drummond potency of some plants, it’s interesting to note that geranium has become one of the most popular essential oils and is used as a holistic treatment to improve physical, mental and emotional health. It’s no surprise, then, that more than 500m of these bedding plants are sold throughout Europe each year – particularly because they are also undemanding and easy-care. As a native of South Africa, the geranium is a sun worshipper and therefore copes well with full sun and extreme heat. It should also be


Images ©

Another way to lengthen summer is to bring it forward into spring, and so stretch its duration. To create the illusion of high summer, you need a plant that thrives in spring while being connected with the headiness of warmth and heat – with European holidays, food eaten al fresco, and that bitter-smooth kick of espresso as you reach for your sunglasses at the beginning of yet another cloudless day. The answer, of course, is the humble, ubiquitous geranium. Could there be a plant more synonymous with summertime? And

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while it’s beautiful in the countryside, spilling out of crumbling terracotta planters as a combine harvester rumbles in the distance, at its heart, this plant is urban. Imagine a city without geraniums – the deserted window boxes, the empty hanging baskets, the abandoned terraces, café tables everywhere, bereft. It’s unthinkable. Introducing geraniums to planting, both indoors and out, creates a visceral emotional connection that is wholly positive; just one glimpse of the flower itself, and you’re transported – and that’s only the beginning of its attributes. In an interior environment, these plants partner perfectly with modern materials and clean lines; contrast is everything. Equally, imagine them with the industrial-country look that’s everywhere right now – they couldn’t be more perfect for this trend. And all this before we even get to the spectrum of colours available, which go from subdued and restful to colour-rush riot; whatever the requirement, there will be a geranium waiting and ready to go. Then, of course, there’s the scent; while it doesn’t have the sweet floral

noted that it does well even in partial shade, without losing much of its turbo-flower power. Either way, for optimum growth, ensure you provide enough space between plants (around 20cm) and ample soil depth. Plant in fertiliserrich soil, water well, deadhead spent flower heads and remove yellowing leaves. Do this and be rewarded with a summer that magically stretches from now right through to the end of autumn. ABOUT IAN DRUMMOND Ian Drummond is the creative director of Indoor Garden Design, Europe’s leading interior landscape design company. Based in Highgate, north London, IGD has been bringing nature into offices for over 40 years.

20/03/2018 15:49


In the final part of his series on plants for those without much outdoor space, Jamie Butterworth looks at smaller perennials


pril, already? I don’t know if this is a sign that I’m getting older, or simply that I’m busier in my new role, but the months seem to be flying by a lot quicker than they used to. On my drive into work this morning, daffs were erupting, hedgerows were starting to blossom, and the embankments were showing their first signs of life. Excuse the cliché, but spring is most definitely here!


Jamie Butterworth

WHEN SPACE IS AT A PREMIUM, PLANTS HAVE TO WORK FOR THEIR RIGHT TO BE INCLUDED In the final article of my three-part series on gardening in tighter compact spaces, I’m looking at smaller perennials – those with all the grit and determination of their larger friends, but without the desire to take over space you simply don’t have. These are proof

Helenium ‘Short and Sassy’ A bit of a Marmite plant in the world of perennials – and in all honesty, I wasn’t a fan at first. This dwarf Helenium has, however, proved its worth in a small garden. Growing to only 20cm tall but boasting an abundance of brightly coloured blooms, it is the ideal summerflowering filler for pots and containers.

Kniphofia ‘Lemon Popsicle’ ©Hortus Loci

that great things can come in small packages. For me, it is important that any plant used in a compact planting space earns its right to be there and looks good for several months, rather than just a few days. When space is at a premium, plants have to work for their right to be included. My top four perennials for growing in a smaller garden are as follows:

Kniphofia ‘Lemon Popsicle’ An amazing dwarf Kniphofia, ideal for those with a smaller garden who want that summer pizzazz that only a Kniphofia can offer but don’t have space for a larger cultivar. It produces beautiful, soft lemon flower spikes that erupt through planting and last for months.

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Helenium ‘Short and Sassy’ ©Lynn Keddie/Hortus Loci

Geranium ‘Espresso’ A dark bronze-leaved Geranium that won’t take over the world, with delicate soft pink flowers that elegantly complement its foliage. Best planted in a shady position to stop the leaves from scorching, but a great ground cover plant that will add texture and colour.

Geranium maculatum ‘Espresso’

Nepeta ‘Kit Kat’ A very compact, low-growing Nepeta that would be great in pots and containers, or even in a flower bed. Producing hundreds of small blue flowers, it flowers from early June through to September, so you definitely get your money’s worth.

Nepeta ‘Kit Kat’ ©Sarah Raven

By the time you read this, the build-up will already have started on RHS Malvern Flower Show’s brand new category ‘Green Living Spaces’, which is intended to showcase how people who don’t have gardens can do some gardening. The installation is being built by Big Fish Landscapes and supplied by London Stone and Hortus Loci; it promises to be full of exciting ideas, whether your client has a balcony, patio, or just a windowsill. Next month, I will be taking a look at classy tulip combinations that are ideal for any garden (big or small).

ABOUT JAMIE BUTTERWORTH Graduating from RHS Garden Wisley with a Distinction in summer 2015, avid plantsman and RHS Ambassador Jamie now works as a horticultural consultant for London Stone, having spent the last two years growing plants for the world’s top designers at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show with Hortus Loci.

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20/03/2018 15:19



Six UK nurseries choose their top two British-grown hedges and tell us what these picks are best used for


Instant Hedges

Johnsons of Whixley

1. Mixed native hedging Designed to mimic an old farm hedge with a wide range of species. Each trough has 60% hawthorn and 40% other species and there are five mixes available. These are available in a range of sizes up to 180cm tall depending on the time of the year.

1. Ilex meserveae ‘Blue Maid’ trough ‘Blue Maid trough’ is a holly with attractive dark green leaves that feature a hint of blue; it forms a dense, evergreen hedge, with red berries creating contrast in the autumn.

1. Crataegus monogyna Also known as hawthorn, this works well in a mixed native hedge and is known for its large thorns – a great way to stock and intruder-proof a hedge. Its berries are often used in jams, jellies, syrups and even wines.

2. Fagus sylvatica trough This native European beech hedge has lush, light green new leaf growth, which turns bronze in the autumn and holds on until the new growth of the following spring.

2. Corylus avellane Also known as hazel, this is a native variety known for its popularity with wildlife, including moth caterpillars, deer, woodpeckers and even dormice, who use its nuts for fattening up before hibernation.

2. Hornbeam (Caprinus betulus) For the more formal look Hornbeam is also available in a range of sizes. Happy growing in nearly every soil type, it clips into a stunning and dense hedge. WWW.READYHEDGELTD.COM



Practicality Brown

Hedges Direct

Wykeham Mature Plants

1. Mixed Native Hedging Packs Grown in the West Midlands, these packs are some of Hedges Direct’s most popular products, and feature species such as blackthorn, hawthorn and hazel.

1. Instant Laurel Hedge Blocks These laurel hedge blocks are field-grown in Yorkshire, so guaranteed to be hardy and free from imported diseases, and have been trimmed twice per year for many years for maximum density.

1. Elveden Instant Hedge Grown at the Elveden Estate in East Anglia since 1998, this was the first instant hedge on the market and is available in eight evergreens and six deciduous species. 2. Practical Instant Hedge Practicality Brown is now producing its own instant hedge, grown in 1m troughs at its nursery in Iver, Buckinghamshire. Currently available in a native mix, Griselinia, yew or Portuguese laurel.

2. Yew One of the most popular choices for bare-root plants is the English yew hedge (Taxus baccata). Hedges Direct’s yew, also known as ‘King of Hedges’, is grown in Kent and is the classic British conifer hedge plant.

2. Pyracantha Evergreen and painfully thorny, this is ideal for use as security hedging to deter unwanted visitors. With summer flowers and autumn berries, Pyracantha also attracts wildlife.




102 Pro Landscaper / April 2018

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Pro Landscaper / April 2018 105

20/03/2018 16:21



Boningale Nurseries has grown to become one of the leading suppliers to the British landscaping industry


Boningale have a dedicated sales team that, combined, has more than 100 years’ experience

Ian Wright Sales manager

Shaw Pye Sales and technical support, Midlands

Fleur Smith Sales and technical support, South West

Jordan Weston (sales, local)

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ABOUT From its 45-acre container site in Shropshire, Boningale produces and contract-grows a huge variety of hardy plants, shrubs and trees, supplemented with specialised stock from its UK and Plant Health Regulated European supplier network. Boningale is currently the only UK nursery that grows traditional nursery and specialist green roof planting stock. The range of plants constantly changes to keep up with the latest trends in plant specification, and includes substantial numbers of 10L and 5L shrubs, as well as the more traditional 2L and 3L pot sizes. Boningale is looking to grow with a vacancy in regional sales for the south east.

Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Miss Jessopp’s Upright’

Viburnham tinus

LOCATION 5L and 10L range of specimen-sized plants

TESTIMONIALS “We have been using Boningale for over 25 years. They supply over 90% of our total tree and shrub requirements and we know that we can rely on them for an excellent level of service, as well as quality of plants.” Elmtree, 2017 BALI Award winners

106 Pro Landscaper / April 2018

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Photinia fraseri ‘Red Robin’

“To install a green roof it is fundamental for us to have the right soil and plants. Every project has different needs, so together with Boningale GreenSky and the client we found the best solution for Cannon Hill. The end result is stunning and full of benefits for the owner and also for the environment and local community.” Wild About Roofs


“We only want to give our clients the very best and with more than 50 years’ experience in the sector we know that we can count on Boningale to provide the highest quality plants, reliable service and invaluable advice.” Ecological Landscape Ltd

Boningale Nurseries, Holyhead Road, Albrighton, Wolverhampton, Shropshire WV7 3AT

CONTACT Tel 01902 376500 Email enquiries@ Web BALI Member Proud to be part of the BALI family

20/03/2018 16:45


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WINNER PROFILE Gristwood and Toms

in partnership with Bristol City Council

Gristwood and Toms, in partnership with Bristol City Council, was announced as both the winner of the Industry Partnership Award and the CED Stone Group Supreme Winner at the Pro Landscaper Business Awards on 9 February


he award-winning partnership between Gristwood and Toms and Bristol City Council has become a shining example of how a local authority and a contractor can work together. Since 2014, when the council awarded Gristwood and Toms a five-year contract to provide arboricultural services, the organisations have worked together to deliver a number of initiatives throughout the city, transforming the client-contractor model. These initiatives include community days to engage local people and raise environmental awareness – such as a community watering day during the prolonged drought last summer, for which Gristwood and Tom provided labour and equipment at no cost. They are also aiming to plant one tree for every child in Bristol, with more than 49,000 trees planted so far. One of the most impressive achievements has been making Bristol’s Blaise Plant Nursery home to the South West’s first local authority wood fuel station, where the ‘waste’ from Gristwood and Tom’s tree work is used as fuel.

THIS REMARKABLE COLLABORATIVE EFFORT HAS LED TO A BETTER USE OF RESOURCES AND A MORE SUSTAINABLE USE OF PUBLIC SERVICES The nursery, which has been running for 10 years, was previously consuming more than 80,000L of LPG and oil each year to heat its greenhouses, producing more than 100t of CO2 annually. The Council, with Gristwood and Toms, considered a range of options to improve the efficiency, estimating that the tree service in

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Bristol could generate 500t of woodchip. This would be enough to supply a biomass boiler at the nursery, which would save 45,000L of LPG consumption and 70t of CO2 per year. The initial contract between the council and the company outlined that the wood produced from the yard would also be fed back into the Bristol zone boilers at schools, colleges, leisure centres and community halls, creating Bristol’s own self-sufficient energy source. “I chose Gristwood and Toms with Bristol City Council because their partnership was a brilliant example of how two different organisations can come together as a team and collaborate in a way that really benefited

the local community,” said CED Stone Group’s managing director Giles Heap, explaining why he selected this collaboration as Supreme Winner. “I like the partnership that they have achieved – I think the more we can do that in this industry, the better for everyone.” This collaborative effort has led to a better use of resources and a more sustainable use of public services, helping the city to tackle climate change. Gristwood and Toms has also extended access to the wood fuel station to other stakeholders, providing free waste disposal and helping organisations reach their CO2 reduction targets. Here’s hoping other companies and local authorities can replicate their success.

Pro Landscaper / April 2018 111

20/03/2018 16:28




In this month’s feature on costing and profit, Sam Hassall examines retaining walls used in smaller landscape construction

Retaining walls

In this issue we will examine some of the more common retaining wall types used in smaller landscape construction. Whilst there are literally hundreds of systems out there, it’s fair to assume that the most commonly employed in our sector are brick, block and concrete. Retaining walls often have a dual purpose in having to present an aesthetic face at the same time as an engineering task. We do not intend within the scope of this article to look at aesthetic mitigation to the wall such as cladding or rendering, and examine only the costs of construction.

Elements of a retaining wall Excavation and reinforced footing or foundation

Concrete and steel

Structural retaining element

Blockwork, steel reinforced blockwork, brickwork, timber


Liquid applied asphalt


Cellular drainage board, shingle filled trench with outfall to catchment point


Usually required but not addressed in this scope due to the amount of variables. Possibilities include stone brick PC concrete etc.

Concrete foundations The following tables show the costs of some common size concrete foundations for retaining walls. Before casting the footing, it is usual to fix the starter bars to the blinded excavation. The following tables showssome times for steel fixing. Please add in mesh as well if this is a requirement. The starter bars are fixed at 200mm or 300mm centres normally if using concrete blockwork construction. If you are using in-situ concrete or a system such as Forticrete blocks, use the table for additional lengths of horizontal bars as well.

Excavation costs These were covered in an article in the July 2017 issue of Pro Landscaper – please take a look there for these costs.

Blinding A blinding is added so that the concrete when poured does not lose strength by seepage into the ground. Spread and level by hand

Blinding 100mm per m2 Material + labour Hardcore

Type 1

Labour only Time hrs

Cost m²









Spread and level by 3t machine

Table of steel fixing costs Steel bar reinforcement length/weights/fixing times/costs Steel at



Fixing times

Diameter mm

Mass/m run



Total £/m2 @ccs shown 200 mm



Labour £/ 1 meter of steel



















































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Total £/lm

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Having fixed your steel, you can now pour the concrete foundations as follows. For site mixed concrete use £160/ m³ and 1.25m³ per hour

Foundation size

Laying labour













































































Wall construction costs/m²



Labour £


Hollow standard blocks





Forticrete blocks 225 wide incl. concrete infill





Solid double skin 100 block cavity wall with concrete infill. Total 350mm thick





In-situ concrete including shuttering 225 wide





Once the footings are in you can start to build the retaining part of the wall. We are addressing three systems below. • Double skin solid block retaining walls with a concrete filled cavity • Hollow concrete blocks • Forticrete blocks – Hollow block which allows poured concrete movement and steel along the length of the wall • In-situ concrete.

Other elements Before a retaining wall is secure it needs to have a waterproof coating, drainage and weep-holes behind in order to relieve pressure from water which may be trapped behind the wall.

Weep-holes: Forming or core drilling weep-holes at centres in retaining wall

Example Wall 5m long x 1.25m total height. To excavated and levelled area (not included) lay blinded base, footing 800 x 300 wide T12 steel starter bars and steel reinforcement and construct hollow block wall concrete filled 1.25m above the footing.






Steel to footing 5m x 0.8 T12 at 200 ccs



Notes • It is advisable to consult with an engineer if you wish to verify the construction requirements of a retaining wall. The figures here are indicative only. • The labour rate used in these calculations is £25.00 per hour. • There is no allowance for profit on these figures.

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27.00 each

Coat rear of blockwork with two coats RIW

15.00 m²

12mm drainage board and perforated pipe in trench to outfall

12.50 m²

Perforated pipe in 300 x 300mm drainage trench to outfall (outfall not included)

30.05 lm




Steel to vertical section 5m x 1.25





Concrete to footing (Mixmate) 5m at 800 x 300



Wall construction hollow blockwork 5m x 1.25m high



Weep-holes at 600mm centres


Waterproofing to back of wall




Total cost Cost per m² of wall
















£1,341.99 £214.72

ABOUT SAM HASSALL Sam Hassall is the UK’s only dedicated specialist landscape cost consultant. As managing director of LandPRO Ltd, his range of services include providing cost and implementation information to landscape design professionals and contractors. Sam’s expertise are gained from his formal training, and many years of experience in the landscape industry. Sam also compiles the Spon’s External works and Landscape price book, and developed the market leading LiberRATE Estimating system. Tel: 01252 795030

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Scotland’s only landscaping trade event It’s great to finally see a landscaping trade show in Scotland with significance. ScotHort has been great in enabling us to make new contacts within the Scottish landscaping sector. The show has a great atmosphere across the day, the seminars are a fantastic opportunity for those involved to express their views and gain valuable knowledge and information on how the landscaping sector continues to develop and grow. Nick Benge, Gardens by Water Gems

If you are based or trade in Scotland, then FutureScape is the trade show to attend. FutureScape Scotland offers the Green-tech team the opportunity to build on the established relationships that we have with landscapers and landscape architects in Scotland. The attendee list is targeted so you get to talk to key decision makers. We are looking forward to attending on 6 September 2018. Richard Kay, Green-tech



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EDUCATE Gardeners want to experience a diverse range of sites

Jeff Stephenson tackles the difficulties in staffing faced by aftercare companies, and considers how to attract and retain high quality employees It is by no means an easy task to attract and retain good staff. As professional garden companies, we aspire to employ superlative individuals to service our customers’ gardens. However, there is often a considerable skills shortage among the pool of prospective employees on offer. It can take five to seven years to become a proficient horticulturist; accomplished individuals are either retained by existing employment, move to other sectors of the industry, or ‘go it alone’ to make their ‘fortunes’ (pay is a major contributory factor to this).

A multitude of skills may be called for during aftercare

On the rare occasion that a qualified and experienced candidate is available, they are snapped up immediately. Consider this, though: we expect to find well-rounded horticulturists, but the work offered by most (not all) design, build and maintenance companies often only draws on a limited, albeit more focused, portion of their skills. If you’ve followed a traditional grounding in horticulture, you’re likely to have covered, among other subjects: glasshouse and nursery production (including a variety of propagation techniques), vegetable, soft and top fruit production, seedbed preparation, research skills and surveying and garden design principles. Many of these skills are rarely required by site operatives in the commercial maintenance realm. Individuals with wider and deeper training will most likely be attracted to institutions (such as botanic and RHS gardens) and estate gardens (such as National Trust and heritage sites).

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RETAIN STAFF On the negative side, private commercial gardeners have limited control over their gardens – designers and managers often make the more interesting decisions regarding plant choice and layout, while a separate soft landscape team plants nursery-sourced stock. The majority of small-to-medium designed gardens don’t have service areas and often lack composting facilities. The gardener is answerable not only to the employer, but also to designers and the client (who may be whimsical, not heed sound advice, be reluctant to experiment with planting, unnecessarily limit budgets, and not understand seasonality). All this can leave a well-qualified horticulturist with years of training feeling short changed and undervalued. However, on the positive side, professional aftercare gardening offers diversity and interest, coupled with a sense of flexibility; it can never be accused of being prosaic. Staff experience a wide range of garden styles created by influential and dynamic designers, and are exposed to landscapes constructed with the best materials and highest quality plants. Building relationships with customers creates a sense of ownership and personal pride. In general, commercial gardeners are self-reliant, highly motivated and can work at impressive rates while being backed up by well-structured management teams with extensive, specialist knowledge. Any facet of

It’s essential for staff to practice traditional horticulture

past training may be called upon to solve issues and answer customer queries. Companies need to evaluate what sort of experiences their gardening staff receive, and what perception that creates. Better opportunities for training and CPD must be considered to enhance development. Staff should have access to seminars and industry events to keep their knowledge current. There is real value in having a diverse range of gardens on the books, requiring gardeners to carry out a multitude of skills – from managing wildflower meadows and orchards to dividing herbaceous borders and potting up winter-stored tubers and corms. This is where aftercare gardening, as opposed to routine maintenance, really comes into its own and allows for greater job satisfaction. ABOUT JEFF STEPHENSON With more than 29 years’ experience in horticulture, Jeff Stephenson (Dip.Hort. (Kew) Hons MCIHort) heads up the horticulture and aftercare division of Bowles & Wyer. He joined in 1996 and has worked on small installations, soft landscaping and gardens maintenance for the vast majority of their schemes.

Interesting gardens keep staff motivated

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21/03/2018 14:13


Peter Wilder discusses the process of designing the new grounds of The Natural History Museum, in keeping with the heritage of the building


ounded as part of the British Museum in 1753, The Natural History Museum opened in the magnificent Alfred Waterhouse building in South Kensington in 1881. The design, awarded as part of an extensive design competition, was realised at a time when Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection was rocking the very foundations of science. Now, more than 135 years later, a design team consisting of Kim Wilkie, Wilder Associates and Neil McLaughlin Architects are undertaking a similar process within the grounds that have until now remained a fragmented and underutilised setting for the building. The scheme, also awarded as part of a design competition, will not only explore the history of our planet but also the future of man’s coexistence with nature. The scheme has started boldly, with a complete reconfiguration of the main entrance that coincides with the refurbishment of the Hintze Hall that has seen the well known Diplodocus ‘Dippy’ embark on a tour of the UK. The museum entrance, once an obstacle to wheelchairs and pushchairs, has been reconfigured with ramps that abut the Grade 1 listed building. The large bastions that lie either side of the main entrance steps have been transformed into planters displaying flora of the Canary Islands, one of the first places that Darwin and subsequent botanists experienced plant species outside of Europe.


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NATURAL SELECTION The large forecourt, once a sea of tarmac, has been given the dignity that it deserves by being paved in elegant arcs of porphyry stone setts. The scheme looks in keeping with the heritage of the building, so much so that many visitors will hardly recognise it as a new landscape. This has not been an easy task. Beneath the new stonework lies a great deal of new technology, including attenuation tanks, irrigations systems, lighting and extensive re-engineering to make good the crumbling structure of the catacombs that lie beneath the steps and carriage ramps. The selection of natural stone to grace the entrance of such a magnificent building was a journey that started in London but led us to consult with stone experts from all over Europe. It has ultimately led us to examine the long-term benefits of natural stone in an industry that often puts emphasis on initial cost. Although we had

strict budgets to adhere to, we also had an obligation to provide a scheme that did not compromise on quality. Our first instinct was to retain as much of the existing material as possible. The distinctive Mountsorrell pink granite setts of the carriageway would be lifted and cleaned in order to be re-laid, but the re-configuration of the ramps resulted in a shortfall. We had to lean on the expertise of CED Stone Commercial to source a match, which was found in Sweden. Reclaimed stone was sought where possible and this took us to one of Europe’s largest specialists Hoffman Stone in Belgium where a beautiful mid grey porphyry sett was found. Samples of the stone were returned to the UK and laid in mock-up panels but were deemed too irregular to meet current access standards. We again relied on the resourcefulness of our suppliers. After laying six sample panels, Pro Landscaper / April 2018 117

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BENEATH THE NEW STONEWORK LIES A GREAT DEAL OF NEW TECHNOLOGY exploring different stones, bedding and mortar options, we found a suitable new Italian porphyry from CED with a blend of colours reflecting the tones of the terracotta and slate in the building itself. We also worked with experts on the repair and replacement of stone on the building facade and steps. The Scottish quarry from which it is believed the original steps came has been closed for 25 years and the nearest match from Scotland turned out to be too different to the original. Fortunately, a source was found which was both a precise colour match and was able to be delivered in large units that were required to straddle the wide beams that lie beneath the main entrance. A light green schist was selected to emphasise the junctions between new and reclaimed materials. Also a British stone, it reflects the colours in the building and this is the first time it has been used in the public realm. Teams of skilled stone restoration and paving experts, led by Blakedown Landscapes, helped to create a new civic square that sits comfortably with the ornate façade of the Waterhouse building. The exercise has helped to remind us of the wealth of knowledge that exists within the landscape industry and our obligation to ensure that the skills and expertise required to deliver such schemes is passed on to future generations. Wilder Associates is a member of the landscape Institute’s Apprenticeship Trailblazer Group that aims to establish vocational routes to a landscape architecture qualification. 1 The new front entrance to the museum 2 Detail of brass drainage strip 3 Selecting reclaimed setts in Belgium 4 Top of Eastern ramp 5 The forecourt well under way 6 Arc laid setts in the main forecourt 7 Eastern ramp under construction 8 Sett selection

Peter Wilder is a landscape architect and principal of Wilder Associates. He lectures on Landscape Design and Technology at the University of Greenwich. In 2015 he established Survey Drone Ltd, an aerial mapping and remote sensing company employing a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

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All images ©Wilder Associates


20/03/2018 16:24


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21/03/2018 14:19


DEEP TROUBLE Sean Butler shares his tips on dealing with unforeseen discoveries made during the excavation stage

As landscapers, we occasionally come across the unexpected during excavations – buried objects, ponds covered with garden waste, and unwanted swimming pools that have been filled in. Even new build developments can create problems for landscapers. One would expect these blank canvases to be straightforward, but this isn’t always the case. The image above, for example, shows the protruding concrete ring of an old swimming pool, found on a new-build development – our client was not best pleased with the builders. How often do you discover over-spilled concrete from foundations, a bricklayer’s sand heap spread out and covered with a meagre layer of topsoil, an old tarmac driveway or a tennis court just under the lawn surface? And how do you deal with these discoveries? First, you have a responsibility to the client if you’re directly employed by them, or to the designer if it’s their project. The cost to resolve the problem can fall on your own shoulders if you have not taken the correct steps to protect your liability. Before making any quick decisions, check your quotation to clarify what has been agreed. Your standard terms and conditions

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should have relevant clauses that help protect your liability in this situation. If you’re a designer, you need to go back to your brief and read through it carefully to be confident that the client has not already divulged any problems that should have been allowed for. Were these discussed with your landscape contractor? Were you relying on a surveyor? What depth of information was requested by you, and what was given? Check everything before approaching a client and be sure of your facts – the last thing you want to do is sour a good working relationship. While all professional landscapers should be able to get over a newfound problem, they should never hide them – or be expected to.

A swimming pool found in week two of a landscape project

occur when root growth from trees and shrubs pushes upwards with maturation. Settlement is downward movement of an underlying soil with voids, and occurs when moisture and/or vibration from movement above compresses the voids.

Waterlogged lawn area

TELL-TALE SIGNS IN THE GARDEN CAN OFTEN MAKE THE POSITION OF HIDDEN OBJECTS QUITE OBVIOUS What should you look for? Tell-tale signs in the garden can often make the position of hidden objects quite obvious. Look for settlement, heave, water retention, slight depressions in ground level, cracking in soil and paved areas, or waterlogging, as in the photo to the right. There is a difference between heave and settlement. Heave is an upward movement of underlying soil that has expanded due to increased moisture content. Heave can also

Inform clients of any concerns and potential problems that will be incurred by your discovery – increased costs and project delays are the two main issues. If you’re working with a designer, be sure to inform them first so that they can make an informed decision before speaking to the client. Remember, every problem has a solution – it’s just how you get there. ABOUT SEAN BUTLER Sean Butler is a landscape designer and director of Cube 1994. With a background in civil engineering, Sean has an in-depth understanding of the design, construction and maintenance of the physical and naturally built landscape.

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20/03/2018 15:03


Robert Webber summarises his most useful tips for new garden designers starting out in garden lighting

I’m so privileged to be able to teach the next generation of garden designers, from simple approaches to lighting design through to the practical execution of conduits and choosing a good installer. However, time on these courses is always tight, so I need to choose what areas will be most beneficial for my students’ immediate lighting future. Most won’t need the services of a company like mine for a few years, but we always try to guide and hold hands to begin with – helping with free conduit plans, small design services, checking out contractors, and simply advising on how to light a certain feature a certain way. So, this month, I want to share a few tips that could help many new garden designers tackle the lighting process. The first thing to do is to establish a relationship with a lighting installer before you even need them, so that you already have a professional source to go to. I often hear horror stories of rushed decisions being made on contractors. Anyone worth their salt will always meet for a coffee and chat, without a job on the table. You will often find that they know great irrigation contractors, excellent landscapers and various other tradespeople, giving you an army of good people at various price levels and with various areas of specialism. Another tip is practice what you preach. Buy a light with various lamps, lenses and so on, and learn how to use and place them to create the effect you are after. It’s very simple to learn

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BACK TO BASICS about lighting; once you have the theory, it’s virtually all practice. I often get plans wanting effects that simply aren’t possible from the specified lighting positions. If you’re going to sell the ‘wow factor’, make sure it’s actually possible – leave the tech to your installer, but know about the effects

area. You can experiment using a much narrower degree lamp when the light source is higher, for instance 10m. That way, you may need a 10W LED lamp with a 15º spread, keeping the light within the defined area you require. It’s a very simple, cost-effective way to create a large effect.

IF YOU’RE GOING TO SELL THE ‘WOW FACTOR’, MAKE SURE IT’S ACTUALLY POSSIBLE and how to create them. We offer a light fitting, five lamps, various lenses and filters to all new designers we work with. We explain how to use them so that they can see the different effects, and then how to show a client what’s possible, adding strings to their bow and giving them a unique selling point. If you only tackle one aspect of lighting, make it functional, practical lights. Carefully placed functional lighting – showing level changes, entrances and exits and providing the correct lighting level for seating areas – is crucial. It can be done in many ways, but never with floodlighting – that’s for security, not for functional use in the garden. ‘Moonlighting’ is always a good way to cover a larger area; this is where you place a 60º 7W LED lamp into a suitable IP67 fitting at a height of approximately 6m, washing the light through a tree canopy to cast shadow and definition onto the surface below. Never shine a light back at the house – always away and down into a concentrated

The last tip I’ll leave you with creates far less work for us, a much subtler effect, and a usable garden for your client. It keeps money in their pocket and helps bring designs in on budget. It’s simple: only light the areas that clients want to use at night. Use the lighting to control their use of the garden – if you have two seating areas, make just one the feature, and if you have many routes down to a certain water feature deck, then choose just one as the night route. Over-lighting is simple to avoid – just don’t use so much!

ABOUT ROBERT WEBBER Robert Webber is the founder of Scenic Lighting, a specialist exterior lighting company based in Berkshire. He designs and installs garden lighting throughout the UK and internationally. Robert can be contacted on rob@ or via his mobile on 07766 051 000.

20/03/2018 15:05


The Natural History Museum featuring setts and paving from CED Stone Group


The Geological Walk

always the order of the day for CED Stone Group


ED Stone Group is a multimillionpound business with more than 100 employees based across six nationwide CED Stone Landscape depots, as well as a CED Stone Commercial division and head office based in West Thurrock, Essex. It provides the most extensive range of natural stone and hard landscaping products on the market. Last year, it acquired Cheshire-based business Corfe Stone, and the company has also started to expand into new markets abroad. It’s certainly an exciting time for the business; after a company-wide rebrand, it unveiled its new look in February this year – but no matter how big it grows, the family-run business is committed to its core ethos.

Michael and Giles Heap

Although CED’s involvement with natural stone dates back to the middle of the 19th century, when it supplied raw flint from France for ceramics, it was in 1978 when Michael Heap, then the MD, decided to supply specialist aggregates to the UK market. Recognised for his knowledge, attention to detail and commitment to using the right materials, Michael notably brought the UK stone industry together to create The Geological Walk in 2010 – a geological paving display at the British Geological Survey’s

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headquarters in Nottingham. The scheme took two years to finish and includes every type of British stone from the Precambrian to the Quaternary periods. In 2013, Michael’s son Giles took over as managing director, with Michael stepping into a chairman role. Giles ensures that the sincerity his father ingrained into the business continues to be a part of CED’s core values. “To spend more than 20 years learning from a man like that makes you

WE WANT TO SHARE OUR PASSION FOR USING THE BEST, ETHICALLY SOURCED HARD LANDSCAPING PRODUCTS realise that the knowledge you have gained is unique,” says Giles. “While it’s important for us to appreciate the reputation we’ve built, I think we always need to remember where we came from.” Taking care of staff, many of whom have stayed with the company for more than 25 years, plays an important part. CED employees have incomparable industry experience; learning on the job is key, so CED places importance on training, supporting and developing its people – if an employee has been with the company for years and years, then they are going to know their stuff. As an organisation, CED Stone Group is committed to trading ethically and responsibly. Its intention is to address social concerns in the industry and to implement changes as an accountable and conscientious business. Having joined the ETI (Ethical Trading Initiative)

Quarry workers with protective face masks

Commercial director Calum Fraser visiting a school in India

in April 2012, it is one of the few UK natural stone companies to be a full and active member. Through the ETI, CED works with suppliers to comply and collaborate on ethical projects, such as financing the distribution of effective protection equipment and workwear to factories in China, and arranging training programmes on health and safety and HR practices for Indian production centres. CED also conducts interviews with workers to ‘hear their voices’, allowing it to focus on improvements that align with workers’ concerns and needs. Giles says: “We want to share our passion for using the best, ethically sourced hard landscaping products and encourage our customers to create landscapes that inspire future generations.” CONTACT CED Stone Group 01708 867237

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Joshua Noakes, one of Pro Landscaper’s inaugural 30 Under 30, compares his experiences studying landscape architecture in Australia and the UK In 2017, I was nominated for a Study Abroad Exchange by my home university, the University of Sheffield, to study for six months at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia. In Sheffield, I am in the final year of my BA Landscape Architecture degree at the Department of Landscape. My time spent studying abroad at UNSW was a fantastic experience and has really challenged the way I interpret and understand landscape design. Both universities take different approaches towards teaching and course structure, although they ultimately teach the same principles. First, it is important to consider Sydney and its university. Sydney is a city in transition – one example of this being the vast new overground tram system that is being built throughout the city and its suburbs. This large-scale infrastructure upgrade is a huge opportunity for the city to enhances its current landscape design and landscape planning programme, and UNSW is seizing this opportunity to incorporate certain aspects of the changes into its teaching. Many of the design projects that students are currently working on are based on


124 Pro Landscaper / April 2018

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NEW SCHOOL potential real-time projects around Sydney – a huge bonus for landscape students, helping them to develop practice skills. Unlike those in the UK, students in Sydney have to undertake more than 100 hours of mandatory practical work experience to complete the course. This must include both hard and soft landscape experience, resulting in the students being better at understanding and undertaking technical drawings and specifications than their UK counterparts at the same stage of their education. There is recognition that these drawings will be used to implement a design outdoors, and that there can be pitfalls when information is unclear or missing. In the UK, this practical approach to landscape education is typically provided in horticulture and garden design courses, rather than landscaping degrees. The UNSW course coordinators also enlist guest lecturers based in civil and structural engineering to further develop the students’ understanding in this field. A landscape architect needs to know the nuts and bolts of construction and soft landscaping in order to understand design. In the UK, landscape architecture courses do not offer this at the same level of detail, which could potentially hold students back. Sheffield, on the other hand, excels when it comes to the academic and conceptual approach, encouraging a more methodical and structured academic approach to landscape design. Students are taught the importance of research and academic readings in relation to landscape design – an approach that is all-too-often overlooked in Sydney. While the practical element is key, an understanding gained from analysing existing designs is equally

IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND HOW AND WHY AN EXISTING DESIGN DOES OR DOESN’T WORK beneficial. It is important to understand how and why an existing design does or doesn’t work – a question constantly asked at Sheffield – because, more often than not, you can learn from a previous landscape architect’s work. This was something that was not pushed as hard at UNSW. So, which approach works best? My answer is both. While the approaches of each university are slightly different, they ultimately teach the same principles. Both Sheffield and UNSW excel at certain aspects of their course content, and both courses have their merits. There can be much to learn and understand from their different methods, and combining the two into one course would certainly benefit students. ABOUT JOSHUA NOAKES Joshua Noakes is a BA Landscape Architecture student at the University of Sheffield, 2015 BALI Chalk Fund winner and one of the inaugural winners of Pro Landscaper’s 30 Under 30: The Next Generation 2015.

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As local authorities continue to feel the pinch, Mark Hardy explains why it is more important than ever to provide areas where children can play As a child I loved to play. I spent all my free time out in the streets, fields and playgrounds with my friends. Sadly, children today are missing out on the freedoms and opportunities to play that I and my peers enjoyed. This type of free outdoor play is at risk of disappearing altogether, and yet it is so vital to children’s physical, emotional, social and cognitive development. Unless we protect and develop our play spaces, the childhood obesity epidemic will worsen, and children’s mental health will continue to deteriorate.

UNLESS WE PROTECT AND DEVELOP OUR PLAY SPACES, THE CHILDHOOD OBESITY EPIDEMIC WILL WORSEN As local authorities’ budgets are squeezed, spending on play and recreation is declining. The price that companies charge to supply and install playground equipment is playing a much

126 Pro Landscaper / April 2018

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FAIR PLAY larger part in the local authorities’ decisionmaking process, resulting in a highly competitive market. But restricted funding is not the only challenge the play industry faces. New research carried out by Fields in Trust shows, for the first time at national level, a direct and statistically significant link between public parks and green spaces, and health and wellbeing – and yet there is widespread and growing concern about the increasing number of parks, green spaces and play areas being closed. Research carried out by the Association of Play Industries has uncovered a decline so steep in England’s play provision that none of us can afford to ignore it. Nowhere2Play revealed that between 2014 and 2016, local authorities across England closed 214 children’s playgrounds, and when asked about future plans they admitted their aim to close a further 234. Access to safe and free play space is essential for a healthy and happy childhood – it’s as fundamental as getting enough sleep and having a good diet. Playgrounds are especially important in deprived areas where they are, for many children, the only place to be active and to socialise with peers. Without them, we are driving children indoors, onto their screens and away from each other. Despite these and other challenges, we are at a pivotal moment in the campaign to protect our green spaces, parks and playgrounds. People are waking up to the fact that, once a park is lost, it is probably lost forever – and with it the opportunity for children to enjoy free outdoor play. Former Parks and Green Spaces Minister,

PEOPLE ARE WAKING UP TO THE FACT THAT, ONCE A PARK IS LOST, IT IS PROBABLY LOST FOREVER Marcus Jones MP, announced the creation of a Parks Action Group as part of his formal response to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee Inquiry into the Future of Public Parks. The Association of Play Industries will continue to highlight the issue, along with partner agencies and organisations. In the meantime, it is up to all of us to help protect our parks and playgrounds at local level and to champion the benefits of green spaces. They are central to our communities and play a vital role in children’s health and wellbeing. ABOUT MARK HARDY Mark Hardy is the independent chair of the Association of Play Industries (API). It represents the interests of manufacturers, installers, designers and distributors of both outdoor and indoor play equipment and safer surfacing. The API promotes best practice and high-quality play provision within the play industry.

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Benefit: Resin bound binds naturally sourced aggregates with a resin system. This creates voids between the stones, allowing rainwater to permeate. The top surface is smooth underfoot and is accessible for wheelchair users. Clearstone designs, manufactures and installs its own systems using high quality UV-stable resins and a special blend of aggregates. WWW.CLEARSTONEPAVING.CO.UK

LONG RAKE SPAR Benefit: The main characteristic of a resin bound system is the uniform, smoothed appearance of the finished surface. It provides a low-maintenance surface that is porous/semi-porous, hardwearing and crack resistant. The system is applied by mixing the resin and aggregate together to form one combined blend, meaning that blends can be designed by customers wanting to achieve unique colours and textures. Long Rake Spar provides a wide selection of decorative aggregate granules and sands for both resin bound and resin bonded surfacing systems. WWW.LONGRAKESPAR.CO.UK

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22/03/2018 09:18

The Corten Ring An all-round display of skill

This imposing gateway, commissioned for a private garden, is 1.8 metres in diameter. Cutting, welding and polishing more than 30 metres of corten to create a spotless, seamless finish took all our skill and experience. Just the kind of challenge we love. View this project online:

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4. Suitable for a range of applications Lagonda is primarily for landscaping projects, but can also be used for smaller applications such as terraces, pool environments and balconies. Lagonda enables landscapers to create a more natural-looking installation that will exceed client expectations.

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6. Stands up to kids, pets and weather Lagonda is highly resilient with very durable fibres, standing up to years of constant use, heavy traffic, children, pets and UV rays.

7. Polyurethane backed artificial grass is perfect for dog owners Combine with Envirofill premium artificial grass infill for a superb ‘dog-owner friendly’ package.

Pro Landscaper / April 2018 131

20/03/2018 15:54




Pro Landscaper attended the Stihl press event in March to learn more about how the company continues to push forward into the battery-powered market

Stihl hosted its press event in March in the picturesque Westonbirt Arboretum, where its very own Stihl Treetop walkway overlooks the view of the arboretum. Mr Stihl himself marked the opening of the bridge by planting a tree in the arboretum. The big news of the event, alongside the launch of the new MS 462 C-M, was a prototype the Stihl MS 500i, the world’s first fuel injection chainsaw. More on them in the coming months. The big news for now, however, is the replacement of the Viking green on the Viking products, with the first cordless lawnmowers launching this spring, and the rest of the Viking range following in 2019. Along with the name change over the doorway, from Viking to Stihl,

powered products as they move into 2019, making sure batteries from their older models aren’t left obsolete. In a test between the two telescopic pole pruners, one battery powered, and one petrol powered, the cordless tool proved to be as fast, if not more so. The cordless pruner was also lighter and quieter, but also proves to be significantly cheaper. As explained by the demonstrator: “A HSA 86 hedgetrimmer with the AP 300 battery can run for three hours on one charge, which costs around 5p and takes around 35 minutes to charge. In comparison, a test on a petrol hedgetrimmer running for around 40 minutes costs around 90p.” Last year Stihl launched two new products, the FSA 130 brushcutter, a dedicated pro battery tool to be plugged into the backpack battery or with a AP battery and connecting cable, available with a bike handle or loop handle. They also launched two hedgetrimmers,


the green will now be replaced with orange across all their groundscare products, including mowers, tillers, scarifiers and shredders. The aim of the day was to demonstrate the power of the cordless products. First launched in 2009, Stihl now has a collection of 29 cordless products. They will be sticking to the same form factor batteries in all their battery 132 Pro Landscaper / April 2018

Stihl press event.indd 132

HSA 94 R (for rough cut) and HSA 94 T (for trim cut), both with a rotating handle for comfort in different positions. They’re built with the same cutting attachments as the petrol counterparts, so the blades are used on both petrol and cordless. The products are light when it comes to the backpack battery products, making them more comfortable over long periods of time. The battery-powered products proved to be lighter and easier to use, they’re quieter so anyone using them won’t require ear defenders, and won’t disturb people when

working in sensitive environments such as schools or hospitals. Another important launch of the day included the KMA 130 Kombi motor. Anyone currently in possession of an existing petrol kombi attachment wishing to switch to the battery-powered tool would just need to spend £320 on the new cordless powerhead, plus the cost of a batttery, which might ultimately save them a considerable amount in the long run. The new powerhead works with 11 Kombi tools in the range, including hedgetrimmer, pole pruner, tiller, scrub cutter and blower attachments. Stihl did, however, explain that petrol hasn’t been made redundant yet. As is the problem with most battery powered tools, range is always worth taking into consideration. When it comes to working in the field or a forest, petrol tools offer flexibility when working away from a power source. In addition, the power from a large petrol chainsaw is yet to be rivalled by a cordless model. Stihl will be focusing on both markets going forward.

22/03/2018 11:47

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ELECTRIC dreams Councillor Lin Fairbrass of Thanet District Council tells us why the local authority has switched to electric mowers Thanet District Council has become the first local authority in the UK to invest in electric mowers for its open spaces fleet. Run on lithium-ion batteries rather than diesel, these electric mowers are greener, quieter and cheaper to run, and are part of the council’s commitment to creating a clean and welcoming environment in Thanet, Kent. The six new mowers will be used at Ramsgate Cemetery and Margate Crematorium, and include two commercial ride-on mowers, two walk-behind mowers, and two commercial stand-on mowers.

Thanet District Council.indd 135

“Electric mowers, which last for seven hours of constant work, are vastly preferable to diesel models because they generate no carbon monoxide emissions and are low noise,” Councillor Lin Fairbrass, of Thanet District Council, tells us.

THE MOWERS DON’T JUST OFFER PUBLIC HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS, THEY ALSO REDUCE RISK TO OUR STAFF “The mowers don’t just offer public health and environmental benefits, they also reduce risk to our staff. What’s more, they enjoy low running and maintenance cost, which is part of the council’s ongoing efficiency drive.” The council purchased the selection of mowers from Overton (UK) Ltd, the UK distributor for US manufacturer Mean Green Products. The mowers bought by the council comprise two WBX-33HD walk-behind mowers with 33in cutting decks, two SK-48 stand-on mowers with 48in cutting decks and front mounted blowers, and two CXR-60 zero-turn mowers with 60in cutting decks.

The major benefits of these for local authorities is their lower noise level, which is well below the safe recommended DB rating for exposure to noise, removing the necessity for ear defenders and making these mowers ideal for use in cemeteries and crematoriums. These Li-ion battery mowers also cause significantly lower hand arm and whole-body vibration levels than traditional diesel mowers. They have zero emissions, zero carcinogenic fumes and minimal servicing and running costs, and remove a lot of problems associated with the carrying and storing of fuel, such as hydraulic oil spills. Now that the first local authority in the UK has made the switch to electric mowers, there is no doubt other local authorities will follow. Pro Landscaper / April 2018 135

21/03/2018 15:07


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How it’s innovative: The use of a key fob rather than a standard key makes the Etesia Hydro 80 E Connect different from anything else on the market. Featuring a membrane keypad and a new LCD display, the control panel on this machine is intended to be as simple as possible while giving all the information needed. Various user profiles can be set up to allow only particular people to use the machine, helping guard against theft. An app allows the user to recognise and display nearby machines with Bluetooth, while additional information is close at hand. Price: £5,450 WWW.ETESIA.CO.UK




How it’s innovative: Toro’s TITAN HD Series with MyRIDE delivers durability, professional results and performance. The Turbo Force deck provides commercial-grade strength and high-quality cutting, while its MyRIDE suspension system provides a smoother ride. This helps to reduce fatigue and enables the operator to mow for longer and cover larger areas. The suspended operator platform allows for 7.6cm of travel, isolating bumps and vibrations during use. The feature also allows the operator to easily and quickly adjust rear-shock ride settings to suit their individual requirements. Price: from £6,999 WWW.TORO.COM

136 Pro Landscaper / April 2018

Ride-on mowers kit.indd 136


How it’s innovative: Kubota’s ZD1211 Zero Turn features a range of innovations, including refreshed HST levers to provide better operation and manoeuvrability, with damper force adjustments increased from two to three positions. The front guard is removed to increase visibility and an LCD panel allows operators to view key indicators with ease. Other features include a high back suspension seat, ergonomic control layout, and a easy-to-grip cutting height adjustment dial. Price: £14,200 WWW.KUBOTA.CO.UK

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orticulturist Jason Dewees has released what aims to be the definitive guide to palms, entitled ‘Designing with Palms’. The book offers information on planting, irrigation, nutrition, pruning and transplanting, as well as details on everything you could possibly need to know about palms and how to use them. The book features stunning photography by Caitlin Atkinson, showcasing a plethora of palm varieties in the portfolio section, as well as examples of palms in place in the chapter ‘Exquisite American Gardens’. The book does use American examples and references, and the resources section at the back consists entirely of contacts in the USA. Despite this, the book remains an exceptionally informative and essential tool for industry professionals across the world.

BOB’S BASICS Bob Flowerdew


ob Flowerdew, Britain’s leading organic gardener, has created a series of six paperback books, each offering advice on some of the most important areas of greener gardening for both novices and experts. ‘Bob’s Basics’ comprises six books: ‘Companion Planting’, ‘Composting’, ‘Pruning, Trading and Tidying’, ‘Simple, Green Pest and Disease Control’, ‘Sowing, Planting, Watering and Feeding’ and ‘Weeding Without Chemicals’. Each acts as an indispensable guide for the modern day organic gardener. Bob writes in an inclusive tone, demonstrating contagious enthusiasm, and his books offer everything from identification tips to problems and their solutions. Overall, this series is informative and user-friendly; sold separately, they are certainly something to consider for organic gardeners and landscapers wishing to update their knowledge.



tarting with a foreword by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan – a marker of just how much appreciation for street trees is increasing – this book celebrating London’s trees is a pleasure for anyone: from the casually interested reader to the tree officer looking to diversify their stock. What becomes evident throughout is something that anyone involved with the landscaping industry knows – that trees have worth outside of their benefits to the environment and people’s mental wellbeing. Paul shows that London’s trees are as diverse and eclectic as the city’s residents, and peppers ‘London’s Street Trees’ with interesting and amusing anecdotes. Readers looking for a street-bystreet guide will be disappointed – that would be more of a job for Ordnance Survey. Instead, Paul gives the general areas where readers can find certain trees, along with guides to a few wonderful London tree trails.

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22/03/2018 10:14



ADAM MCGARRY Adam McGarry, winner of the APL WorldSkills final and founder of Shire Landscapes, tells Pro Landscaper how he gained the confidence to build his business

Adam, what made you want to pursue a career in horticulture? Landscaping and gardening is something I’ve been exposed to from a young age – my grandparents were always in the garden doing bits and pieces, and I enjoyed helping them. My family are all interested in gardens and horticulture and so I knew quite early on that it was what I wanted to do. Talk us through your career path so far… I went to college and did a four-year apprenticeship in landscaping. While I was at college I took part in APL WorldSkills, which I won, and I left college in September last year. What have you been doing since finishing college? In December I started up my own business. I’ve been self-employed, doing my own thing, and I’ve recently taken on some quite big projects, so it’s looking good. That’s great news! What does your business incorporate? It’s based in Calne, Wiltshire, and covers a 40-mile radius. I do anything from patios

and decking to ponds and fences, planting schemes and show gardens. We do all the hands-on work, and I can do aspects of design if I’m asked to, as well as providing a maintenance service.

I’M WORKING HARD AND BUILDING A GOOD CLIENT BASE, AND PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED IN HOW I DID IT Do you think that winning the APL WorldSkills final has helped develop your business? I was genuinely shocked to be the winner, it was amazing. Winning has given me the confidence that I needed to push forward, pursue my career and start my own business. Before, I didn’t have the confidence to go off and work on my own – I was always quite nervous. The APL WorldSkills process changed that, and it’s really paid off. I’m working hard and building a good client base, and people are interested in how I did it. What did the APL WorldSkills process involve? The process was split into three stages. In stage one we had to build a wooden frame out of timber, and then block pave the area before emptying that out and decking it. For the second stage, we built a 1.8m-long wall and a 4m2 patio with no cross joints. We also had a plant identification task, and had to design and construct a planted area. For the final stage, we were given a plan and had to work out the scale and placement from it, and then go on to construct it. What projects has Shire Landscapes been working on? So far, I’ve done a nice terrace garden with

140 Pro Landscaper / April 2018

Look Out For.indd 140

artificial grass, a small patio and some raised flowerbeds. I’ve also built a lot of fencing and small decking areas. Recently, I did a larger garden for an elderly woman who wanted zero maintenance, so I put in two patios on different levels with raised flowerbeds and new fences to secure it. Would you recommend that other young people pursue a career in horticulture? Yes – it’s something new every day, and you get to be outdoors, surrounded by nature. There are so many different aspects to my job, I’m always doing something different – be it patios, decking, hedging, turf or planting. You also get a unique

sense of pride when you see the finished product. I often find it hard to picture the ‘before’ when I’ve finished a project, and it’s so rewarding to see the client’s reaction. And would you also encourage people to take part in the APL WorldSkills? Absolutely, it’s been hugely successful for me. What are your future career ambitions? I wouldn’t necessarily say I want a big company; I’d like a nice size with a couple of fleets and I’d just like to remain positive and cheerful. I always want to be hands-on with my job and be able to manage everything, with little stress.

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Mark Wright, sales manager at The Resin Mill, tells us about the business’s products, service and The School of Resin Training Academy

Tell us a bit about The Resin Mill. The Resin Mill was founded in January 2015. The idea was to operate as a supply-only one-stop-shop for all Mark Wright contractor needs in terms of resin, aggregates, rubber crumb and larger equipment. We aim to make the contractor’s life as easy as possible – for example, we created bespoke driveway colours and sold them as ‘kits’ with sample cases, to make selling the job to the homeowner a professional and enjoyable experience. This, combined with taking orders up until 2pm for next-day delivery, was key to us establishing ourselves. Our motto, ‘We’ve got it covered’, is still what we aim for today. Can you tell us more about the products you offer? Our core product is industry-leading resin, along with kiln-dried aggregates that we get from multiple sources in order to offer the best possible price. We also deal extensively in rubber crumb.

Trading With.indd 143

What is The Resin Mill’s USP? The service we offer – one order, one delivery, one invoice. We keep costs down for contractors by providing all the products they need in one place – they avoid having to deal with multiple deliveries and haulage charges from various sources. Our team in the office prides itself on providing support and advice to contractors – we try to make the journey from measuring to installation as smooth as possible. At the end of the day, the installer needs to walk away from every job knowing he has done everything right, and having us at the other end of the phone is all part of the offer.

What is The School of Resin Training Academy? The School of Resin is something we’ve been offering since the business’s beginning. The course is run throughout the year and involves a full day in our offices with our highly experienced course conductor, who sits on the technical board at FeRFA (The Resin Flooring Association). The course covers installation, subbases, marketing and even pricing. We have a large area inside where we get everyone on the trowel, handling the materials to lay the product that day. The industry is growing rapidly, and we find a lot of people want to expand their skill set. After people have completed the course, we are always at the other end of the phone for continued support – all our staff are alumni of the school, so we understand that learning doesn’t end after the course. It’s an ongoing process.


Company name The Resin Mill Address St Pegs Mill, Thornhillbeck Lane, Brighouse, West Yorkshire HD6 4AH Tel 01484 400 855 Twitter @TheResinMill Facebook Web

Have you anything new for the upcoming months? We have just introduced three new colours, all of which are in line with the trend for greys. On top of that, we have just brought out a product we call Colour Cast PRO. In order to add an anti-slip element to resin bound driveways, people apply a white crushed glass – but white doesn’t always complement the customer’s colour choice, so we’ve developed three new colours and matched them to our colour mixes so the product looks great from day one. We are also developing a redesigned screed sledge. These are used to apply resin bound at the correct depth, but many installers choose not to use them, as they can cause issues. We have just had the final designs in for a new version to eliminate these issues, and we feel this will dramatically speed up installation time and quality, especially for the newer contractors – so watch this space.

Pro Landscaper / April 2018 143

20/03/2018 15:00


For full details on all jobs, please go to For full details on all jobs, please go to

Call 01903 777 587 or email with your vacancy. Call 01903 777 580 or email with your vacancy



An award-winning garden design and landscape team based in Hertfordshire is looking for a professional hard landscaper to join its dynamic team. We design and build a variety of private and commercial projects as well as building gardens for prestigious shows. Candidates must be able to read and implement plans competently. Attention to detail is imperative as is good working knowledge of all hard landscaping. Must be able to work as part of a small team and follow direction well.

Topiarus Horticulture Ltd maintains the gardens and grounds of a number of corporate and private clients across Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds. Due to continued expansion we are looking for new gardeners to join the team to help maintain a variety of beautiful gardens to a high standard. You will be experienced in gardening and soft landscaping, have good plant knowledge, and work well in a team and on your own. You will also need to be able to effectively communicate with clients and be comfortable working with a range of garden machinery.

For more details please go to

For more details please go to



KATE GOULD GARDENS Location: London and Home Counties


Barton Grange Landscapes is looking for a dynamic person to run our Interior Landscaping and Christmas Decorating Division serving businesses around the North West. The main duties will include, managing the existing contracts, visiting and advising prospective new clients and providing quotations, installing new plant displays and Christmas displays, seeking new contracts through innovative marketing and networking. For more details please go to

TOPIARUS HORTICULTURE LTD Location: Chipping Norton, Oxon

GLENDALE Location: Exeter

Glendale carries out £600,000 worth of soft landscaping contracts throughout the southwest and now requires an experienced supervisor to assist and support the contracts manager in our expanding commercial landscaping sector. We require a highly motivated supervisor with a background in one or more of the following who can lead an on site team to deliver: clearance works on construction sites, installation of soft landscaping, grounds maintenance, supervisory role within the construction industry, good knowledge and understanding of planting, turfing and ground preparation and a good understanding of specifications and drawings. For more details please go to



To ensure that all projects are managed in a consistent, commercial and professional manner from initial enquiry through procurement and delivery completion, settlement and archive of all relevant project material, in accordance with White Horse Contractors quality, environmental and H&S management systems. Reporting to operations and commercial directors, overseeing foreman and site staff.

The Outdoor Room is a multi-award-winning garden design and construction company. We are passionate about designing, creating and caring for beautiful gardens and landscapes. Our knowledgeable, experienced and creative team offers a professional, comprehensive service to private clients, developers, garden designers and landscape architects. We are currently looking to recruit skilled landscape gardeners who can deliver high quality work within our busy teams. The right candidate should be wellpresented, self-motivated, enthusiastic, and be able to use their own initiative.

For more details please go to

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WHITE HORSE CONTRACTORS Location: Oxfordshire and surrounding counties


You will need a minimum of five years experience in landscape gardening. You will be working in a team and will be expected to have a good relationship with your fellow workers. We are looking for someone enthusiastic, reliable and willing to work hard.You will need a clean driving licence as you may be expected to drive the company vans.You will be expected to be ready to start work at 7.30am and will be back in the yard ready to go home by 5.00pm.

For more details please go to

144 Pro Landscaper / April 2018

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THE OUTDOOR ROOM Location: Cowfold

CLIFTON NURSERIES Location: Surrey/London

Don’t miss the chance to be part of the exciting growth of Clifton Nurseries. We are looking for staff who will: thrive from working in a dynamic boutique garden retail business, flourish from being able to use their excellent sales skills, making good use of their previous retail experience, enjoy working in a positive and enthusiastic environment, delight in offering excellent customer service, and are passionate about plants; preferably with a recognised horticultural qualification or experience. For more details please go to

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ALEXANDRA NOBLE Garden and landscape designer, Alexandra Noble Design

Gardens shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Inspirational for sure! I immensely enjoy attending garden shows as they are a wonderful way of viewing the latest cultivars from nurseries, as well as new garden materials and products from leading brands.

Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? Japan – for the widespread springtime cherry blossom and autumnal Acer colour. What would you blow your budget on? Bespoke garden furniture. The one person in the industry you’d like to meet? Beth Chatto. One thing that you think would make the industry better? A mentor scheme for young designers and more affordably priced software/training.

146 Pro Landscaper / April 2018

Little Interview.indd 146

Best piece of trivia you know? When the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre in 1911, one of the suspects was Picasso. Role model as a child? Zandra Rhodes. Couldn’t get through the week without… Running and yoga. Best invention in recent years? Virtual reality. I recently saw the Modigliani exhibition at the Tate and the VR of his early twentieth century

Paris studio at the end was mind blowing – thoroughly recommend a visit! Your favourite joke? What do you say to a fancy cactus? You look sharp!

Pro Landscaper asks quick-fire questions to gain a small insight into the people who make up our industry. To take part email


CHRIS DURNFORD Customer experience director, London Stone

Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Inspirational, but not always practical for the average person’s garden. However, if it gets you thinking about your garden and how to improve it then I am all for it. Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? North America – there is so much variation in one country, it’s quite outstanding.

What would you blow your budget on? A supercar – the new Lamborghini Huracan Performante looks pretty special.

The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Monty Don. One thing that you think would make the industry better? More appreciation for natural stone. I love the fact that each piece can be different, which is part of its character. Role model as a child? My Dad – I’ve learnt a lot of life skills from him. Couldn’t get through the week without... Jaffa Cakes. Your favourite joke? A skeleton walks into a bar, he buys a pint and a mop…

20/03/2018 16:30


MICHAEL BUCK General manager, Tree Research

Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Inspirational. They push boundaries and provoke thought. Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? New Zealand.

What would you blow your budget on? An Aston Martin DB11 V8 and a road trip around Europe.

Best piece of trivia you know? One in 10,000 acorns will develop into a mature oak tree.

One thing that you think would make the industry better? For the industry to be viewed by career advisors and the like as a serious choice for kids growing up.

Role model as a child? Dennis Bergkamp – massive Arsenal fan. Couldn’t get through the week without... Gym or FIFA 18… its close…

Favourite joke? I don’t really have any jokes. Once I did tell my friends that I wanted to be a comedian, but they just laughed… Best invention in recent years? Smartphones… I would be lost without mine!



Managing director, J B Landscapes Ltd

Regional manager, Maydencroft Limited Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? Anywhere that has mountains. What would you blow your budget on? A two-storey heated greenhouse with tropical plants and hummingbirds that One thing that you think would make the industry better? Being fairly valued by clients. Best piece of trivia you know? Michael Caine never did say ‘not a lot of people know that…’ Role model as a child? Captain Kirk.

would be specially trained to eat nectar out of my hands. The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Richard Mabey, although he’s more of a naturalist.

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Couldn’t get through the week without... Tea. Your favourite joke? All the jokes I know are grossly inappropriate…

Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Absolutely, seeing other people’s ideas and concepts come to life is always inspirational. Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? North America, the views are immense and vast. What would you blow your budget on? A good QS… The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? I’d love to have met Capability Brown.

One thing that you think would make the industry better? For young people/schools to treat landscaping as a professional career. Best piece of trivia you know? One million Earths can fit inside the Sun. Best invention in recent years? Plant for Peace bars (www. They support rural communities and smallholder farmers in conflict and post-conflict territories around the world to achieve food security and sustainable economic development.

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20/03/2018 16:31

Can’t see the wood for the Millboard Only the keenest eye can detect it’s not wood. Millboard decking provides the timeless appeal of natural wood because it’s hand-moulded from natural timbers. But its unique polyurethane composition makes it exceptionally hardwearing, slip-resistant, and immune to the normal wood deterioration – no rotting, warping or algae growth. No wonder it’s accredited by the BBA (British Board of Agrément). Millboard adds instant distinction, creating beautiful outdoor spaces where people love to spend time. Simply, it’s time to see decking differently. Millboard: Live. Life. Outside. Discover the collection at

MIL-18-019148 Forest Architect AD 265 x 210.indd 1 ADS.indd


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