CHANGING CHATSWORTH HOW THE GARDENS HAVE TRANSFORMED
WORKING IN HARMONY
CREATING A LEGACY
Why the company is shifting its focus
Rosemary Coldstream on building relationships
Grow2Know is inspiring the next generation
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W E LCO M E H
May this year and beyond be the time to stop the talking and take action, and from every company – big or small, associations, contractors, architects, designers, suppliers and the media. We all need to take it upon ourselves to sell the virtues of our sectors, and make sure we drive home the real value. The worry we have is that, in time, the impetus could be lost and very quickly get dropped off the government and the general public’s agenda, unless we act. Let us know your thoughts on how this can be achieved and what you are doing to champion the landscaping sector.
JIM & LISA
MAY THIS YEAR AND BEYOND BE THE TIME TO STOP THE TALKING AND TAKE ACTION
ello and welcome to the February issue of Pro Landscaper. It’s now time to move on; Brexit is done – with a trade deal agreed, and the vaccination programme has really started to gain momentum. The most vulnerable should all be vaccinated by March, with the rest of us a few months after – of course, all being well and with no additional hiccups. I guess it’s easy to slip back into the old routine, doing the same things you have always done. It’s important, though, that we make sure we don’t lose the momentum which has built up around the value of green space; that all this goodwill from government, local authorities and the general public isn’t lost.
Pro Landscaper / February 2021
35 38 42 46 48 51 55
A Sense Of Faith Elmtree Garden Contractors Engulfed In Green Pehrsson Scott Style With Purpose Radial Landscapes Landscape Architectâ€™s Journal Tapestry Fit For Repurpose Debs Winrow
Creating A Legacy Tayshan Hayden-Smith Planters Latest Products
NURTURE 59 64 66
INFORM 08 13 21 26 30 31 4
News Our monthly roundup of industry news UK Landscape Barometer The data for November is in
Working In Harmony Rosemary Coldstream Collaboration Is Key Mark Latchford Under Analysis Andrew Wilson
Pro Landscaper / February 2021
Inside: Dreamscape Gardens Blending profit and ethos
71 74 77
Feature Garden Chatsworth Bringing Back Diversity Nick Coslett Making A Small Difference To Save The Planet Lewis Normand Looking For Something Different? Steve McCurdy Sowing Virtual Seeds Michael G. White, Hassell Studio Nursery Focus Majestic Trees A Plant For Every Environment Suppliers suggest hardy options
F E B R UA RY 2 0 2 1 E D U C AT E 81 82 83 84 86 89 90 93 94 96 97
A Tough Harvest Can Still Yield Fruit Alison Warner All Systems Go Nick Ruddle In Need Of A Change? Ilan Braha and Jason McKenzie of Oracle Solicitors Managing The Market Isuzu Truck UK Porcelain: 10 or 20mm? Experts discuss the choice
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CHANGING CHATSWORTH HOW THE GARDENS HAVE TRANSFORMED
PEOPLE 101 102 103 106
Pro Landscaper TV Details on upcoming shows 30 Under 30 Update Laura Welborn-Baker Love Horticulture Jacquie Felix-Mitchell Little Interviews Questions with the individuals who make up our industry
WORKING IN HARMONY
CREATING A LEGACY
Why the company is shifting its focus
Rosemary Coldstream on building relationships
Grow2Know is inspiring the next generation
Urben’s latest rebranding as Tapestry
To receive a copy of Pro Landscaper, please contact Joe Wilkinson. Email email@example.com or call 01903 777570.
Pro Landscaper / February 2021
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CO N T R I B U TO R S Rosemary Coldstream When Rosemary was on our ‘Future of Design & Build’ panel at FutureScape VIRTUAL, a lot of questions from viewers were around how a budding garden designer can build relationships with contractors. Who contacts who? What do you say? And how do you know you can trust them? Rosemary shares her advice.
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ANDREW WILSON P31
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The onsite relationship between landscaper and architect can, at times, be conflictive. To avoid this, Mark Latchford explains how a partnership can, and should be, formed at the start of a project. He gives examples of projects he has worked on where this has created a harmony across all aspects of the project, indoors and out.
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Debs Winrow More and more clients are looking for their gardens to be multi-purpose, rather than simply aesthetically pleasing. Each will have different requirements, though, depending on their lifestyle. Debs recommends some areas to consider which fit changing customer needs as well as the latest trends in the market.
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Michael explains how the latest technology can be used to create an impressive and realistic virtual planting scheme. Not only could this make the design process easier; it could also ensure the success of a scheme before it’s even put in the ground, and help make selections which can help address the climate crisis.
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Pro Landscaper / February 2021
GROUND CONTROL NAMES NEW MANAGING DIRECTOR
S2 will plant more than 300,000 trees this winter as part of the project’s Green Corridor programme. This adds to the 430,000 trees already planted across Phase One, taking the total to over 730,000 by the spring. Up to seven million trees will eventually be planted along Phase One, with many new grasslands, meadows and recreational areas for local communities. Some of the UK’s most experienced and leading ecological consultants are working with HS2, with the winter programme being carried out by a number of specialist ecology companies subcontracted to HS2’s enabling works contractors, in locations between London and North Warwickshire. HS2’s environment director Peter Miller said: “We are planting more than double the area of woodland than has been affected along the route between Birmingham and London, creating 33km2 of new woodland and wildlife habitat – an area over seven times bigger than Sherwood Forest Nature Reserve… We’re also looking for opportunities to expand the benefits of the green corridor and we encourage local communities to apply for the funding that’s available.” HS2 funding is available for a wide range of independent environmental projects to benefit nature and communities along the route. This could include creating new parks
Pro Landscaper / February 2021
and play facilities, investing in green spaces in urban areas, regenerating areas along canals, and conserving and enhancing the historic environment. www.hs2.org.uk
ESTABLISHED TREE GROWTH, TILE HOUSE LANE IN BUCKINGHAMSHIRE
HS2 SET TO REACH 730,000 PLANTED TREES LANDMARK BY SPRING 2021
round Control has announced the appointment of a new managing director, with Marcus Watson handing over to Jason Knights in January. Marcus’ tenure has seen Ground Control win a range of prestigious awards including the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2016. He continues to be a significant shareholder and non-exec director, helping to steer Ground Control in the future. “Since joining in 2011, Marcus has led us through a period of significant growth and change,” said Ground Control CEO Simon Morrish. “His leadership has overseen continued phenomenal growth, as well as significant diversification and de-risking of our core capabilities. “Marcus has been instrumental in driving our core purpose, Caring for the Environment, as well as putting people at the centre of everything we do, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his hard work and dedication which played a key role in establishing Ground Control’s leading position in our industry.” Jason Knights joins Ground Control from SES Engineering Services where for the last four years he has been managing director. SES Engineering Services were acquired by the Wates Group in November 2016 and Jason was part of the Wates Construction Board during the acquisition and also the newly formed Wates Construction Group Board from 2016 to his eventual departure in September 2020. www.ground-control.co.uk
PRO LANDSCAPER LAUNCHES CHILDREN’S COLOURING COMPETITION
tarting from this issue, children aged 10 and under can enter into a colouring competition, with chances to win a prize each month. The picture to colour appears on the back of the carrier page, which arrives on top of your magazine. The same picture will run for the March issue, so there is plenty of time to send in entries. There are two prizes available each month – a £20 Amazon voucher for those aged five and under, and another voucher for the same value for those aged from six to 10 years’ old. Pro Landscaper’s Jim Wilkinson says: “It’s a bit of fun whilst you read your latest issue of Pro Landscaper. Get your children to enter the colouring competition. A big thank you to Craig Nester’s daughter Corinne, who inspired this. Good luck all! #ProLandscaperFamily.”
DLA RESTRUCTURES TO SET CLEAR PATH FOR SUCCESSION
LA Architecture has completed a restructure of the business with a rebrand and succession plan. It has evolved its brand from DLA Design to DLA Architecture, giving more clarity on its offering to commercial and public sector clients. It has identified key people in the business to carry forward the succession strategy for the future. DLA Architecture has been established for more than 40 years with offices in Leeds,
To send in an entry, you can scan or take a photo of it and email the image to email@example.com. Alternatively, you can post the coloured-in picture to: Eljays44, 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex, BN16 3DA www.prolandscapermagazine.com
NEWS IN BRIEF PM COMMITS £3BN UK CLIMATE FINANCE TO SUPPORTING NATURE Boris Johnson has announced that the UK will commit at least £3bn to climate change solutions that protect and restore nature and biodiversity over five years. The funding will be allocated from the UK’s existing commitment of £11.6bn for international climate finance and is set to deliver ‘transformational change’. www.gov.uk
THE TERRA FIRMA CONSULTANCY WELCOMES TWO NEW DIRECTORS
Manchester and London. The award-winning practice employs over 75 architects, landscape architects, architectural technologists and graphic designers. During the last 12 months the DLA leadership team – comprising Mark Corbridge, Andrew Hargreaves, Jonathan Knowles and Chris Levett, along with financial director Michael Wood – has led the business through a new succession plan following the retirement of the last founding directors. The team has identified key growth areas, concentrating on core architectural services to enable organic growth through the next chapter. In particular, DLA has identified strong growth in the residential sector where it is currently advising on schemes comprising more than 13,000 homes. The industrial sector is expected to increase during the next 12 months with DLA actively looking at more than 10,000,000 square feet of development opportunities, and education is also one of the fastest growing sectors for DLA leading into 2021. www.dla-architecture.co.uk
The terra firma Consultancy has announced Alison Galbraith and Robyn Butcher have joined Lionel Fanshawe as directors and equal shareholders. This was a long-planned ambition which has now been realised. Terra firma was set up in 1985, with Robyn joining 10 years later. Lionel followed in 1996 and Alison in 2002. www.terrafirmaconsultancy.com
MARSHALLS PLC ANNOUNCES INVESTMENTS OF MORE THAN £30M IN 2021 Marshalls is investing over £30m to increase capacity for existing product ranges, build on sustainable processes and boost product and digital innovation. One investment will be at the Marshalls site in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, where the installation of a dual block plant is expected to increase site capacity for the South East. www.marshalls.co.uk
Pro Landscaper / February 2021
MIDLANDS LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT ENDS THE YEAR ON A HIGH
GROUND CONTROL USHERS IN NEW MANAGING DIRECTOR Jason Knights steps into the role of former MD Marcus Watson – big, environmentally friendly, shoes to fill. We speak to Jason about how this transition was achieved smoothly, as well as how he plans to grow the company over the coming years. www.prolandscapermagazine.com/ ground-control-ushers-in-newmanaging-director
ottinghamshire and London-based landscape architect Influence has reported a record year in 2020, following a 50% increase in projects, compared to the same time the previous year. The practice recently hit the headlines with its green vision for Nottingham’s now redundant Broadmarsh, on behalf of Nottingham Wildlife Trust.
JADE GOTO RESPONDS TO LOCKDOWN THROUGH LANDSCAPE We speak to designer Jade Goto about the landscape she created in response to the global pandemic. Bold, tunnel-like, sculptural structures reflect the constraint of the worldwide restrictions. Wild planting lies outside, highlighting human’s desire to connect with nature during this time. www.prolandscapermagazine.com/ jade-goto-responds-to-lockdownthrough-landscape
The plans showed a transformed and reimagined Nottingham city centre, with a proposed 100% greenspace in place of the shopping centre. Put forward to Nottingham City Council, the plans have attracted hundreds of comments from members of the public backing the scheme.
TIVOLI GROUP LTD ACQUIRES HORTICULTURAL SERVICES PROVIDER
BBC TWO’S YOUR GARDEN MADE PERFECT
©BBC/Remarkable TV/Gary Moyes
Airing on Thursday 4 February at 8pm, BBC Two’s Your Garden Made Perfect aims to inspire and educate a nation which is now enthralled by gardening. The latest technology will help bring garden designs to life, as we see familiar faces tackle some challenging spaces. www.prolandscapermagazine.com/ bbc-twos-your-garden-made-perfect
Pro Landscaper / February 2021
ivoli Group Ltd has acquired Sodexo Horticultural Services, with completion set for the end of this month. With more than 40 years’ experience, Sodexo provides horticultural services to a diverse customer base. It employs more than 250 staff, delivering a number of high-profile contracts throughout the UK. The teams on the ground will ensure clients get continuity of service with no disruption. Darren Cunningham, Tivoli CEO, says: “Sodexo share the same passion for delivering a high-quality service and building long-term relationships with clients, and we look forward to welcoming great people who deliver work of exceptional quality. There is a natural harmony between our work and our values, and our customers can now benefit from the industry
Despite the challenging conditions of this year, the chartered landscape architecture firm has had a record 12 months in business and plans for further team expansion in the new year. Sara Boland, managing director of Influence, said: “While it’s been a year of uncertainty, it has also been a year that I have seen the very best from our team – who have worked together to achieve our record year in business. “Due to a number of challenges this year – the pandemic, social distancing measures and mental wellbeing – green space has been catapulted to the forefront of people’s minds, and we have seized the opportunity to respond. Green, open space plays an incredibly important role in our wellbeing and more of a balance needs to be found within commercial schemes to accommodate this. “This year has been a real journey of highs and lows, but we are so pleased to be able to share such positive business news. There is still plenty of opportunity and movement in the property and construction sector and we are seeing this across all areas of our business.” www.influence.co.uk
expertise and resources of two well-established companies. We are very proud to welcome the employees and customers of Sodexo Horticultural Services” Tivoli Group Ltd, an independent grounds maintenance specialist, has a current turnover of circa £50m with around 1,150 staff and a national presence across the UK. Sodexo’s strong presence in the private sector is complementary to Tivoli’s prevalence with public sector clients and enhances the portfolio coverage of the business. The acquisition fits in with Tivoli’s strategy to grow both organically as well as through acquisitions, and further develops Tivoli’s extensive national coverage. The transaction remains subject to satisfaction of certain conditions precedent customary in a transaction of this nature. www.tivoliservices.com
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n this issue of the UK Landscape Barometer, we are focused on the trading month of November 2020, the same month as the second national lockdown, the month prior to the start of vaccinations, and the month approaching both winter and Christmas. In terms of the statistics and graphs, you will see a continuation of the â€˜boomâ€™ from summer with higher turnovers, more enquiries, and more projects on average. This is perhaps a little unusual for this period of time as the temperatures dropped, which may be one of the reasons to spend less time outdoors, the other being lockdown. In terms of confidence and comments which reflect on more current times, there is more uncertainty. There is a dip in confidence like the level we saw around the second national lockdown which perhaps makes sense as we are now, at the time of writing, a couple of weeks into the third national lockdown. If you would like the full report or would like to contribute to the UK Landscape Barometer moving forward, please send an email to Joshua Chew on firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 01903 777 570. Please note that all statistics are based on those surveyed and compare November 2020 to November 2019 except confidence. Confidence is compared at the time of survey to the same time last year.
NATIONAL TURNOVER 3%
PERCENTAGE OF RESPONDANTS MORE CONFIDENT COMPARED TO LAST MONTH
WE CAN SEE A SURGE IN THOSE WORKING ON MORE PROJECTS (69%) IN NOVEMBER FROM THE RISE IN ENQUIRIES OVER PREVIOUS MONTHS
50% 40% 30%
Equal 25% 44%
Enquiries dropped slightly, as the majority last month (66%) stated an increased number of enquiries year-on-year, whereas this month 44% continued to notice an increase. We can see a surge in those working on more projects (69%) in November from the rise in enquiries over previous months. This seems to be reflected in turnover, as most (59%) stated this had gone up. 41% of respondents had increased full-time staff with only 18% decreasing their numbers. The conversion rate has mostly remained equal, with 50% saying so.
UK Landscape Barometer-2.indd 13
Pro Landscaper / February 2021 13
SCOTLAND AND THE NORTH
42% 22% 58%
Equal No response
14% 29% 14%
17% 33% 50%
Pro Landscaper / February 2021
UK Landscape Barometer-2.indd 14
Equal No response
NURSERIES The majority of nurseries (75%) are less confident despite the same number stating an increase in turnover. It may be partly due to half of nurseries stating a decrease in quotes or factors such as Brexit. One nursery said: “Shortterm customers were looking to bring in their stock from Europe before 1 January and prioritising that over UK stock, but for future
projects we have been approached from customers who told us they would be buying UK stock post-January 1 because of the likely additional red tape and delays.” Another nursery mentioned UK vs EU stock. “…Last year in spring, most people cut down on stock. It was a disaster. Last summer and autumn were busy, and we made up some
ground. We are presuming this year will be the same as last, so we have stocked up on young stock. We got in orders before Brexit which worked well. This is regarding imports from the continent. UK nurseries often cannot cope with the same scale. Hopefully, the stock from EU will not suffer too much even if there are delays as it is young stock.”
SOIL The volume of soil sold went up by an average of 16% in November compared to November 2019, and the number of quotes went up by an average of 11% year on year. We will find out in coming issues whether this trend of increased performance will continue in December and January. It seems this may be the case though as one supplier comments: “We are confident
that the landscape market is going to continue to be busy, as long as the construction market continues to work, this will mean that the landscapers are also busy. We will continue to be confident in the market, we are going to see lots of government money invested into infrastructure in the UK which will be great along the line for the landscape industry.”
Another mentions: “Smaller/medium landscapers are still actively busy whilst there is more caution to larger projects.” This may due to the fact that larger projects have less flexibility than small/medium-sized undertakings. Lastly, on a positive note, another supplier had this to say: “The future is green. More emphasis on the importance of green spaces bodes well for the industry.”
50% 75% 100%
UK Landscape Barometer-2.indd 15
Pro Landscaper / February 2021 15
Garden Design Only 20% of garden designers are less confident while the remaining 80% are evenly split between equally confident (40%) and more confident (40%). One said: “Whilst growth has been strong, I am nervous about the coming year.” The vast majority (70%) stated an increase in turnover. Even more (80%) said they worked on more projects last November than in November 2019. One garden designer commented: “New projects quiet in November and December but busy with ongoing projects from late summer.” 90% of garden designers received equal (50%) or more (40%) enquiries in November. We may see this continue in December with one garden designer saying: “Still getting enquiries over the Christmas period which is unusual.” Another said: “Lots of enquiries, but less follow-through. Whether it’s because they don’t have a realistic budget or because they don’t want to wait, I do not know.” Design and build Most (75%) of design and build companies are less confident with the remaining evenly split between being equally or more confident. One stated: “I think the public desire to make more of their outside space has waned as we have approached winter and COVID has not subsided. Some people’s priorities may have now adjusted in the light of the continuing pandemic. I expect enquiries may remain low for the next three months.” Further uncertainty from another saying: “This January is set up differently from the last five years and I’m not sure on the direction work will take; it could be busy, or I could find myself chasing work for the first time in years.” One company found that “clients are investing in design but harder to convert to the larger financial commitment of building.” An alternate view from a different company said: “More
Pro Landscaper / February 2021
UK Landscape Barometer-2.indd 16
DESIGN AND BUILD
Lower Equal 50%
Higher No response
UK Landscape Barometer-2.indd 17
lockdown seems to mean more of a boom in the industry. We are nervous about the flower shows, though. A lot of enquiries for outdoor kitchens; we have had eight in the past week. They all want free designs though and not to pay for a design fee. Typically, it will be a 4.5m x 3.5m kitchen space. They get full CAD designs for free from places like Wickes and high-end high-street kitchen stores. We are trying to decide on how to move forward with standard sized units (like an outdoor kitchen). Interested to see how others in the industry handle this and we are expecting to see more enquiries for this, this year.” Domestic and commercial landscaping More domestic landscaping companies have an increased confidence in the market (50%) compared to the majority (62%) of commercial landscaping companies that are less confident. This may be partly due to the number of enquiries as half of domestic landscaping companies saw this increase. One said: “We’ve noticed that there have been more enquiries and conversions for this time of the year, as opposed to last year or any year prior.” A domestic landscaping company made a prediction, expecting “a big shift for landscapers to move into being stockists and selling products alongside landscaping work. It is an easy way to bulk up turnover and profits as more people are buying from home. Demand is there so will try to sell to them.” Another noted that they are “still very confident in the industry. Lockdown is not affecting us at present but if it goes on longer than March, and large-scale redundancies are made in other sectors such as leisure and hospitality, it could have a knock-on effect on the construction sector and therefore the commercial landscaping sector.”
Pro Landscaper / February 2021
National turnover was up by
67% on average
The number of enquiries received was higher across every region with an average increase of
Conversions from enquiry to contract remained almost static nationally with a mere
16% Turnover increased by
on average for nurseries
The number of quotes nurseries received went down an average
Domestic landscapers saw a slight INCREASE OF 7% in enquiries and
CONVERTED 13% more through to contracts
Garden designers saw an increase in turnover of
Number of projects worked on INCREASED by ABOUT HALF for design and build companies The average lead time for domestic landscapers and design and build companies nationally is
Turnover INCREASED by an average 36% for design and build companies
Commercial landscaping companies had an average
INCREASE OF 13% regarding turnover
Garden designers worked on
NEARLY DOUBLE THE NUMBER OF PROJECTS with an 86% increase on average
on average The number of projects worked Design and build companies had on was up in every region and overall was almost half more at Enquiries increased by The only sector with
1/5TH MORE ENQUIRIES
Pro Landscaper / February 2021
UK Landscape Barometer-2.indd 18
AN AVERAGE 57% for garden designers
a DECREASED conversion rate was design and build at
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DREAMSCAPE GARDENS MANAGING DIRECTOR DAN NEWBY EXPLAINS HOW DREAMSCAPE GARDENS IS SHIFTING ITS FOCUS TO BECOME MORE PROFITABLE WHILST KEEPING IN LINE WITH THE COMPANY’S ETHOS
rom a one-man-band garden maintenance operation to a 16-strong team now also offering landscaping and garden design, Dreamscape Gardens’ evolution could sound like any other within the industry. But this would be a poor assumption. It has been a slow and steady growth for the Cheshire-based company. Managing director Dan Newby started off maintaining gardens around Manchester after an 11-year
career in city banking. With no experience but plenty of passion, Dan learned on the job and was soon employing another person to help out, followed shortly by another. “Whilst carrying out maintenance, we just started making things and, at some point, we decided to set up landscaping as a separate arm,” says Dan. “So, now there are three teams of three staff for landscaping and one team of three for maintenance.”
DAN NEWBY The design team is run separately, with Martin Williams – a trained landscape architect – as senior designer and Becky Higginbottom – who holds a fine art degree – as assistant designer. “[Project manager] Billy Yates is effectively my right-hand man. He started off with me in landscaping, so did Martin – they’ve both worked on the tools,” says Dan. “It’s a small company, but we also use specialist subcontractors depending on the job and we have Laura Haslin who does our freelance social media.” 1 VistaGreen and Millboard lounge and dining spaces 2 Elite balustrade and bespoke living wall
Inside Dreamscape Gardens Dan Newby.indd 21
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Mostly, though, Dreamscape keeps its operations in-house; 75% of its landscaping work is from its in-house design team. “When we work with external designers, the fact that we’ve got our own in-house designer means that we can interpret plans and get a quote out quickly,” Dan notes. “But I think people prefer that we’re a one-stop-shop. It’s a difficult area, but our demographic seems to like the fact that everything is in-house. The communication is easy, arranging meetings is easy. People can change their mind a lot during the actual build, and we’re flexible on that front.” Dreamscape Gardens has become known for creating family gardens, mainly in South Cheshire and Manchester. Commercially, it has also worked on quite a few school projects, restaurants, shops and the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. It is also keen to create more environmentally-friendly gardens. “We have
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Inside Dreamscape Gardens Dan Newby.indd 22
WE HAVE A GOOD ETHICAL AND SUSTAINABLE APPROACH – ONE OF OUR ORIGINAL SHOW GARDENS WAS DESIGNED USING RECLAIMED MATERIALS AND ONE OF OUR GARDENS AT TATTON WAS POWERED BY SOLAR PANELS a good ethical and sustainable approach – one of our original show gardens was designed using reclaimed materials and one of our gardens at Tatton was powered by solar panels.”
Dreamscape first started building a name for itself through show gardens. “Manchester City Council’s commercial arm set up a garden festival in the city centre called Dig the City, and that’s where it really took off. We did a show garden in the middle of Manchester and put ourselves out there; I took a gamble, paid the money and went for it. Thousands of people around the busiest high street were asking who we were and what we did. It was great.” Its first in 2013, ‘City Garden’, won Best in Show at Dig the City and is now permanently placed in Piccadilly Basin in Manchester’s Norther Quarter. The following year, Dreamscape created ‘The Garden of Illusions’ in collaboration with local artist Liam Curtin. Like the first, this garden focused on greening small urban spaces and was awarded Silver-Gilt by a panel of judges, which included TV gardener Rachel de Thame. For its third year of show garden experience, Dreamscape took the plunge and entered into the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 2015 with ‘Aurora Arbora’. The garden featured a solar panelled ‘tree house prism’ and solar powered lighting designed to represent the otherworldly phenomenon Aurora borealis. It scooped a Silver-Gilt medal at the event, and later picked up Gold when Dreamscape exhibited the same garden later that year at Dig the City. Dreamscape exhibited at Tatton for the next two years. Inspired by David Attenborough, the
‘Plight of Coral’ garden in 2016 highlighted the endangerment of coral reefs, and ‘The Live Garden’ in 2017 was a three-storey show garden invented by Dan and Martin. Showcasing how to maximise space, the levels each had different purposes – the basement as a space for reflection, the ground floor as an area to socialise, and the upper floor as a spot for soaking up the sun and as a viewpoint. It was amidst its show garden success that Dreamscape became a limited company in 2015. Before, Dan had been enjoying the change in career rather than focusing on building a business. He’d spent more than a decade in banking, a far cry from horticulture, and was eager to get his hands dirty instead of sitting in an office. “I used to work for Halifax as an internet product manager, when the internet was in its infancy. I did French and economics at university, but I had no idea why or what I wanted to do, so I ended up in banking because it was a good job. I worked my way up through the bank, where one of my jobs was underwriting, and I remember being in an office with thousands of others, like chickens in a factory, with everyone striving to get to the top.
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I’d look out the window and I’d always think how I wanted to be outdoors. “Nature and wildlife had always been key to me, I was a keen bird watcher when I was
WORKING WITH NICK MADE ME TAKE A STEP BACK AND REALISE IT’S ALRIGHT TO BE REMOVED FOR THE BUSINESS DIRECTLY AND FOCUS ON HELPING AND MANAGING PEOPLE IN THE RIGHT WAY younger. When I was seven, my mum and I propagated a spider plant cutting, and I remember sitting there and watching it grow. My grandparents were into gardening too. But I ended up getting transported into the corporate world.”
When Halifax merged with the Bank of Scotland in 2001 to create HBOS, which became defunct in 2009, Dan says the workload only increased, with him travelling to and from Edinburgh and carrying out two people’s roles for the same pay as one. “There was a lot of pressure. I was underwriting, looking at businesses and their accounts and wanting to be in charge of my own business. I didn’t want to be working for somebody else.” Dan didn’t go straight into landscaping, though. After seeing numerous colleagues ditch the office for far flung places, Dan decided to do the same, packing up and travelling around the world, where he fell for the landscapes in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. When he returned, he set up Dreamscape. Now, though, Dan admits it’s time to focus on profit. Before the pandemic, he’d spent a year
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Bespoke pergola for a cooking and relaxing area Home Sweet Home outdoor area, Manchester Whitworth Art Gallery path construction Sweeping resin driveway with entrance steps Excavation for an extensive irrigation system
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working with business coach Nick Ruddle, whose clients include the likes of Oak View Landscapes, Outdoor Creations, and Johnstone Landscapes. This, he says, helped the business get through the pandemic. “I’ve been more focused and organised, setting more targets. Having done that in the financial world, I wanted to get away from it; so, for the first ten years before we became limited, it was great, I was floating around doing what I wanted. But then it was time to draw it back in and think longer term.” In order to do this, Dan had to take a step back from the day-to-day running of the business. “There’s a feeling amongst staff and clients that you can be in the middle of the business all the time, and for ten years I was constantly in the middle of it – I was doing the accounts, the marketing, every aspect of the business, but you can’t do that and build the gardens, focus on making it grow or look at recruitment. There are only so many hours in the day. Working with Nick made me take a step back and realise it’s alright to be removed for the business directly and focus on helping and managing people in the right way. “The other thing Nick has given us is a strategy. Before, the main strategy I had was publicising and promoting the business; you spend on the shows for the RHS, which is all very well and good – you get quotes and celebrity endorsement, and it helps with recruitment – but it doesn’t help with running the business. How is Dreamscape Gardens going to move forward this year and next?” Despite the toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on some businesses, Dan says Dreamscape Gardens has a full order book up until August this year, and under government guidance the company has continued to
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WE HAVE TAKEN ON MORE BUSINESS, WE’RE MORE EFFICIENT AND THE WAY WE ORGANISE OURSELVES MEANS WE CAN RUN MORE PROJECTS CONCURRENTLY
operate throughout the numerous lockdowns and tier shifts. There were plans for the Dreamscape umbrella to expand to include aggregates supply, and whilst these may be on hold at the moment, Dan says they are still in the pipeline. The plan for the future of the business is not necessarily to grow the company in terms of turnover – which jumped up from the previous year despite project delays caused by lockdown – but to increase the profits by improving inefficiencies. Prior to working with Nick, Dreamscape was pulling in a 6% net profit. This soared up to 18% but has dipped to 12% over the last year. “There is a hit on profits this year because, inevitably, more time has been taken on jobs due to delays and extra safety measures. But we have taken on more business, we’re more efficient and the way we organise ourselves means we can run more projects concurrently.” It’s not the fast growth some may expect of a company which is owned by a man who spent more than a decade in banking – but that’s exactly the point. Dreamscape is a business formed from a love of nature, and this remains at its core, no matter the net profit. 8 Inside meets outside for cooking and entertaining 9 Valued team member Bob at work in Knutsford
C O N TA C T Dreamscape Gardens 157A Heaton Moor Road, Stockport, Cheshire Tel 07706 807 552 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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ROSEMARY COLDSTREAM WORKING IN HARMONY
IT’S CRUCIAL FOR DESIGNERS TO BUILD STRONG RELATIONSHIPS WITH CONTRACTORS, BUT WHERE TO START WHEN YOU’RE NEW TO THE INDUSTRY. ROSEMARY COLDSTREAM SHARES HER TOP TIPS
ontractor and designer relationships are like a marriage. Find a good one and you can grow old together whilst having a lot fun along the way! So, how do you find one and how do you make it work? Starting out as a designer can be scary – “who will believe me and who will want to work with me?” Start by looking on the BALI and APL websites and locally for contractors. Then be brave and give your selected ones a call. Arrange to meet and interview them. Ask them if they like working with designers (sifts a few out) and see if you get along. Visit some of their jobs to see the quality and ask for client references. Find out what they take pride in and discuss what your expectations are. There is no harm in being upfront and saying you are new to designing, don’t have much experience but want to learn and have your designs built well. Find contractors that you can trust and communicate well with. Sometimes it is trial and error until you find the best landscapers for you.
So, how to make the relationship work? The first point is respect – for everyone on site. It has to be earned (on both sides) so learn everyone’s names on site and treat everyone the same. A garden build is a combination of hard landscaping and horticultural skills so the whole
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landscape team are integral to your design working. Buy coffees, bring food and get to know them whilst having a site meeting. The team will have more pride in their work if they know it’s appreciated by you and the client.
FIND CONTRACTORS THAT YOU CAN TRUST AND COMMUNICATE WELL WITH Have a complete set of drawings with a clear specification and construction drawings. If you need help to work out how something is built, ask the contractor or go to a specialist. If things aren’t clear during the build it can end badly for both you and the contractor. At the start of a job, talk through the project on site and explain what your expectations are. Mention any key points critical to the design. Have regular site meetings and learn how things are built. In the early stages of your career, you may need to do this more often (at your own expense). Photograph the stages along the way so you can learn from them. I still learn from each job. Throughout the build, be approachable to suggestions on work methods. If you are not happy with something discuss it (without the client present) and work it out. Spot things before they become a problem. Everyone makes mistakes, but they can be rectified with little disruption to the build or the client. And be reasonable – can the mistake be lived with? On the same token, if you have made a mistake, own up and sort it out. Builds are about problem solving. Be professional and work with your landscaper so your client has full trust in you
both. Clients can see when there is a good combination and will recommend you. Communication is key – be on top of details during the build, keep good notes from site meetings and follow up. Help administer the contract and don’t sit on the fence when the client is being difficult – i.e. not paying on time. Be strong and fair, you will gain more respect this way. Lastly, have a laugh and enjoy it. Your contractor relationships can become like family and are hugely rewarding. Many thanks for the input of contractors whom I love working with: Ben at Landesigns, and Mark and Matt at Landform Consultants.
A B O U T R O S E M A RY COLDSTREAM Rosemary Coldstream is a multi-award-winning garden designer. Her dynamic, fast-growing design practice transforms a wide range of residential and commercial spaces, from rooftop gardens and snug city courtyards to large country estates. Projects combine flair and creativity with a constant focus on quality and attention to detail. Rosemary is a design director on the board of BALI and is a registered member of both BALI and the SGD.
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London Stone look forward to 2021 with improved service and value Synonymous with quality products, outstanding customer service, and incredible value, London Stone are a market leader in the hard landscaping materials supply sector. After a hectic and extraordinary 2020, Managing Director Steve Walley explains more about the company’s 2021 plans and future expansion.
Steve, how was 2020 for London Stone? Absolutely crazy! Like most businesses within the landscape industry, we had a period of uncertainty while the Covid-19 pandemic began in the spring, but from the summer onwards, the business was exceptionally busy, with demand for products and services at an all-time high. I’m really proud of the way our team coped with the challenges of last year; they were incredible!
What do you think 2021 looks like for the business, and how are you coping with Covid restrictions? Of course, it’s difficult for anyone to predict what the next twelve months look like, but we’re confident that the trend of homeowners looking to improve their outside spaces will continue. Certainly the first few weeks of the year suggest that we’re on for another busy twelve months! Our staff are working from home where possible, with contactless deliveries and collections taking place on site and at our depot. We are confident that we have comprehensive measures in place to keep our staff and customers safe.
How is London Stone looking to expand in the year ahead? 2020 saw the business form some exciting new brand partnerships, like with Stark & Greensmith, along with our first business acquisition, when we purchased Chelmer Valley in the autumn. 2021 sees us doubling our yard capacity, expanding our trade counter and head office premises, along with a new showroom opening to serve The Midlands. How will your plans for expansion help your customer base? Our yard expansion enables the business to operate at a more efficient level with improved service. London Stone will continue to offer short lead times, have high levels of stock ‘on the ground’, and be able to offer a superior customer experience overall.
We’re really excited about opening an 850m2 showroom in Birmingham. It’s an exciting step for us, and we look forward to welcoming our clients from The Midlands and the west of England, when it is safe to do so. We continue on our mission to expand our showroom network nationwide!
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What new products do you have in store this year? With the popularity of porcelain still on the rise, we’re introducing porcelain planks, setts, and project packs, as well as increasing our Luxury Italian Collection, which now boasts an impressive thirty-five colours and textures! On the natural stone side, we have a new Egyptian limestone, as well as new granite and basalt. There are also new project packs available in some of our more affordable sawn sandstones. We’re always looking to improve our product range, so keep checking the website for more details!
What about the environment – how important is that to London Stone? Incredibly important. Every decision we make as a business has an impact on the environment. This year, we’re going to map the carbon footprint of our core products and publish the results online. Our aim is to provide our customers with environmental transparency when using our products. Having carbon footprint data online will enable designers and landscapers to make informed decisions about the amount of carbon used within their schemes to drive it down. Look out for more information on our environmental credentials in Pro Landscaper’s Green Issue in March this year. Are you increasing the prices of materials this year? We’re pleased to announce that for the third successive year, we’re not adding a blanket price increase across our range. Should you purchase porcelain, sawn sandstone or sawn limestone from us, it will cost you the same in 2021 as it would’ve done in 2018. We continue to offer free nationwide delivery on full packs and orders over £1,000 + VAT on natural stone, porcelain and composite decking products, and we also continue to offer free grout and slurry with porcelain orders over £1,000 + VAT. Our aim is to offer the trade the best products on the market at the lowest possible prices.
What about your online platform? What changes have you made there? Our e-commerce website continues to evolve, and we are seeing more and more of our business come via the website. Our clients enjoy being able to place orders at their convenience, as well as taking advantage of an enhanced discount when buying online. We have also added new search features, technical data, and expanded our delivery zones to continually improve the online experience.
How else is your service improving for trade clients in 2021? We never rest on our laurels at London Stone, so we’re increasing the size of our sales team this year – less time spent on hold when you call us! – as well as having an increased consultancy team working directly with designers and landscapers across the UK. We have a new innovative Sample Box coming online, which will allow our trade clients to select and present the products most relevant to their schemes. We’re also adding our entire collection to the Vectorworks texture library, so that designers can import our products straight into their designs. We’re certainly excited about the year ahead! Stay ahead in a competitive market: choose the best.
For more information on how London Stone can enhance your next scheme: 01753 212 950 | firstname.lastname@example.org www.londonstone.co.uk
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MARK LATCHFORD COLLABORATION IS KEY
MARK LATCHFORD EXPLAINS HOW A DESIGNER CAN WORK CLOSELY WITH AN ARCHITECT TO GET THE BEST RESULT
design partnership from the outset between architecture and landscapes offers fresh ideas and creates a natural unity between indoors and out. It can also find solutions to old problems that, if missed, can be a headache further down the line. A collaborative approach across design language, innovation, materials, and logistics means the clientsâ€™ vision can be achieved in a journey that will be harmonious and interactive. There are several key areas we consider through the design journey. Requirements The below design project is a full renovation of a Victorian property including a contemporary new extension and extensive grounds with a tennis court, outbuildings, pool, and spa complex. The house sits at the top of sloping lawns, and the clients wanted a seamless flow from the house out into the garden. Our solution was to design central floating steps down from the modern extension through cascading lawns either side. These steps will be a centre piece of the upper garden, balancing the traditional of the main house with the modern extension and drawing the eye down the garden and to the views beyond. Lit up at night, these will create the wow-factor and extend the feel of indooroutdoor spaces. Lifestyle Our brief was to renovate a beautiful Oxfordshire cottage into a stunning family home to be
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enjoyed at key holiday periods. As a combined architectural and landscaping team, we were attentive to how the family wanted to use the spaces. Summer was to be an important time for all the family to get together, whilst taking advantage of the wonderful south-facing position, outdoor pool, and unspoilt views over the countryside. The design celebrates the rustic features of the property, marrying materials of stone and timber to create a harmonious natural flow. In the gardens, we created entertaining spaces, and planted for masses of colour in the summer months. The objective was to continue the charm of the house out into the garden, creating a whimsical feel and a sense of adventure for their young children to explore.
Design vision This project involved HollandGreen architecture, interiors and landscapes working together from the outset with one integrated brief. The Japanese inspired garden creates a tranquil space using a palette of greens and whites and a beautiful bonsai tree in the front garden. The design of the house includes open glazing and a wide timber skylight in the open-plan kitchen, bringing light and shades of green inside. In return, we used complementary materials in the gardens to extend the modern Japanese themes outside. A garden sculpture is
positioned to be seen from the front door and through each of the rooms, and lighting is used to highlight some of the main features at night.
Site restraints Every project will have unique considerations, and there are always unexpected challenges to overcome. By considering landscaping early on and by working in tandem with architects, many of the pitfalls can be anticipated and planned for. Our teams collaborate in the same design software and are involved in regular project meetings, meaning updates to drawings and any changes to materials and timings happen seamlessly between teams. Even when construction takes place up to two years after a large residential brief is taken, this approach means designs are thoroughly considered once the house is complete.
A B O U T M A R K L AT C H F O R D Since qualifying, Mark has gained experience at the highest level within garden design and landscaping, working for leading design studios. He is now the lead designer at HollandGreen Landscapes, providing a high-end residential landscape design service within the HollandGreen business and for architects, developers and landscapers. HollandGreen is an award-winning architectural, interior and landscape design studio that delivers inspirational design, transforming lives by creating wonderful living spaces.
ANDREW WILSON UNDER ANALYSIS
ANDREW WILSON CONSIDERS THE IMPORTANCE OF SITE ANALYSIS IN THE PROCESS OF DESIGN DEVELOPMENT
he early stages of the design process are always fascinating for me as I discover new information and explore the character of the garden or landscape with which I need to become familiar. I teach what is often known as the SAD process – Survey, Analysis, Design – as a way of collecting information and responses to a site before starting to develop ideas. I can remember in my first year at university that this took a little while to embed and the analysis in particular was often a tricky concept to tie down. And so, it seems that little has changed over the years as this remains a tricky concept for many of my students. The survey part of the process is quite straight forward and relies on the collection of fact, objective information which is easily identifiable. The measured survey falls into this category but so also does soil type, pH, materiality, existing vegetation, climate and micro-climate, history, planning or legal restrictions, for example. The idea is that this
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information is indisputable and can be easily accessed or shared. I ask my students to work together in collecting this information at the start of their major projects.
THIS IS A SUBJECTIVE AND INDIVIDUAL RESPONSE AND MANY STUDENTS HAVE TO DIG DEEP TO GET TO GRIPS WITH THIS KIND OF THINKING Site analysis is a completely different concept although it still involves the assessment of a site or location and its context. Here, we are asked for our personal response to a place and suddenly there are no rules or perfect answers. This is a subjective and individual response and many students have to dig deep to get to grips with this kind of thinking, possibly because it is unusual to be asked for that response in every day life. As a designer of spaces, we must however develop this kind of response if we are to design better gardens and landscapes, atmospheric places or comfortable gardens to experience. If a garden is sterile and open then we can, through analysis, set about resolving those issues. If a garden is claustrophobic and confused or difficult to read then we can simplify, clear or open up the space or spaces. A good and thoughtful analysis response therefore provides an essential building block in the process of developing a new solution. Key site visits on the garden design programme take students to the site on which
their project is based so that they can experience the place and take in the atmosphere or character. They photograph the location as an aide memoir and often use that combination of the written and the visual to convey their responses to me. How challenging then to deny the students of those site visits due to lockdown – the idea of 30 people invading the privacy of a private residence is not in the spirit of lockdown and limiting the spread of the new variant. I have supplied a wide range of photographs that formed a visual survey of the site and one student was allowed access to create a series of short videos but what many are feeling is that there is nothing to match being there, walking the site, sensing the innate character of the place and developing that personal response. The often reflective nature of the response is also denied as the viewing of the visual information is much more impassive and less of a physical experience. I have to agree with them and admit that never have I felt the power and importance of that physical presence on site more than when it is withdrawn. On behalf of my students, I can’t wait for that vaccine! Pictured: This overgrown, anaerobic and fenced off pond became the focal point of a new garden Andrew and Gavin designed around it through strong design analysis responses.
ABOUT ANDREW WILSON Andrew Wilson is a landscape and garden design consultant, director of the London College of Garden Design, and an author, writer and lecturer.
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PROJECT D E TA I L S
Project value £9,923 Build time 9 days Size of project 90m2 Awards Pro Landscaper small project BIG IMPACT Award 2019, Build Under £25,000 Shortlist
A SENSE OF
P R AY E R G A R D E N AT S T T E R E S A’ S C AT H O L I C PRIMARY SCHOOL ELMTREE GARDEN CONTRACTORS
L O C AT E D I N S O U T H E N D , B R I S T O L , T H I S D E V E L O P M E N T F O R M S PA R T O F A S C H O O L P L AY I N G F I E L D A N D S E E S T H E T R A N S F O R M AT I O N O F A L A R G E E X PA N S E O F M O W N G R A S S I N T O A P R AY E R G A R D E N
t Teresa’s school prides itself on providing a Catholic education and being part of the Catholic Christian Community. The Prayer Garden was put to be an exciting addition to the school, offering children and teachers with a serene place to worship and pray, enriching their beliefs. Elmtree Garden Contractors was to create a space within the school playing field, providing a placid area that pupils could use to pray and reflect. Sensory plants were to be chosen to heighten the senses whilst praying. Design and build Raised timber beds were constructed using softwood sleepers, as was the seating and timber edging to the water feature area – this same material can be found weaving through much of the scheme, creating a feeling of harmony to the space. The school wanted to incorporate the existing tree
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into the new design, therefore timber edging was installed in order to retain the soil. Prior to the timber seating being installed, the ground needed to be excavated to 200mm, consequently leaving a surplus of material. In keeping with their sustainability principles, Elmtree Garden Contractors formed a bank at the rear of the seating area, in which seeds were sown, with the excess material, forming a biodiverse segment for insects and other wildlife, as well as attractive flowers for the pupils to enjoy when using the garden. Adding interest to this otherwise isolated area, a spherical solar powered water feature was established. Pebbles encompass the water feature, requested so the children of the school could paint their own designs on them, making the feature much more personal and meaningful. Self-binding gravel provided a robust, hard-wearing surface, whilst also being cost effective. Where self-binding gravel wasnâ€™t an option, resin bonded gravel was used â€“ in the case of the feature dove and labyrinth, for example. Steel Everedge has been used to separate these features from the adjacent grass, chosen due to its flexibility when being moulded into shape.
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CREATING THE WHITE DOVE
Adhering to the schoolâ€™s specifications for colourful and interesting flowers, Elmtree Garden Contractors opted for fragrant plants including lavender, Santolina and rosemary. Shrubs were also planted, adding texture throughout a variety of different herbs. Height and dimension were formed through the use of plants such as Photini. The mixture of planting with the wildflower seed behind the timber seating, offers a range of scents, colours and textures for both the users and wildlife to enjoy. Planters were designed in order to form the shape of a cross a feature important to this Catholic school. A labyrinth, also important to this religion, was installed in the centre of the scheme to symbolise wholeness, while the dove installed portrays kindness, peace and forgiveness. Challenges Often, the most challenging aspect of a project is creating something bespoke which you may not have done before. Elmtree Garden Contractors was to incorporate a white dove within the resin bound gravel â€“ a request from the children that did not form part of the original sketch presented by the school.
Incorporating this specific request whilst sticking to budget constrains was the most challenging aspect for Elmtree Garden Contractors. It had to investigate different ways it could successfully be installed eventually deciding to spray the outline free hand into the gravel. After a few minor adjustments, steel edging was then bent into shape and set into the ground ready to resin bond to the inside of the steel edging in white, eventually forming the bespoke white dove.
A B O U T E L M T R E E GA R D E N C O N T RACTO RS Elmtree Garden Contractors are a Bristol based landscaping company carrying out work for Construction Companies and all kinds of Commercial Clients primarily within a 75-mile radius. They cover a wide range of commercial landscaping in Bristol and Gloucester, from planting and turfing, through to decking, pergolas and play areas. They pride themselves on carrying out and excellent job and always try to exceed client expectations.
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The Prayer Garden Bedding overlooks school field Solar powered spherical water feature Planters in the shape of a cross Flowers add interest View towards the greenhouse Curved seating area
REFERENCES Plants Middlecombe Nursery www.middlecombenursery.com Sleepers, edging board and pegs Standdons Timber www.standdonstimber.co.uk Wind chimes and solar powered water features Primrose www.primrose.co.uk Pebbles and type one, self-binding gravel Soils HS www.soilshs.co.uk Spruce ornamental bark Woodland Horticulture www.woodlandhp.co.uk Resin bound gravel Derbyshire Aggregates www.decorativeaggregates.com Steel edging Pitchcare www.pitchcare.com
AN OVERVIEW OF THE NEW AREA
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SPHERICAL SOLAR POWERED WATER FEATURE
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ENGULFED IN GREEN
FA M I LY G A R D E N , WO B U R N S A N D S PEHRSSON SCOTT A S T U N N I N G W AT E R F E AT U R E B E C A M E T H E F O C A L P O I N T O F T H I S M U LT I - F U N C T I O N A L G A R D E N , W H I C H P R E V I O U S LY H E L D L I T T L E I N T E R E S T
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ocated in Woburn Sands, this site backed onto a golf course and its potential was huge. The proposed scheme was a series of offset spaces which created a sense of intrigue, whilst leading the user through a carefully programmed set of areas – each with a different feel and function – whilst still tying into the overall concept. Brief This was the first time Pehrsson Scott’s clients had undertaken such a large-scale project, therefore the team was aware of how important it was to manage expectations and communicate design ideas in the most understandable way. Although presented with a relatively open set of requirements, the Pehrsson Scott team worked closely with its clients to develop a brief. They settled on a large family garden, aimed to enhance the internal
PROJECT D E TA I L S Project value Undisclosed Build time 14 weeks Size of project 700m2
spaces and provide areas for entertaining, dining and relaxing. Alongside this, an area for a garden building with a gym and sauna was requested, as were paved pathways for year-round use and access. Garden lighting throughout and seasonal planting were essential. Design and build Understanding the importance of turning design into reality through careful planning and craftmanship, coupled with open book communication ensured the construction of the landscape was delivered to the budget and exceeded expectations. Due to its low prosperity and high density, the clients opted for porcelain for the patios, a hard-wearing material which would be easier to maintain than a softer stone. Buff flint gravel pathways were a costeffective solution for garden circulation whilst still looking aesthetically pleasing, tying in to the overall style of the garden â€“ an element which complemented the paved terraces. Due to a cross fall of nearly three metres at the rear of the garden, a series of retaining
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walls were proposed to effectively level the spaces, making them more functional. A number of different retaining wall options were discussed. However, the clients eventually settled for hardwood sleepers covered by a damp proof membrane (DPM) on one side of the garden. These are hidden, but it was important to ensure the longevity, therefore minimal soil contact was ensured. Where the walls are exposed, blockwork and rendered walls were chosen. Due to the length of the walling, the team felt the rendered walls would blend into the garden more than brickwork would. There was considerable debate about the final colour, with the client selecting a mid-French grey. The walls have been designed to be at seating height throughout the garden. A vegetable patch and storage shed can be found at the bottom of the garden. Here, a softer pallet of hardwood raised sleepers and retaining walls have been implemented, signifying a different atmosphere for the space. The longevity and function of the water feature was crucial, as was understanding that it was the main feature and focal point of
the garden. Having implemented a neutral material palette throughout the garden, the water feature was to contrast to this. Therefore, black basalt coping stones were used to finish the water feature. Using a dark interior finish provides a better reflection to the surface of the water. The bottom of the water feature was dressed in large Scottish beach cobbles. A Huzna pond light has been installed, creating a rippled water effect in the night, casting onto the adjacent trees and hedging. Planting Throughout the design process, the clients were presented with a series of planted image sheets showing the designerâ€™s intentions of space through colour, texture and overall form. The team reached its choice of plants by examining soil conditions and understanding the overall concept and context of the site and its proposals. 1 Space to wind down with the sound of water 2 View from balcony looking over garden 3 Bespoke water feature as a focal point
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The planting was fundamental in the scheme. A more formal planting plan was implemented in closer proximity to the building, which gave way to a more naturalistic palette as you progressed through the garden. A simple colour palette was implemented, sticking to shades of green, white, blue and purple. Over 2,000 plants were planted, along with approximately 15 semi-mature trees, all aimed at increasing biodiversity. Carpinus betulus ‘Fastigiata’ can be seen framing the first paved terrace, underplanted with a mix of Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’, Agapanthus ‘Jacks Blue’, Anemone japonica ‘Honorine Jobert’ and Pittosporum tenuifolium pruned into cubes, to achieve the strong architectural form the clients desired. A series of multi-stemmed birches stand out against the dark green backdrop of the large existing laurel hedge. This planting has been broken up with a series of low evergreen hedges, made up of Taxus baccata and Griselinia littoralis. Here, the planting palette has been continued with the addition of more herbaceous species such as campanulas and geraniums. The planting scheme around the water feature subtly changes, with the use of large semi-mature cherry trees, along with three large Prunus ‘Tai Haku’ and three Prunus ‘Snow Goose’ opted for due to their striking seasonal displays. These have been underplanted with an array of herbaceous plants including Verbena bonariensis, Oenothera lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’, Sanguisorba officinalis ‘Morning Select’, anchored by Cornus alba. The cornus were chosen for their winter stems which would be highlighted by the western red cedar of the garden building as a backdrop.
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Towards the rear of the garden, more drought tolerant plants were used due to the soil conditions and surrounding existing mature trees and hedges. Large amounts of mixed native hedging and pleached hornbeams were added for screening. Materials Most of the paving, Pehrsson Scott sourced from London Stone. Both the clients and landscaping team visited the show room before opting for the Golden Stone Porcelain range. The bespoke water feature was designed in house and constructed using pumps and filters supplied by Landscape Plus. Large black basalt stone copings to the water feature were supplied by CED Stone, as was the gravel for the pathways. Edging was supplied by Everedge and large feature planters by Adezz.
ABOUT PE HRSSON SCOTT Pehrsson Scott is a young, innovative, design led company made up of garden designers, landscape architects and landscapers, predominantly working in the mid to high-end residential market. Its design focus is on creating naturally appealing sustainable spaces that will not only look great but also increase biodiversity and enhance its clientsâ€™ well-being. As a client-focused company, Pehrsson Scott believes in managing all aspects of its projects to make the process as seamless as possible.
REFERENCES Golden stone London Stone www.londonstone.com Planting Palmstead www.palmstead.co.uk
Special requirements Being near the golf course, certain screening measures had to be considered. It was crucial to allow views through to the mature parkland course, but prohibit direct overlooking into the garden. It was, therefore, proposed that a row of pleached hornbeams would be installed. Challenges Whilst access to the property was relatively easy, the back garden was not close to where the deliveries arrived. Consequently, a series of ramps were constructed to overcome the three-metre level change from the front to the back. The predominantly sandy soil conditions presented their own problems as
their footings and foundations had to go down deeper than would normally be allowed, for added stability. Large amounts of organic matter were to be installed into the planting area to assist with moisture retention and increase nutrient content into the soil. The existing site sloped over three metres across the rear of the garden, therefore a series of retaining walls were installed to level the rear end.
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Supplementary terrace/outdoor exercise space Fragrant lavender seen from garden building Oenothera lindheimeri planted throughout Perfect place to catch last of the evening sun
Olive trees Euro Plants www.europlants.net Raised planters Adezz www.adezz.com Water feature parts Landscape Plus www.landscapeplus.com Garden building Green Retreats www.greenretreats.co.uk Black basalt stone copings CED Stone www.cedstone.co.uk Buff flint gravel CED Stone www.cedstone.co.uk Edging Everedge www.everedge.co.uk General building materials Butterfields www.hbutterfield.co.uk
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Turf George Davies www.georgedaviesturf.co.uk
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PROJECT D E TA I L S Project value £19.5k Build time 1 month Size of project 60m2 Awards Pro Landscaper small project BIG IMPACT Awards 2019, Hard Landscaping Under £25,000 Shortlist
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WITH PURPOSE W AT E R C O L O U R P R O J E C T R A D I A L L A N DSCA P ES LT D LOCATED IN AN ESTATE WITH A ‘NEW ENGLAND’ FEEL, THE CLIENTS OF THIS UNKEPT GARDEN NEEDED A PRACTICAL SPACE THAT REFLECTED THE THEME OF THEIR PROPERTY
ocated on the Watercolours development in Surrey, this estate has all properties being rendered and clad in cement board in shades of greys and blues, creating a ‘New England’ undertone. The clients required a green space which complemented this theme. Prior to the project starting, the garden had been unkempt, the deck boards and sleeper beds were rotted through and both boundary fences had temporary supports holding them in place as they had given way. DESIGN PLAN
Several shrubs had outgrown the areas they were planted in, and as a result of poor soil health, the grass was a sodden area, even in the summer. The steppingstone path, towards the garage had a loose slab every other step and the surrounding slate was full of weeds and soil which had been knocked in from the surrounding beds. Client brief The clients wanted a total redesign of the garden, making it simpler to maintain, whilst still having year-round planting interest. They wanted a modern, contemporary feel with white rendered walls, reminding them of their holidays in Greece and Spain. The areas close to the house needed to be large enough to house a four-person table and chair set, with room in the main garden to expand to eight people, if necessary. A pizza oven and water feature were desired, and planting was to be of a simple colour palette.
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Design/build Silver grey slate was favoured as opposed to porcelain paving, due to the more natural, soft feel, and slightly textured, non-slip surface. The raised beds have been constructed from concrete blocks and rendered with a traditional sand and cement render, painted in white to match the house. The side boundaries are made up of the raised bed walls on the lower part, with a very modern linear fencing/screening on the upper part. The client requested low maintenance, which is why a composite grey material was used. The paving is complimented by a triangular piece of artificial grass. The bespoke water feature is the focal point within the garden, constructed by building a false chimney breast, cladding it with stone faced cladding, and leaving it open for the rill to be replaced. To keep the similar look as the area for the pizza oven, another bespoke worktop was created and acted as a single coping stone matching the worktop which was cut and bullnose on site. Placed in the middle of the garage wall, the water feature broke up the otherwise bland wall. The rill was chosen to give the noise of running water to make the area more peaceful.
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Pizza oven standing on a bespoke cut worktop All paving lines work alongside the 45° design Tulips and daffodils provide spring interest Trachycarpus ‘Wagnerianus’ underplanted with Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and Carex ‘Evergold’ Custom built water feature with Zantedeschia ‘Crowborough’ planted each side Eight months on and the plants are maturing well Alliums giving height and interest to the main bed Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’ provides the ‘Wow!’ factor
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The boundary walls were constructed from hollow blocks which were then rendered. Composite was decided upon due to its lifespan, minimal maintenance and resistance fading in the sun. The planting scheme was designed and installed by Deborah Davies Garden Design, who also produced all the projectâ€™s CAD drawings. The clients wanted green and white planting, with hints of purple. Their existing mature tree fern was incorporated and complimented by two Trachycarpus fortunei to tie in with the mediterranean feel of the white rendered walls. Challenges Storage of materials and waste disposal were the hardest challenges that presented themselves to Radial Landscapes. With only a single parking sized space to store everything, access through a side garage door proved tricky. Given the very tight working area, and small garden itself, taking time planning deliveries was crucial to make sure Radial Landscapes always had enough material on site to keep it going but also not overcrowd the site and leave it with no working area.
A B O U T RA D I A L L A N DSCA P ES Radial Landscapes specialise in all aspects of outdoor building projects, both residential and commercial, large and small. It offers a total project solution capable of planning, designing and building outdoor spaces that are unique, bespoke and functional. Radial Landscapes provides customers with beautiful and functional outdoor spaces. Operating throughout Surrey, Sussex and Kent, specialising in hard landscaping, ground work, site preparation and block paving.
REFERENCES Marshalls Casarta slate paving Marshalls www.marshalls.co.uk/ gardens-and-driveways
DURING THE BUILD
London Stone green slate cladding London Stone www.londonstone.co.uk Ecoscape composite battens Ecoscape www.ecoscapeuk.co.uk All aggregates, blocks and timber Lawsons www.lawsons.co.uk Balau decking for benches Roundwood of Mayfield www.roundwood.com
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CONSTRUCTING RENDERED WALLS
All muckaway, topsoil and volumetric concrete pours United Grab Hire www.united.uk.com
Working together to create landscapes to be proud of We are more than a supplier. Choose Green-tech and you get a trusted business partner. • Over 25 years servicing the landscaping and forestry industries • Renowned for our professional advice and technical know-how • Vast warehousing and stock holding capabilities • All your landscaping materials available from one company and on one delivery • Next day delivery • Competitive pricing • Excellent customer care
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LANDSCAPE A R C H I T EC T ’S
JOURNAL N TA P E ST RY
HATTON GARDEN BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT: BROOKES MARKET
2021 SAW A NEW START FOR URBEN AS IT BECAME TAPESTRY. WE SPEAK TO ONE OF ITS DIRECTORS, PAUL REYNOLDS, ABOUT WHY THEY MADE THIS DECISION, AS WELL AS HOW IT BETTER REFLECTS THE COMPANY’S APPROACH TO PROJECTS
ew year, new me is a phrase often proclaimed at this time of year. It was no different for Urben, as the start of 2021 provided the perfect opportunity for a rebrand. The company has been here before, though. It was founded in 2011 by co-director Liz Reynolds, and at the time, it was focusing purely on Liz’s planning projects, and little thought went into choosing a name. By the time Paul joined, the studio had diversified into bigger projects and added urban design and landscape to its scope of services, and it decided a broader name was needed, and so, Urben was born. 2020 was a year unlike any other, but through its trials and tribulations, it offered Urben the opportunity to reflect. In looking at the projects they’ve been undertaking and hope to get involved with in the future, Paul and Liz decided the time had come for a rebrand. The most obvious difference is the new name Tapestry, chosen because its meaning encapsulates the studio’s ethos and focus. Weaving together “When we worked with the branding agency, they had no prior knowledge about what we did, and so trying to explain it was really interesting,” Paul tells us. “We described our work as the tying together of spaces using landscaping. That hugely fed into our new name as the creation of a tapestry involves the weaving together of many threads.” For Tapestry, considering the bigger picture when working on projects is built into its process. “We look at projects from
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a nature point of view,” Paul explains. “We want to know how it fits into the wider nature network, and how we can tie it into this even more.” Tapestry often finds itself working with ecologists in order to achieve this. The last decade has seen a significant rise in the number of ‘blue-green’ corridors. These are essential in mitigating climate change, as
and transform a disused underground space. Tapestry’s own commitment to collaborative, research-led practice, has taken the company all over the world. Closer to home, the company has also completed research for British Geological Survey to minimise the risk of water management issues.
WE DESCRIBED OUR WORK AS THE STITCHING TOGETHER OF SPACES USING LANDSCAPING. THAT HUGELY FED INTO OUR NEW NAME
Strong narrative Though, as it is for most landscape architecture practices, preserving and enhancing the environment through its projects is key to Tapestry’s work, people are still at its very centre. Similarly, tapestries were a vehicle to tell people’s stories. “We have a very strong narrative running through our projects, which is people focused,” explains Paul. “We want to create spaces for people to thrive in.” At a busy 17ha site, Tapestry produced a design guide and special strategy for the Hatton Garden Business Improvement District. Here, Tapestry got a feel for what the businesses and the public needed, highlighting parking and servicing as key issues. Leather Lane Market, in particular, wasn’t addressing needs of users. Home to a bustling food market, it was the go-to lunch spot for many office workers. But with no green space or even benches to sit and eat, these workers were forced to go back to their desks. Within its strategy document, Tapestry outlined the opportunity and need for improvements here, to allow the public to spend much needed time outdoors and away from their work stations.
they allow for easier movement of wildlife and vegetation, reduce urban heat island effect and offer sustainable solutions to flood water management. With water and flood management a continuous issue in our built-up areas, the appearance of rain gardens as a solution is being seen more and more frequently. Tapestry has just taken on a project to not only create an effective rain garden, but also address street use issues, in the hope it can bring all these together. On a busy residential road with the occasional tree and a lot of flooding issues, Tapestry aims to create a multi-functional street which enables on street parking but also active travel, recycling, sustainable water management through a retrofitted rain garden and looks a whole lot greener. Tapestry hopes that this project will become an exemplar which can be rolled out to different types of streets. This project came directly out of Tapestry’s underground work. It’s book, Underground Urbanism, came from a study conducted comparing New York and London. While New York sits on hard rock, which is perfect for building skyscrapers, London sits on clay – not so good for skyscrapers but great for digging tunnels. Thus, New York is compact and builds upwards, and London is spread out with an underground rail network. The book takes it one step further, looking at all aspects of what’s underneath our cities – what is there and how can it be used to create more sustainable and enjoyable spaces? A case study from the book, the New York Lowline, is a concept for an underground park that threads together innovative landscape, lighting, architecture and planning to retrofit
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WE LOOK AT PROJECTS FROM A NATURE POINT OF VIEW Quality craftmanship Underpinning all of Tapestry’s values is the quality of its work. No matter what that is. Once again, this is something which weaved perfectly into the name change – tapestries are ornate pieces of art, which take skilled craftmanship. No project highlighted Tapestry’s craftmanship more than when developing a welcoming courtyard for the marketing suite of Verdo. “I’ve never done anything like Chelsea Flower Show, but I can imagine the marketing project for Verdo was similar,” explains Paul. “It was a microcosm of everything we would
RE-DESIGNING THE DOCKSIDE AT LONDON CITY AIRPORT
normally do, but they wanted it looking amazing from day one, and where we would normally have months, we had weeks.” This microcosm included coordinating lighting designers, structural engineers and metal fabricators, the implementation of wayfinding systems, navigating site access and scale restraints, and the creation of a lush courtyard with natural stone and a bespoke water feature – all completed within a matter of weeks. Future Far from being put off by the pressure, Paul hopes that Tapestry can welcome more of the same in the coming months and years. “It comes back to our interest in communal spaces,” explains Paul. “We want to keep making spaces work so they can be adaptable and fulfil everyone’s needs – nature included.” As well as growing the team, Paul hopes the company can expand its knowledge in this area, so it can continue to work on largerscale residential projects. With the rebrand propelling the company forward, it’s definitely onward and upwards for Tapestry.
C O N TA C T Paul Reynolds, Studio D, Mainyard Studios, 90 Wallis Road, London E9 5LN Tel 020 3882 1495 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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ccess to a wonderful new way of working and living outdoors is as close as the back door. For the best part of 2020, our clients have been forced to re-access their outdoor spaces and think about the way they might like to live in them. No longer will their gardens simply be for show, viewed through the windows of the house as the family rush off to cafes, the beach or get ready to vacate for a weekend away. Our homes are our castles â€“ our gardens our freedom. Take a little extra time to work with your clients through the design process ensuring that they can use their gardens as multi-purpose spaces so they can interchange between simple outdoor living to working from home, schooling, entertaining or even working out. This will also in turn most likely add products to your proposals, so ensure that you find the right partners to support you with canopies, kitchens, outdoor rooms, play equipment, outdoor bars and more. Your client and their family will most likely fall into multiple categories.
For the home worker The adjustment to working from home can be quite challenging and ensuring that dedicated time and space is put in place is key to keeping productivity high. Working from home is becoming the new norm, with many requests for outdoor office buildings and gyms and even zoom pods to be included in the garden design. Creating this
OUTDOOR ZOOM PODS
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F I T FO R
REPURPOSE W I T H M A N Y M O R E C L I E N TS AS K I N G FO R T H E I R O U T D O O R S PAC ES TO B E R E D ES I G N E D A N D ST Y L E D, D E B S W I N R OW D E M O N ST R AT ES H OW TO D ES I G N B E YO N D T H E B O U N DA R I ES O F T R A D I T I O N A L G A R D E N D ES I G N
dedicated space allows a separation from home and work life, which is extremely important. And this trend, we believe, will be here to stay. With many great outdoor building designs on the marketplace, you can integrate them into the overall scheme by choosing different claddings, lots of glass to view the garden, and a canopy or veranda off the side or front to encourage breaks to be taken in the garden. For the entertainer Delight guests with informal spaces for dining and entertaining throughout the garden. Look for the best evening sunspots for evening cocktails, or warm cosy spots for morning coffee. Outdoor bars are the latest requirement within client briefs, so we are developing and looking for designs to accommodate this. Outdoor bars can be kept simple, with perhaps a shelf on a fence wide enough to hold an array of beautiful gin bottles and a couple of glasses, or they could be fully stocked outdoor islands or high tables with stools to sit up to. An outdoor bar also means the party never has to move indoors! Add outdoor screens for games night, link in outdoor speakers, and include an outdoor plug point in the outdoor kitchen for popcorn and coffee machines.
For the family With many of our clients taking on the huge and admirable responsibilities of their childrenâ€™s tuition, it is important once again to ensure that our garden designs are fun and child-friendly spaces. Can the outdoor garden table become a desk? Then a ping pong table? Is there sufficient cover from the sun for warmer school days? Do you have access to Wi-Fi within the garden? Spaces for learning can also incorporate grow your own areas, wet play zones, science experiments, drawing in nature, making mud pies, etc. Be sure that the children of the household can also tidy away any school play equipment into a shed or watertight box ready to turn the garden back into a family space when the school day is over.
OUTDOOR BAR VISUALISATION
For the chef Lazy lunches and brunches are now not so easy to nip out to. The increase in outdoor kitchens is soaring, with the chef of the family wishing for their kitchen design to offer them more than just a BBQ set in a wheelable trolley. There are many fabulous kitchens on the marketplace allowing our industry to really exceed customers’ expectations by adding in even more detail. Add wood fired ovens so pizza and roasting are as easy as indoors. Add sinks and taps to keep everything clean and safe. Look to design in seating to one side of the kitchen units, or add an island. This way family and friends keep engaged with the person cooking and can eat and drink with them as delicious goodies are coming off the BBQ and out of the grill. Make sure you take the weather condition in your region into account. Avoid windy and cold spots and consider covering the outdoor kitchen under a canvas or patio roof so that the rain won’t stop them from enjoying cooking outside. For the night owl Don’t be afraid to introduce some sparkle to transform the garden from daytime to evening. Being in our own gardens after work is the new going ‘out out’, so being able to transform the garden into a glamorous evening space for drinks and nibbles will be high on the agenda. Ensure a strong lighting scheme is in place at the flick of a remote, nooks for lanterns and candles play a role, as well as furniture that can be softened with throws and cosy faux furs. Suggest the play of real fire with gas and wood firepits to stay living outdoors for longer.
WORKING FROM HOME AL FRESCO
2021 is going to be challenging for all of us in the industry, but make the most of each client that commissions your company and ensure that you try and offer them a turn-key solution for all aspects of their outdoor space, even if there are areas that you’d not normally become involved with. Find the right partners to work with that can become part of your virtual team of experts, getting the job done right, on time and on budget.
ABOUT DEBS WINROW Debs Winrow, creative director of award-winning landscape company Garden House Design, is an avid trend spotter, responsible for seeking out the latest and best outdoor living products, and developing an expansive portfolio to offer to both consumers and fellow landscapers and designers. SURROUNDED BY NATURE
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CREATING A LEGACY TAYSHAN HAYDEN-SMITH, FOUNDER OF GROW2KNOW, SHARES THE EXPERIENCES WHICH HAVE MADE HIM EAGER TO BRING HORTICULTURE TO YOUNG PEOPLE AND MAKE THE INDUSTRY MORE INCLUSIVE
he community of North Kensington was devastated when Grenfell Tower was engulfed in flames on 14 June 2017. Residents who lived in the shadow of the 24-storey tower block were forced to watch in horror as 200 firefighters fought to control the blaze which left 72 people dead. Whilst the council’s reaction was arguably lacklustre, the reaction of the community was and continues to be heart-warming and proactive. One of those who sought to turn anger into action is Tayshan Hayden-Smith. The twentysomething, semi-professional footballer became known as the ‘Grenfell Guerilla Gardener’ after he and his family began greening up a neglected space in the area, encouraging others in the community to get involved. “Gardening and horticulture were never in my vocabulary before 2017,” admits Tayshan. “I lived just below Grenfell Tower, and it used to be a really pivotal space in my life. I had quite a few friends who lived there and I used to play football on the pitch beneath it. “The Grenfell Tower fire shocked the community, and myself and my family didn’t really know how to react. No-one could ever prepare for that, especially losing some friends; and the people who are still here, they went through a lot. Time stood still.”
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As an outlet for the trauma, Tayshan joined a community group that was creating artwork under the Westway but found that it wasn’t quite the right activity for him. Instead, he came across a neglected space nearby and began to clear it up with his family. “We started going to local nurseries and asking if they could donate some plants to make it a better space. What we found was, through gardening in that space and
IT’S ABOUT EMPOWERING, INSPIRING AND EDUCATING YOUNG PEOPLE WHILST MAKING THE HORTICULTURE INDUSTRY MORE INCLUSIVE people seeing the change, they would initiate conversations with you, and then some started to offer their time. It was really powerful, that unity through nature, which is so good for the soul. It was a journey of personal therapy.” After two years of community gardening, occasionally taking a break to travel abroad for football, Tayshan decided to set up not-forprofit organisation Grow2Know in late 2019, just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. It aims to
encourage more of what he started after the Grenfell tragedy, greening up local spaces, but also to make horticulture more inclusive, with the help of fellow directors Danny Clarke – who is better known as The Black Gardener and for presenting the BBC’s The Instant Gardener – and agriculturist Ali Yellop, who also lived in North Kensington. “I thought we needed to build a legacy around what we were doing; I wanted to share the benefits and rewards nature has to offer to the wider community, maybe even nationwide, and Grow2Know could do this. It’s about empowering, inspiring and educating young
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WE NEED TO STOP SEEING GARDENING AS A LUXURY AND MORE AS A TOOL FOR SURVIVAL AND FUNDAMENTAL LIFE SKILL Whilst Tayshan might not have consciously thought about horticulture until 2017, it had been a continuous thread throughout his childhood. “My mum was terminally ill from when I was a teenager; prior to that, she was quite spiritual, she always turned to nature, but even more so when she was ill. We’d go on beautiful days out to parks and our holidays would be nature-inspired. It was a subtle influence. There were herbs growing in the kitchen and she would use these in cooking. “There’s a story of me bringing back a banana tree from my school summer fair, while my siblings brought back toys and sweets. It’s now flourishing and thriving in my mum’s garden. We had this beautiful, massive avocado tree which I planted when I was younger in my mum’s garden too. It sounds like this garden is massive, it’s really not; you could get from one
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side to the other in 10 to 15 steps. But it goes to show how nature played a massive role in our lives, both as a family and me as an individual.” Just as he experienced himself, Tayshan is hoping to bring more subconscious thoughts into conscious thoughts, such as children seeing playing football on a green pitch as engaging with nature. Grow2Know is aiming to deliver projects which can help to do this. “We’re looking at an urban farming project where we’d have a programme in local schools which young people can enter into and get paid to look after, like an internship or apprenticeship. We’ll have a lead workshop facilitator and utilise rooftop spaces in central London. The aim is to grow and yield as much food as we can from these spaces and maybe through hydroponics, aquaponics and modern technology showcasing more sustainable ways of living.” One of the organisation’s wider goals is for horticulture to be part of the national curriculum. “I can’t believe it’s not already compulsory in schools. Climate change and the environment should be at the forefront of conversations in any educational institution; educating people and giving them the knowledge, the tools, to make a difference.” And this desire to make a difference has only grown since Tayshan’s mother passed away last year. “It’s really motivated me to build this legacy, it’s what she would have wanted me to do. She was a big inspiration to me, and I wouldn’t be doing her justice if I didn’t fight for what I thought was right. That’s my driving force. I want to share my experiences and how gardening makes me feel, because I think that can benefit people.” One of the best platforms to reach a wider audience is surely the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and Tayshan is now seeking sponsorship for Grow2Know to exhibit a show garden at the event. The Mangrove Garden – named after The Mangrove, a Caribbean restaurant in Notting Hill which closed following continuous police ©Jessica Girvan/Shutterstock.com
people whilst making the horticulture industry more inclusive and giving communities of diverse backgrounds and low socio-economic backgrounds access and opportunities that they otherwise might not have.” Tayshan himself is from an incredibly diverse background, with an Egyptian-Kuwaiti mother and a Jamaican-Italian father, but found there were few horticultural role models with similar heritage. “Without Danny [Clarke], I don’t think I’d have anyone to look up to as a young male of a diverse heritage. I wouldn’t be interested in turning on the TV and watching gardening shows simply because it doesn’t resonate with me, I can’t relate to it at all. And Danny is someone that I can. I’m very close to him and grateful for his guidance and his friendship. “Standing in the garden, I felt almost embarrassed to start off with. But it got me asking myself questions, like why I felt that way and how we could change it. I really want to be part of that drive for change because so many young people are missing out on such an amazing experience through nature, and this could potentially change people’s lives. We need to stop seeing gardening as a luxury and more as a tool for survival and fundamental life skill.”
aggravation – will delve into the history of the community of North Kensington and engage local school children in the process. Tayshan is also in talks with TV production companies about opportunities to share the message behind Grow2Know and for Tayshan to be an inspiration to young people, as Danny has been for him. And this is no doubt just the start.
C O N TA C T Grow2Know Instagram, Twitter, Facebook @grow2knowcic
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F E AT U R E GARDEN
FROM THE DAY IT WAS CREATED, NEARLY 500 YEARS AGO, CHATSWORTH GARDENS HAS SEEN AN ABUNDANCE OF TRANSFORMATIONS. WE SPEAK TO THE HEAD OF GARDENS AND LANDSCAPE STEVE PORTER TO LEARN ABOUT RECENT CHANGES
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he 105 acres of Chatsworth Garden is the product of nearly 500 years of careful cultivation. Although dilapidation and new trends have instigated change within the grounds, a little bit of history remains around every corner. The first Duke of Devonshire was one of the first Englishmen to embrace the creation of the formal gardens fashionable in France, Italy and Holland. The result? A smattering of parterres, fountains, classical sculptures and formal buildings. The Cascade, originally built in the 1690’s, still survives and is enjoyed by visitors today’. Over the decades, fashion moved on, and so did the garden. Fountains were removed, topiary avenues disappeared, ponds were filled in. The landscape became more open, connecting with the wider parkland so that there was almost no separation between the two. In the 1800s, the garden saw Joseph Paxton step into the role of head gardener, creating the pinetum, great conservatory and arboretum and trout stream. He would become one of the most innovative of his era, responsible for The Crystal Palace for the Great Exhibition of 1851. Today, the garden sees more than three quarters of a million visitors a year – rivalling some of the most popular tourist attractions in the UK. Though the 12th Duke and Duchess are
keen to continue to develop the garden and improve visitor experience, careful cultivation is the key to success. Historically, the garden’s thriving biodiversity was a fortuitous result of the way it was maintained. The Salisbury Lawns were the first indication of the serendipitous manner in which the garden is maintained. Developed in 1730, from the very start the lawns have been mown to
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a medium height, with no fertilisers or weedkillers used. In recent years, an ecological study was carried out on them and they discovered there was a smorgasbord of species.
WE’VE GOT TO WHERE WE ARE BECAUSE THE GARDEN HAS EVOLVED OVER HUNDREDS OF YEARS. WILDLIFE IS GOOD AT ADAPTING TO CHANGE AS LONG AS IT’S SLOW Grasses such as Agrostis capillaris and Danthonia decumbens mixed with mosses like Brachythecium rutabulum and Calluna vulgaris, while wildflowers like Trifolium repens, Bellis perennis, Potentilla erecta and Trifolium dubium
poke up through. Beneath this, fungi and mycorrhiza were growing. “All we’ve ever done on the lawns is to cut them down, and we don’t mow it short,” explains Steve. “From an insect point of view that’s great, but also, as the grasses have adapted over the years to this height, they are able to flower. It’s really interesting to see how the plants have adapted, survived and thrived.” Today, biodiversity is at the forefront of Steve Porter’s mind, as head of gardens and landscape. “I think we’re more conscious of biodiversity now because society is more conscious of it,” explains Steve. “Although the way we have maintained the gardens for hundreds of years has created the biodiversity in the garden, it’s important that we perpetuate that. The best way to do that is to not change things rapidly, because it can have an adverse effect. We’ve got to where we are because the garden has evolved over hundreds of years. Wildlife is good at adapting to change as long as it’s slow.” But this doesn’t mean the garden hasn’t see any big changes. During the Victorian era, Chatsworth’s rock garden was one of the biggest in Europe. It had been in and out of fashion and eventually was covered, planted out as a woodland. 40 years ago, the Duke and Duchess uncovered it once more, but the cottage style planting sat in jarring contrast to its big rocks. In recent years, Chatsworth has been working with Tom StuartSmith to bring the rock garden back to life. Access has been improved, smaller rocks added for interest, and the old vegetation has been removed and replaced by a layer of perennials, grasses and seed heads. Hundreds of Iris run through the whole site, blossoming into swathes of blues and whites in the Spring. Grasses help provide the area with movement and year-round interest, as Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' and Melinis create ribbons and drips of red. Selinum wallichianum stands tall amongst the
grass, while the flowers of Origanum can be found on sunny banks, and Erigeron grows up through crevices in the rocks. In total, there are over 140,000 perennials and bulbs in the rock garden.
WE WANT TO USE OUR SPENDING POWER TO DO A BIT OF GOOD IN THE INDUSTRY With this in mind, it’s no surprise that rather than propagating these plants in its own nursery, Chatsworth Garden has sourced from Crocus. “Originally, we were sourcing huge numbers of plants from multiple nurseries, but when it comes to doing garden projects, that alone would have become someone’s full time job,” explains Steve. Instead, Crocus supply all plants, organising them into bed numbers, and 1 2 3 4
Chatsworth in Derbyshire ©Chatsworth House Trust Chatsworth in Autumn ©DPC Photography The Rockery at Chatsworth ©Simon Broadhead View from the Cascade at Chatsworth towards the house ©Chatsworth House Trust 5 Archway entrance to Chatsworth maze ©Chatsworth House Trust 6 Vibrant mixes of colour ©Simon Broadhead 7 The maze at Chatsworth ©Chatsworth House Trust
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transporting them to site, making Steve and his team’s lives as simple as possible. With plant orders in the hundred thousand range, Chatsworth Gardens has immense buying power, and it puts this to good use. 99% of the plants they use are grown peat free, while 95% are grown without single use plastic pots. Instead, the plants arrive bareroot or in rice husk pots. “We want to use our spending power to do a bit of good in the industry,” explains Steve. This isn’t the first time Chatsworth Garden has worked closely with Crocus, either as in 2015 Chelsea Flower Show saw The Laurent-Perrier Chatsworth Garden win Best in Show. Making a come back after an 11-year absence, Dan Pearson’s design was inspired by Chatsworth’s ornamental Trout Stream and Paxton’s rockery, and was skillfully built by Crocus. “Laurent-Perrier was looking for a new angle, having done Chelsea for a few years. Dan also felt that the model of show gardens at the time was coming to an end, and wanted something that was sustainable,” explains Steve. “The family had been living at Chatsworth for a few years, but hadn’t put their stamp on it. We spoke to Dan about bringing element from the Chelsea garden back to Chatsworth to kickstart a redevelopment. And that’s exactly what we did.” The garden sat in the prominent ‘triangle’ position so could be viewed from all three sides.
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Planting was light and fresh, broken up by large towering rocks, tall trees and a delicate stream. The rocks, benches and bridges were brought back and placed along the streams and the area continues to be added to, to this day. The redevelopment of COTTAGE GARDEN/ the Trout Stream SENSORY GARDEN caused a chain reaction of changes which ricocheted through the grounds. The rock garden was one, but Arcadia is part of the biggest transformation the gardens have seen for 200 years. The 15-acre woodland sat in the middle of the garden, unused, unmaintained, and unexplored. Working with Tom Stuart-Smith once again, the first step ROCKERY was to remove failing trees and reduce the undergrowth of rhododendrons, laurel RAVINE and holly. Once this was complete, it became apparent
that there were four main glades. This first glade’s streams, pond and damp environment have provided the perfect spot for a bog garden. Taxodium, Nyssa sylvatica, rhododendrons and magnolias give it structure, while Primula poissonii and pulverulenta, Iris ‘Sparkling Rose’ and ‘White Swirl’, and Geranium sylvaticum ‘Mayflower’ and ‘Nimbus’ add colour interest in drifts. The second glade, now named rabbit glade, has a much more open, sunny bank. Here, the delicate Davidia involucrate, flower and fruit bearing viburnum, hydrangea and eucryphia provide the structure. This area also features more grasses, featuring the likes of Miscanthus sinensis 'Kaskade' and Sesleria autumnalis. Around the woodland edges, Polemonium 'Lambrook Mauve', Aster macrophyllus 'Twilight' and Astrantia major 'Alba' decorate rabbit glade, giving a light and dark contrast. The third glade gets its name from the 100 steps running up through its centre. This site sees woodland plants like bright Phlox × arendsii 'Luc's Lilac', Phlox paniculata 'Nirvana' and Carex remota in huge drifts as grasses such as Hakonechloa macra and Amsonia hubrichtii give movement. Rhododendrons once again provide structure in the 100 steps glade, but this time they are joined by kalmia and Euonymus. Throughout this glade, scent is just as important as sight. The fourth glade is the most recent to be redeveloped. For this, Chatsworth Garden worked with Professor James Hitchmough from Sheffield TROU T STR E AM University’s AND JACK POND landscape department. After much consultancy, James has developed a seed mix idyllic for glade four (now titled the meadow glade). To do this, James analysed the site’s growing conditions, germination rates, and ideal density, so that the bag of seed will flourish on the site, and no plant ARCADIA should dominate the space. This was sown in Autumn, giving it the winter to stratify, with the hopes that it will burst into life in the spring. “The other glades swallowed 150,000 plants, so in glade
four we wanted to try something a bit different,” explains Steve. Within the series of glades, a centre piece sculpture made from dry stone walling techniques has been assembled, created to emanate a sense of slow, gradual movement over the land. Natural Course used more than 100 tonnes of local stone, with its structure giving life to the seemingly motionless stone. “One of the challenges we have at Chatsworth is that the landscape is so vast,” explains Steve, “the house is big, the views are huge and any traditional herbaceous borders just get lost. This
ONE OF THE CHALLENGES WE HAVE AT CHATSWORTH IS THAT THE LANDSCAPE IS SO VAST. THE HOUSE IS BIG, THE VIEWS ARE HUGE AND ANY TRADITIONAL HERBACEOUS BORDERS JUST GET LOST new Arcadia project is perfect, because you’ll see huge drifts of planting and a giant sculpture that can match Chatsworth’s scale.” For now, this is all the change the gardens will see as COVID-19 has reduced Chatsworth Garden’s budget considerably. After a challenging 2020, 2021 will focus the team’s efforts towards perfecting the areas they do have, rather than developing more. 2022 should see Chatsworth Garden back on course, with new projects coming out of every corner – including a complete rehaul of the diseased rose garden. “Chatsworth is a rare thing,” says Steve, “it has a little piece of every Duke who has lived in the house intact, and you wouldn’t think they go together, but they do. Part of Chatsworth’s DNA is this layering of history, and we’re just adding our layer, looking after the gardens until the next custodians take over.” 8 'Natural Course' under construction in the Arcadia area, Chatsworth ©Matthew Ling 9 Chatsworth garden autumn planting in 2019 ©Chatsworth House Trust 10 Picturesque pathways ©Chatsworth House Trust 11 Garden Development areas – current and future 12 Chatsworth Rockery in 2019 after undergoing changes ©Chatsworth House Trust 13 Designed with purpose in mind ©Simon Broadhead 14 Powerful bursts of colour ©Simon Broadhead
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THE RIVER TEISE AFTER DECEMBER RAINS – WHAT SHOULD BE A CLEAR TROUT STREAM IS SATURATED WITH UNSUSTAINABLE SOIL LOSS FROM THE FIELDS
B R I N G IN G BACK BIODIVERSITY T
he UK countryside we all enjoy and love is the result of generations of farmers caring for their land. Ours is a manmade landscape and far removed from a natural wilderness or the wooded pasture of prehistory. In fact, our landscape has been cleaned up, leaving isolated residues of wilderness and biodiversity. Benedict Macdonald in his book ‘Rebirding’ calls this ecological tidiness disorder (ETD). He also details how our bird populations have crashed as our farmers have cleared their expanding fields of food plants (wildflowers) which provide the vital food and habitat for invertebrates and the wildlife higher up the chain. The UK now has the poorest biodiversity amongst the G7 nations (Telegraph 26/9/20). Whilst our farmers are custodians of the landscape, there is an increasing voice amongst some of them to move away from farming with big inputs from fertiliser and chemical ‘Big Agri’ companies. The move is towards a more sustainable approach to food production which is also wildlife, soil and carbon friendly. However, I am a product of Big Agri as my father, a chemical engineer, was at the forefront of creating weedkillers and peat extraction when he worked for Fisons. It was all linked to a post-war need and well-meant push for improved productivity in the fifties and sixties. Food production did increase substantially, and farmers were encouraged to put more onto their land until they were riding the tigers back and could not afford to get off. The traditional rotation and fallow periods went out of the window and hedges were grubbed up to allow for larger machines. Wildlife and wildflower populations declined. We know more now than we did then about the damage to soil
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structures, soil wash off and biodiversity loss. The rewilding of the Knepp estate in Sussex shows that land without man’s inputs can recover and regain lost wildlife, so all is not lost. As we pull away from the EU and their Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which encouraged the status quo in agriculture, our
THERE WILL BE A MORE SUSTAINABLE APPROACH TO AGRICULTURE AND ENCOURAGEMENT FOR REWILDING PROJECTS sovereign government has been working on a UK version. The CAP basic payment will cease; its replacement, Environmental Land Management (ELM), is more in line with husbandry of the landscape, cleaning up the air and water, protecting from and mitigation of environmental hazards such as flooding, adaptation to climate change and encouraging plants and wildlife. The fine details of ELM are being piloted over the next three years but there will be a more sustainable approach to agriculture and encouragement for rewilding projects, all linked with the 25-year plan to improve the environment (and more on this next month). We will hopefully see regenerative agriculture under the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) spread across the landscape with more fallow and rotational systems which can cope without Big Agri inputs. The rush to produce our own food on this island is well intentioned, but our land is designed to grow pasture and pasture fed livestock are known to give us a healthier diet.
NICK COSLETT EXPLAINS WHY AGRICULTURE BEING UNCHAINED FROM THE EUROPEAN COMMON AGRICULTURAL POLICY COULD BE A GLIMMER OF HOPE FOR UK BIODIVERSITY Our diet of grain fed and barn enclosed livestock has been shown to be less healthy than pasture fed options. We now eat out of season foods all year round and waste 30 to 40% of food. If we stopped the waste, we would not need to import as much and become more self-sufficient. What we can expect post Brexit is that we may need to pay more for quality food which comes from a healthier landscape. Recent international research has identified fundamental sustainable farming methods, like: • Diversification of crop species/crop rotation • Adding wildlife habitat to farmland – i.e. wider field margins and hedgerows • Reducing soil tillage • Enriching soil with organic matter In the majority of cases, these green methods boosted biodiversity without any cost to farmers’ yields. We need more farmers to get onboard and the ELM and SFI should encourage this.
READS IF YOU'RE INTERESTED, OR STUCK IN LOCKDOWN: • Wild by Isabella Tree (do visit Knepp: www.kneppsafaris.co.uk) • Rebirding by Benedict Macdonald • Grass Fed Nation by Graham Harvey • English Pastoral by James Reebanks (also as @herdyshepherd1 on twitter)
ABOUT NICK COSLETT Nick is now retired but has worked in landscape offices, parks management and horticultural nurseries. For the past 20 years, he has also run soft landscape workshops at Coblands and Palmstead. He has been involved in BALI at a regional and national level, and is a trustee of the BALI Chalk Fund, as well as an awards judge.
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MAKING A SMALL DIFFERENCE
TO SAVE THE PLANET NO MATTER HOW BIG OR SMALL, THERE ARE CHANGES WE CAN MAKE TO HAVE A MORE POSITIVE IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT, SAYS LEWIS NORMAND
f 2020 was the year of problems and unanswered questions, perhaps 2021 will be the year of solutions and resolutions – perhaps. I’ve long given up hoping things will change for the better by chance and have adopted a direct response approach to sculpting my life and things I believe in through action and application. Gandhi has long been quoted (misquoted, it would seem) as saying “be the change that you want to see in the world”. Whether he said it or not, I like the sentiment and feel that we should all look to implement positive change on the world around us. 2020 was meant to be the year of climate change action, where we finally gave up our unsustainable ways and implemented changes in our lives that would help reduce environmental damage and save the world. Circumstances that we need not go into prevented this message from really taking a hold, but fundamentally I think it would have struggled anyway. While nobody wants global warming and mass extinctions, we also don’t want to have to compromise on our lifestyles. Any pretence to suggest otherwise is just that; most people want to help, as long as it doesn’t require them to do much, especially if any of it is in any way inconvenient. I’m not pointing to personal virtue here, merely stating the reality that very few of us actually are prepared to make severe lifestyle changes to make a difference. If we were, New Year’s resolutions, diet plans and personal growth targets wouldn’t be all too often abandoned long before the end of January. That thought has resonated with me for some months and the more I have pondered it, the more I realise that positive change will not likely come through swinging changes to all of
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our lives, but through small, measurable and incremental improvements. Nothing painful, nothing too radical, but everyone improving their environmental credentials at home and at work little by little and piece by piece. This strategy works, and while the anxiety, pain and
POSITIVE CHANGE WILL NOT LIKELY COME THOUGH SWINGEING CHANGES TO ALL OF OUR LIVES, BUT THROUGH SMALL, MEASURABLE AND INCREMENTAL IMPROVEMENTS suffering of 2020 have encouraged many to make significant lifestyle changes, most of us will still only likely respond favourably to making small changes. So, with that in mind, what changes should we be making? Where can we make improvements in our lives that will directly and positively impact the environment? Here are
a few of the small things that I have done – nothing drastic and all very achievable. Two years ago, I finally removed all incandescent lightbulbs from my home replacing them with low energy LED bulbs. The same is true of work, where energy is saved and the life of each bulb increased reducing waste. There’s an easy starting point. Last year, my family and I made a conscious effort to eat less meat, focusing on quality over quantity and UK production over imports. In 2021, I think we will take this further and look to expand our vegetarian meal options. I’m not planning on giving up meat, but instead reducing our dependence on it each day. As well as meats, we’re trying to eat more seasonally, so as to utilise UK produced fruits and vegetables and reduce the need for high carbon footprint imports. Nothing radical, all quite easy to do and all making a little difference. In terms of plant production, my nursery uses recycled and recyclable pots throughout our production. All suppliers should be doing this and all customers should be asking it of their suppliers and ensuring that they do recycle or reuse those pots post first use. Packaging at home and at work can be
reduced through refilling rather than replacing, where available; but more importantly, through requesting it of suppliers. I’m very happy to say that in 2020, I reduced our household waste drastically, partly by using a Hozelock Bokashi Composter to break down food waste into plant food before it was composted. As well as that, we found that most of the packaging waste we were left with after shopping was almost all recyclable and our recycling bins greatly outweighed our general waste each week. It’s a start. Businesses should all be well equipped by now to recycle and should be looking at their output of waste, especially reducing (to zero) their non-recyclable waste. Buy local. Not always as easy as it seems, but we are a relatively small landmass (not ignoring our islands and Northern Ireland there). Essentially, transporting within the UK is far more preferential than from further afield. UK plant and material suppliers should be our first port of call and I’m not just saying that as one of them. Even when buying a bouquet of flowers, it is madness to buy roses in February for Valentine’s Day. These will have been grown in Africa or South America most probably. Buy UK grown, seasonally appropriate cut flowers or even a UK grown plant, which will live for years rather than exist for days. It isn’t xenophobic to promote local or UK businesses, it’s sensible and it’s thoughtful. Indeed, it’s environmentally more conscious. Peat use in horticulture has been a huge point of contention in recent years. Our nursery has been peat free on home-grown production since 2013 and we have no intention to revert to using it again. Ask your suppliers about their composts to understand their reasoning. Apply some pressure or look elsewhere if they are
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unwilling to consider alternatives to peat-based products. Most modern composts are peat reduced, and peat-free alternatives are now of consistently excellent quality. The days of peat use in composts are surely numbered. Look for an alternative that suits you. We must also consider that peat burning is a very high consumer use of the resource in the UK and this also needs to stop to help the environment.
UK PLANT AND MATERIAL SUPPLIERS SHOULD BE OUR FIRST PORT OF CALL AND I’M NOT JUST SAYING THAT AS ONE OF THEM Look at energy – where are you using it, and can you reduce consumption? Can you introduce another energy source like solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, etc., to reduce your need to consume from the national grid? Invest in heat retention for buildings to avoid heat loss. Look at water use. Yes, we have lots of it, but we are very poor at storing it for when we need it most, this could be improved: SuDS, water capture and permeable paving to reduce surface water and retention; grey water recycling; even reducing the amount of water used in each toilet flush makes a difference. Consider paper and plastic – recycle and buy recycled. Reduce
consumption in general and invest in reusable storage. Buy local, forge strong relationships with suppliers. Avoid cheap imports, consider manufacturer shortcuts that enable products from halfway around the world to be produced and delivered for less than others within your own county or country. Environmental crime is very sadly a huge growth sector in international production. Slave labour and damaging environmental practices can’t be something we entertain supporting. Apply pressure on suppliers to use good sustainable practices and embody similar ideals to yourself and your businesses. If they can’t, then look elsewhere. None of us can singlehandedly save the world, but we all can make a difference. No matter how small your contribution feels, it is of value and if we all make a little effort to keep introducing small positive changes, benefits to our lives as well as the greater good will happen. Don’t be scared into inaction as I have been in the past; feeling that such monumental shifts are required to actually save us all. In truth, they are, but everything we can do will help.
ABOUT LEWIS NORMAND Lewis has worked in a wide variety of roles within horticulture over a 20-year career. He has lectured on garden design and horticulture, and designed gardens in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. Since 2011, Lewis has focused on nursery sales, now working as sales manager at Bernhard’s Nurseries, and has helped to launch a number of new plants into the UK plant market. He is a specialist supplier to show gardens, supplying more than 100 gardens at major shows.
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NURTURE GLEDITSIA TRIACANTHOS ‘SUNBURST’ CORYLUS AVELLANA
LOOKING FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT? STEVE MCCURDY SHARES HIS FINDS OF UNUSUAL CROWN LIFTED MULTISTEM TREES
lthough travel is currently rather restricted, I’d typically spend many weeks every year tagging trees to grow on all over Europe, but also looking for new gems that I believe will sell, if brought to market. In years past, they were often bushes I would find that could be legged up, whereas now everyone is doing it. Amelanchier lamarckii was likely one of the first multistems to be legged up, and I can remember years ago going with our sales manager Sarah Shynn on a summer trip from France to northern Germany, brainstorming what we should grow on in the following season. We spent well over 50 hours on the road that week, and what really hit us was the fact that so many nurseries were jumping on the AMELANCHIER LAMARCKII
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You might think that choosing a hazel for starters is nothing special, unless you saw the picture of this specimen. Whilst easy to grow, this traditional, native species has a broadly vase, multi-stem crown with soft, mid-green heart shaped leaves that can have a very vibrant autumn colour. Pendulous catkins are produced very early in the spring, followed by edible nuts in the autumn, and whilst it doesn’t like wet conditions it will grow in both sun and partial
crown lifting band wagon, with some of these nurseries not realising that some of their stock now looked hideous! Unfortunately, these Amelanchier’s had been grown over the last 10 years as a bush, so not only were there lots of major pruning wounds, but most importantly they had not been selected, then developed from a young age and shaped into a desirable multistem tree that you would want to buy. If they had carefully chosen the best on each row, they might have got away with their late arrival at the party, but the wholesale selection dramatically reduced the value of the whole crop. Furthermore, whilst less is not always more, when one selects multistems as if they were works of art, combined with ensuring that the plant is strong and healthy, one can quickly choose those winning pieces we so often see on Main Avenue at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. However, in this article I thought it would be good to share with you a few of the more unusual multistem trees that I have found that we grow on and develop at Majestic Trees, most of which are relatively unknown, but have huge potential. Believe it or not, we currently stock more than 1,500 multistem trees, and whilst we have great depth in Amelanchier and Betula varieties, there are many others genus of which we have more limited supply that are very special, and unlike many articles you will read on a writer’s top trees, at least they’re not just in an arboretum and rarely available to buy.
shade. H6 (RHS Hardiness Rating)
A lovely, multi-stemmed tree with very attractive peeling bark that produces panicles of small, fragrant white flowers in late summer that turn into long lasting, rose-pink to purple fruits. Though fairly fast growing, it will never get taller than four to six metres, with leaves turning purple tinged in the autumn. It will not tolerate poor drainage, but is quite happy in any moist soil, preferably in a sunny location. H7
A fascinating intergeneric semi-evergreen
Sadly, due to the current import ban, once they
We grow a number of varieties of this genus
hybrid between Parrotia (Persian ironwood)
are sold there may not be any more, but this
from 2.5m to nine metres tall, most of which
and Sycopsis (Chinese fighazel), which
evergreen tree looks fabulous as a lifted
have glorious, flaking tanned bark. The
produces a cluster of flowers on bare
multistem. Whilst you do not buy it for its
creamy-white, Camellia-like flowers bloom over
branches in spring with very showy red
flowers or acorns, it has a most elegant, broadly
several weeks in July and August, giving way to
anthers. No bigger than four metres, its
upright growth habit and bamboo like, leathery
firm red glossy fruits. Depending on the species
spreading habit and oblong leaves create
leaves that open bronze-purple when unfolding,
and soil pH, the attractive ovate leaves will turn
a handsome summer scenery, with foliage
making it an exceptional feature tree. It does
a stunning yellow, red, orange or purple in the
turning yellow to purple in the autumn.
well in most soils as long as they have good
autumn. All prefer moist but not wet, loamy,
It prefers moist but well-drained soil –
drainage, and whilst it will eventually become
acidic to neutral, free draining soil and
but avoid chalk or alkaline areas. H6
a large tree, it is very slow growing. H7
a semi-shaded position. H5
GLEDITSIA TRIACANTHOS ‘SUNBURST’
Although a difficult tree to shape as it can
We all hear about Osmanthus x buckwoodii,
have a mind of its own, with the right selection
but this slow growing, evergreen, holly-like tree
and careful pruning it may be developed into
does well on almost any soil. Its leaves are
a beautiful multistem. Delicate yet sturdy, it is
lustrous, leathery and dark green and, whilst
enchanting when backlit by the sun. Its dainty
spiny when young, gain a smooth edge as they
foliage emerges luminous yellow, gradually
mature. The best parts are the whiter flowers
changing to a yellow-green by the end of
that appear in abundance in autumn; though
summer, before warming to autumn tones
small they are very fragrant, and just what
when the season changes. Fast growing, but
a garden needs as it starts to look dull. They
still relatively small, it is tolerant of pollution
can withstand heavy pruning, and grow best in
and does well on any free-draining soil. H6
moist, well-drained soils and medium shade. H5
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A B O U T ST E V E M C C U R DY Steve is managing director of Majestic Trees, which he formed almost 20 years ago. He, often with another team member, spends weeks walking the fields of nurseries all over Europe, tagging tree stock he buys to grow on. Last season, he made 12 trips in his search to ensure the best quality and the UK’s highest biosecurity at Majestic Trees.
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VIRTUAL SEEDS MICHAEL G. WHITE EXPLORES THE ADVANCES IN COMPUTING AND 3D SOFTWARE WHICH ALLOW US TO CREATE VIRTUAL PLANTS WHICH CAN GROW AND CHANGE WITH THE SEASONS
lanting design has always been at the heart of landscape architecture, both an art and a mysterious science. The hand-coloured plans of Piet Oudolf, Gertrude Jekyll and others have a particular charm, speaking to their mastery of colour, form and seasonal change. Today, much of this work takes place in the digital realm, in BIM models and spreadsheets. Many remain sceptical of the benefits these digital tools bring to our profession. Is it possible to turn these constraints into a new world of opportunity? In short, how can we use the power of computation and new digital tools to create beautiful, sustainable landscapes in the public realm? Creating a botanic library The complex, living geometry of planting design has always created challenges in representation. Of the tens of thousands of
species and cultivars used in landscape design, only a few dozen are commonly available as 3D representations. To record a single moment in the life cycle of a plant is
SOMEWHAT UNEXPECTEDLY, CREATING GREAT DIGITAL MODELS REQUIRES BEING IN TUNE WITH THE PHYSICAL LANDSCAPE, WATCHING AS FLOWERS BLOOM AND FADE AWAY, OR NEW SPECIES EMERGE a difficult task. To capture the full extent of seasonal change and growth is far more challenging. To begin, we must create a library of three-dimensional plant models and their growth habits and characteristics. This process begins far from the screen, out in the parks and gardens where these plants can be found. First plant specimens are located and
identified, noting species and maturity. Digital scans are taken of plant organs including seeds, leaves, bark and flowers. These will later be reconstructed into virtual plants using 3D software. For smaller or less complex plants, photogrammetry techniques may be used to capture both texture and geometry. No plants are harmed in the collection of these scans, taken in situ with standard camera equipment. To create a series of models that include seasonal variation and growth requires repeat visits across multiple seasons. Somewhat unexpectedly, creating great digital models requires being in tune with the physical landscape, watching as flowers bloom and fade away, or new species emerge from the soil to take over. The experience of visiting wild landscapes to collect plant species for digitisation is also a process of education in our native ecology. Armed with these realistic models, landscape architects can assemble planting designs by placing individual plants or by distributing them parametrically. Plants may be arranged according to site conditions or responding to design moves. With a planting design fully realised in 3D, designers can walk clients through planting designs, use virtual reality, render video, or even animate growth or view designs across different seasons.
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Tools by and for landscape architects Today, the landscapes of our cities are designed and documented in software created for engineers and architects. The relatively small landscape software market has not generated any significant rivals that have seen wide use. This software is designed to deal with static, non-living building components. To design
Pro Landscaper / February 2021
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with plants, our tools ought to be able to express their growth and change over time as well as interactions with each other and their environment. Dr. Philip Belesky (RMIT) in 2013 lamented that “the potential of a computational landscape architecture is presently limited by a lack of computational techniques that focus on landscape systems. In the same way that architects have created tools to simulate how structural, solar, and thermal systems operate, we should develop tools that make hydrological, ecological, and other landscape systems active within the design process. These tools exist within scientific research and specialised software; the challenge is to adapt and integrate their capabilities into the computer-aided design programs that landscape architects already use.” At Hassell, tools developed in-house are being used for rapid prototyping and communication of planting designs. The ability to quickly iterate plant mixes and receive immediate visual feedback in real time is a valuable tool for planting designers. Similarly, the ability to distribute thousands of plants parametrically allows changes without the laborious process of updating plans. The future of digital planting design The application of complex computational methods to planting design is an unexplored frontier. In the same way that Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid and Mark Foster Gage have created new architectural aesthetics empowered by computation, we too may use these tools to
create new landscapes never before imagined. Computational planting design need not be limited to aesthetics. Appropriate selection and distribution of plant species in constructed landscapes can help to address problems such as water scarcity, rising temperatures and urban heat island effects.
SIMULATING THESE PROCESSES COULD ALLOW US TO DESIGN VEGETATION SYSTEMS THAT ARE BETTER ADAPTED TO THEIR SITE ENVIRONMENT These new methods have the potential to be transformative in our practice; however the creation of new design tools requires investment, time, and the collection of relevant data. A growing demand for resilience in the built environment, and the increased computing capabilities of a new generation of landscape architects and planting designers may lead the way forward.
ABOUT MICHAEL G. WHITE Michael G. White is a landscape architect at international design practice Hassell with more than seven years’ experience working across a range of sectors including infrastructure, residential, and education. His specialty is the application of digital tools to landscape architecture, including the development of custom tools and programs, and the coordination of landscape projects in BIM software. Michael is currently completing his PhD in Simulated Vegetation Communities at the University of New South Wales.
Dynamics and change The phenomenal, majestic landscapes of the natural world we see around us were not designed. They are the result of rules and processes acting over time. In the future, instead of designing our landscapes with pencil and hand, we may grow them in a simulated site environment. In nature, plant communities form resilient layouts that maximise use of available resources through a process of competitive pressure. By abstracting these processes into simple algorithms, we can predict how vegetation communities may grow and change over time. Simulating these processes could allow us to design vegetation systems that are better adapted to their site environment. In an agent-based model, individual plants are represented in a computer simulation. These plant-agents are distributed across a virtual site either by random seeding or according to a specific designed layout. These virtual plants grow and develop over time, influenced by site conditions such as available sunlight and rainfall. Performance and growth data are collected from test beds and digitised herbarium records and used to inform the simulation. Simulation as a design tool is well established in architectural and engineering practice, used for everything from daylight analysis to predicting structural failures. Planting design has lagged behind, a result of both the complexity of living systems, and a persistent separation of design and technical practice in landscape architecture. Developments in agricultural science and computing open up new possibilities for the simulation of plant growth and survival.
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global pandemic has been bad enough for businesses over the last year, and then to top it off, 2020 ended with panic over whether Boris Johnson would be able to secure a trade deal with the EU. Fortunately, an agreement was signed at the eleventh hour, and this isn’t the only cause for relief from the year (albeit it a little late). Despite a devastating second quarter after the first lockdown was announced, Majestic Trees is celebrating an impressively profitable year, with profit sharing amongst staff able to go ahead. It might not be breaking any company records, but managing director Steve McCurdy is thrilled with the STEVE MCCURDY nursery’s resilience. “The last quarter of 2019 was pretty good, and the first quarter, despite slowing down in March, wasn’t a disaster. “Thankfully, July, August and September – which is usually not the best quarter of the year, because it’s summer and people go on holiday – was exceptionally good, because a lot of people had been stuck in their gardens and stayed at home.” Now we’re in our third lockdown since the pandemic began, and Steve says it’s impossible to predict what kind of year 2021 will be for Majestic Trees, but the vaccine – once it’s finally rolled out, now there’s army intervention – is promising. And unlike at the start of the first lockdown, the nursery is able to remain open under the latest regulations. With uncertainty lingering, though, Steve says it will be a consolidation year for the
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MAJESTIC TREES OVERCAME ADVERSITY TO HAVE A SURPRISINGLY IMPRESSIVE 2020, BUT WHAT DOES THIS YEAR HOLD FOR THE NURSERY?
nursery. “I think I need a comfortable year or two now, investing in what we have and upgrading, as we usually do. I have no plans to buy any more land, but if sales go through the roof this year then I’ll consider it. “In 2019, we bought three brand-new trucks with lower emissions to go into London; that was around £260K, and I’ve likely spent a further £175k on equipment in the last month to catch up with deferred needed investment.
I’VE BOUGHT A LOT OF TREES AND WILL LIKELY BUY SOME MORE STILL, BECAUSE IF YOU DON’T HAVE STOCK FOR NEXT AUTUMN, YOU WON’T HAVE A BUSINESS NEXT AUTUMN “I’ve bought a lot of trees and will likely buy some more still, because if you don’t have stock for next autumn, you won’t have a business next autumn.” Whilst he made some tagging trips before the travel bans came into force, typically Steve would travel extensively throughout the year, inspecting and buying trees. It not only ensures quality but proves an additional biosecurity measure. Despite it appearing less in the press recently, oak processionary moth and Xylella are still threats to the UK.
The new rules following Brexit, Steve says, will help improve biosecurity too. Phytosanitary certificates are now required, and importers need to register as such on PEACH. The problem, however, is that the additional paperwork and potential delays could deter growers on the continent trading with the EU, so it’s important for nurseries to pay their European suppliers on time. “Everyone is going to sell to those they make the most profit with,” says Steve. “There are only so many trees available, and some of them take years and years to grow. If lots of people want to buy the same tree, then the price goes up due to supply and demand. That’s happened anyway, with the reduction of stock being grown over the last 10 years, and then you get Brexit; they’re now going to have to fill in more paperwork to send stock over to England. If you’re a small company and suddenly you’ve got to jump through a few extra hoops, you might not send stock to England.” So, Steve has prepared the nursery by stocking up and planning ahead; and hopefully it won’t be long before he’s back visiting these European suppliers to tag the next round. www.majestictrees.co.uk
when you need us The Landscape Centre, Leydenhatch Lane, Swanley, Kent BR8 7PS Tel: 01322 662315 Web: www.provendernurseries.co.uk
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A PLANT FOR EVERY ENVIRONMENT NURTURE
THREE LEADING NURSERIES GIVE US THEIR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE BEST PLANT SUITED TO A VARIETY OF DIFFERENT LOCATIONS
C O A S TA L
GRISELINIA LITTORALIS ‘GREEN HORIZON’
CA M E L L I A S A S A N Q U A ( I N VA R I E T Y )
Plants for coastal situations have to withstand an onslaught of harsh conditions that the elements can throw at them. High winds and salty spray are not the friends of many plants so looking for the plant that will grow happily in these conditions is a challenge. Griselinia littoralis ‘Green Horizon’ fits the bill and will provide good dense foliage cover all year round, offering valuable shelter on its leeward side, allowing for the planting of slightly more delicate plants here. Griselinia littoralis ‘Green Horizon’ is bushier in habit and more upright than straight Griselinia littoralis – exactly what you want from a hedging plant. Griselinia littoralis ‘Green Horizon’ is also said to be slightly hardier and slightly more rapid in growth, providing cover quickly in coastal areas. All Griselinia littoralis require a sunny position in a well-drained soil. As well as being generally pest and disease free, Griselinia littoralis have very low maintenance requirements with little pruning or trimming needed. As with any plant or hedge a mulch applied each autumn will benefit the plants greatly. www.provendernurseries.co.uk
Palmstead ROOF G A R D E N F' EELSI TJ AU HC ABGL UL AE 'U C A
The Camellia sasanqua group, while less well known than the showy Camellia japonica are real all-rounders for the urban planting. They are stunning in flower from late summer, and depending on variety can go right through the bleak midwinter – many are fragrant too. They are extremely happy in shade, and yet equally successful in a sunny warm corner. Camellia sasanqua will grow well in most soils as long as it is well drained, so not nearly as fussy as you might think. Although most designers think of camellias as large shrubs, we grow many as fully fledged multi-stems which give space for under planting and look fantastic when given good lighting. Typically, the Camellia sasanqua can grow to 5 or 6m in exceptionally good positions, but are very easy to prune or even to make hedges of. Not particularly surprising, as it's of the family that tea comes from. When a checklist for urban planting starts with ease of care and goes right through to abundant flowering, then the Camellia sasanqua group is hard to beat. www.griffinnurseries.co.uk
When choosing suitable plants for a roof garden there are a number of things to consider. Unless there is access to lifting equipment, the plants will need to be carried to where they’re needed. The roof will also need to be checked to ensure it can bear the weight of numerous plants, pots, compost, and of course the water contained therein. Unless the roof garden has a handy water supply, it will need plants that are relatively drought tolerant. Once you’ve taken these important factors into account, you can then choose plants to enhance the available space, taking into account areas of shade, exposure to the elements and the size the plant will grow to. Festuca glauca 'Elijah Blue' is ideal for a roof garden. An elegant evergreen
clumping grass with subtle changes in foliage colours through the seasons, with bristly narrow summer flowers towering above the clump and turning golden brown towards autumn. The easy-going Festuca glauca 'Elijah Blue' requires relatively little maintenance – though you may need to comb out dead foliage and prune to shape in the spring. This grass will require little water, is relatively hardy in all but the most exposed areas and will grow to a maximum height of 30cm with a spread of 45cm. When placed amid a backdrop of contrasting colours the spiky blue foliage will provide an interesting focus to any roof garden. www.palmstead.co.uk
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CAN STILL YIELD FRUIT O
THE TRADES’ COACH ALISON WARNER KICKS OFF THE NEW YE AR WITH A SIMPLE BUT EFFECTIVE STRATEGY TO GET MORE CUSTOMERS IN A GLOBAL CRISIS
ne of the best business books I have read is 'They Ask You Answer' by Marcus Sheridan. Marcus, who is part owner of a swimming pool company in the States, describes how their sales fell off a cliff during the global financial crisis. Worried sick, he realised he already had the answer. All the knowledge he had gained working in the showroom, as customers came in asking the same questions. He was inside the customer’s head.
THE CONTENT MIRRORED THE SEARCH TERMS CUSTOMERS WERE PUTTING INTO GOOGLE AND AS A RESULT THEIR WEBSITE TRAFFIC STARTED TO SOAR And so, he set about creating a series of blogs, articles and videos; and each piece of content was given the title of a frequently asked customer’s question. For example, how much does a fibreglass pool cost? The content mirrored the search terms customers were putting into Google and as a result their website traffic started to soar.
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Adapt and attract the right customers Within a matter of months, the company’s fortunes began to change. Enquiries started to come back in and sales recovered. Over time, they didn’t just recover, they soared. The company soon couldn’t actually cope with the influx of enquiries they were receiving. However, each enquiry meant driving miles to see the customer, providing a quote for the pool and many enquiries didn’t result in a sale.
Get inside your customer’s head Have a think about what you could do to anticipate your customer’s needs and wants. Conduct some research into the most common questions your customers ask and
CONDUCT SOME RESEARCH INTO THE MOST COMMON QUESTIONS YOUR CUSTOMERS ASK AND BUILD THAT INTO YOUR SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY build that into your sales and marketing strategy. Could you begin writing blogs and articles with these questions as the title? Or start creating videos? Now is the perfect time to do this, you could find by the summer, you are being inundated with qualified enquiries!
A B O U T A L I S O N WA R N E R This is where the videos, blogs and articles came in to their own again. The company began using them as an educational tool, sending them out to customers when they made their initial enquiry. This did two things: 1. It helped pre-qualify the customers who were serious, so they didn’t have to visit as many people. 2. It cut down the time spent on sales appointments, as the customers already had the answers to their questions.
Alison Warner is founder of Evolve and Grow Ltd, a business coaching firm that specialises in helping owners of construction and trade businesses grow sustainably. She is also the author of bestselling book ‘Build and Grow: How to go from Tradesperson to Managing Director in the Construction and Trade Industries’: https://amzn.to/2QIb467 Grow in 2021: Alison is launching the Build and Grow Academy later in February 2021, the first online training centre for trades and construction SMEs. For news on the launch please email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.evolveandgrowcoaching.com
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AL L SYST EMS G O SYST E M S R U N YO U R B U S I N E S S , B U T W H Y SYST E M I S E ? N I C K R U D D L E E X P L A I N S
’m sure you’ve heard of the importance of having systems in your business, but what is meant by this? By definition, a ‘system’ is ‘an organised collection of parts (or subsystems) that are highly integrated to accomplish an overall goal’. Eighty percent of tasks in a business are repetitive tasks that are done either hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly. These tasks can be systemised and documented as these are processes that are performed on a regular basis. All processes can be broken down into manageable steps and then an IT-based system can be used to manage these steps through to completion of the task.
ALL GREAT BUSINESSES ARE RUN ON GREAT SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES, BUT THEY ARE ONLY AS GOOD AS THE PEOPLE WHO RUN THEM. THE RULE OF THUMB IS 80% SYSTEMISATION, 20% HUMANISATION! All great businesses are run on great systems and processes, but they are only as good as the people who run them. The rule of thumb is 80% systemisation, 20% humanisation! So, what systems do you use in your business? No doubt you will have an accounts system such as Xero, QuickBooks or Sage. Maybe a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system? A quoting system? A project management system? In a nutshell, you’ll have various IT systems for all of the different departments in your business: accounts, sales, marketing, HR, operations and administration. These systems
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should be set up based on the proven step-bystep processes you have identified and put in place for each of your critical business paths. Once you have all of these processes set up and fully documented, the way you induct and train new members of staff to get up to speed will be transformed. By having this structure in place, you will get everyone following your proven methodology to a consistently high standard which will, in turn, make you a far more efficient and profitable business. This may all sound difficult and confusing, but it really doesn’t need to be. It is actually fairly straight forward and a simple process when you know how. And do you know what the best thing is? You, as the business owner, will not be documenting a single process yourself! Phew! “What a relief,” I hear you say! Many business owners I speak to are continually frustrated when their team do things wrong or do not perform tasks in the way they would like them to. This means they are constantly having to get involved in all areas of the business, which can be exhausting and demoralising. As the owner of the business, you
should be the least busy person in it. Therefore, focusing the majority of your time working ON the business and not being forced to work a job IN your business. If you want to find out how this could all be applied to your business, go to www.nickruddle.com and set up a free one-hour strategy call.
ABOUT NICK RUDDLE Since 2007, Nick Ruddle has coached many landscape contractors, horticulturists, nurseries, garden centres and garden designers to success and works closely with the main industry associations, suppliers and leaders. With more than 5,000 hours of one-to-one coaching and delivering hundreds of workshops and seminars over the years, Nick can help implement specific strategies, methods, processes and systems that will produce exceptional results for your landscape business. www.nickruddle.com
IN NEED OF A
n important, but sometimes overlooked, contract provision relates to ‘change control’. It is usually more prescriptive than a general ‘variation’ clause that requires variations to be in writing and signed by the parties. A change control clause is one where, due to business needs or a significant change in circumstances, one or both parties want to substantially change a specific part of the contract. Like a variation clause, it aims to regulate change and exclude the possibility of informal, and perhaps inadvertent, variations being made to an agreement orally, or by conduct. For example, the client’s requirements may change, which means the amount to be charged to the client is no longer appropriate. There may have been a change in law or regulations, or a sudden/unavoidable change in how much providing the service will cost the supplier, or necessary adjustments to timescales. This may be particularly pertinent following Brexit; for example, with changes to tariffs or timely availability of certain goods or services. A change control clause is important because it can provide a proper process by which the scope of the service provided can be altered. A properly drafted change control clause gives the parties clarity about a proposed change and the implications (both financial and otherwise) if it is agreed, or if it is not agreed.
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ILAN BRAHA AND JASON MCKENZIE OF ORACLE SOLICITORS EXPLAIN THE BENEFITS AND PITFALLS OF A CONTRACT’S ‘CHANGE CONTROL’ CLAUSE
There are a number of things to look out for or avoid. First is the service provider having to unreasonably bear the costs (and loss of income) associated with a specification change implemented or demanded by the client. Secondly, the client’s ability to reduce the scope of the service beyond an acceptable amount (for example, 5%) or alternatively an extension without appropriate remuneration – a service provider may also want to be able to terminate the contract if the service reduction makes the contract no longer economically or commercially viable. Third, a party’s ability to impose a change unilaterally.
IT IS IN THE INTERESTS OF BOTH PARTIES TO HAVE CLARITY ON THE CONTRACTUAL REQUIREMENTS WHERE CHANGES ARE NEEDED OR PROPOSED Change control clauses should provide for either party to request a change separately. A sensible first step is for the party wishing to introduce a change to send the other a written request with as much detail as would reasonably allow the other to be able to properly consider the request. For the more complex services,
a good change control clause will often have proforma request/response templates, with sections about the types and level of information that must be provided in order for the other party to make a properly informed decision about the proposed change and respond appropriately. It should also specify time limits for the steps in the change process and the consequences of non-compliance with those deadlines. The clause should require any negative response be accompanied by reasoning and allow at least one opportunity to reconsider, for example, following a meeting. If the parties agree to the proposed change, the requirements to document the change should also be specified, for example, by way of a signed ‘Change Control Note’ or ‘Contract Variation’ that is signed by the authorised person for each party. Overall, it is in the interests of both parties to have clarity on the contractual requirements where changes are needed or proposed; this can significantly reduce the potential for disputes further down the line.
A B O U T O R AC L E S O L I C I TO R S Oracle Solicitors is an award-winning law firm with a deep understanding of the landscape industry and expertise in employment, commercial, litigation, property and contract law. Oracle Solicitors, founded in 2002 has since grown to include offices in London, Belfast, Birmingham, Manchester, Frankfurt, and Addis Ababa – please visit:
Pro Landscaper / February 2021 83
THE GRAFTER RANGE
f you are in the market for lower-weight, rigid vehicles, then Isuzu Truck UK has you covered. Our range starts at 3.5t and tops out at 13.5t; all are Euro 6 LEZ compliant, and there is a broad spectrum of cabs, wheelbases and bodies. Isuzu Truck UK’s market share has grown in all categories over the last three years. At 3.5t, we have gained a significant market share, with approximately 27,000 to 28,000 vehicles within this sector. We have gained a considerable increase within the landscaping sector, with tippers and dropsides making the large proportion of our sales – predominantly with modified chassis. Moving up the range, at 7.5t we are retaining between 20 to 25% market share and we are the second best-selling truck in volumes, gaining market leadership in tippers and dropsides. Our 7.5t range is well known for its carrying capacity as it offers more body and payload potential than other models in its class. The same applies to our larger models at 11t and 13.5t, which are boasting physical footprints no larger than the 7.5 tonners, where we continue to see a significant growth in this weight range, although it is a much smaller overall market. Registrations in Q2 2020 were at times down by up to 85% in the LCV sector, but the market has recovered to only 21% (down YTD Nov 2020). During this very uncertain period, Isuzu Truck UK and our dealer network have, however, managed to grow the sales volumes – we are up 13% on previous years. In fact, the current sales volumes are the highest in the company’s history. The market has also seen a considerable number of changes to legislation surrounding both emissions and general safety regulations, to reduce harmful particulates and to make the
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MAR K E T
RICHARD WATERWORTH OF ISUZU TRUCK UK EXPLAINS HOW THE COMMERCIAL VEHICLE MARKET HAS CHANGED AND HOW THE COMPANY HAS RESPONDED vehicles safer for both the drivers and the general public. We regularly communicate with our colleagues in Japan and there is considerable R&D into ongoing future legislative changes. With the ever-increasing volume of vehicles on UK roads, it is important that we offer
DESPITE THE UNCERTAINTIES OF 2020, WE TOOK ON SEVEN NEW DEALERS AND ARE FURTHER EXPANDING a lightweight, small-footprint vehicles that allow for manoeuvrability in the tightest of spaces. Thanks to our forward design cab, which gives our vehicles a much-reduced turning circle, we are able to fit equivalent body lengths to that of other manufacturers, but reduce the overall length of the vehicle. We have also seen a shift in how customers purchase vehicles with finance offerings currently being at a very low rate of interest, thus allowing customers to tailor make finance solutions to meet their business requirements. Isuzu Truck UK is partners with BNP Paribas and we are currently offering three
bespoke finance solutions. One of them is the seasonal payments scheme where customers may see a reduction on revenue at certain times in a year, which may suit many landscaping businesses with quiet periods during the year. Isuzu Truck UK also offers a three-year unlimited mileage warranty and roadside assistance as standard across our whole range. We are also backed by a comprehensive commercial dealer network which fully understands the customer service levels that are expected in the commercial vehicle sector. This was very evident during the pandemic when many of the light commercial vehicle dealers from other manufacturers closed but we were able to carry on servicing our customers. Our UK dealer footprint has been growing, and despite the uncertainties of 2020, we took on seven new dealers and are further expanding our dealer network in all open areas.
ABOUT RICHARD WATERWORTH Richard is head of sales and marketing at Isuzu Truck UK. He started in the commercial vehicle industry just over 30 years ago. In April 2021 he will have been with ITUK for seven years. During this period both the sales department and the franchise dealer network have been strengthened with some extremely experienced and professional personnel allowing the business to grow to record levels since the introduction of the ITUK into the UK in 1996.
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Isuzu 3.5t Euro 6
Compact footprint, same powerful performance and payload. Due to Isuzuâ€™s forward cab design we are able to fit equivalent body length to that of European manufacturers but reduce the overall length of the vehicle. For the ultimate flexibility the 3.5t Grafter chassis cab is available with either single or twin rear wheels. This versatility delivers a unique blend of body options, payload, comfort and performance.
01707 282944 / isuzutruck.co.uk
*Terms & Conditions apply. Subject to specification. Images shown are for illustration purposes only.
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ow to install porcelain paving is, unfortunately, not a straightforward issue. What do you lay it on? Does 10mm in thickness make a difference? The answers, when asking either those who install it or those supplying it, are given somewhat cautiously, with an eagerness to avoid any liability. It’s a hot topic, though. Porcelain paving has continued to grow in popularity, fitting in seamlessly to a contemporary design. “It has become part of the common horticultural lexicon and there is no sign of sales abating,”
THE KEY, AS ALWAYS, IS THE PREPARATION AND MAKING SURE WHAT YOU CANNOT SEE BENEATH IS SPECIFIED AND BUILT CORRECTLY FIRST A N DY K I R M A N
says Andy Kirman of Kirman Design. “There are plenty of fantastic claims around but, being realistic, tiles exposed to massive temperature
PE RCE PT IO NS OF
PORCEL AIN UNSURE WHETHER TO USE TO 10MM OR A 20MM PORCEL AIN PAVING? WE ASKED E XPERIENCED INSTALLERS FOR THEIR ADVICE
extremes [and] constant traffic…are obviously going to affect it in some manner, however you table saw it up. “The tile thickness in theory shouldn’t make a huge amount of difference – after all, we lay 20mm of resin on driveways – but using common sense does help. The key, as always, is the preparation and making sure what you cannot see beneath is specified and built correctly first.” When 10mm porcelain tiles first came to the UK, they were laid internally, Mark Youde of Urban Landscape Design tells us. “The porcelain market grew in this country, but manufacturers realised that porcelain at 20mm was more
sufficient for external use. In a house, once the floors are cured and you put 10mm tiles down, that house is going to stay at a reasonably constant temperature and there’s not going to be any variants like we have in the UK outdoors. I’ve spoken to quite a few tilers who have dabbled in exterior porcelain and their concern is that there is not a lot of structural strength in a 10mm tile for external use when it’s got to deal with elements of weather change; 20mm tiles have got a better structural strength to them and more durability against the weather.” You can lay 10mm tiles outside, says Jake Catling of The Landscaping Consultants – but the usual recommended method might not be
Compact performance you can rely on.
Porcelain paving withB2_DPS450x128 Kubota ad.indd s2.indd 86 Prolandscaper FEB 2
the best one. “If you lay 10mm tiles correctly it can be done so with great success. There are some misconceptions about porcelain in the industry which seems to lead many to think it is a miracle product that solves all the issues associated with stone. The fact is, you may solve one problem only to create another; 20mm porcelain was originally meant to be installed on pedestals, but its thickness makes it look like a paving slab, so it gets treated like one in terms of its use and the way it is laid. This causes some
THE TRUTH IS THAT AT WHATEVER THICKNESS, THIS IS A TILE, AND FOR BEST PRACTICE IT SHOULD BE INSTALLED AS ONE J A K E C AT L I N G
issues over time, most of which people are unaware of. The truth is that at whatever thickness, this is a tile, and for best practice it should be installed as one. “This solves most issues with external porcelain but, as I mentioned already, one problem solved can create another. Examples of
Mark Youde – who has his own training academy – says most landscapers, though, will lay 20mm porcelain the “traditional way” on a sand and cement mix. “They would use a bridging bond or a slurry primer on the back of the slabs to give better adhesion, and that’s really important with exterior porcelain. There’s
these are mass laid concrete rafts, decoupling layers and two to three layers of adhesive needed to lay porcelain for best results. These coupled with the mass uptake of external porcelain due to the ever-lowering price point and misconception of its miracle properties could potentially create an environmental issue in the future. No-one is widely recycling it yet, so it’s more than likely going to end up in landfill. You can’t lift and reuse porcelain like you can natural stone. So, I’d love to see the carbon calculations associated with its full lifespan, from sourcing the raw materials, to how it’s disposed of once its original aesthetic appeal fades. The question we should all be asking is, what is the real environmental impact of porcelain laid externally?”
KNOW EVERYTHING YOU CAN ABOUT THE PRODUCT M A R K YO U D E
very little porosity so little water can penetrate through; if you don’t put a bridging bond on the back if you’re laying it the traditional way then the paving slab could potentially delaminate and become loose.” The APL, of which Mark is a committee member, is launching a new set of “guidelines” for installing paving. But, Mark says the most important thing any landscaper can do is “know everything you can about the product” and speak to those with experience installing that product, particularly those from your local area who are dealing with similar soil types which can affect the installation method.
B2 Series: The efficient and powerful choice Designed to deliver user friendly operation with outstanding productivity, the compact B2 series tractors offer the best-in-class for versatility, durability and comfort. ■ Reliable, powerful and economical Kubota E-TVCS diesel engine – choice of 23HP, 26HP or 31HP. ■ Highly responsive and manoeuvrable with a choice of HST or manual transmission, selectable 4WD and Bi-Speed turn feature. ■ Versatile implement operation with mid and rear PTO, with up to 970kg lift capacity. ■ Operator-friendly, designed for maximum comfort with ROPs or integrated air-conditioned cab option. Contact your local dealer or visit our website for more details. www.kubota.co.uk
*Conditions apply. See your Kubota dealer for details.
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21/01/2021 20/01/2021 16:45 09:38
T: 01507 525 000 E: email@example.com www.crowdersnurseries.co.uk
W Crowder & Sons Ltd
W Crowder & Sons Ltd
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If youâ€™re interested in taking part in the UK Landscape Barometer, or if you would like to read the full report, please contact Josh Chew at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01903 777570
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se of porcelain tiles has soared in popularity and all 20mm porcelain is the same, right? CLARE MORGAN There are many suppliers in the UK, at varying price points, but one thing is for certain – the quality of what you are buying is completely dependent on the manufacturing process and the factory that originally made it. Producing quality porcelain is both an art and a science, essentially consisting of a four-stage process – mix, make, fire and finish – and each stage is key to the final product quality. Sadly, every stage of production is also an opportunity to cut costs and even slight differences in the manufacturing process can result in significant differences in the performance characteristics of the product you choose, which will unfortunately not be evident until the tiles have been installed and are in use. For example, tiles are a mix of clays, feldspar and silica, and if a little of the more expensive raw materials are substituted with a little more of the cheaper ones, the longer-term result is that your finished tiles might not be as inherently strong and able to support the loads expected of them. The printing technology and the quality of the inks utilised will all have a noticeable effect on the surface pattern of the tile. Finally, the kiln firing temperatures; the heating to 1,400°C and then the cooling process needs to be carefully controlled to ‘finish’ the tiles properly creating the strongest ceramic you can buy free from defects and warpage. Quality 20mm porcelain is a justifiably popular choice offering enormous design opportunities, with a variety of styles, sizes and finishes to choose from. It is straightforward to install, sustainably produced and is the lowest maintenance exterior flooring available. Guaranteed resistance from mould, moss, stains, scratches and colour change, porcelain paving will provide decades of robust and resilient performance which will stand the test of time. Just remember, be mindful of the product you purchase; it may well have an R11 slip rating, but if you don’t really know what you are buying, you could slip up.
ABOUT CLARE MORGAN Clare Morgan is a product expert at CASATUA, a division of the ABKGROUP, one of Italy’s top porcelain producers. email@example.com www.casatuaoutdoor.com
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IT’S IN THE CL ARE MORGAN OF CASATUA E XPL AINS HOW NOT ALL PORCEL AIN IS MADE EQUAL
D E TA I LS O U T D O O R
L I V I N G
CASE STUDY K.P. LANDSCAPERS K.P. Landscapers, established in 2015, is based in Northampton and covers the surrounding counties. In 2020, the Piech Porcelain brand was introduced, specialising in the installation of porcelain paving. For this project, the customer brief was to design and build a low maintenance garden with a classic and timeless finish. To achieve a natural look which was easy to keep clean and maintain, we recommended using a stone effect porcelain paving and in particular, CASATUA Marble Sand. The large format tiles, paired with natural stone steps and copings, created a beautifully balanced design throughout the garden. Blending natural stone and porcelain adds both character and interest, utilising the fundamental strengths of both paving
Product used: CASATUA Marble Sand materials. The subtle marbled design and movement of the porcelain coupled with the solid uniform finish of the natural stone edges, created the traditional impression with ease of upkeep the customer was looking for. All landscaping materials, including porcelain slurry primer and non-porous external grout were supplied through Hard Landscaping Supplies Limited, based in Northamptonshire (01604 902605).
Pro Landscaper / February 2021 89
PORCE L A IN
f installed properly, porcelain tiles are extremely durable and can last for many years even in high traffic domestic settings. They are also easy to clean and maintain so should save time and money for the homeowner – if the installation is carried out in the optimal way. Brett Landscaping’s new guide and accompanying video should give professionals the information they need to create long-lasting porcelain paving projects and keep their customers happy – starting with creating the sub-base.
Setting the sub base Creating a suitable foundation should consist of at least 100mm compacted Type 1 – although previous foundations may be used if suitable and made prior to the application of mortar. It’s also important to think about the amount of surcharge required to achieve a compacted thickness of 100mm. If you’re not familiar with a material, trial an area to see how much surcharge is required. As a rough guide, 125mm of uncompacted Type 1 will compact down to 100mm.
Making the bedding course A stiff workable mix of one part cement to three or four parts sharp sand or grit sand is needed for frost-resistance with porcelain. The mix is needed to ensure there is enough water to hydrate the cement but also stiff enough to support the weight of the porcelain paving. If using a bagged mix, follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
90 Pro Landscaper / February 2021
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PAV I N G M A N U FAC T U R E R A N D S U P P L I E R BRETT LANDSCAPING HAS REWRITTEN I TS P O R C E L A I N I N STA L L AT I O N G U I D E L I N E S TO E N S U R E L A N D S C A P E R S H AV E T H E V E RY L AT E ST G U I DA N C E AVA I L A B L E After 24 hours, you can walk on the patio to do the jointing. For the grouting, the paving needs to be wetted and allowed to dry out throughout the process. The grout is poured and worked into the joints. Do this in manageable amounts so the joints are fully filled over an increasing area.
MIXING THE BEDDING COURSE
The mortar’s final thickness should be 30mm. Similar to when creating the sub base, care needs to be taken regarding the amount of surcharge required to achieve the final thickness of 30mm. If you are not familiar with a mortar, trial an area to see how much surcharge is required. As a rough guide, 35 to 40mm of mortar will reduce down to 30mm. Placing porcelain paving Before laying, ensure the paving is fully primed with cementitious primer. This ensures a good adhesion between the paving and the mortar bedding. This will dramatically improve the longevity of the project. After coating the back of the paving, place it on to the mortar bed and tamp to line and level. Between adjacent paving units, use a spacer to maintain a consistent 5mm to 6mm joint width during installation and never butt joint. PRIMING THE PAVING
IF INSTALLED PROPERLY, PORCELAIN TILES ARE EXTREMELY DURABLE AND CAN LAST FOR MANY YEARS After an initial set of about 10 minutes (depending on weather) start to wipe the excess grout from the paving and keep repeating this process to clean the paving. Changing your sponges and water frequently. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the grouting material. Additionally, care should be taken to prevent and remove any jointing residue from the face of the paving. If in doubt, we would suggest seeking advice on how to apply from the manufacturer and carry out a trial in a discreet area before committing to the entire installation. For more advice on installing porcelain paving – including excavation and cutting – see the new guide or email Brett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bourne Amenity and SuDS.
Landscaping the Future
Urban tree planting is a simple and effective example of a SuDS and can be incorporated into a small Rain Garden scenario (pictured). Bourne Amenity blend and deliver bespoke planting substrates for all types of SuDS that help manage rainwater and breathe life back into the urban environment.
Bourne Amenity Rain Garden Soil
Lovingly grown and nurtured in Devon
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Pleaching - Topiary - Hedging Specimen Trees & Shrubs www.griffinnurseries.co.uk email@example.com
Jobs in Horticulture
tel: 01233 732767
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What’s the trend? With the increased use of our external living space, combine different styles of paving to add contrasting pattern or texture to bring character to your outdoor space. Create an instant statement with a ‘porcelain’ patterned rug or use different porcelain products to both separate and link distinct areas of your garden. Product Coppice Sand Price £50 to 55/m2 (including VAT and delivery)
What’s the trend? Large single size formats in a shade of grey! The trend for both grey paving and porcelain paving has gained momentum over the last few years and 2020 has seen a comparative explosion in demand for both; 2021 is undoubtedly following suit. Product Colosso – Cronus 1200x1200mm Price £100/m2 WWW.VITRIPIAZZA.CO.UK
LOOKING FOR THE TOP TRENDS IN PORCELAIN PAVING? HERE’S WHAT SOME OF THE LEADING SUPPLIERS RECOMMEND
©TAW Garden Landscapes
KEBUR GARDEN MATERIALS What’s the trend? As our gardens help us through these challenging times, demand remains strong for porcelain paving, particularly in greys, with wood-effect planks and large formats a firm favourite. With budget options starting at £28.85/m2 (inc. VAT) to trade, there is plenty to choose from this year for even clients on a tighter budget. Sierra Grey is a 1200 x 600mm Spanish porcelain tile, available in a 20mm and an 11.5mm internal tile. Product Sierra Grey Price £47.65/m2 to trade
LONDON STONE What’s the trend? London Stone has announced an expanded range of porcelain for 2021 by introducing porcelain plank paving and setts into their market-leading range. The new additions will allow designers and landscapers to incorporate porcelain into more designs by giving more versatility for using the product as a border and creating ultramodern schemes. Product Porcelain Plank Paving Price £35.70m2 WWW.LONDONSTONE.CO.UK
STONEASY.COM What’s the trend? Stoneasy.com expands the range of standard sized porcelain coping stones to suit any budget and style. A range of 20mm bullnose steps and 40mm downstand copings are available. Mix and match its extensive range of porcelain and natural stone products. An eyecatcher are tumbled limestone pavers, an excellent choice for drive- and pathways. Product Porcelain coping stones Price £27/lm for bullnose steps, £41/lm for downstand copings WWW.STONEASY.COM
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DECIDING ON DRAINAGE O L I V E R C O L L I N S , P R O D U C T M A R K E T I N G M A N A G E R AT A C O W AT E R M A N A G E M E N T , L O O K S AT S O M E O F T H E K E Y C O N S I D E R AT I O N S I N PAV I N G D R A I N A G E , I N C L U D I N G E X A M P L E S O F P R O J E C T S T H AT H I G H L I G H T H O W E F F E C T I V E D R A I N A G E C A N B E A C H I E V E D W I T H O U T S A C R I F I C I N G V I S U A L LY- S T R I K I N G D E S I G N
combination of paving’s impermeable nature and the not-so-great British weather presents a water management challenge for those tasked with delivering projects. The unpredictable weather in the UK can often lead to standing water in paved areas, which means that steps must be taken to prevent this aesthetically unpleasant and potentially dangerous issue from happening.
is important to be specific when it comes to specifying drainage. This is particularly relevant to load class, which must be matched according to the unique requirements of the application. For example, if the paving area is exclusively for pedestrian use, such as in a back garden, then an A 15 solution is appropriate. However, if it’s for a domestic driveway, a B 125 system should be the minimum classification considered in order to accommodate the weight of vehicles.
Working with gravity A key issue here is that water cannot flow uphill. It may seem obvious, but it’s a problem I’ve come across on more than one occasion. The undulating topography of landscaping sites means that this must be considered as early on in the process as possible. It requires an acute awareness of the limitations of drainage, which will often dictate certain design features. Frequently, slopes are added into designs unnecessarily. They can be expensive, timeconsuming, and at odds with the desired overall look of the project. Provided the drainage channel is flat and even, and the outlet is below this level, water will be able to flow out the channel.
WHEN IT COMES TO PAVED AREAS THERE IS A REQUIREMENT TO ENSURE SURFACE WATER IS MANAGED EFFECTIVELY
Getting the right load class It should be noted that paving can be used across a variety of different applications, and it
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Ongoing maintenance Drainage is not something that can be fit and subsequently forgotten. In order to prevent an inevitable build-up of silt over time and keep functioning efficiently, it needs to be regularly cleaned and maintained. This should be considered at the design stage, with future maintenance planned in to ensure the ongoing utility and visual finish of paved areas. Depending on the type of channel used, this may require dedicated access points to guarantee the ongoing efficiency of the drainage system. Making drainage aesthetically pleasing As landscape architects will know, aesthetics will always be a top priority for the client. This is where it is critical to use drainage as part of the visual design, with ACO offering a number of products which are both high performing, but
also capable of contributing to the pleasing aesthetics of a paving project. The best example of this is the use of ACO’s HexDrain® Brickslot in a number of Langlea Garden Design and Construction’s projects, such as the Line and Pocket Oasis where the understated HexDrain® Brickslot quietly manages water flow without drawing the eye. In another project called Fracture, there is a paved area surrounding an outdoor heated swimming pool. Drainage is essential to prevent rainwater running from the patio into the pool, but it also has to lie flat to the ground to prevent stubbing the toes of barefooted swimmers. Final thoughts When it comes to paved areas, there is a requirement to ensure surface water is managed effectively. This is critical from a safety point of view as well as aesthetic, and it is important that the points outlined above are taken into account as early as possible.
A B O U T AC O WAT E R M A N AG E M E N T ACO Water Management specialises in surface water management systems, and an extensive product portfolio ensures it is able to deliver sustainable, effective, and aesthetic drainage solutions across a wide range of applications. This range is underpinned by a commitment to providing expert advice and training, highlighted by the knowledgeorientated services such as CPDs and ACO Academy that are available on the website. www.aco.co.uk
Britain’s finest Turf Topsoil Bark Find out why Rolawn is the first choice for professional landscapers who demand Britain’s finest turf, topsoil and bark
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BORDERS, PATHS AND DRIVEWAYS LEGACY HAS THE EDGE
T H E T R A D I T I O N A L C O M PA N Y S H A R E S W H Y L E G A C Y E D G I N G C O U L D B E T H E P E R F ECT P R O D U CT FO R YO U R N E XT L A N DSCA P I N G P R OJ ECT
he Traditional Company has created Legacy edging with creativity in mind, providing you with the perfect, cost-effective choice for a wide range of projects. While steel edging has largely been used as a way of separating lawns from driveways to stop gravel spreading into a garden, with Legacy edging you can truly transform your landscape design. With a fantastic range of heights and thicknesses available, it can be the perfect way to create steps, raised beds or other architectural features that will set a space apart.
Legacy edging has three main product ranges: • Legacy 3: 3mm thick steel edging is suitable for intricate flower beds and garden borders creating a clean and neat separation. Can be bent on site to create curves. • Legacy 5: This popular 5mm thick steel edging is suitable for more formal borders, pathways and driveways and creates a clean division. • Legacy 6: The thickest option in the range for high traffic driveways.
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Each range then has a section of heights to suit all applications and finishes in Mild Steel, Galvanised, Corten and Stainless.
LEGACY EDGING IS ABLE TO PRODUCE PRECISE LINES THAT BRING YOUR LANDSCAPING DESIGNS TO LIFE Unique Legacy connections for ease of installation Created with ease of installation in mind, Legacy edging is manufactured in 3m or 6m lengths. Its unique connection system and the use of solid steel locating and locking pins allow you to create a seamless look no matter the type of soil you are working with. From heavy clay to lighter, sandy soil, Legacy is a sturdy option that will suit your needs. So, none of the unsightly lap joints or bolts that we’re all familiar with. Legacy Edging is able to produce precise lines that bring your landscaping designs to life. From complex garden designs to sweeping driveways, the easy-to-connect edging can be made to fit any space, providing a strong finish that will stand the test of time.
LEGACY STEEL EDGING BENEFITS • Suitable for a range of uses, including driveways and tiered gardens • Creates an attractive separation, stopping gravel moving onto lawns • Is easy to maintain and reduces ongoing maintenance of gardens and driveways • Simple to install using standard tools • Suitable for all soil types • Provides a seamless finish with no unsightly bolds or lap joints on the open face of the edging • Strong, durable edging able to withstand garden machinery • Preformed corners and flexible edging create the perfect fit and look for your project • Available in a range of heights and thickness to suit your needs • Provided in kit form for self installation
C O N TA C T The Traditional Company Office 01664 431 759 David House 07770 594 844 Martin Kilgour 07738 553 502 Email email@example.com www.legacyedging.co.uk
SMITHS’ D EC O R AT I V E SHINGLE SMITHS (BLETCHINGTON) TELLS US ABOUT ITS R A N G E O F D E C O R AT I V E S H I N G L E , A N D W H I C H P R OJ E C T T H E Y W O U L D B E P E R F E C T F O R
ick the right decorative shingle and it can brighten up any garden or design, giving that landscaped project the finishing touch. Smiths’ range of decorative shingle is one of quality and can proudly boast the supply of the genuine Cotswold stone shingle. With those lovely warm, honey and cream colours of the region, it is a classic shingle that is understated yet sits very well in most environments.
COTSWOLD LIMESTONE CHIPPING
be used for driveways, paths, landscaping and even as a weed suppressant – try a handful of Oxford shingle around your flowerpots. There is also the very popular Cotswold Limestone Chippings. Though understated, this can achieve quality design results with its more angular shape, subtle colours, and warm charm. Once again, it’s a versatile shingle that can be used in most landscape projects.
PICK THE RIGHT DECORATIVE SHINGLE AND IT CAN BRIGHTEN UP ANY GARDEN OR DESIGN OXFORD SHINGLE
A similar offering is our Oxford range of decorative shingle, a blend of a subtler neutral beiges and creams, which also typifies the Cotswold area. A very versatile shingle that can
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SELF BINDING PATH GRAVEL
If your requirements are a little bolder in colour then the Moban Flint is ideal. It’s a mixture of irregular smooth-edged shapes, colours and textures, giving it an impressive effect when used for driveways, footpaths and landscaping features. The ever-popular Pea Shingle is a very versatile smooth pebble shingle – perfect for
dressing driveways, paths or for general landscaping. Both this and Moban Flint are ideal for that landscape design which requires a contrasting effect. This is but just a hint of what is on offer. We stock a large range of shingles of various sizes, various colours, with smooth and irregular shapes. If you have a project in mind and would like some expert assistance, then please just pick up the phone and call us. You can of course see our full range of shingle on our website. With loose loads, large bulk bags plus 23kg small bags available, you can find quantities to meet your needs, no matter the size of your landscaping project. We can also offer the sub-base material such as sands and gravels.
C O N TA C T Smith & Sons (Bletchington) Limited Enslow, Kidlington, Oxfordshire, OX5 3AY Tel: 01869 331 281 firstname.lastname@example.org www.smithsbletchington.co.uk
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SUPPLIERS AND GROWERS OF SEMI-MATURE & MATURE, ROOTBALL & CONTAINERISED TREES, SHRUBS AND INSTANT HEDGING
From our Buckinghamshire nursery we are conveniently located to service the whole of the UK, which we do with our own fleet of fully equipped vehicles. With over 15 miles of Instant Hedging Troughs and more than 3,000 Pleached and shaped trees from Box Heads to Multi Stem umbrellas, we have the finest stock for Garden Designers, Landscapers, Architects and Developers you can find. We look forward to receiving your enquiries.
Contact Us: 01296 399585 email@example.com
NEW HORSHAM YARD Now open for trade collections!
Manufacturers & Suppliers of Specialist Soils, Growing Media and Hard & Soft Landscaping MaterialS Specialising in high-quality contaminate free topsoils and subsoils, which are fully tested to the British Standard, our products are regularly specified by leading Landscape Architects and Designers, and widely used by the Landscape and Horticultural Trades and Industries. Supplying orders from one bag to many thousands of tons, we can undertake the most challenging deliveries using our own fleet of Silver Fors specialist vehicles. Please call us for a quote on your next project or to discuss your landscape material needs.
LANDSCAPE SUPPLIES Tel: 01306 877540 or buy online at www.buryhilltopsoilandlogs.co.uk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org BUILDING AGGREGATES • WILDFLOWER TURF & SEED • DECORATIVE STONE
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P EO P L E
LOVE HORTICULTURE JACQUIE FELIX-MITCHELL
I N S I D E P E O P L E T H I S M O N T H PA G E 1 0 1 L A U N C H I N G P R O L A N D S C A P E R T V, PA G E 1 0 2 3 0 U N D E R 3 0 U P D AT E : L A U R A W E L B O R N - B A K E R , PA G E 1 0 3 L O V E H O R T I C U LT U R E : J A C Q U I E F E L I X- M I T C H E L L , PA G E 1 0 6 L I T T L E I N T E R V I E W S People Cover.indd 99
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Introducing the new overhauled Horticulture Careers job portal...
Register online now for free and take advantage of the following features: User-friendly interface. A modernised design means that the site is easier to navigate, with simplified job application features. Follow your favourite companies. You can follow some of the biggest companies in the industry to be notified of the latest vacancies as they are uploaded. Register a CV. Upload a CV and let employers find you! Please contact Phil Every to advertise your vacancy:
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Tel: 01903 777570
LAUNCHING PRO LANDSCAPER IS LAUNCHING PRO LANDSCAPER TV, A SERIES OF FIVE TV PROGRAMMES T H AT W I L L B E AVA I L A B L E TO WATC H L I V E O N Z O O M , FAC E B O O K A N D I N STAG R A M , A N D O N C ATC H U P O N T H E P R O L A N D S C A P E R W E B S I T E A N D YO U T U B E
fficially launched in January, Pro Landscaper TV’s five programmes will give viewers insights into the working practices of a variety of different organisations, from the industry associations to suppliers and everything in between. Pro Landscaper’s managing director Jim Wilkinson says: “We’re really excited about this launch; it builds on the success we had during the 2020 pandemic with the live webinars, and the FutureScape VIRTUAL Event.
“We’re working on finalising the TV Guide at the moment, so keep your eyes on the Pro Landscaper website and our social media channels for further information.” The Let’s Hear It From programme will be a relaxed discussion between Jim Wilkinson and a well-known industry personality, chatting about the industry as a whole. The second monthly programme is the Story of Success in which Pro Landscaper will explore a featured company, focusing on business practices, its route to success, its staff and so on. Supply Line will take a look into the top suppliers in the marketplace, taking a look at their products, their ways of working, their aims, how they build relationships and their reputation within the UK’s landscaping sector. The fourth monthly programme will be Debating…, a lively panel show in which
a select panel will debate a topical subject, from RHS Chelsea Flower Show, to sustainability, to porcelain paving. Jim Wilkinson will host the debate and start off with the questions before passing over to the live audience to have their say.
The final programme from Pro Landscaper TV is Nurture – a monthly programme focusing on all things green, brown and blue. Lewis Normand will play host each month and will be talking to trade nurseries, experts in greening, and suppliers of the products used to nurture our green space.
FIRST UP FOR THE LET’S HEAR IT FROM PROGRAMME... FEBRUARY
One of the industry’s most decorated designers, Helen joins Jim Wilkinson on Tuesday 2 February.
Join us on Tuesday 2 March to hear from BALI chair Richard Kay, also chair of Green-tech.
Ken, managing director of Frosts Landscape Construction will join Jim on Tuesday 6 April.
LEWIS NORMAND Recorded on Tuesday 26 January, Lewis Normand spoke about the need for a Minister for Horticulture in the cabinet. Watch on the Pro Landscaper website, or on the Pro Landscaper YouTube channel now.
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SPRING MEADOW AND HESLINGTON HALL
UNIVERSITY OF YORK: CAMPUS EAST
3 0 U N D E R 3 0 U P DAT E
CHARTERED LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT LAURA WELBORNBAKER UPDATES US ON THE 20-YEAR MASTERPLAN SHE’S BEEN WORKING ON AT THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK
ith universities closing intermittently, and the longterm impact of the pandemic on campus requirements uncertain, Laura Welborn-Baker’s job is a tough one. Since joining the University of York at the end of 2017 to work on its £500m masterplan, the design has needed to be fairly fluid, and now more than ever. “We recognise things might change and that there isn’t going to be a set point in time when we say the masterplan is done,” says Laura. “The plan needs to adapt and change, to meet the aims of the university’s overall strategy as well the wider sustainability agenda. We’ve looked at projects which explore ‘Passivhaus’ and zero carbon development, which is really interesting.
“A new vice chancellor joined [in 2019], so we’re revisiting the placemaking strategy, reviewing the project and what we need to do to move forward. The pandemic has definitely changed the focus of it; the buildings and the people in them are really important, but it’s reinforced how great other aspects of the campus are – that it’s green, it has a lake, it has lots of outdoor space and trees. It’s beautiful.” Along with working on the 20-year masterplan, Laura undertakes various projects around the campuses, one of which was to create a COVID-safe outdoor space for students over the summer last year, when the restrictions of the first lockdown were being lifted. The tepee
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tents, along with a grassed area called The Forest, created an area where students could socialise with those in their households whilst adhering to social distancing guidelines. And whilst there are very few students on campus for the foreseeable, Laura says some of the spaces are likely to remain for when they do.
MY GOAL AT THE MOMENT IS TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL CAREER IN PLACEMAKING It’s yet another chance for the university to bring its students outdoors, with the landscape continually at the forefront of its development plans, from when it was built in the 60s to its new campus, Campus East, a 117ha expansion started in 2004 which is now in Laura’s hands as part of the masterplan development team. It’s a huge jump from working in private practice when she first graduated. Whilst finishing her Masters in Landscape Architecture, having gained a degree in History of Art from the University of Leeds, Laura went to work for Harrogate-based practice Smeeden Foreman, initially for work experience before being taken on full-time after just three months. She then went to work for The Landscape Agency for eight months before she spotted the job advert for the University of York. “I’d never seen a job like that advertised before, so I thought I’d give it a go – who doesn’t want the opportunity to work in and develop a place, where you can really influence what's going on?” When Laura became one of Pro Landscaper’s 30 Under 30: The Next Generation back in 2016, her ultimate goal was to design and build a show
COVID-SAFE OUTDOOR SPACE FOR STUDENTS
garden. Though this hasn’t been ruled out, Laura’s focus is now on making a wider, longer-term difference. “I’d really like to get to the point where we explore the ways in which landscape can affect a place and act as a catalyst for change – I’m not sure in what format, but my goal at the moment is to have a successful career in placemaking. I loved being at university, so if I can contribute in any way to people having a great experience, then that’s fantastic.” This passion extends to the wider industry, too. Laura is currently in her second year as chair of the Landscape Institute’s Yorkshire and Humber branch. “It’s been really challenging to keep the social aspect amongst the branch, but it makes us explore things in new ways. We used to do face-to-face workshops for candidates taking their chartership exams, so we moved this online straightaway, which was really well received. Our programme of events was cancelled, but we’ll be doing it this year hopefully. It’s been amazing how quickly the LI adapted its CPD days to being online too. I’m really proud to be part of that, it’s a great organisation.” We can only imagine the Landscape Institute feels just as proud to have someone like Laura representing it in the north and striving to make such a big difference to the surrounding landscape.
# LOV E H O RT I C U LT U R E
Jacquie Felix – Mitchell BA Hons MCIHort
OASIS GARDEN DESIGN
y career in public relations and communications should prepare me well to answer the question of why I love horticulture. A one-time BBC radio presenter, I’m seldom stuck for words. How do I describe my love of plants – cultivating them and designing beautiful outdoor spaces for others? I guess there’s a kind of peace that descends on me when I’m in the garden. I see an outdoor space as a living canvas that’s constantly changing. I love combining shape and texture within a controlled colour palette and using elements such as an interesting sculpture to create a sense of drama.
I SEE AN OUTDOOR SPACE AS A LIVING CANVAS THAT’S CONSTANTLY CHANGING I enjoy designing my own garden and took my love of horticulture further when I studied Garden Design at Bicton College, and RHS Practical Horticulture at RHS Rosemoor, to give others the confidence to allow me to design their gardens. I love helping others with ideas to develop their outdoor spaces. My face-to-face and virtual talks on garden design are well received by various groups, including garden clubs and other organisations such as WI (Women’s Institute) groups. Cicero said that: “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need”. This quote perfectly sums up my journey from graduate of English & European Literature, to PR professional to garden designer. I am so lucky to follow my love of all things garden, and to have the encouragement of my husband Kevin and daughter Emily, who have supported me all the way. I’ve had some great testimonials from my garden design clients too, which is great. So, why do I love horticulture? Gardens give us food and beauty for both body and soul. Without them, we are nothing.
T W E E T U S @ P R O L A N D S C A P E R U K A N D T E L L U S W H Y Y O U L O V E H O R T I C U LT U R E U S I N G T H E H A S H TA G # L O V E H O R T I C U LT U R E
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For full details on all jobs, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk Call 01903 777 570 or email email@example.com with your vacancy
ESTATE FORESTRY WORKER
Harry Holding Garden Design & Maintenance is looking for someone to manage and inspire the horticultural maintenance teams to delivery to the highest standards held by the company. The successful candidate will need to ensure that the maintenance company is continually growing and upholding its reputation. They will also manage the operations so that the business operates efficiently and that systems are continually improving, taking on all client facing roles, managing, maintaining and improving client relations. Responsibilities include scheduling, timesheets, invoicing, client liaison, quoting and implementing ‘extras’ and ensuring health and safety compliance. Candidates will need a recognised horticultural qualification and previous experience in horticultural management to apply, as well as a full UK driving license. Training and career development within the role is expected. The right candidate will have the same tenacious motivation to get stuck into the business and its exciting projects, creating and caring for inspiring, magical gardens.
Miserden Estate is looking for someone to maintain 850 acres of predominantly broadleaf forestry. While the large felling operations are outsourced to contractors, this individual would be responsible for all other areas of practical management of the RFS award-winning estate woodland and parkland. Duties include maintaining new plantations and woodlands to the current high standard, managing woodchip supply and maintaining boilers on a large biomass district heating scheme. The estate has a ‘one team’ approach, so while the individual suited for this role must be happy to work alone and be selfmotivated, there is no reason to feel isolated and other members of the estate team can assist where necessary, so a good team ethos is key. The candidate should have at least five years’ practical forestry experience and be qualified to fell and process trees over 380mm. The ability to deal with uprooted or windblown trees is desirable.
For more details, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk
For more details, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk
GARDEN DESIGNER – PART TIME/ FULLTIME/FREELANCER (NEGOTIABLE)
HARRY HOLDING GARDEN DESIGN & MAINTENANCE Location: London
ARTSCAPE DESIGN & BUILD LTD Location: Berkshire
MISERDEN Location: Gloucestershire
THOMSON ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANTS Location: Nationwide, Surrey
This is a great opportunity to work for an award-winning design and build company established for 40 years, working mainly in the home counties. Artscape is looking for an experienced, enthusiastic garden designer to join its team. Applicants must have excellent Vectorworks skills to produce 2D plans and 3D visuals (or SketchUp for 3D), and a familiarity with Photoshop is ideal. The successful candidate will meet with clients to discuss the garden and present designs and produce detailed designs for both hard and soft landscaping, schedules and specifications. They must also have good plant and horticultural knowledge, as well as experience working on a range of different sized projects, mainly high-end domestic gardens. Artscape is willing to consider whether this will be a part-time or full-time role, or for a freelance designer. You will need your own vehicle.
Thomson Environmental Consultants is looking for a full-time, permanent project manager based in one of its modern offices across the UK. Candidates will have experience of working in landscaping, ecological contracting, countryside management or a similar field, with the ability to contribute to the bid and tendering process. The successful applicant will be responsible for resourcing and line managing a site team whilst promoting compliance with all company systems and policies. They will have experience of managing and delivering various sized complex projects on time and to the satisfaction of our clients and will need to be based in or near to one of the company’s regional offices in Guildford, Cardiff, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester. Occasional visits to head office in Guildford are required.
For more details, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk
For more details, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk
PLANT HEALTH CARE TECHNICIAN – BUCKS AND LONDON BARTLETT TREE EXPERTS Location: Buckinghamshire
Bartlett Tree Experts has a full-time position available, based at its office near Beaconsfield. The successful candidate will identify a variety of tree and shrub species and common pest and disease problems associated with them. They will schedule treatments with clients, drive and operate the company’s 3.5t spray truck and take soil samples, as well as complete paperwork and manage the chemical and fertiliser stock. The role would involve working with the tree crew when not busy with plant health care. Those applying need to have a genuine interest in plant health care, good communication skills and be able to work independently. Applicants must have PA1 and PA6 spraying qualifications and a full driving licence. CS30, CS31, CS38 and CS39 (or equivalent), Level 2 or Level 3 Arboriculture or Horticulture are desirable.
For more information or to place an job, please contact the team on:
01903 777 570
For more details, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk
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Download the FREE PRO LANDSCAPER app today 1 Go to the App Store
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T H E L I T T L E I N T E RV I E W
PRO LANDSCAPER ASKS QUICK-FIRE QUESTIONS TO GAIN A SMALL INSIGHT INTO THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE UP OUR INDUSTRY. TO TAKE PART, EMAIL CONTENT@ EL JAYS44.COM
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CAT H E R I N E BA R R AT T
Managing director, Furnitubes
Student, National Design Academy
If you weren’t in the horticulture industry, what would you be doing? Travelling the world – adventurer.
If you weren’t in the horticulture industry, what would you be doing? Still being a lawyer.
Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? Wild, rich landscapes like Uzbekistan.
Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Yes, definitely!
What would you blow your budget on? For me, travel. For the garden, a proper veg patch.
Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? Japan.
One thing that you think would make the industry better? Greater collaboration and partnerships.
What would you blow your budget on? A huge sculpture.
Best piece of trivia you know? Sadly, I know quite a bit about Pokémon. Role model as a child? My grandparents – they encouraged me in everything I did. Couldn’t get through the week without... My team. Best invention in recent years? The electric car. Favourite tipple? Vodka Martini (with olives please!) What three things would you take to a desert island? Books, Spotify, family (in that order). Your favourite joke? What do you call a man with a spade on his head? Doug. Karaoke song of choice? ‘Eye of the Tiger’ by Survivor.
The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Andy Sturgeon. Newest gardening trend in your opinion? Planted swimming pools. Best piece of trivia you know? There are 6,852 islands in Japan. Role model as a child? My grandma. Best invention in recent years? Magimix. Your most used saying or cliché? Be kind and kindness will follow you. What three things would you take to a desert island? My children, a notepad and pencil, and my piano. Your favourite joke? What do you call a smelly fairy? Stinkerbelle.
N ATA L I E A S H B E E
Director, GreenBird Gardening Ltd
Horticultural producer, Endemol Shine TV/BBC
Garden designer, Nigel Philips Landscape & Garden Design
If you weren’t in the horticulture industry, what would you be doing? My background is in electrical engineering, previously in defence (avionics, warships, fighter aircraft, etc.) and also Environmental Research Spacecraft. If I had the opportunity again, being involved in the Space Programme would be amazing.
If you weren’t in the horticulture industry, what would you be doing? Travelling the world taking photos, writing and swimming in warm seas.
If you weren’t in the horticulture industry, what would you be doing? I don’t know, I’ve never done anything else.
Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? France, such a variety of landscapes from northern woodlands, to central snow-capped peaks, to baking southern beaches.
Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? They do make you think outside the box.
Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Sometimes yes, sometimes no; but each one I’ve visited, I’ve taken something from them, however small. Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? New England, USA – so wild, expansive and untamed. One thing that you think would make the industry better? For us to all be charging for all our time (especially upfront initial consultations). Newest gardening trend in your opinion Outdoor kitchens – they are the future. Best piece of trivia you know? Barry Manilow’s hit ‘I Write the Songs’ wasn’t written by him. Role model as a child? My dad, of course.
The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? My absolute top would have been Beth Chatto, but sadly I missed out on that. She’s still such an inspiration. One thing that you think would make the industry better? Better paid jobs across the board. Role model as a child? Olivia Newton John, both for Grease and for Xanadu! For my senior school ‘final fling’ I did my hair in rollers to look like her and wore an off the shoulder top, à la ‘We Go Together’. Couldn’t get through the week without... My kids – they are my three rays of sunshine – and my husband, who is my best friend.
Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? Scandinavia – probably watched too many Swedish crime programmes on TV, but the photography is brilliant. One thing that you think would make the industry better? Not using concrete to secure a post. Role model as a child? Alf Tupper from Tough of the Track in The Victor annual – he always won but was really nice about it. Couldn’t get through the week without... At least one glass of Talisker whisky. Best invention in recent years? Alexa. Who would play you in a movie of your life? Shrek.
Best invention in recent years? Best invention ever – the dishwasher.
Best invention in recent years? The washing machine. Is that recent enough? But, with three kids, I still revel in being able to wash clothes easily.
What three things would you take to a desert island? Mattock, harmonica and a boat.
What three things would you take to a desert island? Beer, Spotify and – oh yeah, my wife!
Favourite tipple? Cold, crisp, dry, vanilla-flavoured white wine.
Karaoke song of choice? ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ The Rolling Stones.
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