Page 1

Concept to Delivery February 2012

design, build and maintain

Stunning facelift for terrace of luxury west London apartment

Let’s Hear it from‌ Bill Trotman, MD of Continental Landscapes

Portfolio See how three companies have designed and implemented their projects

BARTHOLOMEW LANDSCAPING New plant species versus traditional varieties Published by Business intelligence

WAY OUT WEST


Contents

February 2012

REGULARS

PORTFOLIOS 23

4 News shed

A round-up of news from the industry.

6 Contractors news

The Outdoor Room founder David Dodd announced as BALI South Thames Chairman.

Claudia de Yong Garden Designs

8 Association news

Updates from landscaping’s trade bodies, including the inaugural page by the SGD.

12 Business tips

26

Including: Growing your own staff, Edging costs, ISO9001 explained, Customer service, and Decking help and advice from Karl Harrison.

30

Lucy Bravington Designer Landscapes

Bartholomew Landscaping

19 Let’s hear it from…

An engaging interview with Bill Trotman, Managing Director of Continental Landscapes.

FEATURES Branching out Andy Boorman analyses the value and role of new plant introductions

36 Latest kit

Arboriculture

New machinery and products reviewed.

An in-depth look at the world of trees

46 Trending…

Joe Wilkinson looks at what’s different in the industry this month.

47 People 33 EDITORIAL editor@pro-landscaper.co.uk Director – Lisa Wilkinson lisa.wilkinson@pro-landscaper.co.uk Tel: 01903 234077 Content Manager – Joe Wilkinson joe.wilkinson@pro-landscaper.co.uk joe.wilkinson@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 234077 EDITORIAL ADVISORY PANEL Mark Gregory Chairman APL and Landform Consultants Jerry Gosney PPA Director and Editorial Consultant Sam Hassall LandPRO Ltd Stuart Marler TVG Landscaping Russell Eales Russell Eales Lawn Care Karl Harrison Exterior Solutions Ltd

www.pro-landscaper.co.uk

Small Business Blog, The Little Interview, Events Diary and Look Out For...

38 ADVERTISING Business Development Manager – Jamie Wilkinson Jamie.wilkinson@pro-landscaper.co.uk Jamie.wilkinson@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 234077 Sales Executive – Luke Chaplin luke.chaplin@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 234077 Managing Director – Jim Wilkinson jim.wilkinson@pro-landscaper.co.uk jim.wilkinson@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 234077 GENERAL ENQUIRIES Tel: 01903 237779 CIRCULATION Subscription Enquiries: lisa.wilkinson@pro-landscaper.co.uk Tel: 01903 234077

MANAGEMENT Managing Director Jim Wilkinson Director Lisa Wilkinson

PRODUCTION Design and reproduction: Russell Cox Design & Production

Business Development Manager Jamie Wilkinson

Printed by Pensord Press Ltd, Gwent, UK

Marketing and Content Manager Joe Wilkinson Pro Landscaper is published 12 times per year by Eljays44 Ltd. The 2011 subscription price is £50.00. Subscription records are maintained at Eljays44 Ltd, County House, 3 Shelley Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN11 1TT, 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.

Published by © Eljays44 Ltd – Business Intelligence

Business intelligence

Eljays44 Ltd County House, 3 Shelley Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN11 1TT Tel: 01903 234077

February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2

3


4

Leader

Focus on the positives Welcome to the February edition of Pro Landscaper, as usual it’s full of informative and interesting articles. We have some excellent Portfolios, including a fabulous apartment terrace garden, and an engaging interview with the man in charge at Continental Landscapes. The Association News pages see the Society of Garden Designers join BALI and APL to keep you posted of all things association-related. Andy Boorman highlights the role and value of new plant introductions, and we introduce the first in a series of Arboriculture features by industry expert Keith Sacre. The Pro Landscaper team Gaining a real have been to lots of events in “ understanding the last month and met many new people; a couple of topics of your own business high on most people’s agenda and selling its virtues are how to gain a competitive is paramount” advantage and understanding your competitors. Of course, competitive advantage is not all about price, nor should it be – gaining a real understanding of your own business and selling its virtues and the positive elements is paramount. Negative selling, i.e. knocking your competitors, is not a great reflection on your own company or of value to the industry as a whole. Remember always stay positive, sell your own business and be proud of what you do. Jim and Lisa Wilkinson – editor@pro-landscaper.co.uk

In the March Issue of Pro Landscaper… Preview of the Landscape Show – Where indoors meets outdoors Features: Interior Landscaping, Lighting in Landscape and Let’s Hear it From… a leading landscape Architect Latest kit: including

Concept to Delivery DESIGN, BuILD AND MAINT AIN

Let’s Hear

it from… Bill Trotman, MD of Continental Landscapes

February 2012

Stunning facelift terrace of luxuryfor west London apartm ent

See how three Portfolio companies have designed and implement ed their projects

BARTHOLO LANDSCAPMEW ING New plant species versus traditional varieties

Published by

Business intelligence

WAY OUT WEST

Have you signed up to the new Pro Landscaper Network? Log on to www.pro-landscaper.co.uk and click the network tab to get involved in the latest member discussion

Paving, Artificial Grass, Terrain Vehicles

Plus all the regular articles by our excellent contributors to educate and inform

See us on facebook, twitter @ProLandscaperJW and join our LinkedIn group to stay up-to-date with all that’s happening in landscaping

February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2

Bowles & Wyer returns to this year’s Chelsea Flower Show Following its success at last year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, award-winning landscape contractor Bowles & Wyer Contracts has been commissioned to build a second show garden for landscape and garden designer Thomas Hoblyn. The company will be building the Arthritis Research UK Garden for the 2012 event, after its successful working relationship with Hoblyn on the Homebase Memories of Cornwall Garden last year. The Arthritis Research UK Garden, which is one of 18 show gardens at this year’s show, has been inspired by the great Renaissance gardens of Italy and will use water as a central theme, incorporating three features – a fountain seat, a water cascade and a still mirror pool – set among

formal Mediterranean planting. Dan Riddleston, Director of Bowles & Wyer Contracts who is leading the project, is planning to undertake much of the construction process off-site, to ensure a swift and easy transition to the Chelsea showground in May. The work will include some of the complex stone work that forms the raised beds, the water cistern, the long water wall and the formal planting components which are being grown together to fit seamlessly within the planting borders.

Co-op puts out £3.5m tender

The Co-operative Group is inviting bids from contractors to create a new public space in NOMA, it’s 20-acre development in Manchester anchored by the new 325,000ft2 Co-op headquarters. NOMA Strategy and

Development Director Ruairidh Jackson said: “NOMA is a dynamic, modern development, and we are always looking for expert teams to bring forward fresh, new ideas.” The timetable for the public realm work, designed by architect Mecanoo, is to appoint a contractor by the end of March, start on site in April and complete by 17 September. The Co-op’s new HQ, One Angel Square, is due for completion in the autumn. www.pro-landscaper.co.uk


News Shed

5

Vectorworks wins construction software award NURSERY NEWS Vectorworks’ 2012 software has been honoured at the Construction Computing Awards ceremony as the winner of the “One to Watch” product award. In addition, Computers Unlimited, Vectorworks’ UK distributor, was runner up for Channel Partner of the Year 2011. “We’re thrilled to receive this honour,” said Stewart Rom, Chief Marketing Officer of Nemetschek Vectorworks. “We’ve strived to

make the Vectorworks 2012 program the ideal solution for designers with continued improvements to our 3D, Building Information Modeling and rendering capabilities, and it’s an honour to be recognised by the

Construction Computing Awards.” Now in their sixth year, the Construction Computing Awards showcase and reward the technology, tools, and solutions for the effective design, construction, maintenance, and modification of commercial buildings, residential and social housing, and civil engineering projects of all sizes. Results are determined by Construction Computing Magazine reader votes and by a judging panel.

SGD appoints Charles Rutherfoord as Chairman Charles Rutherfoord has been named as the new Chairman of the SGD. As a member of the Society since 1994 and an MSGD since 2006, he has been actively involved in the Society for the last five years and most recently an important member of SGD Council. Charles Rutherfoord said: “I

have had the pleasure and privilege of working with Annabel Downs on the Council for the last year and have been inspired by her clarity of vision and ability to forge new links and relationships that have been hugely beneficial in raising the profile of the Society. Annabel’s drive and enthusiasm embodies the

spirit of the Society and her deep horticultural knowledge and links with other bodies in our profession has been a huge asset. She has been a wonderful ambassador for the SGD and as I take up the mantle I hope to bring that same clarity of vision and thoughtful and thorough approach to the role.”

Landscape 2012 offers opportunity to ‘meet the professionals’ Building on the success of the 2011 show, Landscape is back in 2012 with an even stronger line-up of exhibitors, features and guest speakers at the garden and landscape extravaganza, which takes place from 15-17 March at the Grand Hall, Olympia in London. www.pro-landscaper.co.uk

As well as a variety of exhibitors and products to see, there will be a comprehensive seminar programme held throughout the three-day show by industry leaders such as Andrew Fisher Tomlin (pictured) and Mark Gregory. Visitors will be able to see and experience all that’s contemporary and cutting edge in the world of landscaping. They will also have the unique opportunity to rub shoulders with the stars of the

future who will be exhibiting show gardens as part of the Graduate Gardens Scheme, where for the first time graduates will be able show their skills at Landscape. Pro Landscaper Magazine will be exhibiting at stand A96 for the duration of the show and we look forward to hearing from and seeing everyone who attends. Tickets for the event are still available by visiting www.landscape show.co.uk/register.

A great new alternative to Buxus

Recently introduced to the UK market Ilex crenata ‘Blondie’ (pictured bottom) and Ilex crenata ‘Dark Green’ (below) are an interesting alternative to Buxus sempervirens which fools even the experienced eye. Ilex crenata, more commonly known as Japanese Holly or Box Holly originates from Asia and resembles Buxus in leaf, habit and situation with the added advantage of not suffering from the same diseases as Buxus. The leaves are 1-2cm in length, dark green and tolerant of pollution. Able to withstand pruning into topiary shapes, hedges and parterres it really is a useful option. With all of the qualities of a Buxus – evergreen, hardy, tolerates a wide range of soils and suitable for full sun to partial shade – it is a brilliant all rounder. ● Ilex crenata Dark Green – evergreen, dark glossy leaves. ● Ilex crenata Blondie – new leaves yellow green fading to dark green as they age. By Liz Hughes BSc Hort (Hons)

For more information go to: www.wyevale-east.co.uk

February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2


6

Contractors News

NEWS IN BRIEF Pro Landscaper Network forum

Pro Landscaper Magazine has launched a brand new website, to complement our magazine and network. Bookmark www. prolandscapermagazine.com to ensure you always land on our website home page.

David Dodd to chair BALI South Thames region The Founder of The Outdoor Room discusses becoming new Chairman. with more than 200 members. I think this is due to the South East being so affluent; there’s a big demand for landscape gardening where there’s money.

Look out for Kerry Jackson’s blog

Kerry Jackson, of Jackson’s Landscape Design in Devon, is writing a interesting blog on Rammed Earth features on the Pro Landscaper Network. Join the Network at www. prolandscapermagazine.com.

Mark Gregory to present in Bristol

Twelve-time Gold medal winner at Chelsea Flower Show Mark Gregory is hosting ‘An Evening With…’, in Bristol on 23 February, with the presentation focusing on ‘Achieving excellence in construction’. More information can be found on the Pro Landscaper Network.

Marshalls picks this year’s charity

Marshalls has chosen children’s charity Together for Short Lives as its official charity of the year for 2012.

Landscaping 2012 at Stoneleigh Park

Date for your diary: BALI – The 2012 Landscaping Show. Taking place at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire on 19 and 20 June 2012.

How long have you been a member of BALI, and before taking over as chair how long were you on the South Thames committee? We joined BALI in 2005. I joined the South Thames committee three years ago and became Vice Chairman last year. Before then, I couldn’t really see the point in being involved, but I’ve obviously changed my views since joining. The benefits are enormous. How many members does the South Thames committee represent? Our region is the biggest in the country in terms of membership

What’s it like following the Legend ‘Nick’ Coslett? Nick is a bit of a hero of mine (but don’t tell him I said that). He’s shown dedication to BALI for so many years, which has made him a great inspiration for me. I am delighted that he has agreed to remain on the South Thames committee, as I think his experience is invaluable. What are your aims for the group? My main aim is to produce some really good events for this year that will appeal to all our members. I’m delighted to have Brian Herbert from Outdoor Options as Vice

Chairman, and a great committee team made up of members from all aspects of the industry. On average only 12% of regional members attend events which I would like to increase. It’s a great way to network and develop your business. You have nothing to lose and much to gain. How do people become involved/get in touch? BALI represents every aspect of the professional landscape industry. Its Vision Statement is: ‘An association for all landscape professionals that supports, promotes and inspires its members to be leaders of an environmentally, ethically, and commercially sustainable landscape industry’. Visit www.bali.org.uk to find out more about the association. If you have questions, issues, or wish to join, email contact@bali.org.uk.

Gavin Jones’ Royal Warrant renewed Following a review by the Royal Household Warrants Committee at its Annual Meeting in December, it was recommended that Gavin Jones Ltd retain the Royal Warrant to the Queen for a further five-year period. The company had recently re-applied for the Warrant, as the first period was due to expire at the end of 2012. The Royal Warrant is granted for a five-year period, with a review taking place 12 months

February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2

prior to the end of tenure. Martyn Mogford, Chairman of Gavin Jones Ltd, was named Grantee of the Warrant in 2008 for recognition of the services as Landscape Maintenance Contractors to HM The Queen. Yvette Etcell, Director Business Development, commented on the company’s pride and pleasure at the news. “Clearly the Royal Warrant is a very important distinguishing feature for Gavin Jones Ltd and underlines our

commitment to delivering an exceptional service for exceptional clients through our exceptional people,” she said. www.pro-landscaper.co.uk


8

Association News – APL

The Association of

Professional Landscapers

APL AWARDS 2012

Ultra-marathon runner Luke Cunliffe will speak at this year’s APL Awards

Celebrating the best of British landscaping.

T

he APL is delighted to announce that ultra-marathon runner and motivational speaker Luke Cunliffe will speak at the APL Awards 2012. Having competed successfully in more than 60 marathons, ultra-marathons and extreme foot-races, Luke aims to help people believe in themselves so they can step out of their comfort zone and achieve. As well as his energetic endeavours, Luke has written for a number of running magazines and appeared on TV and radio. The 2012 APL Awards presentation lunch, sponsored by Bradstone, will take place on Wednesday 14 March 2012 at the Roof Gardens, Kensington High Street, London. Now in their 16th year, the awards provide the industry with an opportunity to celebrate the best in British landscaping and promote member commitment to providing quality landscaping and complete customer satisfaction. To book your place at the main event in the APL calendar visit www.landscaper.org.uk or email events@the-hta.org.uk. APL Networking event The APL is holding its next seminar and February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2

networking event at Classiflora, Waltham Abbey, Essex on Thursday 8 March 2012 from 4pm to 7.30pm. This year’s seminar, New Technology, is an evening event for landscapers and designers that will provide another excellent opportunity for APL and SGD members to get together to listen to, compare and share ideas and experiences. The evening will feature presentations on resin-bound surfacing from Ronacrete and outdoor wireless lighting control from Light Symphony. Each presentation will bring a balanced view from the supplier as well as from a landscaper who has used this new technology. There will also be time during the seminar for you to network with other landscapers and designers. The seminar promises to be both lively and informative, with a wide range of topics covered by well-known personalities including APL Chairman Mark Gregory and APL member Richard Penfold from New Ground Landscapes. The seminar coincides with the last afternoon of the Classiflora open days and we would like to encourage you to enhance your visit by attending the Q&A session with Charlie Dimmock at 2pm and then joining the tour of

the Classiflora site at 3pm, ahead of the seminar which commences at 4pm. Places cost just £15 + VAT per person for APL and SGD members, or £30 + VAT per person for non-members. For further details and to book your place, please contact the APL events team by visiting www.landscaper.org.uk, emailing events@the-hta.org.uk or telephoning 0118 930 3132. Diary dates Look out for details of two further APL networking events later in the year. ● 11 July – Greenline Plants ● 10 October – Wyevale East Nurseries www.landscaper.org.uk

HTA News APL advert_Layout 1 06/01/2012 19:12 Page 1

APL AWARDS 2012 Wednesday 14 March 2012

The Roof Gardens, Kensington, London

To book: 0118 930 3132 events@the-hta.org.uk www.landscaper.org.uk

www.pro-landscaper.co.uk


Association News – SGD

9

3

4 1

SGD AWARDS CALL FOR ENTRIES

2

1 Designed by Anne Keenan (MSGD). 2 Designed by Mandy Buckland (MSGD). 3 Designed by Ian Kitson (FSGD). 4 Charles Rutherfoord (MSGD) – newly appointed SGD Chairman.

Sponsored by:

Society announces categories for new prize-giving scheme.

T

he Society of Garden Designers (SGD) is launching a new, annual awards programme to reward outstanding achievement in the garden and landscape design profession. Covering all aspects of design from private domestic gardens to engaging public spaces, the SGD Awards are dedicated to rewarding excellence among landscape and garden designers. The Awards will be open to members of the SGD only, with the majority open to Fellows (FSGD) and fully registered members (MSGD) of the society. In addition, four of the Awards will be open to pre-registered members and there will be a single award for student members. The full list of awards categories are: ● International Landscape ● Large Residential Garden ● Medium Residential Garden ● Small Residential Garden ● Public or Communal Outdoor Space ● Planting Design ● Hard Landscape ● Landscape Sustainability ● Innovation in Design ● Future Designer ● Student Designer ● Lighting ● People’s Choice ● SGD Grand Award

www.pro-landscaper.co.uk

A panel of judges drawn from experts across the sector will be working alongside the SGD to select the winning designs. The core judging panel are: ● Richard Sneesby – landscape architect, author and course leader; ● Bill Burford – lecturer, landscape architect and garden designer; ● Trudie Entwistle – artist and lecturer ● Arabella St John Parker – House and Gardens Editor at Homes & Gardens magazine; ● Charles Rutherfoord (MSGD) – the newly appointed Chairman of the SGD. RHS President and landscape architect Elizabeth Banks will support the core panel in judging both the Planting and Landscape Sustainability awards, and lighting expert Sally Storey will advise on the Lighting category. The Student awards will be judged by three established society members: Andy Sturgeon (FSGD), Sarah Eberle (MSGD) and Thomas Hoblyn (MSGD). The closing date for entries is 18 May and the awards will be presented at a ceremony in London in November. While the awards are dedicated to rewarding talented people from across the landscape and garden design industry, the SGD recognises that outstanding gardens are the result of teamwork and is keen to

acknowledge and reward the contractors associated with the winning schemes, as well as the educational establishment where the winning student received their training. The John Brookes Award The SGD will also be introducing The John Brookes Award – a lifetime achievement award honouring an individual who is considered by the society to have made an outstanding contribution to the profession. This prize will be gifted by the Society’s Chair and Council members and presented alongside the main SGD awards. Further information on all the awards can be found at www.sgdawards.com.

ABOUT THE SGD The Society of Garden Designers has been championing excellence in garden design for the last 30 years. It is the only professional association for garden designers in the UK and counts some of the UK’s leading garden and landscape designers among its growing membership. It is active both nationally and internationally, promoting its aims through its journal, workshops, seminars, conferences and links with the construction industry. www.sgd.org.uk

February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2


10

Association News – BALI

1 South Thames AGM. 1

2 The RHS will be teaming with BALI for a number of

BALI BRIEFING

S

BALI members – and proud of it Our industry has low barriers to entry – virtually anyone can set up a landscaping or grounds maintenance company with the minimum of knowledge, experience, training or equipment. The result of using these unaccountable operations is often disastrous for the customer and leaves the impression that anybody working in the landscaping industry is a cowboy. Quality, experience and peace of mind is what customers get when they use BALI designers and contractors, and that’s the message that BALI as an association and our members need to promote at every opportunity. We’ll be exhibiting at the London Plant and Design Show (providing contractor consultations) in February, Ecobuild in March, February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2

3 BALI will be at Ecobuild, at ExCel Arena, in March.

3

All the latest news and forthcoming events in the association’s calendar. pring will soon be sprung, and BALI designers and contractors are girding their loins for the onset of the silly season. Wayne Grills, BALI’s Chief Operations Officer, and National Chairman Paul Cowell devoted a lot of January, and will be spending some of February, attending Regional AGMs, giving members an update on progress with BALI’s strategic plan, including increased membership benefits, while gaining invaluable feedback on what’s happening to grass roots members in these challenging economic times. And the general consensus is that it’s tough out there.

events in 2012.

2

Chelsea Flower Show in May (in the new FRESH area), and Tatton Park in July. Industry collaboration Our collaboration with the RHS sees us promoting the work of BALI contractors and designers at a number of high-profile RHS shows (listed above). They provide an excellent way of reaching out to both commercial and domestic customers and reinforcing the ‘Use the Professionals’ message that our BALI promotional literature advocates. The launch of the new Landscape Contract for Homeowners by the SGD has been fully supported by BALI and we are delighted that there is now a Consultancy Agreement for use between the client and the designer, and a Landscape Contract for use between the client and the landscape contractor, with the designer representing the customer’s interests and overseeing the project. This will inevitably result in the two associations – SGD and BALI – working more closely together for the benefit of all parties. BALI has also renewed its participation in the All Party Parliamentary Gardening and Horticulture Group (APPGHG) after a break to review the benefits of its involvement to its members and the wider industry. Making ourselves heard The landscaping sector currently punches below its weight and it’s time to ensure our voice is heard by government ministers whose

decisions will affect not only how our country prioritises green space, but also the success and livelihoods of the many thousands employed in the sector. The issuing of certificates for the ROLO Health and Safety Awareness Course has increased markedly since Christmas, corresponding with the uptake of the LISS/ CSCS skills card. It seems that, not before time, main contractors are now demanding those working in the land-based sector, including landscapers, tree surgeons, grounds maintenance contractors, those working with pesticides, ecologists and environmental managers, have to provide a LISS/CSCS card proving their specific competencies and land-based health and safety training before they can work on either the highways estate or construction sites. We look forward to the time, in the not too distant future hopefully, when all local authorities recognise the importance of using NHSS 18 accredited contractors and LISS/CSCS carded employees for their grounds maintenance contracts. And finally… remember the closing date for entries to the 2012 BALI National Landscape Awards, in association with Horticulture Week, is Friday 27 April. Start thinking about the schemes you have been working on over the past year and put forward one you’re particularly proud of. Remember it’s BALI’s 40th Anniversary this year so winning a BALI Award will be even more special. www.baliawards.co.uk. www.pro-landscaper.co.uk


pro landscaper_Layout 1 24/01/2012 09:31 Page 1

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February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2


12

Business Tips

00

HOW TO MAKE A PROFIT IN LANDSCAPING It is not possible to make a profit until you fully understand your costs. When your client asks you to submit a price for a job there are three questions you need to ask yourself. Sam Hassall reports.

1. How much is this going to cost me to do? 2. W  hat is the minimum profit I am prepared to make on this job? 3. W  hat is the maximum profit I can put on this job and still win it? The two latter questions and answers are a matter of your needs, risk and acumen. The first question is a simple one – it’s basically arithmetic and that is the one we will deal with in this article. The Theory 1. There is no point in working if you are going to lose money. 2. You have to understand your costs.

THE COSTS OF edgings to pavings We have previously looked at costs of the following in this series: labour costs, excavation and bases. The next logical step in the series of laying pavings is to place edges to a proposed paving area. Purpose of Edgings Edgings perform two basic functions: ● Decorative. ● Mechanical strength. In many cases they perform both functions simultaneously. Table 1 lists the common edgings that we will

TABLE 1: TYPES OF EDGINGS Material

Description

Base requirements

Haunch

Concrete

No base

Timber edge

25-50mm tanalised timber + pegs

No base

Metal edge

Proprietary or custom made aluminium or steel edgings

No base

Precast concrete edge

Plain or textured concretes

Concrete base 150 deep x minimum 2x width of edging

Block edge

Headers stretchers or propriety edgings

Concrete base 150 deep x minimum 2x width of edging

Precast concrete Kerb

Plain or textured concretes

Concrete base 150 deep x minimum 2x width of edging

Stone Kerb

New or reclaimed Granites York’s or other hard stone

Concrete base 150 deep x minimum 2x width of edging

Stone edgings

Indian granite or York etc cut 100-500 wide Concrete base 150 deep x in general width of edging

Setts

Granite or York Single or multiple rows

Concrete base 150 deep x width of edging

Brick edges

On flat, on edge, in header or in stretcher bonds; In single or multiple rows

Concrete base 150 deep x width of edging

February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2

be looking at within the scope of this cost investigation. The base requirements of each are shown. Bases of edgings Because the edging often has to provide a function to retain a paved surface it should be set on a concrete base.The costs for excavating the edgings is not covered here and readers should refer to the Pro Landscaper Archive or the LandPro website for this data, which has been detailed in previous editions of this magazine. The most common base for the edging is in-situ concrete poured to an excavated trench.The costs of these bases are dependent on a number of factors: ● Length and depth (volume). ● Complexity (straight or curved). ●M  aterial delivery format (site-mixed or readymixed). Tables ● All data is at cost. ● The labour rate is £19.50/hour. ● There is no barrowing time allowed from the point of delivery to the point of laying of the edging. ● Don’t forget to add on your profit. In relation to Table 2 and the costs of bases for edgings, all of the concrete bases are laid on a 50mm bed of compacted hardcore blinding and costs are as follows: ● Blinding – £14.00 per tonne. ● S ite-mixed concrete – £120.00 per m3 (see the cost data pages at www.landpro.co.uk for how this price is made up. ● Ready-mixed concrete – £80.00/m3 www.pro-landscaper.co.uk


Business Tips

table 2: COSTS OF BASES FOR EDGINGS

table 4: haunching costs

H/core Concrete Labour TOTAL COST Base dims 50mm Site mixed Ready- Output Cost/ Site Readymm mix m mixed mix width depth £ Volume £ £ m/hr Labour £ £ 100

150

0.08

0.02

1.8

1.28

13.33

1.46

3.34

2.81

200

150

0.15

0.03

3.6

2.55

6.67

2.93

6.68

5.63

225

150

0.17

0.03

4.05

2.87

5.93

3.29

7.51

6.33

300

150

0.23

0.05

5.4

3.83

4.44

4.39

10.01

8.44

400

150

0.3

0.06

7.2

5.1

3.33

5.85

13.35

11.25

500

150

0.38

0.08

9

6.38

2.67

7.31

16.69

14.06

table 3: Edging treatments Material m/hr/ Cost 2-man team

Labour Other (£) (£)

Everedge 2.5mm ProEdge 75 deep

6.80

18.0

2.17

8.97

Metal edge 5mm mild steel

12.00

5.0

7.80

19.80

Timber edging 25mm + peg

1.40

12.0

3.25

0.05

4.70

Timber edging 38mm + peg

1.65

10.0

3.90

0.05

5.60

Type of Edging

Total (£)

Timber and Metal Edges

Precast Concrete Pre cast kerbs to 50mm thick

1.80

12.0

3.25

0.18

5.23

Precast Kerbs 50-150 thick

2.50

6.0

6.50

0.45

9.45

Precast kerbs 140-305 thick

3.50

3.0

13.00

0.80

17.30

35.00

1.5

26.00

0.45

61.45

Stone Kerbs New granite kerbs 125 thick

Blocks and Bricks – Block edges 200 x 100 PC 8.50 /m2 Blocks laid to header course butt jointed

1.70

7.0

5.57

0.72

7.99

Blocks laid to header course mortar jointed

1.54

4.0

9.75

0.72

12.01

Blocks laid to stretcher courses butt jointed

0.85

10.0

3.90

0.36

5.11

Blocks laid to stretcher courses mortar jointed

0.80

7.0

5.57

0.36

6.73

Brick edges PC £500/1000- mortar beds – Brick size 200 x 100 x 50mm Flat headers butt jointed

5.00

4.0

9.75

0.81

15.56

Flat headers mortar jointed

4.54

3.0

13.00

0.81

18.35

Flat stretchers butt jointed

2.50

8.0

4.88

0.42

7.80

Flat stretchers mortar jointed

2.38

6.0

6.50

0.42

9.30

Brick on edge headers mortar jointed

8.33

3.0

13.00

0.81

22.14

Brick on edge stretchers

2.38

8.0

4.88

0.42

7.68

0.36

23.06

Double bands of bricks or blocks

As above x 2

Stone – Stone slab edgings Granite sett edging

3.20

2.0

19.50

Chinese Granite 40 thick 250 wide

12.00

2.0

19.50

0.90

32.4

York edgings; Site dressed or cut 250 wide

17.50

1.5

26.00

0.90

44.4

York edgings; Site dressed or cut 400 wide

28.00

1.0

39.00

1.44

68.44

York edgings pre cut: 250 wide

34.00

1.5

26.00

0.90

60.90

www.pro-landscaper.co.uk

13

Metres/ hr

Cost/m (£)

Materials (£)

Total (£/m)

10

1.95

4.41

6.36

8

2.44

4.41

6.85

4

4.88

4.41

9.29

Table 3 details the fixing of the various edging treatments fixed on to the bases in Table 2. If the edging treatment you are selecting requires a base, add the costs in Table 2 to the costs in Table 3. Haunching Many of these edge treatments require haunching to complete the work. Select the output of your team and the cost based on Table 4. Conclusion ● Using these tables gives you the theoretical cost of the edgings and represents the true cost in an ideal situation. ● Very rarely are landscape sites absolutely ideal, so readers should apply productivity factors to the tables shown. Next Issue We will conclude this set of costings by examining the costs of laying pavings. Readers are invited to submit their suggestions for new sets of cost investigations.

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 are to provide cost and implementation information to Landscape design professionals and Landscape contractors. Sam’s expertise is gained from his formal training and many years of experience in the landscape industry. As part of his portfolio Sam also compiles the Spon’s External works and Landscape price book and developed the market leading LiberRATE Estimating system which is available as a 90-day trial. Visit: www.landpro.co.uk for further details, or call LandPro Ltd directly on Tel: 01252 795030

February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2


14

Business Tips

Taking on apprentices is a clear commitment to social responsibility and is likely to find favour with the local community and clients, as HR expert Yvette Etcell explains.

GROW YOUR OWN Much is written about the shortage of suitable talent entering Horticulture, or the skills gap between what is available and what is needed as an industry. Others worry that too many people working in horticulture lack the qualifications, skills and experience to cope with current challenges and to drive the industry forward. How do we attract young people into the horticultural profession and ensure they are making an active commitment to building a career within the sector? In some cases perhaps those with suitable higher academic qualifications have remuneration expectations beyond that which the horticulture sector can support. In addition to a potential shortage of talent, in a competitive market demands of customers are ever-increasing, and “front-line”, operational staff are often customer-facing and largely responsible for delivering a margin – so we need them to develop customer-service skills, commercial acumen, good communication/IT and supervisory/ team-management skills to progress their career. It is perhaps not enough then to focus purely on horticultural skills and qualifications – we need to take a broader perspective. APPRENTICESHIPS Apprenticeships could be the answer. The chance to give suitable young people a start in a fulfilling career, based on the core skills of science, maths, English and design – with perhaps a touch of Latin in plant identification and nomenclature. The responsibility of nurturing young talent is potentially compelling. The chance to mentor, guide, coach and develop young people with the opportunity for “old-hands” to share their knowledge built up over many years is perhaps the best way to create a sustainable organisation. When this combines with the energy and enthusiasm of youth, supplemented by an engagement with new technology, we could be February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2

creating a dynamic, forward-thinking workforce . Taking on young people is also a clear commitment to social responsibility and is likely to find favour with both the local community and customers/clients – something your marketing staff can use to promote your brand. Benefits in numbers, the 2008 Learning and Skills Council-led research, identified the following: ● 77% of employers believe apprenticeships make them more competitive; ● 76% say that apprenticeships provide higher overall productivity; ● 80% feel that apprenticeships reduce staff turnover; ● 83% of employers rely on their apprenticeships programme to provide the skilled workers they require for the future; ● two-thirds of respondents believe their apprenticeship programme helps them fill vacancies more quickly; ● 88% believe that apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce; ● 59% report that training apprentices is more cost-effective than hiring skilled staff, with 59% believing that apprenticeships lead to lower overall training costs and 53% feeling they reduce recruitment costs; ● in terms of the return on investment, 41% say apprentices make a valuable contribution to the business during their training period,

while a further third (33%) report that they add value within their first few weeks (or even from day one); ● 57% report a high proportion of their apprentices going on to management positions within the company; ● more than three-quarters of respondents expect apprenticeships to play a bigger part in their recruitment policy in the future. Employers need to make the commitment to train and retain employees if the industry is to have the quality of people it needs and be prepared to invest in the individual as they develop over their career. A talent deficit means it’s not only about finding the top talent, it’s also about working harder to retain it. What are you doing to make your organisation an employer of choice within the horticulture industry? Why should candidates want to work for you? How well do you communicate that message? USEFUL WEBSITES General info and FAQ: www.apprenticeships. org.uk/Employers. For information relating to the Apprenticeship Framework for Horticulture: www.lantra.co.uk. For information about potentially funded L2 Diploma Apprenticeships, where training and learning can be supported nationwide without the need for day-release: www.onsitetraining uk.co.uk.

ABOUT YVETTE ETCELL Yvette Etcell is Director of Business Development and HR at Gavin Jones Ltd. With an early career in sales, advertising, marketing and assisting with personal injury litigation she then took a career break to spend time with her family. Yvette spent five years with English

Landscapes as an Operational Contracts Manager (Coventry City GM/Cleansing contract), then as Area Manager with a portfolio of circa £5m/pa contracts. Yvette joined Gavin Jones Ltd in 2003 as Business Development Manager, was promoted to Company Secretary in 2008 and to the board 12 months later. Contact: yvette.etcell@gavinjones.co.uk

www.pro-landscaper.co.uk


Business Tips

15

THE VALUE OF

ISO9001 Companies often delay implementing formal Quality Management Systems that meet the requirements of ISO9001:2008 due to the perceived cost, but there is a great deal of value to be derived from a well-implemented system, as Jodie Read explains. In the January edition, we examined NHSS18 and the fact that it is a mandatory requirement for companies providing landscaping or ecology services on Highways Agency roads. For anyone not operating in this arena, however, the requirement for formal certification to standards is purely voluntary. WHY BOTHER? If there is no legal requirement to implement a quality system, why bother? You already know that you provide a quality service, and you can provide glossy photographs showcasing your quality workmanship of beautifully finished landscaping projects. You may even have some fantastic customer testimonials. But are you on a level playing field with your competitors when you submit a tender? COMMERCIAL When we ask companies to describe their main motivation for working towards ISO9001, the truth is that they are normally looking to start gaining more points in the tender evaluation process. There’s no need to spell out just how difficult the current economic climate is. Things are tough. So if you’ve taken the time and trouble to submit a tender response with the aim of demonstrating that you can provide a superior landscaping service at a price that will be attractive to the client, you need to know that it’s going to be considered seriously. But if your competitors have certification to ISO9001 (and maybe other standards such as ISO14001 and OHSAS18001) and you don’t, they could instantly have a head start. In other words, not being able to demonstrate that your system that has been independently www.pro-landscaper.co.uk

THE POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF ISO9001 ● Improved credibility when going for tenders ● More efficient systems ● Elimination of repetitive problems ● Reduced costs ● Increased productivity assessed by a United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredited Certification Body could be costing you money. Of course, just because you have ISO9001, it doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to win every tender that you go for – but it is certainly likely to help. When deciding on whether you can afford to implement a system, it is therefore worth considering how much business you might be losing as a result of not having it. IMPROVED BUSINESS PROCESSES ISO9001 should not be regarded as being ‘just a badge’. Indeed, treat it like that, and you will fail to

derive maximum value from it. Implemented effectively, ISO9001 will provide a structured system that will help you to introduce operational efficiencies and to identify genuine future improvement opportunities within your business. The Standard makes you focus on how you ‘Plan-Do-Check-Act’. It provides a useful framework from which to develop systematic processes – but it does not call for perfection. Indeed, the Standard recognises that things can (and do) go wrong. It encourages the use of factbased information derived from a company’s own to set targets for future improvements. Having worked with numerous organisations to help them implement Quality Management Systems over the years, we’ve observed the following benefits for companies that have implemented ISO9001 and embraced the concept of continual improvement: a well implemented and effectively maintained system can help to eradicate repeat problems, save money, increase productivity, and increase customer satisfaction. All of these things seem to make perfect sense for any business; so the question is, can you afford not to have ISO9001?

ABOUT JODIE READ Jodie Read is Managing Director of Penarth Management Limited, which specialises in the provision of compliance consultancy and training for quality, environmental, and health and safety management. She and her colleagues help companies implement and maintain management systems, such as ISO9001 (Quality), ISO14001 (Environmental)

and OHSAS18001 (Health and Safety). The company is an affiliate member of the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) and Jodie is one of only a few approved ROLO health and safety trainers in the country. If readers have any queries regarding ISO9001 and how to derive real value from the Standard, please contact Jodie at jodie@ penarth.co.uk or telephone 029 2070 3328.

February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2


16

Business Tips

TICKING

ALL THE BOXES The old saying goes that if you rang every business in the phone book and asked them if they give excellent customer service, they would all say ‘yes’.Why is it then that good, never mind excellent, customer service is such a rare experience? asks Paul Elcoat. Continuing the theme of how to sustain competitive advantage, in this edition I’m going to reflect upon the value of customer service and highlight two significant pay-offs that will far outweigh any additional cost in giving this area some attention. The first pay-off, which occurs particularly in the domestic market, is that of previous customers sharing their experience of you with their friends and colleagues. There are statistics around how many people a happy customer will tell compared to how many an unhappy customer will tell, but I have heard various numbers so won’t try to reproduce them here. Suffice it to say that if you have upset a customer, they are going to share that story with whoever will listen. On the flip-side, if you do a great job and treat people properly, customers will recommend you when the opportunity arises. Recommendation is of course a very high-quality lead and in my experience, unless you mess it up, it is an almost dead-cert sale, often at a better rate. Recommendation also occurs within the commercial sector, but it will often only get you to the pre-qualification stage where you must demonstrate how good you are. I use the word ‘demonstrate’ on purpose, as this is the ingredient that will make all of the difference. PROOF OF PERFORMANCE You must be able to demonstrate that what you are claiming is true by documentary means. It is not enough to simply relate positive anecdotes, you must be able to prove what you are saying using records, data, documents and certification. Customer service is a catch-all term that includes countless aspects of the interaction February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2

between an organisation and its customers, and in order to be able to demonstrate how good you are the term needs some definition. ISO9001 CERTIFICATION Because of the job I do and the need to make quick and effective contributions to a client’s business, I will always refer back to the things that will help clients sell more of what they do; in this case I have no hesitation in mentioning ISO9001. This is the international standard that describes good administrative practice and if an organisation holds ISO9001 certification from the right people it is definitive proof that many things including customer service are in order. At this point I am anticipating that readers might be groaning about administrative burden and certification and ‘why cant we just do good landscaping any more?’, but please hear me out as I can as good as guarantee that this will help you sell into a better market. ISO9001 requires you to clearly demonstrate: ● How do you know that what you are doing is exactly what the customer wants? ● How do you make sure that you deal with

questions and incidents in a timely and appropriate manner? ● How do you pro-actively seek feedback on your performance from your customers and how does that feedback result in your future performance being better? Don’t just read these points, think about them for a minute and ask yourself how you do it and how you could prove to me that you do using some sort of evidence? On the second point, I have seen many examples where a company has made a mistake but has then gone on to astonish the customer by putting it right properly. They have received more praise than if they had done it right in the first place. I wonder whether this is because a customer’s expectations are that any point they raise will result in a confrontation. Perhaps the general low expectation, that service providers will deal with things well, is a benefit to those of us who have it taken care of? I hope this article has stimulated some thought and as ever if you need any help, please give me a call.

ABOUT PAUL ELCOAT Paul Elcoat is the founder of Elcoat Limited based in South Northamptonshire and works as an advisor to many companies in the landscape and tree industries. Since 2005 he has specialised in helping small contractors to get everything in place to increase sales and win contracts. He started his career in amenity horticulture and developed an interest in trees. He has been a climbing arborist, NPTC Assessor and

Verifier and up until the establishment of his own company he was a director for a large vegetation management contractor serving the domestic, highway and railway sectors. With an MBA, qualifications in health and safety and as a Chartered Environmentalist, he has the rare ability to turn corporate responsibility into increased revenue. Paul would be happy to take questions or comments from readers by email: paul@paulelcoat.co.uk or telephone 020 7193 5611 / 07800 615 900.

www.pro-landscaper.co.uk


Timber Decking

17

ALL

When considering a professional decking installation, either for domestic or commercial use, do you always specify 21mm thickness hardwood timber? asks Karl Harrison.

DECKSONHAND

21mm hardwood decking 21mm Ipe, Kurupay or Teak – perhaps most durability class 1 timbers would be acceptable for the majority of installations, although in some cases thicker timber is more appropriate. The advantages of 21mm hardwood timber is that it will suit a wide range of applications, is cost-effective and when installed correctly will provide a stable area for loads up to 4kN. For structural calculations always consult the timber deck, joist and beam span charts from TRADA. In short, the deck span should not exceed 400mm for domestic or 300mm for commercial. 28mm hardwood decking 28mm Massaranduba or Lapacho – again there are many different decking hardwood species to choose from. As the thickness increases, so does the price, but there are positives for this increased thickness. Enhanced longevity, increased board width, wider joists span (500mm/400mm) and quicker installation. This is the intermediate board thickness usually used for increased foot traffic or the large garden party deck. This board thickness should be considered for pubs and restaurants; the thicker the board the more durability you are going to have. Now we are increasing the decking thickness we should perhaps consider is it worth installing over a standard treated pine sub-structure? Hardwood timber subframe

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would be advantageous as the increase of longevity in the thicker board will surely last longer than the substructure; why not have a hardwood substructure that will last the same? 35mm hardwood decking 35mm thickness, Elondo or Merbau – the supreme and highest quality decking material available. This ultra-thickness is only attained by using the very highest quality and select raw timber materials. This timber is rather expensive and a once-in-a-lifetime install. Once installed over a hardwood timber substructure, using stainless steel fixings, this decking will outlive all other timber decking. It is by far the most durable and will take the severest of punishments of heavy foot traffic and is suitable for all marine applications. The substructure joists centres can now be as much as 600mm making an easy option for balconies with steels that are

already in place at these wider intervals. The stability of this timber is in a class of its own and has been supplied to some of the world’s largest and most luxurious installations. The thickest decking that Exterior Decking has supplied is 46mm thickness in Ipe for a luxury project in Nice, France; that was an exception. For more details of the origin and evolution of contemporary outdoor wooden flooring, consult Exterpark by Exterior Decking. Tip of the month Why not rebate the top section of your post to take the beam? This will ensure a “no failure” of the mechanical fixing between beam and post; as the beam is now sat on a ledge how can it fail? You are still required to provide a fixing between the two sections, but this way it allows for a smaller coach bolt assembly and the assurance that this construction will last a long time.

ABOUT KARL HARRISON Coming from an ex tensive landscape background, and following 12 years military service in the RAF, Karl Harrison (IEng MIET GCGI) returned to his roots and now works for Exterior Solutions Ltd with his wife Lana. Karl offers expert decking advice and the company is the sole UK distributor for high-end timber

decking manufactured by Exterpark. The company is growing year on year and it is providing the widest range of timber decking products across the UK to companies requiring from 30m2 to 8,000m2. Visit the website www.exteriordecking. co.uk for more information or contact Lana on 01494722204.

February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2


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Let’s Hear it From...

19

BILL TROTMAN

Managing Director, Continental Landscapes

We visited the Oxford head office to ask the MD of Continental Landscapes, one of the biggest companies in the UK industry, about his company. How long have you been at Continental Landscapes and where were you before? I’ve been working in the industry for more than 40 years and at Continental as MD for the past four years. I worked in a garden centre when I was at school and started work for Bolton Council when I left school. I went to Lancashire College of Agriculture for three years, got a diploma in Horticulture, then worked at Salford for many years as the Parks Manager. I have done a number of technical and managerial jobs along the way. I moved to Livingston in Scotland working for the local development corporation. Where are you based now? I live in Scotland and I have done for the past 19 years. We built our own house in the West Lothian countryside. We bought an old farm that was broken down and created what we thought was our long-term home. We built a five-bedroom house with open views over the countryside. I had a hand in most of the building works that went on in the house. At that time, I was in work for 7.30am, finishing at 4.30pm then putting my boiler suit on and going down to the site. That was every night, holiday and weekend. I was working seven days a week from dawn to

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way past dusk. We ended up with a house that was in the planning for more than seven years. It was at this point, partway through the construction, that I had the chance to take over as Managing Director at Continental Landscapes. So at the time you lived in Scotland? Yes, I was driving down early on Monday. Then Friday I would drive back up, put the boiler suit back on and get painting. The Continental you knew then, was it just a smaller version of what it is now? Continental Landscapes started in 1989, following the introduction of Compulsive Competitive Tendering. We are a subsidiary company of Krinkels, a Netherlands-based family

company. Leo Krinkels started things off 50 years ago, and he is still the major shareholder. The group turns over approximately €180 million per year. We have sister companies in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France and Poland. We’re about 25% of the overall business and a fairly major player in the Krinkels group. Is there a quarterly board meeting with all the companies involved, or is it just the Krinkels family that knows what is going on in the different companies? We have a quarterly board meeting here in the UK with the holding company, which is principally the two executive group directors together with my senior team. They do the same with all the different companies within the group. ➧

February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2


20

Let’s Hear it From...

When you were running the Scotland office, how much influence did head office have? I was fairly autonomous as the business in Scotland was different from the rest of the company. We worked hard and we worked smart and you have to do both these to succeed in this very competitive industry. Our customers were many and varied and spread throughout the Scottish mainland with repeat business being essential for long-term survival. What pulled you to Oxford and the Managing Director role? I am passionate about this company and the opportunity was my chance to help create a solid business embracing my three core objectives: providing a safe and healthy workplace; an effective service for our clients; and a business that is solid and profitable for our shareholders. What was the vision? We have been 50 years in the making as Krinkels and my vision is to build the foundations for our people to have another 50 years of good employment. I want our employees to want to work for us for a lifetime, rather than thinking this is a short-term step then to move on elsewhere. They need to see that they can start at the bottom and work their way through; if they have the drive, the enthusiasm and the ability. Does each of the different regions have its own managers? Yes, we have around 20 depots in varying sizes. Some are main offices depending on the February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2

size of the contract or contracts they have responsibility for. Others are satellites, bases which we use as “lock-up” depots to service our more distant clients. How many core staff do you have overall and how do you retain them? We go from about 750-900 depending on the season and work requirements. We attempt to motivate our staff by a wide range of internal and external training opportunities. We are an accredited Investor in People in Scotland and we are currently working towards accreditation for the rest of the UK. This reflects in our ability to achieve industry recognition in regional and national awards. This year we have been part of the award of 42 Green Flags and overall winner of London in Bloom together with a variety of In Bloom awards around the country. How much, in terms of staffing and buying products/equipment, is done centrally? The bulk of purchasing is done at depot level, but we have a national structure to ensure corporate responsibility. We have a monthly contract review meeting with each of the contract managers to monitor progress, pass information and to engender teamwork. We have sophisticated IT, called the ATAK system. This deals with the bulk of our financial activities but gives us the ability to track most of our contractual activities and work planning. We build on to that all the asset information we can. Every piece of our machinery has a code number and we can follow that all the way through the life of the asset at the click of a button.

Do you see the cuts to local authorities as an opportunity? This is a difficult time for all in local authorities and all who provide services from the private sector. There will be opportunities for both the public and private sectors to benefit if good practices are grasped and implemented. Would you ever put in a tender knowing you’re not going to make money on it? We are not in business to make losses, but we may tender for something we initially thought we wouldn’t make any money on but had the potential to make a reasonable rate of return over

I want our employees to want to work for us for a lifetime, rather than thinking this is a shortterm step then to move on elsewhere. the period of the contract. If we can’t make money out of an activity then it is not the right business for us, so we leave it for somebody else to do. What do you think about the local authorities that put things out for tender, get all these informative documents then end up keeping the work in-house? All the costs of us tendering are worthwhile because we view the collective tendering approach to be an opportunity for our staff to be involved in a greater variety of activities and to work with other members of our staff from www.pro-landscaper.co.uk


Let’s Hear it From...

21

Continental performs landscape construction and maintenance services nationwide, employing between 750 and 900 staff across its 20 depots and achieving regional and national awards.

around the country. This enables team building and comradeship, which is a service you’d pay for someone else to provide. If Local Authorities do keep work in house following the tendering exercise then so be it, that’s their prerogative. But that document is your intellectual property that they can then use. You don’t think they should pay you for tendering like they do in other markets? It would be good to be paid for the tendered information, but how do you put your price on it? It simply won’t happen. Where is the business growth for your company? Are there any more tenders you will go for? The larger business opportunities are not coming through as fast as we’d have liked. I’m very keen on us getting into the street cleansing and other environmental activities. We are at the junior end of this market, and we have to build a track record of experience for us to get on to final tender lists. We can tick all the boxes on the prequalification questionnaires, but local authorities then do a shortlist. The most experienced will occupy the priority positions. So it is a long process to gain the experience to enable regular shortlist acceptance. We can demonstrate that we can diversify and undertake a quality service for our clients. We just apply the same principles of quality assurance. All our depots are ISO9001 accredited which assists us in maintaining this quality. We already have seven sites accredited to ISO14001 – we began at head office then moved on, with three more in the making for 2012. www.pro-landscaper.co.uk

Are Contract Managers rewarded above their salary in terms of performancerelated pay? We pay reasonably well within this industry. I couldn’t justify a statement to say we pay the best in the sector, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we are at the top end. We have to be careful about incentives because it is not a simple exercise to assess accomplishment objectively given the diverse circumstances. We pay the staff a decent salary, and pay an extra premium for going the extra mile. We have a team of good quality management staff whom I appreciate very much for their efforts. How much training do you give staff knowing that they might disappear in October or November? We have an obligation to give full and proper induction training and job training to a level of competence appropriate for the tasks they undertake. We have an intensive, comprehensive induction programme with internal and external training providers. I have set up a national forum of managers that participate on our risk management teams, who co-ordinate our management of health and safety systems, and so on. As a result, our insurance premiums have reduced dramatically and the savings have been reinvested in our training budgets. What is the turnover of the UK business currently? We will probably top £30 million this year and indications are that we will at least maintain that level through our next trading year.

So what are the trends for next year? There will be a very different method of procurement in the future following the local authority restructuring as a result of the current austerity measures. There will be different people involved in the processes and they may well have different objectives at the end of it. That might not be all bad and these opportunities need to be seized by all the stakeholders to produce new and better ways of working for the future in the services we are passionate about providing. Other than your house building, what do you like to do to relax? My very limited spare time is for my family. I also enjoy game fishing and watching rugby league. Leeds Rhinos are my team. I know, that is a bit strange for a Lancashire man to support a Yorkshire team. It has been a pleasure talking to you Bill and finding out more about yourself and Continental Landscapes. I’ll know where to go for travel advice and which parts of the M6 to avoid if I need to find the quickest route from Oxford to Edinburgh.

contact Continental Landscapes Ltd Wychwood House, Landscape Close, Weston on the Green, Bicester, Oxfordshire OX25 3SX Tel: 01869 344000 Email: info@continental-landscapes.co.uk Web: www.continental-landscapes.co.uk

February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2


Running alongside

Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire

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• Free learning - Two days of free education designed to keep you up to date with the latest designs, techniques, legislation and policies affecting landscaping today. • Discover what’s new - Over 80 leading providers showcasing the very latest the industry has to offer. • Meet the experts – Network and exchange ideas with professionals from leading associations. • Live demos – See equipment and tools in action in the live demonstration area. • Free advice – Speak to specialist business advisors in the dedicated Business Zone and find out how best to manage and improve your business.

Find out more at www.balishow.co.uk February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2

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Portfolio

FINER DINING Claudia de Yong Garden Design A tame but natural-style garden with a showcase eating area was what the client ordered at this Wimbledon semi. www.pro-landscaper.co.uk

29

ABOUT CLAUDIA DE YONG Claudia de Yong Garden Design launched in 2002 following the request to design a show garden for Dorset Water Lily Company. She went on to design five more for them at Hampton Court Flower Show winning gold and best in show (Tudor Rose). Claudia has also designed many private gardens in London and the South of England for a prestigious list of clients. Based in London and Sussex, she specialises in water and romantic landscapes. Plants are hand selected and sourced from specialist nurseries. She has an in-house team who are experts within their field at bringing her creations to life.

➧ February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2


24

Portfolio

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he brief was a large Victorian semidetached house in South Wimbledon with an overgrown garden and a very uninteresting terraced patio which the owners were not using properly or were happy with. Recently a large kitchen extension had been added and there was the need to have a nice eating area so that they could use the French doors on the side. We cleared the whole area, removed the paving, changed the levels and re-designed the overgrown ower beds. During the work a large portion of the Mulberry Tree fell down and we had to adjust the paved area. We laid clay brick pavers with a small area of paving in the centre for the table to sit neatly on. The pavers extended round the house to form a path along the back of the kitchen in order to join the side extension. A new trellis was added to screen next door and scented climbers added. A combination of herbs, climbers and soft

muted perennials made the whole area a much more inviting and welcoming place to sit out and enjoy family meals. The rest of the garden was cleared and redesigned which included a hand-forged pergola, stone path and dry-stone wall to the east side with fruit trees in the lawn to form a small orchard. RUSTIC FEATURES A swing seat at the back was nestled between cob nut trees and silver birch. The client had wanted as many edible plants as possible to be within the borders so her young sons could forage. Indeed, the client wished to create a tame but natural-style garden within London and asked us to source rustic features which I do regularly travelling all over for my clients. A winding path was created and a handmade metal pergola was covered in scented climbers which led to the boys tree house. This was anked on two sides by buxus balls. To one side

A combination of herbs, climbers and soft muted perennials made the whole area a much more inviting and welcoming place to sit out and enjoy family meals.

1 Before work began (inset) and after. 2 The natural-style garden includes fruit trees in the lawn to form a small orchard. 3 and 4 Overgrown bed and paving

were replaced with a winding path and replanted bed edged with dry stone wall. 5 Extra parking space was created front of house and dry stone walling used.

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a dry stone wall was built and planted with herbaceous perennials and shrubs as well as specimen plants like cercis canadensis forest pansy and cornus kousa, as well as many herbs and edible fruits. Behind the swing seat, the existing playhouse was given a much-needed facelift and planting underneath and around the frame with fruit such as blackberries and raspberries as well as blueberries. A path was made to wind round the back of the area with new taxus hedging hiding an existing shed. A hazel arch was added across the back path to the east of the swing seat. FRONT OF HOUSE At the front of the property we were asked to create a larger parking area and realign the unsightly existing bed. We used more dry stone walling to tie in with the rear, cleared the whole area and replanted. We kept the existing hedge but tidied it up

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REFERENCES Design and landscaping Claudia de Yong Garden Design Tel: 07881 622825 Email: claudia.deyong@ virgin.net Web: www.laudiadeyong. com thegardenspot@twitter. com

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even though within it there were about six different species of plants, which the client wanted to keep for the birds. We also planted three large buxus in the gravel to the front of the door to the property and added climbers around the front of the house. The client was extremely happy with the result in such a small amount of time, the garden was transformed within seven weeks and we are going back to add a rustic wooden pergola over the patio area with climbing plants, as well as more planting throughout the season. The total area for the rear was about 330m2, the front 20m2 and the approximate cost was ÂŁ35,000.

Dry stone walling Knockdown Stone Halfway Bush Farm, Knockdown, Tetbury,

Gloucestershire GL8 8QY Tel: 01666 840443 Email: knockdownstone @talk21.com Web: www. knockdownstonecotswold-stone.com

Forged pergola Fenland Ironworks Ltd Unit 18A, Highlode Industrial Estate, Ramsey, Cambs PE26 2RB Tel: 01487 814049

Email: info@ fenlandironworks.co.uk Web: www.serious gardener.co.uk

Trellis Quercus UK Ltd The Laurels, Queen St, Keinton Mandeville Somerset TA11 6EG Tel: 01458 223378 Email: sales@quercus fencing.co.uk Web: www.quercus fencing.co.uk

Hazel arch Wildwood Charcoal and Coppice Warehand Cottages, 53 Stane Street, Halnaker, West Sussex PO18 0NF Tel: 01243 778106 Email: wildwood coppice@btinternet.com Web: www.coppiceproducts.co.uk Clay pavers Web: www.baksteen.nl

February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2


MADE IN CHELSEA

Bartholomew Landscaping Bartholomew transformed an apartment terrace in west London into an impressive garden. February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2

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ABOUT BARTHOLOMEW LANDSCAPING Bartholomew has been creating uniquely tailored gardens since 1989. The company has offices in Victoria and Fulham and a team of more than 40 skilled individuals who can create a stunning outdoor space – their aim is to create a garden environment that never ceases to excite the senses. The company’s expertise is unrivalled, demonstrated by the many top awards it has received in recent years. www.pro-landscaper.co.uk

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Portfolio

artholomew Landscaping was contacted and commissioned directly by the client on a design and installation basis, to deal with what could only be described as a colossal space in the heart of Chelsea. The overall budget for design and installation was ÂŁ150,000. This installation was particularly complicated with no access available through this apartment, therefore, all materials had to be craned from the ground floor on to the terrace, which involved road closure. As we had a tight six-week installation schedule with the necessary permissions for road closure taking up to eight weeks, the whole operation required a precise, February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2

organised design team in terms of procuring all materials prior to the lift, with no room for error. Bartholomew’s brief was to transform this 80m2 wall-to-wall paved terrace into an all-year-round stunning roof garden: as the space was some 7m in height, a variety of mature trees were introduced in bespoke containers to provide a more intimate feel. The paving surface was then divided up into a series of rooms for dining, comfortable lounge seating and bar facility. The specific areas are defined with hardwood decking surfaces that broke up the monotony of the existing granite paving. A bespoke bar area was designed and built with integral fridge, sink unit and mixer tap,

There was no access available through this apartment, therefore, all of the materials had to be craned from the ground floor on to the terrace, which involved road closure.

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1 The separate dining and lounge areas are deďŹ ned with hardwood decking and mature trees have been used to give an intimate feel. 2 and 3 Photos taken before and after. 4 Landscape concept plan drawing.

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overhead illumination was from beautifully handcrafted Moroccan lamps. Several different lighting moods were created, which include strip lighting to illuminate surfaces, up-lighters for plants and trees, and wall lights. A feature wall was created using four backlit panels embossed with the outline of a winter birch tree. Overhead heaters provide warmth for all-year-round use. A computer-controlled irrigation system was installed discreetly through the base of all planters. The client was delighted with the overall transformation and our BALI award-winning maintenance team was awarded the annual maintenance contract. www.pro-landscaper.co.uk

REFERENCES Bartholomew Landscaping 59 Warwick Way, London SW1V 1QR Tel: 020 7931 8685 Email: gardens@ bartholomewlandscaping. com Web: www.bartholomew landscaping.com

Mature trees and plants Griffin Nurseries New Barn Farm, Rake Road Milland, Liphook, Hants GU30 7JU

Tel: 01428 741655 Email: enquiries@ griffinnurseries.co.uk Web: www. griffinnurseries.co.uk Deepdale Trees Ltd Tithe Farm, Hatley Road, Potton, Sandy, Beds SG19 2DX Tel: 01767 262636 Email: mail@deepdaletrees.co.uk Web: www.deepdaletrees.co.uk Barcham Trees Plc Eye Hill Drove, Ely,

Cambridgeshire CB7 5XF Tel: 01353-720748 Email: sales@ barchamtrees.co.uk Web: www.barcham. co.uk

Light fittings Landscape Plus Lyncroft Business Park, Perrott’s Brook, Cirencester, Glos GL7 7BW Tel: 01285 832100 Email: help@ landscapeplus.com

Web: www.landscape plus.com

Crane company Lee Lifting Services Ltd Unit 5, Falcon Way, North Feltham Trading Estate, Feltham, Middlesex TW14 0XJ Tel: 0208 890 1280 Email: info@leelifting. co.uk Web: www.leelifting.co.uk All other items manufactured or built by Bartholomew Landscaping

February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2


INSIDEOUT

ABOUT LUCY BRAVINGTON DESIGNER LANDSCAPES Garden designer Lucy Bravington creates schemes for small urban courtyards to large rural estates. She spent two years as in-house designer for a renowned RHS Gold award-winning landscaper, working on a variety of projects and gaining project management experience. During this time she trained in garden design at the horticultural college in Pershore, developing her own unique style. Lucy has also gained a Business Commerce degree at The University of Birmingham. She set up Lucy Bravington Designer Landscapes in 2009.Visit www.lucybravington.com. February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2

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Lucy Bravington Designer Landscapes The garden designer was tasked with creating an additional family room – outdoors. THE BRIEF My client asked me to design a courtyard garden (approximately 26m2) to extend their home and provide an extra room to their stunning townhouse. With a contemporary clean interior style they wanted a stylish uncluttered garden to entertain and allow their young son to explore and enjoy wildlife. Like many people, they thought the possibilities were quite limited for a courtyard. Located in the historic town of Warwick the garden had been neglected and needed life injected back into it. There was little to invite the family outdoors to enjoy the space and I looked forward to changing this. THE DESIGN SOLUTION I love the variety of my work, in that one day I can be designing a scheme for 7 acres in a rural location and the next I can be designing a small courtyard scheme like this. Courtyards are fantastic, as a garden ‘room’ can be achieved much more easily than with a large space which may require several large hedges to break it up. Even in this small space I aimed to create more than one area; an area to dine and entertain and another area to sit and relax with a book. I used hardwood deck outside the double doors to extend the interior floor style outdoors. This gave an almost seamless link to the courtyard from the living room. The deck provided ample space for a table and chairs to eat out on a warm evening. Here the travertine globe water feature linked the deck to the travertine paving. Its subtle sounds didn’t overpower the small space and with no open water it allowed my clients son to play in safety. The white rendered walls provided space for tiered, low maintenance planting. White was chosen to brighten the garden and continue the clean, contemporary feel. My clients were not keen gardeners but liked the mix of grasses, evergreens and herbaceous plants for colour 1 The ‘old back yard’ before work began. 2 Plantings such as Stipa tenuissima were used to add movement.

3 The hardwood deck seamlessly extends the interior floor style outdoors. 4 Concept design plan drawing.

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when I showed them images of my plant choices. Box spheres worked with all the curves included in the scheme, Stipa tenuissima added movement as did Verbena bonariensis and Rudbeckia was chosen for its long flowering season and to attract bees and butterflies to the space. The project was built by Richard Matthews of RM Landscapes in three weeks and cost approximately £5,000.

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WHAT THE CLIENT SAID ‘‘ We never thought a space this small could look so

good. Now it feels and looks twice the size. Lucy fulfilled the brief in providing a garden that is an extension of our living space. Neither of us are keen gardeners so it was vital the planting was low maintenance, so far this has been the case. We’d recommend Lucy to anybody and we are really thrilled that she has turned our ‘old back yard’ into a contemporary urban garden. ’’

REFERENCES Design and project management Lucy Bravington Designer Landscapes 23 St Andrews Crescent, Stratfordupon-Avon, Warwickshire CV37 9QL Tel: 07855 940402 Web: www.lucy bravington.com Email: lucy@lucy bravington.com Construction RM Landscapes 8 Old School Mead, Bidford-on-Avon,

Warwickshire B50 4AW Tel: 07787 145391 Web: www.rm landscapes.co.uk Email: info@rm landscapes.co.uk

Timber Whitmore’s Timber Company Limited Main Road, Claybrooke Magna, Leicestershire LE17 5AQ Tel: 01455 209121 Web: www.whitmores. co.uk Email: esales@ whitmores.co.uk

Water feature, soil and plants Earlswood Nurseries Ltd Forshaw Heath Road, Earlswood, Solihull, West Midlands B94 5JU Tel: 01564 702314 Web: www.earlswood nurseries.co.uk Email: marketing@ earlswoodglc.co.uk Steel edging MRK Services Unit 97, Northwick Business Centre, Blockley, near Moreton in Marsh, Glos GL56 9RF

Tel: 01386 700912 Web: www.mrkservices. co.uk

Paving and building materials Stockscape Unit 25, Long Marston Industrial Estate, Long Marston, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 8QR Tel: 0845 050 5592 Web: www.stockscape. co.uk Email: enq@stockscape. co.uk

February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2


HortiGran Fertilisers for landscaping professionals

HortiGran Beds and Borders – 10-11-15+TE

HortiGran Treeplanter – 12-20-8+TE

quality, semi-organic, slow release fertilisers • High from 3 – 12 months • Longevities Supplied in 10Kg buckets and 20Kg bags • Clear application rates on label • Full on-site technical service if required •

Buy direct from Hortifeeds by Credit/Debit Card. No minimum order quantity.

For more information or to place an order call Hortifeeds on 01522 704404 www.hortifeeds.co.uk

February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2

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Plants

s the introduction of new plants really the lifeblood of our industry? Or, as the wellknown plantsman Adrian Bloom points out, is the constant influx of too many new and untested plants an unnecessary distraction? A large number of landscapers will tend to agree with him pointing out that dependability, bulk purchase of consistent quality and price are far more important than novelty. But surely we also have to be aware of criticism – yet another boring supermarket car park. Fashion in our industry has a long cycle, unlike clothing, and massed lavender and grasses were innovative five years ago. It is also worth stressing, even in today’s cost-conscious economic climate, that price is only one part of value for money. So where on the spectrum of novelty or tried and tested do you lie? Always waiting for the new Choisyia ‘Aztec Pearl’ or risking expensive replacements but willing to give it a go. At this point many landscapers will sit back and say ‘I plant what is on the specification, it is the designers who www.pro-landscaper.co.uk

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Many landscapers agree that consistent quality and price of plants and trees are far more important than novelty – but are the traditional tried and tested varieties always the best choice? Andy Boorman reports. are boring’. Fair point, but that is another story. Novelty is not just about following the latest design or Chelsea Flower Show-inspired fashion. External factors often force change, for example horse chestnut leaf miner and the more serious bleeding canker have seen the common horse chestnut being written off as a landscape and street tree. The similar Indian horse chestnut, Aesculus indica (pictured above), could be a good replacement, as it seems to be more or less resistant to both of the problems. It has been successfully grown in this country for many years and even produces a decent conker for children. But a recent enquiry asking for only 500 larger impact specimens got the reply: “Sold out for this

year, will smaller plants do?” It may also be tarred with same brush as the doomed common horse chestnut. How many New Zealand Cabbage trees were dug up in the summer after being cut down by the cold weather last winter? Most that survived both the winter and the summer cull are growing back vigorously, but have lost their iconic shape. Mind you, those on sale now should be of a hardier provenance, but again has the plant lost its reputation? BUDGETARY CONSTRAINTS Reduced client budgets may force an emphasis on the use of the tried and tested. The street trees, Pyrus ‘Chanticleer’ and Acer x freemanii are still as popular as ever. All those acres of Viburnum ➧ February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2


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davidii, Elaeagnus and Euonymus have certainly added to the populations of Vine Weevil. New pest the lavender beetle has recently benefited from the fashion of massed lavenders. There is a strong voice seriously questioning the monoculture approach and now advocate a greater diversity in planting. MARKET RESEARCH Research on the hardy nursery stock industry by Sarah Curtis, Product Development Manager, Delamore Young Plants, carried out while she was studying at Writtle College Essex, also highlighted an ambivalence to novelty. Curtis also found that there was a distinct lack of serious market research and that growers were often unaware or ignored evidence. Business models evolved that were largely independent of external

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currently that are justifying higher prices? Payment for the royalties raises the price for producers, is a legal requirement, and cannot usually be offset when producing cheaper lines for mass planting. What reasons, if any, would encourage a landscaper to pay more for bulkpurchased plants? More vigorous varieties would require fewer plants, be quicker to establish and therefore less likely to require replanting. Similarly, enhanced or better drought resistance will be a major selling point. However, these factors could just defer cost to maintenance, which will need pointing out to clients. Clearly pest- and disease-resistance and more floriferous varieties both add value. The problem is often how to get this over to users of large volume and then feed back to bulk producers. It is easier for plant breeders and producers

More vigorous varieties need fewer plants, establish quicker and replanting is less likely. But this could just defer cost to maintenance, which needs pointing out to clients. factors and often reflected internal preferences and hunches of owners and managers. Do we see echoes of this in the landscape industry? Innovative breeders and plant producers tended to be fairly large scale, but did not specialise in the bulk production of comparatively few lines and carry a wide range of high-value products. They also sell on to more diverse outlets, which did include wholesale cash and carry and some direct sales to landscapers. This is worrying for our industry as one of our big markets is massed ‘plant once’ and if innovative breeders and producers have no interest in this where will diversification come from? What incentive is there for breeders to pay much attention to mass plantings where landscapers are typically looking to buy for as little as possible and with a lot fewer projects February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2

to work with landscapers working in high-value, low-volume markets. Clients, designers and landscapers are all looking for a perception of high value, where novelty is a key factor. More floriferous plants with a wide palette of colours, good leaf texture and interesting forms are some of the key factors. However, low maintenance can still be a key. Usually all the consumers of the landscape services are relatively knowledgeable and can be close to breeders and producers. Many production companies are willing to make novel varieties available to designers who ‘demand’ them, as Sarah Curtis notes, “by offering more of the hardier floriferous stock such as: Art Deco Osteospermum, extensive ranges of hardy Verbena and Penstemon, wildlife-friendly species and vigorously spreading perennials such as Centaurea ‘Silver Feather’,

1 Typical contemporary bedding. 2 Novel variety the Centaurea ‘Silver Feather’plant, a vigorously spreading perennial. 3 Sarah Curtis of

Delamore Young Plants – her research revealed that growers’ ranges often ignored demand and reflected internal preferences of managers/owners.

to name but a few. With brighter, more contemporary colours we feel we are able to offer our landscape customers better value and commercially viable ranges.” In common with a lot of producers and outlets, Delamore has specific schemes for landscapers, for example, exclusive ranges and continuing to make novel new varieties more accessible to the higher value small consumer market. BETTER INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION Plant breeders could help the landscape industry if they knew better what was required. There is a distinct lack of industry association between landscapers and plant breeders/producers. The latter try to provide landscapers with better performing plants, however, do they really know what they require? On the other hand, do landscapers appreciate what is required in producing new plants? In future, large landscapers particularly should be encouraged to work closer with breeders and producers. Quality schemes are undertaken for gardeners by the RHS through its AGM scheme and also by Gardening Which. Perhaps as a start, a formal scheme is not needed, but would it be possible for landscapers to feed back plant performance data to their producers? In exchange, the producers and breeders could offer partially subsidised or even free plants to landscapers willing to trial the novel in exchange for information? Just a thought.

ABOUT ANDY BOORMAN Andy Boorman is a lecturer and consultant in landscape management based in Essex. He has been making and researching meadow style plantings for more than 10 years. andrew.boorman1@btinternet.com

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LANDSCAPE PLANTING ? Crowders Nurseries is one of the foremost suppliers, to many BALI Award Winners, of quality nursery stock. From cell grown trees to transplants, container grown shrubs to standard trees – we can supply all your needs. For more information contact Tom Owen at Crowders Nurseries

Crowders Nurseries Lincoln Road, Horncastle, Lincolnshire, LN9 5LZ Tel: 01507 525000 Fax 01507 524000 Email: sales@crowders.co.uk www.crowders.co.uk

Growing through caring

Delivering quality

trees & shrubs to your designs

Professional servicing of complex plants lists Making

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your life easier and increasing your profit February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2


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Latest Kit – Plants and Seeds

Pictorial Meadows’ seed mixes create sumptuous visual effects that will inject drama into largescale commercial landscapes and create sparkling, complex and intricate pictures at the very smallest of scales. They provide a colourful, wildlife-friendly replacement for mown grass, can be used more formally in planting beds or provide colour between planted shrubs, trees and perennials. The seed mixtures have been used successfully in urban parks, private gardens, school grounds, play areas, urban highways, verges and roundabouts. Pictorial Meadows’

seeds will flower and provide visual interest over an extremely long period of time (beginning

Masses of beautiful blooms are guaranteed to create an eyecatching display by providing cascades of colour when many flowers are past their best. With long stems and lasting quality, these Dahlias are specially selected by Marshalls with cut-flower enthusiasts in

in the summer and finishing in late autumn). www.pictorialmeadows.co.uk

A taller and more vigorous Alyssum than most with an open, natural growth habit. Ideal as a filler in beds and borders, the plants are drought tolerant and attractive to beneficial insects and birds. The flowers also produce a strong honeylike smell. Alyssum from Suttons can grow up to 20-25cm in height and is a hardy annual. An easy-to-grow, fragrant choice for edging. Sow February to March under glass to flower June-September; or sow April to May outdoors. www.suttons.co.uk/seeds

mind. The more that you cut them, the more they will grow. Dahlias will grow in virtually any location in any soil, however, they relish good, loamy, welldrained soil and lots of sunshine. Selected dahlias will grow 3-4ft/90-120cm tall. www.marshalls-seeds.co.uk

Jelitto considers hollyhocks one of the most popular, recognisable and easy-to-grow perennials. The decorative Fig leaf hollyhock, a hardy Siberian species, is hard to miss. The curvy leaves are very distinctive but Jelitto’s ‘Las Vegas’ turns heads for a second look. The saucer-shaped parchment-like blossoms shine like the bright colorful lights of Vegas. And there is another payoff. This beauty is a bit shorter than most fig leaf hollyhock strains and the decorative lobed leaves climb all the way up the sturdy stems. Las Vegas is longer lived than the typical biennial Hollyhocks, and will flower the first year from seed if started early. www.jelitto.com

February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2

Thompson & Morgan was over the moon after winning a major industry award for the second time. The result of more than seven years of specialist breeding work and a world exclusive, T&M’s Buddleja ‘Buzz’ was named the Best New Plant Variety at the 2010 Grower of the Year Awards

– showing major recognition for this ground-breaking new introduction. Already a runaway success with T&M customers, Buzz is the first Buddleja specifically bred to be a dwarf variety. Ideal for growing in patio pots and containers, Buzz is quite unlike traditional Buddleja plants, which have gained a reputation for growing too tall and becoming unruly. With its compact nature, Buddleja Buzz still boasts all the qualities its larger cousins are famous for, such as the huge sprays of pretty flowers that are known for attracting butterflies and wildlife into the garden. The compact plants will be smothered in flowers all summer long and will grow to just 3ft high. www.thompson-morgan.com www.pro-landscaper.co.uk


N U R S E R I E S

green

making London

T 01322 662315 E sales@wyevale-east.co.uk W www.wyevale-east.co.uk

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February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2


erhaps one of the most significant events, in arboriculture/urban forestry, comes from the West Country. This is the publication of the Torbay report on its urban forest. Much has been written about i-Tree, the United States Forestry Service’s public domain software which allows a comprehensive examination of the whole urban forest both publicly and privately owned. Until now the only examples of the method in practice have come from the US. While impressive results have been seen they remain distant in respect of the UK and therefore their relevance has been questioned in some quarters. Torbay Council tree manager Neil Coish and Hi Line Arboricultural Consultancy’s Kenton Rogers have been instrumental in conducting the ground surveys necessary and gathering the background data necessary to complete the report. This report opens up the possibility of more comprehensive valuation of the scope, value and benefits of the urban forest than February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2

saw subject Current significant events in arboriculture, by Keith Sacre. has previously been available in the UK. The report provides information on the make up of the Torbay Urban Forest in terms of species mix, age class and location by land class, and gives a calculated structural value for the entire forest. In addition, there is a comprehensive valuation of the benefits provided by the urban forest, and those values are then expressed in monetary terms. Forests’ environmental benefits The report states that Torbay has an estimated urban tree population of 818,000 trees with a tree cover of 11.8%. It states that the structural value of the urban forest is £280 million with more than £5 million of stored carbon. It also states that Torbay’s urban forest contributes

£1,518,979 annually in pollution removal and £1,782,640 annually in carbon sequestration. The full significance of the report and the detail contained in it can’t be covered in full here, but to obtain a copy of the report contact krogers@hi-line.co.uk or keith@barcham trees.co.uk. There has also been a great deal of activity in respect of British Standards related to arboriculture. The long-awaited revision of BS 3998 Tree Work – Recommendations has now been published. The standard was first published in 1968 and first revised in 1989; this current revision is the third. The standard provides general recommendations for tree works from basic pruning work to decay. It also provides www.pro-landscaper.co.uk


Arboriculture

extensive detail on management options. The standard runs to just under 700 pages and has taken several years to complete with more than 700 representations from the 2008 consultation having been taken into consideration before publication. A full discussion on the report can be found on the Arboricultural Association’s website, www.trees.org.uk. The review group tasked with the review of BS 5837:2005, Trees in Relation to Construction – Recommendations, has just completed its detailed consideration of all the comments received as a result of the public consultation last year. More than 1,040 comments were received, the most common (40%) relating to Section 4 Feasibility: surveys and preliminary constraints and in particular to the proposals for the tree survey. The review group had tried to highlight the importance of young trees within the tree survey but the general response was that, while they were important, advice concerning young trees needs to be placed elsewhere in the document. The proposal to align the revised BS 5837 with the RIBA work stages was generally welcomed, although there were concerns which the group has sought to address, regarding the level of detail needed prior to a planning application being submitted. On that point, the review of the document has allowed references to planning applications to be used more sparingly, as the standard has a use where trees might be impacted by any development, not only that where planning permission is required. The method of calculating the root protection area (RPA) for single-stem trees remains unchanged from the previous document, although there is a chart in one of the appendices which makes it possible to look up the RPA and radius instead of having to do the calculation. The method of calculating the RPA for multi-stemmed trees has been simplified and there are a series of diagrams showing how to measure stem diameters of trees with bulges and low branches and so on. Landscaping has been moved from a separate section in the outer reaches of the document to now beng included in Section 5 Proposals: conception and design, recognising the www.pro-landscaper.co.uk

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Trees make an important contribution to urban habitat.

importance of structural landscaping in the built environment. There are mentions of climatechange adaptation, solar pv and a new section on subterranean excavations beneath trees, which is becoming increasingly commonplace in some of our more urban environments as a result of high land values. new standard The last of the British Standards relevant to arboriculture that is currently in discussion is BS 8546 Young Trees: From Nursery to Independence in the Landscape. This is currently being drafted with a date for consultation now set for October this year. Progress has been slow but is qualified by the fact that this is a completely new standard which aims to set the whole process of transplanting young trees into the landscape in a single context eliminating the fragmented approach which appears to predominate now. The standard will look at all aspects of what is viewed as a single process, including: policy, site evaluation, species selection, nursery production methods, despatch and haulage, planting and post-planting maintenance, through to final independence in the landscape. More details on the development of this standard can be obtained from myself, Keith Sacre, chair of the drafting panel, at keith@barchamtrees.co.uk – representations, thoughts or opinions are also welcome at any time during the drafting process. The National Trees Safety Group has also published its long-awaited report entitled ‘Common Sense Risk management of Trees: Guidance on trees and public safety in the UK for owners, managers and advisors.’ The aim of the group as outlined in the introduction has been to develop a nationally recognised approach to tree safety management and to provide guidance which is proportionate to the actual risk from trees. It states that its

position is based on five key principles: 1 Trees provide a wide range of benefits to society. 2 Trees are living organisms that naturally lose their branches or fail. 3 The overall risk to human safety is extremely low. 4 Tree owners have a legal duty of care. 5 Tree owners should have a balanced and proportionate approach to tree safety and management. The document which runs to more than 100 pages is a comprehensive overview and should be read by all those involved with tree management. The Arboricultural Association is involved in all of the above in numerous ways and continues to support and influence many aspects of arboriculture. Full details of these services can be found on the Arboricultural Association’s website. The Association also publishes a directory of accredited professional arboriculturists: Approved Contractors, who undertake tree surgery and other practical work; and Registered Consultants, who provide management and consultancy advice and opinion. Hard copy directories are available from the Association’s headquarters – telephone 01242 522152 or visit www.trees.org.uk and go to Find a Professional. Membership rates start at as little as £55 per year.

ABOUT keith sacre Keith Sacre, BSc (Hons) Arb, MCIFor is the sales Director for Barcham Trees and is also a member of the Arboricultural Association’s Media and Communications Committee, for which he is a representative on the Trees and Design Action Group.

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February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2

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Latest Kit – Arboriculture

The Timberwolf S426TDHB provides performance that has never before been available at such a competitive price. The Timberwolf S426TDHB meets the demand for a heavy-duty, professional shredder. Whether your problem is bulky green waste, tree brash, pallets, recycling, packaging materials, plastics, cardboard or contaminated timber, this versatile unit will save you time and money. Stunning performance on a wide variety of material makes this the shredder of choice for anyone with a commercial-sized waste problem and a tight budget. www.timberwolf-uk.com

Pellenc’s fixed pole and telescopic chainsaws are powerful, easy to handle and provide a recordholding chainsaw for use at height. With an output greater than a petrol motor of 30cm³ (equal to 1200W), the Selion Pole and Telescopic saws cut cleanly and with precision, thanks to the standard assembly of Oregon ¼-in chains, specifically designed for precision pruning. Extremely light and equipped with a +90°/-45° flexible head, the Selion Pole and Telescopic allows vertical and horizontal cutting, even at the foot of the tree. Similarly, the Pellenc ultra lightweight chain guide in composite material

The Makita UC3520A electric chainsaw has proved the best possible buy in a multi-brand chainsaw test of home and garden products. The Makita UC3520A scored 67%, the highest score of the 14 machines tested, which covered thorough trials of branch cutting, logging, vibration, noise, balance, manoeuvrability and convenience. The Makita UC3520A scored top marks and was awarded three, four and five stars for performance features. With winter now here the Makita UC3520A electric chainsaw would prove, without question, to be a useful and efficient help around the grounds. www.makitauk.com

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allows these chainsaws to twist flexibly and prevent breakages in the event of accidental catching. As with all other Pellenc products, the range of Selion saws benefit from

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the ultra-high-capacity technology of the ultra lithium battery and guarantees non-polluting, odourless operation. www.etesia.co.uk/pellenc

A key factor in STIHL’s top-handled popularity is great cutting performance, and users will not be disappointed with its new model, which offers a 15% improvement over its predecessor. The new 2-MIX engine drives consistent power to the saw chain, which is a new full-chisel tooth design for a fast and clean cut. Featuring STIHL’s Picco Super 3 (PS3) chain which has been designed specifically for professional tree maintenance; the new model combines exceptionally powerful cutting performance with low-vibration and low-kickback qualities – its bite is quick so it gives a clean and smooth cut. www.stihl.co.uk Cheltenham-based Severnside Safety is launching the top quality, competitively priced Francital range of protective clothing for chainsaw users, being distributed via approved dealers. The range includes ‘stretchy’ trousers in two styles – Everest in black and Sofly in Green/Grey – made of hard-wearing, waterrepellent, stretch outer materials that complement the lightweight protective materials used. Both feature removable braces/back flap and have matching soft shell jackets (non-protective). The new clothing range completes Sevsafe’s existing line products for protecting workers in forestry, arboriculture and other chainsaw-using industries, including chainsaw boots, helmets and gloves. www.sevsafe.co.uk

February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2


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Latest Kit – Sprayers

SCH (Supplies) Ltd has produced a saline salt sprayer to dispense liquid snow- and ice-melting products on to areas that require de-icing. Spraying liquid-melting products is more environmentally friendly and quicker than ordinary solid products, and in many cases considerably cheaper. With liquid saline, solid lumps of salt can’t be carried into shops, offices or homes on people’s shoes. The unit is skid-mounted and suitable for use on the back of flatbed trucks, pick-ups, or on vehicles such as the Gator (pictured). A quick nozzle change turns the unit into a conventional sprayer. www.schsupplies.co.uk

With non-native, invasive plants such as Japanese knotweed, giant hogweed and Himalayan balsam a continual horticultural problem for landscape architects and contractors, stem injection is being increasingly recognised as the most ecologically sound and cost-effective treatment. The method involves delivery of a small-measured dose of herbicide directly into each cane of the infestation, rather than just the surface, which allows the herbicide to translocate throughout the roots and rhizome of the plant. Because the stem injection is specific to the target species, the treatment can be completed in all weather conditions and near water without the environmental risk of spray drift, run-off or contamination of watercourses and other sensitive vegetation. Available to the UK market through Stem Injection Systems, this process is considerably more successful and significantly cheaper than traditional methods and is increasingly becoming the treatment of choice for more and more local authorities, developers and landscape contractors. ww.steminjectionsystems.com

Riverlynx Handlances use modern technology to provide excellent results in Controlled Droplet Application Weed Control. The Riverlynx Handlances are a safe, cost-effective, operator-friendly method of chemical application for municipal and amenity users. There are two lances available, the Eradicator and the Eliminator. Both lances feature a self calibrating pump for accurate dosage and have a rechargeable battery that provides a full day’s spraying. Riverlynx CDA Carrier is also available in 7.5-litre turtle packs allowing other conventional herbicides to be used for controlled droplet application. This carrier is non-hazardous and biodegradable and gives users a saving of up to 50% compared to premixed products. www.riverlynx.co.uk

February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2

Kuhn’s ControlSpot and ControlMix dosage systems treat clean water with either plant protection product or fertilisers immediately prior to the boom or lance, thereby improving the accuracy of application rates and avoiding wastage resulting from unused tank residues. Dosage systems are available for single-product or dual-product application, and at dosage rates from 0.15% up to 5.5%. This technology is available on Polypul wheelbarrow sprayers, Actis and Omnis tractor-mounted sprayers, and on some other models. Polypul wheelbarrow sprayers are versatile appliances for indoor or outdoor use, and have booms that are adaptable for vertical spraying. www.kuhn.co.uk

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INJECTISYSTEMS N

singlen seadiscaotion era

The Stem Injection System is the most target specific, ecologically sound and effective solution for the eradication of Japanese Knotweed.

0845 643 1162 www.steminjectionsystems.com

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February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2


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Latest Kit – Scarifiers

The walk-behind Sisis Auto Rotorake Mk 5 is a heavy-duty Scarifier for removal and control of thatch on fine and other quality turf. With a change of reel to a brush reel it can also be used for grooming synthetic surfaces – making it a truly versatile machine. Powered by a 6.5hp petrol engine, it has independent drive to both the wheels and the reel. It has a working width of 50cm (20in) and exhibits a complete ease of turning, Lloyds have a number of Turfcare systems that incorporate a scarifier option for versatility, as well as designated scarifiers such as the Lloyds BGT 27 Scarifier/De-Thatcher, and the Maredo ST 20 and PUT 60 Pedestrian Scarifiers with their standard 2mm-thick carbide tipped blades at 20mm spacing and adjustable depth up to 50mm (2in). All are ideal machines to improve any ornamental turf or fine-grassed area that requires the removal and control of thatch. With working widths of 460mm (18in) and 610mm (22in), the Lloyds Maredo ST63 Pedestrian Turfcare System is a full line of turf management equipment which includes a scarifier attachment that can be mounted quickly and easily to the power unit within minutes. www.lloydsandco.com

with

Garden machine specialist Tracmaster manufactures a range of lawn scarification machines designed and built to withstand the heaviest of workloads. The CAMON LS42 Lawn Scarifier features independently sprung free-swinging blades with a staggered layout to remove moss and thatch with maximum efficiency. The blades feature a “waisted” design to keep their edge for longer. A truly manicured look can be achieved with the CAMON LS42R Lawn Rake designed for year-round use. The Lawn Rake is fitted with durable free-swinging springs that clear unwanted moss and thatch without disrupting healthy growing grass. The CAMON LS42F Verticutter offers effective performance results for lawns where slitting is required. The heavy-duty fixed blades are 2mm thick to allow deep scarification. www.tracmaster.co.uk The latest pedestrian scarifier from Charterhouse Turf Machinery is the ideal tool for the removal of moss and thatch from turf, promoting healthy growth of desirable grass species. Regular scarificiation also cuts through lateral growth, helping to maintain a dense, upright sward. Ideal for fine turf areas with restricted access, the scarifier is available in two versions. The 160 model has a four-section rotor with 48 x 3mm hanging blades for a more intensive action, while the 161 uses 24 x 1.5mm fixed blades for an easy clean-up of the turf. Working width is 50cm, making light work of multiple greens, and cut height can be adjusted to the millimetre. Working depth can easily be adjusted by a turn-screw handle which is mounted on top of the machine. www.charterhouse turfmachinery.co.uk

February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2

minimal surface marking due to careful weight distribution, slick tyres and a full differential. The adjustment control for depth of cut is mounted on the handle to enable it to be set while moving forwards. Alternative blades and reels are available for light scarifying; light surface spiker penetration, control of the build-up of thatch and grooming, and collection of debris from the surface. www.sisis.com

Designed to take the hard work out of raking turf, John Deere’s D38R petrol scarifier will remove the build-up of thatch, dead grass, moss and weeds with ease allowing it to grow healthier and thicker. The D38R has a heavy-duty aluminium deck and its individual cutting blades will ensure that no thatch is left untouched on larger areas of turf. Its pull-andgo system on the engine ensures quick starts and a longer life span and steel wheels and ball bearings offer easier, smoother rolling. John Deere has more than 200 dealers across the UK. To find out where your nearest dealer is located call 0800 085 25 22. www.johndeere.co.uk

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Landscape & Amenity Magazine (130mm x 89mm):Layout 1 18/01/2012 08:30 Page 2

Green Roof Substrates Enhance the landscape whilst improving the environment with Green Roofing using Long Rake Spar substrates. Long Rake Spar produce three categories of Green Roof substrates, each containing a blend to specific proportions of recycled and lightweight aggregates with composted bio-waste products. The three products have been designed to suit a range of landscaping and ecological specifications.

Intensive System Substrates (ISS):

An ultra lightweight blend of highly absorbent aggregates with composted bio-waste to be used as a substrate within recreational garden-scapes.

Brown Roofing Substrates (BRS):

A blend of reclaimed aggregates with composted bio-waste designed to promote regeneration of the bio-diversity of wildlife sites which have been lost to construction.

Extensive System Substrates (ESS):

A blend of lightweight, water absorbent aggregates with composted bio-waste to be used as a substrate in un-maintained rooftop environments.

Visit us @

with Addagrip on stand S2170

Long Rake Spar Co Ltd

Tues 20th Thurs 22nd March

Youlgrave, Nr. Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1LW. Tel: 01629 630133 Fax: 01629 636247

www.longrakespar.co.uk, admin@longrakespar.co.uk

www.pro-landscaper.co.uk

February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2


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Trending

Joe Wilkinson takes a look at what’s different this month.

ECHO website heightens customer online experience

New Holland unveiled its new T4 PowerStar utility tractor equipped with turf/amenity tyres last month at the BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition (BTME). The powerful machine, which is available in three models from 55hp-75hp, includes the revolutionary new VisionView Cab – a market leader, which is 20% larger and includes a hi-vis roof panel, ensuring excellent operator comfort and visibility. It also features an outstanding lifting capacity for a tractor of its size – comfortably managing 2,150kg. New Holland’s Compact Tractor Product Specialist Steve Basnett said: “The new T4 PowerStar is an all-new utility tractor, specifically designed to suit the amenity market needs. It has improved operator comfort and a larger cab to increase utility and ease of operation.”

It is estimated that 92% of shoppers seeking durable, higher-value products, research purchases online prior to visiting a shop or showroom. ECHO’s new website, www.echo-tools.co.uk, focuses on providing visitors with a high-level of information that makes product research quicker and easier than ever before. Each product page of the site lists comprehensive details of the model’s specifications and features making it easier to compare a range of products. ‘How To’ videos demonstrate basic safety and maintenance tips, and there are techniques for operating 2-stroke power tools. ECHO dealer options are also provided.

Street benches get bigger as Brits pile on the pounds

Glendale Managed Services is pleased to announce the appointment of Andy Corcoran as the new Managing Director for the division. Andy joined Parkwood Group in 2007 as Operations Director for Parkwood Leisure and has extensive experience in service operations management with multinational organisations. As Managing Director, Andy intends to continue Glendale’s return to stability and profitability in line with the work undertaken by Tony Hewitt, Executive Chairman of Parkwood Group. “In particular I wish to develop our ‘deeper green’ strategy,” Andy says. This initiative will provide a “platform for the business” that will sustain Glendale’s growth and long-term success. February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2

John Deere’s longest-serving UK dealer, specialising in groundcare, Greenlay (Grass Machinery) Ltd of Cramlington in Northumberland, has chalked up 40 years as a dealer of one of the most famous brands in the world. Before John Deere officially entered the UK Turf Care business in 1986, David Lowes, Greenlay’s founder, was importing its products into the industry. Greenlay supplies the famous green and yellow machinery to an area that stretches from the Scottish Borders to Teeside.

In the news this month there was a story about how big-bottomed Brits are responsible for the increasing size of street and park benches. Experts have been saying that local authorities are specifying “oversized” benches, as obesity in the UK continues to rise. Jonathan Goss, Managing Director for street-furniture manufacturer Townscape Products has commented: “Architects and councils are considering bigger seats and benches to satisfy larger users. Thankfully our materials are strong enough to ensure our seats and benches never warp under the weight!”

Long Rake Spar has launched a new brochure for the decorative aggregates sector. With more than 140 years’ experience, Long Rake Spar has gained national status as one of the UK’s leading suppliers of hard landscaping products. Its products are sourced from both their own quarries and other quarries across the British Isles, Europe and the Far East. The brochure looks fantastic, and the products will light up any garden.

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People

SMALL BUSINESS

before

The year 2012 has come round so quickly and we are starting the new year with even more enthusiasm than the last. As I write, we are still awaiting our new website to be completed, which is frustrating for us as a small business as we want and require everything in place to give our potential clients something to look at. Seeing it in stages along the way I have to agree it is looking great, so patience will have to be a virtue. Towards the end of last year our main marketing plan for this new year was put together; with the new website being built, the majority of marketing is going to be done online to promote it. Locally we will be sending out our brochures/ leaflets and hoping that, as last year, word of mouth is going to be great for us. We have become members of Help Direct’s Safe Trader Scheme in partnership with Lancashire County Council, which means we are committed to treating our customers honestly and fairly, we have good references and carry

BLOG appropriate insurance. This is to ensure that MPR Landscapes is recognised as a genuine business and not one of the many rogue traders of our industry. We are looking forward to taking part in its local newspaper campaigns and showing its logo on our promotional leaflets/website. Another priority for us now is to look at trade associations. Last year, some brief research was carried out but nothing significant. In this next month or two we will focus more on gathering information from them and seeing whether MPR Landscapes would benefit by becoming a member. We constantly want to set the bar higher for ourselves to make us stand out positively. The high winds in January have kick-started the working year for us, a high amount of fencing has been damaged so installations have been taking place all over the North West, with both timber and concrete fences being installed. Aside from fencing, we have been working on a lovely project in Withnell, a village close by.

This month Yasmin Roworth talks about MPR Landscapes’ busy start to the year, trade associations, honesty with customers and artificial grass. The garden was unsafe for the family’s two young children and was left in a mess from a recent house extension. The project included site clearance, land drainage, shed base, fencing, Indian stone paving and artificial grass. The artificial grass was chosen as it is low maintenance for the busy family. This we feel is becoming more popular in our local area and we are hoping to become accredited installers for the company we purchase it from. Comparing the before and after pictures is amazing. We have thoroughly enjoyed being part of Pro Landscaper Magazine and joining and becoming involved with its new online Network – for a small business like us it is fantastic communicating, debating and getting to know people in the industry. In May, when MPR Landscapes will be celebrating one year in business, we are going to share with you the launch of our new website, how our spring has started and projects that we’ve been working on.

Pro Landscaper Network – join in the conversation today Pro Landscaper invites you to join our new industry Network, set up to facilitate communication and discussion within the UK landscaping sector. The network allows the UK‘s contractors, designers and manufacturers to openly discuss current issues, share their knowledge, highlight informative events and subcontract work. Pro Landscaper Network is an open forum

www.pro-landscaper.co.uk

with no hidden agenda and will be maintained and developed for the industry’s benefit as a whole. The site aims to be inclusive – if you are a small regional landscaper, main maintenance contractor, design and build contractor, designer, consultant, architect or a supplier you are welcome to become involved. The network was started in early 2012 and has quickly established itself as

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a valuable communication vehicle for contractors, designers and the leading associations. We have a real mixture of businesses already benefiting from the network and look forward to you joining us. Please let us know your thoughts and areas we can introduce or improve upon – after all it’s your site. Sign up at www.pro-landscaper.co.uk

February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2


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The Little Interview

THE

LITTLE INTERVIEW

A small insight into the world of other professionals in our wide and varied industry. If you would like to appear in a future issue please email lisa.wilkinson@pro-landscaper.co.uk ANDY SIMPSON

GILLIAN POLLEY Polley Garden Design www.polleygardendesign.com

What made you want to get into the industry? A passion for plants and gardens.

By listening carefully to clients, showing them their garden is special to me and providing excellent service. Who are you inspired by? Nature, the Scottish Colourists, Dan Pearson, David Hockney, Fabergé, Christopher Lloyd, people who love plants and gardens.

What would you say is the best thing about your job? The process of transformation of a garden from a neglected or unused, uninspiring space into a garden that the clients love, use and are excited about.

Favourite film and TV shows? Frasier, Coneheads, The Commitments, the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice, The West Wing.

How is the bulk of your work made up? Domestic gardens, large and small, I enjoy variety.

Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter? Autumn, but it’s a close run thing.

Current trends in the market? Growing your own vegetables.

Where’s your favourite holiday destination? The Seychelles (before the Hollywood stars found it).

How do you remain competitive?

JASON LOCK Deakinlock www.deakinlock.co.uk

What is the best thing about your job? The variety of work we get as a design practice and the people I meet and talk to every day. No project is ever the same, nor the budget, which keeps me on my toes. It is also great being my own boss. Why did want to get into the industry? I wanted a job which enabled me to combine being outside, but also enabled me to be creative. Challenges ahead in your work? The economy is of great concern, especially as we’re a young business, but we’ve survived 3.5 years of recession. I hope with the reputation and brand we’re building we can keep moving forward. Your company’s plans for the next five years…

To survive. And to build up our new online February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2

Countryside or seaside? Seaside every time.

business, www.mygardn.co.uk. How do you remain competitive? Keep flexible in the way we price projects and approach schemes, take nothing for granted and be price sensitive – it is a buyers’ market, which we have to be in tune with. Listen hard to clients and deliver value for money. Your proudest achievement? Designing and project managing a garden for the family of a severely disabled young girl through the generosity of local contractors, suppliers and trades, at no cost. It made such a difference to their lives and that of their daughter. Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter? Winter. Nothing compares to walking my dogs on a crisp, frosty morning; makes you feel alive. Where’s your favourite holiday destination? France – the best wine, cheese, tomatoes, bread, paté… I could go on.

Winter Maintenance Operations Manager, Ground Control Ltd www.ground-control.co.uk What is the best thing about your job? The excitement of managing a challenging environment with very little warning; even in these days when we can put a man on the moon our weather forecast accuracy is measured in hours. Why did you want to get into the industry? I had applied to my local council for two apprenticeships (Electrician & Horticulture). Having passed the initial assessments I was given a second interview and was asked by the Parks Manager which of the two apprenticeships I preferred, so it seemed only right to answer Horticulture. The rest as they say is history. Challenges ahead in your work? Logistics, logistics, logistics – with a constantly moving portfolio of a large number of sites throughout the whole of the UK, matching field teams with correct plant and machinery and salt. How is the bulk of your work made up? Preparation and planning. We can’t accurately forecast the long-term weather so we prepare for the worst. I spend quite a bit of time on the phone developing networks. I’m always seeking new team members and having been on the landscaping side of the industry it’s satisfying to offer work in Winter when they usually have very little. And when it’s cold, managing the operations teams carrying out gritting and snow clearance. Who are you inspired by? My wife, who sadly lost her fight against cancer four years ago. She never let anything get her down, even during the most difficult moments. Favourite films and TV shows… Favourite film, Terry Gilliam’s Brazil; and TV programme, Inspector Morse. One thing you want to do before you’re too old? Own my own boat. www.pro-landscaper.co.uk


People 1 Picturesque – Gold award-winner, Conceptual Garden, at Hampton Court Flower Show 2011. 2 and 3 The Salad Bar at Gardener’s

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World Live, NEC, 2010, for which Melissa (below right) received the Silver medal, presented to her by Carol Klein.

LOOK OUT FOR ...

MELISSA JOLLY Meet the hard-working, focused garden designer who received an early-career boost via valuable exposure at Gardeners’ World Live and Hampton Court Flower Show. After a long career break looking after my two children, I retrained in garden design at the Oxford College of Garden Design. The one-year post graduate diploma was all-consuming and I was inspired by every aspect of this industry. I set up my garden design business in January 2010 and shortly after entered a competition run by NS&I to design a show garden at BBC Gardener’s World Live. I was one of three winners and built my first show garden ‘The Salad Bar’, at the NEC in Birmingham in June 2010. I received a Silver medal for the garden and won the public vote, which I was really proud of. I had a great team of contractors from Simply Green Landscapes, who had built show gardens before and so were great at guiding me through the process – and their workmanship was superb. The BBC also followed the making of my garden for its Gardeners’ World programme on the show, giving me a lot of publicity early in my career. While planning The Salad Bar, I got a parttime job with a well-established design and build landscaping company called Artscape, which gave me a fantastic insight into running a business in this field. But after only a few months working there though a mixture of late-night grafting and

good fortune I resigned to focus on my business full time. In late 2010, the RHS asked me to design my second show garden for the 2011 London Plant and Design Show and I also found out that a design I’d speculatively submitted for a conceptual garden at Hampton Court Flower show had been successful. While the show garden had given me a good profile, my private client work was slowly building up. The show garden for The London Plant and Design show had to be a roof garden and I decided to use only plants that are usable in ‘greenroof’-style planting to showcase how this sustainable method of planting could be implemented in a contemporary setting. I was awarded a Silver-gilt for this garden, so was slowly moving up in the medal ranks. RELISHING NEW CHALLENGES My first couple of gardens had just started to be built and new commissions were coming in, so it was a busy time and although often stressful, I was relishing the new challenges. A fantastic part of building show gardens is the speed with which the project gets completed and the number of people you meet along the

way. I’ve made some great relationships with all manner of tradespeople who I will continue to use on private-client projects. The process of designing gardens for clients can be a very long one – especially when they’re also building a new house – so it can be years before you see the results of your work. Without the show gardens it takes a long time to build up a portfolio; shows, conversely, provide almost instant examples of your work and a good profile. The garden that I designed for Hampton Court was based on an art gallery and was great fun, as I spent time visiting as many galleries as I could – all in the name of work, which felt very indulgent. Although extremely demanding at times, the build went well and it was aweinspiring being at Hampton Court. I was utterly thrilled to get a Gold medal for this garden and the whole experience will always be one of my greatest achievements. I’m taking a break from show gardens for 2012 and concentrating on private clients, hoping to build up a solid portfolio and taking some time to go and visit different gardens and landscapes, hear people speak and generally keep learning as much as I can.

DIARY FEBRUARY 15-16 RHS London Plant and Design Show, Lawrence Hall, London SW1P 2PE www.rhs.org.uk 23 February 2012 23 Managing Tree Planting Budgets: The Bare-Root Alternative – Free seminar, Coles Nurseries, Leicester www.colesbareroots.eventbrite.co.uk

23 Alan Sargent Seminar – Managing as a Head Gardener, Brinsbury College, Pulborough, West Sussex sargent396@btinternet.com MARCH 8 APL/SGD Networking Seminar, Classiflora, Essex www.landscaper.org.uk 15-17 The Landscape Show, Olympia, London

www.landscapeshow.co.uk 14 APL Awards, Kensington Roof Gardens, London www.landscaper.org.uk 16-1 Apr Ideal Gardens (Ideal Home Show), Earls Court, London www.idealhomeshow.co.uk/ gardens 20-22 Ecobuild, ExCel, London www.ecobuild.co.uk

22 Alan Sargent Seminar – Million Dollar Gardens, Brinsbury College, Pulborough, West Sussex sargent396@btinternet.com APRIL 20-22 RHS Cardiff Show, Bute Park, Cardiff Castle, Wales www.rhs.org.uk 24-26 The Commercial Vehicle Show, NEC Birmingham www.cvshow.com

YOUR EVENT If you have a diary event you wish to publicise, email details to the editor: lisa.wilkinson@pro-landscaper.co.uk www.pro-landscaper.co.uk

February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2


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February 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 2

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Classified

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