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Concept to Delivery

January 2018


Let’s Hear it From SARAH MORGAN






Marcus Watson


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January 2018 | Volume 8, Issue 1

Welcome to January 2018

Let’s Hear it From SARAH MORGAN

Eljays44 Ltd 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA Tel: 01903 777 570 EDITORIAL Editorial Director – Lisa Wilkinson Tel: 01903 777 579

she hopes to achieve during her chairmanship of the Society. Another woman highlighted in this month’s issue, Ann-Marie Powell, needs no introduction: she talks about her practice and what her development plans are for the next five years. As always, we have a fabulous selection of portfolios this month, and our Designer Plants feature comes from Rae Wilkinson, a garden designer based in West Sussex. New contributors to Pro Landscaper for 2018 include PR expert Caroline Wade, who gives you tips on how to deal with media when promoting your business through editorial channels; turn to page 84, as this piece is well worth the read. We also

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

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Editorial Assistant – Ellie Foster Tel: 01903 777 607

Managing Director – Jim Wilkinson Tel: 01903 777 589

Content Manager – Claire Maher Tel: 01903 777 570


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

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Subscription enquiries – Emily Maltby Tel: 01903 777 570






Marcus Watson

Welcome to the January issue of Pro Landscaper, and a very happy new year to all our readers. We step into 2018 with some great content, starting with a look back at FutureScape. If you missed any of the seminars, we have a summary of them on pages 16-17. Also, as always, December’s BALI Awards was a chance to recognise and celebrate the best of landscaping, both in the UK and internationally – see our coverage of the event on pages 18-19. Last September, Sarah Morgan was appointed Chair of the SGD, and she is the subject of this month’s Let’s Hear it From interview. We find out about her career in the industry and what

January 2018




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welcome landscape architect Peter Wilder of Wilder Associates, who starts a new series on technology in landscaping – he has some very interesting points to make, kicking off with social media – and Jeff Stephenson of Bowles and Wyer joins us as a regular contributor, starting off by reiterating the importance of designers and maintainers working together to create sustainable landscape projects. This is just a taste of the features we have in January; when you leaf through the issue you’ll see that there is so much more to keep you occupied during the dark evenings! Have a great month,



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

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

The Association of

Professional Landscapers

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

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

Pro Landscaper / January 2018


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January 2018 27


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

10 News Our monthly roundup of industry news

16 FutureScape We run through the seminars and panel debates from this year’s event

18 BALI Awards All the winners from 2018’s BALI National Landscape Awards


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

27 Let’s Hear It From

Concept to Delivery

Let’s Hear it From

Ann-Marie Powell Gardens

32 Landscape Architect’s Journal

A business’s success depends on developing staff, say Marcus Watson






Marcus Watson


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38 All Change Effecting change requires careful planning, says David T Binks


34 View From the Top



Garden designer and SGD Chair Sarah Morgan

30 Company Profile

January 2018



A Common Goal How Aberdeen is pulling together to support the future of its greenspace

36 Youth Innit? Is a focus on youth the way forward for garden design? Andrew Wilson weighs in

37 Winning Ways Adam White reports back from the recent Landscape Institute Awards 2017


Pro Landscaper / January 2018

Contents so far.indd 4

Creating the perfect contemporary garden for a modern West Sussex home

58 Picture This Anji Connell examines the influence of Instagram on the landscaping trends of 2018

35 Looking Ahead Angus Lindsay considers what the future of maintenance will look like

54 Grey Matter


47 Renaissance Art An extensive restoration reinstates the splendour of a 16th century Italian villa

50 Glow All Out The high-end Chelsea Creek development brings ambition and luxury to central London

60 Porcelain Paving A look at a variety of projects featuring this durable and low maintenance paving option

62 Traditional Paving Rounding up a selection of traditional paving products,, and the projects they enhanced

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Next Steps Jeff Stephenson explains why garden designers need to keep maintenance in mind


Changing Landscape New technology is transforming the way businesses communicate, says Peter Wilder


Helping You Make a Profit Sam Hassall breaks down the costs associated with design and development


Hard Choices Sean Butler’s handy guide on the different types of cement – and when to use each one


Best Laid Plans The stages to consider when designing a lighting installation, according to Robert Webber



Caroline Wade sets out her beginner’s guide to public relations


Nurture News A roundup of news from the UK’s growing sector


Designer Plants Rae Wilkinson adds structure and texture to a rural garden


Pest Interests Neil Huck takes stock of the EU’s decision to reauthorise glyphosate use




Party Time Jamie Butterworth suggests plants for adding a festive touch to a garden


Cover Story It’s worth considering sedges as groundcover, says Noel Kingsbury


Nursery Factfile We profile Provender Nurseries

Climbing High

Bedding Down Indoor plants to help you sleep, selected by Ian Drummond

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Commercial Vehicles What to look for when making your next purchase


What I’m Reading Jackie Herald reviews four landscape and horticulture reads


What’s Your Role? Hannah Button, botanical horticulturist at Kew


Andy McIndoe extols the virtues of the oft-maligned ivy


Site Visit Global Stone



Pressing Play

Trading With Outdoor Design



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

Pro Landscaper / January 2018


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Caroline Wade

Peter Wilder

Jeff Stephenson

Neil Huck

Managing director, WADE PR

Principal, Wilder Associates and Survey Drone Ltd

Head of horticulture and aftercare, Bowles & Wyer

National group training manager, Ground Control Ltd

In her first issue writing for Pro Landscaper, new columnist and public relations guru Caroline Wade unveils part one of her three-part PR masterclass. Caroline, who is managing director of WADE PR – an agency generating ambitious press coverage returns for clients such as Hartley Botanic – kicks off with some practical basics to get you started, including how to angle your press releases in order to catch the attention of journalists. @CarolineEWade

In a new series, Wilder Associates and Survey Drone principal Peter Wilder examines the role of technology in landscaping, and how it’s likely to shape our industry in coming years. We are thrilled to have landscape architect and commercial drone pilot Peter on board, and look forward to topics including smart technology, artificial intelligence and virtual landscapes. @WilderAssociate @survdrone

We are equally delighted to welcome Jeff Stephenson, head of horticulture and aftercare at Bowles & Wyer, to our regular contributor line-up. With nearly 30 years’ experience in horticulture and maintenance operations, Jeff will be covering a wealth of subjects pertaining to the aftercare sector. He begins by exploring how designers can work with the custodians of their gardens to ensure their visions bloom.

Following two years of uncertainty around the future of glyphosate and its use in Europe, we welcome an update from Ground Control’s Neil Huck on the world’s most widelyused weed killer. Neil, who also works on behalf of BALI as technical director on projects with DEFRA, EU Commission and ELCA, joins our line-up this month to share his thoughts on the EU’s decision to reauthorise this controversial weed killer for a further five years. @BWaftercare @GroundControlGC

Other contributors David T Binks Managing director, Big Hedge Co. and Landstruction

Andy McIndoe Leading horticulturist

Sam Hassall Managing director, LandPro Ltd

Angus Lindsay Head of fleet, idverde

Anji Connell Interior architect and landscape designer

Ian Drummond Creative director, Indoor Garden Design

Sean Butler Director, Cube 1994


Marcus Watson Managing director, Ground Control

Andrew Wilson Garden designer and lecturer

Jamie Butterworth Horticultural consultant, London Stone

Adam White Director, Davies White Ltd

Noel Kingsbury Garden designer and writer

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Robert Webber Founder, Scenic Lighting

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THE GOVERNMENT PLANS TO BUILD 300,000 NEW HOMES A YEAR. WILL THIS HAVE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON THE LANDSCAPE INDUSTRY? The Autumn Budget 2017 – announced at the end of November by Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond – set out how the government plans to build 300,000 new homes a year, in the hope of making homes more affordable in the long term. We asked whether this would have a positive impact on our industry

David Houghton Managing director, Kings Landscapes

Yes, it will – we need it. In two years’ time there will probably not be much work around; growth in construction is falling, so the more work for the industry, the better. It’s the government’s responsibility to stimulate growth by putting in infrastructure so that it brings in private investment. I was hoping for more investment into the next section of the high-speed rail; the Autumn Budget was not much good for any man and their dog. We need growth in construction and we need it to come from the top. The government needs to lead by example. 8

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Pro Landscaper / January 2018

Steve Evans

Nick Abbott

Managing director, Kingston Landscape Group

Director, Beech Landscape

Kingston Landscape Group works primarily in London and South East England. The current boom in house prices has been good for us, as there are thousands of houses and apartments currently under construction across London – and all of them need trees, plants and other amenity spaces. If the government builds even more housing, it will increase the amount of potential work. This is good for us, but there’s also a trickle down to suppliers and subcontractors, so it has got to be good for our industry as a whole. I read that the government wants to speed up developments where planning permission has been granted. This is fantastic news – too many companies and speculators have been waiting for land values to increase even further. Hopefully, this will encourage companies to get on with building, especially in places where there’s massive demand for housing. Although it’s good from a commercial perspective, this news is just as important to our colleagues. When many of us are settling down and having families, a greater stock of quality local housing is vital for us so that our people can continue to live locally. Bring it on!

The government’s plans to construct 300,000 new homes will bring relief to the shortfall in supply, but what will this mean for the landscape industry and the environment? One concern is the geographical spread of the development sites. In the North West, the housing shortage is felt as much as anywhere; development sites are in short supply and the demand to build on greenbelt is increasing each year, with brownfield sites often overlooked. The location and desirability of these greenbelt sites often puts pressure on local authorities to consider them for developments, without fully considering the environmental impact. Of course, brownfield sites will require additional remediation, and may not be in such desirable locations, but as custodians we need to look carefully at which route the government takes to deliver these homes. From a landscaper’s perspective, all work is good work. Housing developments can produce a good flow of work, which can often be very helpful, as larger commercial contracts are completed and there is a wait for the next project to start. Our company has a 30% turnover flow of newbuild housing, and we have maintained a client base with several developers who we have a good relationship with, resulting in repeat work.

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There are inherent problems with housing work – very strict handover programmes, the work being in small quantity call-offs, and the age-old problem of protection of works. However, the housing market is essential for many landscapers who may not have the resources or the desire to undertake the large commercial projects.

Clare Hebbes Director of place and urban infrastructure, Lendlease Developments succeed when they ensure that local context and culture are part of the planning, design and building process. When we get the streets and spaces right, it not only has the potential to create beautiful and interesting places for local communities, but can also have substantial environmental benefits – from increasing biodiversity to improving air quality. The construction of 300,000 homes is an opportunity for those of us who deliver public spaces to show what we can do. Specifically, it’s a chance to demonstrate how design that is carefully thought through can create places where people genuinely want to live, which benefit existing communities and support the integration of new ones. It is up to the landscape community to seize that opportunity with confidence.

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Stephen O’Malley

Kate Gould

Founding director, Civic Engineers

Director and designer, Kate Gould Gardens

Whether or not there is a positive impact depends on where and how these homes are built. It’s about picking the right spaces and developing in the right way. If they’re built on brownfield land and investment is made in creating developments that incorporate well-designed streets, good public transport links, green infrastructure and open spaces for the public to use, it will have a positive impact on the landscape industry, as these areas require highly skilled, innovative landscape architects and engineers. If it’s about poorly selected high volume developments that are to be built on greenbelt, this won’t be positive. Schemes such as these, although still needing design, usually rely heavily on cars and the associated infrastructure to function, and we should question whether the design involved really reflects how we want the landscape architecture industry to be seen.

We believe this will positively affect the landscape industry, creating short-term jobs for landscape professionals in implementing the greenspace designs for new homes. We would hope that the government takes a long-term view and seeks landscaper’s management services, with contracts to maintain the sites. I am passionate about urban and community greenscapes. In an ideal world, the external areas would be constructed simultaneously, as an integral part of the build. When they are treated as an afterthought, there is little budget left to create meaningful, exciting, usable and great-looking spaces. When not planned well, the solution seems to be a vast lawn area to fulfil the ‘green quota’. Ideally, contractors and builders should consider the landscaping during the planning stages. The effects of a wellplanned and well-used outdoor area can be far-reaching to the occupants of the new homes.


As our climate changes, are draught-tolerant plants the future?

Have your say:

Pro Landscaper / January 2018


19/12/2017 10:44


NEWS Stunning new rose garden at Lowther Castle, designed by Dan Pearson, now under way Many and varied are the layers of design in the gardens at Lowther Castle. And this winter another layer – designed by the Chelsea Gold-medal winning Dan Pearson – is taking shape, in the form of a new rose garden. The gardens at Lowther Castle date back to the 17th century. Since their initial creation, they


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have enjoyed a history of boom and bust, lying abandoned for the second half of the 20th century. Today, both castle and gardens are enjoying a renaissance, and Lowther Castle is rapidly becoming one of the Lake District’s most popular visitor attractions. Dan Pearson’s visionary rose garden is being planted in the shape of a rose bloom. Briar roses will form this shape, with kissing gates allowing access into a beautifully planted ornamental rose collection. The garden has been designed with the William Morris poem ‘For the Briar Rose’, which is based on the Sleeping Beauty myth, in mind. More than 2,000 roses from David Austin will go into the final planting, while a central water feature will mimic the stamens of a rose. “We are delighted to have begun implementing Dan Pearson’s designs for our rose garden,” said Martin Ogle, head gardener for the Lowther Castle Estate. “Although innovative and contemporary, the rose garden will still be in keeping with the layers of memory from Lowther’s past. We will continue to share updates as we progress.” Lowther’s new rose garden will open in June 2018. For more information, please visit

Hong Kong-based practice Morphis to open UK design studio

Award-winning landscape practice Morphis has complemented its Hong Kong and Shanghai operations with a new UK design studio. Based in Hampshire, the studio will give the practice a foothold close to London, in order to work on key projects in the UK and Middle East. Mark Blackwell, partner and creative director at Morphis, is excited to bring the practice’s urban design approaches to the UK. “The rate of urban growth in many Asian cities calls for more integrated approaches and mixeduse developments,” he explained. “Through a combination of landscape strategies and experiential design, we have implemented solutions that are sustainable and socially responsive, incorporating flood level management, water reuse, urban heat island reduction, hydroponics, virtual reality and interactive technology.

“The UK’s considerable pool of landscape talent will allow us to augment our cosmopolitan team of creative thinkers, innovators and designers, exploring the intersection of city, society and nature around the world.” Mark is a Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute (CMLI), and was an examiner on the LI’s Pathway to Chartership before his move to Hong Kong. He has continued to volunteer as a supervisor on the Pathway to Chartership programme, and champions the values of the LI. Morphis was established in Hong Kong in 2014, and expanded to Shanghai in 2015. The UK studio will recruit five to 10 landscape professionals over six to 12 months, to work on a growing portfolio of cultural, educational, hospitality, mixed-use and open-space developments, both in the UK and abroad.

19/12/2017 15:29


APL announces finalists for its 2018 awards The finalists for the APL Awards 2018 were announced at the end of November. The standard of entries exceeded expectations and, yet again, there were a record-breaking number of entries for the judges to deliberate over. No less than 35 different companies entered once or more in the 16 categories, which were judged by industry experts Richard Barnard (Chief Judge),

Bob Sweet, Steve Smith, Robin Templar-Williams, and APL General Manager Phil Tremayne. The annual awards ceremony, sponsored by Bradstone, will take place on Friday 16 March 2018 at

The Brewery, London, to celebrate and recognise the outstanding landscaping carried out by members of the APL. See the full shortlist at www. apl-awards-2018-the-finalists and to book your place at the awards go to www.aplawards.

UK’s best park is named by the public at Fields in Trust Awards 2017 The public has voted Blackpool’s Stanley Park as the UK’s Best Park at the Fields in Trust Awards 2017. Designed by Thomas Mawson in the Twenties, the park has an Italian marble fountain, boating lake, bandstand, Medici lions, Italian gardens and Art Deco café.

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The awards showcase the UK’s best open spaces, as well as the efforts and achievements of the people who ensure that outdoor spaces can be enjoyed by the public. Now in its sixth year, the Awards is organised by The Fields in Trust Charity, which counts the Duke of Cambridge as its president and safeguards the UK’s open spaces for future generations. This year, the public nominated 360 parks from across the UK, with more than 15,000 votes cast. Stanley Park beat off competition

NEWS IN BRIEF Shed Grounds Maintenance wins prestigious award

Chesterfield-based Shed Grounds Maintenance Ltd has won the Corporate Social Responsibility and Environment Award at the Derbyshire Times Business Awards. The award was judged on a business’s commitment to people, planet and profit.

Oak View Landscapes expands management team from Craigavon City Park in County Armagh, Roath Park in Cardiff and Rouken Glen Park in East Renfrewshire. The award was presented by former Welsh rugby international Brynmor Williams at a celebratory dinner at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London, hosted by sports broadcaster Jacqui Oatley. “The public support highlights just how much the residents of local communities care about their green spaces,” said Parks and Green Spaces Minister Marcus Jones. “Through the new Parks Action Group, we have a great opportunity to ensure our parks remain places to be proud of for generations to come.”

Oak View Landscapes has added two new staff to its internal management team. Tom Robinson joins as contracts manager, while Francesca Davis joins as business administrator.

Gillespies and Hemingway Design to help shape a vision for Carlisle Carlisle City Council has aspirations to deliver a ‘garden village’ south of the city. The council has commissioned a team led by masterplanners Gillespies, working with Wayne Hemingway, to develop an ambitious concept for the St Cuthbert’s area.

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Iconic London landmark development wins Grand Award for Maylim At the 41st BALI National Landscape Awards, BALI Registered Contractor Maylim received the Grand Award – BALI’s highest accolade – for One Tower Bridge, a mixeduse development adjacent to one of London’s most iconic landmarks. A BALI member since 2013, Maylim has achieved the Grand Award with its first BALI Awards entry, an incredible achievement. The BALI National Landscape Awards, in association with Horticulture Week and headline sponsor Green-tech, is held annually at London’s Grosvenor

House on Park Lane, and is the largest landscape awards scheme in Europe. It recognises excellence in landscape design, construction and maintenance, and in Affiliate customer service, achieved by Registered BALI members. 115 entries were received this year, with 80 awards presented. The ceremony was hosted by BBC journalist and Breakfast business presenter Steph McGovern; she addressed an audience of more than 1,000 BALI members and guests during the luncheon, and joined sponsors on stage to present the 29 Principal and Special Awards. The

presentation of the Grand Award to Maylim’s managing director Thomas O’Mahony was made by Green-tech’s sales director, Richard Gill. The BALI Awards adjudication panel highlighted Maylim’s attention to detail throughout the project, and its ability to overcome huge logistical challenges, as key to its awards success. “One Tower Bridge is a magnificent advertisement for British landscaping and Maylim is a worthy recipient of the 2017 BALI Grand Award,” said Greg Allen, chair of the adjudication panel. “To receive the highest possible landscaping accolade at their first attempt is remarkable.”

Pots and Pithoi launches new chapter Pots and Pithoi, the world’s largest supplier of authentic Cretan terracotta pots, has a new owner. The company, based in West Sussex, has been bought by David Dodd, owner of multi-awardwinning landscape company The Outdoor Room and director of landscape architect practice Longview Design. Established in 1985, Pots and Pithoi was the first company to introduce Cretan terracotta pots to the UK. In 2005, it was taken over by Tara Bowles, who developed the business while maintaining its traditional values. Having been a customer for many years, David jumped at the chance to purchase the company when it came on the market. “I have always loved the quality of 12

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the products,” he said. “I had the opportunity to visit the potters in Crete and their talent and pride completely blew me away. “It was amazing to see firsthand the craftsmanship that goes into making these beautiful pots. These traditional and ancient methods have been passed down through generations, and I’m proud to be able to continue

supplying such high quality items to the UK market.” David is delighted to be working with the current team, all of whom are excited about the future of Pots and Pithoi. “I’m looking forward to meeting all of my customers, both old and new, so please don’t hesitate to pop down and have a look at what’s going on,” he said.

Chelsea Physic Garden has announced Nell Jones as head gardener

A career in recruitment may not be the obvious start for many horticulturalists, but it was the path that Nell Jones, newly appointed head gardener at Chelsea Physic Garden, followed. After 16 years as a head hunter, Nell embarked on a journey that led her to take the helm at one of the most significant gardens for plant discovery in the UK, if not the world. Shortly after quitting her office job, Jones volunteered at a charity garden that offered care for adults with severe disabilities and medical conditions. Volunteering gave her an appetite for gardening and, enamoured with Chelsea Physic Garden, she volunteered her time at the small London site. At first, her role was restricted to watering pots. Life as a full time trainee followed, thanks to the Historic and Botanical Gardens Bursary Scheme. Nick Bailey, then head gardener of Chelsea Physic Garden and subsequently a presenter on Gardener’s World, was taken by Nell’s commitment, and was keen to offer her a full time role. Since the early days, Nell has thrived at the Garden and moved up the ranks. She loves the hands-on nature of the role, and is passionate about British native plants. www.chelseaphysic

19/12/2017 15:30

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

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It’s Better When We’re Together: Hard Landscaping Meets Horticulture – Jamie Butterworth, London Stone

2017 SEMINAR ROUNDUP Looking back on another successful round of seminars and panel sessions, from FutureScape 2017


utureScape has become the UK’s leading landscaping trade event; this is partly due to its networking opportunities and ever-expanding list of exhibitors, but above all because we run the most comprehensive seminar programme in the whole of the landscaping industry. This year’s FutureScape, held on 14 November at Sandown Park Racecourse in Esher, also saw our established annual industry panel sessions move to the brand new Pro Landscaper Theatre, a larger space to cope with the sessions’ popularity. The Pro Landscaper Theatre We started the day with The Beauty is in the Build; David Dodd, managing director of The Outdoor Room, detailed his progression to owning one of the UK’s top landscaping businesses, showing us five gardens that illustrate the benchmarks of his career. This was followed by The Passion is in the Plants, which focused on the threat of disease. Professor Nicola Spence, DEFRA’s chief plant health officer, led the panel of expert nurserymen – Tim Edwards of Boningale Nurseries, Richard McKenna of Provender Nurseries and Robert Crowder of Crowder Nurseries – in discussing what nurseries are doing to improve biosecurity, with a focus on Xylella fastidiosa, and whether part of the solution is to grow more in the UK. Jamie Butterworth and Craig Potter of London Stone took to the stage to discuss the company’s new vision of bringing hard and soft landscaping 16

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together, with their seminar It’s Better When We’re Together: Hard Landscaping Meets Horticulture. They discussed how collaboration can create longer lasting, beautiful spaces. Jamie appeared again in The Detail is in the Design, sponsored by Garden House Design. He questioned our panel – Charlotte Harris, Rosemary Coldstream, Janine Pattison, Richard Miers and Matt Keightley – on the importance of innovation, whether show gardens are worth the cost and time, and whether design partnerships are for everyone. In Growing Your Business: Is It Easy?, Jim Wilkinson interviewed the managing director of Oak View Landscapes, Paul Downer, about how his company has grown to have a £3m turnover, what the benefits of using a business coach are, and why it’s important to look after your employees – a view which has led Paul to win multiple employer excellence awards.

Graduate Gardeners. They took the audience through the lighting journey, from the initial talk with the client to implementation. New this year was The Craft is in the Commercial, with David Houghton of Kings Landscapes, Ken White of Frosts Landscape Construction and David Binks of Landstruction discussing the buoyancy of the market and the trends and challenges in commercial landscaping. Karen Sawyer of Livingreen Design hosted a seminar on Balconies and Roof Terraces, focusing on the different projects the company has supplied planters for, how they overcome problems, and the pros and cons of certain materials. The future of the industry The Future of Arboriculture, hosted by Jonathan Hazell, debated the role that trees can play in trapping pollution, and how emotions can be used to inform tree value. Panellists Craig Ruddick of Richmond and Wandsworth Council, Stuart Phillips of Lantra, Alastair Durkin of Tandridge District Council and Gary Scammell of Gristwood and Toms also touched on training and certification, as well as women in arb. New this year was The Future of Grounds Maintenance, with representatives from leading grounds maintenance operations discussing

Expert views Throughout the day, there were a number of seminars from experts, including Jonathan Wild of Pictorial Meadows, whose presentation on New Ways of Designing with Meadows examined the three elements of the design process: succession, balance of species, and creating an artistic look. Sam Cox of Landscapeplus hosted The Love is in the Lighting, with a great panel that included Paul Willavoys of Landscapeplus, garden designer Kate Gould, Robert Webber of Scenic Lighting The Passion is in the Plants – L to R – Prof. Nicola Spence, Robert Crowder, Tim Edwards and Richard McKenna and Mark Draper of

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whether the current business model is broken, and the importance of technology. Panellists Matt O’Conner of John O’Conner Grounds Maintenance, Tim Howell of Mitie Landscapes, Dr Marcus Watson of Ground Control, Simon Jacob of Gavin Jones, Mike Brunskill of Glendale and Patrick Philips of idverde UK also spoke about biodiversity, staffing and apprenticeships. The Future of Landscape Architecture returned, hosted by Adam White. The panel – landscape architect Marian Boswall, freelance blogger Tom Turner, Julia Finlayson of Argent Services LLP, and John Wyer of Bowles &Wyer – was quizzed on BIM, whether there should be one industry body for greening spaces, and how to get young people interested in the profession. Top business tips Melissa McCafferty of online platform Houzz gave her top marketing tips in How to Build Your Online Presence and Generate New Business, sharing how to create a ‘stand out story’, how to use online forums effectively, and the results of Houzz’s recent survey of 9,000 UK homeowners. In The Evolution of Decking, Karl Harrison of Exterior Decking gave a brief insight into the development of timber and composite decking. Richard Mosson of Latham Timber and Justin Peckham of Accsys Technologies advocated Accoya decking, before Ben Cracknell of Exterior Decking spoke about how to use decking products from a design point of view. In Building a Better Business, Richard Gardiner of NAG Solutions divided his seminar into four topics: vision, mission and purpose; objectives, goals and targets; the ‘80/20 rule’, and how systems can help. Soil scientist Tim O’Hare brought us Soil Compaction – The Biggest Problem for Landscape Soil, explaining compaction causes and ways to decompact, while John Wyer of Bowles and Wyer focused on recruiting and retaining staff; he delved into improving the recruitment process, and making employees feel valued and rewarded. This year’s seminars and panel debates were more popular than ever, and covered a range of topics that could help improve businesses or the industry as a whole. Thank you to all of our hosts and panellists, and to the audience for such positive feedback. We look forward to seeing you again at FutureScape on 20 November 2018!

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Balconies to Roof Terraces – Karen Sawyer, Livingreen Design

The Future of Grounds Maintenance – L to R – Mike Ogden, Tim Howell, Matt O’Conner and Patrick Philips

The Beauty is in the Build – David Dodd, The Outdoor Room

The Detail is in the Design – L to R – Richard Miers, Rosemary Coldstream, Charlotte Harris, Janine Pattison and Matt Keightley

The Future of Arboriculture – L to R – Alastair Durkin and Craig Ruddick

Soil Compaction – The Biggest Problem for Landscape Soil – Tim O’Hare, Tim O’Hare Associates

How to Build Your Online Presence and Generate New Business – Melissa McCafferty, Houzz

The Future of Landscape Architecture – John Wyer and Marian Boswall

Pro Landscaper / January 2018 17

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Maylim for One Tower Bridge


• Domestic Garden Construction, £30k-£60k – sponsored by Hedges Direct Spruce Landscapes for The Eco Garden

• Sensitive Land Restoration – presented by Thrive Beijing Tsinghua Tongheng Urban Planning & Design Institute for Landscape Renovation of Chaka Salt Lake

• Domestic Garden Construction, £60k£100k – sponsored by Johnsons of Whixley Graduate Gardeners for Private Residence in Hatherop

• Design & Build – sponsored by British Sugar TOPSOIL Garden Club London for Merchant Square, Floating Pocket Park

• Domestic Garden Construction, £100k-£250k – sponsored by Makita UK PWP Landscape Design for Urban Courtyard

• Outstanding Charitable Contribution – sponsored by GreenBlue Urban Endrick Landscapes for Horatio’s Garden, Scotland

• Domestic Garden Construction, over £250k – sponsored by Europlants UK Outdoor Creations for Private Residence in Betchworth

• Best First Time Entrant – presented by BALI Chalk Fund Talbot Farm Landscapes for Hyde Park Parade Ground Reinstatement Works • Best Newcomer – sponsored by Natural Paving Products, a member of the Talasey Group Spruce Landscapes for The Eco Garden

BALI chief executive Wayne Grills



Pro Landscaper / January 2018

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• Domestic Garden Construction – Soft Landscaping, unlimited cost – presented by GoLandscape NT Killingley for Private Residence in North Yorkshire • Soft Landscaping Construction (NonDomestic), under £300k – sponsored by Ground Control Bowles & Wyer for St Peter’s College, Perrodo, Phase 1

sponsored by Vande Moortel In-Ex Landscapes for Woodberry Down, Block 1 • Hard Landscaping Construction (NonDomestic), £300k-£1.5m – sponsored by Quinton Edwards Total Protection T/A Total Protection Landscaping for Dollar Bay • Hard Landscaping Construction (NonDomestic), over £1.5m – sponsored by NatraTex by BituChem Maylim for One Tower Bridge • Community and Schools Development – sponsored by Brett Landscaping Garden Club London for Merchant Square, Floating Pocket Park • Regeneration Scheme over £500k – sponsored by Rigby Taylor/Top Green Talbot Farm Landscapes for Hyde Park Parade Ground Reinstatement Works • Grounds Maintenance, Free Public Access – sponsored by Harrowden Turf idverde UK for Manor Gardens • Grounds Maintenance, Limited Public Access – sponsored by Toro Nurture Landscapes for Chiswick Park, Enjoy-Work

• Soft Landscaping Construction (NonDomestic), £300k-£1.5m – sponsored by Todds Nursery Kingston Landscape Group for Dickens Yard

• Grounds Maintenance, Private, under £50k – sponsored by John Chambers Wildflower Seed Bowles & Wyer for 18 Addison Avenue

• Hard Landscaping Construction (NonDomestic), under £300k –

• Grounds Maintenance, Private, over £50k – sponsored by ICL Monsanto

Ground Control for Lingley Mere Business Park, Warrington • Registered Designers and Registered Contractors Joint Submission – sponsored by Easigrass Chris Parsons (MBALI MSGD) & James Bird Landscapes for Birch House, Sheffield • Sports Grounds and Leisure Facilities – sponsored by Kubota Blakedown Sport and Play for Elite Player Performance Programme, Motspur Park • Interior Landscape, Installation only – sponsored by Adtrak Planters Horticulture for Plant Wires, Orpic, Oman • Green Roof Installations and Roof Gardens – sponsored by Green-tech Bowles & Wyer for Roof Terraces • International Award – sponsored by CED Stone Group Ecoland Planning and Design Corporation for Raycom Infotech Office Park Landscape Renovation Design (Plaza B) • Affiliate Exceptional Service – sponsored by idverde Landscapeplus • Employer Excellence, under £2.5m turnover – sponsored by Adtrak Oak View Landscapes • Employer Excellence, over £2.5m turnover – sponsored by Fresh Horticultural Careers Nurture Landscapes

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INFORM Now in its 41st year, the BALI National Landscape Awards – which took place at Grosvenor House, London, on 1 December – is designed to showcase the highest levels of professionalism attained by BALI members each year. A total of 29 Principal and Special Awards were presented to members, with the ultimate Grand Award being awarded to Maylim for its project One Tower Bridge

Northumbrian Landscaping


Nurture Landscapes

Beijing Tsinghua Tongheng Urban Planning & Design Institute

Ground Control

Graduate Gardeners

NT Killingley

BALI Awards.indd 19

Steph McGovern

Paul Downer, Matt O’Conner and Nilufer Danis

Pro Landscaper / January 2018 19

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APL update website. Many thanks to the sponsors Bradstone, CED and London Stone. Taking care of business The APL, along with Alan Sargent, is delivering a number of seminars at venues nationwide during February and March. Alan, using his years of experience as an expert witness, will be discussing topics including paperwork, payments, specifications and legality. Phil Tremayne will also be presenting a supporting topic on Alternative Dispute Resolution. For more information, visit the APL

APL specialist cluster meeting Agrumi will be supporting the APL in a combined APL and SGD meeting on April 26. The APL will be joined by Janine Pattison and Jamie Butterworth at the Agrumi nursery in Lymington, Hampshire; they will be discussing many areas, including plants, planting and design. For more information, visit the APL website.

APL WorldSkills UK competition 2018 The WorldSkills UK competition organised by the APL is now ready to take applications. The competition will include a written application, heats, a semi-final and a final held at the NEC in November. WorldSkills UK gives you the opportunity to challenge yourself and potentially qualify to join the UK squad for the Olympicstyle world finals. Colleges and apprentices are invited to put forward applicants to register for this exciting opportunity. Our thanks, as

always, goes out to J. A. Jones nursery, Green-tech, Makita, and Marshalls for their continued support in 2018, and a big thank you to our newest sponsors, ecodek. For more information, contact Phil at

efig outline Happy New Year! Although January, and indeed 2018, promises to be an exciting time for efig, we wanted to begin with a brief overview of our seminar at FutureScape, which took place towards the end of last year. This year, efig had two guest speakers: Ed Suttie of Building Research Establishment (BRE), who is heading up the Biophilic Office Project (for which efig is

Association News.indd 21

Richard Sabin

Ed Suttie

a dissemination partner) and Richard Sabin of Biotecture, an efig member that is working with BRE on the project. Ed explained that the project would measure the effects of biophilia in a real office setting. For year one, the space will remain as it is; the office will then be given a biophilic makeover, and

occupants will respond over the following year. Explaining what they hope a biophilic office will show, Ed answered: “An office environment which demonstrates quantified improvements for occupants and business in productivity, wellness and a reduction in days absent due to illness.” Monitoring will take the form of questionnaires, tools, tasks and interviews. BRE and the core partners will actively work with research expertise in universities and other institutions throughout the project.

Richard spoke about green walls and plants, and their importance to our environment; he is so passionate about what plants can do and how they can improve spaces – not just aesthetically but also in terms of our health – that he finds it difficult to stop talking about it once he’s started. We love that about plant enthusiasts. Both were very interesting speakers, enjoyed and appreciated by attendees. Looking ahead, efig has some big changes afoot; all will be revealed later this month!

Pro Landscaper / January 2018 21

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SGD bulletin Join us at the SGD Spring Conference Following the huge success of the sell-out SGD Autumn Conference in November, tickets for the SGD Spring Conference, ‘A Light Touch’, are now on sale. Taking place on Saturday 21 April at the Royal Geographic Society in Kensington, the conference will explore the art of understatement, taking delegates on a journey of discovery through landscapes and gardens that have been crafted with minimal intervention – embracing nature

and the wider landscape, and drawing on the very fabric of the site and its features. The conference will look at the work of a range of designers and practices that have employed the artful skill of editing to great effect.

Dr Catherine Heatherington at work

Dr Catherine Heatherington FSGD

Rick Darke

Speakers will include Dr Catherine Heatherington FSGD, who will explore how landscape designers should approach the development of derelict, post-industrial landscapes and reimagine them to create valued green spaces, and American environmentalist and plantsman Rick Darke, who will discuss how his work blends ecology, horticulture and geography in

the design and stewardship of living landscapes. Acclaimed landscape architects Ulf Nordfjell from Sweden and Michael Vergason from Virginia, USA, will also be on the panel. Visit the events page on the SGD website to read more and buy tickets online.

Work by Rick Darke

RHS report

©RHS/Luke MacGregor

Butterflies in The Glasshouse, RHS Garden Wisley (13 January-4 March) The vibrant Butterflies in The Glasshouse exhibit returns to the RHS Garden Wisley, providing a tropical retreat


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Association News.indd 22

for visitors this winter. For this exhibit, more than 50 species of exotic free-flying butterflies will inhabit the Tropical Zone of the cathedral-like glasshouse. Budding butterfly experts can explore the family-friendly Education Zone; this interactive area will spark imaginations and enable visitors to learn all about the life cycle of the butterfly. To mark the launch weekend on 13-14 January 2018, visitors will be able to decorate butterfly willow sculptures before they go on display, and children can enjoy face painting. wisley

Women in Horticulture Exhibition, RHS Garden Harlow Carr (13 January25 February)

Women in Hort Marion Cran

An exhibition celebrating women’s contributions to the horticultural industry over the last 100 years, including wellknown names such as Gertrude Jekyll, Margery Fish and Constance Spry – all of whom left an enduring legacy. The exhibition includes the current

RHS director general Sue Biggs. harlow-carr The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, RHS Garden Rosemoor (6 January) Experience the adaptation of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Michael Whitmore for Quantum Theatre. This is a charming tale of Marie’s love for her nutcracker, and the magical adventures she has with him. Afterwards, viewers are invited to take a walk through Rosemoor’s Glow Illuminations. rosemoor

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Parks Alliance matters

The good and the bad It has been a busy month in the parks sector, with lots of news – not all of it good. The Parks Alliance attended the inaugural meeting of the newly established Parks Action Group, formed following the Communities and Local Government Committee’s parks inquiry and chaired by Parks Minister Marcus Jones. It was agreed that the aims of the group should be focused around the government’s response to the

recommendations of the Select Committee’s inquiry – as well as allowing scope to be able to go beyond as required. In December, the sector received the devastating news from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) that there will be no new rounds of a number of targeted programmes (Landscape Partnerships, Parks for People and Townscape Heritage)

in 2018. This is a serious blow; the Parks Alliance will be lobbying HLF to reinstate targeted, ring-fenced parks funding in its new programmes, which begin in 2019. Rethinking Parks (a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund, HLF and Nesta), on the other hand, has been given a new £2m grant fund, matched by more than £300,000 in support from innovation foundation Nesta. The programme will seek to learn from and share innovative new business models for parks, and is inviting proposals for funding in two areas: • Replication – supporting partnerships so they can replicate and build on models

for managing public parks sustainably. • Prototyping – supporting new ideas for testing and learning with parks communities and managers. Members of Newcastle City Council Cabinet have voted to form a charitable Parks Trust, which will take over 15% of Newcastle’s parks and allotments. The decision also committed a £9.5m payment to the new Trust. Newcastle is the first major metropolitan authority in the UK to establish a Parks Trust since the Eighties. The Parks Alliance wishes all of its members and everyone in the sector a successful and secure 2018.

Grand Award for Maylim at sell-out ceremony BALI Registered Contractor Maylim, which entered the 41st BALI National Landscape Awards for the first time this year, has scooped the Grand Award prize at last month’s

sell-out event. More than 1,000 guests attended the biggest landscaping awards in Europe, which was hosted by BBC Breakfast presenter Steph McGovern; 29 Principal and Special Awards were handed out. Maylim, which joined BALI as a member in 2013, impressed the judges and the crowd with its One Tower Bridge project. BALI would like to congratulate the class of 2017 winners, and is looking forward to the 42nd awards later this year. BALI-NCF joins with Stihl to ‘Train-the-Trainer’ Starting this month, BALI’s National Contractors’ Forum

Association News.indd 23

(BALI-NCF) is teaming up with Stihl to host eight half-day Train-the-Trainer workshops. The workshops are designed for on-site trainers only, and will provide attendees with technical advice and guidance on the safe use of hedge trimmers. Each workshop will offer both theory and practical demonstrations, with delegates invited to get ‘hands-on’ with the equipment. Following the workshop, delegates will receive a certificate, and be able to deliver the Operator Training Course. Morning sessions are from 9am-12.30pm, and afternoon sessions are from 1pm-4.30pm. Places are extremely limited. You


BALI briefing

can book your place online by visiting BALI confirms support of ecobuild 2018 The BALI pavilion will return on 6-8 March, with a new format and new opportunities. This year, organisers are planning to build a pocket park in the Green & Blue Infrastructure District, where BALI and its members will also be located.

Pro Landscaper / January 2018 23

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Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hear it From

SARAH MORGAN MSGD Garden designer Sarah Morgan talks to Pro Landscaper about her history in the industry and what she hopes to achieve in her new role as chair of the SGD

With a career in the horticulture industry spanning nearly four decades, how did it all start for you? I will be approaching my 40th year in horticulture next March; I started in sixth form with a weekend and holiday job in a local commercial nursery and retail florist. My hobby started at seven with a packet of Mesembryanthemum and French marigold seeds. All germinated, much to the chagrin of my neighbour, who only grew blues and whites. I still love orange! I would recommend people get as much practical experience as they can before and during their studies. The cultivation of plants on a commercial level helped me develop an understanding of how they grow and how you can get the best out of them in different situations. What made you decide to start your own consultancy? After graduating in horticulture at Wye College, I began working for Merton Parks Department on some of its planting schemes. It was the early Eighties, when nurseries were being shut and contracts put out to the lowest tender â&#x20AC;&#x201C; morale was low. Overnight, the quality dropped. I left and started my wheelbarrow commute down Wimbledon High Street the following week to design, build and plant a garden. I have not stopped since. The work quickly grew to design and consultancy, although I can still regularly be spotted sporting a nifty wheelbarrow. Do you have a design team, or prefer to work on your own? As with most designers, opportunities to work with others or on your own vary throughout your career. I frequently

Let's Hear it From.indd 27

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work with design teams such as surveyors, architects, quantity surveyors and contractors on larger projects. At the moment I am a sole trader, but I have taken people on in the past. I enjoy the rapport and company of working with others, although the flexibility of working on my own suits me at present. How do you choose the landscapers you work with? I am keen that the client gets the best quality and value for their garden, so I will recommend the right size company and skillset for their needs, independent from my business. Inevitably, you end up with a few preferred contractors based on previous projects, but it is the worker on-site that is key. Those nearer the location would be recommended. A long commute down the motorway is exhausting, inefficient and environmentally unsound.

Would you say you have a particular design style or preference? I am known for using a many-layered approach, and using ornamental grasses and herbaceous planting – but I am as comfortable designing a formal classical garden or a wild naturalistic scheme as I am creating a modern urban roof garden. Most gardens I design do not end up

I RECOMMEND THE RIGHT LANDSCAPERS FOR MY CLIENTS’ NEEDS, INDEPENDENT FROM MY BUSINESS photographed or shared with others, to keep the privacy of clients, so I guess the majority of work comes through client recommendation – and with it, the perception that I design in a certain way.

You work in both the UK and France – how do you find clients’ ideas of the perfect garden differ between the two countries? There is generally a lot more emphasis on the boundary in the UK, which allows contradictory landscapes to develop side by side. I work in an area of France on the Spanish border where generally the mood is, if you can’t eat or drink it, or it doesn’t have a practical function, then why design it in? There is much more of a connection with the earth and an appreciation of the limitations that the landscape imposes on a scheme. In terms of hard landscaping and structures, there is a confident spirit in France that is at ease with using modern materials in a traditional setting, and less bothered about what the neighbours think. Congratulations on your recent appointment to chair of the SGD. What do you hope to achieve during your time in the position? The Society was formed in 1981 by a small group of pioneering garden designers who wanted to raise the profile and quality of their, until then, generally unrecognised profession. We have grown significantly since then, both in numbers and recognition. Building on the hard work of previous council members, I hope to keep the momentum driving forward: increasing membership among existing professional garden designers who perhaps have not registered with the SGD, raising the profile of garden design as a career at schools, sixth form and FE colleges, and growing public awareness of our registered members. I will be working hard to ensure all our members have access to current industry information affecting their practice, and will be increasing awareness of CPD opportunities. You are also involved in garden design education as a lecturer – what made you decide to do this? I was asked to by a university lecturer, and said yes! I first started lecturing part-time at Canterbury University in 1994, on a Postgraduate Diploma in Garden History, Design and Management. I have managed programmes and faculties, and lectured in various locations since. I delight in learning or discovering new things myself, and get great pleasure from sharing what I know so that others can do the same.


Pro Landscaper / January 2018

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How do you think we can encourage young people to take up a career in the landscape industry? Incorporating horticulture back into the main school curriculum, as a subject on a par with others, would encourage a natural progression to tertiary studies in garden design for those interested at a young age. Gaining professional recognition such as chartership would also put garden design on the career map for parents, schools and colleges – dispelling the myth that you can’t make any money in it, or that the skills required are dumbed down from equivalent professions. Do you find industry events such as FutureScape helpful for networking and building your knowledge of products and systems? Any event that brings suppliers, products and trade professionals together under one roof is a good thing. New initiatives and technical information are easier to research, and face-to-face business is invaluable. What do you think will be the major challenges for the industry moving forward, and how can we tackle them? So much of our industry changes only if it is forced to. Our need for intelligent design, adaptation and flexibility in working practices could never be more pertinent, both for the landscape industry and for the earth as a

1 ‘Mizmaze’ planting at Mount Ephraim Gardens ©Sarah Morgan 2 Sarah at home in her garden ©Leigh Clapp 3 Roof garden ©Sarah Morgan 4 Entrance to Courtyard, Pech-Luna, France ©Sarah Morgan 5 Sarah and grandaughter Grace 6 Sarah searching for alpines in the Pyrenees

BUILDING ON THE HARD WORK OF PREVIOUS COUNCIL MEMBERS, I HOPE TO KEEP THE MOMENTUM DRIVING FORWARD whole, with the environmental and housing crisis we are facing. More centralised investment into research and training for innovative solutions is necessary so that we are proactive with products, good design and legislation. Respecting and understanding the soil, atmosphere and natural resources we work with is a crucial role that we all play in the industry. On a different level,

Let's Hear it From.indd 29

based knowledge and lack of practical experience among our school leavers and graduates results in an industry short of the practical aptitude skills. When you’re not working, what do you like to do to relax? I love dancing and sport, but since a run-in with a black run and some slushy snow this year I have made myself content with walking mountains, searching for seeds to experiment with. I grow all of my fruit and veg and enjoy preparing and sharing it. Best of all is seeing the world through the eyes of a child again and having fun with the grandchildren.

CONTACT Sarah Morgan Gardens, 4 Staple Street, Hernhill, Faversham, Kent ME13 9UD Tel: 01227 750694

CONTACT The Society of Garden Designers 44-46 Wollaton Road Beeston, Nottingham NG9 2NR Tel: 01159 683 188

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Ann-Marie Powell talks ‘supercharged nature’ planting palettes, her practice’s work with Greenfingers Charity, and why it’s important that garden designers educate themselves on hard landscaping

What led you to start your practice? I studied garden design and hard landscaping at college in the mid-Nineties, and gained an NCH with Distinction alongside a City and Guilds qualification in brickwork. There’s no way I could build a patio or terrace now, but I could then! After college, I joined Tendercare Nurseries and improved upon my plant knowledge, and then friends started to ask if I would design and build their gardens. The natural progression was to set up the practice in 1998. After a sidestep into TV and media which lasted eight years or so, pretty much full time, I managed to really get stuck into my company in 2006.


in numbers

Established 1998 Employees 4 Awards RHS Hampton Court Gold (2015), RHS Chelsea Gold (2010) and Silver Flora (2011), Society of Garden Designers 2017 finalist (winners to be announced 2018) business is growing we will hopefully take on more staff. We also have an office manager, Lorna McKechnie. We’re very much a team – it’s our practice as much as mine, and that’s really important to me.

How is the practice structured now? I’m the principal, Katarina Ollikainen is the senior, and we have two garden designers; Noemi Mercurelli who’s on maternity leave, and Mary Guinness. A lot of training is needed when people join – if we’re going to invest time, effort and money into someone, we want to make sure they’re the right person, and as our 30

Pro Landscaper / January 2018

Company Profile Ann-Marie Powell Gardens.indd 30

What is your main client base? It’s mostly high net worth individuals. Seventy per cent is private residential work, 20% is commercial, and 10% is pro bono; I also make sure that we have time to work with Greenfingers, as I’m an enthusiastic patron of the charity. Greenfingers is a small team, and I’m very much invested in their work. It’s so important to enable children with short lives and their families to enjoy cherished time together. How do you manage the practice alongside other work, including TV appearances and writing for the media and books? Balancing a decent work/life ratio is tough! I have to weigh up the value of TV appearances – the garden design studio comes first. Like a lot of

©Charlie Hopkinson


Ann-Marie Powell working mothers, I have to juggle my time and make sure every moment counts. It involves a very strict calendar, to be honest – and the older I get, the harder it gets! What geographical areas do you cover? I’m fortunate that most of our work is on our doorstep. Moving out of London was quite purposeful. I was living on a crane barge by Battersea Bridge with my practice upstairs; I’d been hankering to move out of London for years, and when I became pregnant it was no longer practical, living on a boat. A house came up in a small village just outside Petersfield, and I thought it would be great – I was keen to progress from small London gardens, and building gardens in the city is very tough. The first garden I got was petrifying because I couldn’t fit it on my drawing board! How did I go from designing small spaces to a couple of acres? It was a baptism of fire, but I did it – I’d had experience working on large TV projects for which I managed, designed and led the landscape team. Now, the majority of our work is in Hampshire, Hertfordshire and Sussex, although I do sometimes go further afield. I’m currently working on one in Warsaw, Poland. How do you manage projects abroad? It’s almost as straightforward as working in the UK, but involves more research and you have visit the place, obviously. I try to turn site visits around in one day, because time is precious and I need to be in the studio with the team. I’m not a control freak, but I always start each project, and then it’s handed over to whoever is taking it forward. I like to be a touchstone at all times, adding value where I can. I don’t want to be a boss who’s not prepared to work as hard as the rest of the studio.

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Do you favour a particular style? Our projects tend to be large, rural residential projects, with clients who prefer the natural. Sam Day of Location Landscapes says our style is ‘supercharged nature’ – our planting schemes tend to be wild, effusive, joyful and energetic. We’re lucky that we get quite an artsy client base, who recommend us to others.

Do clients tend to approach you? Joining the Society of Garden Designers (SGD) earlier this year as a practice has been great in generating new enquiries. There aren’t many that have been built yet, but we are working on a few projects that have come through from the SGD. On the whole, though, our clients approach us through recommendations, or Googling the area. So you weren’t previously an SGD member. I didn’t want to join as an individual member – only as a practice. The studio doesn’t work as just me on my own – I couldn’t carry out the volume of work that we do alone. Even though I’m the only person who has the letters after their name, everybody in the practice can go to cluster groups and take advantage of the training schemes and designer development days. It’s really great. Where do you see the company going in the next five years? I think we are going to be gathering more international enquiries, and as a mother, this is something that I have to think about. I’ve lived out of a suitcase before, and there’s something so lovely about being able to come home and get into my own bed. Something tells me that I won’t be able to say no, because it would be exciting. I like the way the practice is moving, and I like the client base that we have.

Company Profile Ann-Marie Powell Gardens.indd 31

Finally, what is the one thing you think the industry could and should do better? Education. I was lucky when I went to college that there were practical modules and that I trained in both hard landscaping and garden design – we had a day on the tools every week. It’s all very well being able to draw a lovely image, but what I say to people when they join the practice is: “Do it once, do it right, do it for site” – our drawings have to be useful in the field. I think practical knowledge is lacking – there’s so much value in learning construction hands on. 1 Bespoke planter, Greening Grey Britain Garden, RHS Chelsea 2 Spa at Sopwell House Hotel 3 British Heart Foundation Garden, RHS Chelsea 4 Natural Purbeck steps with planting 5 Orchard meadow with bespoke timber bench 6 Sopwell House Hotel lighting scheme 7P  otting container, Greening Grey Britain Garden, RHS Chelsea

CONTACT The Old Tractor Shed, Lower Cowgrove, Heath Farm, Heath Road East, Petersfield, Hampshire GU31 4HT Tel: 01730 825650 Twitter: @AnnMariePowell Email: Web:

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INFORM MediaCityUK – Future phases


The Piece Hall, Halifax ©Paul White


Over the last five decades, Gillespies has evolved from a small studio in Glasgow to an international design firm with offices in the UK as well as Abu Dhabi and Moscow. We explore the projects undertaken by its Northern offices in the first of a two-part journal on the company


ith a practice the size of Gillespies, it is difficult to choose only a selection of the projects it is working on. In the Manchester and Leeds offices alone, where 41 of the practice’s employees work, hundreds of projects are what partner Jim Gibson calls “alive”. “The projects we’re working on are packaged into three types,” Jim explains. “The first is landscape architectural design work. We also have an urban design and masterplanning team. The third strand in this region, and reflected to a degree in the south as well, is an environmental planning team, working on coordination EIAs, coordinating LVIAs, most of which are related to major UK infrastructure.” The multi-award-winning practice works across a variety of sectors, including residential, commercial, education, leisure, healthcare, infrastructure, energy and transport. With the developer Keepmoat, Gillespies is currently undertaking a project to transform a neglected 32

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area of Leicester into a neighbourhood with 325 sustainable development will introduce new new homes, workspace, retail, leisure spaces elements of green and blue infrastructure, including and parks. This competition-winning design for new parks and playgrounds, with green corridors Soar Island, located in the middle of the River and waterways throughout the site to define Soar and Grand Union Canal on Leicester pedestrian routes. Waterside, includes a wildlife area at the heart of Gillespies is no stranger to introducing the scheme, and will feature a waterside activity sustainability in Salford, having won the 2013 BIFM destination and views to Leicester Cathedral. Sustainability and Environmental Impact Award for Another project within the residential sector the first phase of MediaCityUK, located at the is Trafford Waters, a major mixed-use urban Quays on Salford’s waterfront. This once-derelict community situated on dockland is now home to the BBC, ITV, and more the banks of the than 200 other media Manchester businesses. Ship Canal; This public realm once completed, became the first it will be one of project in the world to the largest urban receive a BREEAM regeneration ‘Communities projects in the city Excellent’ region. Peel Land & accreditation, and Property appointed the multi-awardGillespies to winning project masterplan the is now in its landscape strategy second phase, with £1bn St Johns Quarter ©Gillespies for the scheme, expansion plans which will double which provides 3,000 new its size over the next decade. Gillespies homes, commercial space, and substantial has collaborated with leading architects to create a improvements to the public transport landscape masterplan for the 7.7ha site, which infrastructure – including an extension to the includes a high quality public realm that is designed Trafford Park Metrolink into Salford. The to blend seamlessly into the existing landscape.

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Trafford Waters ©IBI Group


Bradford City Park ©Gillespies

MediaCityUK ©Gillespies

Port Sunlight River Park ©Gillespies

The former ITV and Granada Studios are being transformed by Gillespies into a mixed-use development, St John’s Neighbourhood, in central Manchester; this will be one of the largest city centre regeneration projects in Northern

WE HAVE A VERY STRONG PRODUCT – GILLESPIES CAN ATTRACT THE BEST England. The history of the area has informed the creation of the public realm design, strategy and masterplan, which will feature new courtyards, sky gardens and public squares, layered with cultural and historical references so that they merge into the surrounding listed buildings. This is something which Gillespies has a wealth of experience in, illustrated by its regeneration of Bradford City Centre. The city’s new six-acre public space has won multiple awards, including a Regeneration Award at the 2012 British Construction Industry (BCI) Awards, and the 2013 RTPI Yorkshire’s Planning Excellence Award. Bradford City Park is now home to the UK’s largest city centre water feature: 107 fountains, illuminated by a series of controlled light projectors, and at the heart of the scheme a mesmerising 4,000ft2 mirror pool, with artificial mist effects creating a blanket of fog

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above the water. The pool can be drained, if required, to provide an events space. Gillespies also recently completed the multi-million-pound restoration of the Piece Hall, a Grade I-listed building in Halifax, which, with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, was transformed into a landmark visitor destination. LDN Architects restored the building, reimagining the site into a contemporary retail and leisure destination, while Gillespies designed an improved central courtyard to host events, with bespoke furniture and two cascading water features. Though the design has a contemporary feel, traditional materials were used in order to complement the 238-year-old building. Another recent and acclaimed project was the Port Sunlight River Park in Birkenhead, where the practice transformed a former landfill site into a 320ha wildlife haven and community park. Highly Commended at the Landscape Institute Awards 2017, the development is one of the largest new public spaces created in Northern England, with a 37m-high hill. With a number of exciting projects in the north of the UK, it would appear that there is an abundance of work in this area, though Jim Gibson acknowledges that Gillespies is fortunate: “We are one of the largest landscape firms in the UK in regard to turnover and size,

Leicester Waterside ©Gillespies

and we have been around for 50 years, so we have a very large and loyal client base. “The north of England, like the rest of the UK, is buoyant and growing. Northern cities such as Manchester and Leeds are busy in terms of regeneration and redevelopment, mostly through the private sector. It is competitive, but we have a very strong product. Gillespies can attract the best landscape architects, urban designers, and environmental planners in our sector.” Next month, we will delve into this extraordinary practice’s projects in the south of the UK, looking at what its London and Oxford offices are focusing on. CONTACT Gillespies Tel: 0161 928 771 Email:

Pro Landscaper / January 2018 33

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VIEW FROM THE TOP MARCUS WATSON Marcus Watson stresses the importance of staff training and development for a business’s success If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple. (I would love to claim this great insight, but I cannot. Sir Richard Branson said it.) Employees who are supported and developed in their roles are happier, more effective and more productive. Hiring is just the beginning. As leaders, we have a responsibility to provide the support, development and training for staff if they, and our organisations, are to thrive. In my view, such a critical matter cannot be left to our public institutions alone, and it is incredibly important for businesses to play a full and active part in this. Take the Apprenticeship Levy for instance; seen by some as another form of taxation, it should be viewed as an opportunity to redirect our hard-earned taxes into the training programmes that we need and would wish to offer to our staff anyway, right? There are many ways to do this, from accessing tried and tested offerings from reputable training providers to creating and accrediting bespoke internal training courses that


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match your business’s needs. It’s perhaps not a surprise to learn that smaller organisations choose external providers almost exclusively, while larger organisations often have a mixed economy to satisfy their training needs. At Ground Control, for example, we created the University of Ground Control to be the focal point for the delivery of all training and development, across operatives, staff members and management alike. Why should we care? If happy and motivated employees, high staff retention and high client satisfaction were not enough, training and development is vital to improving

EMPLOYEES WHO ARE SUPPORTED AND DEVELOPED IN THEIR ROLES ARE HAPPIER, MORE EFFECTIVE AND MORE PRODUCTIVE our competitiveness and productivity – both at home and internationally. According to an Open University study (The UK’s productivity conundrum continues, Martin Upton, Open University Business School, 6 October 2017), training and development is a key component in solving the UK’s productivity problem. Despite economic growth and increased employment, UK productivity is lagging behind other major economies, such as the US, Germany and France. Indeed, among other factors such as capital investment, some argue that the quality of the UK’s labour force is dropping behind our key competitors in respect of its education and skills. Specifically, data suggests that the competencies possessed by the UK’s workforce to generate economic outputs is lower than that of our competitors. Clearly, the finger of blame can be pointed to the education and training in the UK. The fact that we have rising employment, with

unemployment now at its lowest since 1975, but stagnant or falling productivity and wages in real terms, suggests that there are issues with the skills of the UK’s workforce. This points to the clear competitive advantage provided by effective training and development. Importantly, it also points to its relentless and ongoing nature. If we stand still, others will overtake us, and we will lose. Training and development should be considered a never-ending journey of fun and discovery. Fast forward to a time where all our people are well trained, effective and efficient. Imagine we find out they have landed their dream job with a very cool competitor. Oh no! Hand in hand with providing great training and development, we must work equally hard to retain our talented people. More on this later, but suffice to say that various studies (many by training providers!) suggest that training and development in itself is a great staff retention tool. Being virtuous never felt so good. Train people well enough so they can leave, and treat them well enough so they don’t want to. ABOUT MARCUS WATSON Joining Ground Control in 2011, Marcus Watson champions outstanding customer service and innovation in the grounds maintenance, arboriculture and landscaping sectors. Last year Ground Control was recognised with a Queen’s Award for Innovation, celebrating the company’s application of technology.

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ANGUS LINDSAY Angus Lindsay considers the future of landscaping maintenance, and whether a more natural approach could be beneficial What does 2018 hold for our industry? With Brexit looming there will undoubtedly be a knock-on effect, which we will feel in the form of further price increases on everything from strimmer cord to rootstock. Labour, as we know, is a constant headache, but could this be further exacerbated through the loss of practical and management skills, from people moving elsewhere in search of new opportunities as a result of future uncertainty? If we look back over the last 12 months we have seen significant changes, with businesses downsizing or failing to weather the financial rough seas and going into administration. Machinery and vehicle suppliers and manufacturers have not been immune to these uncertain times, with businesses being taken over and product import changing hands – most notably with Peugeot acquiring Vauxhall, and Textron relinquishing Iseki supply in the UK. This, along with tougher emissions regulations, means manufacturers are having a tough time of it; no

Machinery: increasingly complex and expensive

wonder prices are constantly going up. On the environmental front, the push to reduce fossil fuels and chemicals is seeing the simple task of keeping paths and gutters clear of weeds and debris becoming a major and costly challenge. Two decades ago we languished in cutting cycles of 18-20 cuts per annum, when parks and housing were the playground for the cylinder

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mower, and the flail was something brought out for clearing virgin land or rural verges. Now, in some environments, flail mowing is the norm for open spaces and housing verges, with

We have the technology to cut, but the results are not pretty

like it or not. Self-driving cars are just the start; how long will it be before the diminutive robotic mower becomes a commercial field scale alternative to the tractor and gang? We should also consider how we tender for and award work; cheapest is very rarely the best value option for either party. Procurement departments may prioritise how much they can save over how the job will be delivered during the term of the contract. This rarely results in a long term sustainable relationship and, if you are not careful when tendering for a job, it can become a race to the bottom with your competitors, which can have costly and long lasting consequences.

MAYBE IN A WORLD INCREASINGLY RELIANT ON TECHNOLOGY WE NEED TO LOOK AT THINGS DIFFERENTLY AND GO BACK TO NATURE cut/collect seen as a realistic way of reducing arisings for housing associations. Fine on realistic frequencies, but not on a three-week regime – that’s close to silage production! I have previously talked about budget squeezes that lead to reduced frequencies and a lack of regular turf maintenance, which nowadays are a necessary evil, but the end result is far from pretty and will have long lasting effects on the health of the grass sward. And what of the people who design, build and maintain the landscape that keeps us employed and gives the public a place to relax and a green environment in which to live? Could future economic pressures dictate that our amenity becomes more minimal, with greater use of easy to maintain hard surfaces, artificial grass, flower beds in moveable trays and potted trees which allow a landscape to change overnight? Artificial intelligence and robotics are an ever-increasing part of our lives whether we

Maybe we need to look to simpler forms of grass maintenance

Maybe, in a world increasingly reliant on technology, we need to look at things differently, and go back to nature to employ a simpler form of maintenance – such as by grazing livestock. Not suitable for sports pitches, I appreciate, as sheep don’t understand the offside rule, and while cows are good in the scrum they’re no good in line-outs – but worth considering for parkland? ABOUT ANGUS LINDSAY Angus spent several years working on arable farms in Scotland before joining VSO in Egypt, implementing a mechanisation programme, managing field operations for a commercial cotton plantation in Nigeria and working as a contract instructor for Massey Ferguson in Yemen. He gained an MSc in agricultural engineering and mechanisation management at Silsoe, joining Glendale as machinery manager in 1994, and then idverde UK in 2009 as group head of assets and fleet. Contact:

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I found myself pondering the qualities of youth the other day while at the BALI Awards 2017, where tables full of young teams abounded as Steph McGovern kept her audience enthralled. At 58, my youthful stage is well and truly over. With my 60th looming ever closer, there is no way that I can lay any further claim to even being middle aged! Mournful though that may be, with age comes experience, a reflective approach, and a more philosophical demeanour. Much as I appreciate that the skills shortage is a sad reality in horticulture and landscaping, I’m not sure the same can be said of garden design. This career seems to work differently. Many parents, especially, feel that garden design is a non-career, perhaps because a high number of designers are self-employed and liable to work alone. It is difficult to see clearly how the career path or likely progression works. Although more designers now work in small practices and might well employ an assistant, the pay is never going to compete with other career options that have a more structured salary. Degree programmes struggle to find students of school leaving age, with many surviving on a supply of mature students, who are often changing career. At the London College of Garden Design (LCGD) we attract and teach an almost exclusively career change intake, and although I have taken a handful of students at 19 or 20, it is rare, and they generally need to have demonstrated a particular enthusiasm or interest in the profession. They often struggle with the learning skill, and can find life difficult once they graduate, as they have to deal with older, wealthier and often highly demanding clients. This can be a baptism of fire. The average age of our students has been as low as 32, but more recently this has crept 36

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©Taina Suonio

Andrew Wilson explores the current obsession with youth, and considers whether this works for garden design

FOR MOST OF MY CAREER I HAVE LEARNED FROM OTHER, MORE EXPERIENCED DESIGNERS upwards, with our last two intakes averaging 40 years old. In part, this is a reflection of the nature of career change, but also a reflection of our disappearing retirement age and our tendency to live longer. I have two friends who have retired recently, one at 50, the other at 55. For them, there is still the alternative of a second career, supported by their transferable skills. Who possesses any of those in abundance at the tender age of 21? For most of my career I have learned alongside or from other, more experienced designers. Even when I was a lone, freshly graduated landscape architect in the Department of Architecture and Design at British Rail, I was surrounded by other design professionals, always having someone to whom I could turn for advice. When I started to assess and judge show gardens for the RHS in 1994, I worked beside longstanding judges like John

Sales, from whom I was able to learn a great deal – not just about work, but about people. Some organisations seem intent on extolling the virtues of young talent, simply because it is young – but talent develops and matures. Too many young people want instant success and recognition now, eschewing the time it has taken their elders to acquire their knowledge. Patience is a virtue; it enables us to develop a respect for life experience that is not simply based upon training and education. I speak with the acquired wisdom of a man who has spent 33 years in a career that I love – and, all too many years ago, as an angry young fellow who wanted to change the world all too fast! Pictured: Andrew Wilson assessing Andy Sturgeon’s Cancer Research Garden for Chelsea 2008 with John Sales and Roger Platts.

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

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Landscape architect Adam White looks back on the Landscape Institute Awards 2017, sharing some of the highlights

Each year, the Landscape Instiutute Awards celebrates projects that protect, conserve and enhance the natural and built environment. This year, I stepped down from co-hosting and handed the job to Romy Rawlings CMLI, who was joined by world famous author Bill Bryson. Bill’s books have sold more than 15m copies worldwide, and been translated into more than 30 languages. He is renowned for promoting cultural and environmental issues; between 2003 and 2007, he sat on the board of directors for English Heritage, and from 2006 to 2012 he was president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England. I was lucky enough to sit with him and hear about his adventures first-hand. You won’t be surprised to discover that he was awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Landscape Institute as part of the ceremony.

Ian Bray Associates – Bridget Joyce Square

Adam White.indd 37

The highest accolade, the Landscape Institute President’s Award, is given to the project that the serving president believes has made the most positive contribution to society. Robert Bray Associates won for its work on the Bridget Joyce Square Community Rainpark. The project is a community-driven scheme that sits between a school and two playgrounds in White City, West London. Previous road and parking facilities at the site made school pick-up and drop-off difficult, and caused crossing hazards for children; in addition, due to its location within the famously capacity-exceeding Counters Creek sewer catchment, the road was highly susceptible to surface water flooding. President Merrick Denton-Thompson praised the practice’s “exemplary approach to partnership working”. Local residents and the school’s head teacher instigated the project, and through an intelligent place-making solution, Robert Bray Associates solved these long-recognised conflicts. The practical solutions they developed, Merrick said, “can and should be replicated nationally”. The finished project delivers a safe passage to school for children and a place for parents to meet, as well as a landscape that is resilient to climatic events. Jon Sheaff and Associates won the College of Fellows Award for the London Borough of Barnet Corporate Natural Capital Account. This project demonstrates how investing in the provision and maintenance of urban greenspace pays for itself many times over, reducing both healthcare costs and the associated cost of sickness absence from work. “This is a clear and straightforward method for valuing the natural

London Borough of Barnet Corporate Natural Capital Account winners Jon Sheaff and Associates

assets of landscape in economic terms,” said Paj Valley, chair of the College of Fellows. The New Landscape Professional of the Year winner was Barry Craig from Amey Consulting Ltd, with the judges commenting: “Barry demonstrates exemplary behaviour towards his colleagues, clients and wider profession, while also clearly giving back to the next generation.” The Outstanding Contribution Through Volunteering winners were Dan Walker (“a driving force behind the Landscape Institute in Scotland”), Robert Holden (“a passionate landscape architect who has given his life to the profession”), and Lily Bakratsa (“Lily has demonstrated the impactful work our profession needs to do to reach and inspire diverse communities”). Romy and Bill presented more than 40 awards to individuals and practices; they can all be seen on the Landscape Institute website at www. . In July 2018, I will become the 43rd Landscape Institute President, and I will be encouraging more of our landscape professionals to enter the Landscape Institute Awards and showcase their best work to a much wider audience. ABOUT ADAM WHITE FLI Adam White FLI is a director at Davies White Ltd, a double RHS Gold Medal, double People’s Choice and RHS Best in Show award-winning Chartered Landscape Architects practice. He is a Fellow and President Elect of the Landscape Institute. Social media: @davies_white

Pro Landscaper / January 2018 37

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David T Binks gives advice on how to effectively and efficiently carry out any changes to your business As evidenced by London Stone’s recent move into horticultural consultancy, we operate in a marketplace that is increasingly shifting and evolving; it is only a matter of time until it becomes necessary to effect some sort of ‘change’ within the business you work in or own. The reasons for this may be due to positive factors, such as diversification or business expansion, or due to negative influences – say, losing a key client account. Regardless of the reason, there are fundamentals that need to be in place if the transition is to be successful. From the outset, the values of your business need to be clear and defined: what is your modus operandi; why do you do what you do; what makes your business unique? Without a clear understanding of your own values, the onset of any change within your organisation will result in confusion, as the rest of your team will be unsure about the reason behind it.

IF YOU IDENTIFY YOUR VALUES, SKILLS, RESOURCES AND INCENTIVES, AND FORMULATE A PLAN, CHANGE SHOULD BE EASIER TO IMPLEMENT The skillset within your business needs to be able to cope with the changes that you want to bring about; one example of this would be making the decision to move from private projects to commercial contracting, without having anyone in the business with enough experience to manage these larger schemes. This would result in anxiety among staff, and could ultimately lead to resistance within the team. If enough resources are not allocated to a process, it will frustrate those involved. To ensure 38

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the success of a transition, there needs to be a commitment of people, time and, in some cases, funding. Imagine a business wants to gain a new accreditation, but doesn’t allocate enough time or staff hours to undertake the lengthy paperwork, and doesn’t budget for the accreditation fees. This will breed frustration among staff when it becomes apparent to them that an impossible task has been set. Provide what is needed to do the job well. Your team needs to be aware of the reason behind the change and what necessitates it – what is the incentive behind it all? When people understand the motivation behind a change to the way they’ve ‘always done things’, it reduces their resistance to it. Say a maintenance team is used to ‘cutting and dropping’ on a site, but the client now wants all arisings collected, which results in more work. The staff involved should have it explained to them that if the business doesn’t start doing ‘x’, it will lose contract ‘y’ – ultimately threatening the security of their jobs. Unsurprisingly, this should motivate them to champion the initiative.

We all need a plan, and never more so than when you are altering a system or process that is entrenched within your business. You can’t manage what you can’t measure, and without set goals and parameters, you’ll run the risk of continually making false-starts to your initiative – once an idea loses traction and momentum, it is very difficult to regain it, so it is imperative to arrange review meetings, to guarantee that everyone is playing their part. Effecting change is not a straightforward process and it won’t always be welcomed with open arms, but if you identify your values, skills, resources and incentives, and formulate a plan, the it should then be easier to implement. ABOUT DAVID T BINKS David T Binks is managing director of Cheshire-based Landstruction, which was set up in 2010 and now has 40 employees. It has won Gold medals at RHS Chelsea and RHS Tatton Park. David also launched the Big Hedge Co., which supplies and installs mature hedging and topiary nationwide.,

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Aberdeen City Councilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strategy for maintaining its parks and green spaces, while coping with massive budget cuts, is one of the most forward-thinking in the UK; Pro Landscaper investigates


s readers of this Pro Landscaper series on local authority parks and green spaces will be aware, UK councils have had to adopt a variety of different strategies to help negotiate ongoing funding cuts since 2010. This could mean something as prosaic as rethinking planting and maintenance, with a recurring theme being the paring back of bedding plants in order to construct wilder, less labour intensive environments. At the other end of the scale, local authorities such as Liverpool City Council have experimented with entirely new management models, potentially involving independent operators, concessions and so on. All organisations have, to a greater or lesser degree, had to look at staffing.

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This month we’re focusing on Aberdeen, in north-east Scotland. Like every local authority, it is feeling the pinch from the British government’s austerity project. Its method of coping, however, is unique, involving an organisation-wide strategic overhaul, with efficiencies being achieved via the coordination of departments towards a common goal. This includes the part of the business that looks after its parks. Halcyon days While not Scotland’s biggest city – or most popular, in terms of how many visitors it attracts – Aberdeen still has a reputation when it comes to its parks and green spaces, with its history as horticultural centre going back to the Victorian era and beyond. (It is the only local authority to have taken part in every Britain in Bloom since the competition’s inception in 1963).

ABERDEEN IS THE ONLY LOCAL AUTHORITY TO HAVE TAKEN PART IN EVERY BRITAIN IN BLOOM SINCE IT’S INCEPTION IN 1963 Aberdeen has always been a major centre for trading and the fishing industry. Its economic importance was consolidated in the early 19th century with the construction of its harbour, which facilitated its development as a centre for shipbuilding. As of 2016, it had an estimated population of just under 200,000 people. Steven Shaw is the environmental manager for Aberdeen City Council, responsible for the upkeep of its green spaces. He gives an overview of the history of the city’s parks, and how they fit in with the city. “We have beautiful green spaces all over the city, but the two most well-known ones are probably Hazlehead Park and Duthie Park, which are also the biggest. We also have Union Terrace Gardens in the city centre, Victoria Park, and Westburn Park – all of which are well loved and used by local inhabitants. 42

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“The oldest site is the 44-acre Duthie Park, which has just completed a five-year revamp to return it to how it was during Victorian times. It was originally donated by Lady Elizabeth Duthie of Ruthrieston in the late 19th century, and is famous throughout the area. “Duthie contains a variety of attractions, including paddle boats, play areas and a Japanese garden which commemorates the Hiroshima and Nagasaki victims. There’s also the David Welch Winter Gardens, which contain a massive collection of bromeliads and giant cacti, as well as tree ferns, Spanish moss, anthuriums and banana trees. “Duthie is many people’s favourite park in Aberdeen, and also the one which hosts the most events – just the other weekend we had

a gin festival. It’s walking distance from the city centre, so it’s easy to go there and spend a lovely day. It stands on the banks of the River Dee, so the setting is beautiful as well.” The idea for the £5m refurbishment project (enabled in part by the Heritage Lottery Fund) was first mooted around 15 years ago, with the intention of restoring many of the Victorian site’s historic features. It has seen visitor numbers rise to around 1.5m people a year, many of whom take advantage of the site’s new educational facilities. “A lot of work has gone into the project from a lot of people, including friends groups and council staff, as well as our elected members themselves. Along with the refurbishment, we’ve had to put in place a 10-year management plan in order to make sure that the progress continues after the project itself has finished. “There’s now a permanent team of rangers working in the park, as well as additional

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gardening staff, separate from the other teams operating around the city. There’s four years ahead of us in terms of the planned timescale of the project, but we want to continue the development for ever more if we can.” A nice monster Duthie Park’s refurbishment symbolises the direction in which the council is now travelling in order to secure its future, in light of funding cuts. There is an increased reliance on community involvement, and the organisation is having to become more creative about how it carries out its business, in terms of linking up workstreams. “The money’s not there for local authorities to use any more, so we knew we had to change,” Steven says. “That meant becoming smarter and more proactive across the organisation. “For us, the key to success is in becoming increasingly partnership focused, and we won’t

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turn anyone away that wants to work with us – whether that’s a nursery school, a friends group or a business. We’ve grown the amount of local partnerships from a handful five years ago to more than 100 now. We’ve created a monster, but in a really nice way.”


Green Spaces, which encourages teachers to take their pupils out of the classroom and into open areas to continue lessons. As well as happy children, this is helping to create park champions for the next 20 years. What have the effects of the cuts been specifically, when it comes to parks? What elements of the service have actually been lost in terms of crewing, planting-up and so on? “We still provide an excellent level of service despite the cuts,” says Steven. “One reason for that is the level of support we’ve received from local members, the upshot of which is we’ve actually been protected a bit when it comes to budgetary restrictions. We’ve also spent the last few years protecting frontline staff, because they’re the people who do all the hard work. At the same time, we’ve reduced management down to a fraction of what it was. “My staff is made up of 386 people, all of whom have a role to play when it comes to looking after parks and green spaces. Again, we’ve introduced an element of creativity into crewing, meaning that the staff member whose job it is to sweep the streets also has the flexibility to be involved in upkeep of the green spaces. All the teams are one service.” Aberdeen’s parks and open spaces are integral to the life of the city – evident in the sheer amount of use the local population gets out of them. For Steven, they also signify the city’s identity. This is why so much pride is taken in entering Britain in Bloom each year, and why so much thought has gone into planning for the future. “Our parks are phenomenal, and have been for years,” Steven says. “The pressure to keep that going is intense, but it’s a challenge we’re all looking forward to meeting. We want to create somewhere people can prosper and be proud of. There are exciting times ahead.”

1 Seaton Park

Steven offers a variety of examples to illustrate this, from the pair of older ladies who look after a planter at their shetlered housing complex, to the friends of parks who raise hundreds of thousands of pounds. Perhaps the most compelling example is the council’s involvement in an initiative called Wee

2 The Piper Alpha Memorial at Hazlehead Park 3 Johnston Gardens 4 Seaton Park 5 The David Welch Winter Gardens at Duthie Park 6 Hazlehead Park ©Ian Talboys 7 Seaton Park 8 Wild meadow planting ©Ian Talboys Pro Landscaper / January 2018 43

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PROJECT DETAILS Project value Circa ÂŁ500k Build time 14 months Size of project Approx. 14,000sq m

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This extensive project sees the magnificent Villa Balbiano, on Lake Como, restored to its former glory


he Villa Balbiano in Ossuccio is one of the most important historical mansions on the shores of Lake Como, dating back to at least the 16th century, when it was owned by the family of Paulo Giovio. It was bought by Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini in 1778 and become a renowned meeting place for prominent dignitaries and literati of the time. The Villa and Gardens at Balbiano are designated as a National Monument of Italy. The gardensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; arrangement has been altered many times over the last five centuries. The most recent major redesign, in the Sixties, included the planting of tall hedges (Quercus ilex and Laurus nobilis) and lines of cypress trees. These form a framework around a magnificent vista, running north to south through the villa and across the gardens to Lake Como and the mountains beyond. When Christian Sweet, partner at Colson Stone Practice, was first invited to the villa in the summer of 2014, it was clear that, while this framework had remained strong, the condition of Pro Landscaper / January 2018 47

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the surrounding gardens had declined significantly. The lawns were uneven and infested with weeds, the planting beds were overgrown, patchy and unstructured, and the central fountains leaked profusely and rarely worked. Inspired by the owners’ desire for a sympathetic treatment, Christian’s philosophy was to build upon the surviving formal structure and enhance this to improve the setting of the villa (which itself was undergoing a major restoration). The brief also included the integration of a neighbouring property that had once been a part of the original villa grounds. Challenges A stone wall and tall shrubbery formed a well-defined boundary between the two properties, and this screened much of villa’s highly prized lake panorama. There was also a group of very old fragrant olive trees (Osmanthus fragrans) close to the facade, which had grown unhindered for many years and blocked views from the upper windows and roof terrace. The soil conditions were a challenge, and many shrubs that existed in the garden were weak and in poor health. Colson Stone Practice commissioned tests, which revealed that the soils at Villa Balbiano were strongly alkaline and that honey fungus was rife. Many of the nearby gardens around the lake are well-known for their collections of acid-loving plants (Villa Carlotta in particular), and the client was keen to emulate these. Christian’s challenge was to bring together a palette of plants that would have a similar effect, but could thrive in the alkaline conditions.

distinct ‘rooms’ within the restored framework. They include an ornamental vegetable garden, a shaded vine walk, a garden of mixed shrub borders, a rose garden, and a lakeside terrace. The central fountains and cascade were restored, providing a magnificent feature for the north-south vista that passes through the villa.

Design It was fundamental that the open aspect and expansive lake views to the west should be re-established. This involved the removal of sections of stone wall, clearance of overgrown shrubbery and re-laying of the lawns leading away from the villa to their original extent alongside the lake. The overgrown Osmanthus trees underwent a programme of restorative pruning that saw them almost halved in size, allowing light to flood into the windows of the villa and revealing open views towards the lake. A broad and informal lawn has been recreated, studded with impressive mature trees – including a maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba), a weeping Japanese pagoda tree (Sophora japonica) and a copper beech (Fagus sylvatica atropurpurea). A comprehensive system of irrigation, drawing water from the lake, keeps the lawn fresh and green throughout the hotter months, and an elegant ornamental swimming pool, surrounded by natural stone edges and marble vases, forms a beautiful centrepiece. The remaining gardens, each with their own individual character, were created as a series of

Planting More than 6,500 new plants were added to the gardens, including semi-mature specimen trees, topiary bushes, shrubs, herbaceous perennials and bulbs. The planting was designed to create softness and charm to contrast with the rigidity of the framework. All lawns were renovated, either through intensive management or re-laying with new turf. 1 View along the restored fountain that marks the main axis through the villa 2 New shaded seating along the lakeside terrace 3 The restored ornamental vegetable garden with new fruit pergola 4 A romantic arch now incorporated as the centerpiece of a fragrant rose garden 5 Lawns flanked by mixed shrub and herbaceous borders 6 View to the lake across restored lawns planted with fragrant olives (Osmanthus fragrans) 7 The reunified gardens with open views

ABOUT COLSON STONE PRACTICE Christian Sweet is an award-winning landscape architect and garden designer with more than 25 years’ experience. He and his wife Debbie are partners at Colson Stone Practice. They combine extensive knowledge and experience, striving to produce strong, elegant design solutions for each and every project.


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Images ©Christian Sweet, Colson Stone Practice



REFERENCES Landscape architect

Lighting design

Colson Stone Practice


Villa architect

Soft landscape, irrigation and fountains Carlota Proença – Proença de Almeida, Studio di Architettura

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Peverelli S.r.l.

Project manager

Buildings and hard landscape

John Dineen – Quercia Holdings Ltd

Nessi & Majocchi

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GLOW ALL OUT ELITE LANDSCAPES LTD The luxurious Chelsea Creek development includes an array of impressive features, from high end roof gardens to a stunning bridge centrepiece


Hard Landscaping Construction – Non-Domestic – Over £1.5m

PROJECT DETAILS Project value £4m Build time 18 months Size of project 7,900m2


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ust minutes away from the restaurants of Chelsea and Knightsbridge, the Chelsea Creek development enjoys a peaceful dockside location on the north bank of the River Thames. This feeling of tranquillity is evident throughout the development. The outdoor space is breathtaking – especially the works to the 25th floor roof garden, which has panoramic views across London. The roof gardens demonstrate a whole new dimension of outdoor living, with water features, al fresco kitchens, fireplaces, mature planting, separate areas for dining and relaxing, and sun rooms. The client’s brief was for the installation of all external areas around the housing blocks in multiple phased handovers, with work carried out to the highest standard. The areas of construction included four penthouse roof

gardens and the ground floor external footprint, as detailed on the design plans. Design and build St George Developments contracted Elite Landscapes Ltd to undertake the hard and soft landscaping of the development. The works were predominantly hard landscaping, including the design and development of the granite paving, the step formation, a stoneclad planter and seat formation, the main entrance water feature, the courtyard water feature, the roof garden’s drainage, insulation and void infill, surface drainage, irrigation, and the ongoing aftercare maintenance. Elite Landscapes also carried out the supply and caballing of all lighting, the coordination of groundworks and lighting, the supply and installation of the canal bridge,

including light rods, the supply and installation of a hot tub for the 25th floor penthouse garden, the installation of soft landscaping to the penthouses and ground floor planting, the provision and fitting of bespoke pergolas, sculptures and other structures, the provision and build of the outdoor kitchen areas and fireplaces, and the sourcing and planting of green walling and mature trees, the latter sourced from the Netherlands. One of Chelsea Creek’s most striking features is undoubtedly its unique pedestrian bridge; it is a sculptural element in its own right, offering stunning views across the canal and providing local residents with a quieter route through the stylish waterside development. The bridge – which uses up-lit acrylic rods as balustrades – was brought together by Elite Landscapes, which oversaw and directed the seven different companies involved in its construction. Each had built an aspect of the bridge that the site team then had to coordinate and assemble, a process that involved 1 Pedestrian bridge 2T  ower penthouse planting 3L  iving wall 4R  ings of Saturn sculpture 5 Tower penthouse hot tub 6 Canal gardens bespoke benches

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Photographs ©Paul Scott, Front Elevation


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looking through individual design aspects and ensuring all components for the construction worked coherently with one another. Works took place while the canal was full of water, which meant that Elite Landscapes had to hire a specialist to construct a pontoon in order for the team to be able to access the bridge and fit the rods. The bridge, which is around 24m in length, was constructed from curved steel beams, acrylic rod balustrades, and timber handrails and decking. Each rod is lit by a separate light fitting at the base, which needed to be hand-positioned and wired individually. Only four rods on the bridge are the same, meaning there are 78 different lighting variations – giving the lights their ‘rainfall’ effect. The clever use of materials and lighting in the structure make it a standout feature both day and night, with the balustrades glinting in the sun by day, and the bridge really coming to life after dark as its shimmering lights glisten in the water below. Sourcing materials With the scheme comprising so many different elements – particularly the penthouse roof gardens – sourcing and procurement was always going to be a complex procedure. Elite 52

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Landscapes worked through each item to ensure they met the client’s expectations, using both new and existing suppliers. Especially complicated items included those involved in the canal bridge. Carefully managed coordination between the the manufacturers of the bridge, the acrylic rods and the lighting was crucial in ensuring that all components arrived at the designated time, for a seamless installation of the complete item. The outdoor kitchens also required meticulous planning and consideration, with such a large number of components making up the finished pieces. Challenges All works were completed to a fixed deadline and geared towards programmed completions for the housing handovers, with extreme pressure to deliver the externals for the opening of each development block. The scheme also presented a number of logistical challenges, with the creation of the upper terraces proving particularly difficult. To complete the works for the penthouse gardens, all materials had to be craned up to the ninth, 10th and 24th floors in individual dumpy bags or pallets.

1 Block L podium planting and paving 2 Tower penthouse planters and composite decking 3 Steps to pontoon 4 Sculpture installation to penthouse garden 5 Paving installation 6 Pedestal installation in preparation for composite decking install 7 Step installation 8 Pedestrian bridge structure 9 Tower penthouse prior to planting

ABOUT ELITE LANDSCAPES LTD Established in 1999, Elite Landscapes Ltd is a hard and soft landscaping contractor that undertakes high quality landscaping construction for luxury developments in London and surrounding counties. Works include complete landscape installation, from groundworks through to paving, cladding, brickwork, semi-mature tree planting, soft landscaping and ongoing maintenance.

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REFERENCES Landscape architect


James Gregory, Broadway Malyan

London Lawn Turf Hard and soft landscaping Elite Landscapes Ltd Bridge

Alex Relph Glass sculpture Jane Bohane

CTS Bridges

Hot tub

Acrylic rods for bridge

HotSpring World

Anglia Plastics



01767 310 327

Outdoor kitchen elements


Fire Magic


DW Windsor

Outdoor fireplaces

Urban Fires

Water features

Timber supplies

Fountains Direct Irrigation

T. Brewer Endura decking

Waterwise Solutions


Granite paving, cladding, copings

Composite decking Millboard

CED Ltd Fyfe Glenrock

Gbm, street furniture

Plants and trees

George Lines

Crowders Nurseries

Street furniture



Tree planting accessories, amenity supplies

Park seats



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PROJECT DETAILS Project value £45k Build time Four months Size of project 375sq m


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YOUR GARDEN DESIGN Sleek structures and a restrained colour scheme create the perfect garden for a contemporary home


elorus is a detached private residence of timber frame construction, with attractive wooden clad elevations set upon a brick/masonry foundation. The house frontage faces east, with the rear elevation facing west. The owners wanted a modern garden that was consistent with the style of the house and would complement its sleek, contemporary interior. The brief included several spaces for entertaining to accommodate six to eight people and a barbecue/pizza oven in proximity to the house. Enhancing the privacy of the rear garden was a must. Where possible, the entertainment areas needed to avoid being overlooked by neighbouring properties, and be sheltered from prevailing winds to maximise usability. The brief also specified a limited amount of lawn area, and planting that would both complement the house’s interior décor and offer year-round interest. Further considerations included a pergola or other raised structure, along with contemporary screening to the boundaries of the property and strategic focal points when viewing the garden from different rooms within the house.

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Design To achieve a look that was consistent with the house, Your Garden Design utilised materials that were sympathetic to both the interior and exterior of the property. Through clever use of materials, colour and form, the interior décor was taken outside to produce a clean and uncluttered look.

Spaces for entertaining guests were provided in multiple locations around the garden to make the most of the sun at different times of day, and a barbecue/outdoor pizza oven was located outside a sleek garden pavilion with an overflying roof, providing shelter and shade and extending the usable season of the garden.

The pavilion was designed to give a striking silhouette, while remaining under 2.4m in height, as dictated by planning. The L-shaped interior opens out by means of sliding doors onto a shaded deck, giving the owners somewhere cool to relax during hot weather, and the exterior was finished with cladding selected to mirror that of the house. The reflective work surfaces and clean lines used inside the property were also repeated in the glass of the pavilion doors, as well as in the sharp lines of the paving, fencing and pavilion cladding. A heavy oak pergola lends solidity to the centre of the design, standing on its own against the stark outline of the pavilion and reflecting the clients’ love of natural timbers. Slate stepping

1 Coastal tolerant planting softens the clean lines of cedar fencing, Urbis pots and granite paving 2 A seamless view from interior to exterior 3 Looking down the pergola to a feature seat 4 View across the hardwood deck to the pavilion 5 View from the lounge / family room in May 6 Looking across the garden from the upper terrace in late July 7 View looking towards the house in December Pro Landscaper / January 2018 55

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stones beneath the pergola contrast against dove grey pebbles, with the strong lines of the structure directing the eye down its length to a charming feature seat at the end. The small lawn area was balanced with spaces of hard and softscape across different levels. This takes a circuitous route around the garden to provide a visual journey through the space, while seamlessly connecting the house to the garden and pavilion. Existing paving was integrated into this scheme, and designed changes in hardscape between levels added further interest. The palette of timber and stone was selected to reflect that of the structure of the property, with certain elements repeated througout the design, such as the bricks used on the house, and slate from the roof – mirrored in the stepping stones under the pergola. Planting was carefully chosen to deliver structure and form while softening the view, with the colour scheme echoing the property’s interior; this approach provided further continuity between the house and garden, and a feeling of increased space. Plants were also selected for their contrasting textures and colour, to deliver a long season of interest; as days shorten, seed heads and foliage will replace flowers, with hedging and clipped elements such as yew spheres defining the space. Feature plants include a trio of quarter standard olive trees in slate grey Urbis planters that reflect the colour of the windows and the slate roof, offering a sympathetic focal point and additional screening from the neighbouring property. Garden lighting was used to highlight focal points while also subtly illuminating access routes to key areas, such as the pavilion. Features such as the birch trees were accented with light, their white stems up-lit to contrast against densely planted, shade-tolerant grasses, ferns and groundcover perennials below. Challenges Although the garden was relatively sheltered, its close proximity to the sea meant that plants needed to be tolerant of high light levels and salt-laden winds. Planting was carefully selected to meet these challenges, and included species such as Pinus mugo ‘Humpy’ – its evergreen, coastal tolerant foliage was not only ideal for the location, but also contrasted beautifully against 56

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BEFORE REFERENCES Design and build Your Garden Design

DURING the simple form of the Axis 55 planters from Urbis, into which it was installed. The garden was heavily overlooked by neighbouring properties with no desired focal points beyond the boundaries, which consisted of standard close-board fencing in differing materials and heights – an unsightly backdrop. To overcome this, contemporary cedar screening was added to the boundaries, providing a clean canvas for the planting. The strong horizontal lines of the cedar fencing also helped to draw the eye towards the pavilion and around the perimeter, giving an increased sense of width to the space.

Cedar slatted screens and yellow balau FSC-certified decking Silva Timber Products Locally grown oak A & G Lillywhite Truslate blue stepping stones and arctic granite paving Stonemarket Trees Barcham Trees

Griffin Nurseries

Shrubs Head Gardener Plants

ABOUT YOUR GARDEN DESIGN Your Garden Design is a YOUR GARDEN DESIGN garden design and build practice based in Chichester, offering a bespoke design, consultancy and build service. It aims to balance design and horticultural expertise to enhance the visual relationship between interior and exterior. Your Garden Design works collaboratively, with clients overseeing each stage of design and build to ensure concept to completion is a smooth experience. Bespoke Horticulture

Perennials Northhill Nurseries Hedging Ready Hedge Ltd Axis 55 planters Urbis

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Adverts January PL.indd 9

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Belinda Bath


PICTURE THIS Anji Connell explains why Instagram has led to the rise of indoor landscaping, and takes a look at some of the big trends we can expect this coming year A new tribe of experience hunters are changing the game rapidly, with their mantra ‘less stuff, more stories.’ Visual social media is steering business, and everything needs to be ‘Instagrammable’. Many of us are only too aware of the hours we spend endlessly scrolling through envyinducing images on social media – in particular, Instagram. We love to sneak peeks into other people’s ‘perfect’ lives, seeing what they do, what they eat, where they live and where they holiday, as well as how often and who with. Now it seems we also crave a greener life. “Instagram plant porn is the latest thing soothing us and shielding us from the cold, cruel world,” Natalie Gontcharova reports for Refinery 29, in her feature, ‘Yes, Instagram Plant Porn is a Thing Now’. Natalie goes on to tell us that young people are increasingly turning their apartments into Instagrammable urban 58

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jungles, and that an indoor plant is now often these 2018 Instagram trends involve? the first purchase couples make when they Something that is constantly springing up is move in together. And why not? They are the integrated retail experience, featuring indoor relatively inexpensive, therapeutic, give you and outdoor gardens in which we can shop, something to nurture, purify the air we breathe, eat, exercise, practice yoga or just hang out. improve sleep, reduce stress, control humidity These places are contrived purely for our visual and lower sound pollution. pleasure, and shout out ‘photograph me!’ There are more than 16m garden The ‘outdoor room’ has been joined by images on Instagram – are these the ‘indoor room’, with houseplants photographs of ‘urban jungles’ a sign of making a huge comeback. Al fresco, roof our increasing desire to be more at and balcony living and vertical gardening one with nature? Whatever the will be big as we strive to achieve a reason, it seems that greener life in our cities. Owning a mindfulness in gardening few cacti no longer makes the and rewilding the grade – 2018 is the year to bring environment will be out your inner gardener by significant trends in 2018, growing food indoors, preferably with these urban jungles from seed in a mini food garden encouraged in any space or a greenhouse aided by ‘grow possible – both inside and out. lights’ (LEDs that mimic daylight). In We are all influenced by addition, succulents are absolutely Garden Glory everywhere! trends, whether we like it or not – their trickle-down effect reaches us Grow kits, self-watering wall planter all. Now that we are photographing systems, terrariums, mini forests, moss gardens everything we do, our and micro-farming will be the defining spirit of environments need to be 2018. Seventies-style hanging plants are back, photo-friendly Instagram and houseplant styling is a new megatrend, with playgrounds. Don’t worry an extensive choice of recycled containers to if you feel your put them in. photography skills aren’t Images of al fresco living and winter quite up to it – you can barbecues are set to inspire us all – shown to now hire Instagram perfection in Pantone’s colour palette for 2018, consultants to ensure your ‘Verdure’, which replicates the hues found in images are Insta-worthy. lush vegetation and woodland. So what, precisely, will Wabi-sabi is set to have a huge moment; a Gardening know how

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Japanese philosophy that has been practised since the 15th century, wabi-sabi is the acceptance of the natural cycle of growth, decay, erosion and death, and the beauty of nature with all its imperfections. Moss-covered stones, weathered pots, overgrown perennials and rusting metals are bang on trend, as is mindfulness in the garden – the ancient Buddhist tradition of being ‘in the moment’ will influence how we design and use our spaces.

ACID+ Recyled bottle wall garden

Belinda Bath


Hello Hello Plants & Garden Supplies Pebble and moss garden

Ever more furniture, furnishings and gardening products will hit the shelves, inspiring us all to ‘spend, spend, spend’ in our quest to create the perfect environment in which to enjoy our free time mirroring those we see on our instagram feeds. Watch out for product recommendations in next month’s issue of Pro Landscaper!

Garden Glory

Terrarium Feed

Garden Glory

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

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Belinda Bath

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Porcelain paving Durable and low maintenance, porcelain paving is becoming a popular choice for all kinds of projects – we take a look at a selection from around the country

Villa Porcelain Manhattan Grey Project location: Preston, Lancashire The client wanted a low maintenance leisure area to the rear of the car park for shopworkers and the residents of the flats above to enjoy. Villa Porcelain was chosen as this requires little maintenance. Villa Porcelain enjoys the properties of being frost proof, colourfast and impermeable, making it hard-wearing and highly resistant to grime, mould and staining. Price: £40/m² WWW.VILLAPORCELAIN.CO.UK

London Stone Golden Stone Project location: Haywards Heath, Sussex The design brief was to create a multifunctional garden incorporating a dining terrace and paved area, centred around an apple tree. The off-the-shelf large format sizes (1194 x 596mm) of the paving meant that the area did not become too ‘busy’, with the smaller number of joint lines maintaining simplicity and modernity. Price: From £52.25/m² WWW.LONDONSTONE.CO.UK


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Kebur Contempo Thunderstorm and Contempo Waterfall Project location: Aldershot, Hampshire The brief was for a low maintenance two-tiered patio with a contemporary look and a high-quality finish. The client chose Kebur’s Contempo Thunderstorm porcelain in large format 900 x 450mm for the top tier, and a complementary lighter grey Contempo Waterfall porcelain in the same size for the lower tier. Price: Thunderstorm – £61.95/ m²; Waterfall – £55.95/m² WWW.KEBUR.CO.UK

CED Stone Group EMPEROR Porcelain Paving in Rio Dorado Project location: Hampstead, London The client wanted their family garden to be more welcoming, with a contemporary feel. It combines EMPEROR porcelain paving in Rio Dorado with cedar structures and copper accents. EMPEROR Rio Dorado was the ideal product for creating an easy-tomaintain paved area, with its sandy-cream shades matching the internal flooring. Price: Available on request WWW.CED.LTD.UK

Alfresco Floors Buzon with advanced ALUrail support system Project location: Hammersmith, London As part of a significant refurbishment and new build project, Alfresco Floors was asked to supply and install more than 3,000 square metres of 20mm porcelain paving. In addition to usual challenges, the design also included tiles of different sizes. The eventual design was a mix of conventional Buzon pedestals combined with the advanced ALUrail support system. Price: From £35/square metre WWW.ALFRESCOFLOORS.CO.UK

Global Stone Porcelain Albero Project location: Essex The project involved creating a raised terrace from the garden room. The clients wanted a low maintenance solution that blended with the natural stone lower terrace and slate walling; they chose Albero Silvered, which has a wood effect, complete with realistic knots and woodworm holes, as it balanced well with existing features. Price: Sold through builders merchants – ask supplier WWW.GLOBALSTONEPAVING.CO.UK

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ExcelEdge The professionalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s choice for landscape edging Providing one of the most comprehensive selections of commercial landscape edging in the industry, ExcelEdge is perfect for delineating where differing landscape surfaces meet.

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The client wanted high-quality natural stone in a large format, with cut edges, a dark finish, and a lightly riven natural surface. Stone Paving Supplies Premier Black Slate, supplied through Bannister Hall in Preston met all the client’s and landscapers’ expectations. Premier Slate is an excellent, well-packed quality stone that comes in four-size Patio Packs and 600 x 900mm formats; it is available in Black or Grey, and is calibrated to 20mm with sawn edges. Price: £30/m2 WWW.STONEPAVINGSUPPLIES.CO.UK

Junnell Homes Ltd developed Salterns Reach, an Arts and Crafts-inspired housing scheme in Prinsted, West Sussex. Tobermore provided the developer with Hydropave Tegula Duo and Hydropave Tegula 240 permeable paving, which met the project requirements perfectly, offering a traditional appearance while serving as a SuDS function. Jonathan Bingham, Junnell Homes construction director, called the products “hardwearing, suited to purpose, easily repairable and with design flexibility.” Price: POA WWW.TOBERMORE.CO.UK

Premier Black Slate 600 x 900mm Project location: Whalley, Clitheroe, Lancashire

Hydropave Tegula Duo and Hydropave Tegula 240 Project location: Prinsted, West Sussex



The brief was for flooring for a large greenhouse/garden room; the client wanted the stone to add warmth and character, while being durable and forgiving of muddy boots. Westminster Stone’s Terracotta Paving range includes Old Provence Tiles, Old Welsh Quarry Tiles, Jacobean Brick Paving and English Farmhouse Pammets, plus paving circles and octagons. This garden room features Old Provence Square tiles, which are extremely durable, frost-resistant and anti-slip, and weather beautifully with age. Price: From £36 per square metre WWW.WESTMINSTERSTONE.COM

Talasey Group’s Premiastone collection offers machine-cut flagstones that give a contemporary, smooth or lightly textured ‘squared edge’ look; Baksteen is a range of cosmopolitan handmade clay pavers and bricks. The contrast between the Premiastone Birch granite flagstones and the Chestnut Baksteen clay pavers creates bespoke, high-end pathways to the property’s front entrance and back garden. Price: Baksteen clay paver – £60-£70 per square metre Birch granite – £40-£50 per square metre WWW.TALASEY.CO.UK

Terracotta Brick & Tile Paving Project location: Derbyshire


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Baksteen clay paver with Premiastone Birch granite Project location: Harrogate, North Yorkshire

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A landscaping supplier you can rely on Rural Tree Planting • Tree Shelters and Guards • Bamboo Canes and Wooden Stakes • Tree Belting • Tree Anchoring

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“It ’s like being a kid in a sweet shop”

trees, shrubs, grasses,

... all sorts The Landscape Centre, Leydenhatch Lane, Swanley, Kent BR8 7PS Tel: 01322 662315 Web:

Save the date: 21st-22nd Feb 2018

for our 2018 Spring Open Days

The first choice for Landscape Professionals Our two established nurseries supply an exciting specimen range to the horticultural trade, including: Garden Centres, Wholesalers, Independent Retailers, Architects, Landscapers, Designers, Property Developers and Film /TV Companies.

A perfect opportunity to be inspired by our new stock, discuss ideas for your future projects and network with other professionals. To book your place call Pat Lawrence on: 01707 649 996 or book online at:

Specimen Plants • Hedging Plants • Topiary • Pleached Trees • Japanese Bonsai • Trees Great North Road, Bell Bar, Hatfield, Herts, AL9 6DA Email: | Tel: 01707 649 996

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RAE WILKINSON A texture-rich planting scheme for a rural garden



ANDY MCINDOE Reassessing the varied and versatile ivy



IAN DRUMMOND Plants for aiding a good nightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sleep


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JAMIE BUTTERWORTH Add a festive twist to a garden with these wintry delights





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RH 'Native' half-page Pro Landscaper:Layout 1



Page 1

Readyhedge. The home of mixed native hedging.

Mixed native hedging from Readyhedge makes the distinctive character of the British hedgerow available to landscape and garden designers on demand. Delivered to order in our unique Readybags, plants are grown up to two metres in height, ready-spaced and ready to plant.

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Call for our 2017/2018 Wholesale Catalogue or to visit the nursery

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NURTURE NEWS North Yorkshire nursery supplies major Scottish highways project

Platipus Direct has arrived

Johnsons of Whixley is supplying close to 1m trees to a major highways infrastructure project in Scotland. The North Yorkshire horticultural nursery has been awarded a series of contracts to supply a mixture of mature trees, feathered trees, bare root and container-grown native plants as part of the construction of the new Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route.

Platipus has launched a new UK online sales platform, Platipus Direct, in response to requests from landscape contractors and garden designers. “The new online shop has been developed so that customers can select and order from the largest range of professional tree anchoring

Johnsons will supply 100% of the trees to the Northern and Southern sections, which are being completed by William Houston Landscapes of Glasgow, and 70% of the trees to the Central section, which will be worked on by Landscape Matters Ltd of Plymouth. The project is being delivered by Transport Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government, and in partnership with the Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils. The Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route is one of the largest infrastructure projects in Scotland, and is part of Transport Scotland’s

commitment to improving travel in the north-east of the country. Johnsons is also working with Transport Scotland on the Forth Replacement Crossing project. The six-year contract to supply approximately half a million native trees, hedging and larger specimen trees concludes in 2018. This has been planted predominantly by William Houston Landscapes and Ashlea Ltd.

Pioneering tree health partnership to continue thanks to funding boost An award-winning partnership that has identified 1,046 cases of tree pest and disease across the UK is set to continue. Observatree launched in spring 2015, aiming to train volunteers to help protect the UK’s trees, woods and forests from harmful pests and diseases. So far, 235 volunteers have been trained by the collaboration, which is led by Forest Research and supported by the Woodland Trust, Forestry Commission England, Defra, Fera Science Ltd, the Animal & Plant Health Agency, the National Trust, Natural Resources Wales, and Forestry Commission Scotland.

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More than 3,000 sites have been surveyed by the volunteers, with more than 600 ‘priority’ pest or disease cases being confirmed. As part of this, 11 of the 21 priority pests and diseases already in the UK have been recorded. A small group of the volunteers also verifies cases of tree disease recorded via the Forestry Commission’s Tree Alert, an online reporting tool that allows anyone to report trees showing signs of ill-health. The project will now continue with funding of £231,000 per year, and additional support,

from a wide range of conservation and government bodies. By focusing on the pests and diseases that are of highest concern, the volunteers support government agencies such as Forest Research and the Forestry Commission, enabling them to take action as quickly as possible at locations of significance identified by the volunteers and tree health professionals.

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and irrigations systems, at a time that is convenient to them,” said Murielle Jayer, tree systems manager at Platipus. “Providing customers order before 11am, to a UK mainland address, products will be delivered the next working day. There is also the added benefit of free delivery if an order exceeds £300.” Since pioneering underground tree anchoring in 1983, Platipus has continued to innovate, and now supplies high quality tree kits and tools for every planting situation. A donation from every order will go to help Perennial and Cancer Research UK.



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Pro Landscaper / January 2018 67

19/12/2017 09:35


Hydrangea annabelle Eryngium and Allium sphaeocephalon

Designer PLANTS Rae Wilkinson creates a timeless scheme where structural planting provides a formal feel in a rural location

The existing sloping lawn of this family home presented a blank canvas on a moist, sandy soil. The clientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brief included a level lawn, a cut flower and vegetable garden and a pond, within a soft yet formal and usable garden that they could all enjoy. Rae Wilkinson decided to keep the planting emphasis on structure and texture, to complement the landscaping around a new level lawn. The most notable structural planting took the form of two lines of pleached hornbeam. These were planted to run either side of a new rill pond, diverting the focus from a dark and imposing existing boundary hedge, and creating a vista and destination corner that 68

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was visible yet secluded. The base of the pleachers was filled with light evergreen foliage on the dark side of the hedge, with a run of Iris, Astelia and Camassia on the lawn edge. This was balanced with a bank of Hydrangea â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Annabelleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; at the head of the vista, lifting the whole dark corner and drawing the eye away from hedge and towards the new planting. Predominantly indigenous yew and Buxus hedging was utilised to divide up the garden areas, and to form a clipped table around the rill pond. The pathways and steps were softened by blocks of Hebe, Euphorbia and Alchemilla, providing texture and foliage colour. The garden benefits from natural water runoff percolating through from the hillside: perfect for the ferns used in the shady end of the garden and the Iris along the lawn edge. The client also wanted Hostas close to the main terrace, so these were planted in large

terracotta pots to limit potential slug damage and enable repositioning for the best light conditions. Taller pots on the terrace were filled with Equisetum hyemale, providing some strong vertical evergreen against a beautiful existing wall. To the rear of the house, a sunny Yorkstone terrace benefits from an elevated position. Not wanting to enclose this with balustrade or walling which would separate it visually from the garden, Rae created a planting strip to the patio edge as a low, soft barrier; this utilised Buxus cubes and lavender, with Allium schubertii running

Hosta Halcyon

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Equisetum hyemale

Polystichum and Primula

through to provide a seamless link to the borders beyond. Cutting flowers were planted within the evergreen structure of hedging and topiary, in a vista leading from the main terrace to the vegetable garden and greenhouse. Rae chose spires of Eremurus and Delphinium with roses, peonies and Eryngium in a sea of Artemisia, creating a visual sensory feast. Acer ‘Sango-kaku’ and Amelanchier lamarckii trees were planted in threes to provide plenty of seasonal colour, while drifts of white and burgundy perennials run through the borders from spring to autumn, alongside the silvery blues of the Iris border. Rae mirrored the spherical forms of the two water feature sculptures with clipped Buxus balls and plenty of Allium schubertii, Allium ‘Mont Blanc’ and Allium sphaerocephalon. The restrained colour and varying textures,

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combined with the predominantly structural planting, have created a balanced and timeless scheme that sits well within its location and is enjoyed by the entire family. Plants were supplied by Palmstead, Griffin and Orchard Dene Nurseries, all of whom Rae has worked with for many years. The landscape contractor for this project was Outdoor Options. ABOUT RAE WILKINSON Rae Wilkinson came into horticulture from an artistic background. After many years of soft landscaping with designers and maintaining designed gardens, she trained with Andrew Wilson and has now been designing gardens for over 10 years. A deep knowledge of plants combines with Rae’s creativity, and it is her firm belief that the right plant choices are the key element to making a garden work.

Trees • Acer palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’ • Amelanchier lamarckii ‘Robin Hill’ • Carpinus betulus – Pleached • Cornus kousa var. chinensis – Multi stem • Magnolia grandiflora – Pleached • Pyrus communis ‘Conference’ – Espalier Shrubs, roses and hedging • Buxus sempervirens • Camellia Japonica ‘Auguste Delfosse’ • Carpinus betulus • Cistus × corbariensis • Elaeagnus × ebbingei • Hebe parviflora • Hebe pinguifolia ‘Pagei’ • Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ • Hydrangea aspera sargentiana • Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’ • Lavandula angustifolia ‘Munstead’ • Mahonia eurybracteata ‘Soft caress’ • Pittosporum tenuifolium • Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Silver Queen’ • Pittosporum tobira ‘Nanum’ • Rosa ‘Madame Isaac Péreire’ • Sarcococca confusa • Taxus baccata • Viburnum tinus ‘Eve Price’ Perennials, bulbs and ferns • Acanthus spinosus • Agapanthus Headbourne hybrids • Alchemilla mollis • Allium ‘Mont Blanc’ • Allium schubertii • Allium sphaerocephalon • Aquilegia vulgaris ‘Stellata ruby port’ • Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ • Astelia chathamica ‘Silver Spear’ • Astilbe ‘Hennie Graafland’ • Camassia leichtlinii caerulea • Dryopteris filix-mas • Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ • Equisetum hyemale • Eremurus himalaicus • Eryngium planum ‘Blaukappe’ • Euphorbia × martini ‘Baby Charm’ • Helleborus niger ‘Praecox’ • Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ • Hosta Halcyon • Sedum herbstfreude ‘Autumn joy’ • Iris pallida subsp. pallida • Paeonia lactiflora ‘Duchesse de Nemours’ • Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ • Papaver orientale ‘Patty’s Plum’ • Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Blackfields’ • Primula vialii • Tulbaghia violacea ‘Variegata’ • Zantedeschia aethiopica Climbers • Clematis cirrhosa ‘Wisley Cream’ • Rosa Gertrude Jekyll Aquatics • Nymphaea odorata

Photographs ©Chloe Hardwick/ Rae Wilkinson

Plant list

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19/12/2017 09:53


With the EU having recently voted to reauthorise the use of glyphosate, Neil Huck asks: where are we now, when it comes to the controversial weed killer?


or the last four years, glyphosate – the world’s most widely-used weed killer – has been placed under review by the EU due to its suggested links with cancer. A report by the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), published in 2015, called glyphosate a “probable carcinogen”, causing global concern among the agricultural and scientific communities. The European’s Chemical Agency (ECHA) countered the IARC’s findings, concluding that there was no evidence of the weed killer being carcinogenic – yet over the spring of 2015, the EU committees failed to vote on its re-approval, postponing their vote until November 2017, when it was finally given the go-ahead. Had it not, the consequences would have been disruptive and costly for our sector. In 2015, renewal of a chemical licence for glyphosate appeared to be a formality after the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) deduced that it was harmless to humans. However, such certainty was challenged later that year when the IARC cited the chemical as “probably carcinogenic to humans”. Following this statement, both EFSA and ECHA reassessed the evidence, again finding no proven link to cancer. Glyphosate pesticides have been in use since the Seventies, and were formally approved at European level in 2002. However, for the past

two years, the future of glyphosate has remained distinctly uncertain, with many potential outcomes, including a ban on the treatment of public areas such as parks and play areas. It has been estimated that 747,000t were used in 2014. When considering the popularity of the weed killer (due to its effectiveness and comparatively low cost), a ban would have presented a real threat to our environment and 70

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our economy. Had the EU voted to ban the chemical, farmers would have had to resort to mechanical weed control, not only increasing greenhouse emissions but also cutting production and threatening wildlife.

HAD THE EU VOTED TO BAN THE CHEMICAL, FARMERS WOULD HAVE HAD TO RESORT TO MECHANICAL WEED CONTROL Currently, the herbicide is applied to the leaves of plants to kill both broadleaf plants and grasses, while the sodium salt form of glyphosate is used to regulate plant growth and ripen fruit. However, basic forms of glyphosate contain the TalloAmine additive, which is to be withdrawn due to its proven negative impact on human health – including causing severe irritation to eyes, mouth and lungs. In the event of a ban, Ground Control, and other businesses like us, could have been forced to cease its use of this vital herbicide across all company divisions, where it is currently used for weed control and stump treatment. Existing client contracts would have been at risk, as alternatives are more expensive and less effective

than glyphosate, and there is next to nothing in the way of new chemical herbicide products that come close to matching its performance. In September of this year, the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) held a workshop examining and demonstrating some of the alternatives to glyphosate for weed control – all proving to be more expensive to use, and requiring more frequent application. Had the licence not been renewed and approved, the Chemical Regulation Directorate had stated that they would be applying a phased withdrawal of glyphosate over an 18-month period. Clearly, a ban on glyphosate would have meant agreeing on the best alternatives, meaning compromises in both effectiveness and cost control, so it really is in the landscaping industry’s best interests that its chemical licence be maintained into the future. Had Ground Control, alongside other industry partners and associations, not been effective in lobbying central government and the EU for the renewal of glyphosate, it would have been a retrograde step. Its formal approval and five-year licence renewal last month has been a fillip for our industry, both operationally and financially. Now we have an extension, it is up to the industry to prove that glyphosate can be used safely, effectively and professionally. I would recommend that landscapers put their pesticide operators through refresher and update training, to ensure consistent good working practices. New, effective products won’t be on the market for at least another 10 years, so it is essential we are utilising pesticides safely as intended. ABOUT NEIL HUCK As well as being national group training manager for Ground Control Ltd, Neil works on behalf of BALI as technical director on projects with DEFRA, the EU Commission and ELCA, where he currently sits as Vice President involved with government consultations and legislation affecting the landscape industry.

19/12/2017 10:49


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It’s time to rehabilitate ivy’s image, says Andy McIndoe – it makes an attractive and versatile addition to a garden


vy, one of our most useful evergreen plants, is often maligned and dismissed. It is seen as a thug – invasive, destructive and generally undesirable – when nothing could be further from the truth. Ivy is selfsufficient, a survivor, tolerant, and attractive in situations where other plants fail. It is evergreen, wildlife friendly and low maintenance. What’s more, it is versatile, offering a variety of leaf forms and colours to suit a range of planting schemes.


Hedera colchica ‘Dentata Variegata’

‘Gloire de Marengo’ is an alternative, with satin leaves of soft and dark green, edged and marbled with white. It will lighten and lift any dark wall or fence, and makes wonderful groundcover. As groundcover, the large-leaved ivies are underused. They are brilliant under big evergreen or deciduous shrubs, especially under dogwoods

Hedera helix ‘Green Ripple’ Large-leaved hederas

The common ivy, Hedera helix, thrives where little else will grow and is self-clinging, requiring no other support on fences, walls and tree trunks. Mature plants produce woody stems that generate structured flower heads – a source of pollen and nectar. Later, the berries are taken by birds. Where it grows on a tree trunk, it is a place for birds to roost and nest, as well as a refuge for insects. It does no harm to a healthy, sound tree, taking nothing but support. Its weight and foliage, however, do increase wind resistance, which can be the downfall of an unstable tree.

They excel as groundcover, and form happy associations with other plants, such as Vinca minor and Epimedium. Hedera helix ‘Glacier’ is one of the best small-leaved ivies, with silvergreen leaves that are edged and marbled with white. It is particularly effective when planted with white-flowered Cyclamen hederifolium.

grown for their winter stems – so much more attractive against a carpet of shining foliage than against bare soil. Hedera colchica ‘Sulphur Heart’ is a gem for this purpose. Its large, dark green leaves are boldly splashed with rich gold in the centre; try it around Mahonias, or to create a carpet under Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’. Most ivies, especially large-leaved cultivars, are grown and supplied on canes. If using them for groundcover, just remove the canes and plant at an angle, if necessary; then pin them down using pegs or wires. Once in contact with the soil they soon get going, layering themselves as they grow.

Hedera algeriensis ‘Gloire de Marengo’

Cyclamen hederifolium and hederas

The same is true of ivy on walls. If a wall is sound, then the ivy’s aerial roots cling to the outside of the brickwork or render; if there are structural flaws, the ivy may penetrate and damage. On fences, the ivy’s weight can have the same effect as on an unstable tree; on a sound fence it should cause no damage. Common ivy has many cultivars with variously shaped leaves and attractive variegations. These vary in vigour, so suit a variety of situations from steep slopes and banks to pots and containers. 72

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Hedera helix ‘Green Ripple’, a dark green ivy with deeply cut leaves, is less vigorous than most, and ideal for trailing over low walls or tree stumps. It is also excellent in pots – perfect alongside ferns for low maintenance container planting in shade. The large-leaved ivies are probably the showiest climbers for shade, with Hedera colchica ‘Dentata Variegata’ one of the finest. Due to strong variegation it is slower growing than many ivies, and the foliage is healthy and weather resistant. The leaves are dark green and sage in the centre, margined and marbled with cream. Content on any soil and aspect, it grows slowly to 3-4m (10-13ft). Hedera algeriensis

Hedera colchica ‘Sulphur Heart’

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

19/12/2017 09:49



pparently, we’re in the middle of a sleep crisis. No one is getting any – or if they are, it’s not enough, and the quality isn’t right. This is never a good thing, because without proper sleep, we don’t function as well (I speak from experience: I write this in the middle of the crazy season of Christmas planting, when sleep becomes this elusive, fantastical thing – a bit like a unicorn). On top of this, Blue Monday, officially the most depressing day of the year, happens on 15 January – so it’s probably a good idea for us all to hunker down and hope that sleep can fortify us through this drear.

THESE PLANTS RELAX US AND PURIFY THE AIR, WHICH CAN HELP TO CREATE A HEALTHY SLEEPING PATTERN Thankfully, help is at hand in the form of sleep-enhancing plants, which provide benefits over and above the inherent sense of peace and calm that comes from having them in our living spaces. These plants relax us and purify the air, which can help to create a healthy sleeping pattern, leaving us with an improved sense of wellbeing – more energy, greater productivity, and better equipped to deal with our busy lives.

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Ian Drummond

These are my current top five calming and cleansing plants: 1. Snake plant (mother-in-law’s tongue) In the plant world, this beauty stands proud not only for its good looks and hardiness, but also because its air filtering qualities are second to none. Listed as one of NASA’s top air-improving plants, it emits oxygen at night while absorbing carbon dioxide, something we naturally produce when breathing. It also absorbs common domestic toxins such as formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene. 2. Aloe vera As hardy as the snake plant and just as good looking, this is one of the greatest multitaskers of the horticultural world. Recognised by the Egyptians for its healthgiving properties in treating ailments, it also emits oxygen at night. 3. Spider plant All too often, this great little plant is an afterthought, but it has much to offer in cleansing the air of up to 90% of formaldehyde while absorbing odours, too. All this, plus a ready supply of miniature ‘babies’ dangling attractively from the mother plant. 4. Gardenia With its exquisite scent and glossy leaves, it has been claimed that this plant is as effective

as Valium in aiding sleep and reducing stress. I don’t know that I would go that far, but there is much to be said for the soothing properties of its scent. Just make sure it has plenty of bright light during the day, to enjoy it at its best. 5. Lavender Probably the best known of all the anxietyslayers, and for good reason. Not only is it breathtakingly beautiful, but studies have shown that its scent can slow down heart rate, lower blood pressure and reduce stress, so aiding a natural sleep. Regarding the quantity of plants needed to make a difference, NASA recommends 15-18 plants are required in an 1,800-square foot environment in order to purify the air or induce sleep through their scent. Big planting brings big benefits – it’s a great motto for the new year.

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

Images ©

At this time of year, the idea of going into hibernation is a tempting one; with that in mind, Ian Drummond selects his favourite plants for aiding sleep

Pro Landscaper / January 2018 73

19/12/2017 09:41


Don’t limit your Christmas decorations to the home, says Jamie Butterworth – there are many great plants for adding a festive and celebratory touch to gardens


hile we are cosily tucked away inside, sipping mulled wine and munching on mince pies, there is an extra special Christmas party happening outside in the garden. Nature puts on its very own Christmas performance – you just have to know what to look for, and what to plant to create the most dazzling show. We are all aware of the holly and the ivy, the mistletoe and the poinsettias, but there are so many other plants that can help to enhance the Christmas period. Extend the season of interest and utilise plants that will keep giving throughout the year; those below not only put on a spectacular show during the summer months, but also continue to give well into the new year. Here are my four top plants for creating a winter wonderland – without you having to worry about taking them down in January!


Jamie Butterworth Abies nordmanniana

Abies nordmanniana What would Christmas be without a Christmas tree? While this tree looks fantastic inside, festooned with lights, tinsel and baubles, it looks so much better out in the garden, in my opinion. Remarkably easy to grow, and with year-round interest, it boasts the most gorgeous conical, erect green-brown cones. A tree is for life, not just for Christmas.

EXTEND THE SEASON OF INTEREST AND UTILISE PLANTS THAT WILL KEEP GIVING THROUGHOUT THE YEAR Anemone × hybrida ‘Andrea Atkinson’ Let it snow! Japanese Anemones are copious self-seeders, producing an abundance of white, cotton-like seeds that cluster together; from a distance, as they begin to unfurl, they are very reminiscent of a snowy winter’s day. Be warned, though, each seed is another plant – perfect if you love Anemones, but they can be prolific.

Clematis tangutica

Clematis tangutica Known more for its delightful yellow flowers, which emerge from July right through to October, Clematis tangutica is a great way to add colourful height to a garden. During the winter months, it also has incredible fluffy seed heads that fantastically mimic baubles. Save time and money, ditch the Christmas decorations, and let the plants do the talking!

Viburnum opulus

Viburnum opulus A fantastic mid-to-large deciduous shrub that produces stunning balls of white flowers in spring; it’s a plant you will often find adding height and structure to Chelsea planting. In winter, it produces amazing clusters of jewel red berries that are suspended in the air like ornate Christmas decorations. It’s a great one for the birds, too, especially as food become scarce during the colder months. 74

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

19/12/2017 09:43


Noel Kingsbury pleads for more adventurousness in landscaping when it comes to groundcover plants, making the case for the increased use of sedges


yawn is very often the reaction to mention of groundcover plants. The situation that groundcover plants are aimed at is generally mown grass – which, given its dominance of designed landscapes, is as about as boring as you can get. If grass doesn’t grow, the resulting bare soil or mud is worse than boring. British landscape professionals and plant specifiers have never been very adventurous with groundcover plants, which perhaps accounts for us all finding it such a bore – we have few examples to inspire us. There are reasons, however, for us to take more notice of groundcover plants. One is simply the reduction of maintenance and associated sustainability issues – which is basically another way of saying ‘let’s cut down on mown grass maintenance’. Another is that there is a good and increasing range of plants out there that can provide functional and attractive surfaces in a range of colours and textures, doing much to visually enhance designed landscapes. Groundcover that has been used in British landscapes includes a limited range of evergreen creeping shrubs and conifers. Creeping shrubs can extend themselves beyond their boundaries and start to move onto paths and other hard surfaces, which is perhaps why perennials may be the better bet. In addition, the most effective non-coniferous, woody groundcovers are the various groundhugging species of Cotoneaster. These are now definitely out of favour, as they can seed into


Noel Kingsbury

rocky habitats where they become an allsmothering carpet – a shame, as they are fantastic pollinator plants. The archetypal ‘good’ groundcover just has to be Bergenia, which seems extraordinarily stress tolerant, and – despite not forming a 100% coating of the ground – does a very good job of stopping anything else from growing. The leaves have that chunky graphic quality that works well in contemporary built environments, and it flowers in spring, so the ‘green cement’ label can’t be levelled at it. We need more Bergenia! I’m also a great fan of Phlomis russeliana, which is evergeen, flowers nicely in summer, and has good seed heads. Easily appreciated at 30mph, it makes the ideal roundabout plant. It’s

frustrating that there is not more genetic variation in the nursery trade, but a plant whose natural distribution is between Aleppo and the Turkish border isn’t going to be attracting plant hunters looking for new introductions any time soon. What I am building up to is sedges – species of Carex. They look like grasses, but aren’t, and are much more tolerant of shade and poor soils. Most

THERE IS A GOOD AND INCREASING RANGE OF PLANTS OUT THERE THAT CAN PROVIDE FUNCTIONAL AND ATTRACTIVE SURFACES are evergreen, and a lot look good all year round, given an annual haircut. We are not that tuned in to them, as not many of our native sedges make much of an impact – but they are becoming the big new thing in the US, as an alternative to the dreary ‘mulchscape’ that has become so pervasive in public landscapes over there. Dutch designer Piet Oudolf has started to use more of them in his designs, and designers on the European mainland are becoming increasingly adventurous. I’ve done one trial with Carex glauca, a British native, which performs fantastically well, although it succumbed to weed infiltration after three years. In an urban environment, it would probably last longer. The rising profile of perennials in larger-scale projects will hopefully make more specifiers look again at species that could be used as groundcover, which have so many advantages and deserve more than a yawn when the subject is mentioned. Pictured: Carex glauca. A British native sedge, which potentially makes very good low growing and low maintenance groundcover. One of many species we should be looking at?

ABOUT NOEL KINGSBURY Noel Kingsbury has been involved in the horticulture industry since the mid Eighties as a nurseryman, garden designer and writer, with features appearing in The Garden, The Daily Telegraph and Gardens Illustrated. Since the mid Nineties he has played a major role in introducing the British gardening public and the horticulture profession to naturalistic planting with a series of books, four of which he has written with Dutch designer Piet Oudolf.

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From advice through to sales and aftercare, we know we are going to get a great service

MEET THE TEAM From left to right: • Dave Topping (business development manager) • Kev Davies O’Malley (transport manager) • Stuart Tickner (nursery manager) • Richard Burt (sales director) • Richard McKenna (managing director) • Lynn East (company secretary)


ABOUT Provender Nurseries prides itself on its excellent plant choice and wide range of complementary sundries, with the quality of the stock having been paramount to the company’s growth over the last 13 years. Sourcing plants and working closely with customers results in exceptional service, and sees great designs turned into reality. Based in Swanley, Kent, Provender Nurseries is ideally placed for delivery into London and surrounding home counties.


Betula utilis var. jacquemontii


Pittosporum tenuifolium varieties

Ilex crenata/Buxus sempervirens

Crockenhill Taxus baccata


LOCATION Magnolia wilsonii

Lavandula varieties

TESTIMONIALS “Provender Nurseries is my first choice for my projects. I used to spend time searching different nurseries to get the plants I wanted, but now I just send my planting schedule to the team and if they don’t have any in stock they can normally source them for me, or offer sensible substitutions.” Landscape architect and garden designer — London


“Provender has supplied my plants and hard landscaping materials for over 10 years. Its service is second to none – friendly, professional, knowledgeable and eager to help. Whoever I deal with will always give me their fullest attention. They have an amazing, high quality product range and it’s rare for me to source materials elsewhere. Any issues are resolved promptly and with minimum fuss” TV garden show presenter and garden designer – Sidcup, Kent

Pro Landscaper / January 2018

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“My company has been using Provender Nurseries as a key plant supplier for several years. Both the quality of the plants and the customer care are superb. From advice through to sales and aftercare, we know we are going to get a great service. Provender Nurseries is extremely competitive, so it’s reassuring to know this great service and quality are at the right price. Commercial landscape company – West Sussex

Provender Nurseries, The Landscape Centre, Leydenhatch Lane, Swanley, Kent BR8 7PS Opening hours Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm Sat: 8am-12pm

CONTACT Tel 01322 662 315 Email Web

19/12/2017 09:58

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How garden designers can make maintenance more efficient



Different cements and their varying uses



ROBERT WEBBER The initial steps in planning garden lighting



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It’s crucial that garden designers consider the needs of those who will be maintaining their creations, says Jeff Stephenson Designers can play a key role in the continuing evolution of the gardens they create, especially if they understand the horticulturists’ perspectives and can afford time to meet them. Many, however, never get the opportunity to set foot in the garden after sign-off, and are unable to greet the custodians of their reputations. The horticulturist may attract minimal consideration in the design process, due to budget and time constraints, client decisions, etc. I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in many fantastic schemes, by a range of creative and influential designers. During that time, I’ve seen that there are additional considerations that horticulturists could be requesting, to ensure the success of those visions. Additional communication To comprehend the scheme, gardeners should have explanatory handover packages; being privy to the design’s backstory, brief and developmental narrative will inform practices – are some plantings ephemeral while key perennials mature? Is there meaning or symbolism behind particular layouts? What is the ultimate height of the hedges? Operation and maintenance manuals and planting plans are often included; this could extend to concept plans and 3D renderings, which express the client’s desired outcome. One client of mine expected her garden to match her SketchUp image; a few pruning adjustments later, she was content.


Appropriate planting schemes Absolute perfection in planting schemes is a big ask, but planting that’s not totally suited to the on-site environment will inevitably lead to failures – and more often than not, it’s the gardener who suffers the clients’ conniption. Observing the site conditions, paying close attention to sunny and shady aspects (not just the north point on a plan), is crucial. Planting too closely (for that handover day reveal) leads to physiological stress and encourages disease – leave room for the plants to develop. Show gardens exaggerate expectations and have a lot to answer for in this respect; managing those expectations is both complex and critical. Other anathemas, invariably directed by clients, include: lawns under trees, hedges (yew in particular) shoehorned too close to walls, and woodland shrubs planted on exposed roof terraces. Where possible, some client decisions need to be led more forcibly, to allow their investment in the garden to realistically flourish. Ergonomics The efficiency of a garden’s care can be influenced by the designer in many ways, and we as gardeners should be providing feedback on what helps this. Consideration needs to be given to accessibility to the planted areas

through inclusion of service paths, good ladder access to hedges and walls, and inclusion of man-safe anchors where there is risk of a fall. Restricting the pruning heights of stilt hedges to serviceable proportions ensures that pruning

A fully accessible design is easier to manage

can be practised comfortably and regularly. Encouraging the provision of compost bins is an ideal, while well positioned taps are indispensable. The avoidance of awkward corners and slope details in lawns allows for easier mowing, improving results. A more open dialogue between those involved, from design inception through to aftercare, is to be encouraged. Gardeners are skilled individuals who react to the environment and are well placed to continue the garden’s progression if the designer is no longer involved. By considering the gardener’s needs from the outset, that process can be far more constructive, building high esteem between all parties. ABOUT JEFF STEPHENSON With over 29 years’ experience in horticulture, Jeff Stephenson (Dip.Hort. (Kew) Hons MCIHort) heads up the horticulture and aftercare division of Bowles & Wyer. He joined in 1996 and has worked on small installations, soft landscaping and gardens maintenance for the vast majority of their schemes.

Well-spaced coastal scheme during planting


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Same scheme filling out nicely, over three years later

19/12/2017 09:37

CHANGING LANDSCAPE In a new series, Peter Wilder considers the role of technology in landscaping and why the internet is key to staying competitive Innovation has long defined humankind’s aspiration to improve the world. Our competitive nature has led us to develop complex systems and approaches that have reduced the need for manual labour and improved productivity in just about every area. Landscaping has become ever more mechanised and technology-reliant to improve efficiency and health and safety. Firms that embrace technology are more likely to succeed and improve profit margins over competitors. In the race to adopt new technology, there will be winners and losers, and those that invest will require new skills and a different breed of employee to maintain their edge.

FIRMS THAT EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY ARE MORE LIKELY TO SUCCEED AND IMPROVE PROFIT MARGINS OVER COMPETITORS Communication It is hard for me to believe that my journey as a landscape architect began before the internet and mobile phones, and before personal computers were seen as anything other than something to play games on. Since then, computers have become a central part of every office, and smartphones enable us to run our practices from anywhere in the world. One of the biggest things to come out of mobile communication and smartphones is the

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use of social media. Social media is now one of the most powerful and pervasive tools used by businesses to profile their services, attract new employees and promote the brand, due to the ability of its messaging to ‘go viral’. Social media transcends boundaries of gender, geographic location and wealth bracket, and specialist apps such as LinkedIn focus purely on building a business network. With so much to gain, it is hard to understand why so few companies use social media as a platform for advertising or reaching out to key clients. Although most people today are social media users, most do so in a personal capacity, and few firms have a dedicated marketing manager who oversees a social media account. Perhaps the biggest block to the use of social media is time. With so much information available, there is a tendency to be overwhelmed with data competing for time. Email marketing floods inboxes, and spam or unsolicited emails compete for our attention along with bids and requests from clients and project managers. The average person spends 28% of their time reading or deleting emails, with more than half unrelated to their work. This is one of the reasons why social media has overtaken emails as a route to market. Information on social media is less intrusive and offers the reader the opportunity to choose how and when to access the information, organise it into themes or topics and to follow the influencers that most appeal to the interests of the user. Apps such as Hootsuite, Keyhole, Klout

and Mention even help to track keywords and filter multiple social media channels, as well as reporting on the market penetration of your own. Communication used to be a two-way dialogue, but now it is carried out over multiple devices by voice, text, image and video. The smartphone has enabled every person to become a broadcast platform. With so much noise, it is not only difficult to stand out but also to find the time to be productive. The only way to survive in the information age is to set boundaries. Dedicate time to view and post meaningful content at least once a day, and then put the phone away. Turn it off completely in meetings – there is nothing worse than a client feeling they are only getting part of your attention. Create filters to ensure only relevant information reaches you, and, finally, take time to read printed material. This gives the mind some freedom from the constant bombardment of distracting snippets of information, and provides real insight into issues that deserve more of our attention. Next month: Working in the virtual world ABOUT PETER WILDER Peter Wilder is a landscape architect and principal of Wilder Associates. He lectures on Landscape Design and Technology at the University of Greenwich. In 2015 he established Survey Drone Ltd, an aerial mapping and remote sensing company employing a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

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19/12/2017 09:33



In the second part of his series on managing client expectations, Sam Hassall helps designers see where design costs fit into a budget



Managing your clients’ design cost and delivery expectations

The first section of this two-part article dealt with techniques for establishing a budget; this section will deal more technically with design cost and hours, and how to work out what you should be charging for your design services – taking into account the time spent conceptualising and detailing the design, and the expenses involved. PART 2: MANAGING DESIGN DELIVERY EXPECTATION

How do you decide how much to charge? • If you have achieved ‘star designer’ status and are an ethical design professional, your hourly fee might be higher, and your fee could ideally be based on the supply of your intellectual design service only, and not supply of material. You should be charging enough money to cover your time comfortably and to deliver a quality service to your client. The tables below assume that your initial consultation is free. In fact, the initial consultation never is free – it is absorbed as part of your later fee billing. • Design time is not only the time you spend at your drawing tool. It is the time when your mind is working – while driving or walking or even trying to sleep. For this reason, see the efficiency hours in the table below. • Detail and administrative design is more efficient as you are not trying to conceptualise – hence the increased productivity time. • On any project there will be a split between conceptual time, detailing time and supervision time. We are not considering supervision as part of this model.


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Notes on the following table • This table shows your hourly minimum costs at a salary shown. • With or without an assistant – as a business grows you will want a larger basic salary, and more facilities and employees. • You should regard the salary figure as a basic wage, where additional profit is added on to supplement your income. Productive hours Relating to the standard number of construction industry working hours per year, this would equate to £33.96 per hour if a designer were to work productively for six hours per day, with holidays and leave allocations. There is always non-productive time. You should vary this to suit, or you can request a working copy of the Excel sheet from the author. The table further assumes that your salary increases with the number of staff you employ – it would be bad business sense if it didn’t! It also assumes that you have an increase in simultaneous projects, for which fees are being charged. The example with five staff assumes that there are three projects being run concurrently.

Salary Table Wages and Staff in a small office

You only

One assistant

Five staff

Your salary (£)






Staff wages (£) Total wages, including NI etc. (£)




Productive chargeable working hours (PCWH) per day for team




PCWH per year based on avg. from Table of productivity




Cost per hour for design work (£)




19/12/2017 14:43

EDUCATE Productivity The table below shows how the standard % might relate to the job values Table of productivity

Conceptual work

Details and admin or details design

Productive hours per day



Working days per year



Productive hours per year



Average productivity between two work types above


This table shows the reality of the percentages against the hours and designer wage rates for conceptual work (five hours a day) and for detailing, which is arguably more productive – though not as interesting. The following table demonstrates the hourly allocations of the rates against a nominal 15% and 20% of project value, using the Salary and Admin tables.

Add to this the following expenses/year:

On your own

With an assistant

An office of five people

Office costs (working from home) (£)




Equipment per annum (£)




Insurances per annum (£)




Travel expenses (£)




Other production expenses (£)




Other business expenses (£)




Subtotal (£)




Expenses cost per hour for conceptual work (£)




Your salary + expenses per hour (£)




Expenses cost per hour for admin + detailing (£)




Your salary + expenses per hour (£)




Now divide the bottom line above by how many jobs you run concurrently to give the rate per hour per job This alternative view shows a sample of how many hours you could expect to profitably spend on a project at the rates shown above Project value (£)

Fee at 20% (£)

Conceptual hours on project You only

With assistant

Fee at 15% (£)

Conceptual hours on project You only

With assistant


















































On the basis that an assistant makes you more efficient, you could spend lower cost hours on a project if an assistant were helping you with some aspects of the process. Conclusion A good design practice will transparently communicate the fee and time to its client, allowing the client to see where their money is going. It should additionally allow you to design with profit in mind, ultimately delivering the perfect project for your practice’s portfolio and your client.

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ABOUT SAM HASSALL Sam Hassall is the UK’s only dedicated specialist landscape cost consultant. As managing director of LandPRO Ltd, his range of services include providing cost and implementation information to landscape design professionals and contractors. Sam’s expertise are gained from his formal training, and many years of experience in the landscape industry. Sam also compiles the Spon’s External works and Landscape price book, and developed the market leading LiberRATE Estimating system. Tel: 01252 795030

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19/12/2017 14:44


Landscaping projects can sink or swim on the right or wrong cement. Sean Butler looks at the different types and when they should be used

In the early 19th century Joseph Aspdin, born into a family of bricklayers, set out on his own to create the first Portland cement in his hometown of Leeds. He formed a plaster for a variety of building purposes, which was patented in 1824; he called it Portland cement because it resembled Portland stone, known as the best building material available in England at that time. Fast forward almost 200 years and the types of cement used in the construction industry vary widely. It is always wise to choose your mortar carefully, i.e. make sure that you use the correct grade of cement for the soil conditions you are working with, and also take into account the time of year you will be working, in relation to the temperature and weather. When using cement, don’t think that ‘one type fits all’ will work – this is a common approach, which can only lead to failure.

These days, cement is manufactured through a closely controlled chemical combination of calcium, silicon, aluminium, iron and other ingredients. The raw materials used to manufacture cement are essentially limestone or chalk, combined with shale or clay. The ingredients are put through a milling process, heated at high temperatures, and finally ground into the fine powder we know as cement. 84

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HARD CHOICES TYPES OF CEMENT USED IN LANDSCAPING PROJECTS • Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) is manufactured by mixing limestone with shale and clay to form clinker, which is then finely crushed to form a grey-coloured cement. OPC is used in building works where special cement properties are not required. • White Ordinary Portland Cement (WOPC) is just a white version of OPC and is used mainly for aesthetic purposes, such as rendering walls, as a base coat before painting, and to cover hairline cracks on concrete surfaces. • To combat slow cement cure time during the winter months, you can use Rapid Hardening Portland Cement (RHPC), which is useful where high strength is required quickly, i.e. for pavements and roadways (which cannot be out of use for long periods). • Sulphate Resisting Cement (SRC) should be used on most landscape projects, particularly those involving soils with a high clay content. SRC can withstand sulphate attacks, which can lead to cracking of the mortar and structural failure. This type of cement is used where the concrete is in direct contact with soil, which has high sulphate content. Typical applications include pile foundations, strip foundations, rafts and coastal area works. • Low Heat Cement is produced by lowering the amount of tricalcium aluminate and dicalcium silicate in the mixture. The larger the amount of cement used, the higher the temperature it reaches; this can then cause

shrinkage when it is cooling, which may stress the concrete and possibly result in cracking. In landscaping projects, LHC is a good material to use when building retaining walls. • Quick Setting Cement is manufactured by reducing the amount of gypsum in the mixture and adding small amount of aluminium sulphate; this accelerates the setting time. It is used in situations where the works need to be completed quickly, such as underwater construction, and is also suitable for general use by landscapers who are working in cold and rainy conditions. • Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC) is manufactured by adding pozzolanic materials, such as fly ash, shales and clays. It gains high compressive strength with age, and, unlike rapid hardening cement, it is cheap and affordable. This application is mainly used in construction where strength and waterproofing are required. • Hydrophobic Cement is produced by using admixtures such as petrolatum and naphthalene soap, which form a layer and act as a water repellent. It is for situations when cement is stored for long durations in wet conditions, as it does not absorb water. Get your cement right, and you will increase the quality of your work. ABOUT SEAN BUTLER Sean Butler is a landscape designer and director of Cube 1994. With a background in civil engineering, Sean has an in-depth understanding of the design, construction and maintenance of the physical and naturally built landscape.

19/12/2017 09:30


BEST LAID PLANS In the first of a two-part series on the process of a lighting project, Robert Webber discusses what needs to happen before the spades hit the ground Why does everything have to be finished in time for Christmas? It’s a magical line in the sand for us, as though the whole world is found sitting in their gardens on Christmas Day. Getting it all done in time is where meticulous planning and commitment come to the fore. I’m a stickler for planning – “What’s the schedule, and when’s the completion date?” is my mantra. I come from a generation of men and women who live and die by their word. Nowadays, the definition of commitment seems to be blurred – hardly anybody does what they said, when they said they would. Not in my world! If I say it, I’ll move heaven and earth to make sure it happens. Commitment, too, is something that drives my business – that’s why I often get frustrated by mediocrity. It’s one of the reasons that I love to pass on the construction processes and design nuggets that pave the road to success, and it’s probably time that I revisited them for you here.

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This may be obvious to some, but for others, let me expound. Good lighting design and installation starts long before a spade hits the ground – it comes from getting a good brief from the client, and holding that brief in tension with the realities of the actual garden design. We can create a lot of magic, but we can’t perform miracles. It’s better to set expectations early and then exceed them, than to promise the earth and deliver less. Expectations are often felt, not seen, and it’s frequently about the emotional before it’s about the physical.

WHEN TALKING MONEY COMES SECOND, YOU KNOW THE CLIENT HAS PUT THEIR EMOTIONS FIRST Having gained a good brief and set realistic expectations, we can then cost for installation. I’ve said it a thousand times, but a good lighting installation costs a significant amount of money. Yes, there are cheaper fittings you can use, but it’s a trade-off between longevity and quality – not to mention your company’s good name. Some projects we just have to walk away from at the costing stage: we don’t want to, but we won’t compromise to earn a buck. When talking money comes second, you know that the client has put their emotions first. As budgets get tighter, installers need to get brighter. Infrastructure takes up 60% of most commission costs – cables, transformers, switches and so on. If money is tight, cost for half the garden lit today, with conduits installed for the future. In my experience, I’ll get

a call after a few weeks to ask for the rest, as one half will inevitably sell the other. We always aim to be part of the solution on costs, but we are realistic – talking money is never taboo. Once costs are agreed, it’s time to look at scheduling. When, where, how, and what’s needed? We place orders with lead times, set stage payments to suit the client, and apportion labour, making sure it can be fitted into our schedule as well as the client’s. We draw conduit plans for free, and deliver conduit and warning tape to site. Stage three is where we secure all the necessary parts needed, and normally where we have been paid 60% of the contract value. That’s me, planning cash flow again – otherwise we could easily be in for a £250k commitment with little money back, across 20 projects. You only need a few to be delayed or cancelled and your Christmas party gets cut to KFC! So, with the project ready to start, next month we will be exploring installation and how communication on site and familiarity with contractors sets the tone for the main event.

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

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19/12/2017 09:32



Getting your business into the press can seem a daunting task for the beginner. Our new columnist Caroline Wade explains where to start If you are considering trying to achieve your own editorial exposure through PR, there are some practical tips to bear in mind. Creativity, excellent writing skills and an eye for news are at PR’s core, but there are equally some prosaic principles worth bearing in mind for those dipping their horticultural toes in.

What is your angle? You may believe that your service or company is newsworthy enough to be written about on a daily basis, but you must approach PR with an external editor’s eye, and bear in mind that the average journalist receives hundreds of press releases every day. For a press release to grab journalists’ attention it must have a relevant angle. The easiest angle comes if you are launching a new service or business offer, as ‘newness’ – by its very nature – is news for journalists. If your communication is not around a launch, you must consider why it is relevant. What current trends or topics can you tie it to? Is there any business insight you could share that may be of interest to the overall sector? Is there anything in particular about 86

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your business that is of relevance now, either to customers or the wider industry? Call journalists The thought of picking up the telephone to a features or news editor is, for many PR newbies, extremely nerve-racking. Prepare to be met with curt responses, especially if journalists are on a deadline – and even if they are not, the press seldom has time for stories you can’t summarise into one clear sentence. However, the benefit of actually having a conversation with press cannot be underestimated in terms of pulling through actual coverage. In their simplest sense, conversations will lift your story above the hundreds of other unopened press releases in an inbox. Conversations also often uncover opportunities through knowing what that journalist is actually working on, and they will also ensure you are speaking to the correct member of the team. Know the publication Every media title is different. They have different sections and different industry focuses – and, in addition, each journalist normally has their own area of interest. You are wasting your time pitching a service aimed at high-end landscape gardeners to a publication entirely focused on grounds management and maintenance. Buy publications and go through them individually. Get a feel for their style and pull out any columns or opportunities for which your company or service would be a natural fit. Be tenacious If worked hard, one press release can result in multiple pieces of press coverage. You

FOR A PRESS RELEASE TO GRAB JOURNALISTS’ ATTENTION IT MUST HAVE A RELEVANT ANGLE must be tenacious, ambitious and determined in your approach to media relations, working hard to find the right contacts to target and then going through them methodically. Don’t be put off if some journalists say it is not a story for them. This doesn’t always mean your story is not interesting; it sometimes just means you need to keep going until you find the journalists that say yes. On the other hand, if you are not getting anywhere regularly with your sell-ins, or achieving the media targets you would like, it might be time to bring in the professionals. ABOUT CAROLINE WADE Caroline Wade is managing director of WADE PR, a ‘challenger’ agency that she founded in 2015 after 15 years working across a range of business sectors, including horticulture, retail, travel and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). The company specialises in generating ambitious press coverage returns for clients through smart thinking and determined media relations.

19/12/2017 09:55



19/12/2017 11:29


Pro Landscaper visited one of the leading suppliers of natural stone and porcelain paving, Global Stone, to talk about the company’s growth, its range of products, and the exciting developments it has planned for the upcoming months

When we visited Global Stone, the team was busy putting together the 2018 brochure, with a brand new design and a wide choice of more than 300 products – including new additions to its expansive range of porcelain. This is testament to the company’s popularity and its reputation for quality and innovation – which has allowed the Essexbased business to expand. It’s renowned for being one of the first companies to introduce exterior porcelain paving to the UK market, and now has one of the largest ranges of porcelain paving stocked in the country. Every item in Global Stone’s brochure is kept in stock on the company’s four and a

half-acre site in Colchester. It stores at least three months’ worth, as products can take 12-14 weeks to arrive from across the globe, which allows it to supply customers within a lead time of between one and five days. The supplier was initially part of a builders merchants; although it is still owned by a parent firm, Global Stone became a standalone limited company in 2003, and now stocks builders merchants, garden centres and landscaping centres nationwide. It has expanded its range


GLOBAL STONE to include a variety of natural stone and porcelain garden products, from paving to accessories such as walling and copings, as well as drainage grids to help create seamless projects. It also supplies laying tools, including cutting equipment for porcelain paving, and provides training courses for customers on both the products that it sells and selling techniques. Everything is managed from one site – imports, sales, and distribution. Production of the paving takes place all around the world,

THE COMPANY ENSURES ETHICAL SOURCING BY VISITING ITS SUPPLIERS, AND HAS A ROLLING PROGRAMME AS AN AUDITOR with porcelain imported from Italy, and natural stone from a number of countries, including India and China. The company ensures ethical sourcing by visiting its suppliers, and has a rolling programme as an auditor. At last year’s FutureScape event, Global Stone showcased its new porcelain range, which continues to be popular. “When we first brought porcelain paving to the exterior market, it was very contemporary,” says strategic marketing director, Sara Cullis, “but there’s now a market out there for porcelain paving which looks like natural stone, so we now stock a wide range including two marble effects new for 2018.” Global Stone also recently launched

a new range called Pave, which comes in modular sections to save landscapers time when laying the setts. The company is now looking to build new office space. “When we moved to this site in 2009, the office space was adequate,” says managing director Julian Wood, “but over a period of eight years, we’ve grown significantly.” The team will be introducing a new website in the coming months, and will be focusing on its social media outlets. Emma Taylor was hired as marketing executive last year; she will work alongside Sara to develop the brand’s marketing across both print and digital. “It’s all about brand awareness,” says commercial director Clare Morgan. “A lot of people have Facebook pages rather than websites now, particularly the smaller companies and start-ups, because it’s inexpensive to do so.” Constantly ahead of the trends and exploring new marketing strategies, Global Stone is set to have another successful year. CONTACT Global Stone (Colchester) Ltd, Tey Gardens, Church Lane, Little Tey, Colchester CO6 1HX Tel: 0845 6060 240 Email:


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19/12/2017 09:28





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trailer, the next they might be carrying a load of woodchip,

reliability, practicability, fuel economy or green

so towing capabilities and the ability to drive under load all

credentials, and function. Fuel economy and reliability have

factor when we’re deciding. There are times when the

significant impact on our financials. Pounds can make the

vehicle’s design can be unique to a designated task, which

difference between winning and losing a contract, so we

is where we have things such as caged tipper trucks.

need to be able to work efficiently and pass savings on to



three-year or 60,000-mile warranty and follow the regular

down – it also includes how quickly parts can be sourced,

services stipulated by the manufacturer. Operatives need to

and how extensive the warranty is.

be comfortable at work, so I would also always recommend

As with most landscaping companies, CGM Group

air conditioning, Bluetooth and satellite navigation; any

needs to demonstrate year on year improvements to our

additional safety features you can haggle for at the time of

carbon footprint, so fuel emissions have a steer on the

purchase are added value. Other items that currently being

decision when we’re purchasing.

used across our teams include built-in cameras to help with

Our vans need to be practical for work, and are often used for many purposes. One day they might be towing a

Commercial Vehicles.indd 89

I would always recommend that people go for a

our clients. Reliability isn’t just how often your fleet breaks

road incidents, and road trackers to help plan routes and rounds.

Pro Landscaper / January 2018 89

19/12/2017 10:02


WHAT I’M READING Jackie Herald, The Extra Room

JACKIE HERALD One wall of my studio is lined with books – their spines a potted history of the projects I’ve hooked into since my postgrad days studying the history of fashion and textiles. The old favourites – which include the magic of numbers, architecture, crafts and graphics around the world, and sustainability – still feed into my work. Since a career move into landscape and garden design, more books on plants compete for space. For me, reading is as much about words as images that capture the imagination. I avoid those highly illustrated garden books and magazines in which the text simply describes what is in the photograph – what’s the point of being so literal? Landskipping

©Cédric Pollet

I adore reading about landscape – or Landskipping, as Anna Pavord named her latest title. Relaxing into the chapter ‘Of Rooks and Sheep’ makes a far more satisfying and refreshing end to the day than counting the

©Cédric Pollet

Euphronia acuminatissima, featured in Plants of the World

proverbial flocks. Pavord’s childhood, like that of so many people working in the landscape profession, was steeped in the countryside, and bears strong associations with particular flowers, evocative of people, places and events. She writes: “The landscapes I prefer have an element of man’s hand in them. Not too much, but enough to be able to add stone walls, plough and hedges to the view.” Recalling a spring-side picnic where her mother tested her on O Level theorems, she tells us that she still associates the square of the hypotenuse with tall green bracken and a view to the Usk. I’ll keep this more poetic vision in mind when I next set out a 3-4-5 right angle with the contractors. The Natural Navigator Tristan Gooley’s book The Natural Navigator is as poetic as it is practical. For the benefit of sharper site analysis, I’ve learned that, whether using the sun or a smartphone compass to register North, data alone is meaningless without taking a second or third look, and questioning why before making a deduction. Gooley’s written clues make common sense; for instance, one can navigate from a difference in colour between two ends of a puddle – the greener end indicating the direction in which algae has been blown across the surface by the prevailing wind. His observations are tuned by all the senses – the crunch of gravel, the squelch of mud, the taste of saltwater, the smell of decay and the resonance of birdsong; this is something I’m attuned to in designing with children in mind. Winter Gardens A feast for the eye, Winter Gardens by French photographer Cédric Pollet’s is a


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What I'm reading.indd 90

celebration of colours and textures – especially exploiting bark and stem colour, but also the pallid beauty of seedheads and grasses. The captions don’t get in the way of the images – they have some sound advice on planting combinations, especially how evergreens punctuate the deciduous species – and plenty of varieties are named. A good starting point for the next woodland design. Plants of the World Last but not least is the latest tome from Kew, called Plants of the World. At 800 pages, I’d have difficulty in making space on the studio shelves – so, though I normally enjoy books as objects and a relief from pixels, I welcomed the chance to review an electronic copy. The book is a taxonomic bible. It is also full of fascinating facts about people’s uses of plants – reflecting, as it does, Kew’s expertise in economic botany. The otherworldliness of some of the flowers and foliage has triggered some fresh concepts for structures and patterns in fences and paving – while taking me back full circle, to my textile roots.

19/12/2017 09:23

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19/12/2017 13:44


WHAT’S YOUR ROLE? HANNAH BUTTON Hannah Button, botanical horticulturist at Kew, tells us about her job restoring the garden’s Temperate House, as well as how she got into the industry Can you tell me about your role? I’ve been a botanical horticulturist at Kew for two years; I’m currently part of a team to restore Kew’s Temperate House. We’re on the final six months of a five-year, multi-millionpound restoration, so every day is busy and brings a new challenge. The horticulture team works on the design, landscaping and planting, as well as cultivating and curating the plants. A normal day consists of a team meeting each morning, which updates us on daily tasks and health and safety, then we don our PPE and check on the watering of the plant collections. The plants come from all around the globe and are used to different amounts of rainfall, and because many plants are rare and endangered in their natural habitats, it’s very important to get the watering right. My responsibility is for plants from temperate islands, South and Central America, Western Australia and New Zealand. We do the plant husbandry, such as the weeding and feeding, watering and leaf picking, but because we’re a botanical garden we have to make sure that the accession labels stay attached to the plants, so that we don’t lose valuable collections data.

How did you get involved with the Temperate House renovations? I applied for the role of botanical horticulturist in the Temperate House in 2015, and trained in the Princess of Wales Conservatory for two years to prepare. This glasshouse has 10 different climate zones, so I got to learn about a range of tropical and temperate plants. I also had the chance to work on some small landscape projects, and experienced working under pressure at the Kew Orchids Festival.

What has been your route into the horticulture industry? In sixth form I had problems with anxiety. I had a job in a bedding plant nursery, and found that nurturing the plants was really therapeutic; my parents said, “you really enjoy horticulture, why not make a career out of it?” I studied horticulture at Pershore College, and from there I worked in nurseries and garden centres and did a lot of volunteering for the National Trust, including at Baddesley Clinton. Then I worked at Webbs of Wychbold, and on the strength of that I applied for my job at Kew. What do you enjoy most about your job? I find it incredibly rewarding. Each season there are new challenges, new priorities, and new discoveries – I’m always learning. I’ve got the


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chance to work with some of the world’s rarest and most fascinating plants, and I really love carrying on the history of the gardens, making a beautiful space where people can learn and reconnect with the natural world. What do you find the most challenging? The logistics of moving large, rare, economically and scientifically valuable plants can be difficult. This has been my first experience of working on a busy building site – in my first week I was incredibly tired, because you have to be alert to the site hazards and machinery moving around. Also, the site and works change all the time, so we have to think of the safest, most logical and efficient ways to reorganise our work – we’re looking after plants with such different requirements, in an environment where we have to wash the brick dust off the leaves every day! What are your future aspirations? In the short term, it’s to open the Temperate House! I would like to get involved in all the community projects that go along with its opening. I’d also like to obtain a travel scholarship to visit New Zealand and view some of the Temperate House plants growing in their natural environment, and do CPD at a New Zealand garden. Longer term, I’d like to progress within my career, and hopefully I can do that at Kew. I hope that whatever I do in the future, it involves learning about nature, people and plants.

19/12/2017 09:21



James Booth, managing director of bespoke metal fabrication company Outdoor Design, talks to Pro Landscaper about how the business operates

Can you tell us a little about Outdoor Design? We’re an established precision engineering firm based near Arundel in West Sussex. We create everything from James Booth large-scale structural and architectural metalwork to intricate sculptures and water features; we also design and make bespoke metal planters. Whatever the size, location or complexity, we’ll interpret the client’s vision and make it a reality, with all design and manufacturing done in-house. Above all, we love solving problems and taking on challenges no one else can – or would dare to – attempt! What is the company’s mission? To be the best at what we do – simple as that. There’s no greater pleasure than nurturing a project from conception to delivery and knowing it couldn’t have been achieved by anybody else.


Company name Outdoor Design Address Unit 1, Block A, Ford Airfield Industrial Estate, Ford, West Sussex BN18 0HY Tel 01903 716960 Twitter @OutdoordesignUK Email Web

How do you ensure the quality of the product? We have established quality procedures and are accredited ISO 9001:2015, but the quality of our work is always our passion and goal – it’s what we are built on.

We are passionate about what we do, and it’s ingrained in our ethos. What sort of projects are Outdoor Design involved in? It really is varied. If it can be made of metal, we can make it, and that means we get involved with a diverse range of projects.

Have you anything new for the upcoming months? Always. We never stand still and are always looking for the next challenge.

1 Free-standing steel framed canopy, Farnborough 2 Bespoke curved planters, Merchant Square, London 3 Laser cut stainless steel porthole, Hampton Court Palace 4 Curved planters, 1 Merchant Square, London

What are the key selling points of your products? Because we do not offer a product as such, it is more our ethos, our way of working. We have an unwavering belief in our ability to exceed our clients’ expectations. Of course, this is backed up by a great team and the very latest in cutting edge technology; and the fact that we do it all under one roof means we are in control. Our clients know the value of that. How do you market the business? Our online presence through our website and social media, plus of course conventional printed press, are vitally important – but only in conjunction with a very strong reputation and word of mouth.

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

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



An exciting opportunity has arisen to work on Love Your Garden, an ITV prime time garden makeover series with Alan Titchmarsh. We are looking for associate producers/project managers for the series on various fixed term contracts between March and June 2018. The position of associate producer (AP) is to project manage and oversee the garden makeover builds. Practical landscaping and project managing experience is essential.

Gavin Jones Group is a multi-disciplined, award winning and well respected landscape contractor specialising in delivering exceptional customer service and sustainability of business. An exciting opportunity has arisen to join our team and work in the beautiful surrounds of Richmond Park, Surrey. We are currently seeking applications for the position of assistant contracts manager. The role will include executing duties to specification and budget, ensuring the smooth running of works on site, leading, supporting, and motivating staff and building strong, long term relationships with clients.

For more details please go to

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Are you looking for a varied and challenging role? Would you like to work for an established land management company with many industry accreditations? Do you pride yourself on achieving consistently high standards? Working within a team, you will be involved in various countryside management and landscape projects for local authority and utility sites in Windsor and the surrounding areas.

HAGS is a global company founded in Sweden in 1948 with a product offering that stretches over an extensive range for play, sports and other outdoor recreation.The head of contracts role is to ensure that all pre-qualifying, tendering and sales support services are provided to the sales function efficiently and according to tendering schedules and that all post-qualifying and installation projects are initiated and completed according to contract schedules, at the agreed costs to maintain target margins and at or above the established ISO installation and construction quality standards so as to meet or exceed the customer’s expectations.

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HORTICRUITMENT Location: Essex/North London


Experienced supervisor required for a large grounds maintenance contract in East Sussex. You must be experienced in supervising 10+ staff and have grounds maintenance experience. This would suit someone looking to move into a large company.

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

PROPERTY CARE ASSOCIATION Location: Cambridgeshire

The success and growth of the Invasive Weed Control Group (IWCG) of the PCA has resulted in the need to create an exciting new role within the technical team. We are now looking for an enthusiastic candidate to fill a new technical role to support the Invasive Weed Control Group sector of membership. Working in support of the Invasive Weed Control Group sector of the Associations membership and activities, and primarily focused on supporting the growth and development of members who specialise in this work.

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Topiarus Horticulture Ltd maintains the gardens and grounds of a number of corporate and private clients across Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds. Due to continued expansion we are looking for new gardeners to join the team to help maintain a variety of beautiful gardens to a high standard. You will be experienced in gardening and soft landscaping, have good plant knowledge, and work well in a team and on your own. You will also need to be able to effectively communicate with clients and be comfortable working with a range of garden machinery.

Are you an experienced sports ground operative? Are you based in Hertfordshire? Would you like to work for an established company in a position specialising in setting out, marking and maintaining sports pitches and fields? The person appointed will be responsible for sports field marking and maintenance tasks where a high standard is essential. You will be working within a team servicing long established commercial clients throughout London, Hertfordshire and the Home Counties.

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Pro Landscaper / January 2018

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HORTICRUITMENT Location: Hertfordshire

19/12/2017 12:52

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19/12/2017 13:53


DARREN TAYLOR Marketing and communications manager, British Association of Landscape Industries

Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? To me, not really. I would rather choose a more natural landscape for my inspiration. Show gardens are an integral part of the industry and do provide millions of people around the world with ideas on the finest designs, build and materials on offer by some of the finest creators in our wonderful industry, but they are also, at times, far beyond what people can afford. Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? I love the natural beauty of Canada and Norway. What would you blow your budget on? I would invest in a nationwide marketing campaign to raise the awareness of BALI, to stop the public using untrained and unskilled labour! The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Frances Tophill – I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her already! Such a lovely, caring, family-orientated person who has a real


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passion for horticulture and the industry. One thing that you think would make the industry better? More students from GCSE level taking an interest in a career in landscaping, and having the right courses available to meet employers’ required standards.

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


ALEXANDRA FROGGATT Owner, Alexandra Froggatt Design

Best piece of trivia? That the Haribo ‘fried egg’ is actually a space ship. I still don’t want to believe it. Role model as a child? Completely non-industry related, but I have always admired Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Super Mario. He still inspires me to this day. Couldn’t get through the week without... A mug of tea! I think I must drink at least 10 a day. Your favourite joke? Why are trees so useless at tests? Because they get stumped on every question! Best invention in recent years? Sky Q! Being able to watch Paw Patrol in every room of the house is essential when you have a four-year-old!

Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational? Yes. It is a chance to see the latest trends, products and ideas. Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? The drama and otherworldliness of Scandinavia is captivating. What would you blow your budget on? Mature specimen trees.

Readily available advice on running a design business. Best piece of trivia you know? There is a pine tree in California that is over 5,000 years old. Role model as a child? I didn’t really have one, I was too busy playing video games and making dens. Couldn’t get through the week without... Green and Blacks 70% dark chocolate and a glass of wine.

The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Can I have two? Piet Oudolf and Arabella Lennox-Boyd.

Your favourite joke? What did the Mexican firefighter call his sons? Hose A and Hose B.

One thing that you think would make the industry better?

Best invention in recent years? Kindle.

19/12/2017 10:10


KIERON LEE Head gardener, Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, London, idverde

The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? D. G. Hessayon.

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

One thing that you think would make the industry better? Courses available at more colleges.

What would you blow your budget on?

Best piece of trivia you know? In the original Italian Job, Fiat offered as many cars as the film crew needed for free, but they paid for the Minis instead because they didn’t want to replace them with Fiats.

Couldn’t get through the week without... Coffee.

Role model as a child? Parents, great nan, grandad and Gianfranco Zola.

Best invention in recent years? Smartphone.



General manager, Glendale

Operations manager, Garden Club London Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational? No – I like my own ideas.

the industry better? For people to want to get involved.

Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? Italy, due to its use of pots and sculpture.

Best piece of trivia you know? In Florida, it is illegal for single women to skydive on Sundays!

What would you blow your budget on? Water, I love the sound and atmosphere it creates. The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Capability Brown. One thing that you think would make

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Role model as a child? Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Couldn’t get through the week without... Coffee. Best invention in recent years? GPS tracking.

Your favourite joke? My friend said onion is the only food that make you cry, so I threw a coconut at his face. Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Occasionally, yes. Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? South Africa. What would you blow your budget on? Natural heated pool. The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Piet Oudolf. One thing that you think would make the

industry better? Tighter policies and better regulations. Best piece of trivia you know? The boa constrictor is the only animal whose common name is also its Latin name. Role model as a child? Vinnie Jones. Couldn’t get through the week without... Making my children smile!


Hand tools and rubble sacks.

Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational? Yes, they are very inspiring.

Best invention in recent years? Wi-Fi, or any wireless technology.

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Pro Landscaper January 2018  
Pro Landscaper January 2018