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Concept to Delivery

April 2019


Looking back at

Let’s Hear it From








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April 2019 | Volume 9, Issue 4

April 2019


Looking back at



Welcome to April 2019 Welcome to the April issue of Pro Landscaper. We were delighted to see so many of you at FutureScape Spring in March. The feedback from


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

the day was excellent with the seminars, debates and range of exhibitors all scoring very highly – we’re looking to build on the success of this first event next year to make sure it becomes a regular event in your yearly calendar. The inaugural Pro Landscaper Podium Awards also took place at FutureScape Spring and was a huge success. You can read about the winners and shortlisted projects in the Podium Supplement along with this issue. Well done to all the winners, the quality of these projects was outstanding. Another staple event in the landscape calendar is the APL Awards, which was again held at The Brewery in London on 15 March. This is always the perfect opportunity to catch up with colleagues and make new contacts, and again showcases

ADVERTISING Business development manager – Jamie Wilkinson Tel: 01903 777 585 Head of sales – Jessica McCabe Tel: 01903 777 587

Head of content – Nina Mason Tel: 01903 777 593

Horticulture Careers – Liam Colclough Tel: 01903 446 076

Features writer – Rachael Forsyth Tel: 01903 777 578

Managing director – Jim Wilkinson Tel: 01903 777 589

Features writer – Frankie Youd Tel: 01903 777 570


Nurture editor – Jamie Butterworth Tel: 01903 777 570

Subscription enquiries – Chris Anderson Tel: 01903 777 570

Subeditor – Kia Wilson Tel: 01903 777 597

Online content editor – Amy Fitz-Hugh Tel: 01903 777 583

Subeditor – Sam Seaton Tel: 01903 777 591

Design – Kara Thomas, Kirsty Turek

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Hidden haven



the excellent work being produced in our industry. See the coverage on page 13. In this issue, find out why Cleve West loves horticulture on page 61 and in the educate section, Lee Bestall gives advice on marketing your business. We visited Mark and Holly Youde from Urban Landscape Design recently and found out all about their business, working together and their exciting plans for the future. Have a great month!


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 2019 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.


Pro Landscaper is proud to be an affiliate member of BALI

The Association of

Professional Landscapers

Pro Landscaper is proud to be an associate member of The APL

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.

Cover image ©Greenscape Gardens

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

Pro Landscaper / April 2019


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April 2019



Agenda Fighting climate change



News Our monthly roundup of industry news


APL Awards A review of the occasion and all the winners


FutureScape Spring 2019 Coverage of the inaugural event


Association News The latest from APL, BALI, plants@work, SGD and RHS


Concept to Delivery

April 2019


Looking back at

Let’s Hear it From



30 Under 30 Noticeboard Updates from previous winners


Let’s Hear It From Urban Landscape Design



Company Profile Land Design Partnership


Landscape Architect’s Journal




Hidden haven



Jon Sheaff & Associates


View From The Top Nick Temple-Heald


Life Can Be Hard



Andrew Wilson


Saving Face Ashes To Ashes


Northern Delight Exploring County Durham


Pro Landscaper / April 2019

Contents.indd 4

College Fields


Segedunum Roman Fort


Be An Outsider At Work Anji Connell

Decorative Aggregates Stones that shimmer and glow


Brambledown Landscape Services


Love Horticulture Cleve West

Artisan Landscapes

Adam White



Greenscape Gardens

Holly Youde


Suburbian Hideaway

Paving Three inspiring projects


Fire Pits Great bowls of fire

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Nursery Spotlight Shadowlands, Cape Town


Wildflowers Floral seed mixes


Bricking It Crushed brick substrate for green roofs


101 How To Market Your Business Lee Bestall



102 Essential Decisions Sean Butler

103 Vive La Revolution Angus Lindsay

104 Popular Porcelain A guide to buying

106 Product DNA

Pro Landscaper Connect



The history of this increasingly popular timber deck alternative; findings from industry users and essential data


Latest Products


Four examples of composite decking NURTURE


Nurture News News from the UK’s growing sector

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Green Garden Paving

Composite Decking Designer Plants Julia Burova

Interview We speak to Claire Vokins


Biodiverse Blarney Conor Gallinagh


Plants@work Awards Announcing the winners

107 Look Out For Inez Williams

109 Trading With The Pot Company

110 Brushcutters A look at the latest products

114 Little Interviews Quick-fire questions with the individuals who make up our industry Pro Landscaper / April 2019


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Supporting landscaping professionals! TRAINING ACADEMY

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Our Courses Basic site setting out and preparation for domestic landscaping projects

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Andrew Wilson

Adam White

Conor Gallinagh

Sean Butler

Garden designer and lecturer, London College of Garden Design

Director, Davies White Ltd

Horticulture consultant and garden designer

Director, Cube 1994

Andrew Wilson examines construction as a fundamental process of garden design and investigates why many flee from this stage of the process. Discussing the changes he would make to college design programmes along with advice for garden designers, he stresses the importance of having confidence and a passion for discovery within the industry.

Reflecting on his trip to South Africa last month with his partner Sarah, Adam White shares his experiences of bush fires and the positive and negative impacts they have on the environment. Travelling around the most Southern point of Africa, L’Agulhas, Adam examines the South African ecosystem, endemic species and shares insight from interactions with local people.

This month, we welcome Conor Gallinagh who talks to Adam Whitbourn of Blarney Gardens about the crucial role of biodiversity in developing Blarney Gardens. Future goals for the gardens and forthcoming plans that encompass conservation and ecology are also discussed, with Adam stressing the importance of being able to ‘play with the story of the garden’.

Sean Butler investigates whether the UK landscape design and build market is ready to embrace recycled products. He explains key elements of design briefs and gives examples of recycled materials, how they can be incorporated into garden design and how the designers at Cube use recycled products in their landscaping projects. @AndrewWilsonii @davies_white @ConorGallinagh @cube1994


Other contributors Holly Youde Director/designer, Urban Landscape Design

Jamie Butterworth Director, Butterworth Horticulture

Anji Connell Interior architect and landscape designer

Lee Bestall Managing director and founder, Bestall & Co

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Angus Lindsay Head of fleet, idverde

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Six members of the industry explain how they are taking steps to tackle the increasing challenges of climate change

Dr Ross Cameron Senior lecturer, Landscape Management

The key element for our sector is to embrace green energy sources and encourage the government to provide opportunities/ infrastructure for these. These need to be genuinely green – electricity from solar and wind, for example. We should also exploit the natural environment to mitigate the causes and effects of climate change, using plants to reduce the energy loads on buildings and provide microclimatic cooling for our cities or exploit welldesigned landscapes that reduce the risk of urban flooding. A key objective should be to radically increase the proportion and quality of green infrastructure within our cities not just with respect to climate change but also to help with other environmental and social problems. We need to manage these landscapes sustainably, and promote pro-environmental practices, eliminating certain artificial fertilisers that release greenhouse gases. 8

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Pro Landscaper / April 2019

Ali Dempster

Rhiannon Williams

Designer and owner, Sandstone Design

Landscape architect and project manager, Landform Consultants

At Sandstone Design we have an environmental policy to ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ and make sure we are conscious of our environmental impact as we work. For example, on site we reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill by separating resources. We use bulk bags to separate out plastics from hardcore, which can be reused, wood, which can go to local power stations, and topsoil, which can be used elsewhere on a project. As landscaping professionals we can also design and use our gardens in a way that reduces environmental impact. Even in a small space, using a porous surface rather than hard paving and planting more greenery can help offset emissions and improve conservation. The bigger questions, the CO2 emissions from imported products and the reliance on single-use plastic packaging, are a bigger industry concern which is more difficult to solve at a local level. For instance, it is practical to deliver and store cement in single-use plastic packaging, as it protects it from the elements. For larger suppliers, how can products be better packaged to reduce plastic waste?

It may sound naïve, but I believe the simple answer is to listen, learn and adapt. I believe in learning from experience and from those who have come before us – but having only been in the industry a few years I also recognise that we need to place more of an emphasis on teaching those coming into the industry the things to consider when designing and building to reduce the impact and effects of climate change. Having said that, anyone, regardless of their experience, can learn something new. My main passion is for planting. I think there’s a lot to be said for adapting the planting palette to include species that are better suited to these changing conditions. I love an opportunity to research the plants I’m using and making informed decisions on what I select. Not just in the conventional sense of making sure a plant is hardy enough and suited to the aspect, but what are the impacts of getting that plant – does it need to be imported from Europe? Can it be British grown or sourced in the UK, reducing the carbon footprint of supply? These questions can so easily be applied to sourcing all materials for designs, be it paving, timber or accessories.

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Joseph Gibson

Andrew Duff

Hannah Genders

Garden designer/owner, Joseph Gibson Garden Design

Managing director, Inchbald School of Design

Owner, Hannah Genders

I would love to see horticulture reintroduced to our schools. Children from an early age learning to nurture nature could influence the mentalities of so many, leading to a much greener environment with great long-term benefits. It’s also important that we continue pushing for more green spaces within built-up areas to help combat the effects of pollution. Ultimately within the design practice itself, I think it comes down to environmentally conscious decisions when planning. For example, the transoceanic importation of materials creates a huge carbon footprint. We have to question whether we could be making better decisions when selecting our material palette with more focus on their origin and the resources they consume. When we look at the amount of resources required for producing and maintaining large-scale bedding plant arrangements, we have to question their sustainability and whether their short-lived reward is justifiable. We also have to ask ourselves: should we be implementing long-lasting and drought-tolerant planting instead?

Addressing environmental issues can start with the smallest of changes. Think about how we travel to site – do we have to drive or can we use public transport? Think about where our planting is coming from – is there a local nursery closer to site that grows its own stock rather than importing it? We need to think about using materials already on site and whether we are changing something for the sake of change – remember that leaving something alone is a design decision. Consider using plants normally found within the local vernacular. These should require a lot less water and ultimately less maintenance as they are used to growing in a similar location. Most garden designers are working in a sustainable way already, but just some simple adjustments to the way we design can make an even greater difference.

Our gardens are incredibly important in this battle against climate change, both in the urban and rural environment. In towns and cities planted garden space will help water uptake in storms and aid cooling in hot conditions. Trees play a vital role in this along with absorbing carbon and pollution from the air. Gardens in an urban environment can become a corridor for butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects. A recent research study shows that bumblebees are doing better in urban areas than those on agricultural land because the successional flowers we plant helps to feed them. Our countryside gardens have a greater diversity of trees and plants than the surrounding monoculture fields. Plants capture carbon from the atmosphere and store it, composting and adding it to the soil helps this process work better.

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How can we as an industry improve mental wellbeing in the workplace?

Have your say: Pro Landscaper / April 2019


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NEWS 30 under 30: The Next Generation Awards

Lantra Scotland announces winner of Horticulture category

Sponsored by Green-tech, 30 Under 30: The Next Generation is back for 2019 with Pro Landscaper, Pro Arb and FutureArc magazines beginning the search for 30 of the most impressive young people within our industry. The 30 Under 30 initiative was launched in 2015 as a way of recognising the work that young people across the horticulture and landscape sectors are putting into their career. Entering 30 Under 30: The Next Generation is a great way to gain recognition for your own work or the work of someone you know. Previous winners have expressed that winning the awards is a wonderful way to enhance their careers. You can nominate yourself or a

Tyler Tovey, a 22-year-old trainee from East Calder, has won the Horticulture category at Lantra Scotland’s annual Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards. The awards took place at Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Dunblane Hydro on 7 March. Joint runnersup were Calum Melrose who is 22 and 24-yearold Ross Yuile. Tyler has completed an SVQ Level 3 in Horticulture at SRUC, while working as a gardener at Jupiter Artland Gardens in Edinburgh. He was top student for his SVQ. Tyler is also the only Scottish

colleague as long as the nominee is aged 30 or under and currently works within the horticulture, arboriculture, garden design or landscape sector. Winners will be announced at FutureScape on 19 November at Sandown Park Racecourse, Surrey. To find out more information and to request your application visit: www.prolandscapermagazine. com/30u30

student selected to attend the Royal Horticultural Society’s breakfast reception at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Tyler says: “I’m so happy to win the Horticulture Award. This will be a real boost to my career. Thanks to my employers at Jupiter Artland Gardens and tutors at SRUC.” According to Liz Barron-Majerik, director of Lantra Scotland, the awards are key to recognising and celebrating the achievements of trainees within Scotland’s rural sector. As well as encouraging employers to invest in the next generation of talent. learner-year

Association of Professional Landscapers to support Bradstone Assured accreditation scheme Bradstone has partnered with the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) as an independent accreditor. Under this partnership new and existing Bradstone Assured installers will have the opportunity to join the APL and its benefits while new and existing APL accredited landscapers will have the opportunity to be automatically enrolled on the Bradstone Assured 10

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Pro Landscaper / April 2019

scheme. This will unlock the benefits of a 10-year product guarantee on Bradstone products and a five-year installation guarantee. It will also give APL members access to the Bradstone Assured Rewards loyalty scheme. Peter Montgomery, national sales manager at Bradstone, says: “Our aim is always to give the customer exactly what they envision. By engaging the services

of the APL we are backing up our own stringent processes with a transparent and independent inspection that is one of the toughest in the industry.” Phil Tremayne, general manager at the APL, says: “Being asked to provide an independent accreditation for Bradstone for their assured scheme is of great benefit for the consumer and potentially our

members. It displays a desire to push up standards within the industry and hopefully produce an end result that both the consumer and the contractor be happy with.”

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John O’Conner Grounds Maintenance celebrates 50 years Family-owned and run John O’Conner Grounds Maintenance celebrates 50 years in business this year. The award-winning Hertfordshire-based business operates landscape maintenance contracts from the Scottish Highlands and Islands through to the Isle of Wight. It plans to mark the occasion with lots of 50-themed events with its staff, customers and the communities it serves. The focus for the events will be to support community-based projects in

the areas in which it works. Some of the events already planned include: • 50 apprenticeship training opportunities created • 50 corporate social responsibility projects • 50 strees donated to local schools Chairman John O’Conner started the company in June 1969. Five decades later the company remains in family ownership with his son Matthew O’Conner now managing director.


John comments: “I am extremely proud that we are celebrating this milestone in the company’s history. Being family owned our people are extremely important to me and attracting the very best in the industry has been the key to our success.” Since the company was formed it has remained true to John’s original values, which are to provide a standard of service and quality of work that is second to none, to care for the staff, and to act with honesty, integrity and openness. Commenting on the company’s success, Matt O’Conner says: “The heart of our business is our people and our dedicated staff have played a big part in what has made us so successful over the past 50 years. We look forward to celebrating this huge occasion with our employees, customers and suppliers’’

SGD Awards announces new category for 2020

The SGD has announced a new ecological design award for the SGD Awards 2020 in honour of visionary plantswoman, garden designer and author, Beth Chatto. The Beth Chatto Eco Garden Award is open to all SGD members. It will be presented for a project where the design focus is on the garden’s environmental impact by the creative, ecological

News.indd 11

use of materials and planting, to maximise sustainability, minimise maintenance and attract pollinators and wildlife. Lynne Marcus MSGD, council member for the SGD Awards, says:“Beth Chatto was one of the most influential horticulturalists of the last 50 years. Her firmly held commitment to ecological planting has paved the way for a whole generation of gardeners and garden designers. We are extremely proud as a society to

honour Beth Chatto and her work in this field.” David Ward, garden and nursery director at Beth Chatto Gardens, will join the SGD Awards judging panel to select the winner. “By recognising a designer who creates spaces that reward – through wildlife-loving habitats and sustainable planting schemes – I hope we can persuade others of the global impact ecological planting can have.” The SGD Awards are open for entries for 2020. In total, 16 award categories are open for entry.

Pro Landscaper Podium Awards winners announced

The winners have been revealed for the inaugural Pro Landscaper Podium Awards, sponsored by Bourne Amenity. The event took place at FutureScape Spring on 12 March at Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher, Surrey.

Husqvarna launches a leisurewear collection

Designed specifically for outdoor enthusiasts – the new collection features a range of bags and clothing for all year use, as well as special garments for autumn and winter, including pieces for both men and women.

Perennial’s Marathon Month for June 2019

To help mark Perennial’s 180th anniversary, it has launched Perennial Marathon Month. A new virtual fundraising event taking place throughout June 2019. Perennial is challenging people to walk or run a marathon within a month and the best part is, every step counts.

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Kew to open giant new Children’s Garden in May 2019 The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has embarked on its most ambitious design project in recent years, with the creation of a giant new Children’s Garden due to open to the public on 18 May 2019. Covering 10,000m², it has been designed by Kew garden designers around the elements vital for plant

growth – earth, air, sun and water. Children will be able to play and explore as they wind their way through a landscape filled with over 100 mature trees. They will discover hidden treasures and adventure, and develop their love of nature, plants and the outdoors along the way.


Garden The Warner’s Distillery Garden Designer Helen Elks-Smith Sponsor Warner’s Distillery


ith just a month to go until we move onsite at the RHS Chelsea showground, the pressure is mounting. Early last month we began to pour the foundations for the pavilion that will sit at the centre of the Warner’s Distillery Garden, a beautiful structure created out of drystone walling, but with two large cantilevered roofs and a series of complex water features, there are various challenges in its construction. It might seem quite early to be laying foundations, but the build programme at RHS Chelsea is incredibly tight and with just 20 days to create the garden on site, any construction work that we can complete beforehand buys us extra time. As the contractor responsible for making sure the


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garden is ready on time, we have a strict programme of works that sets out the sequence and timing of all operations, from those that take several days to those that can be done in a couple of hours, and we try to do as much as possible well in advance. So, while we pour the foundations and allow them to ‘cure’ in our yard in Leighton Buzzard, elsewhere across the country other key elements of the construction are also well underway. In Trowbridge, manufacture

of the steelwork is at full tilt in the capable hands of KAM Engineering who will cut the steel to length, drill the holes and weld in the fixing plates before delivering it to us later this month to erect the framework and attach it to the foundations. Our in-house specialist Nick is also working on building the drystone walling which we will use as a cladding around the steel framework. This will not only be a key design feature of the garden but will also

hide an enormous amount of pipework within the steel frame to facilitate the many water features flowing in and out of it. Traditionally, drystone walls are built using very large pieces of stone stacked with smaller stones to lock everything in. However, we’ll be using thinner pieces with an adhesive mortar as a backing panel to act as a cladding. We’re also trialling the water features. How the water sounds and feels in the garden is central to the design and it’s vital to achieve the effect Helen wants. We are working with Alan at Aztec Modelmakers to create real scale mock-ups that will then be made in copper to echo the gin stills at Warner’s Distillery in Northamptonshire. Being able to build complex elements off site and test them accurately with specialists ensures the best quality of build and saves valuable time later. In the final two months until the show, lines will be drawn and final decisions made. An update on those in my next post.

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THE WINNERS Supreme Winner

Overall Design & Build

Project Value under £20,000

Garden Feature

Project Value £20,000-£35,000

Commercial Garden

Sponsored by Easigrass The Garden Builders Projects: Vauxhall Garden, Ravenson Road The Association of Professional Landscapers Awards 2019, sponsored by Bradstone, took place on Friday 15 March at The Brewery, London


ver 380 people attended the event, which celebrates the outstanding landscaping carried out by members of the APL. Jamie Butterworth hosted the awards and Landscape Institute President Adam White was the guest speaker, giving an insight into his illustrious career so far. Kingston Landscape Group Ltd took the Supreme Winner award for its project Streatham Hill, which also won the Commercial Garden and Soft Landscaping categories. The Matthew Bradley Memorial Cup, presented by Mark Gregory, was awarded to Will Gadd of Gadd Brothers Trees and Landscapes. For more information about the winners visit

Sponsored by Citation Limebok Landscaping Ltd Project: Chaucer Close

Project Value £35,000-£60,000

Winner of the Matthew Bradley Memorial Cup, Will Gadd

Sponsored by John Lewis Home Solutions Eaglestone Landscape Design Project: Applethatch

Project Value £60,000-£100,000

Sponsored by Talasey Group Landscapes 4 Living Ltd Project: Skyfall

Project Value £100,000-£200,000

Speaker Adam White

Sponsored by Qube Outdoor Spaces Artisan Landscapes Project: Ridgeview

Hard Landscaping

Sponsored by Bradstone Oakley Landscapes Project: Paradise in Ealing

Soft Landscaping

Sponsored by Classifora Zelari Kingston Landscape Group Ltd Project: Streatham Hill

Sponsored by Green-tech Eaglestone Landscape Design Project: Applethatch Sponsored by Platipus Anchors InsideOut Home and Garden Improvements Ltd Project: The Cabin Sponsored by Boughton Loam Ltd Kingston Landscape Group Ltd Project: Streatham Hill

Community Garden

Sponsored by Easigrass Roger Gladwell Landscape Design and Construction Ltd Project: Aldeburgh Hospital

APL Designer of the Year

Sponsored by EcoDek Aralia Project: Viburnum Gate

APL Rising Star Award Sponsored by Fresh Horticultural Careers Matthew Wood of Myerscough College

New Company of the Year

Sponsored by Makita Gunns & Roses

Supplier of the Year

Photographs ©Steve Burden Photography

Sponsored by Bradstone Kingston Landscape Group Ltd Project: Streatham Hill

Sponsored by Pro Landscaper Manufacturer Aquacut & Tilers Tools Grower South Creepers Nursery Grower North/Midlands Boningale Ltd

Supreme Winner: Kingston Landscape Group

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he inaugural FutureScape Spring took place on Tuesday 12 March at Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher, Surrey. It was a jam-packed event, with top suppliers in the UK exhibiting alongside an incredible line-up of speakers. Topics included climate change, business development and designing a successful show garden. Industry association plants@work also hosted an array of talks on interior landscaping, later holding its annual awards at the event. In the afternoon, the winners of the first Pro Landscaper Podium Awards were revealed, with landscape architect firm fabrik announced as the Supreme Winner. Pro Landscaper’s Jim Wilkinson says: “We were delighted with the first FutureScape Spring. The visitor numbers were a lot higher than our original expectation, the seminars were well attended, the speakers were fantastic and some very interesting and topical debates were covered. The exhibitors must also have been impressed, as they were queuing up to book FutureScape Spring 2020!” FutureScape in November has become a huge success since it was founded seven years ago. With a vast range of exhibitors and hundreds of visitors each year, it is the largest landscape exhibition in the UK and is an unmissable event in the horticulture calendar. The brand-new instalment in spring brings the industry together to provide plenty of inspiration for the season ahead. Read more about the fantastic seminar programme on our website.


Barry Randall and Lee Bestall questioned one another on how they each grew their business, comparing their differing strategies for business development. Pro Landscaper’s Jim Wilkinson then interviewed Paul Downer, Patricia Fox, Tony Woods, Sean Butler and Phil Jones on ways in which they operate their businesses. Liam Colclough discussed the role of technology for recruitment and development with panellists Koreen Samuel, Richard Knight and Sarah Maddox, and how they see this changing in the future. Jim Wilkinson returned to the stage for the Future Technology in Landscaping seminar, where he discussed how Sim Hassall, Peter Wilder and Tamsin Slatter use technology to enhance what their businesses can offer. 14

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Pro Landscaper’s nurture editor Jamie Butterworth kicked off the day in the Plant Theatre with a one-to-one interview with world-renowned garden designer Matt Keightley. Matt revealed the touching story behind his first Chelsea garden, going into business with his best friend, and being part of the RHS Garden Wisley development. Following this, an exceptional panel of Manoj Malde and Rae Wilkinson discussed the ins and outs of planting design. Later, Dr Ross Cameron, Peter Gibbs and Tim Edwards tackled the issue of climate change, and John Cunningham, Katherine Potsides and Lewis Normand delved behind the scenes of creating the world’s greatest flower shows. Fittingly, the final talk was on the importance of aftercare with Chris Bridgman, Claire Vokins, Mark Laurence and Deric Newman.


Starting off the day in the RHS Zone was Creating Gardens at RHS Shows, led by RHS Chelsea Flower Show manager Katherine Potsides. The seminar gave advice on the different shows the RHS runs and how to make your application as successful as possible. Lewis Normand of Bernhards Nurseries and Matt Keightley of Rosebank Landscaping also joined the panel to share their advice on RHS shows. Later Paul Hensey took to the stage for A model Workflow, in which he discussed the 3D digital design tool SketchUp. Paul demonstrated the whole process and highlighted the benefits of using SketchUp.


A popular series of seminars started with the expected trends for this year, discussed by Chanel de Kock of the Flower Council of Holland. This was followed by a focus on plants@work members’ Gold Leaf award-winning projects, and by suppliers Biotecture, Nieuwkoop Europe BV and Mobilane talking the audience through their green wall systems. After lunch, Neil Helyer of Fargro Ltd discussed recognising and resolving pest and disease problems in interior landscaping, and Jan Breedjik of Nieuwkoop Europe BV spoke about the challenges of large plants. The last talk of the day was an expert panel – Richard Sabin, Kenneth Freeman, Flavie Lowres and Madeleine Evans – discussing their involvement in the BRE Group’s Biophilic Office project.


Find out who the winners are of the Pro Landscaper Podium Awards in our Podium supplement

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APL update APL Support Perennial at Chelsea 2019 The Perennial Lifeline Garden highlights the long-standing and ever-evolving role of Perennial in supporting everyone working in and retired from horticulture. The garden will feature a classical rose garden reimagined as a more sustainable and low maintenance ‘rose meadow’. Three forms of hedge will provide formality and structure, while classical sculpture is replaced by the organic forms of multi-stem trees. Freestanding metal screens, stone and topiary columns and a pair of ‘fountains’

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combine in a modern reimagining of a classical colonnade. A contemporary rill flows through and around the garden, representing the ‘lifeline’ that Perennial is so often described as by the people it supports. The main contractor for the garden is Ross Conquest, director of APL members Conquest Creative Spaces. Ross approached the APL with Anita Bates of Perennial to see if it was possible to give APL Apprentices and APL WorldSkills UK finalists an opportunity to join and support him on this build. Of

course, we were thrilled to be asked. Phil Tremayne APL general manager said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for young landscapers starting out on their careers. The opportunity to build at RHS Chelsea is not something that everyone manages and we are happy to be supporting this garden”. The garden has already been set out at APL members Urban Landscape Design Ltd’s new training centre in Cheshire, The Landscape Academy. Ross Conquest, Mark Youde and Phil Tremayne were joined by APL apprentice

lecturer Nick Atkinson from Myerscough College and six APL apprentices to ensure they understood the complexity of the build and the roles they would play. The APL’s support doesn’t just end there. Several APL members have also pledged to support the build with Ross. The APL community are always generous with their support, especially with something like this. APL Chair Rod Winrow commented: “Perennial is hugely important to the industry and being able to support it with young landscapers at the start of their career, to help people potentially at the end of theirs is fantastic.”

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plants@work outline Seminars at FutureScape Spring a resounding success Thank you to FutureScape for inviting us, our technician Jamie who kept us running smoothly and to you, if came along to support us. Our Chair, Madeleine Evans of Tivoli Services Ltd, was on hand to keep the show running smoothly.

Trends Chanel de Kock of the Flower

Council of Holland gave us a fascinating talk about how trends come about and how these are translated into plant popularity. Project Design David Grace, a director at Indoor Garden Design, took us through the design process for their project for Sky in their new 45,000m2 flagship building in West London. plants@work’s Coll Smith gave an overview of some of the more intricate installations that plants@work members have carried out over the years. Green Walls Paul Garlick of Mobilane kicked

off the proceedings with details of their services, from technical support, training to plant and specimen research. Dave Austen of Biotecture gave us the low down on Biotecture’s system and an insight into several of their well-known projects. Completing this seminar, Jan Breedijk of Nieuwkoop Europe gave us insight into Bin Fen’s system. Pests and Diseases Neil Helyer’s seminar for Fargro on pests and diseases and how to protect or treat plants was fascinating. Neil has a wide knowledge of which pests on which plant and how to treat them.

Big trees Jan Breedijk of Nieuwkoop Europe spoke about large trees and their journey from the plantation, to greenhouse, to site installation. The BRE Biophilic Design Research Project Our last session was a panel discussion centred around the BRE research project into biophilic design. Flavie Lowres of BRE outlined the project while Kenneth Freeman of Ambius and Richard Sabin of Biotecture explained their involvement. plants@work is a dissemination partner for this project.

SGD bulletin The SGD has announced a new ecological design award for the SGD Awards 2020 in honour of visionary plantswoman, garden designer and author, Beth Chatto The Beth Chatto Eco Garden Award is open to all SGD members and will be presented for a garden design which focuses on the environmental impact by the creative, ecological use of materials and planting, to maximise sustainability, minimise maintenance and attract pollinators and wildlife.


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As entries for the SGD Awards 2020 opened this week, Lynne Marcus MSGD, council member for the awards says: “Beth Chatto was one of the most influential horticulturalists of the last 50 years and her commitment to ecological planting has paved the way for a whole generation of gardeners and garden designers. Launching

an award in her name, at a time when the need for better and more environmentally-friendly gardening techniques is more important than ever, seems entirely fitting. We are extremely proud as a society to honour Beth Chatto and her work in this field.” David Ward, garden and nursery director at Beth Chatto Gardens, will join the SGD Awards judging panel to select the winner. He says: “The winner of this award will be someone who demonstrates to others the great reward gardening can give to nature, the environment,

and the individual gardener. By recognising a designer who creates spaces that reward – through wildlife-loving habitats and sustainable planting schemes – I hope we can persuade others of the global impact ecological planting can have.” The SGD Awards, which are in their eighth year, are now open for entries for 2020. In total, 16 award categories are open for entry ranging from Large Residential Garden and Planting Design to Garden Jewel and International Garden. The Beth Chatto Eco Garden Award will be sponsored by The Garden Builders.

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BALI briefing BALI launches new website BALI’s new website is live at Members can log in to their new my BALI profile to access their exclusive membership benefits. Along with member-specific content, BALI also exclusively

administers the Land-based Industry Skills Scheme (LISS) and Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) jointly managed scheme LISS/CSCS, and applicants can now apply for a LISS/ CSCS SmartCard online. BALI members urged to set their marketing email preferences BALI members can now set their own preferences for specific marketing emails and publications, ensuring that every person within an organisation has the ability to choose what they want to receive. This includes BALI’s landscape news, where

members can now choose to go paperless and only receive the digital edition. BALI sponsors first two Specifi Landscape Roadshow events BALI sponsored the first two Specifi events held in London and Edinburgh in February and will be exhibiting at a further six events this year; the next is at We The Curious in Bristol on 9 April. Visit bali. GoLandscape launches career adviser campaign BALI has launched a new campaign in celebration of National Careers Week (NCW)

in early March. The nationwide campaign targets more than 7,000 career leaders and advisers, presenting them with information about land-based careers. BALI and several GoLandscape ambassadors will be exhibiting at several National Careers Guidance shows. Visit golandscape. for more information.

RHS report

Early Daffodil Competition, RHS Garden Wisley, 23 April Focusing on miniature daffodils, enjoy these delightful spring flowers in the shelter of the Glasshouse Gallery. All competitions are free to enter. RHS Flower Show Cardiff, Bute Park, Cardiff Castle, 12-14 April Supported by wealth manager Brewin Dolphin, the show returns to the Welsh capital with a celebration of spring, championing health and wellbeing and celebrating Visit

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RHS Flower Show Cardiff

Wales’ Year of Discovery theme for 2019 as it explores some of the finest in Welsh horticulture. As a key show theme, features will highlight the benefits of gardening and outdoor spaces. Family-run bulb specialist, Scamp’s Daffodils has been named the RHS Flower Show Cardiff Master Grower for 2019.

RHS National Rhododendron Show, RHS Garden Rosemoor, 23 April Marvel at the remarkable variety and colour of these beautiful, spring-flowering plants. This national show has more than 60 classes covering all types of rhododendrons, as well as trade and advice stands plus magnificent displays of magnolias and camellias too. National Gardening Week, all gardens, 29 April–5 May

Columbia Primary School pupils harvest squash in their garden ©RHS/Luke MacGregor

RHS Rosemoor – National Rhododendron Competition

The nation’s biggest celebration of gardening returns for 2019 from 29 April–5 May as the RHS encourages everyone to get involved in grow-your-own. The theme for this year is Edible Britain, with the RHS calling on gardeners up and down the country to share their love of home-grown produce. The RHS has created a new website so people can find out how to take part: uk/nationalgardeningweek

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30 UNDER 30




Conquest Creative Spaces

Hosta Consulting

Ross recently teamed up with the Association of Professional Landscapers and its year 2 apprentices at the landscape training centre at Urban Landscape Design in Cheshire to do a mock-up of the Perennial Lifeline Garden for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019. What’s challenging about the Perennial Lifeline Garden is it will be in the floral marquee meaning this will be a ‘no dig zone’. The garden is going to be built up to 300mm above ground height which involves many complications to plan ahead for and overcome. The apprentices are undertaking their Level 3 Training, Planning & Time Management at Myerscough College. They started with breaking the garden down into its elements and focused on understanding its construction requirements by creating an in-depth plan, enough to be able to work out its strengths and weaknesses. The site location, material logistics, weather and heavy days of peak traffic are the big risks of building at Chelsea so these will be important factors in the scheduling of the build. Ross says: “The day went really well, and it’s been brilliant to be involved in this new style of landscaper training – Mark and Holly have an amazing vision for the future of training programmes. This is in an important subject to a lot of us due to the current skills gap we have in the industry. Upskilling and inspiring the next generation is essential.”


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Hosta Consulting has recently completed a 316m2 roof garden for the 400 residents of a Nottingham city centre block of flats. The intensive roof garden is the largest in Nottingham and is designed to provide a relaxing oasis for the tenants of the Victoria Centre Flats. The landmark garden provides a striking green space which has been developed to provide interest throughout the year with informal sunny and shady borders. Concrete kerbs, graphics by Nottingham-based artist Smallkid, and stepping stones complement the surrounding context. The 22-week project was developed under Nottingham City Home’s Decent Neighbourhoods scheme which aims to improve the lives of residents by developing green spaces with a community focus. All materials, wherever possible, were sourced with environmental consideration in mind to limit impact and include elements constructed by local apprentices.


Thrift Landscapes

Caitlin McLaughlin has designed a show garden for the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2019. The Urban Pollinator Garden, sponsored by Warner’s Distillery, encourages pollinators, specifically bees, to thrive in a contemporary back garden. After a long day at work this garden is designed to offer a place for the owners to relax and connect with nature. Honeycomb shapes will feature in the sculptural habitat wall running the length of the garden, and hexagonal paving incorporates bee-printed tiles to identify entrances to underground bumblebee nests. The garden will be built by Conway Landscapes, with support from suppliers Marshalls, Practicality Brown, and Green&Blue. After the show, the garden will be rehomed at Cransley Hospice in Kettering, Northamptonshire, for the benefit of the patients, visitors and hospice staff.

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Let’s Hear it From


Pro Landscaper catches up with Mark and Holly Youde, owners of Urban Landscape Design, as they prepare to open an innovative new landscaping training academy


ark began his journey into landscaping at his family’s reclamation and demolition business. When he joined the company’s landscaper on a project to fit some reclaimed stone, it became apparent that this was his true passion. Although he had a brief interlude as a motorsport instructor, Mark soon

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found his way back into landscaping, and set up his own business in 2004. Holly took a different route. “Having been involved in motorsport events management and investments, I wanted to do something more creative. Mark had started landscaping by then, so it seemed a logical step to complete a garden design qualification. I enrolled at The Welsh College of Horticulture (now Coleg Cambria) and within weeks of starting the course, we were getting design enquiries, so I was engaging the help of my course tutor!” Their now thriving business, Urban Landscape Design Ltd began in Holly and Pro Landscaper / April 2019 23

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INFORM Mark’s spare room in Tarvin, Cheshire as separate landscaping and design businesses. In 2013 they combined the two and moved to their current premises. Within the family reclamation business, Mark, his dad and his brother had a vision of creating a one-stop-shop so that when clients came in to buy 20,000 bricks to build a house, they could have the house designed, buy the materials, get someone to build it, someone to design the interior and someone to design and build the exterior landscape. It was on a similar ethos that Holly and Mark based their company. With a 30-strong team, the business currently works to a skills matrix with objectives for staff to achieve within 12 months to two years so that the team is constantly improving. A few years ago, Holly made a conscious effort to become a member of the associations and attend their events, and though Mark was sceptical about sharing their secrets, they both quickly appreciated the benefits of networking with others in the industry. Now, they want to share their knowledge with others in the form of The Landscape Academy. Working closely with The APL and BALI, Holly

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and Mark are launching what’s set to be the largest landscape training academy in the UK. Mark explains: “It all started with a need to further develop and upskill our own staff. Word got out and from a few conversations the idea grew into fulfilling a great need for training.”

THE BUSINESS CURRENTLY WORKS TO A SKILLS MATRIX WITH OBJECTIVES FOR STAFF TO ACHIEVE WITHIN 12 MONTHS TO 2 YEARS The Landscape Academy will offer one- and two-day courses to begin with, but Holly and Mark hope to introduce week-long courses, covering everything from design, soft landscaping and hard landscaping to the management and growth of businesses and even contractual law. “We are focusing on providing training solutions for every level right through to management, targeting what the industry feels is missing. The courses are for those who want to raise standards and move to the next level. As

an example, for porcelain paving installation we will teach techniques in detail, including step formation, laying methods, cladding, detailing and cutting to precision. All sessions will be mostly practical interaction.” Mark explains. The training academy offers a bespoke type of learning where businesses can tailor the training they receive based on how much knowledge individual employees have and where 1 Cedar hot tub project, Cheshire ©CRPhoto 2 New Neptune Interiors showroom, Chester 3 Oak outdoor kitchen, Wirral 4 Urban trade stand at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, featuring Renson 5 McLaren/Rolls Royce showroom, Manchester 6 Country esate bespoke gate, Cheshire 7 Country estate Yorkstone terraces, Cheshire 8 Competing at Tough Mudder 2018 9 Some of the Urban team 10 Holly and Mark Youde with Steve Walley at the launch of London Stone partnership 11 Ross Conquest and Mark Youde with the APL apprentices ©Ginger Horticulture 12 RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 2017 garden – Gabriel Ash designed by Lilly Gomm 13 Inside-outside project, Cheshire 14 Urban’s recent awards

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they want to train those individuals to be. Holly and Mark have already had companies approach them about week-long courses for their whole business due to the flexibility of this learning. The Landscape Academy also differs from some other training facilities due to the variety of products available to learn about. Although Urban Landscape Design is a partner of London Stone, the academy isn’t solely focused on its products – the academy will be able to teach about a variety of materials. Mark says: “We’re already talking to an innovative adhesive and grout company from Spain about introducing the use of their product outdoors that will provide solutions to issues occurring in the UK.” Mark is currently completing a City & Guilds in teaching to back up his vast experience so that he can train at the academy, along with other highly experienced trainers. Rather than competing with the colleges, Holly and Mark see the academy as the next level. “Everybody you speak to says colleges aren’t able to keep up with the innovations within the industry, and most companies are struggling to find staff with the correct skills,” Holly explains. 26

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Beginning with a core group of courses which will be practical skill-based, Holly and Mark hope to evolve the training centre and eventually aim to get other industry experts in to help with specialised courses. They have already had an overwhelming response from people within the industry.

THEY HAVE ALREADY HAD A LOT OF SUPPORT FROM PEOPLE WITHIN THE INDUSTRY “Tim O’Hare has been really helpful on a recent project, I can’t sing his praises enough,” says Mark. “He’s keen to become involved with the Academy with education on soil and drainage. London Stone are keen to support us as well as several other industry suppliers. The facility has a vast array of potential uses including product launches, venue hire for bespoke events, trade shows and product testing.” The APL will be running some of its own courses through the academy, which will fit in with its new installation guidelines currently

under development, and Holly and Mark are looking into getting Lantra qualification approval for all or some of their courses. Ross Conquest recently visited the site in preparation for the Perennial Lifeline Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019. Year two APL apprentices from Myerscough College joined Ross to help him work on the garden, giving them the chance to learn about the process. When it comes to the actual building of the show garden, six or seven apprentices will be selected, mentored by Mark, to assist Ross – a great example of what the academy can provide and the type of collaboration which can be facilitated by it. The Landscape Academy launches at the end of April. See for more information. CONTACT Unit 7d Barrowmore Enterprise Estate Cheshire, CH3 7JA Tel: 01829 740194

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PROFILE Pro Landscaper meets with Rob Simmonds of Land Design Partnership to discuss how the business is structured, its varied work and how the industry is ripe for young talent

How was Land Design Partnership established and how has it developed? I come from a farming background, moving into landscaping in 1993 when I became self-employed. This was initially on a smallscale subcontracting to a local contractor and carrying out small private projects. Gradually this developed as we received more direct enquiries for work, progressing to the company we are now with a split of 50/50 private and commercial clients employing up to 25 people. How is the team structured? I currently run the business in conjunction with Pete Jones who has been with me since 2005. We are backed up by Alec and Louise in the office who run operations and administration. The rest of the team is made up of supervisors running teams of both hard and soft landscapers on commercial and private projects throughout the South East.


in numbers

Established 1993 Employees 20 Awards Various BALI national awards along with Principal Awards in 2013 and 2018 Turnover ÂŁ1.5m

Rob Simmonds

standard required by our clients. Training is always paramount whether it be in the skills required or the necessary levels of health and safety within the industry. What is your usual work? The private contracting side of our business comes to us either directly from private client enquiries or via local designers and architects with whom we have close working relationships. Commercially it tends to be the installation of local authority approved landscape schemes for new build developments, and is predominantly soft landscaping involving show home installations, with an element of maintenance.

How do you ensure a good working environment? We pride ourselves on offering a friendly and professional environment, with close attention to training and health and safety. Our aim is to empower the staff to act on their own initiative, enabling them to complete projects successfully to the 28

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What are the biggest challenges you face on the commercial side? New houses are going up everywhere at the moment and the projects are getting larger with the specifications to match. The main contractors require the work to be turned around, often very quickly and at very short notice. This is becoming more and more difficult especially when trying to procure materials within the timescales required. This is particularly so with nursery stock which often has to be sourced from various locations, including Europe. How does the private side differ? It is difficult to compare both elements of the business as they each require a different approach. The private side of the business necessitates a more personal approach to the project in terms of working with clients and designers, requiring a high level of finish and the necessary attention to detail, whilst using a more varied palette of materials and skills to achieve the desired results. This in turn has the potential to offer high levels of job satisfaction for both the workforce and the company. However, this does not detract from the need for the correct management approach to be adhered to, making sure the projects are delivered within the agreed time scale and on budget. This sort of contract has the potential for problems to arise due to the high level of scrutiny by all parties. Good communication is essential in maintaining the relationship between the client and the contractor. What are some of the standout projects you’ve worked on? All our projects standout for us and we would like to think we take pride in all of them. We have completed various Memorial Gardens; Royal Marine School of Music at Deal, further to the IRA bombing and the Courtyard gardens to a hospital in Sussex. We landscaped the penthouse roof gardens to the Harrods repository when it was converted. We have completed numerous private gardens of which one was the conversion of an old working Hop Farm and Oast. We have won numerous BALI national awards and were Principal award winners in 2013 and 2018.

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How beneficial is your BALI membership? Given that Pete Jones is currently Chairman of South East Thames Bali region what can I say! It’s good to get out and meet people at the events and to be able to socialise and network with others in the industry. What is one thing you think the industry should and could do better? We have got to find a way of trying to get more young people involved in the industry, with the necessary skills and attitude required. Whilst I am aware there are current initiatives in place, the facts are that those engaged in the industry are not getting any younger. There is also a well-known stigma within the horticulture and land-based industries that needs addressing. Most people are aware of the problems, solutions are not always forthcoming.

1 The Jetty House, Stonegate, East Sussex 2 Private residence, Hildenborough, Kent 3 Kingsbrook Park, Canterbury, Kent (Principal BALI Award Winner 2013) 4 Hufhaus, Stelling Minnis, Kent 5 Nash Oast, Marden, Kent 6 The Link House, Wimbledon, London 7 West Grove, Greenwich, London

CONTACT Unit 1, Dairy Lane Farm Dairy Lane Chainhurst Kent TN12 9SS Tel: 01622 820522 Email: Web:

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Watercourse restoration in the Silkstream Valley

Stonebridge Gardens, Haggerston


Stonebridge Gardens, Haggerston


Pro Landscaper talks to Jon Sheaff & Associates, a small London-based landscape design practice that has a culture of close client collaboration and staff empowerment at its core Jon Sheaff & Associates began as a small practice in 2011, with Jon working from a garden office taking on small projects. He soon realised how much he was holding back, and in 2013 Jon Sheaff & Associates became a limited company, focusing on the public realm. The company has seven employees at various stages in their career, and a culture of collaboration that begins in the office and extends through to the end user. “We have a very strong ethos around public service, which I think is just a reflection of what landscape architecture should be about – providing positive outcomes for people and the environment. It sounds simple but that is what drives us.” 30

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COLLABORATIVE WORKING ENVIRONMENT With vast experience working in public authority, Jon’s understanding of the politics and often brutal reality of local authority work allows the company to foster this collaborative relationship approach which is so important to it. Jon Sheaff &Associates was recently brought on board when a council’s £4m agreement with the Football Foundation came to a standstill when local residents objected to the proposal of a 3G artificial turf football pitch. The company opened a conversation with the community, asking people to share their aspirations for the site. As a result, the site was decontaminated and transformed with beds for residents to grow fruit and vegetables, a playground, a mosaic habitat packed with interesting biodiversity, and terrain created out of the material dug up to build the pitch. “It empowered them and gave them ownership over something,” explains Jon. “It made it a park whereas before it was just grass.

It wasn’t a big scheme, but in terms of the outcome it was very satisfying. That’s a model that we continue to try to deploy everywhere.” STAND-OUT PROJECTS Jon Sheaff & Associates is currently working on ‘Greenwich Park Revealed,’ a £7.5 million project to protect and enhance the park’s natural landscape, led by The Royal Parks charity and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Increasing visitor footfall and erosion of the 590-year-old historic landscape are putting a strain on the park’s infrastructure, facilities and natural environment. Restoring this landscape for future generations is a unique and exciting challenge. The project will restore features from André Le Nôtre’s 17th-century baroque design, such as the six giant steps, and the landscape, framing the view from Flamsteed House overlooking the Thames. A significant challenge will be to future-proof the magnificent historic tree avenues which formed part of the original 1660s designs,

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New woodland under-storey for Montrose Playing Fields

Greenwich Park masterplan

Engagement on Mabley Green, Hackney Wick

framing the view of the Thames from the Royal Observatory. New tree pests and diseases have damaged sections of these tree avenues over the decades and we’re working closely with experts to maintain and restore them to their original glory. Three years in and Jon Sheaff & Associates is still discovering parts of the park it hasn’t seen before. This isn’t surprising when you think of the multiple layers of the site, ranging from its rich history with a Roman temple and an Anglo-Saxon graveyard, to its incredible biodiversity with abundant grasslands that are home to rare wildlife that occurs only in a limited area of London. NATURAL CAPITAL ACCOUNTING Whilst working with a local authority in North London, the company developed the very first national capital account for green infrastructure to be seen in London. This informs the design work enabling the company to lead projects from the strategy stage through to construction.

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The JSA team

“We’re able to demonstrate the economic value and benefits that green infrastructure delivers, and we’re able to drill those down to an extreme local level, using those metrics to attract funding from the Greater London Authority (GLA) to actually deliver some of the objectives that the environment planner set out,” Jon explains. The company has currently received funding from the GLA to plant 280 trees in the Silkstream Valley in Colindale, which will increase canopy cover and improve local air quality, as well as funding to improve Silkstream Park and Montrose Playing Fields, which will enhance water quality and provide flood attenuation.

the work they do now, and they are currently talking to an architect about a new housing scheme which will be very much landscape led. The company is also looking to offer a diverse range of services in terms of biodiversity, ecology and potentially arboriculture going forward. In terms of the company itself, Jon is considering the move towards an employee ownership model to empower his employees, giving them the opportunity to influence how the company develops. “The strength of the company is the people,” he says. “There is strength in unity and the more inclusive that unity is the better we will be.”

FUTURE PLANS Jon Sheaff & Associates recently welcomed Claire Browne to the team, who will be assisting the development of the housing side of the business, as they recognise how high risk it is to focus purely on the public realm and want to diversify into different sectors. This work will be undertaken very much through the same lens of

CONTACT Jon Sheaff & Associates Unit 5.5, Bayford Street Business Centre London E8 3SE Tel: 020 8986 2338 Email:

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In the face of Brexit Nick Temple-Heald looks at our behaviour as humans in the workplace and notices a link between corporate and animal politics At the time of writing there are allegedly less than three weeks to the official start date for Brexit. So, by the time you read this, everything will have been sorted out, harmony will have been restored, the Conservative party will be reunited and vowing never to discuss Europe again and Jeremy Corbyn won’t need to worry about a people’s vote. Alright – I am wrong again! How did our once proud nation get here? Well, we have become accustomed to letting ourselves be governed by people who put image first and are motivated by doing what benefits themselves and their like-minded friends. A few months ago, I watched a David Attenborough programme about chimpanzees. It transpires that chimp society is based on a hierarchy determined by scheming, the making and breaking of alliances, bullying and general bad behaviour. I cannot have been the only one who spent the whole episode recognising the hierarchical behaviour of the Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet amongst the group of chimpanzees? That’s the problem – we have been taken over by a group of chimpanzees. What has all this got to do with business? I have long taken the view that the larger a company becomes, the more it starts to resemble a local authority or government department. I’ve previously mentioned how big companies end up working in silos, with no-one clear as to what’s going on. But I feel that my chimpanzee analogy is relevant to all sizes of organisations. I’ve worked in businesses with as few as five colleagues and as many as 10,000, but the chimp behaviour still happens.

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Unless we work entirely alone, all of us to some extent make decisions and take actions ‘for effect’ – for example, how our actions might be perceived by others. So, we consider: is this the politically correct position? Does it get me noticed or liked? Can I use it to suck up to the

IF YOU CONSISTENTLY MAKE THE RIGHT DECISIONS AND DO THE RIGHT THING, WHATEVER PEOPLE MIGHT THINK, THEN THE BUSINESS WILL MOVE FORWARD AND SO WILL YOU boss? Will it get one over on the other bloke? It drives me mad when I see this – although some might say that is not a particularly long journey. However, given that the chimpanzees do it, and we share 96% of our DNA with this species, maybe it is a natural default to behave this way. The problem is that it can be very damaging indeed, both for individuals and the business. And if that is the case, then we have to make a

conscious decision not to engage in it. Not engaging in the politics can, at first, make a person unpopular or become labelled as ‘not a team player’. But if you consistently make the right decisions and do the right thing, whatever people might think, then the business will move forward and so will you. Your colleagues may still not like you, and you might still not be a ‘team player’ in the eyes of some, but at least the team is winning. Many years ago, my boss at the time gave me a piece of advice, during a period when it seemed everything was going belly-up, and everyone was blaming everyone else. It feels wholly appropriate today. That advice was: “cut through the rubbish, and just do good work”. ABOUT NICK TEMPLE-HEALD Nick Temple-Heald is chairman of idverde in the UK and a member of idverde’s group board in France. Together, idverde employs some 5,000 people in France, England and Scotland and it is the largest landscapes business in Europe.

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Andrew Wilson considers construction as an essential part of garden design and wonders why so many run scared I totally understand the draw of planting for the garden designer, it’s what often attracts people to this profession. Although most people would identify planting as the essence of the garden in a typical design project, it counts for no more than 20% of the designer’s time. A look at many garden design courses would place much greater emphasis on plants and planting design. This coupled with the ability for a non-design trained individual to start up as a garden designer explains why so many are adrift and incapable or unwilling to engage with construction design.

But there are also issues of control and delivery across the entire project and an issue of confidence, based on knowledge and experience. Many garden designers are all too willing to spend time on planting design, building up their knowledge and understanding of how their associations evolve. Many are also only too happy to look away when it comes to the development of detail and the understanding of materials and build.

I WOULD ENCOURAGE ALL GARDEN DESIGNERS TO ENGAGE WITH MATERIALS AND CONSTRUCTION JUST IN THE WAY THEY ENGAGE WITH THEIR PLANTS AND PLANTING OPERATIONS In business terms alone this makes little sense, with many reliant on the landscaper to deliver the detailed design input based on an outline design. In a typical project 40% of the available fee is devoted to the development and delivery of the outline design proposal leaving 60% of the fee for design detail. Admittedly, this includes planting design detail but potentially many garden designers are kissing goodbye to 30% or 40% of the available fee. If I talk to designers about business and fees they invariably want to be better remunerated for their work. If I talk to landscapers, they invariably want more detail from the designers with whom they work. 34

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So, what to do? Firstly, I would challenge colleges and garden design programmes to redress the balance between planting design and construction design allowing students to better understand the delivery of information required in both fields. I often get comments that I’m a landscape architect and therefore somehow know everything about construction. This is a common misconception in that at LCGD at least, students of garden design produce more detailed design information than most landscape architectural graduates. Secondly, I would encourage all garden

designers to engage with materials and construction just in the way they engage with their plants and planting operations. Landscapers are an incredible source of information and designers need to share in this pool of knowledge and experience. Site visits to check on progress and to see the process of build are vital in building knowledge and experience as well as helping to deliver a fully rounded scheme. Suppliers are only too happy to help in offering advice on their materials but also on appropriate methods of construction or laying. Use other supporting professionals too and take the advice of structural engineers, lighting or drainage specialists. I know of no architect that would design a structure of any sort without the support of other professionals. Finally, the drawn design information for construction is less complex than most planting plans. By working through the various designed elements in cross section in a simple schematic way initially level changes, excavation depths, foundations and finishes can be woven together to give the designer a much better idea of what their whole garden involves. See the drawings as the basis of an ongoing conversation with your landscaper rather than directions set in stone if you will excuse the pun. More than anything, enjoy the process and the sense of discovery as you gain confidence and a better bank balance! Pictured: Detail from the 2017 Breaking Ground garden designed by Andrew Wilson & Gavin McWilliam and built by The Outdoor Room in collaboration with structural engineers, specialist fabricators, a water consultant and material suppliers.

ABOUT ANDREW WILSON Andrew Wilson is a landscape and garden design consultant, director of the London College of Garden Design, and an author, writer and lecturer.

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HOLLY YOUDE Some clients can be more challenging than any project. Holly Youde shares her strategies for dealing with difficult clients Dream clients – hopefully we’ve all had our fair share of them, but occasionally a tricky one comes along and there are ways of dealing with them to enable the best outcome for both parties. If a customer starts to become difficult once you are working on a project, it’s essential to document everything from start to finish. Keep written records of estimates, customer preferences, changes and conversations. Send them to the client for agreement afterwards so you have reference points if an issue does come up. Take regular photographs of the progress of works as you never know when you may need to revert back to these for evidence – particularly anything underground. Communication is also top of the list, respond to emails quickly and make things clear. Even if you don’t have any news or an immediate answer, contact to let them know you have received their email or phone call and will respond by a certain date. Don’t put it off – make it a priority, the customer then knows they are being taken seriously and is likely to be satisfied quicker and will take a step back.

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Sometimes a conversation can be the best thing, emails can come across aggressive or defensive even when not intentional. Even better would be a face-to-face conversation – an issue can often be resolved with a quick conversation. Many disputes we have come across could have been avoided with good communication, informed knowledge, professionalism and a well-run site. A disgruntled customer will find absolutely anything to moan about, so do your best to minimise any opportunity for complaint.

MANY DISPUTES WE HAVE COME ACROSS COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED WITH GOOD COMMUNICATION If you feel out of your depth, get someone independent involved or contact your trade association if you are a member. APL and BALI both have dispute resolution services, use them before things get too messy. You can also explain these services in your contract, so your customer is aware of them too. Try not to be stubborn, be reasonable and think about your reputation. If you compromise and give a little, chances are they will sing your praises and recommend you. Try not to take any criticism personally – put yourself in their shoes before you react. Present a solution to the issue, one you are confident with as the work is under your guarantee. Then, set a date to remediate the works and stick to it. One of the most important things is to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Make sure all your staff know the issue that occurred and why. Change your contract if

you need to future proof and make sure you protect yourself. Use the feedback to make improvements and push forward. Act professionally, rationally and proportionately. You may feel like dumping a wagon load of manure on their driveway, but try your best to refrain and you will hopefully come to an agreeable solution before it gets out of control! Remember there is a difference between a demanding client and a difficult client. A demanding client wants things done a certain way but is willing to pay for it; a difficult client is unhappy no matter what you do, usually stemming from a lack of knowledge. We have no problem working with ‘demanding’ clients because they challenge you to be better. On the other hand, if a client talks down to the team, complains on a regular basis or routinely takes advantage of your team, the relationship may not be worth nurturing. It’s okay to filter these clients out and if you get the gut feeling before signing contracts with a customer, avoid if you can. Not everyone out there is reasonable. Remember, the customer has to give you the chance to put things right so to protect yourself make sure you communicate, document and photograph everything. Take advice if you need to, prioritise the complaint, learn from the outcome and prevent it from occurring again. ABOUT HOLLY YOUDE Holly is joint director of north-west based Urban Landscape Design Ltd, having a fundamental role in the growth and diversification of the business. Recently it has won the Pro Landscaper Business Awards Landscape Company <£2m Turnover Award, Best Commercial Garden at the APL awards, Employer Excellence Award in the BALI Awards and the High Sheriff of Cheshire Award for Enterprise. Holly has also been listed this year as one of the Business Insiders 42 Under 42 entrepreneurs in the North West.

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ADAM WHITE Last month, landscape architect Adam White returned from a trip to South Africa where he witnessed the positive and negative effects that wild bushfires can have on the landscape Along with my partner Sarah, I returned to South Africa in February to get a winter dose of Vitamin D and Vitamin N. After last year’s Garden Route road trip, we decided this time to explore L’Agulhas, located on the southern tip of Africa where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic, and then head up into the Groot Winterhoek mountains, a world heritage site in the Western Cape. We arrived about a week after the recent bushfires had been extinguished. Also known in South Africa as veld fires, these are blazes that grow out of control and destroy extensive tracts of forests, grasslands, animals, people and their properties. Fire, as part of natural process, has a positive role in the vegetation structure and composition, and also helps recycle nutrients contained in old and dead trees. There is, however, concern that the frequency, extent and pattern of burning is increasing due to human activities. It is a fact that the damage from these fires has grown to outweigh the benefits of fire on the ecosystem. Just down from L’Agulhas we explored the rocky coastline of Waenhuiskrans and continued our coastal trek through the ashes of De Mond Nature Reserve. Having seen the fires on the news before we left the UK, I didn’t quite expect to see a scorched landscape that was

now teeming with life – and yet it was. The sensation was one mixed with awe at the devastation and wonder at the nature that has survived, or is already emerging against the havoc the fire had caused to so many communities and their livelihoods. We spoke to locals and heard how the latest fire had raged for over a week through thousands of hectares, with strong winds and extreme temperatures making it very difficult for firefighters to control. The coastline was the most affected area, a fascinating environment which is home to thousands of species of plants.

De Mond Nature Reserve in January 2019

ABOUT 70% OF THE ECOSYSTEMS COVERING SOUTH AFRICA ARE FIRE-ADAPTED But as I walked between the blackened fynbos, succulent green shoots pushed up through the ash at my feet and pink protea were poised to blossom at the end of roasted stems. About 70% of the ecosystems covering South Africa are fire-adapted. They need to burn in order to maintain their ecological integrity. But

Groot Winterhoek Wilderness


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Resprouting after a veld fire

because of human activity, there is a need to manage fire in a manner that is appropriate for the land use and land type while maintaining natural processes and patterns as far as possible. A million years ago, early humans began to utilise fire, and throughout history modern humans have used veld fires for hunting and for managing their environment. We spoke to Lance, a pilot and volunteer firefighter, and discovered fire is still employed in the management of field and forest to control grazing and habitats, as well as being a tool in the prevention of uncontrolled fires. We spent our last few days in the Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area. Mountain fynbos is the predominant vegetation here along with various rare, threatened and endemic species, such as the Sarcocephalus scabridum – a member of the Protea family. Before our trip came to a close, we trekked along the mountain streams where we discovered a large variety of flowering red Disa uniflora. With a truly unique ecosystem that often embraces fire, South Africa is a botanical paradise and certainly deserves a place on the bucket list of all landscape lovers. ABOUT ADAM WHITE PLI Adam White PLI is a director at Davies White Ltd, a double RHS Gold Medal, double BBC People’s Choice and RHS Best in Show award-winning Chartered Landscape Architects practice. He is the President and a Fellow of the Landscape Institute. Social media: @davies_white

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NORTHERN delight

Scenic views and rich history define County Durham. Oliver Sherratt, the council’s head of environment, elaborates on why


hile it’s by no means always the case, if you’re after a beautiful park, one of the key things to remember is to visit a beautiful city. This is something that has been further cemented as the industry becomes increasingly interested in publicly-owned green spaces. These seem to be as far up north as they are south, encompassing York and Harrogate but also reaching down to the likes of Winchester. (Of course, it’s also the case that beautiful parks can easily be found in cities which aren’t

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necessarily always renowned for their aesthetic qualities). That being the case, this month we’re focusing on Durham, one of the most striking and breathtaking cities in the UK, while also exploring the county in which it sits. Jewel of the North East Situated in the North East of England, County Durham stretches across just over 2,700 square kilometres of land and boasts a population of around 850,000. Its largest urban area includes the southerly urban centre of Darlington (with its own council as part of the smaller Borough of Darlington), while famous geographical features include the likes of the North Pennine hills, which intersects both County Durham and stretches north to Carlisle.

The administrative centre of the county is the eponymous city of Durham, which would be fair to say is very much in the running for the title of jewel of the north-east. This is the case for two reasons. Firstly, it is incredibly picturesque, boasting a number of landmark buildings such as its Norman cathedral and eleventh-century castle – both of which, along with the buildings between them, have been designated a World Heritage site. Secondly, the city of Durham has a fascinating history which stretches back to around 2000 BC. Durham played a major role in the Victorian parks movement, providing a major inspiration for one of its core figures, 19th century thinker John Ruskin. Oliver Sherratt is the head of direct services for Durham County Council. Speaking of Pro Landscaper / April 2019 41

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INFORM Ruskin’s love for the city, and in particular its core destination Wharton Park, he said: “Ruskin said that the measure of any great civilisation is its cities, with the measure of those cities’ greatness in turn being found in the quality of its public spaces, parks and its squares. With that in mind, when he came to Durham – viewing the city from the battlements in Wharton Park – he called it the eighth wonder of the world.” As suggested by Oliver, Ruskin was one of the forefathers of the Victorian parks movement. So, what exactly did he admire in Wharton Park, and what elements has the site retained since those formative days a century ago? “Wharton Park is special for a wide variety of reasons,” says Oliver. “It’s small but perfectly formed, with some extraordinarily lovely planting and trees. Bringing the story up to date, it’s also recently been the subject of a considerable amount of refurbishment on our part, thanks to a £2.45m Heritage Lottery grant which we obtained in 2014.” Oliver continues: “That restoration included a heritage centre, as well as a cafe. We also developed new play areas, as well as installing outdoor fitness equipment, all of which adds another dimension to how people use the space. It’s vital to keep up with the times, and the needs and expectations of the public as it changes over the years.” The Durham Miners’ Gala, which takes place every year, commemorates Durham’s background in the 19th and early 20th centuries as a city whose wealth depended on the coal industry. The event originally began in Wharton Park in 1871 and now attracts around 200,000 people on an annual basis. He says: “Obviously, we don’t have any pits anymore, but it’s a tradition that’s gone on for a very long time, and that is vitally important to who we are as a community. It’s an incredibly joyous occasion where all of the local villages come out with their miners’ banners and bands, in order to celebrate the work which went on across the county, which in essence made us what we are.” Another link back to the past of Wharton Park is the continued presence of an amphitheatre stretching back to Victorian times, something which also received some vital refurbishment four years ago. Speaking of this and other features of the park which have been retained, Oliver says: “The essential layout is still the same, but now with a greater emphasis on 42

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INFORM community involvement. Whereas originally there would have been park managers, we now have a very active and involved friends’ group. “All kinds of events go on in Wharton Park. Lots of outdoor plays in the amphitheatre, Halloween walks, and Santa visited this year as well. People can still go out for a walk on a Sunday as they would have done in Victorian days, but we’re making even more use of the space through that range of cultural events.” Fountains jumping out of the ground Wharton Park is without doubt one of the key destinations, not just for the city of Durham, but also for the wider area. However, there are also a number of other extraordinary green spaces

scattered across the county such as Riverside Park in Chester-le-Street and Hardwick Park in Sedgefield. The latter of these is a traditional country park (designed to look completely ‘natural’ by 18th century architect James Paine), while the former is a modern facility situated near the Durham County Cricket Ground. Describing other elements of the parks across the county, Oliver explains: “We love parks in County Durham. We’ve got 29 of them ranging from mid-sized community facilities to larger destinations, as well as smaller open spaces which the council looks after. “Again, the variety of parks on offer reflects the changing requirements of our residents. Riverside Park’s a good example of that, where we’ve put in a ‘splash pad’, which is essentially a kind of modern take on a paddling pool with fountains jumping out of the ground. It’s popular

all year round, but for me the time that the park really comes into its own is in the summer. I wish I had those kinds of facilities when I was a kid.” While Oliver is clearly incredibly proud of the parks, it’s also obvious from talking to him that keeping the estate in top condition is somewhat of a gargantuan task, particularly given the size of the county. “We’ve got over 200 staff across the county, which sounds like a lot, but we’re incredibly busy all of the time. On top of that we have a small environmental task force made up of care leavers, who gain invaluable horticultural experience helping out in our parks.” He continues: “We try not to be too prescriptive in terms of what needs to be done, with the crews deployed on an area-by-area basis. They know it’s their job to keep their patch looking as good as possible, so we don’t need to dictate where they should be at a particular time. They’re empowered to come up with creative horticultural schemes, and every year they blow my mind with how inventive they are.” Moving onto the subject of planting-up, Oliver explains that County Durham has dealt with the same financial pressures the rest of the country has been dealing with over the past ten years. “Durham won the best small city category in last year’s Britain in Bloom. The judges liked how we were adapting to financial pressures through community involvement. “We don’t use as many bedding plants as we used to and have also tried to move towards more sustainable planting schemes.” County Durham is one of finest places to spend time in the whole of the UK. The parks and green spaces make it a beautiful, historical location that has been built with honest care and the overwhelming desire to constantly adapt. 1 Community garden, Wharton Park 2 ‘The Way’ sculpture, Wharton Park 3C  hildren from local nursery planting up containers as part of the Britain in Bloom campaign 4G  ilesgate carpet bed commemorating RAF Centenary, summer 2018 5 Durham Market Place 6S  ustainable roundabout planting featuring St Cuthbert’s Cross design (emblem of the city) 7 City centre floral displays 8 Wharton Park

CONTACT Email: Tel: 03000 260000

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his project, located in leafy Surbiton, is at the home of a husband and wife team of architects. They had a clear vision of how they wanted the compact space to be transformed; the garden was overgrown, gloomy and uninviting. Greenscape Gardens was commissioned to transform it into a spacious, bright and interesting environment that was both family friendly and fit to entertain or relax in throughout the year. The garden was designed by Marco and Clare Cameron. The brief A key feature of the brief was to elegantly combine some of the traditional and existing features of the Victorian property (such as an original multi stock brick wall and a much-loved wisteria) with a contemporary theme. To achieve this, a planting colour scheme of purple and blue with silver leaf was chosen, also making a feature of Verbena bonariensis to create height and movement whilst maintaining a natural, non-architectural feel. Modern rendered planters were constructed around the wisteria which flowed between the roof terrace and beds, and a living green space was created within the paving for a herb garden. This was another way to bridge the gap between the traditional plants and the contemporary style of the paving, as well as creating an abundance of texture and fragrance within the space. To create the boundary walls and feature raised planters, 1m footings with steel reinforcing were dug and poured with concrete to support concrete blocks. All blockwork had two coats of render applied and were painted white. Porcelain

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SUBURBIAN HIDEAWAY GREENSCAPE GARDENS A clear vision and a precise approach allowed this build to flourish while overcoming challenging constraints

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paving and smaller granite cobbles were installed and separated by 100mm wide strips of resin bound marble chippings. Joinery included Western Red Cedar cladding and a bespoke built ‘invisible’ gate within one of the panels. To help with the dining element of the brief, a bespoke brick barbecue was constructed using reclaimed fire proof bricks. To create a practical, relaxed dining area within the garden, Greenscape Gardens installed a bespoke bench constructed from 75 x 75mm Western Red Cedar beams to provide comfortable seating without compromising the available space. Greenscape Gardens also created a bespoke water feature including a 600mm waterfall, invisible pipework, lighting and a custom-built block and render pool to match raised planters. Materials Limestone was the original material selected to pave the area but after discussions with the client, Greenscape Gardens recommended Marshalls Symphony Vitrified Blue 600 x 600mm porcelain paving stones as they are less prone to staining and algae growth – they are more durable and have better colour longevity. 200 x 100mm black granite cobbles were used in stretches across the garden to add another texture as the client was conscious the floor space should not look one dimensional. The two types of paving were divided by 100mm wide margins filled with resin bound marble. This gave a colour contrast whilst still working within the grey scale. The aforementioned bricks were actually reclaimed from a pre-existing fireplace in the


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home of Greenscape Gardens’ founder Carl Chaney, and it brought Greenscape Gardens a huge sense of satisfaction knowing that these 100-year-old bricks reused and admired in the new design. Western Red Cedar was chosen predominantly for its colour. Using it for the cladding created an aesthetic break and an element of warmth amongst areas of white

blockwork. All timber was treated with an acrylic preserver to slow the silvering process. Challenges Access for this project was entirely through the client’s house – a busy home to a young family of four. Therefore, it was vital that Greenscape Gardens worked neatly and efficiently, ensuring the site was kept clean and free from obstacles. It made certain each night to leave the property looking untouched – almost as if there was no work happening at all. Working in a narrow road with only a small front garden to take deliveries (1.6m x 4m), timing of ordering materials and arranging the delivery of them had to be perfect. Although the working space was tight and access through the house was awkward and time-consuming, Greenscape Gardens excelled in delivering this project in such a way to keep it stress-free for the client whilst continuing to maintain the highest level of detail and millimetre precision. The clients had a focused vision of what the area would look like. The time taken to choose every detail of the project allowed Greenscape Gardens to leave comfortable with the knowledge

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PROJECT DETAILS Project value Phase 1: ÂŁ18,750 + VAT Phase 2: ÂŁ4,280 + VAT Build time 12 weeks Size of project 40m2


that they had done all that they could, leaving the family with the garden they had dreamed of and could now enjoy for years to come. Greenscape Gardens found working with them a pleasure, as the project allowed them to use their knowledge and creativity in the field to take the finished project to the next level.



Build Greenscape Gardens

1 Main view from the house


2 View back to the house

Greenscape Gardens

3 Dining area featuring cedar bench and planting 4 Bespoke barbecue and cedar joinery 5 Custom-built water feature

ABOUT GREENSCAPE GARDENS Greenscape Gardens was formed in 2004 by Carl Chaney with a vision of creating and constructing beautiful gardens in South West London and Surrey. The company has grown organically since then and has a stellar reputation for implementing high-quality garden designs with exceptional attention to detail.

Portfolio 1 Greenscape Gardens.indd 49 Paving and setts Marshalls Timber Brooks Timber Building materials Travis Perkins Planting Hortus Loci Water feature Koi Water Garden

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PROJECT BETWEEN £60,000 – £100,000

PROJECT DETAILS Project value £80,000 Build time Three months Size of project 268m2

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COLLEGE FIELDS ARTISAN LANDSCAPES Transforming an outdoor space into a traditional garden incorporating creative planting and bold water features


he clients at College Fields first approached garden designer Jamie Innes, director of Horticulture and Design at Artisan Landscapes, in early 2017. The brief was to create an outdoor space that complemented the symmetry, stonework and grandeur of the client’s beautiful Victorian villa home. Further to this, the clients

wanted a secluded and private retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life, with plenty of planting to attract lots of wildlife. After finalising the design process, Jamie moved forward by approaching Artisan’s landscape director Will Cooke to implement the scheme. The Artisan team commenced work in the summer of 2017. Pro Landscaper / April 2019 51

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Build Initially, time was spent clearing the site and prepping the ground for the next stages of the build. As a substantial proportion of the existing materials were to be reused in the build, sorting through and storing them quickly became a labour-intensive task. The structural layout and principles of Jamie’s design meant that setting it out was always going to be tricky. The placement and location of key features, such as the sunken central octagon and full-length rill, required meticulous precision. Excavations of around 1.5m were required for the octagon, but at around 300mm the team hit bedrock. This was a setback that continued for the remainder of the dig. To overcome this, Artisan Landscapes hired additional electric breakers and a pecking attachment for the digger. Water suppressed stone cutters were also used to help aid the breaking. The walling stone was part reclaimed from the existing garden with the rest sourced and supplied from a local reclamation centre, whilst 52

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all of the imported stone came from the demolition of a local derelict pub. For the scheme to completely tie in with the property as per the brief, matching the coping stones to the house was essential. As bath stone is prolific in the South West area, this wasn’t an issue. The existing concrete paving was reclaimed and cleaned in order to be reinstated on the rear terrace and steps. All the soil needed to be imported as the existing heavy clay was inadequate for the new plants. Water is notoriously difficult to work with and this is the first time the Artisan team had worked with it on this scale. The two water features meant working with around 4,000L of water on two separate systems. It was important to ensure that the water was kept clear, clean and free of algae. Black dye was added to both features to increase reflection and limit light. As the design was coming to life, the clients realised the importance of lighting and decided to include it in their scope of works. A significant decision was made to include three circuits of lighting; a mixture of spot lights, uplighters and

submerged aquatic lighting, all of which were remotely switched. The clients wanted their garden to become a haven for wildlife. In order to encourage as much wildlife as possible, Jamie planted a great variety of plant species, with the hope of attracting all sorts of insects and birds. The planting was also essential in softening the formal structural design of the garden. Plants were selected by their hardworking, long flowering characteristics so as to provide a ABOUT ARTISAN LANDSCAPES Founded by Will Cooke in 2013, Artisan Landscapes quickly became a reputable landscaping company, accredited by the APL. In 2016 Will joined forces with garden designer Jamie Innes, combining their professional experience to form what is now a design & build practice. Since their initial collaboration, Jamie & Will have worked successfully on some of Bristol’s most inspiring projects.

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good succession of flowering throughout the seasons including the ornamental seed heads in autumn and winter. Mature trees and shrubs were imported direct from the grower in the Netherlands, while the herbaceous plants came from a local nursery. Conical Yew and topiary balls were used to echo the height and structure of the property. The large mature Hornbeam hedge was used to provide privacy, which was essential in achieving the client’s vision of a secluded retreat from city life. Jamie’s design has created a immersive and relaxing atmosphere, and this success can be confidently accredited to a classical layout twinned with naturalistic planting. 1 Sunken Octagon with Copper patina pot 2 S  oft naturalistic planting - Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ 3 B  ath stone and Copper water feature 4 V  ista across the garden to rear water feature 5 R  eclaimed stone walling with Bath stone coping 6 Reclaimed concrete paving and South Cerney gravel 7 Dusk in the garden 8 ’Bird’s eye view’ 9 The Octagon and Rill 10 T  he Rill All images ©Finn P/


REFERENCES Aggregates Bowland Stone, Bristol Bath stone (coping)

Phidias Neo-classical Ltd Planting

Arvensis Perennials Water pumps and filters

OASE Soil Arbour Land Solutions

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Hard Landscaping Construction (Non-Domestic) Under ÂŁ300k

BRAMBLEDOWN LANDSCAPE SERVICES A spectacular hard and soft landscaping scheme revitalises one of Tyne and Wear's symbolic Roman landmarks


riginally opened to the public nearly 35 years ago, Segedunum (meaning strong fort), was built to guard the eastern end of Hadrianâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Wall and once housed 600 Roman soldiers. It stood for almost 300 years as a symbol of Roman rule and a bastion against barbarian attack. Very little had been invested into the site since it first opened which meant 54

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that some of the visual and physical appeal of Segedunum had been lost. Brambledown Landscape Services was contracted to undertake a number of landscape improvement works. It was a very intricate and delicate scheme to undertake, and one based on a quality evaluation of previous works and client surveys before works were awarded.

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AFTER Brief Although the budget for the landscape works was somewhat limited, given the size of the Fort, the money was carefully focused across several interventions that would bring about positive change in the sites visual appeal and restore it as a hub for tourism and education. The aim was to create an all-day destination through the use of spectacular hard and soft landscaping. Design and build In order to achieve the brief, Brambledown Landscape Services were to carefully install new surface treatments across the Fort to improve their legibility and to create a better understanding of the building masses when viewed from both ground level and the viewing tower. Part of the regeneration project also consisted of constructing new ‘fully accessible’ routes from the Hadrian Cycleway route, which

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PROJECT DETAILS Project value £150k Build time 12 weeks + 1 years’ Maintenance Size of project 4.1 acres (17,000 m2)

is an important coast to coast walking and cycling route. The introduction of new hard landscape elements within the existing car park areas were also essential, as they would improve access for all.

Brambledown Landscape Services also undertook the refurbishment of the Roman kitchen garden along with adding a picnic area. A new entrance to improve the pedestrian approach to the museum site was to be created, along with the introduction of a wildflower meadow as part of a wider Newcastle and North Tyneside ‘Bee Line’ strategy. The construction of a Roman themed play area would be a finishing touch. Works were planned to be carried out to improve the Roman garden area, along with a new footpath installation so that visitors could walk up to the Roman ruins without disturbing historic artefacts. Approximately 20 semi-mature trees were planted strategically, projecting a beautiful backdrop onto a previously exposed area of public viewing. An attractive formal area framed by Cypress Trees was created to enhance the setting of the nearby Roman Bath House, along with perennial

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wildflower areas which fashion picnic areas off the main footway. The installation of cycle racks, given that this was effectively the end of the coast to coast cycle route, offered an ideal stopping point for cyclists. Clay pots, new entrance paving, French drains and timber edging carefully chosen by the architect from Place on Earth were selected to make the area come to life. Landscaping around the entire site included the planting of over a thousand plants and shrubs of various species. There was also the necessity to break up hard landscaped areas with hedging, so Brambledown Landscape Services created green features with the introduction of several hundred Ilex crenata Dark Green and Carpinus betulus. Brambledown Landscape Services cleared away the overgrown vegetation and removed and crowned overgrown trees which blocked light, opening up dark shaded areas. ABOUT BRAMBLEDOWN LANDSCAPE SERVICES Brambledown Landscape Services offers a commercial landscape service from concept to completion. The company has been involved in some of the UK's most prestigious landscape regeneration and civil projects and large-scale commercial landscaping projects in the UK, winning no less than 16 BALI awards.


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Challenges The development of a new visitor attraction garden area featuring pergolas, walkways, seating areas, tegula cobbles and countryside classic pin kerbing was intricate work for Brambledown Landscape Services, as machine access was almost impossible. The Roman Fort is huge, and the complexities of working around historic ruins dating back to Roman times meant that landscape work was slow but meticulous. The quality of the workmanship had to be of a high standard and was regularly inspected by client, architect and internal management. Challenges appeared that had never before been faced in the 46-year history of the company. The site of the fort now contains the excavated remains of the buildings' foundation of the original fort, as well as a reconstructed Roman military bathhouse. An indoor museum contains items of interest, found when Brambledown Landscape Services excavated the site, and a large observation tower 1 New picnic and observation garden 2 “Bee line” strategy wildflower meadow 3 Roman fort themed toddler play area 4 New pergodas over Tyne River viewing platform 5 Hadrian's Wall cycle route – new entrance block paving and gates 6 New cycle racks, block paving and car park bays 7 Wildflower meadow and semi-mature tree planting

overlooks the newly landscaped site. The finished result is impressive with its pergolas, pathways, picnic tables and viewing points adding attractive features to the main attraction. The project blends the old with the new and works perfectly to create an outstanding destination for people visiting Tyne and Wear's once run-down Roman Fort. As a result of the successful delivery of these works, and the high quality of workmanship, Brambledown Landscape Services were independently appointed to undertake ongoing grounds maintenance works. REFERENCES Plant and nursery stock Johnsons of Whixley Block paving Marshalls Play equipment Tyne and Wear Archives & Museums Semi-mature trees Wykham Mature Plants Bicycle racks, picnic benches, clay pots, French drains and timber edging MKM Building Supplies

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Kebur’s Trade Pro account scheme Last month saw the launch of Kebur Garden additional support to reward loyalty’. Material’s Trade Pro account scheme. This Higher spending customers will also qualify is an exciting offer that further builds on the for a Trade Pro Extra account which makes competitive discounts of up to them eligible for an annual 20% that the company’s trade rebate, professional sample case account holders already enjoy. and dedicated account and The new package of support product support. Said Cliff, ‘as is open to all trade customers we negotiate hard with our and includes an enhanced own suppliers, we think it’s only reward scheme for those who fair to pass these savings on in buy in the highest volumes. turn to our most loyal customers Already renowned for its and provide them with extra speedy delivery, Kebur Garden support to help them deliver Materials is now offering trade their projects’. customers a next day service Kebur Garden Materials Trade customers can buy split on natural stone and porcelain is a third generation family packs of natural stone like this orders by 12pm. Cliff Mosey, business supplying quality paving Antique Yellow Limestone, only paying for what they use Business Partner said ‘our trade and a one stop shop for the customers have consistently professional landscaper. Open told us that they value our quick turnaround 7 days a week and minutes from the M3, it time and our personal service. We wanted makes a convenient weekend stop for clients to make these benefits clearer through our to browse the indoor and outdoor natural new Trade Pro account offer, and provide stone and porcelain displays.

Kebur Porcelain and Natural Stone collection sample case

• Porcelain • Natural stone • Aggregates • Edging • Walling • Setts • Driveway paving • Artificial grass • Decking • Sleepers • Fencing Kebur Silver Grey Sandstone Trade Pack, a firm favourite among landscape professionals

for all your landscaping needs 01252 517571

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Photo courtesy of Nigel Graham Garden Design

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Home offices and garden rooms come in an inspired range of shapes and sizes Anji Connell presents some eye-catching examples With a growing trend towards working from home, a bespoke outdoor office or garden room is an inspired and contemporary option for the professional home worker. There are plenty of options available, and many suppliers offer a complete all-in-one solution at affordable prices. They are definitely a stylish alternative to the box bedroom or shed and allow you to continue to keep your home and work life separate. It’s unlikely that you will need planning permission or building control approval, unless you live in conservation areas, areas of outstanding natural beauty, or a site where there is a listed building. Super-insulated office pods will keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Because you don’t have to heat the whole house, this provides an energy, cost-efficient solution. Insulation will also cut down on any external noise providing a tranquil space to work from. Consider your view and pick a spot that will inspire you, an outside deck might be something you can add alongside verdurous planting to de-stress and inspire you. The studios require a sufficient foundation for the building to sit on, either a standard concrete slab or a concrete plinth system that is more economical, eco-friendly and a less obtrusive option, acting as supporting feet below the base of the timber structure displacing the weight into the ground through the concrete plinths. The


advantage of this system allows for less excavation, and they can be laid quickly and efficiently onto uneven ground, without any levelling required. Plus, if you need the studio to be moved, the plinths can be reused. The Blob is a smooth egg-shaped work pod that houses a bathroom, kitchen, an optional bed and has integral shelving and electrics. The nose opens automatically and doubles as an outdoor deck. The Blob is constructed with an inner and outer skin of polyester, the internal space left is injected with polyurethane foam. A design concept at this stage, but its pleasing organic shape is food for thought. Dwelle’s Little Dwelle is a mere 152 sq ft and the Big Dwelle, 253 sq ft, however, they each have enough room for a living area, a kitchen and a bed. Both are fitted with renewable energy so they can operate off-grid, and are fully insulated with cellulose fibre extracted from 100% recycled

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AT WORK Dwelle

newspaper. The pods are heated by electric underfloor heating, have double glazed windows to boost thermal performance, and all fittings and finishes are designed with health and safety in mind and in improving air quality. Both can be externally clad in pretty much any material from timber to rubber, with the option of being fully planted with foliage. Lofts to Go is devoted to designing contemporary preformed units to suit a modern eco-friendly lifestyle. Designed with passive house principles for energy efficiency the Coodo units come in many options with full height triple-glazed windows, and high-tech insulation wrapped around a rounded steel-frame that ensures they are light-filled and able to take advantage of any views. They have a secure environment with an outdoor shaded deck built

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from recycled planking. Indoor air is kept clean and dust free with inbuilt micro-filtered ventilation and an air moisture system. Electrical devices are connected to a smart wireless network so that they can be controlled remotely via a smartphone. Coodo is perfect for urban rooftops, remote landscapes and beaches and even on water – the Watercoodo model floats leak free. Available in sizes from 36–96 sq m, they are delivered as a shell, with a basic interior, or fully equipped, transported by flatbed truck and craned into place. OfficePOD was designed to eliminate distractions so expect decent soundproofing and sleek interior design. The pod can be hooked up to a battery system or the electrical grid itself for lighting and climate control.

Town & Concrete inflatable pod

James Law Cybertecture

Bold glass inclusions like the office studio by Neil Dusheiko bring contemporary to simple wooden structures. The cedar planks that clad the building were charred using the traditional Japanese technique known as Shou Sugi Ban, which makes them resistant to rot and fire. Sky Pod by George Nijland have a small louvre system that is light filled with a full glass frontage and a generous skylight in the middle of the pod’s ceiling. Louvres provide some shade. The Australian company Harwyn’s offer state of the art sleek Office Pods with a minimal design and a reflective finish that blends into its surroundings. London-based furniture maker Nathalie de Leval designed a shed for the fashion designer Paul Smith. Not only is the quality of the finish amazing, but the prefab shelter has been made with FSC American hardwood, and it can rotate



to follow the sun’s path. Its ability to rotate provides a means of chasing the sunlight throughout the day, and also allows for a change of view. Pod Space’s outdoor pods can be permanently situated outside. Options for the Outdoor Pod include front and rear double-glazed enclosures, solar panels with battery storage for mobile phone/laptop charging facilities, with LED lights and Bluetooth speakers. The pods have a 5-year structural parts guarantee. French artist Cyril Lancelin founder of Town and Concrete uses classical shapes and volumetric spaces to create unique and immersive installations and structures, that engage the public and force the viewer to question their own relationship toward their built environment. The structures can be made weatherproof and add theatre in any setting. Droplet Outdoor Communal Workspace designed by Nick Chubb is a fun and functional free-hanging station. It incorporates six pods which slide around an inner or outer ring to create a framework that allows people to share the space in many unique and different arrangements, allowing people to work individually or collectively. Each pod features a screw-thread system to allow the user to adjust its height while the unique droplet form creates a compelling aesthetic for any open space. There is nothing quite like working in a peaceful green garden within a few feet of your own home. Modern outdoor home office pods allow that separation to be as convenient and painless as possible and how can you get more inspiring than being part of nature itself? ABOUT ANJI CONNELL


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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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Drive to Success with Resin Drives Choose a resin bound installation team with BBA certification and over 10 years experience: ✔ Ideal for public pathways, hotels, car parks and leisure facilities ✔ Quick drying time to allow access as soon as possible ✔ 10 times more environmentally friendly than concrete ✔ Wheelchair friendly with anti-slip surface and great tyre traction for public safety Alternatively, order resin supplies online for your landscaping business ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔

Guaranteed next day delivery Two optional pick-up points Expert advice and hands-on training Huge range of dried aggregates, rubber mulch and resin grid systems

Call 01274 699233 for commercial installation or visit to order online Collection Points

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South Wales

01274 699233 01656 667866

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Unit 17A Kingsway Buildings Bridgend Ind Est, Bridgend CF31 3RY

Approved Materials & Systems Cert No 18/5476 is a trading name of ltd.

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Why I...

#lovehorticulture Seasoned landscape designer Cleve West explains why horticulture is central to caring for the world around us



hile I never set out to be a gardener, I’ve CLEVE WEST LANDSCAPE DESIGN always enjoyed everything that nature has to offer. I was fortunate to have Exmoor National Park as a backyard during my teenage years. Even if I didn’t fully appreciate it at the time, there was an intrinsic bond with the wider landscape. Horticulture came to the rescue at a time when I lacked direction. An aged aunt needed help in her WE CAN EDUCATE OTHERS ABOUT garden and not only did I enjoy HORTICULTURE, HOW IT HELPS US LIVE, working with plants, I also saw how WORK, PLAY, HEAL AND HOW IT MIGHT they nourished her through her PROVIDE A FUTURE twilight years. Even so, during my years as a gardener, landscape contractor and garden designer, I never really thought I was doing anything useful. It wasn’t until I was asked to design the first Horatio’s Garden that I really understood the power of gardens. Lately, working on a new Maggie’s Centre (Cardiff) and Christ Church CE Primary School in Battersea has shown me just how important horticulture is for well-being and the impact it has on other health and social issues. It is great to know that something so enjoyable can be so beneficial on all sorts of levels.

HORTICULTURE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WE COULD EVER HAVE IMAGINED AND MAY WELL PLAY A KEY ROLE IN MITIGATING SOME OF THE WORST EFFECTS OF THE ANTHROPOCENE With climate change and the sixth mass extinction taking place under our very noses, horticulture is more important than we could ever have imagined and may well play a key role in mitigating some of the worst effects of the Anthropocene. As gardeners, we can educate others about horticulture, how it helps us live, work, play, heal and how it might provide a future not just for humans but for other, more important, life forms whose fate may well determine ours. Whether or not we have the selflessness to avert the predicted worst-case scenarios remains to be seen. Tweet us @ProLandscaperUK and tell us why you love horticulture using the hashtag #LoveHorticulture

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Tuscan Glow

Price: £7.99 inc VAT per bag or two bags for £15.00 Bulk bag £169.50 (exc VAT) An attractive blend of 10–20mm angular chippings in dolomite and quartz, Tuscan Glow has tones of champagne, white and ochre. In common with all Kelkay aggregates, Tuscan Glow is available in large sacks and bulk bags for home delivery. WWW.KELKAY.COM



Golden Quartzite

Price: POA A best-seller amongst our wide range of aggregates and gravels, Golden Quartzite is an attractive naturally angular aggregate. A light yellow and gold colour when dry, and a darker amber colour when wet, this aggregate will add warmth to any design. Suitable for mulching of borders and general landscaping Golden Quartzite is stocked in a 20mm and 14mm grading as standard. WWW.CEDSTONE.CO.UK


Moban Flint

Price: POA (trade prices available) Moban Flint is a new addition to the Smiths extensive range of decorative aggregates. It is a mixture of irregular but smooth-edged shapes, colours and textures, giving it an impressive effect when used for driveways, footpaths and landscaping features. Moban Flint colour range is from natural cream through autumnal hues to an Oxford Blue. Available in 10mm or 20mm. WWW.SMITHSBLETCHINGTON.CO.UK


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EXTERNAL PORCELAIN FROM UNDER £30/M2 At Green Garden Paving we are passionate about porcelain.

As UK market leaders in the supply of porcelain paving, we stock a variety of vitrified products suitable for a range of landscaping and architectural projects. We sell products for all your paving requirements:




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0333 320 70 36




Connect with us! 12/03/2019 19/03/2019 10:17 08:58


London Stone’s exciting new service offer celebrates ten years in business London Stone are a well-established name in the hard landscaping materials supply sector. A successful 2018 saw the company win their first BALI Principal Award and APL supplier Award respectively. 2019 sees the family-owned company celebrate ten years in business with an improved service offering. Managing Director, Steve Walley explains more.

Steve, what was the thinking behind the new service offering? London Stone have come a long way in the last ten years, but we felt it was the right time to take stock and decide where we wanted the business to be in the next ten years. It’s our vision to keep growing and become a nationwide business but we knew we had to appeal to a wider audience. Our 2019 offer sees us reinforce our brand promise – of always putting customers first – and is a combination of saying thank you to our existing customers and meeting the needs of the next generation of customers.

What do you see as the main positives of the new offering? Where to begin?! The key part of our 2019 offer is freezing most of our prices – and in many cases lowering the price of our natural stone and porcelain materials. Not easy to do, but careful analysis of our expenditure, business practices and increasing our use of technology enabled us to buck the trend and reduce prices. I’m very proud that we did that. We knew that we were pricing ourselves out of certain schemes, so in addition to the price reductions we re-structured our porcelain products into Luxury, Premium and Project ranges, all with different price points. We’re confident that whatever the client’s budget there is a product within our porcelain range to suit. London Stone would never compromise on quality – in any area of the business – but we also want to appeal to the more budget-conscious, and the new porcelain ranges do just that.

Landscapers and designers outside of the South East can now purchase our materials without worrying about paying delivery charges. How has the business changed recently? We have three industry partners that share our ethos for delivering exceptional customer service and high professional standards: Garden House Design in West Sussex, Lowarth & Co. in Cornwall, and Urban Garden Products in Cheshire. Having inspiring spaces where our customers can view our products is so important. I’m excited to see where our partners take the business.

Staying with porcelain – can you tell us more about the ‘900x600’ Range? We know our customers well and we know the types of products they like to use. The 900x600mm size is by far the favourite size in the UK, so for 2019 we developed an industry-leading ‘900x600’ porcelain collection in eleven popular colours. We have also crafted an inspirational dedicated sample box for this range – even the samples are scaled-down to 90x60mm. Neat. Is London Stone still a ‘London and the Home Counties’ business? We’re spreading our wings! We just introduced a new nationwide free delivery initiative on all full packs of natural stone, porcelain and composite decking.

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What improvements have you made to your existing Showroom portfolio? In 2018, we opened two new high spec showrooms – one in North London and one in Farnham, Surrey (pictured above). Both are amazing! Our business is much more than just selling stone; our premises are used regularly to host educational events by industry-leading institutions such as the APL, BALI, the SGD, and the LCGD. Our existing three showrooms are currently undergoing extensive upgrades to ensure that they’re not left behind by the two newbies on the scene!

Does e-commerce spell the end of your Sales Team in the showrooms? No chance. London Stone’s success has been built on the skills of the people within our organisation, and there will always be team members in the showrooms and on the end of the phone. All we’re doing is recognising that consumer habits are changing, and we plan on being at the forefront of that.

For more information on how London Stone can enhance your next scheme: 01753 212 950 |

Stay ahead in a competitive market: choose the best.

Why should a landscaper or garden designer use London Stone? We supply an extensive range of quality products and provide awesome customer service. Our new pricing structure suddenly makes everything more affordable and puts extra margin into the landscapers pockets. It’s a complete package! Why should you use London Stone? Quite simply, we always put our customers first. What else does 2019 bring for London Stone? We’re about to launch a game-changing e-commerce website, which is massive news! Going e-commerce will give clients the flexibility to create quotes and place orders at their convenience. We have spent years creating a freshlooking website, which we hope will provide a smooth journey for our customers. Stay tuned for more on the new website soon! We’re also gearingup for a busy show season, and will be attending a lot of industry events, including Pro Landscaper Live in Bristol and Cheshire.

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Paving Kebur Project: A Place to Meet, Association for Professional Landscapers garden at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2018 Product: Kebur Contempo Egyptian Limestone Sinai Pearl (paving and setts)

The sleek and smooth honey tones of this Egyptian Limestone paving provide a perfect contrast to the charred timber water features and vibrant greens in the planting scheme. Designed by Cherry Carmen, the brief was to create a garden where the APL could meet members and where members could take a break. Laid as a path on the diagonal with matching setts, the honed and tumbled limestone reveals natural glass and quartz veining and fossilisation that gives unique character alongside the sunken planting in the scheme. WWW.KEBUR.CO.UK

Bingley Stone Project Name: Salford Cathedral Location: Salford Product Name: Pennine Yorkstone – CNC cut Bingley Stone has recently cut and supplied its Pennine Yorkstone paving for an ongoing project at Salford Cathedral. Produced to a radial design, incorporating CNC shaped paving, bespoke tactile surfaces and shaped inlaid steps, with many elements exceeding 1.8m x 1.8m in size. This was a challenge they enjoyed working with on behalf of the main contractor. WWW.BINGLEYSTONE.COM

Stoneworld Project: Stoneworld Oxfordshire Paving supplied to Chiltern Churchill Product: Raj Green Tumbled Sandstone Paving The brief was to find a paving suited to the homeowners’ existing York stone paved areas at their character property. Stoneworld’s Raj Green Tumbled Sandstone Paving is ideal as the colour resembles old York stone plus the edges and surfaces of the slabs have been gently tumbled giving a timeworn appearance. This project features 80 sqm of Raj Green Tumbled Sandstone Paving, plus bespoke 50mm thick wall copings bullnosed in our onsite masonry factory. Paving is 25-35mm, available in project packs and single sizes to order. WWW.STONEWORLD.CO.UK


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THE POT COMPANY Project name: Curved Corten Steel Fire Bowl Project price: Starts from £57.50 WWW.THEPOTCO.COM

HADDONSTONE Project name: Highland Fire Pit Project price: £1,795.00 inc VAT WWW.HADDONSTONE.COM


LA HACIENDA Project name: Wildfire Fire Pit Project price: £99.00 WWW.LAHACIENDA.CO.UK

NAKEN INTERIORS Project name: Garden Trading Idbury Fire Pit Project price: £85.00 WWW.NAKEN.CO.UK

ROUND WOOD OF MAYFIELD Project name: Mild Steel Fire Pit Project price: S  tarts from £44.00 (current special offer price: £32.50) WWW.ROUNDWOOD.COM

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Design Outdoor Spaces with Levato Mono™ Porcelain pavers Tor

When considering materials which will transform and add wow factor to your outdoor space; be it a re-vamped balcony, a newbuild roof terrace, swimming pool surround or garden patio – these are all key features of the design that need serious attention. Here at Surface 360 (formerly The Deck Tile Co ltd) we offer a vast choice of ranges and formats to cover all tastes from rustic timber effect planks to contemporary cementitious and stone effects. A West Ealing Penthouse apartment recently received a new facelift for its 45m2 exterior terrace space. The Levato Mono Industrial porcelain paver range was specified for this project, which has been inspired by urban style trend and boasts a cementitious effect surface. This terrace had tricky multiple falls to accommodate but by using the Surface 360 slope correcting and height adjustable pedestal system, a low maintenance and superior quality terrace flooring was achieved quickly and efficiently, boasting high load bearing, impact and wear resistance.

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Surface 360 currently has over 130 colours in ultra-realistic timber, stone and cementitious effects to choose from. By combining 3D printing and professional mould making technologies, our ranges can provide identical copies of the original materials. Once laid, the human eye is unable to discern any replicated pattern allowing for a completely natural looking surface finish. Olympia Multicolour

So, if the above isn’t tempting enough, here’s a few more benefits of Levato Mono™ porcelain paving system; high slip resistance, fade, stain and wear resistance, easy clean, frost proof, co-ordinating internal tiling, Floating floor – installation over single ply membranes. Make your concept a reality today and discover the new Surface 360 website, which hosts the full product range at

e. t. 0118 391 4124 Form 01

Bleu Pietra

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tarting in the late 1990s, composite decking materials began to gain widespread acceptance thanks to the noticable benefits they afford builders and homeowners. They were produced using plastic materials often reclaimed from plastic bags and post-consumer goods like milk jugs. These products typically had a very high percentage of shredded or ground wood filler – often as high as 60% wood. The products were marketed as ‘low maintenance’ or ‘no maintenance’ and were intended to be a durable alternative to wooden planks that require frequent staining, sealing, and other maintenance. Thanks to these selling points, composite decking products enjoyed rapid growth for several years as they became increasingly popular with the home improvement crowd. However, alongside this growth in sales emerged problems that caused increasing dissatisfaction among both homeowners and installers. First, the wood and plastic mixture was not nearly as stiff as wood. This forced contractors to build substructures with greater support for the walking surface, which increased cost to the homeowner. Another issue was that as the wood fillers used in these products aged, the homeowner’s new deck would become grey in as little as six months. Exposures in wet environments caused rot, mould, and decay led to delamination and structural failure.

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On top of all this, homeowners typically paid twice the price for the composite materials as they paid for traditional wood decking products with the expectation that they were buying a superior product that had a long lifespan. All added up, the early wood plastic composites faced many challenges as a ‘drop in’ replacement for wood. As we know now, these challenges were overcome. 2009 saw significant new product introductions that were intended to address two of the most notable shortcomings of the first generation of composite decking materials: stiffness and weatherability. As with the evolution of products in other industries, such as high-definition TV’s and tablet computers, it was new technology that propelled the industry forward. First, mixtures of PVC with organic and mineral-based fillers and foaming agents gave birth to a new generation of products that were stiffer, lighter, and more resistant to decay than earlier products had been. Second, the use of co-extruded caps provided a highly weatherproof barrier that resisted colour change and fade with exposure to the elements. These two technologies combined allowed for the continued and sustained growth of the entire product category. Over time, end-user expectations have evolved and both manufacturers and materials suppliers have worked hard to keep pace. Some of the most important features of today’s

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generation of composite decking materials now include: • superior weatherability • resistance to decay • low maintenance • excellent abrasion resistance • chemical resistance • colour hold • a wide range of finish and size options. The market will surely continue to evolve, and as demands grow, new materials will emerge, pushing the envelope of performance.

April 2019 / Pro Landscaper Connect


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SUPERIOR QUALITY LOWER PRICE Easy Installation Low Maintenance Environmentally Friendly Concealed Fixing System 25 Year Domestic Warranty

Beautiful, Low Maintenance Wood Composite Decking

New Product lines

Spring 2019

Visit, contact Steintec on 0203 598 9800 or visit your local independent builders merchants for more product and supply information.

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How often did you specify composite decking in your projects in 2018?


Roughly, how many metres of composite decking did you use in 2018?


Roughly, how much do you spend on composite decking in 2018?


What companies do you use for your composite decking needs?

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What would improve the products on offer?


For you, what makes a good composite decking product?


Do you predict your spending will increase for 2019 in this product sector?


Why do clients say they want composite decking over traditional timber?


Do you push composite decking over traditional timber?


What do you use composite decking for the most often?

ANSWERS April 2019 / Pro Landscaper Connect


21/03/2019 12:01


2. R  O U G H LY, H O W M A N Y M E T R E S O F




IN 2018?

• 56% of those surveyed said they used the product less than twice. • 12% said they used it more than 10 times in the year. • 55% of those surveyed said that less than 25% of their projects contained an element of composite decking. • 9% said their company used it on over 76% of their garden projects.

0-2 times 3-5 times 6-10 times 10+ times

0-25% 26-50% 51-75% 76-100%

3 . R O U G H L Y , H O W M U C H D O Y O U S P E N D ON COMPOSITE DECKING IN 2018? • 33% of respondents said they spent less than £5,000 on composite decking products in 2018. • 19% said they spent between £5,000 and £10,000. • 14% said they spent between £10,000 and £50,000. • 5% said they spent over £50,000 on composite decking products last year.

£0 - £5k £5k - £10k £10k - £50k

£50k+ Unsure

• 26% said they laid less than a total of 100m2. • 13% laid between 100 and 250m2. • 9% laid between 250 and 500m2. • 6% laid over 500m2 of composite decking in 2018. • 46% said they did not keep specific records of the amount laid.

0 - 100m2 100 - 250m2 250 - 500m2

Over 500m2 Unsure

4 . W H A T C O M P A N I E S D O Y O U U S E F O R YOUR COMPOSITE DECKING NEEDS? • 52% of companies used Millboard in at least one of their projects in 2018. • 13% used London Stone’s DesignBoard range of composite decking. • Trex took a 7% share. • The only other company mentioned by name was Saige, which took a 5% share. • 23% used either local or national timber merchants or builder’s merchants such as Travis Perkins.

Millboard London Stone Saige

Trex Other

5. W  H AT W O U L D I M P R O V E T H E P R O D U C T S ON OFFER? • 50% concluded that the price of the product could be improved on. • 6% said that the products were great as they are, therefore nothing needed improvement right now. • 15% said a greater range of colour choice and finishes would improve the products available. • 8% said that the installation could be made easier. A single interviewee suggested that a good idea would be installer courses for specific manufacturer products.

74 Pro Landscaper Connect / April 2019

Market Report.indd 74

Price Nothing Wider range of colours and finishes Easier installation

21/03/2019 12:01


6 . F O R Y O U , W H A T M A K E S A G O O D COMPOSITE DECKING PRODUCT? Finish Durability and Quality Maintenance Price

• 54% of those surveyed said that the finish makes the product. • 50% said the durability and quality of the product is what makes a good product. • 20% said that ease of maintenance was the most important factor for composite decking products. • 7% pointed out that the price was what made for a good product. • Other points mentioned in responses to this question was the ease of fitting, whether or not the product was British-made and the consistency of the product from first lay to last.



PRODUCT SECTOR? • 60% of those surveyed predicted their own company spending on the composite decking sector would increase in 2019. • However, 30% said it would not. • 10% were unsure as to whether it would increase or not. Yes




Market Report.indd 75

1 0 . W H A T D O Y O U U S E C O M P O S I T E

• 84% said they use composite for a decked area, as you would use traditional timber. • 9% said they most frequently use composite decking for surrounding pools. • 7% said composite decking was primarly used on rooftop gardens or balconies. • 4% said they used them for bespoke seating areas. Yes

Durability Ease of maintenance Weather-proofing Appearance Budget allowance


• 57% said that when decking is mentioned in the initial contact with a client, they would push for composite products to be used. • 43% said it would be left in the customer’s hands to make an impartial decision.

• Unsurprisingly, durability (42%) and ease of maintenance (47%) were the top answers. • 19% said the weatherproofing and subsequent anti-slip properties were important to their customers. • 29% said composite decking was chosen because of its appearance. • 9% said it was a decision that budget allowed for.


Decked area Surrounding pools

Rooftop gardens/balconies Bespoke seating areas

April 2019 / Pro Landscaper Connect


21/03/2019 12:01




Product Trex Transcend

Colour Choices 5




Island Mist, Gravel Path, Lava Rock, Spiced Rum, Tiki Torch

Trex Hideaway® Secret Fixing System Trex Hideaway® Secret Fixing System

Trex Contour


Pebble Grey, Torino Brown

Hollow Domestic Grade Composite


Charcoal, Coffee, Ivory, Light Grey, Olive Green, Redwood, Stone Grey, Teak T-Piece Fixing and Stainless Steel Wood Screws

Size (W x L x H in mm)

Weight (kg) 13.5

140 x 3660 x 25 13.9 150 x 2400 x 25


150 x 4000 x 25


150 x 2400 x 25



Charcoal, Coffee, Stone Grey, Teak

150 x 4000 x 25


Solid Commercial Grade Composite


Charcoal, Coffee, Ivory, Light Grey, Olive Green, Redwood, Stone Grey, Teak

150 x 2400 x 25


150 x 4000 x 25


HD Deck 150


Lava, Silver, Walnut

150 x 3600 x 25


Composite Prime

HD Deck XS


Almond, Cedar, Forest Green, Lava, Light Oak, Silver, Walnut

146 x 3600 x 25


HD Deck Dual


Antique, Carbon, Oak, Walnut

Composite Wood Company

Forest Range


Woodgrain Hollow


Ancient Black, Antique Ash, Salt Lake Silver, Wild Brown,


Charcoal, Teak

Dura Deck Resist 150


Cedar, IPE, Mahogany, Larch, Pebble Grey, Weathered Cedar


Reversible Composite Decking


Black, Dark Brown, Light Brown, Pebble Grey, Slate Grey,


14.8 N/A

166 x 3660 x 25

Standard Fixing Clip

146 x 3660 x 25


Subsurface Fixing Clip

295 x 3660 x 25


Subsurface Fixing Clip

150 x 3660 x 25


Balcony Screws, Stainless Steel Composite Deck Screws

136 x bespoke lengths between 1500-6000 x 21



145 x 1800 x 22



145 x 1800 x 30

Dura Deck Eco 295

0001 18F


Brown, Dark Brown, Sandy Brown, Grey

Einclips (Invisible Fasteners)

145 x 1800 x 22

145 x 1800 x 30


145 x 1800 x 25



Byron, Caribbean, Havana, Sea Salt, Storm, Sunset



Ash, Ash Pure, Almond, Walnut

76 Pro Landscaper Connect / April 2019

QwickClip Hidden Fasteners



170 x 1800 x 21


Elite Outdoor Living

Tech Spec Matrix.indd 76

143 x 3600 x 22.5 Hidden Fixing System

Cotton Mill Range Dura Deck Eco 146

Dura Composites

Hidden Clip System

138 x 4800 x 23



01/04/2019 09:20



Product Infinity


Colour Choices



Kona Sunset, Tiger Cove, Spanish Saffron, Sapphire Silver


Aruna, Rusteak, Merbau, Xavia, Pebble

Summit Classic Ascent


Hahn Plastics




140 x 5800 x 23



146 x 5800 x 24



138 x 5800 x 21



146 x 5800 x 24


146 x 2200 x 26


150 x 3600 x 20


190 x 3000 x 20


Patented Magnet System


Brown, Black




Summit Brown, Summit Grey, Voyager Brown, Voyager Clay, Voyager Grey

Xscape Fixing Clip

138 x 3660 x 24




Anthracite Wood Grain, Chocolate Wood Grain, Vulcan Wood Grain Earth Grooved, Vulcan Grooved

Decker Starting Clip

143 x 3200 x 22




Traditional, Amber, Charcoal, Cinnamon, Greenwich, Luna, Mocha, Polar, Silver

Hidden Stainless Steel Fastening Clip System

150 x 3600 x 20


Enhanced Grain


Brushed Basalt, Golden Oak, Coppered Oak, Jarrah, Limed Oak, Smoked Oak,

176 x 3600 x 32


Weathered Oak


Vintage Oak, Driftwood, Embered

200 x 3200 x 32




Golden Oak, Coppered Oak

Hanit Ultra Decking

Contemporary Solid


Coffee, Grey, Charcoal

Rustic Solid Decking


Grey, Walnut

Composite Decking Tiles


Grey, Oak

EasyClean Terrain


Elm, Silver

EasyClean Tropical


Storm Grey, Teak, Walnut

Durafix® Fixings

176 x 3600 x 32

Hidden Clip System

Interlocking System

Ashwood, Dark Ashwood, Tigerwood, Vintage White


Cedar, Grey

Witchdeck Composite


Chocolate, Grey, Slate, Teak

Duro Excellence


Denim, Moor Oak, Terra, Teak

Etherno Bamboo


Steam Treated Bamboo

iFly Decking Clip or Easy Click No-Screw System

Kinley Systems

Terrafina Excel Boards


Pebble Grey, Graphite, Red Brown, Grey Brown, Sand,

Invisible Joining System




Teak, Redwood, Grey, Ebony


Oak, Cedar, Driftwood

EasyClean Legacy ReliaBoard VertiGrain 2




Tech Spec Matrix.indd 77

143 x 3600 x 23

12.9 9.8 17

140 x 3660 x 23


600 x 300 x 23


136 x 4800 x 24


136 x 3600 x 24


150 x 2900 x 25


140 x 2800 x 25


155 x 1850 x 20


146 x 4500 x 21


146 x 3600 x 22


150 x 3600 x 25


CONCEALloc Hidden Fastener System


Urban 10

Weight (kg)

Anthracite, Earth, Slate, Snow, Shield Plata, Shield Bronce, Shield Oro, Shield Cobre,

Contemporary Hollow Saige

Size (mm)




London Stone


Combined Clips & Screws

Hidden Clip System

April 2019 / Pro Landscaper Connect


21/03/2019 13:52







• Available in six colours: Golden Oak, Coppered Oak, Jarrah, Limed Oak, Smoked Oak and the newly launched Brushed Basalt. • Moulded from real timber. • Slip-resistant and low maintenance, making it even suitable for swimming pool surrounds. • Made of polyurethane and mineral stone resin, an environmentally-friendly material. • Board size: 176mm x 3600mm x 32mm. • Coverage: 1.54 boards per m². • Weight: 11.4kg per board.

• Low potential for slip, whether wet or dry. • Manufactured from 95% recycled and sustainably sourced materials. • Comes with a 25-year warranty. • Minimal maintenance decking which does not require sanding or sealing. • Consistent colour stability means no colour leaching on walls or facades from the product. • Screw-fix system ensures solid, rigid construction.

Image ©Niel Kenyon @ ArkiMag


Price including VAT: £98 per m²

Price including VAT: RRP £11.94 per linear metre, £85.96 per m2





• Dura Deck’s premium decking board choice for high specification. • Co-extrusion process produces a 360° outer armour to protect the core of the deck from the elements. • Colour fade, strength load, stain, slip and Class B fire resistant. • Available in six colours featuring an embossed wood grain on one side and a light groove on the reverse for maximum versatility. • Available in lengths of 3.66m and comes with a 15-year warranty.

• Enhance Naturals collection comes in five colours: Foggy Wharf, Rocky Harbor, Sunset Cove, Toasted Sand and Calm Water. • Enhance Basics comes in Clam Shell, Beach Dune and Saddle. • Decking won’t rot or split and is minimal maintenance. The shell is thermally bonded to the core to prevent it delaminating. • Domestic decking comes with a 25-year warranty, the commercial decking with a 10-year warranty against fading and staining.

Price including VAT: RSP £72 per m²

Price including VAT: RRP £8.46 (Basic), £11.10 (Naturals) per linear metre

78 Pro Landscaper Connect / April 2019

PL Connect Products.indd 78

21/03/2019 11:58

Long Life

Minimal Waste

High Slip Resistance

Low Maintenance

Solid Build Environmentally Friendly




Image © Neil Kenyon, Arki Magazine

The durable and sustainable alternative to hardwood and hollow decking For your opportunity to use ecodek® on your next project, contact or call 01978 667 840

Maximise your outdoor space in all seasons with Dura Deck


Available in two ranges, Dura Deck Resist and Dura Deck Eco, to suit various budgets and project requirements. Resist (150mm) Premium Performance & Look Advanced co-extrusion technology with a protective 360° outer armour.

Eco (146mm & 295mm) Eco-Friendly & Economical Engineered to the highest standard for composite timber decking.

Key Features

Resists Load

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Resists Slips

Resists Fire

Resists Fade

Resists Stains

Resists Expansion

Tel: +44 (0)1255 423601

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NURTURE NEWS The David Colegrave Foundation invests in the future of plant health The David Colegrave Foundation (DCF) has announced that it will be a supporter of the Royal Society of Biology’s (RSB) Plant Health Undergraduate Summer Studentship Programme for 2019. The scheme invites plant health researchers to submit proposals for one of nine available funded studentships for undergraduates to run over the summer of 2019. It offers them the opportunity to undertake supervised research

with leading research groups and encourage research proposals in seven areas relevant to Defra’s plant health priorities, including high-risk pests or pathogens and oak health. Jeff Colegrave, DCF chairman, says: “We are delighted to be able to support the RSB in the vital area of plant health research. This is a topical subject and we believe that supporting efforts to

New sensory garden for Henshaw’s Arts & Crafts Centre Johnsons of Whixley has teamed up with garden designer Lorna Batchelor to supply plants to a new sensory garden at the Henshaw Arts & Crafts Centre in Knaresborough. The garden will create a safe place for students to learn and explore. It includes nearly £4,000 worth of plants. Grasses for sound and touch were included, such as Sarcococca confusa,

Nurture News.indd 83

Hamamelis mollis and Viburnum x bodnantense, along with varieties of Stipa, Carex and Phormium. Around 60 rhododendrons and azaleas give a splash of colour in the woodland garden, and ferns and acers create a tranquil area around the new waterfall, which was taken from Lorna’s Gold award-winning garden ‘Eden’ at the Harrogate Spring Flower Show 2018.

improve plant health will be hugely beneficial to the industry.” Alongside the David Colegrave Foundation, funding for the scheme is provided by Defra, BSPP and N8 AgriFood. davidcolegravefoundation.

Henshaw’s is a northern charity supporting people living with sight loss and other disabilities for over 180 years. Eleanor Richardson, marketing and sales coordinator at Johnsons of Whixley, says: “It’s wonderful to be involved with a charity so close to home, working with our customer and local garden designer Lorna Batchelor to provide a garden that will benefit the students at Henshaw’s for years to come.” Lorna adds: “I have visited the Arts & Crafts Centre with my family for many years and it is a place close to my heart. “It has been a joy to help redevelop the gardens for the people of Knaresborough to enjoy.” The garden re-opens to the public on 31 March.

Hillier Nurseries’ director on biosecurity Hossein Arshadi, divisional director at Hillier Nurseries, this month discussed what he thinks is needed from the government, the media and the public to prevent a very costly breakdown in biosecurity and why existing initiatives will not work in practice. Hossein says the steps Defra is taking to halt the spread of pests and diseases are not adequate. “Look at the track record for the last 20 years. There has been more than a 600% increase in new pests arriving into the UK.” He adds: “Defra biosecurity objectives should be putting in place systems that prevent host plants arriving in the UK rather than allowing the import of host plants and trying to identify or control them.” Hossein says that Hillier’s biosecurity objectives are “zero tolerance”. Read the full Q&A on our website:



01903 777 570

Pro Landscaper / April 2019 83

21/03/2019 12:13


Ligularia ‘Britt Marie Crawford’

Mentha piperita

Designer PLANTS Julia Burova combined thoughtful, client-friendly design with her eye for detail to create this calm Russian idyll

Julia Burova was tasked with designing a garden for a young family on a small plot of land – around 1000m² - with level changes of up to 2.5m. Among the client’s requirements was a parking space for two cars covered by a structure for shade, a vegetable garden, and a lawn for outdoor games with the dog. Work began once log constructions of the two-storey house and sauna – joined via an open gallery with the summer kitchen – and the swimming pool had already been built. The buildings, swimming pool and pavement took up half of the plot territory. There was also an old apple tree, several plum trees, some grapes and a big walnut tree, Juglans regia. The problem of level change was solved by using slopes. The biggest part of the land that remained unoccupied after construction works 84

Pro Landscaper / April 2019

Designer plants.indd 84

was taken up by the lawn and the surrounding planting, which included Picea abies, Pinus nigra and Pinus strobus. Paving made of concrete tiles leads from the parking space to the house and to the vegetable garden. The remaining territory includes decking around the swimming pool, the lawn and the gravel envelope in the lowest northern part of the garden. In the vegetable garden, there are raised pine beam framed vegetable beds with strawberries, tomatoes and cucumbers. Along the fence that separates this area from the lawn, there’s peppermint, oregano, catmint, thyme, Chinese rhubarb and tarragon. Julia always plants courgette in the vegetable garden, not only for its fruits but also for its giant leaves and flowers which blossom throughout the summer. The house dominates over the garden making the plot appear smaller, so Julia decided to emphasise the house height by planting Picea abies and Picea omorika in front

of it alongside the path leading from the parking space to the porch. Several identical groups were formed consisting of Juniperus sabina, Spiraea japonica ‘Anthony Waterer’, Rosa glauca Pourr., Hylotelephium spectabile ‘Brilliant’, Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’ and Salvia nemorosa near the spruces and under them. These groups look decorative and ornamental throughout the year starting from early spring. Perennial flowers and grasses were planted in spaces between the groups based on the

21/03/2019 12:33

Pennisetum alopecuroides f. viridescens


Fragaria ananassa

Sorbus aucuparia

Designer plants.indd 85

plants for the presence of pests and diseases and the timely removal of these. Almost all trees and bushes were bought in the nursery near Saratov, and perennial flowers and grasses were purchased from the nursery in Togliatti, a town located 300km away from Saratov. All engineering works, paving and planting were carried out by the manufacturing group Zelenstroy. ABOUT JULIA BUROVA Julia Burova is head of award-winning landscape architecture practice Bully’s Garden in Saratov, Russia, which co-operates with manufacturing group Zelenstroy. Her company specialises in design, construction and private gardening services. Its goal is to design gardens which integrate the lifestyle of their owners in the countryside. The practice focuses on functional, practical, democratic and convenient garden design, and aims to maintain balance between architecture and plants.

Plant list • Achillea ptarmica • Euonymus alatus • Hylotelephium spectabile ‘Brilliant’ • Juniperus sabina ‘Mas’ • Juniperus sabina Blue Danube • Ligularia ‘Britt Marie Crawford’ • Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea ‘Transparent’ • Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’ • Pennisetum alopecuroides f. viridescens • Picea abies • Picea omorika • Rosa glauca Pourr. • Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ • Sorbus aucuparia • Spiraea japonica ‘Anthony Waterer’ • Thalictrum ‘Black Stockings’

Images ©Burova Marina/Nenstskaya Olga

amount of light on the territory. Thus, to the left of the paving they planted groups of Pennisetum and Molinia so the sun could shine through their stems. We planted Ligularia dentata and Thalictrum aquilegiifolium – the most unusual plant in the project – in the shadow along the fence to the right. From early summer right through to first snow, the plant looks remarkably well. It always changes and never looks boring. The plants have transformed the garden over time. When they were planted they did not have the cold, light-blue and grey shade of colour they have now, which has created a mystical image. Plants that stop blossoming before spring are not cut, with the exception of sage and Spiraea. These are cut after the first blossoming so that they continue blossoming until late autumn. As decorative plants quickly filled free space, there were no problems with weed removal. Garden care is limited to examining

Euonymus alatus

Pro Landscaper / April 2019 85

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CLAIRE VOKINS This March saw the first ever FutureScape Spring, which attracted key industry influencers to the one-day event. There were a number of inspiring and educational talks and seminars, designed to get people thinking and evoke conversation. One of the most popular seminars of the day was the aptly named ‘Evolving, Adapting, Improving’, which put the spotlight on aftercare and the horticulturists who look after our gardens long after the designer has handed the garden back to the client. We caught up with Claire Vokins, one of the panellists on this forum, to get her opinion on what she believes can be done better. There is a distinct shortage of skilled people looking after our green spaces, especially designed gardens. What can be done to advocate careers in horticulture? The current generation of people working in the ‘designed garden’ sector of the industry, including myself, has been lucky to have been able to choose our careers, and many of us have chosen garden design or the garden profession at a later stage in our lives. I don’t think this will change too much for a few years, but I also feel that due to the current world circumstances the way we use our green spaces, private and publicly, will change significantly. I hear a lot about encouraging young people into the landscape and horticulture industry. BALI’s GoLandscape and Chooselandscape are doing great work actively visiting schools, but I fear it may be wasted. The priorities of the future generations of horticulturists will be environmental and conservation work rather than pretty gardens. I imagine that future gardens will be less hardscaped and more soft, less manicured lawns and an increase in rangy insect attracting ‘messy’ areas. Priorities are changing and a new way of looking after our gardens is on its way.

Claire Vokins.indd 87

PRIORITIES ARE CHANGING AND A NEW WAY OF LOOKING AFTER OUR GARDENS IS ON ITS WAY So, I don’t think we need to advocate our current ways of designed garden horticulture, but to encourage everyone to be more involved with the environment. Why do you love what you do? Watching people enjoy their space and using it in a way they haven’t before, rediscovering their gardens. I look after a number of large, older, established gardens which have become quite tired. Around two years ago, a client agreed to change their garden slightly. It was a classic ‘green blob’ garden, with evergreens and conifers everywhere. Over a period of six months we gradually reduced the number of shrubs leaving a very small amount for structure. Constantly discussing plants with client, I showed pictures of beautiful herbaceous borders like that at Waterperry Gardens. Pro Landscaper / April 2019 87

21/03/2019 10:43


The client thought this kind of planting looked too complex. I explained the care required and they realised it was probably less work than their current situation. In early May last year, we planted approximately 120 x 2L herbaceous perennials into their border. By September, it was stunning. There was colour everywhere which lasted right into early December. My client walks round her garden everyday now. She keeps lists of the insects she sees, and her husband has been inspired to finish projects. It’s changed their outlook and enjoyment of the garden. This is my buzz – engaging people to enjoy their gardens. How can garden designers create better, longer lasting gardens? I think we (and I do occasionally design gardens as well as care for established gardens) need to keep an eye to the future, and to ensure that we really relate to the client’s situation and needs. There is no point in creating a garden that looks great from the day it’s finished until two years later when plants become unruly and the client doesn’t know what to do. When this happens, the clients disengage from their space and it becomes neglected. We are responsible for ensuring that a garden we create is usable, easy for the client to look after or they can at least afford to pay for horticultural care. We need to be honest with the client and work within their budget. It’s important to engage the client at an early stage about looking after their garden – from cleaning stonework to unblocking drainage and looking after the plants – all these items need to be considered.


Pro Landscaper / April 2019

Claire Vokins.indd 88

What would your top tips be for anyone considering coming into aftercare as a career? Be realistic. Aftercare and professional gardening aren’t all deadheading roses. It’s messy, it’s hard work, and if you’re good, it’s all year round. I honestly think there is a lot of romanticism around working outdoors in pretty gardens. Also, learn business skills. Few to none of the lower level courses (including RHS courses) offer business skills. You need this information to run a business. I have heard of a number of sole traders who operate without insurance. Seriously, it’s scary. And network. I cannot stress this enough. Networking is integral to my work. Meeting other trades, designers, suppliers and gardeners is so important, not just for creating possible work links and gaining great insight into the industry, but also for your health. Working alone or being the owner of a small company can be a very lonely place. I don’t think we talk enough about this. We need people to bounce off, to ask and receive advice from. I can honestly say that this has been my saviour at times, and I am so grateful to those who have given me their time. ABOUT CLAIRE VOKINS Claire Vokins changed careers to become a professional gardener and occasional garden designer. She now owns Elizabeth Clare Gardening, a small business based in South West London. Claire works on medium to large gardens with an interest in projects which have recently been designed and built, to help ensure the clients’ expectations and the garden designers’ brief are met.

@CEVokins @ECGardeningLtd

21/03/2019 10:44



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larney Gardens was recently awarded the first ‘Wildlife Estate’ in Ireland. This prestigious award was presented by the European Landowners Organisation and to achieve it Blarney Gardens implemented a 10-year biodiversity plan.


The Seven Sister garden

When I spoke to garden manager Adam Whitbourn, he highlighted the important role that biodiversity plays in the development of Blarney Gardens. His goal for the gardens is to achieve botanical garden standards which will not only encompass the plant collections but also ecology, conservation, education and biodiversity. The inclusion of signs and information along the paths throughout the gardens allows visitors to gain knowledge of wildlife within these gardens. A bee observation area has recently been installed and many other developments are evolving to enhance the gardens further. They provide diverse habitats for wildlife, something which Adam feels is important going forward. The garden’s first planting dates to the 1750s and since that time the gardens’ development has gone through periods of growth and stagnation. This garden design is

very Robinsonian in its approach, allowing its gradual development, and Adam says having many historic areas within the gardens has added interest to a much wider audience. The goal for the garden team at Blarney is to create a legacy for the current owner of the estate and return the gardens to their former glory of the Victorian era, which was when the mansion overlooking the gardens was built. The garden now encompasses around 70 acres – a small portion of the 1,500-acre estate. Blarney Castle, renowned around the world for the Blarney Stone, attracts more than 500,000 visitors each year – kissing the stone at the top of the castle is supposed to give you the gift of the gab. But in recent years the gardens have gained momentum and recognition and have begun attracting garden and plant lovers from across the globe. One of the missions at the estate is the conservation of Vietnamese plants in partnership with the Institute of Ecology. One plant in particular is the highly endangered species Aesculus wangii. Adam and his team have visited and collected seed material in Herbaceous perennial borders Vietnam on three occasions


Pro Landscaper / April 2019

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A view of the castle and gardens

now to propagate at Blarney gardens. Once established, it is planted to see how it fares in the Irish climate, and this information is relayed to conservationists in Vietnam. This is an exciting project which provides a valuable insight into Vietnamese flora. The garden includes many different areas. A personal favourite for Adam is the ‘Seven Sisters’ – a Neolithic stone circle created in recent years and now surrounded by swathes of billowing grasses and perennials. The gardens also include a fascinating pinetum, arboretum, fern garden and beautiful long herbaceous borders as well parklands and many other areas. From a design perspective Adam points out that it is important to be imaginative and to play with the story of the garden area and to meet visitors’ expectations.

Adam and his team plant collecting in Vietnam

Blarney gardens is located in Cork in the south of Ireland. The gardens are a must visit to explore its wonderful plant collections, Irish wildlife, history and parklands. ABOUT CONOR GALLINAGH Conor Gallinagh is a horticulture consultant and garden designer. He is based in Donegal, Ireland, but works throughout Ireland and the UK. His main areas of work are as a horticulture speaker and writer, as well as a plant expert and garden designer for his new business, Conor Gallinagh – Horticulture Consultant. @ConorGallinagh

Images ©Adam Whitbourn

Horticulture consultant and garden designer Conor Gallignagh talks to Adam Whitbourn about the development of Blarney Gardens and their considerable biodiversity

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Green Team Interiors

Mitie Landscaping


Tivoli Group Limited

Ambius Technician Award

Indoor Garden Design

Ambius Technician Award




The plants@work Awards 2019 took place at FutureScape Spring on Tuesday 12 March. The annual ceremony, sponsored by Koberg BV, recognises the outstanding interior landscaping projects carried out across the UK and brings this part of the industry together Best Project 2019: Design & Installation

Design & Installation under £10,000

Maintenance under £10,000

• Winner: Mitie Landscapes Ltd Project: Deloitte, One New Street Square

Gold Leaf • Winner: Green Team Interiors Ltd Project: Office Interior Landscaping, Slough

Gold Leaf • Winner: Biotecture Ltd Project: Smeg Retail Store

Best Project 2019: Maintenance • Winner: Biotecture Ltd Project: Regal House

• Winner: Mitie Landscapes Ltd Project: Mitie London HQ. The Shard Project: One Church Road

• Winner: Mitie Landscapes Ltd Project: 1 Angel Square, Manchester

• Winner: Nature at Work Ltd Project: Simply Health Andover

Design & Installation over £10,000

Silver Leaf • Winner: Indoor Garden Design Ltd Project: Airsorted, Angel Islington

Gold Leaf • Winner: Ambius Project: 3 Temple Quay Project: Ingenuity House Project: Reckitt Benckiser • Winner: Biotecture Ltd Project: 40 Conduit Street • Winner: Indoor Garden Design Ltd Project: ITV Plc, 1 & 2 Waterhouse Square, Holborn • Winner: Mitie Landscapes Ltd Project: Deloitte. One New Street Square Silver Leaf • Winner: Tivoli Group Limited Project: Project Peach, HSBC

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• Winner: Greenscene Interior Plant Display Ltd Project: Oriflame Moss Wall Bronze Leaf • Winner: Ambius Project: Audi’s Curvy Showroom Interior Design

Maintenance over £10,000 Gold Leaf • Winner: Biotecture Ltd Project: Regal House • Winner: Mitie Landscapes Ltd Project: 1 Angel Square, Manchester

Silver Leaf • Winner: Green Team Interiors Ltd • Project: PRA International

Technician Awards plants@work Leaf • Winner: Caillum Winfield, Ambius

Special Events Gold Leaf • Winner: Indoor Garden Design Ltd Project: Proud Robinson Urban Landscapes Project: Rana Pop-Up Shop

Christmas Projects Gold Leaf • Winner: Ambius Project: Hilton Heathrow Terminal 4 Hotel • Winner: Indoor Garden Design Ltd Project: Omnicom Project: UBS

Pro Landscaper / April 2019 91

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Britain’s finest


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Turf Topsoil Bark


15% discount when you spend over £100 on your first visit Parkview Nursery, Theobalds Park Road, Enfield, Middlesex EN2 9BQ Tel: 0208 363 7411 Email:

For a fine range of quality trees with first class service and expert advice

Find out why Rolawn is the first choice for professional landscapers who demand Britain’s finest turf, topsoil and bark

Burrow Nursery, Cross in Hand, Heathfield, East Sussex TN21 0UG Tel: 01435 862992

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On a recent trip to South Africa, Jamie Butterworth visited Shadowlands Nursery and discovered how it has adapted to the extreme conditions of drought – inspiration indeed for UK nurseries surviving our increasingly warm weather Situated just outside Cape Town, Shadowlands Wholesale Nursery was established in 1994 by Warwick Bayer, having invested her pension into a 72sqm poly tunnel and a pickup truck to start the business. Fast forward 25 years and the nursery now boasts an impressive 17 acres with dozens of polytunnels and a small team. Shadowlands is a well designed and innovative nursery, similar in many respects to those in the UK in the way the plants are grown and produced. The quality and range of plants are particularly impressive as is the overall layout of the growing areas. As we look at sustainable horticultural solutions within the UK industry, one of the concerns at the very top of this list has to be water usage. With hotter, dryer, longer summers becoming more frequent, we need to identify ways in which our industry can become more self-sustaining moving forward. After the drought of the 2017/8 growing season in South Africa, water shortage hit critical levels and ‘Day Zero’ looked increasingly likely. Nurseries such as Shadowlands were forced to review the way in which they grew plants and what plants they

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were growing. There was not enough water to keep the nursery growing, so the team took the decision to leave any plants that were highly dependent on the water to die. Anything that survived has now earned the right to keep growing. A bold, brave move by the nursery team, and very much a ‘make or break’ moment for the business. Typically, as per UK nurseries, Shadowlands’ range was designer led, growing many plants based on what the local garden designers were asking for. Now, however, the growers have flipped this on its head – designers are now limited to choosing the plants that the nursery can grow in a sustainable way. Initially set up to grow shade-loving perennials – hence the nursery’s name – it has now diversified into mainly growing plants that will survive the weather extremes. This doesn’t mean just growing indigenous plants, but instead those able to tolerate the droughts. Aquilegia (yes, really, they did grow Aquilegias in Cape Town) was struck off the list, and replaced with Sempervivum, Festuca and Verbena. It is important to look further afield to see how other countries and nurseries deal with similar situations to those we find ourselves in here in the UK. We have to ask ourselves not just will we change the way we grow our plants in the UK, but how? And, as a result, will garden designers be left with a more limited palette of plants they can use?


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NURTURE Viper’s Bugloss Echium vulgare

Chives Allium schoenoprasum Attractive mauve flowers, favourite of bees. Flowers July to August.

Lady’s Bedstraw

Produces tall, rough, hairy leaves and produces vivid blue flowers from May to September. Grows to a height of 30–80cm.

Galium verum Tiny yellow flowers with a honey scent on tall thin stems. Attracts a wide variety of butterflies and moths. Flowers June to August. Grows to a height of 80cm.

Rough Hawkbit Leontodon autumnalis A favourite plant of the Marsh Fritillary Butterfly and Wood Tiger Moth. Good late nectar plant. Flowers May to October.

Oxeye Daisy Leucanthemum vulgare


Member of Daisy family resembling a large daisy. Flowers May to September. Grows to height of 60–90cm.

Achillea millefolium Member of Pink family. Frond leaves and large panicles of tiny aromatic flowers. Butterflies, moths and ladybirds love it and it is drought resistant. Flowers July to October. Grows to a height of 92cm.

Field Scabious Knautia arvensis A tall, hairy, grassland perennial with a flower like head of blue-violet flowers with pink anthers. Attracts large numbers of bees, butterflies, moths and hoverflies. Flowers June to October.


Pro Landscaper / April 2019

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WILDFLOWER: mixing it up

Lindum Wildflower turf ( is designed to flourish in particularly dry conditions, to produce a biodiverse and colourful spectacle. The flower seed mix is made up of wildflowers and flowering perennials and is carefully chosen so the wildflower turf will flower from early spring through to autumn, creating prolonged visual interest.

Carthusian Pink Carthusianorum Tight deep pink flower heads and slender leaves. Flowers July to September. Grows to a height of 60cm.

There are 20 carefully chosen flowering species sown in Lindum Wildflower turf – here is a selection of 10

Birdsfoot Trefoil

Common Thyme

Lotus corniculatus

Thymus vulgaris

Its yellow flowers look like tiny slippers and appear in small clusters. It is mainly pollinated by bees, but also attracts butterflies and moths. A low-growing plant which flowers May to September.

Member of the mint family and highly aromatic. Pale pink petalled flowers attracting early butterflies. Flowers June to July. Grows to a height of 30cm.

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High quality wildflower seed, prepared by hand and supplied to specification John Chambers is a leading supplier of British native wildflower seeds, mixes, bulbs and matting for every project and budget • Heritage Range: Renowned for quality and cleanliness of the seed. • Professional Range: Seed for the professional installer. Includes mixes to suit a wide variety of growing conditions. • Impact Range: Vibrant and colourful mixes to create a feature of any landscaping project. • Conservation Range: Balanced wildflower mixes that provide colour and food to attract wildlife.

Wildlife and Insect Habitats Create biodiversity on your projects with our range of wildlife and insect habitats.

Wildflower Matting Pre-grown under controlled, specialist conditions, the matting provides instant impact and encourages biodiversity. Request our 2019 catalogue John Chambers is part of today the Green-tech Ltd. family

T: 01423 332 115 E: @jcwildflowers


Supplier of

quality nursery stock

Nurseries Delivering a greener outlook

to the landscape market

Producing over two million container plants a year Fantastic modern contract growing facilities Fast friendly professional service Experienced sales team with many years of product and market knowledge

For more information please contact:

01902 376500

Winner 2019 APL North/Midlands Grower of the Year Award @boningale_ltd

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BRICKING IT Jonathan Bourne, director of Bourne Amenity, tell us why crushed brick is the right choice for green roofs


here are various methods of meeting the German FLL specifications for extensive green roof substrates as highlighted in the amended 2008 FLL guidelines. If we take a standard extensive green roof, which will predominantly consist of low maintenance sedum plants, the key parameters are drainage and percolation, nutrients and the all-important saturated bulk density for the one-in-100-year weather event. Bourne Amenity has worked with a variety of

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primary materials over the past 10 years in order to locate the perfect substrate blend to not only suit the plant health, but to also tie in with the environmental credentials that these green roofs seek to conform to. The ideal material needs to be lightweight, permeable and non-toxic. Once we have found this ideal base material then the amendments of compost, composted bark fines or in some cases reconstituted peat, would give us the range of green roof blends to suit standard sedum planting, along with low fertility and ericaceous planting schemes. We have found that the premium material that ticks all of the necessary boxes is crushed primary reject brick. Due to the intensive firing process, around 20% of bricks are deemed unusable due to minor faults that occur when they are processed under duress. We provide a home for these rejects by crushing them and screening down to a variety of grades (depending on the performance criteria). The crushed clay bricks provide the perfect substrate for managing water retention and

percolation, as well as weighing in at just under 1.00g/cmÂł (as per FLL calculations) and providing the perfect habitat for green roof sedums. It is essential to use primary reject brick and not recycled to avoid the presence of concrete or any other potential contaminants. Whilst some manufactures opt for the more expensive expanded clay products it has been proven that the crushed brick substrates have superior performance in the key FLL criteria over those made with similar lightweight materials. Another key advantage is from the recycling and environmental perspective, as the crushed bricks can be fed back into the construction industry through their implementation on green roofs and help our brick manufacturers move toward a zero waste process. ABOUT BOURNE AMENITY Bourne Amenity has been supplying hard and soft landscaping materials to the industry for over 40 years, working with civil engineering companies, landscape designers and contractors.

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21/03/2019 11:58

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StablePAVE HD Pro can handle compressive loadings up to 400 tonnes per sq. mtr, once filled. Fully interlocking grids for maximum lateral support and fast to install, StablePAVE HD Pro provides a very cost effective, durable and attractive permeable paving option.

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Make recycling the norm



ANGUS LINDSAY The virtues of electric power



INEZ WILLIAMS Interview with one of 2018â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 30 under 30 winners


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Its diverse product range and bespoke service


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Limestone  Sandstone Building Stone   Flooring   Walling Masonry   Landscaping   Restoration  01386 584384


Concrete Colours and Decorative Stains from HRL offer an individual competitive paving selection for landscape paths, patios and parking, using the durability and construction speed of in-situ concrete as a platform for truly unique, creative hard landscaping. Probably the most cost effective method to accommodate difficult shapes and curves HRL ColCHEM does things that Pavers cannot.



Tel: 01484 863 880

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Pavers are NOT the ONLY option! Hedgehogs and development Hedgehogs are disappearing at an alarming rate. We need your help to make new developments hedgehog-friendly. Request a copy of our free advice guide for housing developers at and find out how you can help hedgehogs.

19/03/2019 09:07


HOW TO MARKET YOUR BUSINESS Lee Bestall discusses how to market your business successfully, how to give your business identity and how to develop partners and clients in an effective way Give your business an identity Every person has a unique personality and every business should have one too. Just as a person attracts a group of like-minded friends, you also want your business to attract a group of like-minded tribal followers in the form of suppliers, staff and customers. As a leader, it’s your job to identify your company values so start by listing what makes you tick and your pet hates. It’s easiest to begin by brainstorming the things you dislike, stuff that annoys you and the type of people which really get your back up, that way you’ll have an instant list of the kinds of customers and suppliers you don’t want, then just flip the answers and voila, you have a list of desirable customer/supplier traits and you can probably extract a few values out of that information too. In my opinion a company’s brand values will mirror the personal values of its founder and should be actively evident in its team. Clarity of mind Write two lists: things you love to sell and things you don’t. This was a game changer in my business and as a company we use it every day to decide if someone is a good potential client, or if I should let someone else service them. Be

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specific, as this will help you carve out a niche and help your team and in turn potential clients to understand what it is you ‘do’. How begins with who Once you’ve identified the kinds of tribes people you’re looking to work with (not for!), you can begin to hunt them out. What kind of career do they have? What do they read? Where do they play? For suppliers (B2B) it’s easier as you can often find good suppliers at trade shows (the ones who turn up year after year are usually pretty dependable) but for B2C you have to try a bit harder and either get them to join your tribe or you join theirs. At Bestall & Co we profiled each great customer and it wasn’t long before a strong pattern emerged. Marketing (in whichever medium you choose) should mirror your client’s language and style, likes, wants and needs. There’s no point in trying to attract someone who doesn’t share your values. Referrals Once you’ve found a few clients who want to be in your tribe (and now you see why it’s important that your business has a strong identity), they’ll soon tell others in their tribe, and you’ll probably find they have very similar values and preferences to yours. Referral partners Better than a one-off referral from a client, is a relationship with a referral partner. Find people on social media who share the same personal and brand values as your company and build a

tribe with them. It’s a long-term approach but after a few years it works amazingly well. If you’re a believer in networking (and I am) learn how to quickly identify those with the same values as yourself. Build a strong relationship, deliver what you promise, and very soon you’ll have a team of sales people in the field.

Finally, expect to spend 5–10% of your turnover on marketing as an established company, or 10–20% for a start-up. It sounds like a large investment, but if you add up the time you spend on ‘wowing’ your potential clients and suppliers and put a cost to that too, it’s not just all about paid adverts in the traditional sense. ABOUT LEE BESTALL Lee Bestall has been designing and managing the construction of gardens in his signature style for over 10 years and his honest, genuine passion is infectious. He regularly writes gardening and outdoor-style articles for magazines, is brand ambassador for Spear & Jackson and a stand in presenter of BBC Radio Sheffield’s Gardeners’ Question Hour.

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plastics and used to make highly desirable garden furniture, sofas, tables and rugs. We have started to use such products in our landscape projects. We used these items for three reasons:

In our constantly evolving industry, Sean Butler says we need to embrace recycled products and push ourselves to make them the norm Is the UK landscape design and build market ready for the recycled products entering our industry? Are we ready to embrace these products and lead the industry with them, or will we wait until we are forced to use them through regulation?

As both a designer and landscaper, I believe that we should embrace them where we can. One of the main reasons that I believe we do not use them is due to design aesthetic. The word “plastic” is ingrained into our society as a synonym for fake. In our industry, we want to use products that are going to impress and aren’t just the everyday sight. After all, we are a design-led industry, and it’s one of the key visual elements that we must consider to satisfy the demands of our clients. Essential vs desirable We take for granted items that have long been in our gardens, such as water butts, GRP planters, benches, decking and artificial grass. 102 Pro Landscaper / April 2019

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We probably class some of these as essential items and not exactly desirable. But as an industry we need to work on improving the value of these items. Essential and desirable typically make up the two most basic elements on any design brief. To make something desirable is to fashion it in a way that makes it fit the brief of your client. It’s usually something bespoke like an outdoor kitchen, a sculpture or a water feature. As a designer we have to think outside of the box and make desirable items very different from what’s been seen before. It is possible to use pavers made from recycled plastics, however it is not common practice. I argue that this is because they do not have the natural stone appearance that is currently considered desirable by the industry. The same probably applies to the world of composite decking. Some manufacturers have nailed the aesthetic, but not the price. In my opinion, composite decking’s main selling point is not its aesthetic but rather its durability. This really nails the purpose of selling a product that is a low maintenance, once-in-a-lifetimepurchase option. New to the landscape industry are materials that are manufactured from fully recycled

1. To fit the clients brief 2. To keep in line with our eco-friendly design and build ethos 3. To be different and bespoke They added a real sense of the indoors-outdoors and the ambience that it gave to the space was quite magical. Moving forward, it is important that we look to collaborate with manufacturers to bring the design up to our ever-demanding needs. We can do this by engaging with them at shows, or by contacting them directly with new ideas. We shouldn’t always be waiting to see what comes next, we need to make intelligent choices on our own accord rather than being forced into making them simply because we waited too long. 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.

21/03/2019 12:49


VIVE LA RÉVOLUTION Following 2019’s unusually warm February, Angus Lindsay analyses how electric machinery is pushing landscaping in a sustainable direction In the face of global warming, climate change or the climate crisis (whatever you prefer to call it) there is no doubt that our weather patterns are changing. 20°C in February – who’d have thought it? Despite the naysayers, we have to do something if we are to prevent irreversible and catastrophic change to our planet. Electric power seems the best and most cost-effective option available to us in the immediate future, and much like the developments within the automotive sector, machinery development has started to gain momentum. Whilst UK agriculture braces itself for Brexit and looks towards more intensive cropping using robots, John Deere has taken things a step further with an autonomous electric tractor.

Keeping the layout familiar and changing the power source seems common sense

It’s not battery powered but one you plug into the mains. It is ideal for open spaces where GPS can control the tractor’s movement within a defined area, but not so easy in row-crops or where you need greater manoeuvrability. I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all tried

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various options of electric power tools, and with battery technology getting better these machines are now viable alternatives to their fossil fuel driven cousins. Stihl and Husqvarna now offer a professional range of electric power tools, with Pellenc offering nothing but electric, and all now able to do a day’s work with no emissions, low noise and vibration, and reduced maintenance costs. They are more expensive, but for how much longer can we keep relying on petrol and diesel given their huge climate changing effects? Changing operator perception and acceptance is a challenge, especially if you use the back-pack battery option, but this should come with education. If set up correctly, this configuration makes it easy to change from strimmer, to blower, to hedge cutter, to rotary mower by just plugging in a cable. No fuel, no noise, no fumes, and no mess. I was initially sceptical of a commercially viable electric ride-on mower. Having seen the range of “mean green machines” in operation, I can safely say that the future is lime green and extremely quiet. Following a simple and established layout combined with the latest lithium batteries gives an extremely useable range of walk-behind, stand-on and zero-turn options. Claiming a seven hour run time, the machines drive exactly the same as their petrol or diesel equivalents but are more responsive. Even if seven hours is ambitious, five hours run time for machines transported on trailers or in vans to several sites is more than acceptable. The latest generation of engineering students whose past remit was to make engines and transmissions more efficient now concentrate on harnessing the power of electricity and putting it

Battery power: initially expensive but a lot cleaner than storing petrol

into a useable package for both domestic and commercial use. Think back to this February, when the unfeasibly warm weather meant that lawnmowers, strimmers, and similar machines were extracted from sheds and fired up in a haze of blue smoke and rattling valves. Consider how much they alone will unnecessarily contribute to pollution levels. So, there are viable options now making their presence felt in our industry. This, I am sure, will only gather momentum as the engineers and designers of today develop the machines of tomorrow. One thing is for sure: to carry on as we are is not an option. We must all do our bit to avert this ever-increasing threat in any way we can. After all, there is no planet B! 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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POPULAR PORCELAIN THE BUYER’S GUIDE TO 20MM PORCELAIN TILES The quality and performance of procelain can vary from supplier to supplier; Alfresco Floors advises what to look out for when purchasing this popular ceramic


ntil recently, few people in the UK had heard of 20mm porcelain, but today it’s the fastest growing sector in the ceramics world. Despite the popularity, there are still many misconceptions about how double thickness tiles are made and how even slight differences in the manufacturing process can result in significant differences to the performance characteristics of what you buy. All 20mm porcelain is the same, right? Well, if you consider all cake to be pretty much the same, then yes. But if your choice of cake is influenced by what actually goes into it, how well those ingredients are mixed, how it’s cooked, how it’s checked, and how it’s decorated, then the answer is no.

There are many suppliers of 20mm porcelain in the UK, at varying price points. In a confusing market, one thing is for certain – the quality of what you buy is completely dependent on the factory that originally made it. Manufacturing high-quality 20mm porcelain is hard to get right. Making porcelain tiles is a four-stage process: mix, make, fire and finish. Rigorous attention to detail at every stage is crucial to the quality of the final product. 104 Pro Landscaper / April 2019

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Unfortunately, every part of every step is an opportunity to cut corners and reduce costs, which will result in a reduction in quality. Worse still, it is very difficult to detect any of the cost-cutting compromises in the manufacturing process until the tiles are installed and in use.

RIGOROUS ATTENTION TO DETAIL AT EVERY STAGE IS CRUCIAL TO THE QUALITY OF THE FINAL PRODUCT The tiles you buy are a mix of clays, feldspar and silica. If supply routes substitute a little of the more expensive ingredients with a little more of the cheaper ones, the longerterm result is that the finished tiles might not support the loads you expected them to. More immediately, the quality of the engobe, the inks and the printing technology will all have a noticeable effect on the quality of the surface pattern. Next in the production process, kiln firing temperatures are what separate the men from the boys in the world of ceramics. Porcelain needs to go right up to 1,400⁰C before it becomes the strongest ceramic you can buy, but changes size as it cools, so ‘finishing’ the tiles properly must involve scanning for defects and calibrating them to a very exact size. If you are installing on pedestals, you must ensure all the tiles in your order have been rectified to tolerances of less than 1mm. More importantly, if you are combining tiles from different factories into the same installation, you

must establish the actual rectified dimensions they produce – 600 x 600 tiles from one factory might all be exactly 598 x 598, but that’s not going to help you if the tiles from your other manufacturer are all exactly 595 x 595. Modern 20mm porcelain is justifiably popular because it offers enormous design opportunities. It’s quick and easy to install, and it’s the most maintenance free exterior flooring available. Porcelain will provide you with decades of robust and resilient performance and it has guaranteed resistance from mould, moss, stains, scratches and colour change. However, the more popular it becomes in the UK the more temptation there is to sneak cheaper, substandard products into the market. Exterior porcelain may well have R11 skid resistance, but if you don’t know what you’re buying, unfortunately there are still many ways to slip up. ABOUT ALFRESCO FLOORS Alfresco Floors are the UK’s leading specialist in the provision and installation of raised external floors for commercial and high-end domestic projects. From decking to paving, Alfresco Floors offer an end-to-end service of technical design, materials supply and nationwide installation.

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1. Design choice Wide selection of contemporary and traditional design choices, including stone, cement and wood-effect finishes. Thanks to modern inkjet technology these finishes are becoming ultra realistic. Green Garden Paving is a stockist of the unique Valverdi Indoor-Out brand of co-ordinating tiles.



2. Range of sizes There are a range of sizes available in the external porcelain portfolio including 1200 x 600mm large format tiles, wood effect planks, 600 x 600mm slabs and small patterned 200 x 200mm tiles.


3. Rectified slabs The majority of porcelain paving tiles at Green Garden Paving are rectified which gives a cleaner edge and regular sizing.

4. Long-lasting look The paving tiles will look fantastic for years to come as they are fade proof, scratch resistant, colourfast and resistant to moss and mould growth. No additional sealing or specialist cleaning products are required to keep them looking good.

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5. Grouting Rectified porcelain paving allows you to use a contemporary narrow grout joint with a minimum width of 4mm. A slimmer joint is not possible as it becomes difficult to force grout into, leaving a void which could collect moisture. Brush in grouts are also not practical for porcelain as they are porous and moisture can permeate into the sub-base, possibly causing the paving to blow on a frosty day.

6. Installation Porcelain paving can be installed using several methods including solid concrete screed and adhesive, wet bed, adjustable pedestals or PorcelQuick Adpeds.

PORCELAIN PAVING TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS • Frost-proof vitrified porcelain • Slip-resistant R11 rating • Fade proof and colourfast • Rectified edges for narrow joints • Stain resistant • Co-ordinating indoor tiles available • Low maintenance • Free samples available online

CONTACT 1 Hollybush Lane, Ash Vale, Hampshire, GU11 2PX Tel 0333 320 7036 Email Web Twitter @GGPaving Facebook greengardenpaving Instagram @greengardenpaving

7. Finishing touches The tiles can be profiled to create an attractive finish for steps, edgings or swimming pool surrounds. Options include bull nosing, anti-slip grooves and metal inset strips. It is worth noting that some porcelain has a different base and top colour which does not give an aesthetically pleasing look on cut edges. PorcelQuick trims can be used as a quick and easy solution – keep an eye out for the new bendable square edge trim for curved steps.

21/03/2019 11:55



INEZ WILLIAMS Pro Landscaper speaks to Inez Williams, one of 2018’s 30 Under 30 winners, about her job role, volunteer work and what she thinks the industry could do to improve.

What was your route into the industry? I can remember being six or seven years old and visiting the Eden Project during its construction, then growing up with the story of the restoration of the Lost Gardens of Heligan. These visits were very inspiring and it had a huge impact on my future career choice. It wasn’t until I started volunteering for my Gold Duke of Edinburgh at Trewithen Gardens and almost by fluke finding a University course which seemed to tick all my interests that I began to realise I could make a career for myself in the industry. I then went on to study Garden Design, Restoration and Management BSc at Writtle College. The course was extremely varied, covering design, horticulture, history and construction.

Where do you currently work? I currently work as a Consultant Landscape Manager at LUC – a planning, impact assessment, landscape design and ecology consultancy with expertise across a broad crosssection of environmental disciplines. What are your day-to-day responsibilities? My work is incredibly varied. Past projects have covered the use and management of landscape, including rural, urban, historic and/or newly constructed. I have often worked alongside LUC’s other landscape teams, providing integrated landscape management and

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maintenance expertise for Conservation Management Plans, Management Plans, HLF applications, Open Space Strategies to providing landscape advise for funding applications to name just a few.

What has been your greatest career achievement to date? The last year has been a great year for building on my experience and confidence; from developing proposals for the restoration of the 18th Century Pleasure Gardens to being part of the project team working alongside Talbot Farm Landscapes to reinstate the Hyde Park Parade Ground following the end of the events period. This was recognised for a double BALI National Landscape Award Regeneration Scheme Over £500k category. My biggest sense of accomplishment comes from knowing the work I do contributes to the preservation and understanding of our landscapes. Throughout my career, I have continually delivered open space strategies for both local authorities and social housing providers.

More recently, I have taken steps to continue to improve and promote landscapes within the UK. In 2017 I became a Green Flag Judge, and this year I was also appointed as a GoLandscape Ambassador.


ER INN 2018

What is one thing in the industry you would want to change and or improve? Since the recession and the increased responsibility placed on councils to cater for an increased demand for social care and education, the care of green space has often taken a backseat and funds for its provision and maintenance have been reducing. This has led to a decrease in the availability of work for the industry, a reduction in available skills and the educational courses providing those skills. I would like be part of a movement which re-establishes the importance of landscape, to emphasise its key role in combating climate change, improving health and well-being and through that emphasising the important and central role it has to play within new developments, strategic planning and policies to deal with those two increasingly recognized issues we face in the 21st century.

Can you tell us some more about the volunteer work you have done? From volunteering on a UNESCO world heritage site following a natural disaster in Italy to working in Fiji, it’s been great to know the work I’ve contributed to has made an impact on people. Pro Landscaper / April 2019 107

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Pro Landscaper talks to The Pot Company about its diverse range of quality products, its bespoke service and some exciting plans for the future

CONTACT Company name The Pot Company Tel 01892 890 353 Email Web Facebook thepotcompany Instagram @thepotcompany Twitter @ThePotCompany

How do you market your company? Given its diverse client base, the company uses a range of marketing tools: to the landscape sector magazines such as Pro Landscaper, exhibitions and the website are powerful tools. The wholesale side of the business, requires a more direct approach. Can you tell us a little more about The Pot Company? The Pot Company has been trading for well over 30 years now. The current owners purchased the business in 2013 when founder Kevin McMahon, who is well respected in the industry, decided to retire. It had a core base of loyal customers that the company has continued to serve well. What are the main products you supply? All sizes of pots from a small 6cm model moulded in recyclable bamboo fibre up to giant 2m plus containers in corten steel and fibreglass. There is a whole range of sizes in between in a wide variety of materials, such as terracini, fibrestone, polystone, glazed and ironstone. Since 2013 the company has offered a collection of garden features, such as burners, water tablesand cast iron statues which have helped grow the client base.

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What are the key selling points of your products? One of the main things clients like about the company is its ability to hold large stocks and respond quickly to orders. Also, that it offers a range of unique, high-end products – landscapers appreciate being able to offer quality items. How do you ensure the quality of your products? Quality is key: the company offers products that clients are confident to install and to this end have developed a very stable supplier base that can be trusted for consistent quality. The Pot Company will only take on new suppliers that meet its precise specifications. Can you tell us more about the bespoke service you offer? There is a large number of commercial and residential projects out there where standard/stock sizes aren’t suitable, so The Pot Company has been developing a bespoke service for the past three to four years. Clients can order custom planters, water tables and a variety of other features in fibreglass, aluminium and corten steel and specify any RAL colour.

Are you releasing any new products in the coming months? New products…. and variants on existing ones. An exciting current development is the launch of ‘UKMade’ over the coming months, offering stock and bespoke items manufactured exclusively in the UK in premium materials. The aim is to appeal to clients looking for a high-end finish to a project.

What’s the next step for the company? To continue to provide an excellent level of service and to work increasingly closely with garden designers and landscapers to achieve a good understanding of their needs. The company already supplies on a national basis, but much of what it offers is London-centric, so it will be looking to increase its regional supply through an improved distribution network. With ongoing expansion as a wholesale supplier to garden centres, the year ahead will be busy. Pro Landscaper / April 2019 109

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BRUSHCUTTERS STIHL FS 131 & FS 131 Available in bike handle and loop handle models • 4-MIX engine produces more torque and power at lower rev range • STIHL 4-MIX engine technology provides a quieter, cleaner and more efficient system that delivers reduced emissions and increased fuel efficiency • Utilises STIHL’s anti-vibration system to reduce feedback from the engine for comfortable use over extended periods of time • FS 131 R model is compatible with a wide range of attachments including a hedge trimmer, scrub cutter and pole pruner • Supplied with ADVANCE universal harness (FS 131) and single strap harness (FS 131 R) Price: FS 131 – £780, FS 131 R – £756


18Vx2 Split-Shaft BL LXT DUX60Z LXT 36V Brushless motor – three-speed drive system • Six attachments plus pole extension • New brushcutter and line trimmer attachments • Highly sustainable with low noise and emissions • Output of 600 Watts and a three-speed drive system that will run up to 9,700 rpm in Hi; 8,200 rpm in medium mode and 5,700 rpm in lo speed • Electric brake and overload protection • AFT, Makita’s active feedback sensing technology that shuts down the tool if the rotation speed suddenly reduces or if the blade or line head snags • Maximum weight with the largest batteries and tool head is just 8.7kg. Price: £POA




545RXT - Petrol Brushcutter Ergonomic and comfortable – The balance XT harness with broad back support, padded shoulder straps and hip-belt and adjustable soft grip handles • Low Vib® – Effective anti-vibration dampeners • Three-step chokeless start system • Easy switch cutting equipment • Transparent fuel tank • X-Torq® technology offers high-fuel efficiency and reduced exhaust emission levels • AutoTune™ automatic engine adjustment • Cutting equipment can be adjusted to suit the task, supplied with T45X Tap’n’Go trimmer head and grass blade. Price: RRP £880.00 inc. VAT


110 Pro Landscaper / April 2019

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For full details on all jobs, please goFor to full details on all jobs, please go to Call 01903 777 587 or email vacancy. Call 01903 446with 076your or email with your vacancy



The Garden Builders are seeking experienced and trainee residential garden maintenance operatives required for a leading landscape company, working on sites across North and West London. The salary range is dependent on experience and the position applied for with an immediate start for the right candidate. These are full-time, self-employed opportunities: all tools and uniform are provided. A vehicle may be provided after a qualifying period.

Bernhard’s Landscapes is a leading landscaping and artificial sports surfacing contractor based in Rugby and operating nationwide. The company is looking for a candidate with experience of quantity surveying and/or estimating within the landscaping or sports surfacing sector with strong commercial awareness. Key duties include preparation of bills of quantities from working drawings, assisting estimators with the pricing of tenders and identification and pricing of variations.

For more details please go to

For more details please go to



Lowther Forestry Group Ltd is seeking to employ an enthusiastic and motivated individual to join the company in the role of landscape contracts manager to work in liaison with its project manager on a long-term major highways project. Based at its site office at Huntingdon, the company welcomes applications from team players with enthusiasm, drive and the ability to apply high professional and technical standards in a commercially driven business.

The Garden Builders are looking for a trainee garden designer/estimator to join its award-winning landscape company. The ideal candidate would be a recent garden design graduate with construction and sales experience or an experienced landscaper with flair and an eye for garden design and detail with sales experience. The candidate must be fully literate in Outlook, Word, Excel, Vectorworks and Photoshop or equivalent.

For more details please go to

For more details please go to



For almost three decades, ESL Landscape Contractors has been providing high quality soft landscaping services. It is currently looking for a full-time landscaping team leader based in the North West London/North London area to lead a small team on a wide range of commercial landscaping projects across the South of England. This role will suit an experienced landscaper with a proven track record of supervising staff and sub-contractors and delivering high quality.

Stefano Marinaz Landscape Architecture is looking for a gardener to join its team who offer clients a comprehensive design, build and garden maintenance service. The gardener will be responsible for looking after medium size gardens, working both independently and also at time with another team member. Candidates must have a formal qualification in horticulture, passion and practical skills. Candidates will need to be honest, reliable, able to plan the workload and have a friendly, yet professional approach with clients, demonstrating excellent communication skills.

THE GARDEN BUILDERS Location: North and West London

LOWTHER FORESTRY GROUP LTD Location: Cambridgeshire


For more details please go to


Want to be part of a small friendly irrigation team working in London and the home counties? If you are hardworking, enjoy the outdoors, have a clean driving licence and a background in landscaping or similar; Rosewood Irrigation Services, based in St Albans, needs you. Rosewood offers a competitive salary dependent on experience and will give you the specialist training necessary to install their individually-designed irrigation systems. For more details please go to

112 Pro Landscaper / April 2019

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BERNHARD’S LANDSCAPES Location: Warwickshire

THE GARDEN BUILDERS Location: Fulham, London


For more details please go to

HL SERVICES HL Services specialise in permanent and temporary recruitment solutions across the UK for the grounds maintenance and facilities management sectors. Explore a wide range of vacancies in London and across the UK by searching HL Services on the Horticulture Careers homepage. The company is recruiting landscaping and grounds maintenance staff at all levels. For more details please go to

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ASHLEY ZYMANCZYK Soft landscape manager, Guildford Landscapes Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Very inspirational for new and interesting ideas about what can be done in a garden. They also show themed gardens from different parts of the country and the world that can inspire the general public – even it is just a single element or idea. Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? The gardens in Japan are very neatly maintained and bursting with colour especially in the spring and autumn months. Also, I like the fact that their gardens are as in tune with nature as can be.

The one person in the industry you would love to meet? The Rich brothers as I really love their work and I’d love to know where their inspiration comes from. One thing that you think would make the industry better? To make landscaping and gardens more appealing to the younger generation.

Role model as a child? I don’t have one specific person, however my whole family has inspired and motivated me to become successful in the future. Couldn’t get through the week without..... I truly couldn’t go throughout the week without going to the gym every morning.

What would you blow your budget on? Creating a dream garden for someone who is in need of personal or physical help. Doing this for someone would give me immense joy. 114 Pro Landscaper / April 2019

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Best invention in recent years? It has to be the drone for aerial photography. Your favourite joke? Did you know the kids in Dubai don’t watch The Flintstones, but the kids in Abu Dhabi do!

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


MANOJ MALDE Garden designer, Manoj Malde Garden Design

Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Definitely inspirational. They are the couture shows of the industry to give the public ideas.

The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Juan Grimm. His work brought tears to my eyes at the SGD Conference. One thing that you think would make the industry better? Collaboration, collaboration and collaboration!

©Del Boy/

Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? The Mediterranean. I love how the plants survive through some pretty rough conditions. What would you blow your budget on? For myself it would be a powerboat. For work I would buy Sneeboer and Niwaki tools.

Best piece of trivia you know? Q: Which creatures produce gossamer? A: Spiders.

Best invention in recent years? Mobile phones.

21/03/2019 14:49


ELLEN KRIER Landscape architect, Pegasus Group Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Inspirational, especially those that are original, educational and revolutionary. Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? Bosnia and Herzegovina.

I also have to credit the USA and France. Giverny is a big inspiration to me, and the respect and tranquillity that is created by Ground Zero still stuns me. What would you blow your budget on? A drone and exploring experimental environmental food techniques.

The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Piet Ouldorf. One thing that you think would make the industry better? Uniting with other professions, from a governmental and planning perspective as well as at community level. Food, farming and plant uses mixed with aesthetics are all passions

I aspire to bring to the workplace. Role model as a child? My older sister, her ambition and drive is faultless and my grandad who was a town and regional planner.



Managing director, The London Lawn Turf Co

Owner and garden designer, Pippa Schofield Garden Design Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not 100% inspirational, the quality of work and the amount of thought that goes into some of the gardens is amazing.

Best piece of trivia you know? Around 42% of the UK population – about 27m people – are regular gardeners. Couldn’t get through the week without… Exercise! Best invention in recent years? p/ Sh m utt e Uber, makes r sto c k .c o getting around London so much easier and usually always at a good rate. ro

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What would you blow your budget on? An irrigation system.


Atlantic coast on the West. They pretty much have it all.

© In

Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? France, there’s huge differences in landscapes across the country, from the snow-topped Alps in the east to the hot sunny beaches in the south and to the windy Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Inspirational – you go home with loads of ideas and have access to the very best professional growers. Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? The USA, from the soaring peaks of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to the deserts of Nevada – natural landscapes on a big scale!

What would you blow your budget on? A huge party for my family and friends. The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Monty Don. One thing that you think would make the industry better? Replacing plastic plant pots with biodegradable ones. Couldn’t get through the week without… Coffee! Pro Landscaper / April 2019 115

21/03/2019 14:50

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Pro Landscaper April 2019  

Pro Landscaper April 2019  

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