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Concept to Delivery

December 2017


Pink poinsettia IAN DRUMMOND





What can we do?



Let’s Hear it From JODY LIDGARD 23/11/2017 14:33

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December 2017 | Volume 7, Issue 12

December 2017

Pink poinsettia IAN DRUMMOND


Welcome to December 2017 Welcome to Pro Landscaper’s December issue, which brings a close to 2017. If our conversations with the many people we spoke to at FutureScape are anything to go by, it has been (on the whole) a brilliant year for work and project pricing – the only thing we still need to put more focus on is encouraging good quality people to join our wonderful industry. Our 30 Under 30: The Next Generation class of 2017, awarded at FutureScape, are a fabulous advertisement for the sector, and we congratulate them all on their achievements. Speaking of FutureScape, we would like to thank everyone who was in any way involved in our hugely successful event, from exhibitors, sponsors and speakers to the visitors, who are massively important to all the aforementioned. Every year

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

we strive to make the event better, and I hope you will agree that this was the best yet; we’ve never seen seminars and debates in the industry so well attended. We hope to continue to bring you the best event and magazine in the industry – but of course, none of this is possible without the valuable feedback we receive, so please feel free to contact us with your views on both Pro Landscaper and FutureScape. The fact that this is the final issue of 2017 doesn’t mean we are slowing up for the holidays: we still have 116 pages of fantastic content for you, with names such as Jody Lidgard, Wilder Associates, Andrew Wilson, Jamie Butterworth, Tom Massey and a host of other well-known landscape industry people involved this month. Also, Pro Landscaper’s Most Influential list is published in this issue – you

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

Deputy Editor – Nina Mason Tel: 01903 777 583

Horticulture Careers – Laura Harris Tel: 01903 777 580

Editorial Assistant – Ellie Foster Tel: 01903 777 607

Managing Director – Jim Wilkinson Tel: 01903 777 589

Content Manager – Claire Maher Tel: 01903 777 570


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

Subscription enquiries – Emily Maltby Tel: 01903 777 570




What can we do?



Let’s Hear it From JODY LIDGARD


23/11/2017 14:33

may have seen who the top 24 influencers in the industry were at FutureScape, but in case you missed it, check out page 68 onwards. You can see a pictorial review of FutureScape and the recent ScotHort event in this issue, and with all shows over for the year now, we are very much looking forward to the BALI Awards on December 1, where we will celebrate and recognise the best landscaping has to offer. A very merry Christmas from us, the Wilkinson family and all the Eljays44 team. We thank you for your support in 2017 and are looking forward to a fun, profitable and profile raising 2018 (to quote the new landscape business mantra!)



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

Printed by Pensord Press Ltd, Gwent, UK Published by ©Eljays44 Ltd – Connecting Horticulture Pro Landscaper’s content is available for licensing overseas. Contact jamie.wilkinson@ Pro Landscaper is published 12 times per year by Eljays44 Ltd. The 2017 subscription price is £95. Subscription records are maintained at Eljays44 Ltd, 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA, UK. Articles and information contained in this publication are the copyright of Eljays44 Ltd and may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publishers. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for loss of, or damage to, uncommissioned photographs or manuscripts. Whilst every effort has been made to maintain the integrity of our advertisers, we accept no responsibility for any problem, complaints, or subsequent litigation arising from readers’ responses to advertisements in the magazine. We also wish to emphasise that views expressed by editorial contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers. Reproduction of any part of this magazine is strictly forbidden.

The Association of

Professional Landscapers

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

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

Cover image ©

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Pro Landscaper / December 2017


23/11/2017 14:46


December 2017 31


8 Agenda How much value can business consultants add to a company?

10 News Our monthly roundup of industry news

14 idverde: A New Chapter We speak to outgoing chairman Nick Temple-Heald and his replacement, Doug Graham

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

Concept to Delivery

December 2017


Pink poinsettia IAN DRUMMOND





22 ScotHort Looking back on this year’s event

25 FutureScape


What can we do?

All the highlights from FutureScape 2017

31 Let’s Hear It From Jody Lidgard of Bespoke Outdor Spaces

34 Company Profile Landstruction

36 Landscape Architect’s Journal Wilder Associates

38 View from the Top As he steps down, Nick Temple-Heald reflects on succession planning

40 Design for Health Adam White reviews the Landscape Institute’s recent CPD day

41 Reality Check Clients rarely understand what their projects actually involve, warns Andrew Wilson

42 What’s New? Angus Lindsay reports back on new offerings at SALTEX 2017


Pro Landscaper / December 2017

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Let’s Hear it From JODY LIDGARD


23/11/2017 14:33

44 In the Long Run Business sustainability is on David T Binks’s mind

47 Changing With the Seasons How Oldham is using its green spaces to move on from its industrial heritage INSPIRE

53 Breathing Space Show garden style comes to a tiny back garden in Wiltshire, with impressive results

56 Urban Paradise

58 Not Just For Show The relocation of the IQ Quarry Garden from the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show

64 Shed Some Light Anji Connell takes a look at the latest innovations in outdoor solar lighting

66 Hardwood Decking Four inspiring decking projects

69 Pro Landscaper Most Influential A rundown of the most influential players working in landscaping and horticulture today – as selected by Pro Landscaper’s very own readers

An ambitious project brings sleek, forward-looking modernity to a derelict London plot

23/11/2017 14:57




Light Years Ahead Advice from Robert Webber on planning a lighting scheme that won’t ruin the natural beauty of the night sky

100 Helping You Make A Profit Sam Hassall looks at how you can manage a client’s design cost and delivery expectations

102 New Products Rounding up some of the best new products hitting the market in 2018

104 Artificial Grass Our selection of top artificial grass projects

105 Product DNA Taking a closer look at the Makita CP100D CXT Multi Cutter

106 Battery Powered Kit Battery tools to add to your arsenal



Nurture News




Report: Xylella fastidiosa


Designer Plants Colour is at the heart of Tom Massey’s scheme for the charity Perennial


Beautiful Bark Andy McIndoe lists his favourite trees whose bark adds something special

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Mellow Yellow

Nursery Interview Talking business with Southport-based nursery J. A. Jones

Pro Landscaper’s in-depth report asks industry experts what should be done to prevent the disease reaching the UK



Think Pink

Jamie Butterworth on the yellow plants that can brighten up the season

We report back from this year’s edition of the SoilsCon event


Tips to help you prepare for the colder months, plus our pick of the best winter maintenance products

Poinsettias don’t always have to be red, says Ian Drummond

A roundup of news from the UK’s growing sector


108 Winter Maintenance


110 Book Review Three books for the landscaping and horticultural community

111 Look Out For Thomas Campbell

114 Little Interviews Quick-fire questions to the people who make up our industry

Pro Landscaper / December 2017


23/11/2017 14:58

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David T Binks

Andy McIndoe

Nick Temple-Heald

Ian Drummond

Managing director of Landstruction and Big Hedge Co.

Leading horticulturist

Chairman, idverde UK

Creative director, Indoor Garden Design

As the rich blaze of autumn fades and gardens drift into their dormant slumber, leading horticulturist Andy McIndoe looks to trees with beautiful bark to provide some much-needed winter interest. With specimens to suit a range of soil types, situations and budgets, Andy’s suggestions will lend colour and a wealth of textures, guaranteed to add another dimension to your planting at any time of the year.

As Nick Temple-Heald prepares to hand over the reins as chief executive officer of idverde UK and move into his new role as chairman, he takes the opportunity to reflect on the importance of succession planning. While acknowledging the challenges, Nick considers how businesses can attract and develop the best people at every level, and support the next generation of company leaders.

Ian Drummond is tickled pink this month as a firm festive favourite gets a modern makeover in the form of pink poinsettias. With the trend for all things blush showing no signs of slowing down, this revamped Christmas staple is an absolute Yuletide must-have. Ian inspires us with creative planting suggestions and shares his top tips for keeping these pastel perfections in peak condition. @AndyMcIndoe @idverdeUK @IndoorGdnDesign

In this month’s column, David Binks explores the term ‘sustainability’ and what it means, beyond green roofs and words prefixed by ‘eco’. Using the Pillars of Sustainability – People, Profit, Planet – David explains how to measure and improve the social, economic and environmental aspects of your business, to help move it forward in a progressive and sustainable way. @Landstruction @bighedgecompany

Adam White Director, Davies White Ltd Andrew Wilson Garden designer and lecturer


Other contributors Anji Connell Interior architect and landscape designer

Robert Webber Founder, Scenic Lighting

Jamie Butterworth Horticultural consultant, London Stone

Sam Hassall Managing director, LandPro Ltd

Angus Lindsay Head of fleet, idverde

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Pro Landscaper / December 2017


23/11/2017 10:26



Business consultancy has grown in popularity as companies look for ways to improve key aspects of their development, including staff management and a reduction in costs; focused experts can help to identify these areas and implement necessary changes. But does this add value to a company, or is it an unnecessary cost?

Ken White Managing director, Frosts Landscape Construction

The use of a business consultant is greatly underrated, in my opinion. I am a member of a business club associated with Cranfield University, and as part of my membership I have a monthly one-to-one meeting with a consultant. I like to think of the relationship as one of mentoring, and he almost fulfils a non-executive role. It takes a while for the consultant to understand your business and your management style, so you need to bear with the process. Mark – my consultant – and I have worked together for about four years now, and he is an excellent sounding board. We operate a flat mirror principal: i.e. he tells me the way he sees it, no distortion. 8

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Pro Landscaper / December 2017

Sometimes when you are in charge, you need people to respectfully challenge your ideas and assumptions, and work through them to a conclusion. Often, business owners and managers need that voice of reason to rein them back in and make them stick to their core business objectives. I would highly recommend the use of a mentor or consultant. Take your time in choosing one, and make sure they are going to tell you what you need to hear, and not simply what you want to hear.

Paul Downer Managing director, Oak View Landscapes

Business consultants can, in many cases, offer great value to your company. When you are employed by the company you can become very insular over time, and often need a fresh viewpoint. Consultants add value to operations by providing new insights and pointing to underlying problems; this can help existing employees who are too busy with daily tasks and can lose sight of the overall picture. Consultants can be a valuable asset: a focused team of smart people who are dedicated to solving the problem. Some consultants can face criticism, due to the cost of hiring them and doubt as to whether their

recommendations are really beneficial to the business – not just over hyped common sense. The secret is to find the right consultant, who offers unbiased advice and brings added value to your business. At Oak View Landscapes we have experienced great benefits from working with such consultants.

Richard Gardiner Managing director, NAG Solutions

The simple answer is: a huge amount. It’s hard to imagine any elite sportsperson reaching the top without external help – nutritionists, tactical and fitness coaches, and of course the agent all play their part. So it does surprise me when businesses don’t seek external, objective support and expertise to help them reach the top of their game. Most highly successful people and companies – even the perennial entrepreneurial yardstick Richard Branson – use consultants of some kind or another. The key to getting what you want out of the relationship is to be clear about what success will look like – a good consultant should want to establish this at the outset, for their own focus and benefit. Quite often, the first part of a project is challenging the business on this very point, agreeing the

23/11/2017 10:50


objectives and methods by which success will be measured. Do this well, and the sky is the limit.

Janine Pattison

Darren Kilby

Director, JPS Landscape Design

Head of sales and marketing, Gristwood and Toms Ltd

No one can know everything about our industry. It is the most varied and interesting career you could imagine, and part of being successful is knowing when to call for help. That might be by using a specialist technical consultant for help with arboriculture or ecology matters, or calling on a consultant structural engineer to make sure your proposals are realistic and buildable. Business consultants have helped us with business strategy, tax advice, marketing, IT, HR and legal issues – all areas which are vital to the success of the practice. By using specialist consultants, you are gaining expert help from people who are up to date with the latest technology, legal requirements and industry ‘best practice’. They also have the advantage of advising other companies in other sectors and that gives them an opportunity to suggest new ways of doing things – because, as we all know, nothing stays the same for very long.

There’s an old joke that a business consultant is someone who borrows your watch to tell you the time, and then keeps your watch. This may certainly prove to be true if the issue that the consultant has been brought in to tackle has not been clearly defined. Employing consultants can be a bottomless money pit, especially if the ‘temporary’ consultant ends up being a permanent member of the team. Companies should think very carefully about the reasons why they are hiring a consultant, and remember that it is not a passive exercise – it requires active management to maintain accountability on the goals, and ultimately, it is not the consultant that has to make the tough decisions. I think more value can be provided in business by focusing resources on building a great company culture, by speaking to customers, listening to staff on the front line, and acting on the feedback received.

Brian Herbert Director, Outdoor Options

At Outdoor Options we highly value the contributions external consultants can bring to the company. For our small business, it provides a level of professional input that we would not otherwise internally establish. In the past, this has been a combination of health and safety compliance, plus setting up the structure of our internal administration systems. More recently, we engaged NAG Solutions for a two-day compliancy and business audit. This proved our most productive consultancy exercise to date. Richard has a unique overview of the industry, plus a career’s worth of knowledge and experience gained from running his own business; hence he is well versed and able to tune into our own objectives, offering both compliancy guidance and longer sighted direction. When you have a fresh pair of eyes and a new perspective on what you get absorbed into daily, it forces you to reflect and work on the business for a change – as opposed to within the business.

Agenda.indd 9


The government plans to build 300,000 new homes a year. Will this have a positive impact on the landscape industry?

Have your say: Pro Landscaper / December 2017


23/11/2017 10:51


NEWS Landform Consultants mourns death of bright young star

Plans for transformation of Oxford Street published for consultation

Pro Landscaper was extremely saddened to hear of the death of an up and coming landscaper, Matthew Bradley, 24, who worked for landscape design and build company Landform Consultants. The news, announced by the Liverpool Echo just before 10am on Saturday 4 November, reported that 24-year-old Matthew, who was from Northern Ireland, was visiting Liverpool for a stag party when he was hit by a grey car on The Strand near to the Hilton Hotel, at about 11.40pm on Friday night. “I got a call from Matt Moore, my ops director, on Saturday morning to say he had some dreadful news about Matthew,” said Mark Gregory of Landform. “His girlfriend Rhiannon Williams (a garden designer, who also works at Landform) had called Matt to let him know the tragic news; we are completely heartbroken. Matt was a charming, lovely, kind 24-year-old lad. He was a junior foreman at Landform on a very upward career path, he represented his country in the world finals for UK Skills, built two RHS Chelsea gardens for us as lead foreman and built Rhi Williams’s Hampton Court garden earlier this year. He was one of the

Plans for the transformation of Oxford Street were unveiled today by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Deputy Leader of Westminster City Council, Cllr Robert Davis MBE DL. If approved, the plans would create traffic-free public spaces in the heart of London to rival cities such as Paris and New York. Throughout the consultation, people can have their say on plans to create a pedestrianfriendly environment. The proposals would see all east-west traffic restricted from entering Oxford Street between Orchard Street and Oxford Circus, while maintaining north-south routes through that section. The carriageway would be raised to be level with the existing pavements between Orchard Street and Oxford Circus during this first stage, making the area more accessible.


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best talents I have ever seen, and I am totally devastated at the waste and tragic loss. Matt would have gone on to be something super special, an industry leader. I was loving watching him grow and develop at such a pace.” “It was such a shock to hear of the tragic loss of Matt Bradley; to be taken when on such an upward career path is truly devastating,” said Lisa Wilkinson, editor of Pro Landscaper. “The world of landscaping is worse off for having lost such a bright, young, career driven person who was already making a name for himself in the industry. Our thoughts and prayers are with Matt’s family and girlfriend Rhiannon Williams at this terrible time.”

Pro Landscaper / December 2017

New seating would be placed along the street, and a new 800m-long work of public art could also be commissioned for the length of the former carriageway. Subject to public response, the delivery of this first stage scheme will aim to coincide with launch of Elizabeth Line services through Central London in December 2018. The plans have been designed to fit with the wider extensive improvements being made across the West End, including the transformation of Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road stations ahead of the Elizabeth Line, the Baker Street two-way project, and changes to the Tottenham Court Road/Gower Street area. The scheme will also see a range of measures implemented to help protect the wider area from traffic and air quality impacts.

23/11/2017 12:56


All change at Andersplus Andersplus has announced that it has changed its name to Fresh Horticultural Careers. After nearly 17 years trading as Andersplus, the business felt it was the right time to reposition itself in the market place, with a name that better re ects the service it provides. With increased social and economic pressures facing all businesses, the company is having to respond to different demands and expectations within the industry, and aims to become more resourceful in solving recruitment requirements and issues.

Its new name signals the company’s belief that it is time to take a fresh approach to tackling the skills shortage within the industry, and to identify and develop new directions in its service. Over the coming year, it will concentrate on finding fresh ways to source candidates at all levels, working with its clients and professional bodies to broaden the appeal of a career in horticulture – particularly among young people. Its aim is to spend more time in the field going to schools, colleges

Capel Manor College wins key horticulture apprenticeship contract Capel Manor College is set to deliver high quality education and training with the Royal Parks Horticultural Apprenticeship Scheme, in a new three-year programme. “Our Royal Parks are vital components of London’s green infrastructure. The apprentices play an important part in helping to maintain and develop them, and Capel is delighted to be working with The Royal Parks to continue and enhance their success,” said Capel principal Malcolm Goodwin.

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Apprentices participating in this Royal Parks Apprenticeship Scheme receive first-hand training at one of London’s eight Royal Parks. They will also study for horticultural qualifications at the college one day a week, and

NEWS IN BRIEF Shows director Nick Mattingley to leave RHS and ob fairs and meeting with industry professionals, to better meet the expectations of clients and candidates. Above all, Fresh Horticultural Careers sees itself as a recruitment mentor for clients and candidates alike, helping to identify and retain the best people for this diverse, challenging and rewarding industry.

attend specialist master classes with experts from The Royal Parks and the Royal Parks Guild. Dennis Clarke, head of park services at The Royal Parks, said: “We’re pleased to partner with Capel to train our new apprentices – and potentially the park managers of the future. There are an estimated 77m annual visits to the parks, so it’s vital we train the best new talent to the highest standards to deliver world class horticulture and to continue to provide unparalleled opportunities for en oyment, exploration and healthy living in the heart of London.”

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has announced that its shows director Nick Mattingley will be leaving at the end of November 2017. Nick has been with the RHS since February 201 , when he first oined as head of shows, and became shows director in 2016.

Best trading year in Greentech’s 23-year history

Landscape supplier Greentech completed the year with a turnover of £12.7m, the highest in its 23-year trading history. “It has been a tremendous year,” said chairman Richard Kay. “Our hard work and commitment to the industry and our clients has paid off.

National role for new Makita centre in Glasgow

Makita UK has opened its first regional Factory Service Centre (FSC) and Training Academy in Glasgow, to support market penetration in Northern England and Scotland. The FSC now also has national responsibility for servicing Makita’s dust extraction machines.

23/11/2017 12:57


Adam McGarry wins gold at the APL WorldSkills UK final

Adam McGarry of Wiltshire College has been announced as ‘UK Champion’ in this year’s landscaping competition, winning gold at the Association of Professional Landscapers L orldSkills UK final. Daniel McGeoghegan took silver and Sam Taylor took bronze. Both Daniel and Sam are currently enrolled at Myerscough College, completing the acclaimed industry-led APL apprentice scheme. Entrants were also competing for a place in Squad UK, where they have a chance to represent the UK at international level. Last year’s finalist, Shea Mcferran from C RE, returned to secure his space, along with Sam Taylor, Josh Dow and Kelvin White. he L orldSkills final took place between 16-18 November at The Skills Show, held at the

Jason Lock joins Bowles & Wyer

Birmingham NEC. The competitors had 16 hours to individually build from scratch a garden designed by head judge and technical lead, Jody Lidgard of Bespoke Outdoor Spaces and Landscape Skills Academy. Competitors were required to work within tolerances of 3-8mm on measurements provided, and were marked on elements such as block paving, timberwork, planting, health and safety and overall garden appearance. he final also included a plant ident created by

J. A. Jones, designed to test the competitors’ plant knowledge. Judges included Jody Lidgard, Steve Smith of Shore Landscapes, APL general manager Phil Tremayne, and 2011 WorldSkills UK Silver medal winner and international training manager Simon Abbott. The APL would like to thank sponsors Green-Tech, J. A. Jones, Makita and Marshalls for their support; without them, it would not be possible.

The Landscape Service has launched A new company which provides design and planning services to residential and commercial clients has been launched in Dorset – with a strong emphasis on the care sector and horticultural therapy. Delivering creative design solutions, visualisations, bespoke specification detailing and pro ect management, The Landscape Service is led by 30 Under 30: The Next Generation 2016 winner Luke Mills, who has a decade’s experience in hard landscaping, horticulture and design. The company’s ethos is to produce sustainable landscapes that 12

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enhance the local environment and build biodiversity. “We are passionate about engaging with our clients to inspire the creative process, through the understanding of how they live, work and play in the environment, to connect people with green spaces,” said Luke. “We are enthusiastic about working with hospitals, care homes and sheltered housing to deliver healing spaces, and will be looking to create non-profit gardens to deliver much needed spaces. “If you are interested in collaborating with The Landscape

Pro Landscaper / December 2017

Service to deliver therapeutic landscapes or any up and coming projects we would like to hear from you.” For more information, visit or contact The Landscape Service via or 01425 547831.

Landscape company Bowles & Wyer has announced that Jason Lock, former partner at DeakinLock Garden Design, has been appointed as its new head of design and build. Jason joins Bowles & Wyer as part of its continued restructuring. He will be responsible for developing the design and build division, under the leadership of CEO John Wyer and managing director Dan Riddleston. Jason has more than 30 years’ experience in the garden design industry, including time spent as chief executive and chair of the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) and on the council of the Society of Garden Designers (SGD). He has been on the judging panel of a number of national award schemes, and is currently serving as a judge for the BALI Awards. Jason has also won numerous accolades himself, including Gold and Silver-Gilt medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. “I’ve admired Bowles & Wyer’s work for a long time and I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining the organisation at such an exciting time in its development,” said Jason. “Design and build has always been at the heart of what we do, but there is still huge opportunity to develop it further,” said John Wyer. “Jason’s knowledge and expertise will bring a new focus to that part of the business.” Also joining the Bowles & Wyer team are designer Mark Latchford, junior designer Max Harriman, and director of finance, administration and human resources Katie Blake.

23/11/2017 12:59

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New 2018 brochure out January! Pre-order your free copy today. Call 0330 333 8030 or email for more information and to pre-order your 2018 Talasey brochure.

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23/11/2017 09:05


I DVERDE A new chapter

Nick Temple-Heald has stepped down as CEO of idverde UK, handing over the reins to the former chief financial officer Doug Graham


ince joining the company – then known as English Landscapes, before being renamed The Landscape Group (TLG) – as CEO in 2009, Nick Temple-Heald has been instrumental in its development. He will remain with idverde, which acquired TLG in 2015, as chairman. Doug Graham, a chartered accountant who joined the company in 2008, has been working with Nick and the management team to build the company’s success, and will now be taking idverde UK forward to continue its growth. We spoke to Doug and Nick about their new roles, what these will entail, and what the next steps are for the largest green service provider in the UK. Nick, what led you to step down as CEO? Nick: It’s part of the evolution of the business. Doug and I have been partners since 2009, when the company was called English Landscapes. The business is completely different today; it’s bigger and more diverse. As individuals, Doug and I have both moved on; we’re at different stages in our careers. Doug is younger than I am and has taken over the day-to-day activities as chief executive. What will your role be, going forward? Nick: Officially, it’s as chairman. We had our first board meeting and, jokingly, the question was, what are you chairman of? Our president, Hervé Lançon, said, “chairman of everything”. The responsibility for growth and performance is now Doug’s. 14

Pro Landscaper / December 2017

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Doug: We want Nick’s valued input into strategic projects and various initiatives, because he has lots of experience leading the business – we don’t want to lose that. Nick: It’s contributing where I can. It’s a bit like becoming a grandad – you get to do all of the nice elements with none of the responsibility. One of the special projects I’ll be working on is the upcoming launch of our idverde sports surfaces offering; in particular, a product called Mixto, a hybrid sports turf. It’s not something that any of the other legacies have done, and yet we have these superb people who know an awful lot about sports turf, and managers out in the business who are in effect the best sales force that you could possibly imagine.

how you are progressing. We are focusing on getting our service management system, Acorn, out there. Quite a few of our clients now use this, and when engaging with prospective and existing customers it’s a real need for them. Our solution is well developed and well advanced.

Doug, what has your role been previously? Doug: I joined English Landscapes as CFO in 2008, when it was in a very different state in terms of its development. We took the business on a journey from a leadership perspective. Nick and I worked closely together, along with the rest of the UK management team, over a period of several years, ultimately selling the business to


idverde. We’re very proud of the fact that we’ve developed a business that has grown significantly in that period. We have some good core values in terms of how we operate the business, and we want it to continue to develop. We’ve been acquisitive in the past, but what’s changed with idverde is that it has strengthened our ability to be able to make step change acquisitions. Since being part of idverde, we acquired Quadron in 2016 – a leading provider in the UK – and we completed a transaction with Land Engineering this year. This means that in the last two years we have doubled the size of the UK business, which makes us by far the largest UK player, and certainly the largest player in Europe. Our turnover in Europe is £350m. What changes do you envisage as new CEO? Doug: There’s a phrase – ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it’. And we have got a successful business. So, yes, we’re making changes, but these would have happened anyway. For example, clients are changing – we have different types of customers, with different demands and needs. This industry is lacking in terms of systems – ways to keep the client informed about what you are doing and

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So, existing clients can expect no change? Doug: I don’t see any changes for clients. We want to continue to deliver a good service to them, and Nick’s new role does not mean that he won’t interact with clients, because we’ve worked together so long and it’s been successful. Fundamentally though, Nick’s role is no longer operational in the business. The way

idverde is structured and run means that if a

solution can be put in place that isn’t how our structure operates, then that’s what we’ll do. Nick: Towards the end, there wasn’t much of a transition to make, because we’d been working together increasingly over the last two years, and Doug had already been moving into the role. It was a natural progression. As the company grows, there is the danger of acting like a large company, but I like to think that we’re a big company that still acts like a small one. How does idverde maintain this? Doug: In the UK, we have around 2,500 colleagues, and one of our current reflections is that we have not been engaging enough with them. So, we have started an initiative where our leadership team is going out to meet with colleagues, but rather than arriving on-site and just asking about their day, it’s more of an informal lunch where we will sit together and actually listen and engage. It is their opportunity to suggest how we can continue to improve the business. The industry is under pressure in terms of attracting new talent, and this is something that we’re really focused on progressing, so we will be launching the idverde Performance Campus in the first quarter of 2018. Nick: The unique selling point of our Performance Campus is that it is a place where

people will be able to go, rather than being an online school. It will be based in the South East, and will be a centre of horticultural excellence. Doug: We are also developing into new markets, both organically and via acquisitions. Traditionally, we have been serving the local authority sector. We have won numerous national accounts in the last 12 months, and we’re continuing to target both national and regional ones because we now have the geographical presence to self-deliver it. We think this is important – we try and build our offering based on self-delivery in mainland UK, though we do use subcontractors in some of the outer areas. It’s important to deliver a good service to clients and to be able to say that it will be an idverde colleague who will be delivering that service. Are you looking forward to this new challenge, Doug? Doug: Of course. I am very passionate about idverde, and I love the industry. The role was a natural step in how Nick and I work together and where we went next. It’s a continuation of what we’ve already been doing as a team. Nick: It is still quite a big step, and we shouldn’t minimise the fact that, for both of us, this is a big change – but it’s not a change for our clients. As far as our colleagues and clients are concerned, it’s evolution. Nick, what have been your highlights as CEO of idverde? Nick: I could talk about specific contracts, or look at the company’s growth and business development and the tenders that we’ve won. But the biggest highlight for me is when the current management started on its journey in 2008-9. We built the business up between us, and with the new people that came in we created The Landscape Group family, before finding a home for the business in 2015. We managed to get it to the point where Chequers, idverde’s financial backers, were prepared to invest in what we had created. We’ve now acquired Quadron, and recently Land Engineering. The growth has gone exponential now, and it’s doubled in less than two years. Whether it will double again in the next two years...we will have to wait and see. Pro Landscaper / December 2017 15

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Supported by

“New cross-industry awards, rewarding consistent excellence” Headline sponsor

Category sponsors Horticulture CAREERS


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Categories n

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Landscape Company <£1m turnover >£1m turnover Design and Build Commercial Landscape Company Grounds Maintenance Company • Regional • National Garden Designer Garden Design Practice Landscape Architect Practice Industry Partnership Interior Landscape Company Apprenticeship Scheme Supplier – Adding greatest value to the landscape sector 30 Under 30 Most Influential

Why you should enter... The Pro Landscaper Business Awards will bring together businesses across all sectors, and aims to recognise and reward companies within the industry that consistently perform well and strive to raise the standard of UK landscaping. Bringing together over 300 professionals from the UK’s leading landscape businesses, the crossindustry awards will feature a number of categories aimed at highlighting excellence across the industry.

How to enter... To find out more about the Pro Landscaper Business Awards contact or call 01903 777 570

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Our decking goes against the grain of convention Unlike other composite decking, Millboard decking is hand-moulded from natural timber, so you’d be excused from thinking it’s the real thing. Through continuous research and development, meticulous attention to detail, expertise and innovation, we believe we’ve created a board that’s better than the real thing. It won’t rot like real wood, warp like real wood or attract mould like real wood. It just takes the best of real wood and enhances it. From stylish integrity to timeless beauty, our collections are designed to enhance your collection – so why have the real thing when you can have better? Millboard: Live. Life. Outside.

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19/10/2017 23/11/2017 15:06 16:24


Christmas Antiques and Collectables Fair, RHS Garden Rosemoor (16-17 December) RHS Garden Rosemoor hosts an exciting event by the Devon County Antiques Fair. Cast your eyes over a number of stalls selling a wide variety of antiques and collectables. It is the perfect place to pick up that unique, last-minute Christmas present!



Stories with Santa, RHS Garden Harlow Carr (1-3, 8-10, 15-24 December) Snuggle up for a classic Christmas tale and a festive singalong – and if you have been very good, you may receive a small gift! Along with this ticket you can also enjoy the ‘Glow’ Winter Illuminations on Fridays and Saturdays.

Boxing Day Walk, RHS Garden Hyde Hall (26 December) Once the Christmas festivities have calmed, the RHS invites you to head out on a refreshing walk with one of our knowledgeable garden volunteers. This family friendly stroll will take you around the seasonal woodland of the Hyde Hall estate.

bring a touch of magic to the most northerly RHS garden, with an illuminated trail around the magnificent forest. here is also chance to see the lake, Winter Walk, Streamside and Doric columns as they have never been seen before. Late opening from Thursday to Saturday.

‘Glow’ Winter Illuminations, RHS Garden Harlow Carr (23 November-30 December) Special lighting effects will

BALI briefing BALI’s annual membership survey now live Members can now feedback their thoughts on BALI, in our shortest survey to date. There are now only 11 questions, taking less than 10 minutes to complete. We hope our members take the time to tell us what they think of their trade association, with past feedback being used to redevelop Landscape News and the BALI

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weekly newsletter, as well as provide new membership benefits. Members can take part in the survey at BALIsatisfaction BALI’s 41st National Landscape Awards sells out Numbers for the 2017 Awards, held on 1 December, are set to exceed 2016’s 960 guests – 1,000 tickets have been purchased, with the event now at maximum capacity. By the time you read this, the 2017 Principal, Special and Grand winners may have already been

announced. Visit news for the full list.

BALI LISS/CSCS cards get smarter BALI has announced its support for online training management system SkillSight, developed by Reference Point. By adopting the innovative smart chip technology used in the gold standard, government-approved

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS), BALI’s Land Based Industry Skills Scheme (LISS) equivalent is now also Go Smart ready. Go Smart is a free application, available on Android and Windows smartphones and tablets, that reads physical and virtual smartcards. By using the device’s camera to scan a QR code, a cardholder’s identity, qualifications, training history and health and safety records can be obtained. For more information, contact BALI’s marketing manager at darren.

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efig outline

Looking back With 2017 almost over, we thought we’d take a look back over efig s year. In January and February, as our members disassembled Christmas displays, they were also completing entry forms for this year s efig wards. Meanwhile, the efig committee started planning a strategy meeting. Attended by members in February, this included a presentation by Julie Kortens, ex-chair of the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM), about how the facilities

management industry views interior landscaping. As the focus switched to the awards in March and April, our judges were busy visiting sites around the country, while chairman Chris Jenkin checked out the venue, the Barbican’s Conservatory Terrace.

May and June were busy with post-awards PR and preparations for our AGM. Preceded by a visit to the Crossrail Roof Garden, the AGM at the Museum of Docklands began with a presentation from GreenBlue Urban, which explained its systems for planting trees in urban spaces. Chris Jenkin of Enterprise Plants was voted in as chairman for another year, nominating World Land Trust as this year’s chairman’s charity. July was about National Plants at Work Week. Excitingly, we were also invited to be dissemination partners for the Building Research Establishment (BRE)/Oliver Heath project to convert an

existing office at BRE into a biophilic one. In August and September, we were busy working on various projects, while October and November saw us promoting the Christmas services of our members and arranging a seminar at FutureScape. We had two amazing guest speakers at the seminar: Ed Suttie, who covered the BRE project, and Richard Sabin of Biotecture (a partner in the same project), who spoke about green walls. With December here, members are busy with Christmas installations; as we take a break, we are excited for what next year holds.

APL update APL Spring Seminar: Faking It Headline sponsor:

On Wednesday 17 January 2018, the APL will be holding its spring seminar, ‘Faking It’, at Horticulture House, Chilton, Oxfordshire. This one-day technical seminar looks at the increasing presence of artificial solutions in landscaping, covering their benefits and the challenges. Industry experts and practitioners will be on hand


kinds of composite decking to provide information and and the differences between technical knowledge about all them, as well as installation aspects of everything ‘fake’ standards and techniques within landscaping. (clip systems, screws), The day will cover: environmental matters, • Artificial grass and the advantages and We’ll be de-mystifying the disadvantages of importing various types of artificial grass these goods. and the differences between • Upcycled and recycled them, installation standards, products plus the tips and techniques This session will cover you can use to achieve the mulches, matts etc. while perfect installation. We’ll also looking into the sustainability be exploring the sustainability of recycled products and the of product, size of the growing demand for them. market, environmental issues • Artificial plants and import pros and cons. Focusing on use, quality and • Composite and plastic cost, this session will look at decking the best products on offer, his will look at the different

Pro Landscaper / December 2017

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how artificial plants can be integrated into designs along with real ones, and whether this could provide a solution to the problems we face regarding biosecurity. • Pots and paving There is a big move towards fake pots that look like granite, terracotta or steel. This session will concentrate on the pros and cons of using these, and the cost comparison. We will also be covering paving and porcelain products that are printed to look like wood and other natural products. Find out more and book now at

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SGD bulletin SGD Student Awards 2017 shortlist announced Finalists in the SGD Student Awards 2017 have been announced. Seven have been selected, with a total of 10 projects across two categories. The shortlist was chosen by the Student Awards judging panel, including Debbie Roberts MSGD from Acres Wild, Arabella St John Parker from Homes & Gardens, and Andy Sturgeon FSGD. Chosen from a record 64 entries, the judges remarked on the quality of the visuals the students used to present

their projects, and the creativity displayed in their designs. he finalists were representative of a wide range of UK colleges, including Inchbald School of Design, London College of Garden Design, The Cotswold Gardening School and Writtle University College. Finalists Student Design Award – Commercial • Nicky Burridge – London College of Garden Design – Cambridge Cottage • Kate Harvey – London College of Garden Design – Lakeside Retreat • Steve Williams – The Cotswold Gardening School –

Slimbridge Wetland Centre • Eun Jung Jun – Writtle University College – The Lifestyle Garden • Alex Pojer – Inchbald School of Design – Villa on Lake Garda

Garden design by Steve Williams

Garden Design – Surrey Hills Family Garden • Steve Williams – The Cotswold Gardening School – The Cut

Student Design Award – Domestic • Nicky Burridge – London College of Garden Design – Welcome Home • Sheila Jack – London College of Garden Design – Modern Surrey Garden • Sheila Jack – London College of Garden Design – Contemporary Garden, Kent Katie Duff London College of

The winners will be announced at the SGD Awards on Friday 2 February 2018, at the Landmark Hotel in London; ceremony tickets are on sale online now. Visit the SGD Awards website to see images of shortlisted projects and buy tickets.

Parks Alliance matters

Declining quality The 2017 Greenspace Use and Attitude survey published by Greenspace Scotland in November shows that the decline in quality of Scotland’s parks and greenspaces has continued. While more than 90% of urban Scots say it is important to have greenspace in their local area, the quality of Scotland’s parks and greenspaces has continued to fall, meaning that fewer people

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are using their local greenspaces regularly. This is, we believe, a trend that is mirrored across the rest of the UK. The survey found that 40% of people agreed or agreed strongly that the quality of their local greenspace has reduced

in the last five years up from in 2011 , with this figure rising to 50% for people living in deprived areas up from in 2011). The full report is available

at uk/greenspace-survey-2017.aspx Greenspaces are an important recreational resource, with only 4% of people saying they never visit local greenspaces. Encouragingly, the survey found increases in people wanting to have more of a say in how their greenspace is managed, and to get involved in activities to improve their local greenspace; respondents in younger age groups and from deprived areas were more likely to strongly agree. All public services have experienced a financial squee e over the past five years, but this year’s State of the Market survey by the Association of Public

Service Excellence SE found that 78% of UK local authorities agreed or agreed strongly that the squee e on public sector resources has affected parks and greenspaces disproportionately to other service areas.’ With these issues at the forefront of our thinking, The Parks Alliance is looking forward to the first meeting of the government initiative to establish a Parks Action Group . he arks lliance wishes everyone who cares for parks and greenspaces a happy Christmas, and a better resourced New Year!

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The second ScotHort event took place on Thursday 28 September at the Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh. Held on a beautiful autumn day, the single-day event attracted around 450 people from various sectors of the landscape industry, and included a fascinating seminar and debate programme. The show will be returning to Edinburgh next year and is sure to become a regular event on the Scottish landscaping calendar â&#x20AC;&#x201C; so keep an eye open for the exact date and more details in the months to come

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Thanks to everyone involved in making FutureScape 2017 a massive success. This month we take a pictorial look at the day, but watch out for further feedback and a summary of the event in future issues of Pro Landscaper. The FutureScape team would like to thank all of the sponsors who helped make this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exhibition the best yet, and we look forward to seeing everyone again in 2018 (Tuesday 20 November)


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Back in the theatre for the next talk focused on #design. First visit to #futurescape – very impressed #lovelandscaping @ProLandscaperJW David Keegan @Dkgarden If only there weren’t so many fascinating seminars at the same time. I couldn’t attend all of them. If you come for the trade stands then do attend the seminars. I took so much on board yesterday and utilised it today to clinch a new client. Result! Brian Hawtin @BJHawtin

Great buzz @FutureScape today! #lovelandscaping #futurescape @ProLandscaperJW Landstruction @Landstruction

Lovely time last night at #futurescape. Met some new people and listened to some educating debates. Thanks @ProLandscaperJW @Glendale_Hort for the award #30Under30 Anca-Elena Panait @Anca_ElenaP

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Great day spent attending the seminars and catching up with colleagues in the industry @FutureScapeUK #futurescape #lovelandscaping Julie Cox @juliecoxgd

Fantastic @FutureScapeUK event thank you @Eljays44 @ProLandscaperJW Back in the business working ON the business Oak View Landscapes @OakViewLandscap

Very good day yesterday at @FutureScapeUK! Thanks to all at @ProLandscaperJW and all our customers that visited us on our stand! #futurescape Coles Nurseries @Colesnurseries

A lovely day yesterday spent at FutureScape, a great industry to be in! Really enjoyed being part of The Love is in the Lighting seminar. @FutureScapeUK @ProLandscaperJW @landscapeplus @KateGouldGarden 27 Pro Landscaper / December 2017@Scenic_rob Mark Draper @MarkyboyDraper

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30 Under 30


This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 30 Under 30: The Next Generation was awarded at the 2017 FutureScape event at Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher, Surrey on Tuesday 14 November. The standard and number of entries has risen dramatically year on year and many previous winners have gone on to use the acknowledgement of the award to forward their career. The class of 2017 were presented with a plaque by Pro Landscaper editor Lisa Wilkinson and Mike Brunskill from Glendale, the sponsor for this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s awards Here are some of our winners...


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Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hear it From

JODY LIDGARD Jody Lidgard, director of Bespoke Outdoor Spaces, speaks to Pro Landscaper about business, education and how we can tackle the skills shortage When did your career in the landscape industry start, and what made you choose it when you left the RAF? As a young person growing up in a back-to-back terraced house in Grimsby, I guess we relied on the parks and recreation grounds as open space; our garden was more of a Coronation Street yard. The local woods added to the adventure back then. A part of me has always been a dreamer, and as a child my dream was to drive tanks! I served with the RAF Regiment for nine years, which for the most part was outside in various locations around the world. This reinforced my desire for adventure, as well as exposing me to the dynamic and changing landscape around us. Did you start your own business straight away, or gain experience with another company first? When I left the RAF, I decided to return to college and retrain in horticulture; 1994 was a typical year, with copious amounts of career changers moving into the industry. I had effectively left full time employment and initially set up with a maintenance and general gardening round. This developed throughout the time I spent studying, and I recognised the definite split between hard and soft landscaping and the need to master both disciplines.

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HAVING THE RIGHT TEAM IS THE KEY TO ANY SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS. THIS TAKES IMMENSE TIME AND DEDICATION Tell us about your company structure and the team. Are you looking to expand in the future? Having the right team is the key to any successful business. This takes immense time and dedication. Over the years, I have built on the trust and development of the right people. Over the last year, our focus has been on the office-based side of the business. The need to react and handle client enquiries, while ensuring the teams on the ground are managed and able to work efficiently without any unnecessary distractions, is under constant review.

We are currently looking at recruitment and training, talking to local further education colleges as well as Marshalls Paving with a view to integrate training within their establishments. Do you have an in-house garden designer? The question of having an in-house designer is a regular topic of discussion. We work with qualified garden designers and landscape architecture practices across the country. Part of our philosophy is to collaborate with those who are experts in their field, building a network of companies we can rely on. What does a typical project look like for you? Our caseload is always varied. We can be working on several projects at any one time; usually the schedule includes at least one project that will run for a longer period, with other teams working on those with shorter lead times. Pro Landscaper / December 2017 31

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What’s the split between commercial and domestic work? Our work is predominantly in the private domestic sector. We have not actively pursued the commercial sector, and see it as an untapped strand to the business. Going forward, we have the opportunity to work alongside Willerby Landscapes, who we worked with at Chelsea this year. We are very excited about the prospect, and need to ensure we can meet the demands and standards set by it. You have built numerous show gardens – what are your thoughts about landscapers as well as designers getting recognition through TV and media coverage? I think my views on the media and show gardens are that everyone goes into these projects ‘eyes wide open’ – recognition is relative. A wiser person than me once said, “When looking at any project, ask yourself the following three questions, and if you can honestly say yes to two of the three, go ahead. If not, walk away. Is the project going to further the reputation of the business? Is the project going to be fun? Is the project going to be profitable?” Simple, but effective. Do you find industry events such as FutureScape helpful for networking, and building your knowledge of products and systems? I realised early on in my career that networking events are a fantastic way to broaden your base


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are very busy with their workloads, but quarterly cross-association meetings with everyone represented in the room would make sense to me – ironing out mutual problems and standardising our approach to dealing with an ever-changing and informed client base.

NETWORKING EVENTS ARE A FANTASTIC WAY TO BROADEN YOUR BASE LINE OF SUPPLIERS WHILE IMMERSING YOURSELF IN AN INDUSTRY EVENT line of suppliers, while immersing yourself in an industry event. Plan your time well, and use it to meet and discuss relationships with potential contractors and designers alike. Aim to get together outside of the events as well – don’t rely on annual gatherings as the be-all and end-all of your networking calendar. Building a library of samples and product information will ensure you stay on top of emerging and changing trends. You are actively involved with the APL. Do you think industry associations are important, and are they doing enough to raise the standards of landscaping? Associations are a brilliant way to gain representation within the industry. The work they carry out is so important in raising standards and bringing a professional voice to the individuals and companies they stand for. I realise people

How and why did you get into teaching landscaping? After studying at college, I stayed in touch with one of my lecturers and would periodically bemoan the competence levels of those leaving the colleges, until I was challenged to ‘put my money where my mouth was’. Never one to shy away from a challenge, I qualified over the next three years as a lecturer. It didn’t take long to realise that education was under some considerable strain. Bums on seats is not a viable way to boost the shortfall of skills within the industry. Career changers make a valuable contribution towards helping mitigate the skills shortage, but they are not the answer either. I feel that training and development of new talent is the way forward for our company. Active participation can only strengthen the position we are in. How do you think we can encourage more young people to take up a career in the landscape and garden design sector? I have the pleasure of working with the WorldSkills organisation; we are actively engaged within a global community, each country vying to be ranked the number one for landscaping on the planet. Any company, no matter how big or small, can enter this competition. We are looking for younger competitors – ideally aged 16 to 20 – to take part in a national competition and then represent the UK on the world stage. What makes this competition interesting is that we are unashamedly looking for the top end of emerging talent. If you are serious about investing in the future of your company and the next generation of skilled labour, look no further. The fallout from competition is a healthy way to market your employees and apprentices. I believe we have a vehicle that can join associations, colleges and employers together with a united voice.

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1&2 The Chengdu Silk Road Garden, RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 3 Courtyard Garden at Keech Hospice, Luton 4 The Chris Evans Taste Garden, RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017

Does it take time and commitment? Of course. Will there be a direct cost to the company in terms of freeing your competitor up for the competition? Yes – but if this is equated to Continuing Professional Development or other training, the benefits flow back into your company. Is this a viable marketing and development tool that will help futureproof your business? From my experience, working alongside these individuals, and instilling the company ethos and culture, is an amazing opportunity for us as we move forward. Working alongside the APL, our sister company The Landscape Skills Academy delivers a robust apprenticeship programme that includes eight intense residential training weeks. These training blocks cover the fundamental skills that will make the learners ‘work ready’. We have an industry-leading team delivering the programme, which blends perfectly with curriculum resource. Our current year one cohort is one of the first in the country to be following the new apprenticeship trailblazer framework. Our model for delivery is based on the WorldSkills ethos, which we have been following for the past 10 years and fits the new framework in a measurable way. What do you think will be the major challenges for the landscape industry in the future, and how can we tackle them? The next generation of young talent is, without a doubt, a massive challenge to us all. An integrated vision with a top-to-bottom

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WE NEED EDUCATION, ASSOCIATIONS AND EMPLOYERS TO GET TOGETHER ON A REGULAR BASIS TO LOOK AT HOW WE FORM AN APPETITE FOR EXCELLENCE approach is the linchpin moving forward – we need education, associations and employers to get together on a regular basis to look at how we form an appetite for excellence, in an environment without hierarchy and the politics that organisations and associations get embroiled with. Sounds simplistic, but the reality is closer to herding cats. When you’re not working, what do you like to do to relax? I have an amazing wife alongside me. Lucy

Images ©Wendy Aiken Photography

5 The Jo Whiley Scent Garden, RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017

reminds me we have six beautiful children and only so many hours in the day. It is so important to be able to switch off from work mode and recharge your batteries; I enjoy circuit training and spinning classes at the gym – the buzz and release of stress really helps unwind me. In the Lidgard household there is never a dull moment, I have to say. CONTACT Bespoke Outdoor Spaces 9 Station Road Harleston IP20 9ES Tel: 01379 423813 Mob: 07769 565683

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With an exciting few months ahead for Landstruction, managing director David T Binks tells us about the company’s new partnership with Coleg Cambria, the introduction of a design service, the appointment of its first non-executive director, and further plans for the company’s growth What was your background prior to Landstruction? I grew up with horticulture in the family. My grandfather had a tree nursery and my father is a Hillier trained nurseryman, so I learnt about plants from an early age. Following an English degree at university, I missed the outdoors so returned to landscaping as well as garden design, and I’m now working towards an MBA to help shape the future growth of the business. How was the company founded? Landstruction was set up in 2010, so it’s a relatively new business. It started with high-end private clients, then offering that level of service to commercial clients, which I felt people weren’t receiving – though a fledgling business pitching to commercial clients is easier said than done. We were very lucky with some chance introductions, which led to a few of our long-term commercial clients. How has it developed since? In 2010, it was just myself and one other person, who is now our operations director. We currently have a team of just under 40. Does the business solely offer landscaping? As the name suggests, Landstruction is both landscaping and construction, primarily


in numbers

Established 2010 Employees 40 Turnover £2m+ Breakdown 60% commercial, 20% private, 20% maintenance Awards 5 RHS Gold Medals Best Show Garden at Grand Designs Live carrying out hard and soft landscaping for large private and commercial clients. We’ve just finished a huge scheme with Balfour Beatty; it was the first time we’ve carried out a commercial installation that was purely classified as external works with no planting involved, which was really exciting for us. Would you consider offering another service, such as design? We now have an in-house design capability, primarily for private clients. We have taken on a

David T Binks recent graduate from the London College of Garden Design, Tom Bannister. He’s a breath of fresh air for us; he’s young and passionate, and he’s worked at Chelsea. He could see we were equally as passionate about the industry, and that’s why he wanted to join us. In our most recent presentation, we also launched a virtual reality (VR) design offering; we suggested a VR experience for a private client of a huge scheme we’ve just designed for them. They were absolutely blown away by it. Are the projects you undertake now predominantly domestic or commercial? It’s probably 60% commercial. We’d rather undertake three or four really good private projects each year than lots of small ones. From a management point of view, because of the scale of them, it’s like carrying out a commercial contract, so having too many private projects wouldn’t be feasible. Do you offer maintenance on projects? We have a maintenance team headed up by someone who used to work on one of the most prestigious golf courses in the North West, and another who was the head gardener of a local country estate. With the team beneath them, we have a really good maintenance outfit. ‘Landscaper’ is such a broad term. A big steer for us is making sure that clients are getting the best level of service possible by employing specialists in each area – this is what we’ve been doing, and it pays dividends. What geographical areas do you cover? We cover the North West, parts of West Yorkshire, and North Wales. We go as far north as Manchester and have priced up work in Leeds. We have also carried out work further


Pro Landscaper / December 2017

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A BIG STEER FOR US IS MAKING SURE THAT CLIENTS ARE GETTING THE BEST LEVEL OF SERVICE POSSIBLE BY EMPLOYING SPECIALISTS IN EACH AREA south as well, but if we’re pricing up a scheme that’s down in London, we’re pricing it against a local company, and we have all the extra costs such as accommodation. The clients get better value for money using a local contractor. What does Landstruction offer in terms of training and apprenticeships? We’ve just partnered up with Coleg Cambria. It’s almost a labour swap; it has apprentices who want work placements, and we are upskilling our staff by sending them to the college. It’s a pilot scheme for the college, and something we’ve been keen on doing for two years; we’ve been looking for the right partner, and Northop has been fantastic. We are already looking at next year’s plans, and have committed to taking some of the students to experience some RHS shows. What led you to launch the Big Hedge Co., and what does it offer? It was frustration at people over-promising and under-delivering – one of the worst things is opening the side of an lorry and seeing that the plants, trees or hedging aren’t what you believed you were getting. We thought we’d take care of it

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ourselves, and so the Big Hedge Co. was born. It has the support of Landstruction, as it offers supply, installation and maintenance. We’re also currently looking to acquire a couple of other companies that are specialists in certain areas of the industry, so over the next 12 months there will hopefully be some more interesting announcements. We have identified certain businesses that we think would complement our skillset, and this will hopefully help with the growth of the business. How does the Big Hedge Co. operate alongside Landstruction? They are two separate limited companies. The Big Hedge Co. supports Landstruction logistically, but has its own separate website and so on. It’s really starting to take off this year; we supplied RHS Chelsea with the hedging for the VIP and hospitality areas, as well as topiary and hedging for two gardens at Tatton Park. There are some big plans for the company next year. Where do you see both companies in the next five years? Within 18 months, Landstruction will become the Landstruction Group, with the Big Hedge Co. as one of the brands. It’s bringing in the right pieces of the puzzle at the right time. Charlie Du Pre joined us in January as marketing and business development manager – I had lots of ideas but not enough time to implement them – and we have also appointed our first non-executive

1 RHS Tatton Park 2 Barons Quay, Northwich on behalf of Balfour Beatty 3 Wedgwood 4 The Colony HQ 5 Big Hedge Co. at Chelsea Flower Show 6 Private client 7 RHS Chelsea – Oculus Wall

director, Carl Allen. We needed an almost impartial party to help evaluate what is strategically the next best thing to do. Carl has been a great help so far in helping to shape our company vision for the coming years. Finally, what is the one thing you think the industry could and should do better? Collaboration. If there are problems that we are all encountering – such as employment law or health and safety – then we should talk about it; we’re better together. We can improve the industry and make a bigger impact, even at government level. CONTACT Landstruction, Unit 17, Sealand Farm, Sealand Road, Chester CH1 6BS Tel: 01244 880422 Twitter: @Landstruction Email: Web:

Pro Landscaper / December 2017 35

23/11/2017 11:20

Be vi

Natural History Museum – View of the proposed western grounds


Sight survey and analysis by drone is now a key offering

Leyton Central – Aerial view



Wilder Associates is involved in some of the most innovative and forwardthinking projects around the world, but doesn’t limit itself to large-scale only


andscape contractor, arborist, garden designer and nurseryman are just needles in the haystack of jobs Peter Wilder has undertaken within the horticulture industry. This experience gives him a greater understanding of his designs as a landscape architect, knowing how the project will be brought to life. Even now, alongside running Wilder Associates, Peter acts as a consultant on environmental design for Building Research Establishment (BRE), and manages an aerial filming and photography company, Survey Drone, which recently won a technology award for improving health and safety by using drones to carry out roof inspections. Wilder Associates itself is a multi-award-winning practice founded in 2012; it has a project in every continent except Antarctica, and has worked on a huge range of schemes. “If I had to describe my company in one word, I would say ‘diversity’, sometimes with a ‘bio’ in front of it,” says Peter. 36

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“We tend to gravitate towards large scale masterplans, where hydrology and ecology are very important aspects, and roof deck construction – looking at how to build an entire landscape on top of a building.” Hydrology plays a huge role in each of the practice’s projects. “I’ve always been interested not just in the aesthetics of water, but how water governs all life on the planet. Water is present in every environment; if you understand water, you’ll understand the landscape. I started researching sustainable drainage in 1994, and read an article by Herbert Dreiseitl on how water needs to be given proper consideration and respect in the environment. “I met him in Germany and ended up working with him on advanced roof deck water systems at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. Since then I’ve been developing my own approach to integrating water into the public realm and roof deck construction schemes.” This involves taking on challenges that at first appear impossible, one example being The King Edward Memorial Hospital in Bermuda. The building’s water usage was incredibly inefficient, consuming around 60% of the island’s

available water. Wilder was drawn in as a sustainability consultant, looking at how the building could be more water-friendly and self-sufficient.

WATER IS PRESENT IN EVERY ENVIRONMENT; IF YOU UNDERSTAND WATER, YOU’LL UNDERSTAND THE LANDSCAPE “We got the building to almost 100% efficiency by recycling all the water – greywater, rainwater, and even the sewage, which is treated on-site, and the water used to irrigate the plants. It was what we call a water responsive design.” The green roof had to withstand hurricanes and protect the roof’s waterproofing membranes, which could be punctured by flying debris. Wilder worked with green roof expert Kevin Songer to design a system with an outer layer of tough protective species such as agave and aloe, with softer plants and succulents on the inner layers. Wilder Associates also undertakes projects on a smaller scale; it is currently working on a garden of around 6m x 6m for Birkbeck University as part of a £2.5m Europe-wide study launched by the university’s Babylab. “They’re looking into how children respond to their environment, and whether they can detect early warning signs for autism and

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Bermuda Hospital – Night view of the Main Entrance


Leyton Central – Courtyard Centre

Innovation Park Gui’an – Training centre with bio-filtration terraces

ADHD. We have designed a garden which is tactile and where everything is playable. There are boulders with water running over, and there is no formal seating – instead there are large stones that the children can sit and climb on. All of the planting is safe to touch and scented. It’s an incredibly rewarding project, and takes us in an entirely different direction.” The practice has designed a small courtyard for property developer Tudorvale, as part of East London development Leyton Central. It worked in partnership with Survey Drone to capture the scheme, using its own Inspire 1 UAV, with the landscape design responding to the angular building: “It’s about dynamic shapes and dynamic movement, responding to the geometry of the building, and creating a landscape that was just as exciting as that building. It’s not a big project, but it shows the other end of the spectrum we cover.” In terms of large strategic projects, Wilder Associates collaborated with BRE and Tsingua University to create the Gui’an Innovation Park in China, one of several innovation parks Peter has been involved in. “It was built on the idea of future cities being porous and actually changing the way that they deal with water. We developed the innovation park as a model for new cities on how they could treat water in the streets and the landscape, and essentially

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decontaminate water, allowing water to go back into the ground.” While that could influence the future of landscape architecture, Wilder Associates is also looking to the past, with a project at the Natural History Museum. It joined forces with Niall McLaughlin Architects, fellow landscape architect Kim Wilkie and Expedition Engineering, winning a competition to redesign the museum’s entrance grounds.”

THE GUI’AN INNOVATION PARK WAS BUILT ON THE IDEA OF FUTURE CITIES BEING POROUS AND CHANGING THE WAY THEY DEAL WITH WATER “We’re expressing 4.5bn years of the Earth’s history, with the landscape’s narrative also exploring what man’s relationship is with nature going forward – including urban problems such as soil, water quality, food production, air quality, and techniques for preserving nature in our cities.” Wilder Associates is also designing a new cultural quarter at Deptford Creekside, which will be an extension of the Laban Dance Centre. “Phase two is currently on the drawing board, and for the first time the Laban Dance Centre

will share facilities with the Trinity School of Music. Our landscape responds to this; it’s all about the flow and patterns, responding to the rhythm of dance and the movement of the creek. “We’re proposing clay pavers to mimic the mud, and looking to use materials from the industrial heritage of the area. It’s an exciting mix of culture and place, ecology and nature, heritage and performance space. It feeds back into our work with water and is all built on a podium deck landscape.” This cultural quarter, though, dwarfs in comparison to the 35-storey sky garden Wilder Associates is designing as part of Vauxhall’s regeneration, dubbed the ‘Sky Lounge’. “It’s a contemporary roof deck landscape with amazing views and will be one of the highest oudoor gardens in London. We’ve just received planning permission and construction starts next year.” Impressive, innovative and inspirational, Wilder Associates is shaping the future of our green spaces, on a small and city-wide scale. CONTACT Wilder Associates Tel: 020 3603 2260 Email: Twitter: @WilderAssociate

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Nick Temple-Heald takes the occasion of his own change in role as an opportunity to consider succession planning You will see elsewhere in this month’s Pro Landscaper that there have been some high-level management changes at idverde. Whether the move to chairman from CEO makes me closer or further away from ‘The Top’ isn’t quite clear, but after a couple of months in the role, I can recommend it. It is a bit like becoming a grandparent – you get to do all the interesting stuff, but someone else is responsible for the baby when you hand it back at the end of the day. This leads me to think a little bit more about succession planning and also management development in general. The recent change at the top of idverde is something that was planned in detail for over a year, and has been an objective for nearly three years. But how common is that? I fear the answer is ‘not very’. Certainly, within idverde, management development is often reactive rather than proactive – perhaps an inevitable consequence of being in a contracting business. But that doesn’t mean we can’t plan for the next generation of leaders of the company, and recognise that people do move around our industry as a whole. In fact, in a business environment full of uncertainty, there is only one thing that is absolutely certain: all careers, no matter how successful or otherwise, will come to a complete end under one circumstance or another. So there’s a happy thought from he who is usually Mr Glass Half-Full. Cristiano Ronaldo may be able to demand millions of pounds each year from Real Madrid today, but in less than 10 years he will be worth nothing as a footballer. Another thing that is fairly certain is that whenever a group of people from our industry gets together, there is much bemoaning of the 38

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YOU GET TO DO ALL THE INTERESTING STUFF, BUT SOMEONE ELSE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE BABY WHEN YOU HAND IT BACK AT THE END OF THE DAY skills shortage. This has been the case for as long as I have been involved, and probably longer than that. It doesn’t matter whether we are thinking of horticultural and landscaping skills, or the next generation of managers and directors – it’s the same complaint. If, 20 years on, we are still talking about the same problem, whose fault is that? idverde is by no means unique in having graduate schemes, management development programmes and an emphasis on training. We have some smashing young managers who are a product of these schemes, and I often meet others from our competitors. In common with other companies in our sector, we have a thriving apprentice scheme and we’re looking forward to the opening of our new Performance

Campus and centre of horticultural excellence in the spring. But I fear it is not enough, and unless yours is a family-run concern with clear succession dictated by genealogy, it is something we all must do more of. Instances where one can plan succession in advance and in detail are rare. Those of us that have worked in large corporate environments will have endured having to submit detailed succession plans each year, all of which turn out to be 99% wrong with the passage of time. One could be forgiven for thinking of succession as a pipeline, such that for every old duffer like me who falls out of one end, we need another person with potential to put in at the other. But this hypothesis is flawed. I prefer to use a green analogy. While it is true that ‘mighty oaks from little acorns do grow’, it is also true that, for every acorn that does end up as an oak tree, thousands do not. My acorn theory is evident at every level. Sadly, most graduates or management trainees coming into a business will fail to become a senior manager or director manager, although we all have success stories that we can highlight. That doesn’t matter, because every business needs nourishment in the form of good people at all levels. But, being realistic, how many of this year’s apprentice intake will make it to become team leaders and supervisors of the future? Not many. The obvious answer is that it is almost impossible for us to overcook our efforts in attracting and developing the best people (younger and older) at every level. That’s enough for this month – Grandpa has to take idverde to the zoo and buy it an ice cream. 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.

23/11/2017 09:38

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Adam White reports back from the Landscape Institute’s recent CPD day – held in Bristol and focusing on the link between landscape and public health

identikit volume housing is built in the UK. Its houses and places respect the local context and biodiversity, and are rooted in history, landscape and community. Lucy Saunders, a public health specialist, formerly of Transport for London, gave a talk on how a street that works for people is a street that is good for health. Jessica Read from the

In 2013, the Landscape Institute published ‘Public Health and Landscape’, a document outlining five principles for creating healthy places. This year’s Landscape Institute CPD day in Bristol – hosted by Landscape Institute South West in partnership with Public Health A GROWING BODY England – continued the theme. OF EVIDENCE IS LINKING The day was opened by David Relph, LANDSCAPE AND PUBLIC director of Bristol Health Partners, who gave an HEALTH, AND PLACING HEALTH overview of the importance of healthier AND WELLBEING ON THE environments. This was followed by Andre Pinto NATIONAL AGENDA from Public Health England, who spoke about the impact of the built environment on wellbeing, illustrating the links University of Bristol and Bristol City between spatial planning and Council’s transport team then health. He then shared the gave an insight into iWalk, a findings from his research project to encourage more work on ‘Spatial accessible and inclusive Planning for Health: An walking throughout Bristol. evidence resource for The health benefits of planning and designing walking are significant, and healthier places’. data shows that walking for Catherine Haigh, a transport is one of the most landscape architect from important physical activities. HAB Housing, gave a private After lunch, delegates could © L u c y u n d e rs developer’s perspective on choose between a Sustrans workshop Sa designing for health in residential on Improving the Health and Vitality of the neighbourhoods. HAB stands for Happiness Street, a walking tour of Bristol’s Soundscape Architecture Beauty and was established in that looked at the effects of noise on health, 2007 by Kevin McCloud to challenge the way designing out noise pollution and the mapping of quiet spaces in Bristol using the Hush City app, or a walking tour along the Urban Food Trail; I went for the latter. We discovered a different side to Bristol’s ‘Brunel Mile’ with Sara Venn of Incredible Edible 40

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Bristol. Walking from Temple Meads to the city centre, we followed a trail of beautiful and productive gardens, full of food for everyone to help themselves to.

Following the formalities of the Landscape Institute AGM meeting, I chaired the Jellicoe Lecture. Speakers included Cllr Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor of Bristol, who presented plans for addressing health and wellbeing in Bristol; Dr Campbell Murdoch, who shared her thoughts on ‘social prescribing’ (enabling GPs, nurses and other primary care professionals to refer people to a range of physical activities); and Lynsey Hanley, author of Estates: An Intimate History and a regular contributor to the Guardian and the New Statesman on the links between housing, open space, health and equality. A growing body of evidence is linking landscape and public health, and placing health and wellbeing on the national agenda. This is something close to my heart, and I welcome the work the Landscape Institute is doing to empower the landscape profession with the skills and knowledge to the meet public demand. ABOUT ADAM WHITE FLI Adam White FLI is a director at Davies White Ltd, a double RHS Gold Medal, double People’s Choice and RHS Best in Show award-winning Chartered Landscape Architects practice. He is a Fellow and President Elect of the Landscape Institute. Social media: @davies_white

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ANDREW WILSON fabulous gardens broken. Does it have to be this way? Television is an alternative mode of information delivery, but our programmes either fall into the hobby gardener format of

Andrew Wilson considers how clients find out about gardens when commissioning a project, and questions whether there are better ways for them to do so I regularly run courses for people who are thinking about becoming garden designers, as well as the main diploma programmes for which I am well known. The subject of the client comes up regularly, and in response you will often hear me mutter that a course on how to be a client would be a good idea. Although it would be a tricky thing to organise, I am increasingly convinced that this would help our industry. Some clients will use RHS flower shows as a potential hunting ground; they often showcase the prowess of our designers and their imaginative flair. The shows can also allow would-be clients to meet the designers face to face, although in reality this probably doesn’t happen as often as people might think. The gardens they are looking at will often be expensive one-off creations with materials they may not want to use, and planting that is much more about instant theatrical impact than longer term sustainability. The cost per square metre of a garden at Chelsea would be a rare thing to see delivered in a real garden. As part of the remit of the RHS is to educate, would it be a good idea to offer some sort of interpretation of each garden that allows people to understand how it has been designed, constructed and planted, and the costs per square metre involved? For some future clients, the garden magazine is a source of information that offers them a window of sorts into this world of ours. They are filled with ravishing spreads of beautifully lit gardens, glowing in the early morning sunshine – photographs taken when most of the world lies sleeping so that shadows are long and soft sunlight is forgiving. Rarely is the subject of cost or maintenance raised,

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IN TV MAKEOVER PROGRAMMES, TRUE COSTS ARE OFTEN IGNORED, WITH LIP SERVICE PAID TO THE COST OF MATERIALS AND NO REFERENCE MADE TO FEES, LABOUR, TRANSPORT COSTS, EQUIPMENT HIRE AND SO ON giving rise to the sense that these gardens just happen, given enough love and free labour. Perhaps editors are concerned that people will be so shocked by the truth, that they may well vote with their feet and stop buying the magazines, the dream or spell of owning such

Gardener’s World, or the makeover routine of everything from Ground Force to Love Your Garden. In the former, low cost DIY planting is the regime for a dwindling group of garden owners with sufficient time on their hands to deliver it. In the latter, true costs are often ignored, with lip service paid to the cost of materials and no reference made to fees, labour, transport costs, equipment hire and so on – these being most of the elements that rack up the prices of the gardens we design and build. But does TV have to follow these restrictive and sometimes unhelpful modes? Potential clients coming from any of these platforms to commission a garden will be completely taken aback by the reality of the budgetary need involved in taking on their project. Some think we’re pulling a fast one, taking them for a ride, when in fact we are simply trying to run successful and workable businesses. The gulf between dream and reality seems to show no sign of diminishing as these avenues of interpretation feed off the drama while omitting the truth. Is it time for change and a reality check, or do we simply continue to fight our corner – and, all too often, lose? Pictured: Rachel de Thame presents to camera on the Breaking Ground garden for the People’s Choice Award Chelsea 2017

ABOUT ANDREW WILSON Andrew Wilson is a landscape and garden designer and a director of Wilson McWilliam Studio. He is also a director of the London College of Garden Design, an author, writer and lecturer.

Pro Landscaper / December 2017 41

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Reporting back from SALTEX 2017, Angus Lindsay analyses the new machinery on the market – and what he thinks is lacking It’s SALTEX time again and, at the time of writing, the temperatures have only recently dropped from the mid-teens – I wouldn’t have been surprised to see the leaves getting back into the trees at this point. Climate change, it seems, is with us, despite what Mr Trump says! So, what did manufacturers and suppliers have to offer us this year, to make our job easier in these ever changing and challenging environmental and economic conditions? With tightening emissions standards now affecting smaller diesel engines from 25hp, manufacturers are having to consider alternatives until suitable diesel units are offered and affordable. Already available on zero-turn mowers, petrol engines are now an option on larger woodchippers. I sense a sharp intake of breath at the thought, but consider how long a 150-225mm chipper actually runs in a typical day – you may be surprised. And for machines operating within cities with Low Emission Zones there may not be an alternative, as I didn’t see any gas, wind or solar powered units at SALTEX.

Ransomes Jacobsen wide area flail – impressive, but what else can it do?

And what of my favourite subject, the multi-functional power unit? Well, it was good to see that these are slowly becoming a viable and workable alternative, with Toro, Ransomes Jacobsen and Roberine triple units now readily available with interchangeable cylinder and flail heads, though there’s still no sign of a rotary 42

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deck option. Ransomes Jacobsen is taking it a step further with its MP series, boasting cylinder, rotary and flail alternatives on the same base power unit – though unfortunately you’d have to buy one of each, as the interchanging of cutting units on one power unit is still a distant dream.

Commercial electric mowers – time to take these seriously

WE NEED TO TAKE ELECTRIC MACHINES MORE SERIOUSLY AS VIABLE ALTERNATIVES TO THEIR PETROL COUSINS However, the Ventrac system does offer more alternatives around one base power unit. Similar in concept to the more expensive Reform and Aebi tractors and the Holder tool carrier (new to the UK market), it’s a niche machine with plenty of potential. It doesn’t have the same power, range of implements, nor the slope climbing abilities of the Alpine tractors, but as a basic tool-carrier which can be carried on a 3,500kg beavertail and undertake ground preparation, sweeping, mowing and materials handling tasks, plus operate on 30° slopes, it’s a package worth considering. Electric power tools, as you can imagine, were in abundance at SALTEX. These now

include 21in mowers and power brushes. Larger electric ride-on and stand-on machines were also prominent. We now need to take these machines more seriously as viable alternatives to their petrol cousins, especially within our cities – we just need our clients to specify and accept the cutting regimes to allow these machines to operate effectively. What did surprise me was the lack of new technology. Within agriculture we have seen huge moves in the use of satellite technology linked to applications, for everything from drainage to chemical requirement, but there are still very few examples in our marketplace. There was, however, a fully autonomous robotic line marker – ironic following my article in last month’s Pro Landscaper – along with Husqvarna’s Solea; a vision of the future of open space maintenance.

A drone controls robotic mowers from above – is this the future?

Based around a ‘mothership’ concept, it dispatches a monitoring drone which controls a swarm of robotic mowers – perhaps coming soon to a park near you! 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:

23/11/2017 09:24

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David T Binks talks you through the three essential things to consider when building a sustainable business You’re likely sick and tired of hearing about sustainability, a term that has been so overused it has almost been rendered meaningless. Thinking about sustainability generally conjures up images of green buildings with green walls and green roofs, or of words prefixed by ‘eco’. However, this is the tip of the sustainable iceberg – what aspirational businesses need to be looking at is the ‘triple bottom line’ of People, Profit and Planet, also referred to as the ‘Pillars of Sustainability’. Under this framework, when you are measuring the social impact of your business on People, the following metrics are worth exploring: do you offer professional development opportunities for your staff; do you have a succession plan in place; does your company make charitable donations; do you provide a wellbeing program? Some of these initiatives will be easier to implement than others, but starting

to think about them will have a profound effect on your business. When you are reviewing the economic dimension of your business – the Profit – obvious measures are: maintaining or increasing revenue and growth, monitoring your client base to ensure financial stability, and, ultimately, operating a viable business, rather than just trying to turn a fast buck. A simple exercise is to analyse peaks and troughs in your annual sales and take note of how they affect your business, with a view to levelling out sales and avoiding excessive fluctuations.


Perhaps one of the most obvious measures for our industry is the environmental impact of your operation on the Planet. Look at the amount of energy consumed by your business in all of its facets (electricity, gas, diesel, petrol), and ask whether these can be reduced; examine whether you can lower the amount of waste generated by your works; ensure that pollutants are monitored and minimised. Take a look at your supply chain: can you buy locally produced materials for projects, rather than buying imported products with huge carbon footprints? Are there resources on-site that can be conserved and reused, rather sending to landfill? The United Nations defines sustainability as ‘meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs’. We are in a privileged position in the landscaping industry, as, while we are running businesses to generate revenue, we are also enhancing the environment at the same time. When we carry out soft landscaping works, we are offsetting carbon and improving the green infrastructure for generations to come, alluding to the proverb ‘society grows great when old men plant trees beneath whose shade they’ll never sit’. We don’t necessarily need to be old men or women, but hopefully you get the message. The key to a sustainable business is paying attention to those things which motivate you and drive your business forward in a way that has a positive impact not only for yourself, but for those around you. If you install a few green roofs along the way, then all the better. ABOUT DAVID T BINKS David T Binks is managing director of Cheshire-based Landstruction, which was set up in 2010 and now has 40 employees. It has won Gold medals at RHS Chelsea and RHS Tatton Park. David also launched the Big Hedge Co., which supplies and installs mature hedging and topiary nationwide.,


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23/11/2017 09:32


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with the seasons Pro Landscaper explores how Oldham Council is using parks and green spaces to move away from the area’s unglamorous industrial image


o far in this series on local authority parks we’ve featured a variety of famously beautiful cities spread out across the UK. As disparate as these locations are, they all have one thing in common – they’re exactly as lovely as you would expect them to be, given their reputations. Harrogate, for instance, doesn’t just pride itself on the upkeep of its green spaces – it places them front and centre, marketing itself as one of the premier holiday destinations in the north of England. Likewise, Edinburgh’s status as arguably the most beautiful city in the whole of the UK is communicated as soon as a visitor steps off the train, thanks to the stunning Princes Street Gardens. With that in mind, one place that you wouldn’t necessarily anticipate as being that eye-catching is Oldham, the subject of this month’s article. As with many towns in the Greater Manchester area, its reputation is that of a former industrial centre rather than a place for tourism and sightseeing. As it turns out, however, nothing could be further from the truth, particularly when it comes to Oldham’s thriving town centre. An integral part of this is the contribution made by its parks and green spaces. Using the landscape Situated in the Pennines, Oldham made its name across the world in the 19th century as a centre for textile manufacture. At its height, according to statistics released by the Borough Council, it produced more cotton than France and Germany combined. Fast forward 100 years, however, and the town began to decline – a development linked inexorably to a massive, damaging slowdown in textiles processing. Its last cotton mill closed in 1998, ushering in the present day when the local economy, like many similar towns, is mainly dependent on services and retail. The current Metropolitan Borough of Oldham — whose administrative centre is Oldham itself — has a population of just under 240,000.

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Glenn Dale is head of environmental services for Oldham Council. It’s his job to manage the upkeep of its parks and green spaces, and to sync the offering with wider council strategy around wellbeing and the economic life of the town. “There are 23 main parks in the borough, the most high profile of which, Alexandra Park, is 25ha,” he tells us. “On top of that, there’s a country park called Tandle Hills. We also have community parks dotted around the city. “My philosophy is that parks have got to be welcoming. You need to provide something for everyone, of all age ranges – an approach we’ve been very mindful of for a long time. We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved.” Alexandra Park is indeed a facility that any local authority would be justly proud of. Situated in the Glodwick area of town, its 25ha contain, among other things, a conservatory, a lake and a boathouse, as well as tennis courts and bowling greens. In keeping with the rest of the town, it also boasts some beautiful landscaping. “When it comes to things like physical fitness, we feel we’ve been doing this for a long time,” 48

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Glenn says, discussing the ways in which the parks strategy ties in with the broader aims of the council. “People are finally starting to cotton on to the fact that we provide free exercise space for everyone.

PARKS HAVE GOT TO BE WELCOMING. YOU NEED TO PROVIDE SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE, OF ALL AGES “Back in the old days, GP referrals would often include giving someone membership to a gym, but people don’t always want to put themselves through that. That could be due to fear or embarrassment – so what we say is come and have a walk around our parks.” He moves onto the subject of funding. “It’s extremely difficult at the minute – the money coming out of local government is, quite frankly, astronomical. Oldham is no different from anywhere else, so we’ve got to be clever with the money available and maximise it where possible. We dip into public health

funding to the tune of about half a million pounds a year, which is clearly a massive benefit to us as a department.” Zero tolerance Oldham’s parks and green spaces offer is designed to improve the status of the town. This has been accomplished in part by the huge effort that goes into providing the aforementioned range of facilities. Arguably even more important, however, is the local authority’s extraordinary planting-up regime, taking place not just in the parks themselves, but also around the town. Glenn says the rationale behind providing a beautiful environment for those visiting Oldham is to attract people and business. “We have zero tolerance on graffiti, working on the basis of what we call ‘broken window syndrome’ – that is, if one window is left broken, another broken window will soon appear nearby. We need to make sure that the town looks cared for by creating a ‘wow’ factor. If you walk down the high street, we want you to literally go ‘wow!’” Oldham’s planting and maintenance strategy, while not necessarily unique, is unusual in that

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there are no plans to wean itself off bedding plants. Indeed, there’s a real sense that the more old-fashioned style of landscaping epitomised by flowerbeds is seen as an investment. “We grow about 130,000 bedding plants in our nursery – both summer and spring varieties,” says Glenn. “We also still bulb up. The idea is to basically reflect the change in the seasons, something which feels natural to people. We do a lot of wildflower mixes nowadays, the same as anyone else, but for us it can’t just be about that. “The other idea is that we leave a legacy for the town every time we put a new display together. Once we’re ready for something new, we move the old bed to another high profile area, where it continues giving enjoyment to people. Numerous gardens have popped up in the high street, on roundabouts and so on because of this strategy. Ultimately, we’re trying to reinvent ourselves and say, look – we’re open for business.” The environmental services team is made of up 185 people, all of whom have a full time job on their hands when it comes to keeping the town looking its best. According to Glenn, this

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includes arboreal and countryside crews, which look after all the green spaces within the borough, from parks to cemeteries. Of the town’s 23 parks, 15 are manned full time, which ensures both top quality maintenance and a level of security that wouldn’t be available under different circumstances. “When your teams are mobile, they generally move on after they’ve finished,” says Glenn. “That leaves space for people who want to carry out antisocial behaviour and cause mischief. Our system ensures a safe, pleasant environment.”


current generation of his maintenance team starts to retire. “We have succession planning in place,” he tells us. “We run our own training programme, and we’re also involved in a scheme called Get Oldham Working, where we take people who have been unemployed for six months or more. That’s bringing through new blood all the time. “The traditional image of Oldham is of an industrial town, and a lot of people who haven’t been here still associate it with the cotton mills. That’s fine, but those who visit see something very different. We intend to keep that going.”

1 Glenn Dale, head of environmental services 2 High St Oldham Town Centre 3 Boot & Beanstalk at the Sainsbury’s roundabout 4 Broadway, Chadderton

Oldham’s parks and green spaces have won numerous awards in recent years, which Glenn is rightly proud of. This year, it missed out on being crowned RHS Champion of Champions by a whisker. We ask Glenn how he plans to keep the winning streak going once the

5 Driving change at Mumps, Oldham 6 Alexandra Park conservatory 7 VIP (‘veg in park’) at Waterhead Park 8 Underwater garden on Broadway Royton 9 Lover’s walk at Alexandra Park 10 Lower Mayor’s walk at Alexandra Park Pro Landscaper / December 2017 49

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Out There in 2017 One year on following a successful rebrand from The Landscape Centre to Out There Services, Northern Ireland’s largest Grounds Maintenance and Landscaping Contractor has enjoyed a year full of growth, expansion and diversification

Adding depots across the UK, Out There are now developing a nation-wide platform from which they can offer landscaping and landscape design, grounds maintenance, tree surgery, environmental management and civil engineering services. Business Development Director Trevor Spence commented “Our growth plan for the next three years is definitely on track. We have achieved or exceeded our targets for year one and looking ahead we are well placed to make the most of forthcoming opportunities. We have continued to add new customers both here in Northern Ireland and across Scotland and England.” This year has also seen Out There raise nearly £10,000 for their partner charities Cancer Focus Northern Ireland and Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) through a variety of fundraising activities. Out There continues to be an active member of the communities they serve and this year they have delivered City and Guilds Accredited training to residents and allotment holders across the country. For more information on Out There Services, visit or their social media channels @outthereforyou / search ‘Out There Services’. @outthereforyou on social media Tel: 028 9334 5610

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Each of our 12 porthole covers for the Discovery Tower in Hampton Court’s Magic Garden is a unique design inspired by the Tudor age, laser-cut in stainless steel, then polished to a smooth high finish. Perfection and precision to grace a world-famous venue. View this project online:

Whatever you can imagine, we can make it a reality in metal. To discuss your ideas, email or call us now on 01903 716960.

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PROJECT DETAILS Project value £28.5k Build time Nine weeks Size of project 62m2

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This tiny plot in Kennet Gardens, Bradford-on-Avon is transformed after the clients were inspired by an RHS show garden


he clients were inspired by Alexandra Froggatt’s show garden ‘The Garden of Solitude’ at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in 2014, which had won the Best in Category for the APL ‘Your Garden, Your Budget’ and a Silver Gilt medal. ‘The Garden of Solitude’ was a space in which to relax and escape from a hectic modern life, featuring an architectural pergola and raised beds, surrounding a sunken seating area which offered refuge and a feeling of privacy. The sound of water cascading from the structure into a white pool was designed to negate urban sound pollution, and soft lighting behind a recycled glass panel created an ambient effect for the evening. Inspired by the geometric shapes and colours of crystals, the space used angular lines to direct the eye towards the seating area and then towards focal points

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around the garden, providing gentle distraction and interest. Naturalistic planting in pastel shades softened the landscaped lines in the garden. The clients loved the highly creative and unusual use of a small space. They desired a compact but interesting and innovative outdoor room that was influenced by their love of art and would excite the imagination. They also wished for their garden to feel larger than its tiny 62m2 plot. Naturalistic planting which incorporated herbs and fruit was key, as was lighting. The clients asked for the sound of water but had very young grandchildren, so open water was not an option. They also required storage for garden tools and an area to grow vegetables. Design and build The two main features in the space are a limestone paved seating area with a built-in cantilevered wooden bench, and a bespoke, contemporary aluminium pergola with angled beams and cantilevered sections. Designed to create a focal point and a degree of drama, the pergola also offers some shelter. The decking area provides a space from which the clients can barbecue, and a limestone patio with a contemporary dining set is used for entertaining. Carefully placed angles and level changes within the garden create the illusion of greater space. The clients’ desire for the sound of cascading water is satisfied with a waterfall at the end of the path, built into the back wall and cascading down a sheet of clear Perspex. The waterfall’s reservoir is covered with slate for safety, and it features LED lighting. Walling was built around part of the garden in both painted render and wooden cladding to add interest, and soft uplighting was used throughout the garden to highlight key features and plants. The planting incorporates herbs, wildflowers, grasses and perennials, all selected to suit the local heavy clay soil and create a pretty ‘wild herb garden’ effect. Fruit cordons are planted along the left side of the garden, and a single multi-stemmed Amelanchier lamarckii takes pride of place in a raised stone bed in the far left corner, adding vertical interest, with its stems standing out against the rendered backdrop. The back section of the garden is separated from the main area by a wall, with a discreet door designed into the back for access; a shed 54

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is incorporated here for storage. The garden is finished off with quirky, modern furniture from EMU, giving it additional and almost sculptural interest. Challenges The main challenge, aside from designing for such a small space, was transporting and installing the pergola which was of a considerable size. It was constructed in two sections to allow it to be transported to the site, and required extra manpower to transport and install, alongside the lifting equipment.

ABOUT ALEXANDRA FROGGATT DESIGN Alexandra Froggatt Design is a multi award winning Cheshirebased landscape design company that is committed to bringing innovation to every garden. Established in 2010, it focuses on beautiful details and incorporating unique sculptural elements, while ensuring the garden complements and enhances its surroundings.

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SHOW GARDEN 1 Main garden view from the lounge 2 The angular pergola creates fascinating shadow effects 3 Dining area with seating, pendant Foscarini light and bench 4 Low planting

5 Mixed herbaceous borders with Salvia and Achillea ‘Cerise Queen’ 6 The gap is staggered to prevent being seen from the house 7 The previous empty space 8 During installation



Alexandra Froggatt Design



Wooden bench

Out Back Gardens

London Stone

Bespoke; designed by Alexandra Froggatt, frame built by Alma Sheet Metal Ltd, constructed by Out Back Gardens


Decking, door and cladding Paving

Supplied by Out Back Gardens sourced from local timber merchants

Howard Nurseries Pergola Belmont Fabrication (Congleton)

Furniture EMU Water feature


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Bespoke; designed by Alexandra Froggatt, constructed by Out Back Gardens

Barbecue Big Green Egg

Images ©Alexandra Froggatt Design Paint Cuprinol Render K Rend

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PROJECT DETAILS Project value £4.5m Build time 12 months Size of project Phase 1: 26,000m2


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Regeneration Scheme over £500k


RESI Awards 2017 Development of the Year



London Evening Standard New Homes Awards 2017 Best Regeneration Project

In-Ex Landscapes delivered a monumental regeneration project in the City, transforming a derelict site into the modern and stunning London City Island


ondon City Island is a vibrant new development, key to the regeneration of Leamouth Peninsula. An area with a rich naval heritage, London City Island is surrounded by the River Lea and a small ecological park encompassing streams, ponds, meadows and wildlife. It is within walking distance of Canary Wharf and, with the introduction of a specially commissioned bridge, there are now direct connections to Canning Town Station. Having been an unusable and derelict sector of contaminated land for 35-40 years, the 12 acre site was once a margarine factory and an industrial eyesore. The programme for the project began in November 2015 and was completed by November 2016.

services/ducting, landscape finishes, lighting and irrigation. The vast amounts of capping and piling required to retain the island were undertaken before In-Ex Landscapes’ commencement on the site, and a new purposeful access bridge was introduced, allowing for the regeneration and transformation of this unique scheme. During the consultation phase it became apparent that contamination from the existing land could not enter the new soil and drainage layers. Similarly, the permeating water from run-off and rainfall was not allowed to soak through into the aquifers of the neighbouring River Lea. The solution was an impermeable layer applied to all soft landscaping regions of

the development – this was an approach which required specialist site training, in which the team was shown how to connect butyl layers over vast and undulating areas at varying times within the phased process. Modular granite walls and bespoke stonework were all designed into exacting stone schedules for cutting, and installed by In-Ex Landscapes. The schedule involved modular units of many shapes and sizes that were used to enhance and retain level changes and plant beds. 1 Connecting walkways interlink the scheme 2 Modular granite walls frame level changes 3 City Island Arts Club

Build Project architect, Chris Blandford Associates, was responsible for creating a landscape masterplan linking the mixed-use development, incorporating 1,900 residential units, retail work spaces, leisure facilities, cultural exhibition space (5,000m2) and offices (20,000m2). The scheme comprised large quantities of paved and pedestrian walkways, as well as communal areas for relaxation and socialising. The site also included a luxury decking and swimming pool area, external lighting scheme and fully automated irrigation system. In-Ex Landscapes was given the task of bringing this vision to life, and its scope of works involved taking all elements from the ground up, including bulk excavation, drainage, base and civil preparation, new

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Further landscape works throughout the scheme included: • Paving treatments and procurement • External brickwork and specialist mortars • Mastic finishing to all perimeters of buildings and light fittings • Macadam surfaces and extensive build ups to roadways • Granite kerbs and edgings throughout • Attenuation drainage cells, recessed inspection covers and surface drainage • Extensive groundworks and forming of contours • Soft landscaping including planting, turfing, seeding, tree pits and semi-mature trees • Tree protection and arboricultural work to existing trees • Topsoil importation, fertilisers and mulches • Fully automated irrigation system to lawns and soft landscaping areas 58

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• All lighting, including ducting and switching • Hardwood decking and fencing • Trim trail and play equipment • External furniture, fittings, gates, railings and bollards. The welcoming new environment at London City Island offers innovative living and working accommodation, particularly appealing to London’s creative industries who are power houses of regeneration and growth in new quarters of the city. Embraced by a series of diverse landscaped public spaces, including plazas, riverside gardens and cycle and pedestrian routes, this major mixed-use and sustainable development will become an authentic and creative community, bursting with ideas and vitality. Already an award-winning regeneration scheme, London City Island has also been appointed the home to the English National Ballet.

4 Phase 1 views from the finished living spaces 5 The specially commissioned ‘island’ bridge 6 Extensive drift planting over undulating areas 7 Regenerated access links to the Canning Town Rotunda 8 Works in progress 9 Initial piling works and extensive ground works 10 Years of neglected unusable land before work

ABOUT IN-EX LANDSCAPES In-Ex Landscapes is a multi award winning landscape contractor with decades of experience working across London and the Home Counties. It has project managed and constructed a portfolio of London’s high pro le and demanding commercial projects. They continue to deliver high quality schemes as part of the continued regeneration throughout the city.

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In-Ex Landscapes

Freeland Horticulture

Landscape architect

Butyl layer

Chris Blandford Associates




Waterwise Solutions

Marshalls Natural Stone

Play equipment

Russell Play


Tamar Nurseries

Hand Made Places


Gates, railings and bollards

Lorenz Von Ehren Trees


Turf Naybur Bros


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2017 RHS CHATSWORTH FLOWER SHOW WINNER RHS Gold Medal, Best Show Garden, Best Construction Award

NOT JUST FOR SHOW PAUL HERVEY-BROOKES The IQ Quarry Garden from the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show 2017 was relocated and rebuilt to form a contemplative space for all to enjoy


or the first ever RHS Chatsworth Flower Show in June, Paul Hervey-Brookes was commissioned by the Institute of Quarrying (IQ) to design a show garden to celebrate its centenary. The garden was also constructed to showcase the habitat created by quarries, and to highlight the essential role played by the quarrying and extractive industries today. To reflect this, the design needed to be inspired by a quarry, rather than simply replicating one. The largest at the show at 480m², the IQ Quarry Garden went on to win an RHS Gold Medal as well as Best Show Garden, and the highly coveted Best Construction Award for contractors GK Wilson. Visitors could view the garden through horizontal fissures in a 3m high sculpted boundary wall called ‘Passing Light’, created by Ann-Margreth Bohl using Corten steel. Relocation Even in the initial consultations between Paul and the IQ, the plan was to relocate the garden after the show to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. As James Thorne, CEO of the IQ, explains: “The IQ Quarry Garden played a big part in the Institute’s centenary celebrations campaign. But RHS show gardens are a huge amount of work for a short, five-day window of opportunity for the public to enjoy. So we donated the garden, albeit in a new layout, to the National Memorial Arboretum, where it can be enjoyed for years to come.”


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Show garden images ©Dan Lord, Forecast Designs

PROJECT DETAILS Project value Estimated valuation £50k Build time Three weeks Size of project 9m x 70m

Spanning across 150 acres, the Arboretum honours the country’s armed forces and civil services, with more than 300 dedicated memorials and 30,000 trees, showcasing it as a place of life, rather than loss. The Arboretum is built on an old gravel quarry, on land gifted by Tarmac on a 999-year lease. The IQ wanted the garden to feature as a lasting legacy to the quarrying industry, but to serve an entirely different purpose to the original show garden. As a result, it has been redesigned as a quiet and reflective space which visitors to the Arboretum can walk through. Essentially a repurposing of the garden’s elements, rather than a replica of the show garden, the new site is long and linear, based on a slope. The garden includes a pathway to provide easy access for all visitors. As well as being able to enjoy the garden, the pathway also offers a new perspective to view the arboretum. Almost every element of the show garden has been relocated from Chatsworth to Staffordshire, apart from the 1m-deep sunken area at its centre

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due to health and safety restrictions. The Passing Light sculptural installation has been reconstructed at the Arboretum, but in three component parts, staggered across the length of the landscape, with trees used to create a winding route through the space. Planting Despite adverse weather conditions at Chatsworth which saw torrential rain, the plants thrived in the show garden and were able to be relocated to the Arboretum. The initial planting scheme aimed to remind people of the semi-wild scrubland around industrial landscapes where some plants have selfseeded, whilst others have been added, increasing biodiversity with a mixture of native and non-native species, including white flowered foxglove and common teasel. Trees planted at the new site included a 10m-high Quercus rober (English oak) and a

Salix (willow) from Chatsworth, as well as Mespilus germanica (medlar) and a Taxodium from Paul’s ‘Viking Cruises World of Discovery Garden’ at the RHS Hampton Court Palace 1 A view of the garden at the National Memorial Arboretum 2 The Institute of Quarrying’s motto ‘Terram autem filiis hominum’ was cast into Corten steel 3 The path creates a new walkway for visitors 4 Ann-Margreth Bohl’s sculptural wall ‘Passing Light’ 5 The original design by Paul Hervey-Brookes of the RHS Chatsworth Quarry Garden Pro Landscaper / December 2017 61

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Flower Show in July. These, and the herbaceous perennials from Chatsworth, were used to create a more structured, year-round display, but also proved to be one of the biggest challenges throughout the relocation due to the weight and size of the trees. Challenges GK Wilson Landscape Services, which built the original show garden, started construction at the Arboretum in September 2017, having carefully relocated each element to the site in Staffordshire. One of the main features of the garden, the statuesque monoliths, were made using material from Delabole Slate, a quarry based in Cornwall. The trees proved challenging to relocate due to their weight, and meant that GK Wilson had to hire a large telehandler to place everything into the ground. Large concrete footings also had to be used to support the wall on the sloped site, with big outriggers to secure the wall down. Many elements from the show garden were repurposed, such as the curbs, which GK Wilson reused as a plinth for the sculpture by AnnMargreth Bohl. Describing this approach, Gareth

Wilson, director of GK Wilson Landscape Services, said: “It was a brilliant project to work on, as a lot of the plants and materials for the show garden were recycled and put back into a project which will be there forever. That’s the kind of project we like to be involved in.” Being an enclosed space, the restraints of the Arboretum were similar to that of a show garden, with deliveries taking place on site at the same time as visitors. The benefit was having longer to build the garden, taking nearly three weeks to transform the show garden into Paul’s new design. Paul Hervey-Brookes said of the new garden, which opened to the public on 19 October: “The new design is true to the spirit of the original IQ

Quarry Garden, which represented the life cycle of a quarry, from extraction to reinstatement and sustainability. It incorporates many of the features of the RHS Chatsworth show garden, including elements of ‘Passing Light’. Hidden amongst the planting are a number of slate monoliths, acknowledging the garden’s quarrying roots. “We have created a linear ‘walk-through’ space, providing a beautifully planted corridor linking elements of the Arboretum. It’s wonderful to think that the garden will now be enjoyed by future generations, as well as providing a lasting legacy to the Institute’s centenary.” ABOUT PAUL HERVEY-BROOKES Paul Hervey-Brookes is a wellrespected designer who has built a strong reputation for landscapes and gardens that are classically English, relying on planting schemes to create spaces and rich, multi-layered habitats. He works on a diverse range of public landscapes and private gardens both in the UK and internationally and has created a number of award-winning RHS show gardens.

REFERENCES Sponsor The Institute of Quarrying

Hanson UK Designer


Paul Hervey-Brookes


Contractor GK Wilson Landscape Services Supporters

University of Derby Sculpture

Ann-Margreth Bohl Trees

Aggregate Industries

Deepdale Trees

Birchover Stone Ltd

Plants Bradstone Glendale Horticulture Volunteers Nottingham Trent University

Cemex UK Delabole Slate Company


Pro Landscaper / December 2017

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SHED SOME LIGHT Anji Connell highlights examples of smart, wireless designer solar lights that are not only functional but built to last, and are even works of art in themselves Lights are the perfect finishing touch to an outdoor space. Not only do they help you find your way in the dark, they also add a touch of softness and highlight features you want to show off, as well as lending mystery and romance to your garden. A great outdoor lighting option is the solar lamp – easy to install and maintain, solar lamps use renewable energy and are cheaper than mains lighting. Solar lights are an LED light source powered by the energy from the sun via a photovoltaic solar panel; the energy is stored in a rechargeable gel cell battery. Sensors automatically turn on the LED light when the sun goes down. Although they may have a higher initial cost, solar lights benefit owners with reduced maintenance and electricity bills, and are excellent for a retrofit if you have an outdoor space with no power supply. The LED lights used in solar lamps have a high luminous Foscarini


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Gacoli nomad path light

efficiency and a long life. The rechargeable batteries will need to be replaced now and again, adding to the lifetime cost, but generally they are a cost-effective and environmentally conscious decision, green and sustainable. The perks of solar lighting are their overall versatility; they can be used for motion detection, safety, pathway lighting, or simply to Fermob

add ambience. Improvements in solar cells have also resulted in better energy charges that can store and use emitted daylight even in shady areas or cloudy, winter weather. This means your lights will still come on in the dark winter nights, although the stored energy may not last as long as it would in the summer months when more light is available. Solar power For many, solar powered lights conjure up thoughts of cheap stick lights from the local garden centre or supermarket, but they have come a long way and today’s lights are very stylish. There are a range of elegant solar table lamps available, such as the OSun Nomad LED Solar Portable Light, designed by Alain Gilles, which was originally conceived as a portable light source for people without access to


electricity, and comes in six colours. Fatboy’s Edison Petit table lamp is designed for use both indoors and outdoors, but will need protecting from moisture and direct sunlight. It comes with a choice of lampshades, and will glow for up to six hours on the highest setting before recharging is required. Kettal sells a small solar powered table lamp called Mia, designed by Michel Charlot, and the Bicoca is a colourful portable table lamp designed by Christophe Mathieu for Marset. It’s lightweight and has a unique glow that will infuse any space with warmth. Sven Ono’s Turner Outdoor Table Lantern, from Mooni, can be flipped upside down during daylight hours to recharge, and flickers like a candle when in use. It’s available in seven colourways: blue, green, purple, red, white, orange and black. Another Sven Ono design, inspired by Nordic Christmas lights, is the Cornet, which comes as a set of three lights designed to hang from tree branches. The top of the Cornet has a solar cell to store the energy, which is automatically turned on at dusk. The lights come with a set of stainless steel

BICOCA wireless lamps, designed by Christophe Mathieu for Marset

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INSPIRE Fatboy Le Swinger

decorative hooks for easy placement. Another hanging option is Gothenburg-based designer Jesper Jonsson’s collapsible solar powered lantern, which can be hung anywhere outdoors with its leather strap. Fatboy’s Bolleke indoor and outdoor hanging rechargeable light comes in industrial green, taupe, red and light grey, with three light modes to create the perfect setting. Charge it via the USB portal on top and enjoy up to 24 hours of wireless lighting. Thierry le Swinger, from the same company, can either be hung from a branch or spiked into the ground. Its sustainable wireless outdoor lamp comes in the same four colourways, and the lamp will last between 6.5 and 42 hours, depending on its setting. Style and substance The Solar Bud light, designed by Ross Lovegrove for Italian company Luceplan, is another spike lamp option which would work well for lighting a path or border; it has an aluminium stem and UV-resistant head, and an eight-hour charge can provide up to 15 hours of light. German manufacturer BTR’s spike Path Lights have a stainless steel body and built-in high quality LED bulb, and are available from GEM. All Modern has a whole range of bollard dusk-to-dawn solar powered landscape lighting, as does Gacoli, with a collection of 15 models that can be left outside all year – they are ‘365 days a year-proof’ and come with a two-year warranty. Its Nomad Park, which is 90cm high and 30cm wide, comes with a spike so you can easily move it all around your garden or border. There are also plenty of options for more attention-grabbing and large-scale lamps, such as Fermob’s Balad floor lamp – named after the French phrase ‘se balader’, which means ‘to walk around’. The double-duty Balad H25 lamp is a wireless LED lantern that comes with a stand in two models – upright and offset – which can be detached and carried around to wherever you need a little extra light. Featuring a

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Klockit solar string lights

large dimmer button on its side, the lamp comes in small or large, and is available in six different colours. Maiori’s La Lampe floor lamp is created from sustainable materials and draws its inspiration from the ‘Réverbère’ gas lamps seen in the streets of Paris back in 1677, which earned the French capital the nickname ‘city of light’. The range is created from high performance materials and coatings, engineered so that it will endure any weather condition: the base and frames are in powder-coated recyclable aluminium alloy, and the shades made from the renowned Maiori Outdoor Technical Fabric. Foscarini describes its Jean Marie Massaud Solar Outdoor Floor Lamp as a ‘contemporary hearth’; its relaxing glow and soft luminosity encourage you to gather round. The surface is varnished metal with a rusty, textured finish, and a polyphenylene hemispherical body that tilts by 15º, giving the ability to create multiple light effects and atmospheres. For a subtler glow, there’s the Solar String Lights from Klockit, which have 30 Fatboy energy-saving white LED bulbs and a separate solar panel. They automatically light up at dusk for six hours when fully charged. For really fun outdoor lighting – whether you have a pool or not – The Globe from Lightology is a waterproof, wireless, rechargeable and energy efficient light ball that is designed to thrive in bad weather. With guaranteed resistance to shocks, it is IP68 rated for wet locations. Available in many colours and sizes, there is also an optional remote control, which is sold separately.



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ABOUT ANJI CONNELL Internationally recognised interior architect and landscape designer Anji Connell is a detail-obsessed Inchbald Graduate, and has been collaborating with artisans and craftsmen to create bespoke and unique interiors for a discerning clientele since 1986. Anji is a stylist, feature writer and lover of all things art and design.

Pro Landscaper / December 2017 65

23/11/2017 11:54


Hardwood decking We take a look at four impressive hardwood decking projects – from a back garden restoration to a first class airport lounge

Round Wood of Mayfield

Ecochoice Ltd

Ipe East Sussex

FSC Massaranduba London

Glen Lines, a local builder and developer, contacted Round Wood with regards to a high-end project he was carrying out at a riding school. His client required durable and eyecatching hardwood decking boards for a veranda on the main site building. Round Wood suggested Ipe, its toughest timber – capable of lasting 100 years, even without treatment. With time, it weathers down to a gentle patina, with outstanding grain detail showing through. Price: From £48.50/m2

The developer wanted a beautiful, long lasting and eco friendly solution for these luxury Taylor Wimpey apartments in East London. The architect went for FSC-certified Massaranduba from Ecochoice Ltd, a dark red hardwood with enough personality to ensure clients know they are walking on real wood. This timber comes from protected and sustainable forests, and users do not have to worry about maintaining it. Price: £40/m2





Exterior Decking

Decking Decor

FSC Iroko

Aquadecks & decking restoration Wimbledon

Heathrow Airport

Exterpark Magnet Hardwood Decking in FSC Iroko 21 x 120 was selected for this 340-square metre terrace. It was chosen for its speed of installation, durability and aesthetic. The architect on this project constantly specifies Exterpark products due to their quality and performance in the commercial environment. Exterpark pedestals are among the cheapest on the market and, coupled with the aluminum joist sections, make for a cost-effective, high-end installation. Price: 21mm thickness – £68.59/sq m

This deck had been treated with an oil and a self-cleaning product, which led to the wood becoming weathered and encrusted with dirt. The client wanted a natural finish with easy maintenance; Aquadecks was the chosen finish. The deck was stripped of all previous finishes and neutralised to restore its colour. Screws were checked and where required withdrawn and re-seated, and the deck was sanded, before several applications of Aquadecks were applied to saturate the wood without creating a film. Price: £124.49 per 5L



Pro Landscaper / December 2017

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ith the phenomenal success of Pro Landscaper’s 30 Under 30: The Next Generation over the last few years, we realise and appreciate that the horticulture sector has an abundance of successful, inspirational and talented people that have been working within it for many years, and who are still guiding the progression of the industry today. With this in mind, Pro Landscaper has launched the accolade to find out who the wider industry believes are currently influencing and shaping the UK’s landscaping sector. To undertake this research, we contacted around 200 well known people within the world of landscaping, these being commercial landscapers, domestic landscapers, garden designers and landscape architects who have won RHS medals or industry awards, leading suppliers, and those who are known to commentate on the sector. Each person was asked to nominate five people who are still working in the UK’s landscape sector today. This supplementary issue of Pro Landscaper contains the results of these nominations: twenty-four of the figures who have inspired people into our industry and made their mark on landscaping and horticulture. We would like to thank the participants for their input. We hope this supplement will be a fascinating and insightful record of those people who are guiding horticulture and landscaping into the future. Enjoy the read.

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Alan Titchmarsh TV PERSONALITY

Image ©Jason Alden

After leaving school at 15, Alan Titchmarsh became an apprentice gardener at his local nursery, continuing with full-time training at horticultural college and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Alan was the main presenter of Gardeners’ World and Ground Force; he now presents ITV’s Love Your Garden, which returned for its sixth series this year. The author of more than 50 gardening books, Alan also writes regularly in BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, and is the gardening correspondent for The Daily Express and The Sunday Express. Alan has been awarded the RHS’s Victoria Medal of Honour, the highest award the RHS can bestow.


Landscape designer Adam Frost is known for his successes at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, having won seven Gold medals, and for presenting on BBC’s Gardeners’ World. Adam was instrumental in setting up the Homebase Garden Academy in 2013, and became an RHS Ambassador for Education and Community Gardens in 2014. He is the author of Real Gardens, RHS AMBASSADOR, LANDSCAPE and this year has launched DESIGNER, GARDENERS’ WORLD The Adam Frost Garden PRESENTER AND PROBABLY THE School, which offers MOST DOWN TO EARTH OF ALL OF courses from garden design THEM. HOMEBASE GARDEN ACADEMY to garden maintenance and IS A REAL BREATH OF FRESH AIR IN hard landscaping. THE INDUSTRY

Adam White



Award-winning garden designer, lecturer and writer Andrew Wilson is a founding director of The London College of Garden Design (LCGD) and partner at Wilson McWilliam Studio, a design practice that specialises in contemporary private gardens and landscapes. He is a Fellow and former chairman of the Society of Garden Designers (SGD). Andrew has exhibited at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show as well as at the Singapore International Garden Show in 2014; he served as the RHS’s Chair of Assessors for show gardens between 1994 and 2013, and currently judges for the Bloom Garden Festival in Dublin.

D I R E C T O R , D A V I E S W H I T E LT D

Adam White studied landscape architecture at degree and postgraduate level, and co-founded Davies White Ltd with Andrèe Davies in 2009. Since winning its first RHS Gold medal and BBC People’s Choice Award, the practice, which specialises in the creation of bespoke nature play spaces, has won more than 15 national design, engagement and construction awards – including Best in Show at RHS Hampton Court in 2017. Adam White is president-elect of the Landscape Institute and is the author of Nature Play: Managing and Maintaining Playful Landscapes.


Pro Landscaper / December 2017

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Andy Sturgeon is one of the UK’s leading garden designers, having won seven Gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show between 2005 and 2016, as well as Best in Show in 2010 and 2016. Having THIS LEADING DESIGNER worked as a landscape gardener, INFLUENCES THE Andy graduated from the Welsh INDUSTRY’S STANDARDS College of Horticulture in 1987; AND INNOVATION he founded Andy Sturgeon Landscape and Garden Design in 1988. The practice’s work is often featured on television, and Andy has been involved in presenting a number of gardening programmes; since 2005 this has included the Chelsea Flower Show for the BBC.


Ann- M



Cleve runs an award-winning studio in South West London and has been designing gardens since 1990. His first book, Our Plot, celebrates a decade nurturing an allotment in nearby Bushy Park. Cleve is a member of the SGD and has eight RHS Gold medals to his name, including Best in Show at RHS Chelsea in 2011 and 2012. Built in 2012, Cleve’s design for the award-winning Horatio’s Garden at the Southern Spinal Injuries Trust in Salisbury has shown how positive an effect gardens can have on physical and spiritual wellbeing.

arie P owell


Having studied Hard Landscapes and Garden Design at Capel Manor College, Ann-Marie Powell set up her garden design practice in 1999. Ann-Marie Powell Gardens creates innovative gardens, winning Gold medals at RHS Hampton Court and Chelsea. Ann-Marie has been a popular presenter on The Great Garden Challenge and the BBC’s RHS Chelsea 2016 coverage. She is the author of three garden design books and last year, became a patron of Greenfingers, a charity dedicated to creating outdoor spaces for children who use hospices in the UK.


Christopher Bradley-Hole Landscape is a design consultancy that creates innovative gardens for contemporary landscapes. Its designs at RHS Chelsea have been influential in changing the climate for British attitudes to garden design; exhibiting in 1997, 2000 and 2003, Christopher won three Gold medals and Best Garden award. He teaches landscape design to students at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and is the author of The Minimalist Garden, which won the Garden Writers Guild Award for Book of the Year 1999/2000.

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Pro Landscaper / December 2017 73

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Dan Pearson trained at RHS Garden Wisley and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, gained student scholarships in Spain and the Himalayas, and spent two years working at the Jerusalem and Edinburgh Botanic Gardens respectively. Dan began his career as a garden and landscape designer in 1987, and was one of the earliest contemporary practitioners of naturalistic perennial planting in the UK. Dan is a member of the SGD and in 2012 was elected a Royal Designer for Industry (RDI). He has designed five award-winning RHS Chelsea gardens, the most recent of which won Best in Show in 2015.


David Dodd started as an apprentice gardener in 1987, going on to obtain the National Diploma in Landscape Design & Construction at Merrist Wood College. In 1995 David founded The Outdoor Room, and has taught garden design and construction at Merrist DAVID IS A FORCE OF Wood, as well as lecturing NATURE AND WELL KNOWN at Inchbald School of AND LIKED THROUGHOUT Design and The London THE INDUSTRY. HIS WORK ON College of Garden Design. THE BALI GOLANDSCAPE He leads workshops and CAMPAIGN IS FANTASTIC lectures for industry organisations, including BALI, the SGD and the RHS. After being elected as a director on the BALI National Board, he co-founded GoLandscape, the initiative helping to inspire young people into the industry.


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D u sty G edg e P R E S I D E N T, E U R O P E A N F E D E R AT I O N O F G R E E N R O O F A S S O C I AT I O N S

Dusty Gedge is an international speaker on green roofs, green infrastructure and biodiversity. Currently the president of the European Federation of Green Roof Associations, Dusty Gedge is a recognised authority, designer and consultant on green infrastructure. He is also the co-author, with John Little, of the Small-scale Green Roof Guide, designed to meet the needs of DIY enthusiasts, builders and landscaper contractors who want to build green roofs. Dusty has also been involved in television presenting for a number of UK shows.


Professor of Horticultural Ecology in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Sheffield, James Hitchmough has focused his research on the reinterpretation of ecologically-based herbaceous vegetation within the cultural context of urban public green space. James works as a design and management consultant on a range of landscape projects. Along with his colleague Professor Nigel Dunnett, James was lead planting design and horticultural consultant for London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Pro Landscaper / December 2017 75

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Jamie Butterworth




Janine Pattison is an award-winning landscape designer and horticulturist who trained with English Heritage at Eltham Palace in London, and at Kingston Maurward College in Dorchester. Janine Pattison Studios (JPS) is a leading landscape and garden practice in the South of England. Janine is a Registered Member of the SGD, and as the national design director for BALI, she writes regularly for national magazines and newspapers, and is often invited to speak at horticultural events across the country.

Jamie Butterworth has been recognised in the horticulture industry since the age of 16, when he became a finalist in BBC3’s Young Gardener of the Year. He went on to study Horticulture at Askham Bryan College, and graduated from RHS Wisley with a GREAT AT DRIVING diploma in Practical Horticulture, HORTICULTURE achieving a Distinction. In 2015, AND LANDSCAPING Jamie joined Hortus Loci as the show AS A CAREER TO plant manager, growing the plants to YOUNG PEOPLE be used by some of the world’s leading garden designers at RHS shows. More recently, Jamie has joined the London Stone team as the company’s new horticultural consultant.


Mark Gregory has been running the multi-disciplined Landform Consultants since 1988 and is an active participant in the landscaping and horticultural industries. Mark is a 20-time Gold medal winner at RHS Chelsea. He lectures across the UK, delivering workshops and seminars for the SGD, BALI and APL; and was also appointed to the HTA Council earlier this year to represent the APL. Mark is a regular RHS Judge and Assessor, and a former member of the Chelsea Gardens Panel.

John Wyer C EO, B OW L E S & W Y E R



John Wyer has more than 25 years of experience after graduating with a Landscape Architecture degree from Manchester Metropolitan University in 1983 and becoming a Member of the Landscape Institute in 1990. John formed Bowles & Wyer with Chris Bowles in 1993, and has designed numerous landscape projects many of which have won prominent industry awards. In 2011, John was recognised as a Fellow of the SGD, having served on its council from 2004 to 2010. John writes a popular monthly blog and is a notable lecturer in the UK and abroad.


Pro Landscaper / December 2017

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11/12/2017 10:41

ALL CHANGE AT ANDERSPLUS From Monday 6th November we are pleased to announce that we will be changing our name to:

After nearly 17 years as Andersplus we felt it was the right time to re position ourselves in the market place and to better reflect the service we provide. With increased social and economic pressures facing all business, we are having to respond to different demands and expectations within the Industry and to become more resourceful in solving recruitment requirements and issues. Our new name signals our belief that it is time to take a fresh approach in tackling the skills shortage within the industry and to help us identify and develop new directions in our service. Throughout the coming year we will be concentrating on

finding fresh ways to source candidates at all levels. We will be working with our clients and professional bodies to broaden the appeal of a career in horticulture, particularly amongst young people. Our aim is to spend more time in the field, going to schools colleges and job fairs and with industry professionals to better meet the expectations of clients and candidates. Above all we see ourselves as recruitment mentors for clients and candidates alike, helping to identify and retain the best people for this diverse, challenging and very rewarding industry.

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Nigel Dunnett is Professor of Planting Design, Urban Horticulture and Vegetation Technology at the University of Sheffield. The promotion of urban environments rich in vegetation and nature is central to Nigel’s teaching and research. Together with James Hitchmough, Nigel has been active in design and consultancy, including his work on London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where he was the principal horticultural and planting design consultant. Nigel has staged show gardens at RHS Chelsea, winning a Gold medal in 2013.


After he had gained an OND in nursery stock production in 1986 at Pershore, Phil transferred his skills through growing nursery stock, pot plants and bedding, garden centre sales, nursery stock sales management and landscaping. Having progressed to regional business manager at the HTA and then national business manager at the APL, Phil became general manager for the APL in 2017. It is his responsibility to support members, assist in inspections and complaints, and to set up and facilitate local meetings and seminars.




R ick D av ies O P E R AT I O N S D I R E C TO R , W I L L E R BY L A N D S C A P E S

Rick Davies became operations manager at Willerby Landscapes earlier this year. Willerby is a leading commercial landscaping company based at Four Elms in Kent; it specializes in all disciplines associated with the installation and ongoing maintenance of hard and soft landscape schemes, water features and specialist planters. Rick has preserved the ethos of the company that John Melmoe developed over its preceding 30 years; he plans to build on the maintenance side of the business and continue to train individuals.

P ro L andscap er E L J AY S 4 4

Launched six years ago, Pro Landscaper is the UK’s leading business-to-business publication within the landscaping sector. Pro Landscaper is content-driven, expertly designed and immersed in the industry that it represents. The team is also behind a number of hugely successful events, including FutureScape, ScotHort and Pro Landscaper Live, and is launching the Pro Landscaper Business Awards this year. This will be a new cross-industry awards ceremony, highlighting those who make outstanding contributions to our industry and bring people together.

Pro Landscaper / December 2017

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23/11/2017 11:13


S u e B ig g s DIRECTOR GENERAL, R O YA L H O R T I C U LT U R A L S O C I E T Y ( R H S )


Sue Biggs has been director general of the RHS since 2010. Since taking on the role, the charity has increased the reach of its community gardening campaigns, increased its membership to almost half a million people, restructured its management, and embarked on a £160m investment programme on the future of horticulture. Earlier this year, Sue was appointed CBE in the New Year Honours, in recognition of her services to the environment and horticulture.


Tom S tu art- S mith D I R E C T O R , T O M S T U A R T - S M I T H LT D

Tom Stuart-Smith read Zoology at Cambridge before completing a postgraduate degree in Landscape Design at Manchester University. He set up his own practice in 1998. Tom’s work includes the two-hectare garden around the Bicentenary Glasshouse at RHS Wisley. He has designed eight Gold medal-winning gardens at RHS Chelsea, including three that were named Best in Show. Tom has written articles for the Financial Times, The Guardian and The Telegraph, and in 2011 he co-wrote and published The Barn Garden.



Sarah Eberle qualified and became a member of the Landscape Institute in 1980; she has since been practising landscape architecture and garden design via her own business. During the Nineties, Sarah joined Hillier Landscapes as design director, where she is still a shareholder; she also runs her own practice in Hampshire. Sarah is a highly respected RHS show garden designer, having won nine Gold medals, including Best in Show at Chelsea in 2007, and the George Cook award for innovation twice at Hampton Court. Sarah has also exhibited at BBC Gardeners’ World Live.

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Wayne Grills joined BALI in 2011 as its chief operations officer, and was promoted to chief executive in 2015. In his original role within the association, Wayne was instrumental in achieving the systems and processes at Landscape House that were set out in the board’s strategic plan. Now, as CEO, Wayne’s role is to WAYNE INFLUENCES manage and develop BALI into THE ENTIRE LANDSCAPE the trade association of choice INDUSTRY FOR BALI’S MEMBERS for the nation’s landscape AND NON-MEMBERS, VOICING professionals, delivering THE OPINIONS OF OTHERS AND IS exceptional business, A SOUNDBOARD TO technical and promotional THE INDUSTRY support for members.

Pro Landscaper / December 2017 79

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Nature enhanced, for unreal results. Every now and then, something comes along to knock an original off its pedestal. Welcome then to Millboard decking. Through continuous research and development, meticulous attention to detail, expertise and innovation we’ve created a board that’s hand-moulded from natural wood – and we think it could be better than the real thing. It won’t rot like real wood, warp like real wood or attract mould like real wood. It just takes the best of real wood and enhances it. Beautifully. Millboard: Live. Life. Outside.

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Taking an in-depth look at the disease that is devastating plants across Europe



TOM MASSEY A colourful journey in aid of the charity Perennial



ANDY MCINDOE A selection of attractive trees for adding eye-catching texture to a garden


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NURTURE NEWS Provender Nurseries and Capel Manor College present second winning designer in 2017 Garden design students at Capel Manor College’s Regents Park campus were set a tough task earlier this year: to redesign the planting on an area known as The Island, a popular part of Regents Park and a focal point for visitors to the Rose Wheel. The project is part of an ongoing collaboration with Provender Nurseries, in which garden design students redesign an allocated area using only plants found on the Provender Nurseries website.

A total of 27 designs were presented, with some clever interpretations of The Island and inventive use of social media to promote the venue within Regents Park. The winning design, ‘Light and Reflection’ by Tessa Parikian, was selected for its clever use of water

reflections, which added another dimension to the overall planting scheme. The winner’s cheque of £250 was presented to Tessa Parikian by Richard McKenna, managing director of Provender Nurseries.

Glendale Horticulture announces appointment of sales and marketing director Glendale Horticulture has announced the appointment of Kersten Catella as sales and marketing director. Kersten, who joined the company on 30 October, holds a degree in ornamental horticulture from the University of South Africa, and was previously a general manager with the Newey Group. Kersten is a committee member of the British Ornamental Plants Association and sits on the horticulture board of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU). She joins Glendale Horticulture to lead the sales team and marketing department, bringing extensive

Nurture News.indd 83

product development experience with her. Tony Hewitt, chairman of the Glendale Group, commented: “Kersten has a passion for horticulture and, with her broad knowledge of the UK market and respected status within the sector, will join the Glendale Horticulture Board of Directors and take responsibility for expanding its customer base and growing its sales revenues, in a time of increasing opportunity for UK growers as decisions on Brexit come into closer focus.”

Yorkshire nursery plays key role in boosting UK tree population Yorkshire nursery Johnsons of Whixley has supplied more than 2.5m trees over the last 12 months, according to figures released to coincide with the start of National Tree Week on 25 November. Organised by the UK Tree Council, National Tree Week marks the beginning of the winter tree planting season and aims to encourage communities to do something for their local treescape. Just 13% of the UK’s land area is covered in trees, compared with an EU average of about 35%.

Estimates suggest that the firm has grown and supplied 110m trees and hedging plants since John Richardson bought the business in 1964. Johnsons, one of the largest commercial nursery businesses in Europe, supplies trees to high-profile projects across the country.



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Pro Landscaper / December 2017 83

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Tim O’Hare (centre left) with conference speakers

Over 130 delegates attended SoilsCon 2017 in October and heard from respected industry speakers on subjects including soils for podium schemes, the importance of detailed project briefs, and the role of mycorrhizal fungi in plant establishment Tim White, senior associate at Tim O’Hare Associates, used the North West Cambridge development to explain the successful management and reuse of greenfield site soils. Whilst acknowledging that they are undoubtedly a valuable natural resource, he pointed out that they can be a major financial and environmental liability if not managed properly during the construction process. Tim summarised the findings of the initial Soil Resource Survey and took delegates through the sequence of events that unfolded during the earthworks phases. Next to speak was Davy Ottevaere, technical manager at TerraCottem BVBA, who asked why it is that only ‘degraded’ soils are considered poor and in need of improvement, when perhaps all soils lack certain physical, chemical and/or microbiological features essential for plant development. Dr Phil Askew, director of landscape and placemaking at Peabody, then talked to delegates about the importance of


working with a strong brief and team when embarking on major public realm projects. Using his experience of delivering the 2012 London Olympic Park, Phil explained the level of complexity at the planning and implementation stages of the soils strategy on the Stratford site. Tim O’Hare concluded the morning session with a presentation on soils for podium landscapes, covering everything from how to 84

Pro Landscaper / December 2017

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Delegates at SoilsCon 2017

Drone demonstration

select the correct soil type to the importance of soil analysis, achieving the correct soil depths, the use of blinding layers in profile build-ups and the problems caused by the over-use of irrigation. Landscape architect, lecturer and consultant Peter Wilder then demonstrated drone technology in surveying. Later, in his presentation Peter explained how drone surveys enable quicker acquisition of data to facilitate a prompt decision on the viability of a site, particularly in terms of hydrology and surface water management. In the afternoon, landscape architect Carolyn Willitts used her Manchesterbased practice’s landscape scheme for the Moneypenny corporate headquarters in North Wales as her case study, comparing the skills required by her former profession as a theatre set designer with those she now uses in designing a wide range of public realm schemes.

Martin Gammie, principal of consulting with trees, presented on sustainable urban tree planting, stressing the importance of a collaborative design process involving all stakeholders. Mycorrhizal fungi was the topic of the presentation by Dr Louisa Robinson Boyer, head of research and development at Plantworks Ltd. Louisa explained that mycorrhiza help to increase the root surface area of plants, thus aiding nutrient uptake. Their many benefits include protecting plants from biotic stress, building inherent resilience to drought and salinity, and helping with soil stabilisation, compaction and waterlogging. Following the event, Tim O’Hare commented: “We have managed to deliver yet another cracking conference that has met the professional needs of the industry. It’s great to know that people go away with knowledge they didn’t have, ready to use it in their day to day working environment.”

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Pro Landscaper delves into the threat of Xylella fastidiosa to the UK, examining what the disease is and what the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) advises. We also explore how some of the UK’s leading nurseries feel a ban on certain imports would affect their business, and what they think the landscape industry needs to know


©Bartlett Tree Research Laboratory

ith over 300 plant species in Europe having been identified as susceptible to Xylella fastidiosa, the disease is fast becoming a major concern, with many nurseries highlighting the huge economic impact it could have if it entered the UK. Xylella is a bacterium which invades the water-conducting system of a host plant, causing death by inhibiting the xylem vessels, thus restricting or blocking the transport of water and soluble mineral nutrients. It was discovered in Italy in 2013, and was then found in Corsica and mainland France two years later, heightening the risk of introduction to the UK. The following year, it was discovered in Spain for the first time, on cherry trees.


Pro Landscaper / December 2017

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Plant passports In April 2016, DEFRA and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) published the UK Plant Health Guidance Document focusing on Xylella fastidiosa, including the implications for importers and users of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. The report stated that any host plants imported from the EU must be accompanied by a valid passport confirming that they have been sourced from disease-free areas. “I urge everyone to make careful decisions when sourcing plants, particularly those from countries where Xylella is present, and review

on-site measures to reduce the risk of disease introduction and spread,” says Nicola Spence, chief plant health officer at DEFRA. “Many plant traders are already on the front foot – nurseries and garden centres have already committed not to bring Xylella host plants into the UK from countries or regions of the EU where the disease is present, and management practices are being employed around careful sourcing, traceability and good hygiene measures.” If an outbreak of Xylella is detected, emergency EU legislation states that all hosts within 100m must be destroyed and the area treated. Measures will also be placed on businesses trading in host plants within 10km for at least five years. As the most likely way for the disease to reach the UK is through the importation of infected plant material, inspections are being carried out on all consignments of Xylella host plants from outside the EU, and there is an inland surveillance programme targeted at host plants being grown and traded; however, the disease can be difficult to identify, particularly in the winter months when the vector is not active. Symptoms to look out for include wilts, diebacks, stunts and leaf scorches, but detection can take several months. The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has reacted to the growing concern by banning nine high-risk hosts from its 2018 shows – coffee, hebe, lavender, oleander, olive, polygala, prunus, rosemary and Spanish broom – unless they are

23/11/2017 09:39


UK-sourced or grown – defined as ‘those having been propagated from seed in the UK or having been grown in the UK for a minimum of 12 months preceding their use in an RHS show’. High-risk imports Increased protections approved by the European Commission will be coming into effect at the end of November. These include strengthened movement requirements on high-risk hosts and quicker responses to potential findings of the disease. These proposals were put forward by Environment Secretary Michael Gove, who said that if these EU protections were not increased then the UK would consider its own national measures, including a suspension of high-risk imports. Hillier Nurseries and Garden Centres is one of many businesses to have agreed to a statement issued by the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), to ‘not knowingly purchase any host plants originating from regions where the disease Xylella is known to exist’. Hillier Trees also agreed to a tougher statement at the HTA Tree and Hedging Group’s AGM, stating that they would not knowingly purchase any plants – not just host plants – from areas where the disease has been detected. The company, based in the south of England, is taking a clear stance on preventing the spread of Xylella, and director of the amenity division of Hillier Nurseries, Hossein


©Bartlett Tree Research Laboratory

Arshadi, says that there is no alternative to a complete ban on the importation of host plants from affected areas. “On the commercial side, the ban would have minimal negative impact for us. We, along with many other nurseries in the UK, grow quite a lot of these host plants, and if the importation of these plants is banned or restricted, then it would prevent our plants becoming infected in the UK.” Hillier Nurseries was unsurprisingly one of the first nurseries in the UK to suggest the ban, which has now received a wealth of support from other nurseries who have also agreed to both HTA statements, including Yorkshire-based Johnsons of Whixley. Johnsons’ senior procurement manager Jonathan Whittemore says that an official ban

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would level the playing field for UK nurseries and bring all importers in line. “A legislative approach would be a welcome one, taking any ambiguity out of the current situation. But as we have seen with other serious pest and disease issues, complete exclusion is extremely difficult; at best, we can slow the movement of the disease and hopefully contain it, should it enter the UK.” He says a simple step to aid prevention would be to stop specifying the most susceptible species on landscape schemes, but also comments that “with the current sanctions in place, and the ever-expanding list of susceptible species, Johnsons feels that a policy focused on geographical areas rather than specific species will give greater protection.” Nick Coslett, marketing manager at Palmstead, also believes that a ban would level the playing field, but has concerns over the other implications. The Ashford nursery has developed its own biosecurity policy – which includes providing assurance on provenance – and is looking to alter its production. “The high-risk host list has significant impact regarding lavender and rosemary availability, but as we already grow these at Palmstead we are increasing production over the next year to compensate for any which would have been imported.” As an alternative to a complete ban, Nick suggests only sourcing plants that are homegrown in the UK, or from European growers Pro Landscaper / December 2017 87

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SYMPTOMS TO LOOK OUT FOR INCLUDE WILTS, DIEBACKS, STUNTS AND LEAF SCORCHES, BUT DETECTION CAN TAKE SEVERAL MONTHS that can provide full assurance of their provenance. He feels that the risk of Xylella to European olive and wine industries will drive the development of a control technology that the horticulture industry may benefit from, but says there is no control alternative at present. This view is shared by Robin Wallis, sales director at Hortus Loci, who says that Xylella is of immense concern to business, encompassing all areas of horticulture. “We are facing a disease which will impact ornamental horticulture, forestry and most importantly food production; it is this last sector which is most worrying to governments, and all legislation is driven by concerns over the disease hitting food crops.” With this in mind, Robin says that vigilance is key. “There should be more plant health inspections. Staff need to be up to speed and report any suspicious plants on arrival, and implement a quarantine area if anything 88

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suspicious does arrive. If nurseries ‘come clean’ in the event of an outbreak or suspicion of infected crop, this is the best policy for all of us. If it ever happened in the UK, destroying stock and monitoring nearby plants will be far less painful than the brutal alternative. The Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) is monitoring and checking consignments coming in from abroad, but it is down to the nurseries, and especially traders, to be on their guard.” Knock-on effects Steve McCurdy, managing director of Hertfordshire-based Majestic Trees, recently hosted a symposium focused on Xylella. With members of the nursery industry, garden designers and landscapers in attendance, the event aimed to provide an update on current Xylella legislation, and allow the industry to debate potential precautions and protocols.

Although a ban on the movement of host plants would eliminate some nursery suppliers and dramatically reduce the availability of some varieties of trees, Steve believes we have no other choice. “A voluntary ban will not work, as others will simply bring in potentially affected host stock. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Xylella, and some of my UK nursery colleagues are, for good reason, calling for a host ban by region, or even a complete ban on the importation of any plant material into the UK.” Steve believes that the only way forward is legislation, and that this should cover everybody – including the public. He says that we need to consider a complete ban, but should still be allowed to bring host plants in from Xylella-free areas of Europe, providing they have papers proving that they were grown on the nursery they were purchased from – or in the case of trees, that they have been growing on said nursery for

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of people importing plants on a black market, so banning could be equally as detrimental as not managing the situation correctly.”

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plants were to be imported, nobody in the UK could cope with the supply demand. It would probably take over two years for the UK to be in a position to supply those plants, and there could be a massive knock-on increase in price.” Richard feels that what is required is a proper inspection of plants on production nurseries on the continent, which are signed off as clean before they leave the nursery. “What I fear is that if we ban certain imports, there is the possibility

©Bartlett Tree Research Laboratory

a minimum of 12 months – and are certified free of the disease. He also feels we need to consider banning any nursery that breaks these rules from exporting plants to the UK. “Everyone in the UK should be covered by this ban. We must not forget that Xylella has the potential to put us all out of business, and this time it is not simply by losing one variety of tree.” Strongly opposed to a complete ban is Provender Nurseries in Kent, an independent plant wholesaler. “I don’t think UK production horticulture can deal with the repercussions of a ban; a lot of nurseries now buy in virtually everything they produce,” says managing director Richard McKenna. “As a business, we import a lot of the material we sell directly from growers and producers in the continent. We sell over 20,000 lavenders a year, and it’s important for us that we have continuity in supply for our customers – but if there was a ban, and no

Information for landscapers Provender Nurseries held an event in October in conjunction with the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) and APHA for trade professionals seeking to become better informed about Xylella. Following the event, BALI revealed that it would be releasing two documents by the end of the year: one, which was published in late October, is a biosecurity statement which requires action from both BALI and its members. The second will provide guidance for members wishing to source plant material responsibly. Hossein Arshadi of Hillier Nurseries feels that it’s vital for associations such as BALI and the Landscape Institute to inform the industry about the disease – but what do landscape architects, designers and contractors need to know? “They need to know the same as the nurseries,” says Hossein. “The nursery industry has a lot to lose if Xylella reaches the UK, and is taking the issue more seriously. The landscape industry needs to have an understanding of the threat, and to share the responsibility of not importing host plants.” This is reiterated by Jonathan Whittemore of Johnsons of Whixley, who explains that if the disease enters the UK, the impact will be huge for all businesses and individuals handling and moving plant material, whether they are nurseries, landscapers, local authorities, garden centres and even the public. “Until we know more about the disease, we need to do all we can to prevent it coming to the UK. If a landscaping business is in an area where there is an outbreak, they will be subject to the full sanctions, and this will have massive implications on how they are able to operate.” The horticulture industry needs to stay abreast of the Xylella fastidiosa concern; as it continues to cause damage in the EU, and the possibility of a ban lingers, Pro Landscaper will be keeping up with this disease and informing its readers as the situation develops. For regular updates on Xylella and a range of resources, visit Pro Landscaper / December 2017 89

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Tall Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ and Agapanthus ‘Navy Blue’

A cheerful dwarf sunflower (Helianthus annuus)

Helenium ‘Wyndley’

Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’, Achillea ‘Terracotta’ and Molinia caerulea ‘Poul Petersen’

Designer PLANTS This bold scheme by Tom Massey uses colour to show how the charity Perennial helps its clients

The Perennial Sanctuary Garden appeared at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in 2017, winning an RHS Silver-Gilt medal. The garden was designed to raise awareness of Perennial, the UK’s only charity dedicated to helping people who work in horticulture when they are faced by challenges such as illness, injury, poverty, debt and old age. The design featured a changing colour palette of plants in a spiral form, symbolising the journey a Perennial client makes as they overcome difficulty with the charity’s help. The spiral contained a rich mix of plants, with vibrant red at the outer edge to represent the inner chaos of being at crisis point, and a 90

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sweeping gravel path leading into the garden, where the colour scheme moved through stimulating oranges and yellows, to restful purples and blues, and finally pure green. Towards the centre of the design, planting was simplified, leading to a calm sanctuary that featured bespoke Yorkstone benches and a large reflective water bowl. Here, the planting transitioned to a single species of bamboo screening the outside world, creating a safe haven and a place for peaceful reflection. The choice of colour was central to the whole concept. Each swathe of colour represented a different emotion or state of mind. Red is bold and stimulating in form, colour and texture; representing excitement, passion, chaos and confusion, it gave visitors a stimulating start to their journey. Perennials here included Sanguisorba ‘Tana’, Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and Geum ‘Flames of Passion’.

This gradually faded to orange, a colour that represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness and creativity, combining the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. This showed a move away from chaos, towards a solution. Perennials in this band included Achillea millefolium ‘Terracotta’ and Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’. From orange, the palette faded to yellow, the colour of sunshine, associated with joy, happiness and intellect. Yellow is warming and cheerful, stimulating mental activity. At this stage, help is at hand and things are becoming less stressful and more ordered. Perennials here included Helianthus annuus and Kniphofia ‘Lemon Popsicle’. As the planting blended to purple, the scheme became less busy, with fewer species of plants – enhancing the feeling of inner calm. Purple is associated with wisdom and dignity, and is a fitting colour to represent how Perennial caseworkers restore dignity to their clients. This

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Designer Tom Massey tidying up the planting on press day Geum ‘Flames Of Passion’ and Dahlia ‘Mystic Enchantment’ Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’ Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ and Agapanthus ‘Navy Blue’

band included Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Fascination’ and Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’. From purple, the colour scheme blended into blue. The colour of the sky and sea, blue is associated with depth and stability, and symbolised trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence and calm within the scheme. Perennials in this band included Agapanthus ‘Navy Blue’ and Centaurea cyanus ‘Blue Boy’. At the centre, the planting switched to pure green, the colour of nature, symbolising growth, harmony, freshness, stability and endurance. Green is the most restful colour for the human eye and has strong emotional correspondence with safety and sanctuary. The single species in this band was the 5m-tall Phyllostachys aurea bamboo. Grasses were used throughout to soften and add movement to the bold perennials. Grasses used included Deschampsia, Molinia

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species, Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ and Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’. The garden was built with the support of Hortus Loci (plants), Landform Consultants (landscaping), London Stone (paving and benches), All Green Group (landscaping materials) and The Pot Company (Corten steel water bowl). To find out more about Perennial visit, or call 0800 093 8510. ABOUT TOM MASSEY Since graduating from the London College of Garden Design (LCGD) in 2015, Tom Massey has become an award-winning garden designer, with two RHS medals and two SGD awards. He was one of Pro Landscaper’s inaugural 30 Under 30, runs his own practice, and lectures at the LCGD.

• Achillea millefolium ‘Terracotta’ • Agapanthus ‘Navy Blue’ • Calamagrostis × acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ • Centaurea cyanus ‘Blue Boy’ • Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ • Dahlia ‘Mystic Enchantment’ • Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Garnet Schist’ • Deschampsia flexuosa • Digitalis ‘Spice Island’ • Foeniculum vulgare • Geum ‘Flames of Passion’ • Geum ‘Mrs. J Bradshaw’ • Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ • Helenium ‘Mardi Gras’ • Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’ • Helenium ‘Wyndley’ • Helianthus annuus • Hemerocallis ‘Crimson Pirate’ • Heuchera ‘Rio’ • Kniphofia ‘Lemon Popsicle’ • Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’ • Molinia caerulea ‘Poul Petersen’ • Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’ • Phyllostachys aurea • Sanguisorba ‘Tanna’ • Scabiosa ‘Chile Pepper’ • Verbena bonariensis ‘Lollipop’ • Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Fascination’

Plant images © Britt Willoughby Dyer

Plant list

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Andy McIndoe rounds up trees with statement bark for adding interest to gardens in the winter months


s we focus our thoughts to planting, it’s time to consider those trees with the added bonus of beautiful bark. Some may take years to reveal this quality, others display it from the moment you put them in the ground. They can add another dimension to planting at any time of year, but really come into their own during the winter months.


Betula utilis var. jacquemontii (multi-stem)

Andy McIndoe Betula ermanii

Acer griseum

The paperbark maple, Acer griseum, is probably the most desired. A beautiful small tree, it would be the perfect choice for small gardens and restricted spaces if its growth was a little faster, however larger specimens are now more widely available. This not only delivers faster impact but enables you to see the bark quality and potential of the individual. Seed raised tree individuals are variable, some with glorious cinnamon peeling skin, and others with more subdued, flaky bark. Acer griseum grows on most well-drained soils that are not too dry. Lovely underplanted with hellebores. Some of the cherries offer faster, cheaper alternatives. Prunus serrula, the Manchurian cherry has the most striking bark of all. Deep mahogany, with paper-like peeling strips sometimes forming hanging ringlets. The foliage is willow-like and thin and the white blossom sparse and fleeting, so this is a tree that focuses on its stem colour. It can be planted bare root during winter (up to 12-14cm girth) and is worth considering for group planting. Less popular, but no less attractive, is the lovely Prunus maackii ‘Amber Beauty’. The warm

Prunus serrula, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park


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honey-coloured stem supports a flame-shaped crown of healthy apple-green foliage which turns rich gold in winter. Racemes of fluffy, creamywhite flowers make a brief display in spring. Choose strong specimens without bark damage to the lower trunk, as this can lead to disease and failure. It can be planted bare root or container grown. All cherries tend to be better on alkaline soils. They thrive on chalk and tolerate clay, but hate

is early into leaf, but equally early to fall. It is slim and elegant and lovely planted in a small group, again with cool evergreens. There are so many other rarely seen wonderful birches. Betula albosinensis cultivars are becoming more popular and are worth considering as statement trees. These have beautiful peeling bark in a variety of tones from copper to cream. They are at their best on neutral to acid soils, as are most of the Himalayan species. On chalk and alkaline ground, however, all is not lost. Our native silver birch, Betula pendula, will grow and has the advantage that it can be planted bare root as a young tree. All other birches should be planted as rootballed or container grown stock.

Prunus maackii ‘Amber Beauty’

wet, waterlogged situations. Never prune in winter, only when trees are in full leaf. Birches never seem to lose their appeal, especially the white-barked Betula utilis var. jacquemontii. In smaller spaces a real multi-stem, produced by cutting back a young plant to create branching at soil level, is a better choice than a standard, or group of standards. However, where space permits, groups of individual specimens create a dramatic effect, especially with low, evergreen underplanting. An alternative with creamy-white bark would be Betula ermanii. This has a narrower head and

Betula albosinensis ‘Bowling Green’

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

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sk anyone for the first colour that springs to mind when you say Christmas planting, and it’s invariably red, followed by deep green, with winter white in third place. This year the yuletide landscape is getting a revamp, with pink being a surprisingly robust contender, and we can expect an abundance of sophisticated festive displays of all things blush. It all started earlier in the year with paint colours. Farrow & Ball’s Calamine kicked things off, followed by Setting Plaster and Dead Salmon redefining our understanding of the colour as a sophisticated neutral – in the world of interiors,


Ian Drummond

miniatures at just a few centimetres tall to regular potted sizes and bushy shrubs, through to small trees with trunks of up to a metre.

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It can be planted in a variety of interesting ways too – this plant is happy to be suspended upside down from ceilings either with their root balls wrapped in moss and secured with twine, or with a special planter such as those made by Boskke (pictured). It’s a simple, elegant and impactful way of imbuing an environment with the essence of Christmas, and creating an installation that is a meeting point between art and horticulture, but without losing any floor space. Pink poinsettias, are a guaranteed way of staying on trend this ©Gareth Hacker

pink is very much the new grey. Now the colour specialists at the Dulux Global Aesthetic Centre have just announced Heart Wood, a beautiful warm pink, as the hero paint colour of 2018, so it’s definitely the moment to get on board. But how to take an elegant, understated neutral colour, and find a flowering plant able to embody this trend in a festive style that’s exciting in both a modern and traditional environment? Step forward the ubiquitous poinsettia, such a staple of Christmas that’s it’s got its own special day – 12 December is National Poinsettia Day. Traditionally, it’s the plant everyone turns to for bracts as red as a flaming log fire, but now it’s got a whole new persona and is widely available in a surprising variety of colours, including an array of stunning pinks. And whether your interior planting scheme is large or small, there will be a suitable poinsettia – they come in a wide range of sizes to cover all Christmas bases, from


Christmas. Their pinkness is what makes them different, but you are not compromising any of the sentimental associations we have with how Christmas should look because, at their heart, they are still the same instantly recognisable festive showstoppers we all know and love, only this year they have an elegant new frock.

Getting the most from poinsettias • Poinsettias have an unfair reputation for being temperamental, but if you source them from a trusted supplier who knows how to transport them properly, you won’t have a problem. • Choose specimens with dense foliage and yellow-green budding flowers in between the coloured bracts – this is a sure sign of quality. • Protect them from wind and cold, so no planting near doorways where they are susceptible to draughts. Plant them in a bright, warm spot (around 20°C). They can be close to a radiator, but not in direct sunlight. • Poinsettia compost should be neither dry nor drenched, and be especially careful not to overwater.

ABOUT IAN DRUMMOND Ian Drummond is the creative director of Indoor Garden Design, Europe’s leading interior landscape design company. Based in Highgate, north London, IGD has been bringing nature into offices for over 40 years.

Images ©

The quintessential Christmas plant, the poinsettia, can help you stay on trend this year with fresh pinks, says Ian Drummond

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With dark evenings and cold weather upon us, Jamie Butterworth suggests yellow flowers that can bring summer back to your outdoor spaces


s we delve into the depths of winter, it’s all too easy to forget the vibrant colours of summer, the sunny evenings pottering around the garden, the heavenly scent and unbeatable colour as planting billows out of its borders. However, winter is now upon us, and the cold mornings and short evenings become a stark reminder of reality, as you cut back and tidy the plants that only months ago were adding colour, texture and height to the garden. It seems apt that this month I’m writing about plants which can really brighten up the garden, plants which bring with them sunshine, hope and prosperity: yellow plants.


Jamie Butterworth

Rudbeckia fulgida var. deamii


AZURE BLUES COMPLEMENT YELLOW – BALANCING COMPANION COLOURS IS AN ART IN ITSELF Yellow can be a tricky colour to get right in the garden – too much and it can look childish and distort focus, too little and it can be lost amongst surrounding planting. The right balance amid companion colours is an art in itself. Azure blues complement the colour well; a mixture of plants like Anchusa ‘Dropmore’, Salvia ‘Caradonna’ and Eryngium ‘Big Blue’ will really help to enhance and counterbalance the yellow. Offset with a dark, hard wearing, durable stone such as a blue black slate or midnight black limestone to really strengthen the overall design. The dark colours will allow the lemony palette to really stand out. Here are four of my favourites for adding a sophisticated splash of yellow to planting plans: Salvia x jamensis ‘Melen’ A truly fantastic Salvia, with the most beautiful butter-coloured flowers. This plant was one of the stars of the show in Kate Savill and Tamara Bridge’s RHS Chelsea 2017 garden. I actually bought one myself, and it’s still going strong in the garden. 94

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around 2m tall, this is a back-of-border plant. You really do get a lot of plant for your money, and it’s guaranteed to brighten up those late summer evenings. Requires full sun and good drainage, and may require support. Euphorbia ceratocarpa

Euphorbia ceratocarpa Anyone that knows me knows I am not a fan of Euphorbias – I find that Euphorbia characias subsp. Wulfenii has ruined them for me. However, I am willing to make an exception for this stunning shrubby perennial. It can grow to a decent size, up to about waist height, so make sure it has plenty of room.

Rudbeckia fulgida var. deamii A clump forming perennial, sure to add a zing to the late summer garden. With bright yellow daisy-like flowers and growing up to 60cm tall, this is a great plant to mix into mid-border planting, a real eye-catcher. Grows well in full sun to partial shade. Being brave and sprucing up planting with a dash of yellow can have a huge impact. Go on, give it a go – you know you want to!


Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’

Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ The perennial sunflower, providing gardens with an abundance of pale lemon flowers. Growing to

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

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J. A. JONES & SONS Pro Landscaper spoke to Mike Vickers, sales director at J. A. Jones, about the history and evolution of the nursery and its customers J. A. Jones, named for its founder John Andrew Jones, was established in 1900 as a market garden and grocery shop business. After the Second World War, it started growing tomatoes, bedding plants and conifers, before finally establishing itself in the Fifties as the shrub and tree growing business it is today. Starting with about seven employees, J. A. Jones can now boast five nurseries in and around Southport, covering just over 50ha, and has 70 full-time employees with more than 1,000 years’ worth of experience between them. Mike Vickers, the nurseries sales director, spoke about the vast range of products grown, which includes a selection of over 600 species. “As a wholesale tree and shrub nursery, we

grow in the region of 500,000 two and three litre shrubs, 120,000 five and 10-litre shrubs, about 150,000 standard to semi-mature trees, with 6,000 container-grown trees.” With the larger five and 10-litre shrubs proving to be the most popular, J. A. Jones is now looking to increase production further to more than 200,000 next year. This increase in demand is reflected in its three-hectare wholesale cash and carry nursery, which has seen a 34% sales increase in the last 12 months of business.

THERE IS CERTAINLY AN OPPORTUNITY TO GROW AND SELL MORE OF OUR OWN STOCK J. A. Jones’s clients are set to benefit from an increase in its container tree area, now consisting of four hectares, which allows for its field grown trees to be lifted in the winter and potted for specific projects in the summer – a period in which its field grown trees would not otherwise be available. In the last few years, the nursery has been involved in two new university projects, supplying all the plant materials for Glasgow Caledonian University and all the mature trees for Inverness University. “It’s been interesting over the years to see the different types of customers that our contractors have had,” says Mike. “15 years ago, we had five very good years of supplying McDonalds, followed by four or five years of supplying Tesco new builds. For the past six or seven years, Scotland has been building new schools and academies, which we’ve been

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involved in. In the last couple of years, there seem to be more Aldi and Lidl stores expanding across the country, and so currently they are one of the biggest receivers of our plants. Somebody that we haven’t even thought about now will come along and they’ll be the next big customer.” “Since the Brexit announcement, the fall in the value of the pound and an increase in the awareness of foreign pests and diseases, there has been an increased interest in British-grown stock and trying to reduce imports. While I don’t think anyone is naïve enough to think that UK nurseries could grow enough stock to meet demand, there is certainly an opportunity to grow and sell more of our own stock.” In terms of future plans and development for the Southport-based business, an additional two dispatch offices are soon to be built due to the increase in business and number of employees. Overall, Mike and his team will continue to aim to provide the best possible service, with quality stock on time at a competitive price.

CONTACT J. A. Jones & Sons 99 Bank eld Lane Southport, PR9 7NT Tel: 01704 228235 Email:

Pro Landscaper / December 2017 95

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Thank you for coming to


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Designing a lighting scheme that doesn’t spoil the night sky’s beauty



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Ensure you’re prepared for the cold weather with advice from Ground Control



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Robert Webber considers how to design and specify the ideal light levels to illuminate gardens without losing the night sky Increasingly, we are being commissioned to design in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), where careful consideration to both residents and wildlife is paramount. Last year saw the advent of the Dark Sky Initiative, an environmental commission tasked with keeping the night sky dark for our continued enjoyment of the cosmos. I remember a few years ago being at Uluru in Australia, and I’ve never seen a night sky so vast; the expanse of darkness stretched across the red soil as far as the horizon allowed. Shooting stars danced across the constellations, and nothing was compromised by the pollution of city lighting. It’s one of the darkest and most magical places I have ever been. The purpose of the Dark Sky Initiative is to protect the cosmos over the UK and limit light pollution in key rural areas, so we can enjoy the hidden beauty of our sky at dusk and beyond. It’s a real challenge for us lighting designers to keep on the cutting edge of technology, pushing the boundaries of bending and manipulating light, whilst being forever aware of the natural light emitted by the night stars. They are always shining, we just don’t always appreciate them. The main concerns are light levels on a vertical plain, particularly pertinent to spotlighting and recessed tree lighting. Light is invisible until it hits a particle of matter – it will keep going and going, just losing its ultraviolet range as it heads further away from earth. Our job is to capture and harness the pleasure that well-chosen lighting can

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AHEAD bring, keeping the natural canopy of the night sky intact. So, what can we do? Our approach is the same as it’s always been: considerate highlighting of the natural features of our landscapes, with just enough light to tease out the beauty, whilst allowing the exchange of darkness to take place. First and foremost, it’s about placement, a topic which I covered in October’s issue of Pro Landscaper. Secondly, it’s about choosing the right level of light to illuminate your outside space. This can change dramatically depending on the type of ambience you wish to create. Higher colour temperatures (CT) produce much bluer, colder lighting, ideal for creating the ‘Murder Mystery Hotel’ lit by us in the below image. The lower CTs create lighting which feels warmer, and which is our typical light within a domestic environment.

What about the strength of the light, or the amount of visible light that we actually see? It’s measured in lumens. Years ago, it was easy to specify. Lamps were measured in wattages, and the amount of power a lamp used had a direct parallel to the amount of light it emitted. If you wanted brighter, then you would simply increase the wattage. However, the higher the wattage, the higher the heat output, which causes the degradation of the light canister

OUR JOB IS TO CAPTURE AND HARNESS THE PLEASURE THAT WELL-CHOSEN LIGHTING CAN BRING, KEEPING THE NATURAL CANOPY OF THE NIGHT SKY INTACT itself (that’s the light fitting to you and me). Heat has a dramatic external influence on lamp life, so the hotter they get, the shorter their lifespan. That’s one of the reasons why LEDs last so long – they use very little power to run, and hence produce very little heat. So, our goal is to use the lowest wattage LED lamp possible, producing the correct amount of visible light – measured in lumens – whilst creating the right CT to produce the desired atmosphere. Master that and you can ‘drop the mic and exit stage left’! It’s an art form we love. We know when we hit the mark, and every day is a learning curve, pushing us further.

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

Pro Landscaper / December 2017 99

23/11/2017 10:13




In the first of a two-part series, Sam Hassall breaks down the method of establishing a client’s budget from the very first meeting

Managing your clients’ design cost and delivery expectations

This is a two-part article to assist designers in the tricky area of managing the design and delivery expectation. Part 2 next month will deal more technically with design cost and hours, and what to charge for your design.


Once upon a time a garden designer went to see a prospective client, Maria. Maria and the designer got on well, and she explained what she wanted: a new stone patio (it would have to have a small retaining wall and some steps, the designer quietly noted), a pergola, new driveway surface and a water feature. Also, some nice pleaches, a bit of lighting and possibly a water feature. Planting should be a reasonable size, with maybe one or two of those ‘nice ball things’ that her friend Krystina has in her garden. The designer asks how much she wishes to spend, but the client is reluctant to say. The designer says that fees would be about 10-15% of the garden costs, but secures a holding deposit of £1,000 for a concept and £750 for a topographical survey. The designer explains that this would be required before work starts. The client is confident and gives an initial order. The designer goes back to the studio, draws up a preliminary sketch plan and comes back to the client. “This is wonderful,” exclaims Maria. The concept plan is then completed with revisions for another few grand or so, which the client has consented to in writing. It is agreed to go to tender on this concept alone, and the documents and tenders are duly submitted. Three weeks later the tenders are returned with a fairly wide spread, the lowest being £72,000 and the highest being £110,000 including VAT. The client hits the roof. She only has £60k with VAT to spend. The designer now tries to make the plan fit the budget and spends a few more days, but Maria just isn’t the same with her. How should the designer have played this interaction?

Getting the budget Designers are reluctant to push their client on the first meeting, but you need to emphasise the importance of getting the budget. It’s an easy technique to roughly draw out the existing garden on A4 in front of the customer, using rectangles or sketch shapes, and literally ‘chuck’ some numbers at your client. Projected illustrative costs for budget establishment (£): Survey Demolitions and clearance


Disposal costs




New patio (35m2)




Retaining wall




Water feature




New planting







Sam Hassall.indd 100


Front driveway and kerbs




Contingency 20%






Design fees Projected garden cost

100 Pro Landscaper / December 2017


7,437.60 £81,813.60

23/11/2017 10:59


The client will immediately react with: “Maybe we could lose the lighting and the water feature for now — but let’s include it (as you suggest) in your design and I’ll build it in two years’ time.”

Now you have a budget! Give the client the following information, so that they clearly understand the implications of their decisions: • Design time, initial concept – 3 weeks. • The client will want to think about it and mull it over – 1 week. • Revisions and adjustments – 2 weeks. • Client agreement – 1 week. • Preparation of tender and submission to prospective contractors (you do have other jobs) – 1-3 weeks dependent on specification and documentation. • Tender return – 4 weeks. • Adjudication – 1 week. • Contractor mobilisation – 6 weeks (good contractors are busy). • Total – 19-20 weeks until the contractor arrives on site. • And then there’s the build time...

Your fees The next thing the client wishes to know is how much you are going to charge for the design. At my first design lecture, our lecturer – who was a renowned landscape architect – told a story of a wealthy Japanese couple who wanted a garden. Having completed the analysis of client needs he was then asked how long he had to produce the design. The answer was ‘one year – 364 days to think about it and one day to draw it up.’ Fee scales may work where the cost of the fee is related directly to the time and complexity of the garden. It is always necessary to provide this fee up front. Many designers will be in competition for the work and whist there are elements such as client impressions and your own personality, the final cost of the project which includes your fees is often the deciding factor. A clear, critical path of tasks within the design process, with hours set against each, helps to finally produce a job that the client loves, is delivered to a reasonable program, and where especially the designer is satisfactorily paid for time well estimated and envisaged at the very start of the program.

The outcome The garden grows, the client is delighted and recommends the designer to their friends, and you walk away having spent the right amount of time, made the right amount of money, and produced a garden that you are proud of.

Part 2 In next month’s article we will examine the costs of you and your design practice, your productivity in various stages of the design process and how this impacts on your costs and your fees. ABOUT SAM HASSALL Sam Hassall is the UK’s only dedicated specialist landscape cost consultant. As managing director of LandPRO Ltd, his range of services include providing cost and implementation information to landscape design professionals and contractors. Sam’s expertise are gained from his formal training, and many years of experience in the landscape industry. Sam also compiles the Spon’s External works and Landscape price book, and developed the market leading LiberRATE Estimating system. Tel: 01252 795030

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New products 2018 With the year nearly over, Pro Landscaper looks ahead to some of the best new product launches that we can expect from 2018


Ransomes MP653 XC he world s first and only .2 m 1 8in cut width ride-on rotary mower .2hp Kubota turbo diesel engine • Tilt Sensor Technology (TST) • Weight – 1,825kg 1. m in transport width • Cutting capacity – 11.4 acres/hr • Premium operator cabin available. List price: £67,170




Porcelain Florence Range • 400x800mm • 20mm thick • Available in four colours Unique tumbled effect edges

Prices: This product will be sold through stockists, who will set their own prices



gt tree anchoring kits • Developed in partnership with Anchor Systems (International) Ltd ire and strap fixing kits, suitable for trees up to 12m high • Manufactured in the UK from high quality SG iron • Range includes gt Rootball wire fixing kit, gt Rootball strap fixing kit, gt sleeper and kerbstone anchoring kit, gt containerised rootball fixing kit and gt guying kit • Technical data available, as well as CPD seminars n-site installation assistance offered Prices start from: £16.75


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• Perfect for the driveways of traditionally styled properties • Subtle hues and authentic weather worn appearance • Five colour options, including the two new shades for 2018 – Grey-Green and Woodland • All colours come in a pack that includes four different si es • Monksbridge can also be used to create a natural stone courtyard in a garden setting. • Thickness: 50mm Price: Approx. £20-£25/m²


Black Eagle Safety 50 Mid Boot • 100% waterproof and breathable thanks to GORE-TEX Extended Comfort Technology • EN20345:2011 safety footwear for professional use, with S classification • Shock absorbent sole that insulates against heat and cold • Lightweight boot with 1.8mmthick durable leather upper • SRC slip resistant outsole Price: £144.90


23/11/2017 10:54

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23/11/2017 15:22


Artificial grass Five artificial grass projects, and the products that made them a success

Easigrass – Easi 23mm Specialised City of London Fitted next to a boardroom and regularly used for corporate entertainment, this product was chosen because it benefits from a low crush effect due to its specialist backing, which includes a fibreglass layer to prevent expansion and contraction. With all accreditation in place to work in high profile locations, Easigrass is happy to supply or supply and install this product nationwide. Price: £29.99 WWW.EASIGRASS.COM

Luxigraze – 27 Super Luxury

LazyLawn – Wonder Yarn St Luke’s Square, Canning Town, London Named a Which? Best Buy, Wonder Yarn gets its name from its exclusive W-shaped yarn; available in a 26mm or 36mm versions, it delivers a natural look with low maintenance upkeep. Proven in commercial and public environments, it was perfect for this installation at St Luke’s. Price: Wonder 26mm – £24.99; Wonder 36mm – £29.99 WWW.LAZYLAWN.CO.UK

Beverley, East Yorkshire After touching and seeing a sample of Luxigraze 27 Super Luxury in their local merchants, the clients decided to use this product because of its density and lush feel. It complements the design’s York Mix flagstones (from Natural Paving), providing a high end, low maintenance and hassle-free garden. Price: Can range from £26-36/m², depending on the builder’s merchant/landscape centre and the volume required WWWW.LUXIGRAZE.CO.UK AND WWW.NATURALPAVING.CO.UK

Eternal Lawns – Eternal Superior 30mm Gildersome Primary School, Leeds

Artificial grass was required at Oddfellows’ Secret Garden bar and terraced seating areas, used for weddings and parties. As these spaces encounter heavy foot traffic, the turf needed to be hard wearing while looking great. Hi-Tech’s low maintenance 18mm HT Evolution sports turf fits requirements perfectly. Price: £27

Part of a larger project, the nursery playground received a complete makeover and was finished off with Eternal Lawns Superior 30mm artificial grass. The area was prone to poor drainage, making this product the ideal surface. Laid over a hardcore base with granite ash blinding layer, it drains and dries very quickly. Another advantage is that shock pads can be fitted under the grass around equipment, for a safe, mud-free, year-round playground. Price: £18



Hi-Tech Turf – HT Evolution Oddfellows Boutique Hotel, Chester

104 Pro Landscaper / December 2017

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23/11/2017 10:46


a ll n an a l Weighing around a kilo, including the battery, the Makita CP100D CXT Multi Cutter is a very useful tool and should be viewed as a highly effective powered blade knife. Run by Makitaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 10.8V Li-ion battery, this lightweight cutter is neat and compact and can be easily handled for many cutting duties, where the 6mm maximum cut can save lots of time and give a very clean finish across a wide range of materials, in comparison to a knife or manually operated scissor.

The n an l gives perfect and accurate tool control, and minimises strain on the operator by limiting vibration transfer to the hand.

The l n requires a positive action to make the machine operate, enhancing the safety of the tool.

l a nn n n The automatic rotary blade will run up to 300rpm and has a selfsharpening action every time the blade passes the anvil. The blade can easily be changed by simply removing the fixing screw.

a l n a an a al , including artificial grass, weed control membrane, tarpaulin, pallet strapping, wire mesh cardboard, carpet, roofing felt, fibreglass rendering mesh, damp-proof course, vinyl and lino ooring, and more.

Product DNA Makita.indd 105



The hard l a la slides smoothly over the material, and the shape helps keep the cutter running straight across the material.

The CP100D CXT Multi Cutter is available as nl machine, for those who already own Makita batteries, or l with a 4.0Ah battery, charger and tool bag.



TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS l a n a a n K a a nK a a nn l a

CONTACT Makita (UK) Ltd, Michigan Drive, Tongwell, Milton Keynes, Bucks MK15 8JD l 01908 211678 a l OR Twitter @MakitaUK

Pro Landscaper / December 2017 105

23/11/2017 10:40





Duocut 41 NACTS mower 33% savings compared to petrol • Battery range up to 2,000m2 • 50L collection box • Cut, collect and mulch • 41cm cutting width • Weighs 35kg Price: £948

HYC36Li chainsaw Oregon bar and chain • Anti-kickback safety brake • Automatic chain lubrication • Tool-free chain adjuster • Brushless motor Li-ion Samsung battery gives 0min running time • Three-year platinum warranty Price: £149.99 including battery and charger





Power Li-NK Li 40HT hedge trimmer ne battery fits all ower Li- K machines Rotating rear handle Knife length 1cm eeth opening 1 mm Recommended maximum twig diameter 1 mm 2,800 cut min 120cm x 80cm L x 1 0cm Price: £124.99


DUR187LZ 18V brushless linetrimmer Max output 2 0 o load speed ,000 ,000 ,000 R M Speed settings hree-speed D mode Cutting width 00mm Spindle thread si e M8 x 1.2 L et weight . kg Price: £266.40 (body only)



global warming and climate change. In addition, battery

ensuring there is as little negative impact on the

powered machinery doesn’t produce the same exhaust

environment as possible. One of the most significant

emissions. Battery powered machinery also brings other

ways we can benefit the environment is by utilising the

benefits; it is quieter than diesel or petrol alternatives,

latest developments in technology. Companies such as

causing less disruption to communities.

Tesla and BMW are creating electric vehicles and, as a



machines such as strimmers and top handle chainsaws

in other industries, so the benefits can be widely shared.

in 2015, and around 10% of our small kit purchases in

Advancements in Li-ion battery technology mean

2018 will be battery powered. I predict that over the next

power is available for much longer, and we don’t need to

five or 10 years they will become the main

rely on petrol or diesel equipment, which contributes to

choice for all land-based industries.

106 Pro Landscaper / December 2017

Battery Kit.indd 106

At Glendale, we began switching to battery powered

result, similar research and methods are being developed

23/11/2017 10:52


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McMurtry Ltd, Park Farm, Stancombe, Dursley, Glos, GL11 6AT 01453 544135

23/11/2017 15:18


Richard Burroughs, winter maintenance business development director at Ground Control, shares his advice for how companies can ensure they are ready for the cold snap Effective winter maintenance preparation is essential if landscapers, garden designers and maintenance contractors are to protect the environments they manage from severe cold snaps. Winter maintenance teams must respond quickly and effectively, as failure to do so can be hugely damaging and costly to the sites they manage. Thorough planning and resource allocation is crucial to success. When everything is in place and teams know where to find things, deploying salt or shifting snow is much smoother, minimising disruption to a customer’s business. It’s something Ground Control has achieved over many years. The company’s deployment success is built on: • Identifying and planning sites with greatest winter maintenance need – estimating the length of jobs, the work involved and the best task completion timeframe • Mapping out operational logistics – including areas requiring work, site details, main entry and exit points, and the most cost-efficient access • Resource planning – including product types, equipment and exact personnel numbers needed Cost control is essential for winter maintenance. To identify and minimise the true cost of delivering these services, providers must ask themselves essential questions that include: • Procurement and storage – besides initial purchase costs, providers must consider how

108 Pro Landscaper / December 2017

Winter maintenance feature.indd 108

Preparing for

WINTER WEATHER they store products. Salt has a lifespan, especially when exposed to moisture. How do they manage residual stock at the end of the season? What are their storage costs? • Personnel – how well qualified are their staff to deliver services? Do they require additional training? What will the cost of this be? • Other resource costs – do they use any other products, such as weather reporting systems, to better predict where bad weather will hit? How much will they cost to use?

WINTER MAINTENANCE IS ONE OF THE TOUGHEST SERVICE DELIVERY AREAS It’s something that Ground Control is already doing, thanks to its contract with the Met Office, the UK’s most accurate forecaster for independent gritting operations. This partnership enables Ground Control to easily schedule, mobilise and deploy nationwide maintenance services. By using the Met Office High Density Forecast technology, Ground control can deliver gritting and snow clearance services exactly when they are required, without wastage. Thorough planning such as this can enable companies to deliver robust, successful and cost-effective winter maintenance services. Ground Control customers can choose either proactive or reactive services. While a reactive service can help clean up the effects of an adverse weather event, overall there can be more business disruption. This is in contrast to the proactive winter maintenance service, where

customers get the best pre-planning expertise. They have the security of knowing that when it’s needed, the right people, equipment and products will be deployed at the correct time. Leaving maintenance to the experts ensures a swift resolution to whatever winter throws their way, so they can get back to business. Winter maintenance is one of the toughest service delivery areas, given its short timeframes and changing daily weather forecasts. It’s why Ground Control continues to refine and develop its service offering. Having recently acquired winter and grounds maintenance specialist Litter Boss, Ground Control has bolstered its strong capabilities in this specialist service arena. The perils of winter weather are unavoidable, but with the right planning and support, businesses can protect themselves appropriately – and potentially save significant sums of money. CONTACT Ground Control, King sher House Radford Way, Billericay Essex, C 12 0E

23/11/2017 11:33





SHPE 1000 compact gritter Low unit weight – 155kg • Capacity – 750kg • Electrically powered from the vehicle with in-cab controller • Manufactured by SaltDogg • Two-year guarantee with all service parts on the shelf for next day delivery Price: £4,495

Eliet BL 360 blower Honda engine • Air output: 50m³/min • Air speed: 200km/h • Noise level: 100dB(A) • Weight: 38kg • Dimensions (LxWxH): 1100 x 850 x 950mm Price: £1,247.77


B2 Series premium compact tractor Four models ranging from 23-31hp • Integrated cab design offers more interior space and reduced noise Rear three-point hitch Slanted bonnet offers greater view Price: Series starts at £13,000





Rock salt Provides a cleaner solution for retail areas, municipal buildings and office car parks, leaves little or no residue after use • Pink rock salt offers a more costefficient alternative more suited to the domestic market • Fully compliant with British Standards BS3247 Price: POA


EXPERT VIEW: HOW DOES YOUR COMPANY’S TECHNOLOGY ALLOW YOU TO TACKLE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS? Technology is a fundamental part of our ability to tackle harsh and difficult winter weather conditions. It is not only the machinery we use to deliver our winter

helplines and call-outs. Clients will have 24-hour tracking of

services that is imperative, but also the way we are able to

our vehicles so they can be kept in the loop from start to

forecast and foresee the unfavourable weather.

finish. We have an action plan in place so that our operatives

Our forecasting technology has up to 95% accuracy,


and can also predict the weather pinpointed to our client’s postcodes. With such reliable and efficient data, we are

are notified as soon as the minimum temperature threshold has been breached, and will react accordingly. On a final note, we have systems that work in

able to remain proactive in our approach to tackling winter

conjunction with our operatives’ PDAs (handsets) and these

weather, and this is a crucial element in our success

systems communicate instructions and

and delivery.

updates as appropriate.

Winter maintenance.indd 109

In addition to forecasting, we have systems in place that allow clients to contact us around the clock with 24-hour

Pro Landscaper / December 2017 109

23/11/2017 11:36






eading garden expert Robin Stockwell, founder of Succulent Gardens in California – a three-acre boutique nursery, growing over 400 varieties of these versatile, drought-tolerant plants – has produced the definitive go-to guide with his new book, Succulents. The reader can find inspiration for their own succulent garden, whether in beds or borders, on a rooftop, or as part of a living wall, with Stockwell providing an array of tips to ‘get the look’. Further imaginative and fresh ideas showcase how succulents can be utilised for indoor displays and wall art, among the many other insightful projects from the author that are offered in this simple step-by-step guide. The striking imagery seen on every page, as well as the many expert tips on planting and care, makes Succulents an essential reference book for landscapers and garden designers wishing to delve into the world of these modern-day plants.

he Making of Three Gardens follows Jorge Sánchez, principal partner of SMI Landscape Architecture, through the design, planting and landscaping of three compelling gardens – two in Florida and one in New York. Sánchez’s account reveals the thought process behind each space, from his relationship with the clients and other designers involved to the reasons for his decisions. The inspirational and specially commissioned photography from landscape photographer Andre Baranowski perfectly illustrates the flow and formation of the intricate gardens, including their front drives, swimming pools, terraces, lawns, fountains, woodlands, wildflower meadows, orangeries, bamboo and sunken gardens, ponds, streams and ravines. SMI Landscape Architecture is a firm well known for its thoughtful private gardens for clients across the US and in the Bahamas, often combining elements of exotic planting and classical European design in the creation of stunning and practical spaces.

RRP £19.99

RRP £45

RRP £30


110 Pro Landscaper / December 2017

Book Review.indd 110


rom Hal Moggridge – principal of Colvin & Moggridge from 1969 until 1997, when he became a consultant – Slow Growth looks further into landscape architecture and design than ever before, taking an important step in considering the foundations of landscape design, including the land in relation to people, perception, climate and the beauty in nature. Moggridge’s career is mapped out over 11 chapters, combining illustrations and text to reveal a wide range of projects, from parks and lakes such as Castletown Cox in Ireland, to restorations of 18th century works such as Croome Court in Worcestershire. The images and illustrations communicate the ideas and processes from the early stages through to completion, while the final few chapters reveal how the future of landscape architecture in our cities might be shaped. The consultant utilises his knowledge and experience to bring the important questions and concepts surrounding landscape design to the forefront of readers’ minds.

23/11/2017 09:29



THOMAS CAMPBELL Thomas Campbell, principal arboricultural officer for London Borough of Hackney Council and one of this year’s 30 Under 30 winners, discusses career progression, future ambitions, and his innovative Treecycle concept

achievement, and it’s been nice to be able to show it to the wider industry as well.

What first encouraged you to pursue a career in arboriculture? I’ve always loved being outdoors – there were lots of family holidays in North Wales. I also took a lot of trips with the Woodcraft Folk in Epping Forest, so I’ve always wanted to be in a job based outside and be able to contribute positively to the environment. My initial interests revolved around working with animals, but I also found tree surgery appealing due to the practical elements. I recently discovered that my great-grandfather was a tree surgeon, so maybe that’s where I get it from. What has been your route into the industry? I went to Swansea University and did a geography degree, and then onto Capel Manor College, where I did a Level 2 Diploma in Arboriculture and Forestry. I worked for a bit as an arborist, before working as a temporary arboricultural officer at Camden Council. Then, back in 2012, I went for a permanent job with Hackney, where I’ve been the managing arboricultural officer since March 2016. How does it feel to be one of this years’ 30 Under 30 winners? I feel very proud – it’s nice to have your work and achievements recognised and it’s

Would you encourage young people to pursue a career in arboriculture? Yes, absolutely – I think arboriculture provides a good channel for young people to help contribute to the environment. It’s a really varied industry, there are lots of different roles to suit all skills and aspirations, so it would be great to encourage that interest in arboriculture – especially for women and people from ethnic minority communities, to make it a bit more representative of our society.


What are your future career ambitions? So far, I’ve helped to plant over 1,000 trees in London, mainly in Camden and Hackney. I would like to plant at least 10,000 trees in my career, wherever that may be – either in London or further afield.

a good thing to be able to tell people in the industry. I would definitely recommend the process to others, it’s a great way to recognise the hard work that individuals put in to the industry. What has been your biggest personal achievement as arboricultural officer? Imagining and implementing the Hackney Treecycle – it’s a cargo bike to be used by tree officers for inspections. It enables them to do small scale pruning, and through that I’ve saved the council £5,000 in under 27 hours of use. I’ve been able to do presentations on this work to the London Tree Officers Association last year, and I will be presenting to the National Tree Officers Conference this month. That’s definitely been my biggest

Look Out For.indd 111

Pro Landscaper / December 2017 111

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

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


HAGS Location: National (ideally good access to M1, M40, and M25)


HAGS requires a head of contracts. The candidate must have: good knowledge of groundworks, landscaping and/or general construction; experience within the playground industry; a positive approach to health and safety; competence in customer communication, with a good telephone manner. They must be able to plan and organise both familiar and new tasks, and be computer literate (especially in Microsoft packages such as Word, Excel, Project and Mail Merge), customer focused and able to work their own initiative or with others on tasks with minimum supervision.

The Outdoor Room is currently looking to recruit skilled landscape gardeners who can deliver high quality work within its busy teams. The right candidate should be wellpresented, self-motivated, enthusiastic, and able to use their own initiative. They also need to be flexible, organised and willing to undertake any required training. The ideal candidate must have experience in all areas of both hard and soft landscaping, be able to read plans, and preferably have a CSCS card. A full, clean driving licence is essential.

For more details please go to

For more details please go to



This is a site-based role to complete projects to the contracts manager’s plan.The role involves: ensuring health and safety, profit, productivity and quality targets are achieved; effectively managing and disciplining site behaviour and timekeeping of employees under your control; maintaining good relationships with clients; and maximising efficiency of all resources. Preferably, you will have SMSTS, CSCS, a full UK driving licence, self-motivation with the ability to use your own initiative, suitable experience at site level of large or complex projects, and excellent communication, commercial management and administration skills.

Tamar nurseries is a leading grower supplying the amenity market throughout the UK, specialising in contract growing for a wide range of prestigious contracts. It is looking for an enthusiastic, proactive and driven sales executive to support and increase sales. You will be office based, but also be required to travel regularly. Good plant knowledge and understanding is required, as well as a good commercial understanding.

For more details please go to

For more details please go to



Landscape Associates is looking for an experienced maintenance team leader. You must have experience of managing teams, as well as a positive attitude and excellent communication skills, the ability to delegate and use time appropriately, excellent team work skills, and a flexible approach. Required: relevant qualification in gardening or horticulture i.e. RHS or City and Guilds; comprehensive plant knowledge; experience with pedestrian mowers, scarifiers, hedge trimmers and power washers; experience with irrigation systems; a full, clean driving licence.

To work within the bespoke domestic landscape sector, candidates should be able to lead a small team, read plans and set levels. You will be installing quality hard and soft landscaping projects, from ground-break to sign off.

For more details please go to

For more details please go to



This role will involve: completing various grounds maintenance tasks; acting as the senior operative within a team; communicating with clients and suppliers; and working in Yorkshire and its surrounding areas. You must have: previous experience with commercial horticulture; a horticultural qualification; excellent horticultural knowledge; PA1 and PA6 spraying certificates; a full driving licence.

You will have at least three years’ experience of running domestic landscaping projects with project values ranging from £20-150k, producing work on time to an exceptional standard. You must: be proficient at all aspects of hard and soft landscaping with experience of working with a wide range of materials and budgets; have a very good eye for detail/standard of finish; have good communication and motivational skills; be able to read and understand drawings, plans and specifications and set out accurately. A full, clean driving licence is required

For more details please go to

For more details please go to

KILLINGLEY Location: Chesterfield, Derbyshire


HORTICRUITMENT Location: North Yorkshire

112 Pro Landscaper / December 2017

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TAMAR NURSERIES Location: Cambridgeshire

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23/11/2017 14:14


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Pro Landscaper / December 2017 113

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GEMMA LAKE Show manager, RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? They are so inspirational for so many people. Before I joined the RHS I would go to the shows as a visitor and garden design enthusiast myself – I loved being surrounded by a wealth of knowledge, ideas and flowers. Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? New Zealand. My family live there so I’m lucky enough to visit a fair bit.

What would you blow your budget on? A little house somewhere in the country with a large garden that I could fill with unusual and beautiful plants, grow my own vegetables and become selfsustainable. The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? I’m really lucky that through my job I get to meet and work with some amazingly talented people; designers and horticulturists whose

creativity and in knowledge blows me away. One thing that you think would make the industry better? More awareness of how skilled careers in horticulture are, from construction to botany. Best piece of trivia you know? My favourite is that sea otters hold paws whilst sleeping to stop them floating away, but also that their fur is the densest of any animal on earth. Role model as a child? My mum. She’s a trained horticulturist and had me in the garden and allotment with her from as early as I can remember. Couldn’t get through the week without... My colleagues. Your favourite joke? I’m terrible at jokes. My delivery is awful and I always forget the punchline. Best invention in recent years? Anything that is able to deal with the overwhelming volume of unusable plastic that is dumped into the sea or landfill each year.

114 Pro Landscaper / December 2017

Little Interview.indd 114

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


JACOB CATLING Director, The Landscaping Consultants

Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational? Inspirational, as it gives a platform to allow garden designers and landscape contractors to push the boundaries and widen their understanding of what’s possible in this evolving industry.

industry you’d love to meet? Adam Frost.

Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? Canada, because I love the look and sound of natural rocky rivers and lakes fringed by what seems like never ending green woodlands.

Best piece of trivia? A honey bee can fly up to 20mph.

What would you blow your budget on? Tools and machinery, as I like to work smarter, not harder. The one person in the

One thing that you think would make the industry better? I think if our industry was regulated, it would be beneficial to us all.

Role model as a child? Batman. Couldn’t get through the week without... Peanut butter, and banter. Your favourite joke? My dog was always chasing people on a bike. It got so bad I had to take his bike away.

23/11/2017 11:45


SIMON DAVENPORT Secretary, British Protected Ornamentals Association

Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Always find them thought provoking from the viewpoint of the designer explaining their original inspiration.

What would you blow your budget on? Watching too many films back to back (the only pleasure left in long haul travel).

One thing that you think would make the industry better? The appreciation by local authorities (planning committees) of the need for well-maintained green space.

Role model as a child? Arthur Ransome.

Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? Austria.

The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? The breeder of the SunPatiens.

Best piece of trivia you know? Toronto is the same latitude as Nice (43ºN).

Best invention in recent years? WhatsApp.



Deputy sales manager, Pro Landscaper

Design & development manager, Sutcliffe Play Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Inspirational. Which country’s landscape inspires you the most? Oman. What would you blow your budget on? I would love a living wall. The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Alan Titchmarsh. One thing that you think would make the industry better? More recognition for the

Little Interview.indd 115

role suppliers play in landscaping projects. Best piece of trivia you know? Flamingos are only pink because of all the prawns they eat. Role model as a child? Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act. Couldn’t get through the week without... Pizza. Your favourite joke? How many tickles does it take to make an octopus laugh? Ten-tickles.

Couldn’t get through the week without... Regular doses of cheese (manchego for preference). Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Inspirational. Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? Japan. What would you blow your budget on? Stone. The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Diarmuid Gavin. One thing that you think would make the industry

better? Using a pencil once a week instead of CAD. Best piece of trivia you know? Flies take off backwards. Role model as a child? Tony Hart. Couldn’t get through the week without... Doodling. Your favourite joke? What do you call a man with no shins… Tony (toe/knee). Best invention in recent years? LED lighting.

Pro Landscaper / December 2017 115

23/11/2017 11:41


£247 P E R M O N T H



Official fuel consumption figures in mpg (l/100km) for the Ford Transit Base 290 L2 H2 Ford EcoBlue 2.0 TDCi 105PS FWD shown: urban 37.2 (7.6), extra urban 43.5 (6.5), combined 40.9 (6.9). Official CO2 emissions 180g/km. The mpg figures quoted are sourced from official EU-regulated test results (EU Directive and Regulation 692/2008), are provided for comparability purposes and may not reflect your actual driving experience. Finance subject to status. Guarantees/indemnities may be required. You will not own the vehicle at the end of the agreement. Examples exclude VAT and are based on 48 month non-maintained agreements, profile 6+47 payment in advance of 6 monthly rentals, followed by 47 monthly rentals, with a mileage of 10,000 miles per annum. Vehicles must be returned in good condition and within agreed mileage, otherwise further charges will be incurred. Prices correct at time of going to print and are subject to change without notice. Subject to availability at a Ford Authorised UK Dealer for vehicles with finance accepted and vehicle contracted between 1st November and 31st December 2017. Not available with any other promotion. Ford Lease is provided by ALD Automotive Ltd, trading as Ford Lease, BS16 7LB.

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23/11/2017 10:40

Pro Landscaper December 2017