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Concept to Delivery January 2012


Interview Chris Harrop, Marketing Director, Marshalls

Portfolio See how three companies have designed and implemented their projects


HIGH FLYER A close look at Natural Turf Published by Business intelligence

The award-winning designer and television presenter’s stunning rooftop retreats and creations for the Chelsea Flower Show


Director – Lisa Wilkinson Tel: 01903 234077 Content Manager – Joe Wilkinson Tel: 01903 234077


Welcome 3

Welcome did that happen, where did the months go? Certainly for the 333 Welcome Welcome team here at Pro Landscaper the year has been something of a blur EDITORIAL ADVISORY PANEL Mark Gregory Chairman APL in the countdown to the launch of our first issue. & Landform Consultants Jerry Gosney PPA Director NOV/DEC 2011 Since our involvement in the industry, we have been impressed by and Editorial Consultant Sam Hassall LandPRO Ltd NOV/DEC 2011 EDITORIAL the high level of professionalism within this sector, be it the amazing NOV/DEC 2011 JANUARY 2012 Stuart Marler TVG Landscaping Russell Eales Russell Eales Lawn Care EDITORIAL design, top class build or the proficiency of the maintenance contractors. Director – Lisa Wilkinson EDITORIAL ADVERTISING Tel: 01903 234077 The greatest challenge ahead is how we inform the general public about the Director – Lisa Wilkinson Business Development Manager – Director – Lisa Wilkinson Content Manager – Joe Wilkinson Jamie Wilkinson Tel: 01903 234077 standards this industry provides. Whose responsibility is it, what form should it Tel: 01903 234077 did that happen, where did the months go? Certainly for the Content Manager – Joe Wilkinson Tel: 01903Manager 234077 – Joe Wilkinson Content howofwill ityear funded? We have ablur sector that we should all be proud Welcome alltake theand first issue 2012, I be hope you all had an enjoyable team attoPro Landscaper thethe has been something of the aand Tel: 01903 234077 EDITORIAL ADVISORY PANEL ...howhere did that that happen, where did did months go? Certainly Certainly for for Tel: 01903 234077 Mark Gregory Chairman APL did happen, where the months go? the relaxing break and are now embracing the New Year. 2012 is set to be a Tel: 01903 234077 in the here countdown toof thecourse launch the ofnot our first issue. Sales Executive of, oneLandscaper without fault, but ofona blur the whole one that is moving in the & Landform Consultants– Luke Chaplin team at Pro Pro year has been something ANDY ST EDITORIAL ADVISORY PANEL very mixed year andLandscaper feedback has the goneyear fromhas being pessimistic to of a blur URG team here at been something Jerry Gosney PPA DirectorPANEL EDITORIAL ADVISORY Mark Gregory Chairman APL Since our involvement in the industry, we have been impressed by H I GHEOFNLY and Editorial Consultant in the the countdown countdown to the the launch launch ofguess our itfirst first issue. on which sectors you Mark Gregory Chairman APL right direction. Tel: 01903 234077 & Landform Consultants predictions of a record year. Why? Iof depends in to our issue. Sam Hassall LandPRO Ltd ER & Landform Consultants Jerry Gosney PPA Director theSince high our levelinvolvement of professionalism within this be it the amazingby Stuart Marler TVGDirector Landscaping in the the industry, industry, wesector, have been impressed Jerry Gosney PPA specialise in, we know Government/Commercial sectors areimpressed tight but industry, Sales Executive – Kyle Barrett and Editorial Consultant Since our involvement in we have been by By promoting the high standards of the this should in turn Russell Eales Russell Eales Lawn Care and Editorial Consultant design, top class build or the proficiency of the maintenance contractors. Sam Hassall LandPRO Ltd the high high level there seems to of beprofessionalism some light at thewithin end ofthis the sector, tunnel. be it the amazing Sam Hassall LandPRO Ltd Stuart Marler TVG Landscaping ADVERTISING the level of professionalism this sector, be the amazing Tel: 01903 234077 Stuart TVG Landscaping the right trainees, making a sector where people want to work The greatest ahead iswithin how inform theitityear, general public about the RussellMarler Eales Russell EalesManager Lawn Care Business Development – For us atattract Pro challenge Landscaper, 2012 will be awe really exciting wecontractors. are looking design, top class build or the proficiency of the maintenance Russell Eales Russell Eales Lawn Care design, top class build or the proficiency of the maintenance contractors. Jamie Wilkinson Managing Director – Jim Wilkinson “By promoting ADVERTISING standards this industry provides. Whose responsibility is it, what form should it forward to meeting moreaofahead you and developing the magazine further. Weifabout will The greatest challenge is how we inform the general public the andchallenge have long and rewarding career. Also, the the general public understand ADVERTISING Business Development Manager – “ theOne high thing The greatest ahead isWe how weathrough inform the general public about Business Development Manager – take and how will it be funded? have sector that we should all be proud Jamie Wilkinson continue to showcase the best of the industry our Portfolio section, deliver “By promoting Tel: 01903 234077 standards this industry provides. Whose responsibility is it, what form should it strive Jamie Wilkinson “By promoting standards ofto the professionalism and quality involved, may even bewe able to justify standards this provides. Whose responsibility is product it, that whatisthey form should it Tel: 01903 234077 information via industry our business section and bring you whole the latest news. the high Sales Executive – Luke Chaplin of, one ofhow course not without fault, but on the one moving in the take and will it be funded? We have a sector that we should all be proud do is bring the high industry, Tel: 01903 234077 take and how willstrive it the betofunded? Wethehave a the sector thatLet we should allabe proudviews, email standards of One thing we do is bring industry together, promote it as whole GENERAL paying right value job. us isknow Tel: 01903 234077 right direction. Tel: 01903 234077ENQUIRIES standards this industry shouldofin Sales Executive – Luke Chaplin the of, one of course not without fault, but for on the whole one that movingyour in the Tel: 01903 237779 the industry, and we really believe that the sum is greater than the parts. To prove this point, Sales Executive – Luke Chaplin of, one of course not without fault, but on the whole one that is moving in the Sales Executive – Kyle Barrett By promoting the high standards of the industry, this should in turn the industry, turn attract together, right direction. Tel: 01903 234077 this should in recent events such as the BALI Awards – what a fantastic celebration of all that is good CIRCULATION Tel: 01903 234077 right direction. this should in the right Tel: 01903 234077 attract the right trainees, it aof sector where people wantintoturn work Sales Executive – Kyle Barrett promote it as turn attract By promoting thecluster highmaking standards theGreetings industry, thiscompanies should Subscription in the industry –Meanwhile, APL meetings where like-minded have been to you all, Sales Executive – Enquiries: Kyle Barrett Seasons and good wishes and repeated Managing Director – Jim Wilkinson turn attract trainees, By promoting the high standards of the industry, this should in turn and have a right long and rewarding career. Also,businesses if the general public understand the right Tel: 01903 234077 a whole attract the trainees, making it a sector where people want to work discussing and debating on how to move their forward and IPU brought the rightitthe Tel: 234077 making a team attract the thanks right trainees, making it a sector where people want to justify work Tel:01903 01903 234077– Jim Wilkinson for the support and encouragement you continue to offer Managing Director trainees, the and quality they even bepublic able to Tel: 01903 234077 and we really Managing Director – Jim Wilkinson together brains from theinvolved, leading Also, contractors to discuss various issues. Usually andprofessionalism havetechnical a long and rewarding career. if may the general understand sector where trainees, and have long value and rewarding career. if the general public understand making it a MANAGEMENT GENERAL ENQUIRIES paying theainhere right forworld, the job. Let usAlso, know your views, atand Pro Landscaper. Whatever the NewforYear holds, we’want ea in it together. competing the outside companies at these forums were working together making itrthat people believe the professionalism quality involved, they may even beemail able to justify Tel: 01903 Managing Director: Jim Wilkinson the Tel: 01903234077 237779 sector where professionalism and quality involved, they may even be able to justify Tel: 01903 234077 sector where to work and the greater good of the industry. This is an industry with some great companies, the sum is Wilkinson Director:ENQUIRIES Lisa Wilkinson GENERAL paying the right value for the job. Let us know your views, email CIRCULATION people want Lisa &want Jim GENERAL ENQUIRIES paying the right value for theperhaps job. and Letmore us know yourtoviews, email Tel: 01903 237779 people have a long Subscription Enquiries: organisations, associations and importantly, excellent people. Meanwhile, Seasons Greetings good wishes you all, and repeated greater than Business Development Manager: Tel: 01903 237779 to work and CIRCULATION term andand to work While talking about working togetheryou and continue sharing best Jamie Wilkinson Tel: 01903 234077 thanks forwe thearesupport and encouragement topractice, offer thePro team CIRCULATION haveparts a long the Subscription Enquiries:


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Subscription Meanwhile, Seasons and wishes tonew youNetwork all, and would like toGreetings invite you to joingood the industry’s (register via MarketingEnquiries: & Content Manager: Landscaper MANAGEMENT here atfor Prothe Landscaper. Whatever the New Year holds, we’repeated rthe e inteam it together. Tel: 01903 234077 thanks support and encouragement you continue totooffer Managing Director: Jim Wilkinson Joe01903 Wilkinson Tel: 234077 our website, which has been set up facilitate thanks for the support and encouragement you continue to offer the team Director: Lisa Wilkinson MANAGEMENT Lisa we’ & Jim here at Pro Landscaper. Whatever the New Year holds, re inWilkinson it together. MANAGEMENT discussion and networking withinthe theNew UK Year landscaping sector. Managing Director: JimManager: Wilkinson Pro Landscaper is published 12 times per year communication, Business Development here at Pro Landscaper. Whatever holds, we’ r e inItitistogether. Managing Director: Wilkinson Director: Lisa Wilkinson Jamie Wilkinson by Eljays44 Ltd. The Jim 2011 subscription price iscompletely open with no hidden agenda and will be maintained Lisa & Jim Wilkinson and developed for the Director: Lisa Wilkinson Lisa & Jim Wilkinson Business Development Manager: £50.00. Subscription are maintained at Marketing & Contentrecords Manager: so if you are a regional Business Development Manager: Jamie Wilkinson Joe Wilkinson Eljays44 Ltd, County House, 3 Shelley Road, industry benefit as a whole. The site aims to be inclusive, Jamie Wilkinson Marketing Content Worthing, West Sussex BN11 1TT, UK. landscaper, main maintenance contractor, design and build contractor, garden designer, Pro Landscaper& is published 12Manager: times per year Marketing & Content Manager: Joe Wilkinson by Eljays44 Ltd. The 2011 subscription price is Urban News Shed Business Tips Articles and information contained in this Joe Wilkinson consultant, landscape architect or a supplier you are welcome to become involved £50.00. Subscription records are maintained at

rewarding have a long term and term and career.” rewarding rewarding career.” career.”

40 Urban Business Tips Creating section meadow Including: How to make 40 Bling a profit in Landscaping, publication the copyright Eljays44 Ltd Pro Landscaper isare published 123times perof year lasting flower Industry news and section Eljays44 Ltd, County House, Shelley Road, Pro Landscaper isThe published 12 times per year by Eljays44 Ltd. subscription 40 Creating Urban Bling a News Shed BusinessHow Tipsto make Sales Tactics, and mayWest not be2011 reproduced inprice anyis form –4 after all it’s your site.Contractors 14 Worthing, Sussex BN11 UK. Creating 50 Produc 7 News meadows. events diary. Including: by Eljays44 Ltd. The 2011 subscription price isat 40 Urban Bling 4 News Shed 14 Business Tips £50.00. Subscription records are1TT, maintained without the written permission ofatthe Articles and information contained in this Creating lasting flower Industry news and section £50.00. records are maintained Eljays44Subscription Ltd,are County House, 3 Shelley Road, We look forward to welcoming you to the network and wish you all a successful 2012. a profit in Landscaping, publication the copyright of Eljays44 Ltd Creating lasting flower Industry news and section Competitive Advantage Polaris R round-up of the latest publishers. The publishers cannot Eljays44 Ltd,West County House, 3 Shelley Road, accept Worthing, Sussex BN11 1TT, UK. meadows. events diary. ANews Including: How to make and mayand not be reproduced in any form Sales Tactics, Creating a & Lisa Wilkinson 50 Product 7 Contractors Jim Worthing, West Sussex BN11 1TT, UK. Articles information contained indamage this meadows. 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IN THIS ISSUE... Industry news and events diary. IN THIS THIS ISSUE... ISSUE... 4 14 IN


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Volume 1 | Issue 3 | November/December 2011 |

Volume 1 | Issue 3 | November/December 2011 | 2012 | Volume 2 | 2011 Issue 1| | November/December | Volume 1 | Issue 3 January

Volume 1 | Issue 3 | November/December


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DIARY… JANUARY 22-26 BTME (Bigga Turf Management Exhibition), Harrogate International Centre 23 APL Cluster Meeting, Westerham, Kent 24-27 International Trade Fair for plants (IPM), Essen, Germany FEBRUARY 8-9 Executive Hire Show, Ricoh Stadium, Coventry 15-16 RHS Plant & Design Show, RHS Horticultural Halls, Greycoat Street and Vincent Square, London SW1P 2PE 23 Alan Sargent Seminar – Managing as a Head Gardener, Chichester College, Brinsbury Campus, Pulborough MARCH 14 APL Awards, Kensington Roof Gardens 15-17 The Landscape Show, Olympia, London 16 Mar-1 Apr Ideal Gardens (Ideal Home Show), Earls Court, London gardens/ 20-22 Ecobuild, ExCel London 22 Alan Sargent Seminar – Million Dollar Gardens, Chichester College, Brinsbury Campus, Pulborough

New jobs created by manufacturing and distribution business An expanding landscaping products manufacturing and distribution business has created eight new jobs, by opening new soil production sites, extending its premises and achieving record turnover, increased from £7.1 million to £9.6 million. Green-tech Ltd, founded by husband-and-wife team Richard and Rachel Kay in 1994, employs 42 people at its 30,000ft2 of warehousing and offices at Sweethills Business

Park in Nun Monkton. The company has also built a new store for treeplanting supplies and an additional 7,000ft2 of office space to cater for current and future staff increases. The business has doubled turnover every four years by supplying maintenance products to Yorkshire golf courses and now manufactures and distributes a range of 3,000 different products, which it supplies to clients including the Forestry

Richard Campey wins IOG Lifetime Achievement Award Richard Campey, Managing Director of Campey Turf Care Systems, has won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) Awards. Richard Campey has spent the past 25 years promoting a strategy of best practice sports ground renovation and maintenance, which has not only enabled him to build a successful company, but importantly to help ensure that young people in


If you have a diary event you wish to publicise, email details to the editor: lisa.wilkinson@

| January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1

particular have the best possible playing surfaces at their disposal. The award was presented, in Richard’s absence, to Campey Turf Care Systems Sales Director Simon Gumbrill by category sponsor Everris. Richard responded via a video link: “I’m surprised and delighted to receive this award and would like to thank the IOG and all those who voted for me. I have been in this industry for 35 years, 25 running my own business. I have never forgotten how I was taught the importance of instilling your knowledge in the next generation. “Educating the young in the methods of ‘best practice’ is as vital today as it was back then, and this is integral to the way we operate at Campey Turf Care. Thanks to everyone for their recognition.”

Commission and local authorities. Rachel Kay said: “We offer the most extensive product range in our sector in the UK and this, coupled with the fact we manufacture items to control quality, is behind our expansion.” The growth has been supported by Yorkshire Bank’s Harrogate Financial Solutions Centre (FSC) through its Investing for Growth initiative.

Executive Hire Show heads for Coventry The sixth annual Executive Hire Show is taking place from 8-9 February at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena. It’s promising to be an impressive show with 120 exhibitors, of which 21 companies will be making their show debut. Several products will be launching, with key blue-chip exhibitors showcasing new plant, machinery, tools and services (see p53). Due to the main exhibition hall selling out of space a brand new Top Tier, also hosting the ‘Innovation Zone’, has been added to meet demand. To receive a free entry badge to the show, register online at:

News Shed

Defra launches SuDS standards consultation The long-awaited draft National Standards for Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) have just been issued for consultation by Defra. Early response from the trade association Interpave raises concerns about a loophole enabling developers to avoid SuDS for cost reasons. The draft National Standards have been developed to meet the requirements of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, which makes SuDS effectively mandatory. They stress the importance of source control, water management near the surface, cost-effective operation throughout design life and

integration of public space with SuDS. As part of the consultation process, Defra proposes working in conjunction with other organisations over the next few months to develop more detailed guidance than the National Standards offer. Interpave has already indicated its willingness to be part of this process and has a wealth of information on permeable

News in Brief

paving and SuDS in its information resource. It will also discuss the draft standards in more detail during the consultation period. But Interpave is concerned about a proposed ‘getout clause’ within the draft. In its current form, developers will be able to avoid “full compliance with the standards” where a SuDS scheme “is more expensive than an equivalent conventional design”. Mandatory SuDS is seen by many as vital in the fight against flooding. Interpave’s guidance on permeable paving and SuDS, including a summary of the cost research, can be downloaded from

two schemes. Wyre’s Rossall coastal defence scheme in Fleetwood will involve the reconstruction of a 1.9km length of coastal defences of potentially rock armour or concrete seawall (both pre-cast and in-situ), potential beach re-charge and landscaping details. The existing coastal defences have been assessed as having an

chose its 30th anniversary to award new fellowships. Wyer was one of only three members to be awarded with the accolade and brings the total number of Society Fellows to 38. He said: “It was a great tribute to be awarded fellowship by my peers. I feel honoured to be rewarded for doing

Celebrity gardener Alan Titchmarch (pictured) has said gardening outranks politics, as it offers a more consistent point-of-view.

One-day seminars at Chichester College Alan Sargent is holding two one-day seminars at Chichester College, Brinsbury Campus – ‘Managing as a Head Gardener’ on 23 February, and ‘Million Dollar Gardens’ on 22 March.

Members of the Landscape Institute South East Branch are creating a garden in celebration of the life of Jo Yeates, the landscape architect who was tragically killed in December 2010.

estimated lifespan of less than five years. At Anchorsholme, Blackpool’s engineers have determined that the existing seawall is in a progressive mode of failure. The new scheme will involve the reconstruction of a 1km length of coastal defences in the form of a concrete seawall/ promenade (both precast and insitu) with landscaping details.

John Wyer appointed Fellow of the Society of Garden Designers Award-winning landscape architect and garden designer John Wyer has been awarded a Fellowship of the Society of Garden Designers. The Society rarely confers the honour of Fellow to a member in recognition of their contribution to the Society and the profession, but

Titchmarsh: best policy is gardening

Celebrating the life of Jo Yeates

Lancashire sea defences set for £100m rebuild Contractors are being sought to undertake emergency work to shore up failing sea defences on the Lancashire coast. Estimated cost of the Anchorsholme and Rossall coast protection works is in the range of £70m to £100m, excluding VAT. The neighbouring borough councils of Wyre and Blackpool are jointly procuring contractors for the


something I’ve enjoyed immensely.” In announcing the fellowship, the Society commented on John’s “tireless energy and dedication” and that his “clear thinking and enthusiasm had contributed to the success of several projects that had raised the profile and professionalism of the Society.”

Olympia to host Landscape Show

The trade show where indoors meets outdoors, the Landscape Show, takes place from 15-17 March at Olympia in London. For more information visit

Continue to learn at Harrogate Week

BIGGA’s Harrogate Week event (24-26 January) has more than 60 different Seminars and workshops that make up the ‘Continue to Learn’ programme.

Easy to navigate Holland website

Holland Landscapes has launched its new website, which is brilliantly designed and easy to navigate. Visit

January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1 |


Contractors News

ISS and Arun District Council extend partnership to 23 years The Landscape Group partners with Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust The Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust has awarded The Landscape Group the contract to deliver its grounds maintenance and street-cleaning service. The five-year contract, which commences in January 2012, was procured with the help of local tenants. As a result, more than 14,000 Trust residents will receive a significantly improved service as well as better quality information about the service. The Landscape Group was awarded the contract having demonstrated a comprehensive service offering value for money against strong competition from the other bidders. Central to The Landscape Group’s offer is a high level of quality monitoring as well as investment into employee and resident training and development. Sarah Hughes-Clarke, Business Development Director for The Landscape Group, said: “We were impressed with the extent of resident involvement in this procurement, and we’re looking forward to working with resident groups and the Trust to ensure our services evolve to meet future needs.”

Arun District Council has extended its Greenspace Management Contract with ISS Facility Services Landscaping by five years, meaning that ISS will have been working in partnership with the Council for a very impressive 23 years. The contract covers 500 areas of parks and open spaces, ranging from small pockets of grass to large formal parks, Arun’s Council Housing land and countryside sites.

At the core of the relationship is the “true partnership” which exists between ISS and Arun District Council. This partnership sees both parties working together to realise efficiencies and cost savings, and to deliver a high end, value for money product to the general public. This arrangement ensures that challenges and decisions are managed jointly, which has resulted in the Council winning 11 Green

Flags and numerous silver and silver-gilt South East in Bloom awards over the contract term. Phil Jones, Managing Director of ISS Facility Services Landscaping explained: “ISS has more than 30 years’ experience in partnering and we continue to work with our public sector clients to find joint solutions to the challenges which many local authorities are faced with today.”

Pro Landscaper launches online Network Pro Landscaper invites you to join the Network, set up to facilitate communication and discussion within the UK landscaping sector. The Network allows contractors, designers and manufacturers to discuss current issues, share knowledge and sub-contract work. It is an open forum with no hidden agenda and will be maintained and developed for the industry’s benefit as a whole. The site aims to be inclusive: if you’re a small regional landscaper, main maintenance contractor, design and build contractor, designer, consultant, architect or supplier please get involved – after all it’s your site. Sign up at

BALI – The 2012 Landscaping Show Following the great success of the launch show in 2011, BALI – The 2012 Landscaping Show returns bigger and better for its next installment on 19 to 20 June 2012 at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire. The event will feature more than 80 leading providers showcasing the very latest the landscaping industry has to offer, and live demonstrations will give visitors the opportunity to see new

| January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1

equipment and tools in action. A free education programme, spanning the two days of the event, will be designed to keep visitors upto-date with the latest designs, techniques, legislation and policies affecting landscaping today. Visitors will also be able to gain free advice

in the Business Zone, where specialist advisors will be on hand to provide guidance on how best to manage and improve business. BALI – The 2012 Landscaping Show will once again co-locate with Play Fair, the UK’s only national trade event for all those involved in the selection, purchase, upkeep and replacement of children’s play equipment. The event will be free to attend.


BALI Awards

Headline sponsor

Award Sponsors Aggregate Industries Andersplus Horticulture BALI Insure Boughton Loam & Turf Management Bourne Amenity British Sugar TOPSOIL Clear Water Revival Crowders Cuprinol Trade Europlants UK Green-Tech Hillier Nurseries Johnsons of Whixley Kubota Marshalls Natural Paving Palmstead Quinton Edwards Ransomes Jacobsen ReadyHedge Rigby Taylor Stockscape Stonemarket The Landscape Group The Landscaper Top Green Van den Berk Nurseries

Grand Award winner: The Landscape Group


Just when you think it can’t get any better, the next BALI National Landscape Awards comes along and exceeds all expectations, and we find ourselves celebrating yet another triumph. The 2011 BALI National Landscape Awards, in association with Horticulture Week, was a magnificent celebration of the outstanding work carried out by BALI registered designers and contractors. ore than 700 members and guests attended the event at the Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London, on Friday 2 December. Industry VIPs, celebrities and members of the press, including Jim and Lisa Wilkinson from Pro Landscaper, joined BALI members and guests in the Great Room for an excellent luncheon and the Awards ceremony, hosted this year by former MP, author, broadcaster, actor and entertainer Gyles Brandreth. Gyles did a magnificent job of entertaining the audience and making the Award sponsors and winners feel very special. BALI ensured its chosen charities – the BALI Chalk Fund and Greenfingers – were supported by those attending the Awards. During the luncheon a cheque for £2,000 was presented by Stephen Alderton, Development and Marketing Director of Award sponsors Top Green, to the BALI Chalk Fund, which supports skills training and development for young landscapers. BALI affiliate members Van den Berk Nurseries raised the stakes by offering an all-expenses paid trip to Floriade 2012. The collection raised an astonishing £5,209.42. Winning a BALI National Landscape Award is an outstanding achievement and demands unequivocal levels

| January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1

of professional excellence.This year more than 130 entries were received in the 21 award categories, with 42 eligible BALI member companies winning awards. The Principal Award winners are announced at the Awards ceremony, which culminates in the announcement of the winner of the BALI Grand Award – the project that, above all Principal Award winning schemes, exemplifies outstanding professional landscaping excellence. This year the accolade went to The Landscape Group for the Broadway development at Salford Quays, Manchester – location of MediaCity UK and new home of the BBC. After receiving the Grand Award from Awards headline sponsor Rigby Taylor, Lee Webster, Operations Director of The Landscape Group,said:“This is an amazing achievement. for everyone at The Landscape Group we’re proud of the team that worked so hard on this challenging project.” The Awards brochure, containing all the winners on the day, has been sent to all BALI members and distributed with every copy of Horticulture Week. Next year’s BALI National Landscape Awards, in BALI’s 40th anniversary year, will take place on Friday 7 December.The deadline for entries is Friday 27 April.

BALI Awards

“What a fantastic day for all who attended the event, especially for Bartholomews! To

have had our all hard work acknowledged is so rewarding for all of us. So many of our competitors at the awards have been incredibly generous in their comments, which makes us want to raise the bar to new heights next year. We know we have yet to realise the full potential within our company and we will continue to go from strength to strength. We really would like to thank the adjudicators for appreciating the high standards that we set ourselves and for making our first year as a BALI member such a memorable one.” Barry Burrows, Managing Director, Bartholomew Landscaping – Principal Awards for Domestic Garden Construction – cost over £250,000, Hard Landscaping Construction – cost under £300,000, Special Award for Design & Build, and Best Newcomer to BALI Award

“We are genuinely delighted

to receive three awards from BALI. It is rare that such a unique design [Garscube Road at Dobbies Loan, Glasgow] is funded and wholeheartedly embraced by the design teams, clients, Land Engineering and their sub-contractors. It is also very rare that a project brings a smile to all involved and in particular to the people who use it daily; this is one such project.” David Irvine, Operations Director, Land Engineering – Principal Award for Hard Landscaping Construction – cost between £300,000-£1.5million, and Best Innovation/Technology used in a Landscape Scheme

“It’s a fantastic achievement for the company

and for our teams that work hard on the detail to ensure our schemes are a success and surpass our clients’ expectations. I congratulate the team and thank BALI for their recognition.” James Bird, James Bird Landscapes Ltd – Principal Award for Domestic Garden Construction, cost up to £20,000

“This award is the result of superb teamwork.

We managed to deliver to excellent standards despite a really harsh winter and increasingly tight financial constraints imposed by the recession. I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved.” Brian Herbert, Outdoor Options Ltd – Principal Award for Domestic Garden Construction – cost between £100,000-£250,000

“We are honoured to have won two awards especially as the judging panel is comprised

of the most respected landscape professionals in the country. These awards are a fantastic achievement and winning is a wonderful recognition of all the hard work that goes into creating these iconic gardens. It has been great to share the excitement with the whole team and we have had a wonderful day.” Janine Pattison MBALI MSGD – Landscape Design Excellence Award, overall project cost >£50,000

“We are so proud and delighted

to have been chosen as the Employer of the Year by BALI. Glendale has always endeavoured to ensure that it has a highly trained and well-motivated workforce, that aims to serve the requirements of its many and varied clients and customers.” Tony Hewitt, Managing Director Glendale Managed Services – Employer of the Year, awarded for its excellent staff training and development and engagement with the local communities where it operates through an active outreach programme

“With five National Awards and

three Principal awards, 2011 BALI Awards was a stunning success for Gavin Jones Ltd. The results in our view reflect exceptional staff, working with exceptional clients, on exceptional sites/projects – and we are truly delighted at such a resounding external verification of the quality of our service provision. We should also like to extend our congratulations to all the other winners and thank BALI a nd Horticulture Week for such a fabulous event.” Yvette Etcell, Director – Business Development & HR, Gavin Jones Ltd – Principal Awards for Grounds Maintenance – Free Public Access, Grounds Maintenance – Business & Private Areas, Limited Public Access, and Special Award – Roof Garden

January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1 |


Andy, explain to us how you got into garden design? I was born and grew up in Surrey near Claremont Gardens, as a child I used to go there a lot before the restoration programme started in the mid-1970s. In later years I realised the gardens had been a big inspiration to me. When I left school, as with many people, I didn’t know what to do, I originally wanted to go into the army as I loved being outside, so when I decided that wasn’t going to happen, I discovered through working for my brother’s landscaping business that this industry ticked all the boxes – I was able to work outside in a physical job, plus it was creative – it felt great to stand back after it was finished and look at what had been achieved. We were building gardens from other people’s designs and although I had no plan during those early years I just discovered it was what I wanted to be able to do, so I looked around for design courses. With hindsight I


Garden Designer Andy Sturgeon has a plethora of awards for his contemporary and innovative styles, has enjoyed extensive media work including TV presenting and writing for various newspapers, and has also published three books. It’s no wonder the thing he’d most like to learn about now is how to make more time for everything…

➧ January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1 |


Let’s Hear it From... 1

wish I’d gone to Kew Gardens, but I had very little knowledge about how to approach it at that time. I looked at the local authority courses but none fitted the focus I wanted – Landscape Architecture generally focused on the less exciting side of design such as car parks and motorway embankments. I made the decision to study interior landscaping at the Welsh College of Horticulture in Mold, North Wales, mostly because of the design element – and a fair bit of what I learnt there I have since put into practice. In the middle year I went to Wisley Gardens, and other than a couple of tiny projects I haven’t done any interior landscaping since, but I did learn a lot about tropical plants which has enabled me to work abroad which I am very interested in. When I left college I worked for David Stevens for a year and really cut my teeth there. When I decided to leave and work, freelance design wasn’t really an industry in the way that it is now. Of course this all changed in the mid-’90s mainly with the media explosion that included Ground Force and an abundance of magazines coming on to the market.This was when it all changed. You started your own garden maintenance business? Yes and to this day I maintain that Surrey is the best place in the world to be a landscape gardener, because of the concentration of wealth in the area. I started the business and did design in the evening.This was really at the beginning of the last recession and I honestly didn’t realise there was a recession,the business just grew and grew, I employed lots of staff – and all this happened with no advertising or going out trying to gain business. The work purely came from recommendations by the clients I was working for. Essentially, all this was to fund my design practice which was an area that hadn’t yet really taken off in the UK. I did this for five years and then needed a change. In ’94 I sold the business and went abroad – on my travels I visited every botanical garden I could – which was all part of the education – also looking at architecture and art which I’m also hugely interested in. I spent a year in Africa, three months were in Madagascar where most of the plants we know as houseplants grow like trees, it’s truly amazing. From there I went to South East Asia and worked in Hong Kong as an engineer – this was where I learnt how to bank a crane, which seems bizarre but has since come in quite useful. | January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1

started to go up, so this influenced the amount that people could spend on their gardens.


I came back in 1997 and thought that I had missed the boat with the eruption of gardening in the media – there was a new TV series on Channel 4 called Garden Doctors with Dan Pearson which specifically raised the awareness of garden design, but also new magazines were being launched every week it seemed. I got calls from TV production companies and magazines every week and most of them came to nothing, but the fact it was all being talked about was a step in the right direction. House prices had also

Why aren’t there any garden makeover programmes now? The BBC officially stopped doing makeovers because they took a lot of criticism for it. But they did give birth to an industry and like it or not Ground Force was a big part of that. All the contractors disparaged it because you couldn’t build a garden on the cheap in a few days but that absolutely wasn’t the point; it spawned the idea that you could do something different and break out of the mould. Unfortunately, Channel 4 had its fingers burnt when it did The Landscape Man. The show didn’t work despite extensive research being carried out and was pulled after the second series. It suffered because it didn’t take the advice to film it over the course of a couple of years. But what everybody wants is the reveal where they’re amazed by the results. It’s a shame and maybe Channel 4 won’t do it again, but I think it will come back to this type of programming because it really can’t think of anything different and of course it’s cheap TV. For some reason these types of shows have raised and dipped in popularity, but to be honest I

Let’s Hear it From...


1 Great Ormond Street Hospital Roof Gardens. 2 Roofgarden in Hampstead, London. 3 Chelsea Flower Show 2005.


We don’t advertise – other than being at Chelsea and having editorial in magazines. I’ve just taken on an office manager who will actively deal with marketing and those sorts of things.

don’t think the industry needs it now. With TV you really need instant results and gardens often take years to become established and look their best. So where’s the business at now? We focus on complicated private gardens and commercial projects. The ratio is currently 80% private and 20% commercial projects. We have four full-time designers and landscape architects. Some people see garden design and landscape architecture as two different principles: landscape architecture looks at the bigger picture, whereas garden design is more about concentrating on the detail. There is an overlap and the way I see it, our practice sits in the middle both in terms of our vision, and also the level of complexity and detail that we can handle. Of course, commercial work can bring larger, longer term projects so you only have to take on a couple of these to tip the ratio balance. How do you get your international work? The internet has obviously been a big help and the Chelsea Flower Show is great because we get recognised internationally and it seems some other countries are more impressed with awards than we are here. So essentially we get the foreign work through winning awards.

How do you select the contractors on a job? We recommend contractors and then mostly oversee the work. We normally put forward two contractors and get an itemised quote. We then do a tender comparison then put that forward to the client – in an ideal world they will have met the contractors as the client/contractor relationship is really important too. We use medium-sized experienced companies, as the consistency with staff seems to be better and they can be more competitive because they have lower overheads. We choose them for other reasons as well, such as how tidy they keep the site, whether the clients like them, and price of course. Quite often we are doing new builds and refurbishments. I have a constant battle to avoid clients using builders to build their gardens – they really don’t have the expertise that landscape contractors have, often make mistakes and it rarely saves money. The relationship between designer and contractor? Designers usually choose a contractor for a project as that relationship is so important. Although long since outlawed by the Society of Garden Designers, there is unfortunately still a culture of backhanders where some designers demand a ‘commission’ from a contractor, which is dishonest and totally wrong. Contractors keep quiet about it as they rely on these people for work but it means that the designer and contractor have a loyalty to each other instead of to the client. My feeling is

that these people should be named and shamed. It keeps design fees unrealistically low because these people are ‘topping up’ with the commission and it makes it impossible for professional designers to compete on price. Would you be interested in working with local councils on their green space areas? I have spoken to someone in our area who works in the parks – we had a conversation about doing something in the future so I hope this will happen. Of all your gardens, which one is more special than any other? That’s difficult because there is more than one. Two Chelsea gardens, 2005 and 2010, but they’re in an unreal situation; The Great Ormond Street Hospital Roof Gardens which was one I did three years ago, and a tiny roof garden in Hampstead which was a particularly painful process and very complicated, but I was very pleased with the result. Which other designers do you admire? To be honest I’ve never really focused on other designers – I really like Fernando Caruncho’s work purely because his style is so totally different. What trends are you seeing? There’s been a huge change in lighting with the introduction of good quality LEDs, it’s hard to specify and is a minefield so we’ve put an enormous amount of research into it. I can’t remember the last time we did a garden without lighting. Of course there are always new plants and materials coming along. How much input do the clients have? Without them even discussing what they want January 2012 | Volume2 1 | Issue 1 |


Let’s Hear it From...

What projects do you have coming up? We’ve got a big project in Russia – which is difficult as the climate influences the design massively. We have also got a project in Kiev which is all lakes and hills. We’ve pitched for a couple of healthcare projects in the UK which would be quite nice. One is private and the other an NHS project. On the NHS project the landscape is really important and valued which is integral to the whole thing – so this would be an opportunity to have the landscape valued where it absolutely should be.

in their design there’s a lot to go on – I look at how they live and their practical needs, what their house is like, the site, the budget etc, then form a picture without having to go into too much detail with them.There’s this saying ‘give them what they didn’t know they needed’. Over the years things have changed but a lot of my ideas come from experience and clients tend to let me initiate a design. There’s a fair bit of psychology in design – I listen and look as much as I can when I’m with them and then can turn the whole thing into a brief. Are you the client face of your business? Initially yes, then one of our designers will work on the project, but I’m always involved. Most work is in the practice – usually once the work is underway we don’t go out on many site visits unless we are actually overseeing the project. Apart from email, skype and telephone calls we tend to let the contractor get on with it, which goes back to why I need to use contractors I can trust.

Clients tend to let me initiate a design. There’s a fair bit of psychology in design – I listen and look as much as I can when I’m with clients. Is there a lower value level you work at? We can’t really justify what we do unless the garden costs between £40-£50,000. There are lots of drawings produced and huge amounts of work put in with research and sourcing supplies.

Chelsea Flower Show 2005.

How did you get to be one of the Times Top 10 Designers? It’s a small world and Chelsea obviously plays a part in being known. Editorial in magazines helps, also getting good clients who we often create more than one garden for, and finally, being recommended. The internet plays a big part in being ‘known’. Your next TV/Media? There is nothing in the pipeline right now, but I’d like to get into it – it would have to be interesting though and either design- or plant-based. I write for a number of papers on an occasional basis but it’s all a juggling act with the business. You have also had three books published. Are there plans for any more? They’re not great money-makers but I would like to do one on big gardens to follow on from the one I had published on small gardens.

If you were in a room with 15 young designers what tips would you give them? I don’t really know, but some of the most successful people who’ve come into this business as a career have been good at marketing. So that’s a start.

Do you get involved with any of the industry Associations? I’m a member of BALI and The Landscape Institute and have just been made a Fellow of the SGD but I don’t have time to get involved in any of them as much as I’d like to.

Do you ever look at other contractors and think you’d like them to work on your projects? Yes definitely, I have never worked with Mark Gregory so I’d love to do that. But it all depends where they are based and the size of project – you have to fit the work to the project. They need to be a decent-sized company to be able to provide the back-up the clients require.

Any further plans to work overseas? I’ve worked on projects in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Bahrain and Europe. I like travel and working in different climates – its good fun but difficult sometimes with the differences in time zones. I’ve not worked in the Caribbean but would love to – I know the plants that grow there and you can make a great garden really quickly as everything grows so fast in the climate.

| January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1

Your plans for Chelsea next year? We are doing the garden for (show sponsor) M&G, which is a traditional, 100-year-old investment bank. It’s all been designed and we’re currently talking to fabricators. The contractor will be Creative Landscapes which we have worked with at Chelsea in the past. The garden theme will be based on the Arts and Crafts style which is 150 years’ old, and although I do contemporary gardens they are frequently based on Arts and Crafts ideas. We work a lot with craftsmen and will use the types of materials used in that era, for example, oak and copper. I came up with the idea for ‘The New English Garden’, which is essentially modern yet based on the fundamental aspects of Arts and Crafts. Will you be on site all the time? No. I will have done everything I need to by then and will let the contractors get on with it. They follow our plans and if they need me I will go but usually I just turn up for the positioning of the trees and the planting. I will have seen all the different components beforehand such as sculpture and stone, so will know exactly how it will look. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Andy, it has given us a great insight into the business of being within a successful design practice.We look forward to seeing more of your projects and wish you all the best for the coming year.

CONTACT Andy Sturgeon Lanscape and Garden Design 20 Clermont Road, Brighton BN1 6SG Tel: +44 (0) 1273 553 336 Email: Web:


Business Tips

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

1. How much is this going to cost me to do?  hat is the minimum profit I am prepared 2. W to make on this job?  hat is the maximum profit I can put on 3. W this job and still win it? The two latter questions and answers are a matter of your needs, risk and acumen. The first question is a simple one – it’s basically arithmetic and that is the one we will deal with in this article.

The Theory 1. T  here is no point in working if you are going to lose money. 2. You have to understand your costs.

THE COSTS OF Drainage Drainage is a wide-ranging scope for cost investigation. There are many different types of drainage used in our sector. Ultimately, however, the basics of drainage is getting water from

TABLE 1: Gully excavation costs Method of Excavation

Cost/hr (£)


Vol./hr 400 deep (m3)

Cost p/m3 (£)

Vol./hr 600 deep (m3)

Cost p/m3 (£)

By hand







1 tonne machine







3 tonne machine







TABLE 2: Common Gully costs Type

Size (mm)

Cost (£)

Dig Vol. (m3)

Bedding (£)

Time (Hrs)

Total cost (£)

Plastic Yard gully

300 x 600






Clay Yard Gully

290 x 670






Clay Road Gully

300 x 750






TABLE 3: COSTS P/M RUN OF TRENCHING AT VARIOUS DEPTHS Trench 300 wide x depth Machine type


Cost/hr (£)

Cost p/m (£)




Hand dig







1.5 tonne







3 tonne







5 tonne







| January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1


where you don’t want it to be to a place where you can collect or manage it. This article will investigate the first part of that process. In a previous cost investigation we looked at the costs of services excavation. Readers can refer to the more detailed analysis there (Pro Landscaper October 2011). The basic elements of drainage are: 1. Collection of the water – gullies drains, land drains and inspection chambers. 2. Moving the water – pipes or land drains. 3. Discharge of water – Manholes or Soakaways: these are complex and require their own cost investigation in order to analyse their pricing and will therefore be dealt with in a later issue. Gullies We have provided only a small amount of gully material supply costs as a sample – the gully and all of its ancillary components should be carefully selected from the suppliers’ technical data and the appropriate cost substituted for those used in these examples. The gully or inspection chamber has to be excavated for and set in at the correct level. On top of this we have to take into account that the excavation to receive the gully needs to be hand-worked, shored up and levelled up. Hand-works to excavation average time 1 hr = £19.50. The cost of excavating for gullies is shown in Table 1. Allow at least 1.5 times the size of the gully for the bulk excavation for working space and for bedding materials. Bedding and gully surround Yard gullies are generally set on a on a granular

Business Tips

TABLE 4: PIPE CHOICE Type of pipe

Cost p/m (£)

TABLE 5: Bulkage Rates Type of bedding

Cost (£)

Output Total m/hr LabCost incl. our (£) back(£) filling

Machine backfilled Clay 100mm


50mm granular bed





Clay 160mm


50mm granular bed





Plastic 100mm


Full bed and surround





Plastic 150mm


Full bed and surround





Land drain 100mm plastic


Full bed and surround





Clay 100mm


50mm granular bed





Clay 160mm


50mm granular bed





Plastic 100mm


Full bed and surround





Plastic 150mm


Full bed and surround





Land drain 100mm plastic


Full bed and surround





Hand Backfilled

The costs shown above do not allow for any bends or special fittings and do not include for removal of excavated material or bulkage

bed and surrounded by concrete. Road gullies are on full concrete beds. Stage 2 – Pipe laying The trench has to be excavated to fall from the gully to the inspection chamber, manhole or soakaway. The trench must fall at the correct angle and be sufficiently deep to comply with regulations and site requirements. Depending on pipe type (usually uPVC or clay in our sector) a

bedding and backfilling material will be required. Land Drains The trench for the land drains must be excavated to falls and to sufficient depth. The land drain design will dictate how many trenches should be excavated and their spacings. Once again we have to dig so let me refresh you with the data we calculated formerly (readers can refer to the earlier cost investigations in the Pro Landscaper

TABLE 6: EXAMPLE Description


Cost (£)

Gully excavation by hand

800 x 400 (x 1.5)


Fix yard gully

Plastic 300 x 600mm


Excavate only 20 m trench for 100 uPVC pipe; 600 deep

20 x £1.18


Hand works to pipe

20m at 2.00 p/m


Lay 100 uPVC pipe on full granular bed, surround, machine backfill 20m @17.62




TABLE 7: EXAMPLE Description


Cost (£)

Excavate only 20m trench for 100 uPVC pipe; 600 deep

20 x £11.70


Lay perforated pipe on full bed and surround

20m at 2.00 p/m


Lay 100 uPVC pipe on full granular bed, surround, machine backfill

20m @17.62





Description Sandy loams

Factor price from tables 1 & 3 1.2

Heavier loams

1.25 - 1.3



Heavy waterlogged clay


magazine archive or at should they need to examine the data source). Table 3 shows the costs of trenching with different machines used in our sector. These prices include: • Hire rate based on a weekly hire. • Operator at £19.50 per hour.  on productive time of 8 hours per 40 hours •N weekly hire (20%). • F uel using manufacturers issued information for consumption. The trench has to be carefully graded to the correct fall and generally speaking hand-worked to eliminate softspots undulations and material in the trench that could damage the pipe. Allow the following amount p/m for final trench preparation: hand works to trenches to receive pipes (Output 8m/hr) = £ 2.00. Next Issue We will examine some of the actual costs for common tasks in our industry. Readers are invited to submit their suggestions.

ABOUT sam hassall Sam Hassall is the UK’s only dedicated specialist landscape cost consultant. As managing director of LandPro Ltd his range of services are to provide cost and implementation information to Landscape design professionals and Landscape contractors. Sam’s expertise is gained from his formal training and many years of experience in the landscape industry. As part of his portfolio Sam also compiles the Spon’s External works and Landscape price book and developed the market leading LiberRATE Estimating system which is available as a 90-day trial. For further details visit: or call LandPro Ltd directly on Tel: 01252 795030

January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1 |


Business Tips


is where the heart is

HR expert Yvette Etcell looks at the ways to invest in employees and how having an engaged workforce is one of the best means to develop your business.


ost of us agree our people are the key to the success of our organisations. Without people, our businesses would comprise of little more than some empty buildings, dormant plant and equipment and stationary vehicles. The phrase “people are our most important asset” is frequently stated and, while perhaps a little hackneyed, few would dispute it. It follows that managing HR matters appropriately has a central role to play in organisations seeking to recruit and retain motivated individuals who are committed to the culture and ethos of their businesses. Building commitment, satisfaction and loyalty within a workforce is surely a challenge for us all. To be a key driver in the business, HR has to become a strategic function that develops capability, works collaboratively with all departments within an organisation and is aligned to business priorities. The aim is to ensure that business goals are understood by all and thereby harness employees’ energy, ideas, inspiration and commitment in order to achieve such organisational objectives – often referred to as an “engaged” workforce. Employee “engagement” has been defined as “a workplace approach designed to ensure that employees are committed to their organisation’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organisational success, and enhancing their own sense of well-being”. The 2009 MacLeod review – Engaging for Success – set out to consider whether wider take up of “engagement approaches” would improve competitiveness and performance – the answer which was arrived at largely through company case studies, was an unequivocal ‘yes’. So, if we are persuaded that staff engagement has a significant positive impact on: brand reputation – by serving as ambassadors; innovation – by establishing an energised and creative culture where people are confident to contribute to positive | January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1

change; customer satisfaction by really caring about the customer experience; staff turnover – because engaged employees are less likely to leave; and financial performance – as engagement translates into productivity and performance, then how do we go about it? Where do we start? Investors In People Having used the Investors In People (IIP) framework since 2001, we have found it to be an extremely successful tool for business improvement through people; the beauty of the IIP approach is that it is flexible and totally focused on outcomes. It helps you identify what you need to achieve to meet your organisation’s goals, but does not impose the manner in which you should do so. Not to be confused with other accreditations, such as ISO 9001 (which focuses on process and systems), IIP is pragmatic and forward-looking with assessment entirely based on interviews with staff from across the organisation and without copious paperwork and form-filling. The Assessors are highly trained and use appropriate questions to elicit “evidence” to see if, for example, “people believe it’s a great place to work” or “people are committed to success”. The full standard can be viewed at When first accredited in 2001 it was perhaps

about the “badge” for tendering purposes – however the new approach goes far beyond this and we believe has certainly helped to ensure our people are engaged with the business priorities, aims and objectives. New Choices extends the standard and allows organisations to achieve bronze, silver or gold status by meeting additional evidence requirements from across the Framework. As a result of the Assessment process, a Business Improvement Plan is developed which can then be used to inform strategic planning in order to meet key future business priorities. Investors in People is delivered by a network of centres – most of which are geographically based. However, the good news is that our sector is unique in that Lantra is the only Sector Skills Council (SSC) licensed to deliver Investors in People. As an SSC, Lantra has land-based and environmental expertise and knowledge which should help you get exactly the right solutions for your business. With dedicated specialist advisors on-hand to support you through the whole process – the initial consultation is free. To see case studies for organisations within the land-based sector that have used Investors In People or to register interest or seek advice, visit:

ABOUT YVETTE ETCELL Yvette Etcell is Director, Business Development and HR at Gavin Jones Ltd. With an early career in sales, advertising, marketing and assisting with Personal Injury litigation she then took a family career break.Yvette spent five years with English Landscapes as an

Operational Contracts Manager (Coventry City GM/Cleansing contract), then as Area Manager with a portfolio of c£5m/pa contracts.Yvette joined Gavin Jones Ltd in 2003 as Business Development Manager, was promoted to Company Secretary in 2008 and to the board 12 months later.

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January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1 |


Business Training


NHSS18? Jodie Reed explains the integrated management scheme, one of a series of National Highways Sector Schemes that is tailored for hazardous works on highways, where operatives are in close proximity to fast-moving traffic.

In the last edition, we explained what ROLO is, and the fact that it’s a prerequisite for the National Highways Sector Scheme 18 for the Environment and Landscape including ecology (NHSS18). But what is NHSS18? NHSS18 is a bespoke integrated management scheme, based on the framework of the Quality Management Standard ISO9001:2008. It is one of a series of National Highways Sector Schemes, tailored for highway works, which are recognised as being hazardous owing to the fast-moving traffic flowing in close proximity to operatives. NHSS18 itself is the scheme which is most likely to apply to landscapers, as it has been published by a specialist Sector Scheme Advisory Committee for the Environment and Landscape (SSACEL) and applies to a range of activities that include: • Weed control • Control of rabbits and deer • Application and management of pesticides • Ground preparation • Grass and wildflower seeding and turfing • Planting • Grass, bulbs and wildflower maintenance • Watering • Establishment maintenance for planting • Arboricultural activities • Maintenance of established trees and shrubs • Mechanical tree and vegetation removal For a full list of categories, see the latest version of NHSS18, which can be downloaded at Publications-and-Tech-Articles/Publications/ PubsForCBAccred.asp. | January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1

DO WE NEED NHSS18? The Highways Agency states that “any supplier of services covered by NHSS and working on Highways Agency roads is required to be registered to the relevant scheme(s)” and goes so far as to state that this is a mandatory requirement unless otherwise specified in contract documents. Under the scheme, subcontractors are not permitted to provide services under the umbrella of another registered supplier, and most therefore hold their own certification. So, if your company is providing (or wishes to provide) landscaping services to the highways infrastructure, then “yes”, you will need to achieve NHSS18 (reference: 10937.htm).

HOW DO WE GET NHSS18? If you already have certification for management systems such as ISO9001 (Quality), ISO14001 (Environment) and OHSAS18001 (Health and Safety) then you are probably most of the way there. An easy, and often cost-effective way to find out where the gaps lie may be to commission a Gap Analysis from experienced consultants. This will enable you to decide whether you have the internal skills and resources to address any gaps, and allows you to budget for any extra work. Note that not all Certification Bodies are approved to assess against NHSS. Details on how to check whether your certification body can carry out the extra assessment for NHSS18 are given in Appendix F of the standard. If you don’t already have a management system in place, you’ll need to implement one and have it formally assessed by an approved Certification Body. The British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) can provide further information about the standard and consultants that can provide assistance in meeting the requirements. Visit: quality_assurance/nhss18. HOW DO I KNOW WHETHER MY SUBCONTRACTORS HAVE NHSS18? Details of any organisation that have achieved NHSS18 (or any other Sector Scheme) can be

Business Tips

accessed via the National Highways Schedule of Suppliers website, http://www.scheduleof, so you can be sure that the contractors you are looking to appoint have the necessary certification in place – and of course, your potential clients will be able to check for your details too.

ABOUT JODIE READ Jodie Read achieved a BSc in Biology and an MSc in Global Biodiversity; Monitoring and Conservation in the University of Hull. After leaving university she worked as a research worker for the Forestry Commission. In 2006, Jodie became Managing Director of what is now Penarth Management Ltd and assists organisations to implement and maintain management systems to recognised standards such as ISO9001 (Quality), ISO14001 (Environmental) and OHSAS18001 (Health and Safety). The team have assisted numerous landscaping organisations to successfully implement management systems to recognised standards and the company are affiliate members of the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI). She is also one of only a few approved ROLO health and safety trainers in the country.


CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY The elements of corporate social responsibility are continually developing, so the expectations placed upon an organisation change daily. Among all the legislative burden, Paul Elcoat looks at how to keep your business ahead of the game. As promised at the end of my article in the last edition of ProLandscaper I am going to focus on the key ingredients of competitive advantage and justify them in terms of their contribution to increased sales and profitability rather than the usual perspective of legal compliance and threat of enforcement. With years of helping companies through the pre-qualification (PQQ) process we have continually monitored the development of the ‘things that the procuring agencies’ find important and attractive. I was going to write that we have

seen trends come and go but the reality is that new requirements come and then stay rather than go. This of course makes pre-qualification a long and complicated process of demonstration of legal compliance and possession of the ‘correct’ values and beliefs. One way to look at this is that it’s a pain, but another way is to give the whole concept your full support. The reality is that you cannot fight it; it is the way things are so you are either with it or you are embarking upon a path to your own decline. ➧ January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1 |


Business Tips

pond, you will find the PQQ process easy and, especially if you are a smaller contractor with relatively low overheads, you will win contracts. Let me tell you about how one well-known company impressed me by being socially responsible.

While in Brasov, Romania, I was introduced to a woman working on a sixmonth placement to help raise funds at a hospice in the city. She explained that managers at her company do this as part of their development. We know that the landscape and tree industries are mostly composed of people who love trees and horticulture but are reluctant or unable to enter the game. My opinion is unsympathetic in that while everyone else is protesting and keeping their fingers crossed for a reduction in the legislative burden, those of us who have recognised that there is a game to be played are romping ahead of the crowd. In fact I would suggest that there is no better place to do business than in an environment where most of the competition is apathetic and unable? PRE-QUALIFICATION PROCESS If there was a name for all of the stuff included within a PQQ it would be ‘social responsibility’, also commonly referred to as ‘corporate social responsibility’ (CSR). ISO26000: 2010 (Guidance on Social | January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1

Responsibility) neatly lists the benefits in its introduction: • Competitive advantage • Reputation • Ability to attract and retain workers and customers • Morale, commitment and productivity • Relationship with companies, government, media, suppliers and community The elements of social responsibility continually develop and so the expectations placed upon an organisation are changing every day. Broadly, the key elements of social responsibility are: • Good governance – accountability, transparency and probity (ethical behaviour). • Respect for stakeholder interests (who are your neighbours and what do they need?) • Respect for the rule of the law (health, safety, environmental, employment and so on). • Respect for human rights (including equal opportunities and diversity). It isn’t difficult to make this pay and first you must commit to it, because if you just play around it will be a cost rather than a benefit. Second, you must be able to demonstrate that you have everything taken care of by being able to produce records that meet the expectations of potential clients. Third, your support must be overt by achieving appropriate third-party certification (SSIP, ISO’s etc). With these three elements in place, you will be swimming in a much smaller

CSR IN ACTION I spent some time in Brasov in Romania in 2010 providing consultancy to a couple of NGOs as part of our social responsibility strategy. While visiting a hospice in the city I was introduced to a manager employed by a leading pharmaceutical/ healthcare company. She was working on a sixmonth placement in the hospice to help raise funds and she explained that managers of her company do this as part of their development. The hospice benefits from the time of a qualified professional manager, the sponsor company achieves positive publicity, and after six months the manager returns to the company with significant sharp-end experience; it’s a win-win-win. What a forward-thinking organisation it must be and if it is operating initiatives such as this, imagine how good it must be at the other things that it does? On my return to the UK I bought shares in the company – probably worth a punt!

ABOUT paul elcoat Paul Elcoat is the founder of Elcoat Limited based in South Northamptonshire and works as an advisor to many companies in the landscape and tree industries. Since 2005 he has specialised in helping small contractors to get everything in place to increase sales and win contracts. He started his career in amenity horticulture and developed an interest in trees. He has been a climbing arborist, NPTC Assessor and Verifier and up until the establishment of his own company he was a director for a large vegetation management contractor serving the domestic, highway and railway sectors. With an MBA, qualifications in health and safety and as a Chartered Environmentalist, he has the rare ability to turn corporate responsibility into increased revenue. Paul would be happy to take questions or comments from readers by email: or telephone 020 7193 5611 / 07800 615 900.



ABOUT ELITE LANDSCAPES Since forming more than 11 years ago, Elite Landscapes has delivered high-quality landscape projects for its clients in the private, commercial and public sectors. Based in Buckinghamshire and operating in the South of England it focuses mainly on larger, mixed-discipline landscape projects up to £1.5 million. It works with designers and clients to ensure projects are carried out to the highest standards, on time and budget, and has an everincreasing reputation because of these qualities. PRINCIPAL AWARD WINNER Soft Landscaping Construction, Cost Over £1.5 Million

Elite Landscapes At the Dorchester’s first out-of-town hotel – designed to bring London living into the countryside – Elite was enlisted to refurbish the existing gardens and create new spaces. January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1 |




he project was commissioned by The Dorchester Group as part of its construction of the first “outof-town Dorchester Hotel”, which has been designed to bring London Living into the countryside. The hotel is located just outside Ascot near Wentworth Golf Club and information on the hotel itself can be found on the Coworth Park website The scheme was to undertake the refurbishment of existing overgrown garden areas and to install other new garden areas as outlined on the general layout plans. The project was split into two main contracts: • The Advanced Landscape Contract This contract was formed to enable external areas away from the main hotel and buildings to be landscaped as early as possible, so that the areas could mature before the opening date for the hotel. These works included the restoration of a Sunken Garden, The Northern Garden, the renovation of a Ha Ha wall, and the removal of a large amount of overgrown laurel/yew for the opening up of views from the main house/hotel to the open fields and eventual wild flower meadow. The works also included the formation of a wild flower meadow over an exsiting field which was excavated for the installation of a heat loop system for provision of hot water to the hotel.


• The Main Works Contract Predominantly soft landscaping for the main hotel, the stable block and the cottages/ barn area. TIMELINE OF THE DEVELOPMENT Works began on the advanced landscape works in December 2008 and the hotel opened in September 2011. Elite Landscapes had a site presence undertaking various works for the full duration of the development programme, culminating in the supply of more than 60 men to complete the works around the hotel as they became available at the end of the project. COSTINGS The total value of works undertaken by Elite Landscapes for the client and the main contractor were in excess of £1.5 million.


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1 Aerial view of the entire site. 2 Site plan drawing. 3 Stables courtyard. 4 Meadow area in flower.

THE BRIEF The brief was to form a new landscape area for the hotel grounds that was as mature as possible in all areas. The grounds and landscaped area is extensive and the works were split into sections of works as listed below: • Sunken Garden Renovation – excavation and renovation of infilled and overgrown water feature; reclamation of existing walling/steps and paving which had been overgrown and rebuilding/pointing; new paving areas; new hedge planting and garden planting. • Northern Garden – excavation and reformation of water canal with fountain; new formal paving; turfing and hedge planting works. • Yew Avenue – re-shaping and topping of overgrown and out-of-control existing yew avenue and maintenance back to former glory – lifting and re-laying Yorkstone paving and steps to form new garden pathway. • Meadow – the existing paddock area was excavated extensively for the installation of a heat loop system for the provision of hot water for the hotel. Elite’s works included re-grading the sub-soil left on the surface the removal of topsoil from the area and the cultivation formation of a wild flower meadow over 30,000m2 with as long a range of flowering period as possible. • Ha Ha Wall – the old estate has a Ha Ha wall at the end of the formal gardens and we reinstated the use of the wall by reclaiming it from overgrown vegetation; re-pointing the wall and forming a new path for use by the staff for accessing areas without being seen by the guests – the original use of the wall in the olden days and also to give a seamless view over the new formal gardens to the wild flower meadow. January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1 |




1 and 2 The house and sunken garden before work commenced.


• Lime Avenue/Marquee Lawn – this area was fully overgrown and one of the first jobs was to go into the undergrowth and pollard the lime trees so by the time the hotel opened the trees would have re-grown and the avenue effect that had been lost would be re-created as a feature to view from the hotel. We also formed a marquee lawn to be used as a function lawn for weddings.

Sweeping paths were formed throughout the grounds to form access paths and buggy paths to give the guests access to all the grounds and facilities without making the area look too urban. • Wedding Walk – a wedding walk was created at the edge of the meadow with an arbour for outdoor weddings. The walk is edged on both sides with wild flowers. • Lake – an existing overgrown and run-down lake was dredged, re-lined and re-filled to form a natural lake back to its former glory. • Spa Garden/Roof Garden – the spa building was formed away from the house by excavating a large bank and forming the spa within it to disguise its size and proximity to the main hotel. The works included forming a large grass bank, roof garden formation to the top of the spa and formal planting to the front of the spa. • Stable Block – the old stable block was | January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1

re-developed to form chalet rooms as part of the hotel complex and we formed a central courtyard garden around existing plane trees which became the focal feature of the courtyard. • Barn Restaurant and Cottages – this area was re-developed to form individual gardens for guests staying in the cottages and to form a courtyard area for the restaurant and cottages. • Hotel Garden – the hotel itself is surrounded by open lawns with existing reclaimed specimen trees and conifers – all lawns were re-formed by seeding and turfing; the idea of the advanced works contract was to seed as many areas as possible that were not affected by the construction works as early as possible to allow proper establishment before the opening. The rear of the hotel gardens were laid out in a formal manner with a formal rill/ paving/balustrading pergolas and planting works. The lower garden has a large pergola feature which is formed in natural hardwood.

• Croquet Lawn – the formation of a level lawn area to the side of the main hotel gardens for croquet. • Woodland Walks and Buggy Paths – sweeping paths were formed throughout the grounds to form access paths and buggy paths to give the guests access to all the grounds and facilities without making the area look too urban. The site final appearance was enhanced greatly by starting the project as early as possible and by reducing the building area available for construction as much as possible. Great care was taken to renovate as much as possible of the existing overgrown landscape into its former shape and glory. Skilled employees with a sympathetic eye for interpreting design intent were required to make this work happen. The scale of the project was vast and required proper planning/programming in order to achieve the desired results and to ensure completion on time.

REFERENCES Elite Landscapes Camellia House, 1 Hamilton Gardens, Burnham, Bucks SL1 7AA Tel: 01628 666239 / 01628 668384 Email: dave@ Web: www.

Bespoke timber works Bramhall 1840 Ltd Unit 5, Clarence Works, Effingham Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S4 7YS Tel: 0845 643 9882 Web: www.bramhall1840.

Natural stone paving Charcon Manor Road, Erith, Kent DA8 2AD Tel: 01335 372222 Web: www.aggregate. com

Meadow formation Murwest Contracting Woodlands Farm, Ashford Hill, Thatcham, Berkshire RG19 8BA Tel: 01635 268 823

Plant stock supply including large specimens Folia Europe Limited Well End Road, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire WD6 6NZ Tel: 020 8953 5827 Email: info@folia-europe. com Web: www.folia-europe. com Supply of balustrade Haddonstone The Forge House, East Haddon, Northants NN6 8DB Tel: 01604 770711

Email: info@ Web: www.haddonstone. com Design and installation of all water features and lake re-lining Fairwater Aquatics Fairwater Ltd, Lodge Farm, Malthouse Lane, Ashington, West Sussex RH20 3BU Tel: 01903 892228 Email: info@fairwater. Web: www.fairwater.




J&S Scapes The Buckinghamshire firm successfully translated its designer-client’s vision into a classic family garden, elegant enough for use as a wedding venue.


ABOUT J & SCAPES J & S Scapes is a medium-size landscape design and build company based in Buckinghamshire. It works with designers in the London and Home Counties area and consists of 10 full-time staff that operates four teams working on four projects simultaneously. The company aims for exceptional quality to all its projects and has recieved accolades such as four Bali awards over the past four years and a Chelsea Gold in 2011. It is always looking to develop new relationships with garden designers and landscape architects, where it can share 22 years’ experience in the business.

January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1 |




1-4 The garden following completion.

5 Before work had commenced.






ith the designer also being the client the standard of workmanship on this project was always going to be vital. The garden was set on a steep slope, and the design was to create a more level terrace with slight slopes, thus avoiding the necessity for large imposing retaining walls. The areas of lawn had to be more usable to give the option for a marquee for a wedding, it was also important to keep it as a family garden. Within the garden were some of the original features from when the house was built, including a large set of steps with stone walls, which was replicated in the new design. The overall design was to create a classic but not too formal look, using materials that weather quickly and tone in with the original house. The project has been ongoing for several years with this final and possibly most important stage being carried out in the last year. Most walls have been built using Purbeck

walling stone – although not a local product the colours and durability have been perfect for the garden. York stone has been used on the top terraces, as this again goes with the original stone used on the property. Breedon gravel has been used for most of the access paths, which gives a softer texture to the hard landscaping. The planting echoes what the garden was originally, with classic buxus hedging edging the top paths and the parterre, the borders being mostly perennials with a rose walkway. Access into the garden was a challenge, all deliveries had to be in smaller vehicles with narrow dumpers used to bring materials round to the working area. The project had a tight deadline – the clients had both of their daughters getting married over the summer, with a marquee planned for the lawn. The garden obviously needed to look its best, both as a wedding venue and in order to

The overall design was to create a classic but not too formal look, using materials that weather quickly and tone in with the original house. | January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1

showcase the designer’s creative talents. The project took 14 weeks and work commenced in January. It was entered into the Bali National Landscaping award Domestic Garden £20-£50K category and we were lucky enough to win an award. The project cost was approx £42,000.

REFERENCES J & S Scapes Ltd Abbey Tree Nursery, Bushmead Road, Whitchurch, Bucks HP22 4LG Tel: 01296 688080 Email: enquiries@ Web: www.jands-scapes. Designer/client Sarah Halliday Garden Design Tel: 01844 343251 Yorkstone paving Stone UK Ltd Green Lane West, Garstang, Lancashire PR3 1NJ Tel: 01995 600 551 Email: Web:

Oak sleepers, Purbeck stone, aggregates Country supplies Oakleaf Farm, Warrendene Road, Hughenden Valley, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire HP14 4LY Tel: 01494 562 406 Web: Breedon Golden Amber binding gravel Breedon Aggregates Various locations around the UK Tel: 01332 694000 Email: sales@breedon Web: www.breedon




The Outdoor Room is a multi-award-winning company which was founded in 1995 by David Dodd, who qualified from Merrist Wood College in Surrey in 1992. He has a hands-on approach to the business, working closely with his experienced staff, designers and clients to provide a service of unbeatable standards. David is currently a senior lecturer in landscape construction at Inchbald and has taught at various institutions since 1993, including Merrist Wood, SGD, RHS and the LCGD. The Outdoor Room has the expertise to realise just about every element of landscape construction and offers a full design, consultation and construction service, which is why it’s considered by many as one of the most highly regarded landscaping companies in the country today.

LIMITS The Outdoor Room Despite major access problems at this riverside property in London’s Putney, The Outdoor Room rose to the challenge, creating a modern and stylish garden. ➧ ➧

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Portfolio 1


t’s always a great feeling when you win a tender, but even more so when it’s through recommendation. This is exactly what happened in this quiet riverside road in Putney for The Outdoor Room. In 2007, we built a BALI award-winning garden designed by Andy Sturgeon for a house that had been turned from two Victorian properties into one very chic ‘desres’, with just about every gadget you could think of for ultra-modern living in extreme comfort. Therefore, the garden had to match the standards of the interior design and high level of workmanship.

The garden design was based on strong flowing forms, running through the garden with the three main elements – the sandstone path, the pond and the yew hedge – all intertwining with the path crossing over the water and through the hedge towards the back of the garden. LIMITED ACCESS On my first site visit, the house was an empty shell and we were informed by the project manager that we weren’t allowed any access through the property while the building work was going on. Initially I thought, okay, materials have to be craned in over the top of the house (something we do frequently in and around central London). We suggested this to the site manager who rejected the idea straight away as the crane would block their access at the front. In reality, we wouldn’t have been able to have all the materials on site in one go, as well as having 60 tonnes of spoil removed in the same day. Everything therefore had to come in from the bottom of the garden. The only problem, as I soon discovered, was that the bottom of the garden was the River Thames. With this access issue and working around the builders, who were using the garden as their storage space, I knew it was going to be a logistical nightmare.



| January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1

We looked at every alternative, but the only real option was to use a barge. Fine, I thought, that can’t be too difficult? However, that part of the Thames is tidal and we had to pre-plan all deliveries getting down to the landing dock, loaded on to the barge, and delivered to site with military precision. Overall, this worked well. Okay, when I say ‘well’, one barge hit the river defence wall causing more than £5,000-worth of damage, and another was grounded as the operator was 20 minutes late which caused a three-day delay, but apart from that… Another issue we had to deal with was


that all the ground works had to be done by hand and all waste and materials bagged as we couldn’t get any machinery or skips on site. We were therefore balancing deliveries with rubbish clearance so that we were using the barge trips in the most cost-effective way. To add further to the cost, all aggregates had to be delivered in small bags so they could be easily man-handled to create working space. I hate to see double-, or sometimes even treble-handling of materials, but in this case we knew it was necessary and therefore priced accordingly. As with many of Andy’s projects, most of the finishing materials are bespoke, from water features to paving, and this design was no exception. Every piece of the Indian ‘mint’ sandstone had its own drawing to create the curves of the walkway that ran through the garden and the copper water chutes had to be manufactured by a specialist metal worker.

This was the most challenging garden we had built… But despite the difficulties we had a very happy client. A slight gripe I have with property developers, architects, designers and clients is the insistence that the gardens have to be completed in conjunction with the house build/redevelopment. Whenever we try to work around builders, who have little respect for the garden, projects inevitably overrun and work has to be redone, where builders trash lawns, decorators wash their brushes in newly planted beds and we’ve even had plasterers mixing up on newly laid patios. There’s also the token ‘who’s to blame for what?’ game, especially when it comes to additional costs while making good. RECOMMENDATIONS The garden eventually took seven months to build (three months longer than estimated), so I can’t say we made a huge profit, but we were then commissioned to build the front garden and driveway, once the builders had gone. This project went very smoothly and was completed three weeks ahead of schedule. See what can be achieved with no one in the way. A point worth


1 and 2 Previous project in Putney, during construction, 2007. 3 Current commission, during construction. 4 and 5 Previous project in Putney, following completion – walkway and decking area. 4 5

making here is that if a project’s been well designed and well built, you can often recoup any losses you may have made through good publicity and, as in this case, through a good recommendation to the neighbours. Overall, it was the most challenging garden we had built up to that point. But despite the many difficulties we had to overcome, the end result was fantastic and we had a very happy client, which to us is always worth going that extra mile for. Let’s now move forward four years. Slight déjà vu maybe, and it’s scary how four years can pass so quickly. Anyway, here we are back in Putney only two doors away. Another Andy Sturgeon design but vastly different from the neighbour’s. This one can be seen as a take on the designer’s ‘Best in Show’ garden at Chelsea in 2010. The Purbeck dry stone walling was actually the same stone used in that show garden and the corten steel panels and sculptures are also reminiscent of that design. The paving being used here is the Portuguese limestone, Moleanos, which is the same stone Andy used in his 2008 Chelsea garden for Cancer Research UK. From a build point of view, it’s gone very smoothly. We’ve got a brilliant working relationship with the barge company which has

done all our deliveries and rubbish clearance again. This time round we know exactly what can go wrong if things aren’t planned properly and we’ve avoided them. And finally, we’re not tripping over builders every five minutes. Bliss. In many ways, it could be claimed that this one is an easier build as we don’t have to set out free-flowing curves and sloping walls, but the detailing in the feature wall and moving 500kg corten panels by hand have posed challenges for the site staff. For me, the most satisfying element to both gardens is the excellence in build and planting quality. Both gardens were built by completely different teams, which demonstrates the flexibility and depth of skill within The Outdoor Room. I’ll definitely be entering this garden for a BALI Award in 2012. After all, I don’t want the clients becoming jealous of their neighbours.

REFERENCES The Outdoor Room High Seat, 1 High Street, Billingshurst, West Sussex RH14 9PJ Web: www.theoutdoor Email: enquiries@ Tel: +44 (0)1403 780354 Designer Andy Sturgeon 20 Clermont Road, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 6SG

Web: www.andy Tel: +44 (0)1273 553336 Lighting The Outdoor Lighting Company The Cottage, Chalk Lane, East Horsley, Surrey KT24 6TH Web: www.theoutdoor Email: enquiries@ theoutdoorlighting

Tel: 07788 412118 Paving Supply Rock Unique Ltd Select Garden & Pet Centre, Main Road, (A25), Sundridge, Sevenoaks, Kent TN14 6ED Web: www.rock-unique. com Email: Tel: 01959 565608

Plant Supply Palmstead Nurseries Ltd Harville Road, Wye, Ashford, Kent TN25 5EU Web: www.palmstead. Email: sales@palmstead. Tel: 01233 813340

January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1 |


Look Out For...

Is there a prize for winning the award? Yes, I have won an eight-week trip to the US. For six-and-a-half weeks I will be at the University of Massachusetts studying a Diploma in Turf Management. I will have a few days in Minneapolis to see the Toro headquarters and in the last week I’m going to Las Vegas to see the golf industry show which is being held there.


MATT PERKS The greenkeeper at Ham Manor Golf Club in West Sussex discusses day-to-day work, his recent Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Award and plans for the future… How did you get involved in greenkeeping, was it something you always wanted to do? When I finished school I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do, and a job came up at the local garden machinery repair business. I started my apprenticeship there. Then I applied for a job at a golf course in Somerset, looking after their fleet. In this position I found I had a lot of spare time, so I spoke to the head greenkeeper to ask if there was anything else I could help with, so I was given more responsibility and I’ve never looked back since. I’m now responsible for £400,000-worth of machinery here. What do you do on a day to day basis? I get in at 6.30am and have a morning coffee meeting. The Course Manager and the six other greenkeepers get together and dish out the daily jobs. Then the day is divided into two halves, in the morning we cut the greens and the approaches and rake the bunkers, things like that. The afternoon involves cutting the rough and fairways. What’s the biggest challenge you are faced with in looking after the course? Probably the fact that the course is built on top of clay soil, so it tends to be really dry in the summer, and really wet in the winter, so it’s a bit of a double-edged sword. | January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1

Congratulations on winning TORO Student Greenkeeper of the Year, how did you enter? Did you do it yourself? You have to be doing a course in sports turf or greenkeeping at college, which is a work-based diploma. The course tutor of each class in each year can nominate one person for the award. I had to write a covering letter to BIGGA (British Institute of Golf Greenkeepers Association) who make a shortlist for the regional finals. I was invited to Tyrells Wood Golf Course in Surrey, to be interviewed. Once you get through, the final is in York at BIGGA HQ against seven others. You have to undertake a course inspection and complete an hour-long interview under fairly high pressure. They ask a lot of questions and look to put you on the spot as best they can.

What are your plans for the future? To become a Course Manager. That’s what I’m aiming for and this award will hopefully go a long way to getting me there. I’m certainly passionate and driven enough. Outside of work, what do you do to relax? I play darts for a local team, and once a week I meet up with friends for a drink. I also do a lot of running. Most evenings I’ll do a four-mile run to burn off some energy and get a bit of peace and quiet with my iPod on, and go off into my own little world.

We’re so proud of Matt’s achievement. It’s a fantastic prize and TORO and BIGGA deserve thanks for continuing to organise and sponsor the trip. As a previous winner myself, I know that Matt will gain a lot of knowledge from his trip. Alan Pierce MG, Course Manager, Ham Manor Golf Club

Acknowledged as the highlight of the student greenkeepers’ year, success in the TORO Student Greenkeeper of the Year Award competition will see the winner attend an eight-week TORO Scholarship trip Stateside to study the latest American turf management techniques, with the chance to tour TORO headquarters and visit the GCSAA Golf Industry Show in San Diego, California, in February 2013. The two runners-up will be invited to attend BIGGA’s ‘Continue to Learn’ Education Programme during Harrogate Week 2013. To be eligible for the competition, you must be a greenkeeping student, nominated by your college and course tutor and your entry sanctioned by your college or training provider. Applications are welcomed from all student greenkeeper candidates who have been nominated by their training provider.

BALI Briefing


BALI BRIEFING With the excitement and success of the 35th BALI National Landscape Awards in association with Horticulture Week behind us, and our 40th Anniversary celebrations ahead, BALI members have much to look forward to in spite of the predictions of more economic doom and gloom.


or garden designers, landscape and grounds maintenance contractors, and the companies that provide products and services to the industry, there has never been a more crucial time to benefit from the support provided by BALI and other industry bodies. BALI’s mantra, “Support, Promote, Inspire”, directs everything we do at Landscape House for our members. bali at Ecobuild 2011

QUALITY, EXPERTISE, PEACE OF MIND In the coming months you will continue to see the BALI brand out in the marketplace reminding customers why they should use BALI Registered Designers and Contractors – for the Quality they deliver, for their Expertise, and for the Peace of Mind that comes with choosing a reputable, fully vetted, ‘accountable’ designer/ contractor. In the next couple of months, BALI will be at the Garden Press Event on 2 February – BALI’s opportunity to promote its membership to the UK’s media, labouring the message that people

should use BALI Registered Members if they want the job doing properly. And Ecobuild, 20-22 March – there’s still time for BALI members to book space but hurry as it’s going fast. Contact daniel.young@bali. CLIMATE WEEK Climate Week takes place from 12-18 March (, and Garden ReLeaf Day ( is on 13 March. These two initiatives should give BALI members plenty of opportunity to promote themselves to their respective markets and to benefit two very worthwhile causes; visit their websites for further information. BALI will be emailing all its members with ideas on how you can take part and raise your company profiles at the same time. NEW APPOINTMENT On the home front, BALI has a new Director with responsibility for Designer Membership. Louisa Bell (pictured) MBALI MSGD was elected to the BALI Board at the National AGM in September as a Director without portfolio. However, following the resignation of Christine Parsons MBALI MSGD from the Board because of the increasing demands of her successful garden design business in Sheffield, Hallam Garden Design, Louisa was offered the Designer Membership portfolio and has accepted.

bali at Chelsea Flower Show 2011

She is already working hard with BALI Registered Designer Jill Crooks MBALI on the design for BALI’s stand in the new Fresh area at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. This will be an amazing opportunity to promote BALI members’ professionalism and quality products. Christine Parsons remains a very valued and successful BALI member and the Board has benefited enormously from her input during her time as a Director. bali 40th anniversary event And finally, BALI is delighted to announce that its 40th Anniversary Gala Dinner will take place at Stoneleigh Abbey on the evening of the first day of the BALI Show – 19 June 2012. This will be very much a family affair, in spectacular surroundings that are in keeping with the nature of our Association. Full details will be sent to all current members, Honorary Life and Life Members, and to those who have had a special relationship with BALI during its 40-year history. With more than 700 BALI members, and only capacity for 250-300 people (final numbers to be confirmed), attendance will necessarily be on a first come, first served basis. Accommodation at hotels on or in very close proximity to Stoneleigh Park has already been reserved for those wishing to stay over and enjoy the BALI Show either on the day, or on the following day. January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1 |

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chris harrop Marshalls’ Marketing and Sustainability Director answers a wide range of questions – from his company’s products and annual awards scheme, to its members’ Register of installers and focus on social media. Describe your product range, what’s new for 2012? In October 2011 we launched our new domestic product range and feedback has been really positive. We consult heavily with the people who use our end products to ensure what we deliver is what the market wants. On the patio side, we’ve extended our Fairstone Sawn range to include a kingsize paver and Caramel Cream colour, plus there’s a new project pack for the Fairstone range. We’ve also introduced some Coach House step and circle features due to popular demand. Our Coach House products are covered with Active Shield, a surface protector using Teflon technology to resist spills and harsh weather, keeping patios looking newer for longer. On the driveway side, we’ve recognised the need for products that offer fast coverage to make them attractive to installers, too. Driveline Elise is a larger-sized textured block, plus we have introduced a new larger block size to the Tegula range as this has been one of our most successful product ranges to date. Tell us about Stonemarket products Stonemarket falls under the Marshalls Group but | January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1

is a very different offering to the domestic range. Stonemarket has very much a design-led, cuttingedge focus that produces fantastic high-end results. Gwrhyd Pennant blue Welsh sandstone and Haüs veneer walling are new to this range, but there’s also an alignment between Stonemarket and our internal flooring brand Classical Flagstones. This means that customers can achieve a smooth aesthetic transition from internal to external. All our Stonemarket natural stone is procured through an independently audited supply chain, Fairstone by Stonemarket, which follows the Ethical Trade Initiative base code to

The Marshalls Register started in response to consumer demand for a way to protect against ‘cowboy’ installers. It’s in our best interests to ensure the people installing our products are the best people for the job.

ensure that no child labour is used, living wages are paid and health and safety standards are in place. What are the benefits of the Marshalls Register? The Marshalls Register started back in 2000 in response to consumer demand for a way to protect against ‘cowboy’ installers. It’s in our best interests to ensure that the people installing our products are the best people for the job, so any driveway installer or landscaping contractor can apply to be part of the Register, but they are only granted membership once we have assessed the quality of their work and seen relevant insurance documentation and so on. Members’ work is assessed on a biannual basis. The installers benefit because they can earn substantial cash back on orders placed for Marshalls products, plus there’s training and support on hand from our regional teams. How are the Register awards going? We’ve received more than 700 entries for the 2012 Marshalls Register awards and the standard of entries is improving year on year. It’s been a pleasure to judge them as some of the projects are simply stunning, so look out for the winners over coming weeks and months. Regional awards are in January and February and the main national awards are held in March. The winner will receive a trophy Marshalls Register branded van worth £20,000, so I would encourage everybody on the Register to enter next year. What is your stance on Ethical sourcing and what does Fairstone mean? Ethical sourcing is absolutely crucial to Marshalls.



1 Drivesett range – Tegula blocks. 2 Isis external by Stonemarket; Isis internal by Classical Flagstones 3 Fairstone Sawn range – Caramel Cream. 4 Marshalls gained recertification to the Carbon Trust Standard in 2011 by reducing emissions by 15%.

2 3 4

Our flagship ethically sourced brand, Fairstone, is applicable to all of our Indian Sandstone products and carries a guarantee that living wages have been paid and absolutely no child labour has been used in its production. We source our Sandstone from Rajasthan and 2012 will mark our fifth anniversary of working with a local NGO on the ground there, Hadoti Hast Shilp Sansthan. Earlier this year we won ‘Best Collaboration’ at the Ethical Corporation awards for our work with Hadoti. Where do you stand on carbon reduction? Clearly an organisation the size of Marshalls has a moral and legal obligation to ensure that we do everything in our power to minimise our impact on our surroundings. The environmental impact of carbon emissions isn’t going to go away and governments are going to be forced further towards legislating against carbon emissions by introducing punitive taxes. If we can reduce our emissions of our own accord, then not only can we lead the industry in this respect, but there are also massive financial benefits to a committed carbon reduction programme. In 2011, we gained recertification to the Carbon Trust Standard by reducing our emissions by 15%. We were also the first organisation in the world to carbon label an entire product range, so any Marshalls customer can use our online carbon calculator to determine the carbon footprint of their domestic project. And biodiversity? We try to find ways to make a commitment to

energy reduction and biodiversity part of our employees’ lives and we’ve got a beehive at our main offices in Halifax which in its first year produced 120 jars. We have a dedicated Biodiversity Manager who monitors biodiversity levels at each of our sites and next year we’ll be implementing an action plan to improve levels. Your Online/Social Media activity? During 2011, we focused on a push towards digital content and social media. As market leaders there’s such a wealth of knowledge and expertise that sits within the businesses and we want people to engage with us to access that knowledge. Our ‘How to’ videos on YouTube have gathered a massive following with videos such as ‘how to install a driveway’ and ‘how to build a garden wall’. We also have other online planning tools – the paving planner and driveway visualiser, which can help with planning quantities and give an idea of what a finished product may look like.

The Marshalls Garden Scrapbook (www. enables users to collect images, colours, themes, products and so on into one place to build up an idea of what their project might look like. Users can also share their scrapbooks via social media, so it’s interactive too. What is Marshalls competitive advantage? How will the market change? As market leaders, our competitive advantage lies in the wealth of product and technical expertise within our business, plus the fact that we’re 120 years’ old and nobody knows our markets better than us. We know 2012 will be tough, but inflation should begin to flatten out through the year and ease the pressure on consumer pockets. Many people are putting off moving, so investing in a new driveway or patio can add instant value. Our Register members’ orderbooks are looking healthy into the new year, so we’re confident the industry can weather the storm.

ABOUT CHRIS HARROP Chris Harrop is Group Marketing Director and the Director responsible for sustainability at Marshalls plc, the market leading supplier of hard landscaping products. 2012 marks his 10th year with Marshalls. An accomplished marketer with a proven global track record, he has helped transform Marshalls into a leading sustainable business, winning numerous awards for commitment

to the environment and supply chain ethics, including Business in the Community Awards for Excellence Big Ticks. Chris is a Chartered Director of the Institute of Directors and a Chartered Marketer of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Outside of work, he is a keen follower of Lancashire County Cricket Club, where he has been a member since 1986. Chris likes to spend Sunday mornings in his Blacksmiths Forge.

January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1 |


Health and Safety


LIMITS A lack of experience by users of industrial machinery can lead to serious safety issues, but even skilled operators aren’t always familiar with the safe limits of the kit under their control. Angus Lindsay looks at various safety systems available.


orking on slopes and banks is part of everyday life in grounds maintenance and landscaping operations, but it is an area fraught with danger should the limits of man and machine be exceeded. Identifying the most appropriate method for working on a slope starts with risk assessment and is followed by machine selection and training. This is all well and good but even skilled operators don’t always know the safe limits of the machines under their control. Experience can’t be taught and as we look to our next generation of machine operators this lack of experience can be a problem. In the worst cases, this can lead to bravado, complacency, risk taking and ultimately statistics. Manufacturers spend millions developing ever-safer and more efficient machines which

comply with construction and use standards, but apart from a sticker on the operator’s platform and a paragraph in the user’s manual, there is nothing physically in place to warn the operator when they are approaching the safe working limit of the machine. Warning devices of varying complexity have been around for many years. A simple ‘swinging arm’ type gives a basic indication but is no use on rough ground and relies on the operator looking for the information when they should be concentrating on the job in hand. Less prone to erratic movement is the ‘tilt master’ supplied by Reform which still keeps things simple but again relies on the operator visually assessing the information. Ransomes Jacobsen has taken things a step further with its TST system which uses an electronic inclinometer linked to an audible warning that alerts the driver when nearing a machine’s safe operating limit.

As things become more difficult – be it the weather, changes in staff, changes in specification, or changes in legislation – the pressure is always on to get more done, in less time, for less money, with maximum use of resource. This is when accidents happen. | January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1

Health and Safety


1 Reform tractor operating an articulator rotary mower. 2 Irus Deltrak banks mower. 3 Wrong machine, wrong conditions, but fortunately nobody hurt. 1


Field-tested by a national contractor this system works well, but can be prone to erratic readings depending on how the machine is being driven. ADDITIONAL PRESSURES So why go to all the bother when you could just rely on a robust risk assessment and the skill of the operator? As things become more difficult – be it the weather, changes in staff, changes in specification, or changes in legislation – the pressure is always on to get more done, in less time, for less money, with maximum use of resource. This is when accidents happen. Why then not look at things differently? Why cut the grass at all if slopes present such a problem, is it not better to leave these difficultto-manage sites and turn them over to wildflower or environmental areas that require an annual cut only? There’s no point in risking life and limb when there are simple alternatives. You could argue that difficult slopes, be they steep or difficult to access, should only be tackled using pedestrian machines or brush cutters. That’s one solution, though you are still putting an operator at risk from injury through slipping or falling or general stress to joints from constantly working at an angle. But would it not be better to look at a reduced-frequency regime for which there are potentially safer, albeit more expensive alternatives?


PREMIUM PRICES Bespoke manufacturers such as Reform and Aebi have traditionally cornered the market in twoand four-wheel banks tractors capable of operating on slopes up to 40°, but these machines command a premium price which can make justifying their purchase challenging in these difficult times. Manufacturers such as AS Motor and Shibauru are developing machines with realistic operating limits at realistic prices, from a 21” 4wd pedestrian mower to a 60” out-front rotary mower which can also be used for sweeping and snow clearance. The one thing that all these machines need is a skilled driver who can safely operate the machine within its limits without putting themselves or others at risk. This then takes us full circle back to risk assessment and operator competence. REMOTE CONTROL To reduce the operator element completely is almost impossible. However, significant developments over the past few years have resulted in a plethora of remote control machines, resembling the cast of Robot Wars – many able to undertake a variety of tasks from flail mowing to wood chipping. These are fine if you have the work to justify the investment, such as banks mowing, maintaining footpaths on riversides or maintaining

difficult-to-access sites, however, you still need the operator to control them. With machine controls being more akin to that of a computer games console, maybe the so-called Playstation generation is where we should be looking for our next machine operators?

ABOUT ANGUS LINDSAY An agriculturist by profession, I spent several years working on arable farms in central Scotland before starting with VSO in Egypt, implementing a mechanisation programme, managing field operations for a large commercial cotton plantation in Nigeria and as a contract instructor for Massey Ferguson in Yemen. During this time I also spent a year at Silsoe where I gained an MSc in Agricultural Engineering and Mechanisation Management. A serious road accident saw my return to the UK where upon recovery I joined Glendale as machinery manager in March l994 where I stayed until 2009, albeit with a short spell as account manager for the IPU group. I left Glendale as Company Engineer in December 2009 to join The Landscape Group as Group Head of Assets and fleet. Contact Angus at: alindsay@ January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1 |






s more varied projects started to cross our path we began looking at a wider choice of suppliers. The prices have to be good but the quality and the lasting lifetime of the materials which we leave our clients with has to be the best it can be. With Mark working for a landscaping company for some years and using various stockists he leads in our material searches and purchases. For materials such as paving, bricks, drainage, aggregates and so on we use in Leyland, Lancashire. The product range is very large and their system very easy to use. It’s also in a great position, central to the main areas of Chorley and Preston where a lot of our work is based. Domestic garden fencing makes up the bulk of our work and we use a family business. My fatherin-law and his brother own This is where we buy our fencing panels, decking, sheds, concrete posts/base panels and so on. It is based near Chorley, Lancashire and ordering is easy for us and their other trade customers; we just pick up the telephone and collect.

Browsing online for brochures, samples and researching new materials is something I do a lot, in order to stay current and offer our clients a wide range of materials alongside our services. WEBSITE When we first started MPR I was struggling with the more technical side to having a website. Creating it wasn’t a problem but getting it recognised on search engines so that potential clients could find us proved to be an issue. Stuart Marler from TVG Landscaping helped me understand what search engine optimisation (SEO) is and how it can promote our business, his assistance has been much appreciated. Our website is now being created professionally and following Stuart’s advice I’m now able to talk to my web designer about how I want our website to look and what we need SEO wise to help us be seen by more potential clients. Talking to other landscapers on Twitter and Facebook helps me no end, not many people have any interest in artificial grass or pointing so

talking to them about their ideas and how business is, always proves useful. In Blackburn, Lancashire we have worked on a patio area (pictured). The existing 40-year-old patio was sliding considerably on to the lawn area and some flags were raised causing it to be tricky to walk on safely. After removing the old patio, brick-work was put in place to prevent sliding as had happened previously; it was filled with tonnes of hardcore and whacked down again to stop movement and create stability, then the flags were laid on full beds. Simple concrete 2 x 2 flags were what our client wanted; the visual difference is amazing and it’s a lot safer to walk on. We will now be working for our local council community housing which requires some flagging. We look forward to working with them. In our next article hear about the new website, our marketing ideas for 2012, what projects we are currently working on and us preparing for MPR Landscapes’ first birthday in May. Visit them at and follow them on Twitter: @mprlandscapes

In the February Issue of Pro Landscaper… We will have an in-depth look at a roof top garden (BALI Awards 2011 supreme winner) by Bartholomew Landscaping





























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| January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1

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APL News




An exclusive opportunity for APL members to feature and compete at this year’s prestigious RHS event. The Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) has teamed up with the RHS to provide APL members with an exclusive opportunity to submit entries, free of charge, for a new category at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2012 which takes place on 3 to 8 July 2012. The category of ‘High Impact, Low Cost’ gardens or garden area aims to showcase a practical approach to gardens that also provide a wow factor where visitors will be able to recreate the garden design, based on a fixed budget for hard landscaping, plant material and labour. A total of four gardens will be selected to showcase what can be achieved for £5k, £7k, £10k and £13k budgets. The gardens/garden area can be any size and shape between 30-50m2 (the shape can be any regular or irregular geometric shape) and can reflect any part of the garden or a small garden

that requires a face-lift and demonstrate what added value can be achieved. APL Chairman and experienced RHS show exhibitor Mark Gregory comments, “What a fantastic opportunity for all APL members to showcase great garden design and landscaping on a fixed budget. There is sure to be great interest and ‘takeaway appeal’ in the gardens and also in those that design and build them and I encourage amembers to take up the challenge.” The closing date for applications is Friday 27 January 2012 and there is no limit to the quantity of entries per member to this competition. For further details APL members should contact or mandyalmond@rhs. Celebrate success with the APL Awards The 2011 APL Awards presentation lunch,

sponsored by Bradstone, will take place on Wednesday 14 March 2012. The Awards, which are now in their 16th year, were set up to recognise and reward the high standards of landscape contracting carried out by registered members of the Association of Professional Landscapers. The judging panel will be meeting this month to study the entries and pick the prestigious winner of the supreme award. The judging panel includes: • Mark Gregory, APL chairman • James Steele-Sargent, Arun Landscapes • Adam Frost, Adam Frost Designs • Jo Thompson, Jo Thompson Designs • Juliet Roberts, Gardens Illustrated • Jason Lock, DeakinLock Garden Design The ceremony will be held at the stunning Roof Gardens in London and will once again provide an opportunity to celebrate the best in British landscaping and promote member commitment to providing quality workmanship and complete customer satisfaction. Focus on new technologies in landscaping for networking event The first Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) and Society of Garden Designers (SGD) seminar and networking event for landscapers and garden designers in 2012 will be held at Classiflora in Essex on Thursday 8 March 2012. The event will provide a great opportunity for APL and SGD members to get together to listen and share experiences on new technologies in landscaping including resin bound surfacing. For further details and to book your place contact the APL events team by visiting:

APL INFO The ‘Wild in the City Garden’ at Hampton Court Flower Show 2011, designed by Charlotte Murrell, winner of the Wyevale Nurseries East Design and Build Award.

For further information regarding APL membership and events please, or visit Follow the APL on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn

January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1 |

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Site Visit 1Aerial view of Ransomes Jacobsen’s Ipswich HQ during construction of its three-hole golf course in 2007.

site visit ransomes jacobsen W

This month we pay a visit to the Ipswich headquarters of the innovative lawn mower manufacturer – a firm whose ethos is to always exceed customers’ needs.

hen you near Ipswich you get a taste of how important Ransomes Jacobsen is within the town as it seems every other street is named after the company. The 77-acre site has been home to one of the largest manufacturers of golf and municipal turf equipment for more than 170 years. Robert Ransome started his business in 1789 and by 1832 he had built the world’s first lawn mower, which was taken from an original idea by Edwin Budding, a weaver who patented a machine for shearing carpet and realised this could be applied to other areas. He sold the technology and design (which is fundamentally the same now as it was all those years ago) to Ransome who transformed it into a machine for cutting lawns. The internationally renowned Textron-owned company has a plethora of firsts and is known as the innovator at the forefront of cutting technology. There is a strong customer ethos here with the mantra of three Bs, which are: 4 ‘build’ a relationship; ‘build’ a product that exceeds the customers’ needs; and be able to ‘back up’ the product. The UK headquarters covers the European and APAC countries, and the US HQ in Charlotte, North Carolina looks after the Americas and supplies machines and equipment under the Jacobsen brand for golf turf maintenance, | January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1

and Cushman (which was purchased by the company in the 1980s). Current growth areas are Asia, China and Australia. There is also movement in North Africa and of course Brazil, where in 2016 golf will appear for the first time in the Olympic Games. distinct Markets Ransomes Jacobsen covers two distinct markets, the golf market where the equipment and machines are all colour-coded in orange, and the municipal and sports turf market with greencoloured machines. There is a slight overlap in the markets where some machines are decorated in both colours. The company believes it has the edge with value added – the ease of maintenance, the availability of swing out centre cut units, and diagnostics and controls at the driver’s fingertips. The hoods on the mowers are easy to pop for upkeep and warning lights are easily visible if a problem should arise. Seating is luxurious and has the look of a car seat; seeing as the operator can be seated for a number of hours, this is an important factor when considering the health, safety and wellbeing of employees. As well as cutting machines, the company supplies and distributes top dressers, spreaders and seeders. E-Z-GO golf carts

2 and 3 Golf market products in assembly and testing phases. 4 Budding’s original lawn mower, granted British patent in 1830.



and the Iseki brand of ride-on mowers and small tractors are also distributed in the UK by Ransomes Jacobsen, the Iseki range is aimed at the estate manager, top-end gardener and dairy market, and can also be used for snow ploughing: they are very reliable machines. The company provides a fascinating factory tour for potential customers wanting to see the development of their machines from their beginnings as sheets of steel to the finished product. Of particular interest are the efficiency and organisation of the process, the laser-cutting technology that minimises the need for recycling due to every possible millimetre of material being used, and the spraying area where colour is added. Every effort goes into the development of products that exceed the customers’ needs and wishes. At the January 2012 BTME exhibition in Harrogate the company will be launching the Eclipse Series 2 pedestrian greens mowers, a three-wheel kit for its hybrid powered Eclipse 322, giving even more traction and a new range of turf utility vehicles from the Cushman brand. Unique to the Show will be the opportunity for visitors to drive an Eclipse 322 all-electric greens mower on the Jacobsen stand. ● For further information about any of the Ransomes Jacobsen brands, or to find out more about a factory tour, please contact Peter Driver, PR Officer at Ransomes Jacobsen at

Natural Turf



ello and Happy New Year. When the editorial team at Pro Landscaper initially approached the Turfgrass Growers Association (TGA) about getting involved in a supplement dedicated to natural turf, we were delighted. We believe, as they clearly do, that turf is an essential part of the landscape. It doesn’t just look good, it has a cooling effect on the environment: reducing temperatures in urban areas by several degrees during hot weather. It absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere and when it rains heavily, turf reduces the risk of homes flooding by absorbing rainwater,

By publicising and implementing our Quality Standards for Cultivated Turf, the TGA has instilled a discipline among its members that has helped give customers confidence in the product they buy.

INDUSTRY replenishing the aquifers that provide our drinking water. Turf growers and the seed breeders, fertiliser and machinery manufacturers, as well as other companies who supply products and services to them, work hard and invest continually in new technologies to develop strong, healthy turf that breathes life into your projects. So where does the TGA fit in? Formed in 1995, it comprises some 60 companies, including affiliates, collectively responsible for producing approximately 70 per cent of the cultivated turf grown in the British Isles and supplying specialist knowledge and infrastructure to that industry.

SHARING KNOWLEDGE Since its formation, the TGA has been at the forefront of raising the standard of the cultivated turf supplied to professional and domestic customers. This goal is being achieved by constantly seeking to improve the standards of TGA members through unity of purpose and the sharing of knowledge and new ideas. By publicising and implementing the TGA Quality Standards for Cultivated Turf, drawn up by Robert Laycock, an independent agronomist and expert in the field of turf quality, the TGA

has instilled a discipline among its members that has helped give customers confidence in the product they buy. In recent years, the association has widened its scope of activities and has been involved in discussions with Government departments, water companies and other related bodies about the impact of water restrictions on the turf industry. The TGA has also been on the steering group of the ‘Greening the Games’ committee, which is playing an important role in making sure the landscaping aspects of the 2012 Olympic Games are properly recognised by organisers and contractors. We look forward to keeping you up to date with our activities through future issues of this supplement, but you can also learn more about the TGA, find a wealth of information in our Knowledge Base, or locate a TGA grower at our website: I wish you, and your businesses, a pleasant and prosperous 2012. Tim Mudge, Chief Executive, Turfgrass Growers Association

January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1 |


Natural Turf




hen it comes to choosing turf, you can’t ask too many questions. Making the right selection can mean the difference between having a happy client, or not. Paul Baker at APL award-winning firm Holland Landscapes agrees: “The quality of the turf you select can make or break a garden. A project that has been designed and built to the highest of standards can easily be ruined by laying a poor quality turf. Turf by the square metre is one of the cheapest forms of landscaping, but it’s just as important to source a high quality lawn and lay it correctly as it is laying good quality paving.”


GETTING TO KNOW YOUR GROWER Establishing a good relationship with your turf grower, or their distributor, is essential – after all, they want to supply you with the best turf for your projects and you want nothing less than the best. Turf growers want to listen. Only by having a full understanding of the landscaping industry and by learning more about the issues facing landscapers can they ensure that their businesses continue to produce turf that meets the needs of the people who work with it.



RIGHT TURF – RIGHT JOB When considering landscapers’ requirements for turf, climate change and the level of maintenance the grass is likely to receive provide possibly the greatest challenges. The choice of grass cultivars 1 RTF (rhizomatous tall fescue) turf – a grass that has a root system that can grow to 1.5m deep. 2 and 3 RTF turf is especially useful


| January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1

for sloping and children’s play areas. 4 Standard turf rolls. 5 Turf on display at a Hampton Court Flower Show exhibit.

in turf has always been critical but changing times have made it more so. Growers have for years been aware of the need for grasses that are more tolerant of drought, flood, turf diseases, shade, heavy traffic and, in coastal locations, salt. Major seed producers invest heavily in their breeding programmes, working hard to develop cultivars that will address the issues facing the users of turf in the future. Growers, as an end-user themselves, take a keen interest in these developments and work with seed companies in taking their developments through to the finished product. Ask your grower for a breakdown of the grass varieties in their turf. You can also refer to the BSPB seed listings (published annually and available from the ‘News’ section at from the end of January) to assess their suitability for your situation.

YOUR TURF DELIVERY – WHAT TO EXPECT These days, turf is delivered within hours of being harvested to arrive with you fresh. You should receive strong, uniform rolls, virtually free of the weed grass Poa annua and free from disease, with a dense sward. During particularly hot periods of the summer, heat damage within the turf roll can be a problem. To prevent this, turf is often harvested in the early hours of the morning, and temperature-controlled lorries used to transport it on longer journeys. TURF TYPES In order that your clients continue to be happy with their lawn months after you’ve left the site, it’s important to select the right turf for your situation. There are a number of turf grades available to address particular environmental issues:

Natural Turf

F L VE General use General landscaping turf from a reputable grower should be easy to lay and to maintain. Its versatile specification usually contains a high percentage of Perennial Ryegrass, with the rest of the composition made up of smooth stalked meadowgrass and fescues to provide the density of sward required from the new lawn. It should root quickly once laid to provide an attractive, tough, hard wearing surface that keeps its colour all year round. Alex Edwards from Yorkshire-based grower Inturf says the vast majority of turf orders for landscaping purposes are for general use turf: “Value for money is still the determinate factor, however, landscapers who enquire about our turf also want a quality product, and the quality of turf available in the marketplace does vary. It’s easy to feed turf intensively for several weeks prior to harvesting, however, the rich, emerald appearance diminishes once the turf is laid leaving customers dissatisfied. We aim to supply turf that retains its colour and vigour long after the job has been completed.” Here are some of the specialist turf grades available for more demanding environments:

Luxury lawns Some growers offer a luxury turf for high quality ornamental lawns and prestige landscaping projects. With a high percentage of fescue, it has a finer leaf and is only suitable for experienced landscapers and gardeners who are able to give it the specialist attention it requires. Tackling shade problems Maintaining healthy turf in shaded areas can be particularly challenging as the lack of sunlight inhibits photosynthesis causing stress to the plant. Because some grass species are better


Nothing is more quintessentially English than the lawn and there is no quicker way to create one or remedy a tired, worn area of grass than by laying turf, says Ellie Parry.

at tolerating shade than others, some growers produce shade tolerant turf grown from Poa supina, a grass cultivar that flourishes in a shaded environment. Native to Alpine areas, Poa supina is the last grass to fall into dormancy and the first to grow actively in the spring. Its lateral aboveground stems (Stolons) grow outwards from the main plant reproducing more shoots as it develops, enabling the plant to repair itself in a continuous manner. Other factors must also be taken into consideration in shaded areas however. Increasing the height of cut increases the amount of leaf surface enabling the plant to take full advantage of the available light. If shade is caused by trees, the turf may be under increased stress from drought

Tall fescues have always been suitable for lawns because they are hard-wearing, have a deep green colour, and can withstand long periods of drought. RTF turf has a remarkable root system that can grow down to a depth of 1.5m, giving it the ability to withstand periods of both drought and waterlogging. Even in severe drought, when other grass goes brown, tall fescues recover quickly with the first rain. Reinforced turf Reinforced turf is particularly useful for areas subjected to heavy wear, such as fire access roads, walkways, grass car parks, banks and play areas. There are several different variations available but they all consist of natural turf grown

Establishing a good relationship with your turf grower, or their distributor, is essential – after all, they want to supply you with the best turf for your projects and you want nothing less than the best. Turf growers want to listen. and nutrient deficiencies as tree roots take up any available moisture and nutrients from the soil. If this is the case, additional watering and feeding may be required to keep the turf healthy. Avoid causing any unnecessary wear to the shaded area by directing foot traffic to other areas. Drought tolerance RTF turf (rhizomatous tall fescue) is a relatively recent innovation in turf. RTF is a tall fescue that produces rhizomes, an underground stem that grows outwards from the main plant, producing more shoots as it goes. In this way RTF has the ability to repair itself to produce and retain a dense sward.

in to a synthetic fibre reinforced rootzone. This type of turf offers unbeatable strength and stability where it’s needed most. Wild flowers Not into grass? Don’t forget that some growers also supply wild flower turf available as a mat of established plants that makes the creation of a wild flower area easier than sowing it from seed. Whatever your project, there will be a turf type that fits the bill. Speak to your local grower, ideally a member of the Turfgrass Growers Association ( or one of their distributors, who will be pleased to discuss your requirements with you. January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1 |


Latest Kit – Turf

The largest turfed green roof in Europe features turf grown by Spearhead Turf from Barenbrug grass seed that is specially chosen to blend in with the project’s surroundings. Southern Water is undertaking a massive £300 million environmental improvement scheme to clean up Sussex’s seas and meet European wastewater treatment standards. The project includes the construction of a new treatment works in Peacehaven, which will treat the 95 million litres

Chris Carr at Q Lawns is predicting that as the landscape industry tightens its belt in 2012, turf buyers will look for best value for money rather than opt for cheap, inferior products. Q Lawns has long been respected as a wholesale grower of natural turf and Chris points out that as members of BALI and the TGA, quality and service are paramount to the firm’s day-to-day activities. Chris says: “Haulage cost is our biggest challenge right now, but in 2012, Q Lawns plans to continue offering fair prices with no hidden costs on our products. We’ll do our best to find the best possible deals for customers. For example, there may be savings on having topsoil or woodchip mulch on the same delivery as turf. For quality assurance, we offer TGA certificates on our Q Lawn grade, but we also have a budget grade of turf for jobs where margins are tight. Q Lawn grade turf is also available in 20m2 rolls to help save on labour costs.”

of wastewater generated daily by the area’s residents. Crucially, to minimise the environmental and aesthetic impact, Southern Water is committed to blending the works in with the wider rolling chalk downland setting. Therefore, a 16,000m2 green roof – equivalent to nearly three professional football pitches – was specified to restore the landscape to its original appearance and maintain views from a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to the

north. Spearhead was chosen to grow the roof by landscaping contractor Frosts Landscape Construction, thanks to its ability to grow the turf on a light and nutritious Cambridgeshire Fen soil that could be harvested at any time.

Natural turf these days is grown to an extremely high standard, but have you ever wondered how turf can be produced so clean and pure. The starting point, as with any plant or crop, lies with the seed. The exacting qualities of turf are only possible through the use of specific grass cultivars which offer visually attractive dense ground cover – but it doesn’t stop there. The physical purity of seed is so vital. Seed that is 100% pure and thus containing no other grass or broad-leaved weeds is the demand of the turf producer. This kind of quality can present a huge challenge to the seed producer and while UK/European seed standards are not rigorous enough to achieve this quality, Euro Grass produces its own ‘Turf Quality Standard’ (TQS), an internal standard which recognises those very qualities that the turf industry requires. Premier turf from Garden Turf Supplies is grown from a fine grass seed mix – ideal for that prestige finish. And give your newly laid turf the best start with Root Zone, a mix of natural soil, silica sand and nutrients. Trophy Premium is our prestige landscaping grade turf, grown on Grade 1 soil. Its fine appearance is ideal for ornamental lawns and a real finishing touch to any landscape garden. All our turf is harvested at a minimum of 18 months and has received much care and attention while in the ground. This aids fast root establishment and makes for a ready-made lawn with average maintenance. We harvest all our turf fresh the day before delivery, to ensure it reaches our customers in the highest standard. Please note that we do not use netting during our turf production; our turf is mature and the root system is strong enough to hold it together without it. Each roll covers a meter squared – the dimensions of a roll are: Width, 24”, Length, 64.5”, Depth, 1.25”

| January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1

Spearhead was also able to work with Barenbrug to source the specified unique blend of Barkoel crested hairgrass, crested dogstail and quaking grass to match the original natural landscape.

Specialist grass seed breeder Barenbrug is kicking off the new year in spectacular style, having seen a dozen Barenbrug-bred cultivars top the listings in this year’s Turfgrass Seed guide. Full details of the company’s ‘12 in 2012’ are also featured in Barenbrug’s brand new BAR Range 2012 sports and amenity grass seed catalogue – out now. Chock-full of expert advice designed to help turf professionals get the best out of their overseeding endeavours, the catalogue also contains details of new and improved mixtures, such as BAR 7 RPR and the new ‘Green by Design’ range. To order your free copy of the BAR Range 2012 sports and amenity grass seed catalogue call 01359 272000 or email Alternatively you can download a pdf copy from the website (listed below).

January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1 |


Latest Kit – Walk Behind Mowers

The new Harrier 56 Pro gives professional landscapers a choice of robust, flexible work tools for a first-class finish to all areas. The machine, featuring a 56cm (22”) cutting width, is powered by the new Briggs and Stratton ‘Series 875’ OHV engine, giving superb reliability and fuel efficiency as well as being cleaner for the environment. The new mower incorporates a professional specification engine with a castiron cylinder sleeve and robust wheels, a bumper bar and handle bar support struts that all contribute to the mower’s rugged reliability – the crankshaft has a lifetime guarantee. The autodrive transmission is fixed to optimise cutting performance and collection to the 70-litre collapsible grass bag. The machine offers easy manoeuvrability and improved operator comfort.The single height of cut lever allows quick, easy adjustment between 13mm-60mm (0.5”-2.4”) and the large, two-piece rear roller has improved traction.

Landscaping customers can benefit from sustained mowing power under tough conditions with John Deere’s JX range of commercial mowers. The JX90C and JX90CB will mow areas of up to 4000m2 with ease; each has a 57cm (21”) steel-reinforced cast-aluminium mowing deck with the TurboStar fan-assisted mowing system and a 6.5hp petrol engine. John Deere’s patented anti-vibration system (AVS) is fitted as standard on the handlebars of both machines. Which meets the latest EU and HSE directives on operator safety and allow longer periods of use. Both models have an 80-litre capacity grass collection bag, with bag-full indictor and a height adjustment of 17mm (0.6”) and 85mm (3.3”). The JX90CB has a built-in blade/break safety clutch. This disengages the mower blade but keeps the mower running when the operator is emptying the grass bag and eliminates the need to keep restarting the engine. Designed as a robust, versatile and cost-effective grass-cutting machine, the Allett Buffalo walk-behind cylinder mower is offered in cutting widths of 510mm (20in), 610mm (24in), 686mm (27in) and 864mm (34in). Equipped with an eight-bladed cutting cylinder, the Buffalo has established itself as the pedestrian mower of choice for professionals. The three smallest models – the Buffalo 20, 24 and 27 – are true all-rounders, capable of bringing an excellent finish to regularly-mown parks and gardens, amenity areas and roadside verges. For a precision finish on less regularly cut grass, an optional wheel kit replaces the Buffalo’s front and rear rollers, enabling grass of 200mm, or longer in ideal conditions, to be cut successfully in one pass. The largest machine, Buffalo 34, combines low weight with a wide cut, making it ideal for high-profile sports stadiums and large prestige lawns where minimal marking and compaction are vital.

The Toro 26” (66 cm) HeavyDuty Hi-Vac bagger is in a class of its own. The 26” deck width allows access through narrow gates, while the larger deck size increases your productivity by 25% over 21” (53 cm) mowers. Side discharge and mulch kit options add versatility to meet your unique needs. Its belt-driven blade spindle protects the engine crankshaft from potential damage due to blade impacts, and there is a heavy-duty lever to withstand the rigours of heavy use as well as ensure | January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1

From cutting awkward road-side verges and tidying lawns to maintaining bowling greens, local authorities and contractors always have a use for a pedestrian mower. Designed in response to the demand in the commercial sector for a high-output, pedestrian rotary which offers reliability with low maintenance, Etesia’s range of 14 pedestrian mowers, from 46cm-53cm cutting widths, have an innovative and easy-to-use drive system with no gears, meaning they are the ideal companion for any contractor. A specially profiled blade lifts the grass before cutting it. Ejection of clippings is aided by the aerodynamically designed vacuum, which creates a low pressure zone that reduces the risk of any blockage. Handlebars adjust for the operator’s comfort and fold for storage or transportation. Because all of the pedestrian models are lightweight and easy to transport in a van or trailer, they offer fantastic reliability as well as give an excellent finish. www.etesia. com/uk

smooth operation for easy change of deck heights. Turf damage can be eliminated when mowing over undulations with the standard blade anti-scalp cup. The large rear discharge opening is engineered to allow for free flow of clippings into the grassbag. The machine sports heavy-duty cast-aluminium wheels with ball bearings, and semi-pneumatic rubber tyres are designed for the long-term, trouble-free performance that professionals demand.

January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1 |


Latest Kit – Drainage

The ND5+1 by Grey2Green is a composite system that features an initial protective layer to the roof surface, a rigid, formed, cuspated drainage and reservoir layer and a fleece top layer. The benefits of this system are that each 25m² roll is very easy and fast to install and you have all three essential layers installed in one hit, saving time and money over separately purchased and installed materials. For the greater weight of Brown or Biodiverse roof substrates, the cheaper alternative drainage layers can compress over time, reducing drainage and moisture-retaining capacity. ND5+1 is strong, robust, resists compression and retains its drainage and reservoir performance. A unique SUDS-compliant paving system comprised of recycled car tyres is being used to boost the eco-credentials of landscaping provided at the Olympic Village. The SUDSCAPE system is being used on 460m2 of pathways within the residential courtyards of the Athletes’ village. Landscape

In 2012, the Heworth Golf Club celebrates its Centenary year. The course has matured into one of the most respected courses in the area. This is down to the dedication and commitment of the greens staff led by Head Greenkeeper Colin Pringle: “We maintain an 18-hole course constructed on very heavy clay soil. Our biggest issue has always been drainage and we installed a complete main drainage system using an AFT 45 trencher 12 years ago. We have recently purchased a second AFT 45 to operate alongside the original and we use it all year

round to maintain the extensive drainage lines.” The AFT Sandbander has revolutionised the way sand slits are installed on sport surfaces. The unique blade design and oscillating movement installs drainage slits with well

consolidated sand. Suitable for tractors from 35hp it gives fast and easy installation of 25 or 40mm sand slits with a maximum depth of 250mm (10”). It also works well with lytag and gravel (up to 6mm).

Watering small lawn areas has always been difficult as the arc of spray varies from sprinkler to sprinkler. With a rotary sprinkler, when the arc changes, the precipitation rate changes as well, resulting in uneven water application. One way to combat this was to use ‘matched precipitation’ spray heads, but these use much more water, resulting in small zones with high flow rates and the potential for high run-off. But the new MP rotator spray head solves these problems, giving an even precipitation rate with low water consumption. Architect Macfarlane Wilder, which is the appointed landscape architect for blocks N10 and N14, chose Sudscape for a number of reasons. The SUDSCAPE System does not require a concrete or tarmac base – a key consideration for rooftop landscaping where access for installation equipment is

| January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1

difficult. Use of the system also eliminates the risk of standing water or flooding – SUDSCAPE has its own built-in rubber sub-base using recycled car tyres, with a top layer comprised of resin and aggregate. As both layers are porous and flexible, water is held within the voids in the sub-base

until it is naturally absorbed back into the water table. SUDSCAPE offers a host of other benefits making it ideal for the Olympic project, including a relatively quick installation process, easy maintenance, with no weeding required, and cost effectiveness, with the system boasting a similar price structure to block paving. Peter Wilder of Macfarlane Wilder comments: “The Athletes’ Village demands a rigorous approach to surface water management in the use of responsibly sourced materials. SUDSCAPE is a system that we have encountered through our work on the BRE Innovation Parks, where it has proven its credentials as a low carbon alternative to traditional resinbound systems.”

January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1 |


Latest Kit – Owatrol


PERFORMANCE Owatrol’s Solid Color Stain is a professional quality wood maintenance solution that is guaranteed not to peel or flake on fences for 15 years.


ith the weather becoming increasingly unpredictable each year, the damage that is being caused to fencing is at its worst. This said, with the increase in people decorating their garden with decking, wooden garden furniture and a variety of decorative wooden features, the need to finish your fences with the right solution is of utmost importance. There can be nothing worse than having beautifully decorated decking bringing out the best in your garden and then contradicted by fencing that is left to weather and become grey and green from the elements. WHICH PRODUCT? The dilemma for most landscape enthusiasts and professionals alike is: which product to apply? A common frustration with many finishing products is that once applied, they begin to flake, disperse and even peel off, in some cases in under a year. You are then left with another laborious task of removing or overlaying the finish that you expected would last a lot longer than just one year. And the solution offered by the manufacturer of such products when a complaint has been made? Well of course, they want to appease the | January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1

customer and therefore deliver a gracious offer of more of the same product free of charge. Great. So you can apply it again and wait for the next year to reapply more – and so on and so forth. Thankfully there is a solution to this age old problem. Solid Color Stain (SCS) from Owatrol is a professional quality wood maintenance solution that is guaranteed not to peel or flake on fences for 15 years. It is a combination of a specially formulated acrylic paint and Owatrol’s bonding agent Emulsa Bond (E-B). E-B is a micro-porous agent, so it draws the SCS into the timber, holding it there while allowing water to move in and out of the fence panels. It has extremely high resistance to UV rays and provides a long-lasting protection that is unrivalled. It is available in 52 different colours and samples are available at a minimal cost to allow you to test and ensure that you get the colour you desire. Deciding on the most suitable product for maintaining fencing is simple on the face of it and usually not a lot of thought is given to making your selection. The choices available are vast and are led by key manufacturers in our industry, though while it is simple to collect the usual 5-litre container of Cuprinol, Ronseal or the

like, are you really making the wisest choice? There have been comments in the past questioning why someone would pay for an expensive wood finish for inexpensive fence panels, when the question should really be: ‘Can you afford not to spend a bit extra at the outset, or are you happy to keep laying out hard-earned money year after year?’ PREFERRED SOLUTION Solid Color Stain has been established for many years and is quickly becoming the preferred solution for the pre-stained timber market. The inherent properties that deliver a long-lasting performance are characteristics sought after by manufacturers of timber constructions. When sheds, gazebos and so on are being delivered with high quality finishes, it would seem a shame to not have a garden surrounded by fencing that emulates the aesthetic appearance of the investments that are made in said furniture. Solid Colour Stain and all Owatrol solutions can be found and ordered from our website,, and we will deliver the goods to you on a next day delivery. For a colour chart or to order samples, please call Owatrol UK on 01923 219122 between 08:30 and 17:30, Monday to Friday.

Latest Kit – Fencing

An established sawmiller of quality, home-grown timber, G & T Evans also offers an agricultural and builders’ merchant, the manufacturing of agricultural and industrial buildings and also steel fabrication. The company stocks quality fencing materials: stakes, strainers, posts and rails – all peeled, pointed and pressuretreated. Fencing wire, nails, staples, hinges and gates are also available. Sawn timber, including Douglas Fir, Spruce and Oak, are made into feather-edged and waneyedged exterior cladding and large dimension beams. It also supplies sleepers, crossing timbers, crash barriers, as well as roofing sheets that can be curved to any radius.

Bastion Safe ‘T’ is the latest fencing system from the innovative Bastion Fencing range from Macarthur Group. Bastion Safe ‘T’ is manufactured with a rolled top and bottom edge resulting in a very strong, stable and safe fence. The Safe ‘T’ fencing system has mesh of 50mm x 150mm, fully welded at every intersection and is available in a range of heights. The McArthur Group is one of the

McVeigh Parker UC4 products are manufactured using only redwoods treated at a moisture content of 28% or less. The solution strength of the preservative is significantly higher than on standard pressure treatments and the vacuum/pressure process is longer and more thorough than standard treatment cycles, allowing for much deeper penetration of the preservative into the timber. Standard non-dried pressure-treated products have a shorter service life expectancy – whereas McVeigh Parker UC4 products that are treated against fungal decay and wood-destroying insects have a desired service life of 15 years. The entire treatment process is quality assured in accordance with ISO 9001 criteria, and regular sampling and analysis ensures treatment standards are maintained at all times. McVeigh Parker products can also be treated to the National Highways Sector Scheme 4 requirements of a 30-year desired service life. leading merchants of security fencing, offering a wide range of perimeter fencing solutions to contractors and private commissions. The Bastion Fencing range comprises a whole host of differing fencing systems, each bespoke fencing system from the McArthur Group can be designed to almost any specification by its specialist fencing team, who are always at hand to assist with any fencing enquiry. Bastion Fencing

systems are available nationwide from strategically positioned branches and can delivered directly to site.

Certain types of interwoven fencing panels have been around for years. These have traditionally been constructed of interwoven slats of timber sandwiched between horizontal and vertical battens, holding them all in place. Although these can be reasonably attractive to look at, this isn’t the strongest way of making a sturdy fence panel, and they can be prone to coming unraveled and falling apart

if they suffer minor damage to any of the key components that hold them together once the timber softens and degrades. Enter the new Jacksons Woven panel. It is a modern, high-quality panel, with old-style interwoven panels in mind. As with all Jacksons panels it’s constructed of Jakcured pressuretreated softwood, framed for use with slotted Jakposts. The woven parts aren’t thin slats, but substantial


Each century has its material; and according to Owatrol UK, the 21st century’s will be wood. Increasingly people are deciding that wood is the ideal solution for their garden landscape, but heat, humidity, rain, UV rays and so on are all conditions that will increase the risk of alterations to the wood on decking. To maintain this wood, Owatrol recommends you use Textrol, a saturating oil that provides long-lasting protection and easy maintenance. Use a saturating oil that impregnates the wood deep into the pores without leaving a film on the outside, providing a truly efficient and lasting protection. Suitable for all wood species and pressuretreated wood especially. With its penetrative qualities, TEXTROL guarantees a long-lasting protection without the risk of peeling. Choice of decoration is simple: either opt for a clear, natural finish, or have it tinted into Golden Oak, Redwood, Cedar or Rustic Oak. pieces of Jakcured treated softwood that will stay strong, maintaining the structural integrity of the panel. And there are no unsightly rails to ruin the appearance on one side of the panel, so the neighbours and you are both winners. Another big benefit of this great-looking semi-solid panel is that you get amazing light and shade effects when sun shines through the panel.

January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1 |



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Latest Kit – Exhibition


Executive Hire Show 2012 – Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 February, Ricoh Arena, Phoenix Way, Foleshill, Coventry CV6 6AQ Access Platform Sales will be exhibiting a varied range of equipment at the Executive Hire Show from access platforms to lifting equipment, plus one of its most popular tracked mini dumpers. The company’s Hinowa 17.80 IIIS tracked spider lift will be on the stand. It has a working height of 17m, outreach of 8m, weighs in at only 2,080kg and is only 786mm wide. Hinowa’s HS1100 hi-tip mini-dumper will also be on the stand. It has a skip capacity of 0.29m³. This unit has a tipping height of 1,645mm, which enables the load to be tipped not only into a skip, but also the back of a truck.

On the Wacker Neuson stand will be a 28Z3 zero tailswing mini excavator complete with the company’s Vertical Digging System (VDS) which enables the cab to be tilted into the upright position for maximum operator comfort and enhanced efficiency when working on gradients of up to 27%.There will also be examples from Wacker Neuson’s extensive selection of light equipment, including the latest mid-range compactor plates as well as a full complement of experienced staff waiting to discuss the full Wacker Neuson range of products and how they can assist with virtually any construction project.

Takeuchi will be showing the 1.5-tonne TB016 and micro 1-tonne TB108 excavators alongside the new Super Silenced Hydraulic Breakers TKB52-S and TKB72-S. The TB016 mini excavator continues to be the standout model for Takeuchi, especially with utilities industries. According to Takeuchi, operators appreciate the extendable tracks for stability when breaking out and the new Silent TKB72-S Hydraulic Breaker (116dB) is a versatile low-noise alternative. The micro TB108 is an easy-to-use compact DIY machine for hire, now with a (119dB) TKB52-S breaker.

DEWALT will launch several new ranges of tools to meet the needs of the Hire Industry. The expansion of the innovative XR Li-Ion range will be previewed at the show. DEWALT is so confident of the new XR Li-Ion range that it is providing a three-year warranty. Recent launches include a new 305mm mitre saw (DWS780) with huge cutting capacities, a new polisher and a new 16kg hammer (D25960K) with ultra-low vibration, ultimate performance and unrivalled durability. STIHL will showcase the brand new TS 500i – the world’s first cut-off saw with electronic fuel injection. The advanced engine technology delivers tangible improvements in efficiency and productivity with benefits like simplified 3-step starting and 20% greater power than the current 14” model. Arriving spring 2012 the 14” TS 500i cut-off saw joins the already legendary STIHL range at the Executive Hire Show, along with a wide choice of cut-off saw accessories and landscapers’ power tools. January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1 |





App Review

WHAT’S APP? Following on from the success of the last issue’s book review, Joe Wilkinson has tested the best apps on the market for Landscapers. Many of your peers have suggested the apps that make their professional life that little bit easier and we have selected the best ones. All products listed range from free of charge to £6.99.



1. DROPBOX Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. After you install Dropbox on your computer, any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computers, your iPhone and iPad and even the Dropbox website! With the Dropbox app, you can take everything that matters to you on the move. Features include easy-saving photos, videos and documents to your Dropbox, saving email attachments straight to the app, and adding files to favourites for fast offline viewing. This app is free. 2. INVOICE2GO Invoice2go is the fast and easy way to invoice, estimate, bill, collect and report. With more than 20 built-in invoice styles to choose from, it makes it fun going through | January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1

and choosing your template and designing your invoice. Add logos and move fields – you can even create your own business forms. Invoice2go has been the leader in desktop invoicing software for the past five years, and has now introduced an app for on-the-move invoicing. Features include creating professional invoices, estimates and credit memos more instantly, choice of template that suits your business, customising your invoices to suit you, and automatically configuring your currency and tax settings based on your country. Invoice2go for the iPhone has everything you need to run your business while you’re on the move. This app costs £6.99 3.LANDSCAPER’S COMPANION Landscaper’s Companion is your

mobile plant reference guide. It fits in your pocket or in the palm of your hand. It’s great for simple browsing, selecting plants for lands, gaining greater plant education, or just viewing beautiful high quality images of flora. Landscaper’s Companion is perfect for casual gardeners, landscapers, or aspiring botanists. It’s simple, fast, and easy to use. Landscaper’s Companion lets you find all types of plants – such as trees, shrubs, flowers, vegetables, cacti, etc. Their plant database is organised into categories and it’s fully searchable so you can always find what you’re looking for. With more than 8,500 plants featured in this app, each containing informative details, you will find lots of tips to help you in your landscaping and gardening needs. This app costs £2.99.

App Review

4. MARSHALLS GARDEN MOODBOARD Turn the outdoor space you’ve been dreaming of into reality, with Marshalls Garden Moodboard app. Choose from a world of inspirational ideas and product photos, mix them, match them, compare them, see what works, then make it happen with a Marshalls Local Installer and Stockist Locator. Marshalls Garden Moodboard helps anyone become a master of landscape design. Whether it’s the smallest city patio or grandest country garden, this app allows you to find the inspiration to transform it into a beautiful space that you’ve created. Make your ideas bloom with an easy-to-use interface that allows you to assemble all those essential design elements, resize the images, and see them side by side. Features include; all the inspiration you need to create beautiful outdoor spaces, a beautifully creative way to visualise your garden thoughts, More than 300 garden related images choose from, and help finding your local Marshalls Register Installer or Stockist to make it all happen. This app is free. 5. PENULTIMATE The original and best-selling handwriting app for iPad with photo annotation. Penultimate gives you the fast, tactile gratification of writing on paper, with digital power and flexibility. Take notes, keep sketches, or share your next breakthrough idea – in the office, on the move, or at home on the sofa. Every detail of the user interface has been designed and refined to be simple and intuitive – no complicated or cluttered settings. When you first open your new copy of Penultimate you’ll find

a “welcome” notebook that will walk you through all of the major features. Use colors or stick with classic inky black. Three different photorealistic paper styles are included, along with a magically effective eraser tool that’s always the right size. Penultimate can manage as many notebooks as you can create, each with an infinite number of pages. View your list in a notebook carousel – or sort and scroll in a fast grid view. When your notebooks get large, you can browse quickly through all pages, or insert, delete, duplicate, and reorganise pages within and between notebooks. Penultimate knows the importance of data integrity; you can use a single button to export all of your notebook files to iTunes for backup. Send single page images or full notebooks in PDF format to anyone. This app costs £1.49. 6. SITE SURVEY An advanced measuring tool using your iPhone camera. A handy alternative to the laser distance meter, Site Survey can accurately measure distances up to 30m/100ft. This app is fantastic for finding out the height of a tree or hedge, the height of a building or the size of a garden plot. The application uses the camera in real-time. Take your photo and tap the target distance, which will appear automatically. Sights can then be adjusted for measuring horizontally, vertically and diagonally. You can then zoom in/ out, which is very easy to use. Each screen, displaying measurements, can be saved to photo library or emailed on. This app costs £2.99. 7. TREES OF BRITAIN The Trees of Britain app contains

identification guides on common trees found in the UK. It will help all nature lovers identify trees while out and about. The app has 72 tree guides, with more added with each update and 562 detailed images of the trees listed, showing tree, leaf, bark and seed. Trees of Britain contains an A-Z list of trees, and you can view them in a family screen whereby all the trees are split down and grouped into families. The app is fast and simple to use, and costs £0.69 8. ACCUWEATHER Get the most localised and accurate weather information with the new AccuWeather for iPhone app. The application provides you with essential weather content as well as new features that take advantage of platform enhancements. The new AccuWeather app displays the detailed weather information you need to help you plan your daily activities. From planning day-to-day activities to making future business or personal plans, you need fast, easy access to weather information from a weather source that you can rely on. The AccuWeather app has all of the features you need to “weatherproof” your day. This app is free.





9. YR.NO The official iPhone and iPod touch weather application from, with weather forecasts for 7 million places all over the world. is the joint online weather service from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and the NRK. Available in English language too, this app can locate you, and let you know the weather forecast in your area. This app is free. January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1 |




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A small insight into the world of other professionals in our wide and varied industry. If you would like to appear in a future issue please email LOUISE TOPP

Sales and Marketing Co-ordinator, Kawasaki Motors What is the best thing about your job? No two days are the same and it is always an exciting challenge to meet the tight deadlines that I face from internal staff and our European dealer and distributor network. I enjoy dealing with a diverse range of issues relating to each different country throughout Europe as well as liaising with our Japanese colleagues to provide them with a clear picture of our needs.

specialist support to the European dealer and

when I work with a team of people who are

distributor network.

very motivated and always looking at ways to improve things.

Challenges ahead in your work? The dynamic nature of the Engines and Power

Countryside or seaside?

Products sectors means that Kawasaki must

Seaside and when the weather is warm it can

continue to innovate to maintain our competitive

be a great place to spend time with friends

advantage. We are currently launching several new

and family.

engines and are continuing the development of further, more powerful ranges. How is the bulk of your work made up? Increasing brand awareness and providing the relevant sales tools to support Distributors, Dealers, Service Agents and OEMs selling Kawasaki

Your proudest achievement? Being chosen to represent my school in the long jump and 1500 metres events at the Athletics County Championships. Favourite song? Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson.

What made you want to get into the industry? I was always interested in engines and other related technology subjects so jumped at the opportunity to join Kawasaki’s ATV and Utility Vehicles division. I moved to Engines and Power Products in 2008 when it was

products. I am also responsible for supporting

Who are you inspired by?


established as a separate division to provide

No one person in particular, but it inspires me

Las Vegas

pipeline of prospects that will have a requirement

brother, Mike. I am so proud of him and the business he has developed over the past 20 years.

CAROLINE VICKERS Regional Sales Manager, Barcham Trees

the sales team to assist with dealership support

Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter?

and raise the profile of the Division’s activities

Summer – I just wish we had more of it though!

throughout the Kawasaki organisation worldwide. Where’s your favourite holiday

for our unique and beautiful trees in the future. I love a challenge and have built a sizeable network, connecting with delightful people who love their gardens.

What is the best thing about your job? When searching for prospective clients on the internet I discover amazing websites which show stunning landscapes in the countryside, parks and gardens which can be enhanced with Barcham Trees. What made you get into the industry? My background is in sales and lead generation. I was delighted when my brother, Mike Glover, the owner of Barcham Trees, asked me to help develop the retail side of the business (based in Ely Cambridge) in the South East. Challenges ahead in your work? The first and foremost challenge is building a

| January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1

How is the bulk of your work made up? My day varies. I work from home which is very relaxing, especially as I have a close family community. I visit clients in the South East, take site photos, understand their requirements, make recommendations and quote for the business. How do you remain competitive? Barcham Trees is a well-established business that is

One thing you want to do before you’re too old Return to Australia for at least a month with my husband and travel the country together. I was there in the early 1980s so it will be good to return, visit family and take in the changes. Favourite song? So many – for a good bop, Love Shack by The B-52s. Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter? I am a Summer girl, but when is summer these days, May and October?!

self-financing, so we are able to supply our trees at good prices. Who are you inspired by?

Where’s your favourite holiday destination? Italy – Tuscany is next on the list.

I am inspired by, and have great admiration for my

The Little Interview


Amanda Patton Garden Design & Planting

What would you say is the best thing about your job? That great moment when you see a site for the first time and can see all its possibilities; closely followed by the high of cracking the concept. What made you want to get into the industry? I had been working as an illustrator, however I was keen to take on new challenges. I designed my garden when I moved house in the late 1990s and realised that this was the direction I wanted to take, so I then set up the business at the beginning of 2000.



What would you say is the best thing about your job? Never a day goes by without learning something new. I can’t think of another profession where I’d get as much job satisfaction while making my customer very happy. What made you want to get into the industry? I’d worked as a carpenter/cabinet-maker but wanted the freedom to work for myself in an outdoor. environment.


Fiona Stephenson Designs Ltd

What would you say is the best thing about your job? Visiting people after a year or so of finishing their garden and hearing their experience of it.Transforming a garden space from the ordinary to the extraordinary is a magical journey, often people find it hard to believe that their garden could look and feel so completely different, when it’s actually the same volume, area and surroundings. How is the bulk of your work made up? Complete garden transformations, often for repeat

Your company’s plans for the next five years… I’m planning to move to Sussex and am looking forward to exploring new markets. How do you remain competitive? Service; I don’t believe in reducing prices, instead I try to concentrate on what I can offer that is different from the competition, and doing it as well as I am able. Who are you inspired by? Designers who work with nature; artists such as Mark Rothko and contemporary abstract landscape painters; textile designers (my degree is in textile design); I’ll add a ‘what’ – the variations in natural light and its effect in highlighting the beauty of landscapes. Favourite film and TV shows… The English Patient; West Wing, Sopranos,

Challenges ahead in your work? Maintain good health and happiness. How is the bulk of your work made up? Residential block paving driveways, garden patio paving, landscaping and garden design. Current trends in the market? What recession? Stay focused and don’t listen to negative news. How do you remain competitive? By giving our customers top-quality paving installations while maintaining a professional service on all our landscaping and garden transformation projects.


Downton Abbey and Absolutely Fabulous. One thing you want to do before you’re too old? Walk the Inca trail to Machu Pichu. Your proudest achievement? RHS silver-gilt medals from Chelsea and Hampton Court. Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter? Spring for its freshness, Autumn for the warmth of the light, Winter for the coolness of the light. Summer is usually a disappointment so I would give it a miss. Where’s your favourite holiday destination? Montenegro, the most beautiful and unspoilt country I’ve yet visited.

Favourite film and TV shows… Mad Max 1 and 2,Top Gun,Toy Story 3 – Dragons’ Den,The Apprentice. One thing you want to do before you’re too old? To win the Marshalls UK Contractor of the Year award. Your proudest achievement? Being present at the birth of my children and being chosen as a Marshalls Best Driveway award winner. Favourite song? Bon Jovi – Living on a prayer.

clients (when they move house). I love arriving, meeting them, hearing their ideas, scaling the site, drawing up ideas on site and leaving the drawing with them.

Favourite film and TV shows…

Current trends in the market? Smaller budgets. Perennials and grasses. Roses, hydrangeas, dahlias and chrysanthemums are coming back into fashion. Growing food and herbs.

One thing you want to do before you’re

Cool Hand Luke to Inception. Have I Got News For You to The Dog Whisperer

too old? Walk somewhere beautiful like the Inca Trail. Your proudest achievement?

Your company’s plans for the next five years… Continue to dream up and build amazing gardens for people. Continue to develop our large garden in France (near Toulouse).

RHS Gold Medal and a happy life and family.

Who are you inspired by? Nature, I love walking and observing. Dance, music, art, abstract things.

Where’s your favourite holiday destination?

Favourite song? Buena Vista Social Club

Warm sun and interesting scuba diving sites.

January 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 1 |

Launching at

BTME Stand M24

The all NEW Cushman Hauler 1200X This rugged utility vehicle earns its keep with get-it-done versatility

The name says it all Distributed in the UK by Ransomes Jacobsen Ltd. Please call 01473 270000 for details PL/CH/01/2012

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09/01/2012 15:29

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Pro Landscaper January 2012  

Pro Landscaper January 2012  

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