Page 1

Concept to Delivery July 2012


Cohesively linking house, terrace, pond and garden at a home in Hertfordshire


Olympic parklands


LDA Design’s East London See how three companies implemented their projects regeneration masterplan

Let’s Hear it from... Phil Jones of ISS Facility Services Landscaping

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June 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 6


07/06/2012 18:24


July 2012



4 News shed

A round-up of news from the industry.

10 Association news Updates from the trade associations.


12 Business Tips

Regular features, including estimating software, TUPE legislation, and benefits of mulching.

Wilson McWilliam Studio

23 Let’s hear it from…

Phil Jones, ISS Facility Services Landscaping.



Walmsley Shaw

Helen Taylor

42 Olympic parklands LDA Design’s East London masterplan.

47 Pro Mowers

FEATURES Futurescape Seven more reasons why you can’t miss Pro Landscaper’s inaugural industry event

Ethical stone The Ethical Trading Initiative advises how to source sandstone responsibly

Which type of ride-on mower best suits your requirements?

Hampton Court Palace Preview of some of the standout gardens at the 2012 flower show

54 Trending

Pro Landscaper looks at what’s different this month.

56 People

20 EDITORIAL Director – Lisa Wilkinson Tel: 01903 234077 Content Manager – Joe Wilkinson Tel: 01903 234077 EDITORIAL ADVISORY PANEL Mark Gregory Chairman APL and Landform Consultants Sam Hassall LandPRO Ltd Russell Eales Lawn Care expert Karl Harrison Decking expert Keith Sacre Tree expert

38 ADVERTISING Business Development Manager Jamie Wilkinson Tel: 01903 234077 Sales Executive – Luke Chaplin Tel: 01903 234077 Managing Director – Jim Wilkinson Tel: 01903 234077 GENERAL ENQUIRIES Tel: 01903 237779 CIRCULATION Subscription Enquiries: Tel: 01903 234077

Small Business Blog, Events Diary and The Little Interview.

41 MANAGEMENT Managing Director Jim Wilkinson Director Lisa Wilkinson

PRODUCTION Design and reproduction: Russell Cox Design & Production

Business Development Manager Jamie Wilkinson

Printed by Pensord Press Ltd, Gwent, UK

Marketing and Content Manager Joe Wilkinson Pro Landscaper is published 12 times per year by Eljays44 Ltd. The 2012 subscription price is £75.00. Subscription records are maintained at Eljays44 Ltd, County House, 3 Shelley Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN11 1TT, UK. Articles and information contained in this publication are the copyright of Eljays44 Ltd and may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publishers. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for loss of, or damage to, uncommissioned photographs or manuscripts.

Published by © Eljays44 Ltd – Business Intelligence

Business intelligence

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

July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7




Support industry events We are now well into the time of the year that most of the business in our industry is conducted. The summer months see hard work and long hours, but it could be beneficial to make time to visit and/or take part in the many shows and exhibitions that run throughout the year. The business and networking opportunities are boundless and can benefit your business greatly. The recent BALI Landscaping Show demonstrated this perfectly and gave exhibitors, contractors and visitors the opportunity to learn from each other and forge lasting and mutually beneficial relationships. Pro Landscaper recently “The BALI Show attended a tour of the Olympic gave everyone the Park organised by BALI Treasurer opportunity to forge Martyn Mogford of Gavin Jones mutually beneficial Ltd along with invited members of relationships.” the APPGHG (All Party Parliamentary Gardening and Horticulture Group) with the aim of highlighting the excellent landscaping undertaken by BALI Contractors and Affiliates, of which the association are understandably proud. In this issue, (page 42) LDA Design talks about the creation of the master plan and design for the Olympic Park and legacy transformation, well worth a read. We also have an open and frank interview with Phil Jones, MD of ISS Facility Services Landscaping, information on how to get funding for apprenticeships from Lantra, and a mowers feature on cost-effective options for maintaining parks and open spaces – at a time when we’re all looking to reduce costs. As always, please let us know what you think. Jim and Lisa Wilkinson

In the August Issue of Pro Landscaper…


July 2012

Cohesively house, terrace linking , pond and garden at a home in Hertfordshire



Let’s hear it from… the Commercial Director of one of the leading UK landscape contracting companies

A look at arboriculture





LDA Design’s Portfolios regeneration East London See how three masterplan implemented companies their projects

Have you signed up to the new Pro Landscaper Network? Log on to and click the network tab to get involved in the latest member discussion Let’s Hear

it from...

Phil Jones of ISS Facility Services Landscap ing

Features on artificial grass and sprayers

Our great Portfolio section Business Tips section

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

July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7

Deverell to be next Director of Kew

Palm House glasshouse at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Richard Deverell is to succeed Professor Stephen Hopper as Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Richard will take up his post in autumn 2012. Richard joins Kew after nearly 20 years at the BBC where he achieved great success leading and managing new initiatives in such important areas as BBC News where he ran the news and sport websites. He was also Chief Operating Officer of BBC North and thus contributed to the delivery of one

of the BBC’s most important new capital projects: the creation of Media City in Salford. Richard said: “It is an honour and humbling to follow in the footsteps of Steve Hopper and the other giants who have been directors of Kew. “I am full of ideas and commitment and my simple ambition is that Kew will sustain and, ideally, improve upon its reputation as the world’s premier centre of excellence for botanical knowledge.”

Barcham’s Big Barn conferences a hit Barcham Trees of Ely, Cambridgeshire hosted another hugely successful ‘Big Barn Conference’ at their nursery on the 20 June. The 437 delegates were treated to some marvellous lectures from a number of internationally acclaimed speakers, including Ed Gilman from Florida who detailed the latest arboricultural research from the USA. The event is available on DVD from mid-July at £10 each including P&P, email natasha@barchamtrees. to reserve your copy.

Barcham’s Keith Sacre organised the event and commented: “It was a fantastic day, another opportunity for our industry to convert theoretical research into practical applications.”

News Shed

Marshalls’ Cobbletech unveiled at BALI 2012 hassle of traditional cobbles. The product will be available from mid-June 2012 exclusively to Marshalls Register Members. A video on the Cobbletech system is available on the Marshalls Group YouTube channel at For more information on the Marshalls Register or on Marshalls and its products, please visit www.

Marshalls, the UK’s leading supplier of hard landscaping products launched a new product at the BALI Landscaping Show, which is available exclusively to its Register members. Marshalls revealed its all new Cobbletech Driveway System, and demonstrated how the specially designed blocks can be used to create a realistic, antique stone look without the time, mess and

Pro Landscaper launches FutureScape Contractors, designers and architects please remember to keep your diary clear on 20 November 2012 and head down to Kempton Park Racecourse for the Pro Landscaper inaugural event, FutureScape. The event will consist of a packed and informative seminar programme, practical hands-on masterclasses, product demonstrations from leading suppliers, a fantastic collection of the top UK nurseries and an exciting line-up of exhibition

stands. We are also delighted that the industry’s leading associations are will be in full support. Kempton Park is very easy to get to, it’s just off the M3 close to the M25, M4, M40 and A3 and has a large car park and close

by railway station. See more information on pages 20-21 of this issue or visit www. to pre-register.


NURSERY NEWS Plants in gardens, landscaped schemes and on the nursery are being subjected to myriad conditions this season and weed control issues are keeping us all busy. With new herbaceous lines bursting into bud, flower and then getting battered by rainfall, it’s no mean feat keeping a selection available for the landscapers’ planting palette. But we’re doing it! Aquilegia McKana Hybrids are in their full glory, as are geraniums – Geranium endressii ‘Wargrave Pink’ and ‘Johnsons Blue’. Herbaceous perennials have contrast, form and interest in their foliage, the Iris pallida ‘Variegata’ (pictured) is a stunning silvery-green blanket – with stunning blooms, too. If it’s the colour and contrast of a swath of herbaceous your planting plan requires, consider adding a container tree to punctuate the scheme – a Betula utilis jacquemontii, Prunus serrulata ‘Sunset Boulevard’ or a Malus ‘Evereste’. Then you get a spectacular display of plants in the sunshine – and somewhere to shelter in the rain! By Lynn Hunter, Coles Nurseries

July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7


Contractors News

NEWS IN BRIEF New managers at Ransomes Jacobsen David Timms and Nick Penn have been appointed to regional sales management roles at Ransomes Jacobsen, one of the leading manufacturers of commercial mowing and turf maintenance equipment, based in Ipswich.

APL seminar focuses on sustainability The Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) is holding a seminar at Greenline Plants, Solihull on 11 July. With a focus on sustainable, ethical landscaping, it will enable landscapers to get together to consider how best to minimise the impact of landscaping on the environment. To book your place please visit www. or email

Keep up-to-date with legislation, says HTA The HTA says growers, traders and users of plants, trees, hedging and shrubs should be aware of imminent changes to legislation affecting the growing, marketing and procurement of many species of plants, as a result of two major reviews of all EU legislation on Plants, Seeds and Propagating Material (including FRM) and Plant Health legislation. For more info visit

Royal honour for Keith Chapman Landscape contractor Keith Chapman, WorldSkills Ambassador for Landscape Gardening has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours’ list.

July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7

ISS Facility Services wins second RoSPA Gold Award ISS Facility Services Landscaping has been awarded a second Gold RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) Award at the RoSPA Occupational Health & Safety Awards 2012. The honour demonstrates ISS’s industry-leading health and safety record and on-going commitment to keeping the health and wellbeing of both its workforce and clients safe. On receiving the Gold Award, Robin Jackson, Compliance

Manager, ISS Facility Services Landscaping said ‘it is a fantastic achievement to secure this prestigious award for two consecutive years and emphasises

our commitment to occupational health and safety across our business which is always right at the top of our agenda and continues to be a key focus for our organisation. David Rawlins, RoSPA’s awards manager, said: “The RoSPA Awards programme provides well-deserved recognition for the winners and spurs on other organisations to raise their standards of accident and ill health prevention. We congratulate ISS on its success.”

Nurture empire spreads northwards Nurture Landscapes has announced a further expansion into the North of England and Scotland with the acquisition of Parkview Landscapes Ltd. Parkview was founded 50 years ago by Ian Brooks at the age of 22. Over the years he has built Parkview into one of the largest landscaping companies in the north

with nearly 100 employees. Parkview is based in Blackburn with depots at East Kilbride, Newcastle, Halifax, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and Northampton. This acquisition creates a privately owned National business which will lead to great opportunities for all. With more than 50 years’ experience, Nurture

Landscapes now has in excess of 200 employees working from 21 depots across the UK.

Norris & Gardiner launches App Tree Council urges care mobile access to content from our Norris & Gardiner launched its multi-platform “App” at the BALI Landscape show in June. Managing Director and former BALI Chairman Richard Gardiner said: “It’s just another communication channel that has to be explored in this multimedia business world we live in. The ability to keep customers up-to-date and informed of our activities while they are on the move is very valuable. The App will provide easy,

website as well as an enquiry hotline.” says Gardiner.

The Tree Council’s Tree Care Campaign is urging people to protect newly planted trees during the unpredictable summer months by checking that they are firm and upright in the ground, loosening ties to ensure the stems are not under pressure or rubbing against the stake or guard, and ensuring tree guards have not filled with water. Following these tips can help many more trees survive in their crucial early years.

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July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7

Association News – SGD






Society members taste victory at this year’s RHS event


t was a record year for SGD Members at RHS Chelsea with two of the most prestigious RHS Chelsea Awards – ‘Best in Show’ and the ‘People’s Choice’ Awards – granted to Registered Members of the Society. Cleve West MSGD took the highly soughtafter Best in Show Award for The Brewin Dolphin Garden – a spectacular topiary garden that used controlled structure in the shape of beech hedging and yew topiary forms, to contrast with loose layers of herbaceous plants. It is the second year that Cleve has clinched the award and the third consecutive year that an SGD Member has received the title. People’s Choice awards Back on Chelsea’s Main Avenue, Tom Hoblyn MSGD was awarded the coveted People’s Choice Show Garden Award in addition to a Silver Gilt medal for a formal Mediterranean garden inspired by the great Renaissance gardens of Italy for charity sponsor Arthritis Research UK while, in the Artisan Gardens category, first-time exhibitor Tracy Foster MSGD took a Gold medal and the People’s Choice Small Garden Award for The Brontes’ Yorkshire Garden for her interpretation of the Yorkshire landscape, in particular the wild and windswept Pennine Moors which so inspired the famous Bronte sisters. Tracy described her time at Chelsea as “a very positive experience and a wonderful opportunity to research new plants and techniques that I wouldn’t normally use for client projects”. Like many Chelsea designers July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7

she described Chelsea as “addictive” and something she would love to be given the opportunity to experience again. Tracy was one of 15 members to be awarded medals at the show including coveted Gold medals for Society Fellow Andy Sturgeon and for first-time Chelsea Show Garden designer and broadcaster Joe Swift MSGD whose dry, sustainable garden for the Homebase Teenage Cancer Trust highlighted the power of plants and natural forms in an urban and suburban environment. It was interesting to note the blurring of boundaries between the small gardens and trade stands as several Society designers had been commissioned to design trade


1 Winners of National Young Designer of the Year – (from left) Andrew Percival Katharine Wills, Tristen Knight. 2 Rooftop Workplace for Tomorrow, by Pat

Fox MSGD. 3 Homebase Teenage Cancer Trust Garden, by Joe Swift MSGD. 4 The Brontes’ Yorkshire Garden, by Tracy Foster MSGD.

stands at this year’s Show. Designers such as Rosemary Coldstream MSGD who designed a memorable stand for The British Plant Nurseries; Chris Deakin MSGD and Jason Lock MSGD who created an indoor/outdoor concept for The English Glasshouse and Aga and Amanda Patton MSGD who used modern block planting to create an inspired stand for the SGD. New design talent The RHS Chelsea Flower Show was also the venue chosen to announce the finalists in the RHS/SGD National Young Designer of the Year Award. This is the first year the SGD has supported this national competition run by the RHS. The three designers chosen as finalists are Katharine Wills, Andrew Percival and Tristen Knight. All three designers will now have the opportunity to create a show garden from their winning entries for the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park in July, where the gardens will be judged and the overall winner announced. The award is a fantastic opportunity for young designers to compete alongside their future contemporaries at an RHS Show that is building a reputation for launching new garden design careers. It promises to be a hotly contested title. Further information on all the SGD member gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show can be found on the SGD website For more information on the RHS/SGD National Young Designer of the Year please visit

Association News – APL

It’s a great honour to have the standard of the work by APL members recognised. Congratulations to them all.

Prize-winning gardens at Chelsea 2012: 1 Landform Consultants – Silver-Gilt Flora.


SHOW STOPPERS APL members win big at Chelsea Flower Show


embers of the APL have experienced another fantastic year, with many winning prestigious medals at the 2012 RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Rutland-based New Ground Landscapes, Berkshire-based Creative Landscapes, Reigate-based GardenLink, Chobham-based Landform Consultants and Hampshire-based Hillier Landscapes all wowed the crowds and judges by showcasing the very best in garden design, landscaping and plant production. New Ground Landscapes received a Gold medal for its contribution to the Lands’ End – A Rural Muse show garden. Designed by Adam Frost and built by New Ground Landscapes, the garden is designed for a couple who enjoy their landscape, especially the walks of the well-known local poet John Clare. Creative Landscapes won Gold for The M&G Garden. Designed by Andy Sturgeon, the garden is a new style of English garden that celebrates traditional craftsmanship and natural materials. Formal paths and terraces combine with a water channel to create a succession of garden rooms, separated by monolithic walls and a linear bench that appears to float. The focal point is the energy wave sculpture that weaves through the garden. The hat-trick of Gold medals was completed by GardenLink for the Quiet Time: DMZ Forbidden Garden. Designed by Jihae Hwang, the garden was created to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean conflict and reflects the tensions and lasting effects. The native plants thrive in the almost pristine conditions in the sanctuary of the demilitarised zone (DMZ). Landform Consultants won a Silver-Gilt Flora for the Royal Bank of Canada Blue


The Association of

Professional Landscapers

3 New Ground Landscapes – Gold medal.

Water Garden, designed by Prof. Nigel Dunnett and The Landscape Agency. The garden reflects a modern and environmental interpretation of the traditional paradise garden. Excess rainwater is channelled and stored in bioswales, which form the garden’s central feature. The garden explores the concept of rainwater management. Hillier Landscapes won a Silver Flora for The World Vision Garden designed by John Warland & Sim Flemons. With a ripple pool as its centrepiece, the garden represents the effect the children’s charity has in the world’s hardest places. Circular ripples spread from the middle to its edge, symbolising how their work with children helps families, communities and entire countries. Essential Ambience interior design (Surrey) and Lapicida stone masons (Yorkshire), proved to be a winner with the judges. Tim Briercliffe, Director of Business Development for the APL said: “Once again, there was a strong representation from APL at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. It is a great honour to have the standard of the work by APL members recognised. Many congratulations to all on their success.” APL Summer Networking Seminar The Association of Professional Landscapers is


2 Hillier Landscapes – Silver Flora.

organising a networking seminar for landscapers at Greenline Plants, Solihull on Wednesday 11 July 2012 from 4pm until 7.30pm. APL members can get together to listen, learn and share experiences. With a focus on Ethical and Sustainable Landscaping, the seminar will provide an opportunity for landscapers to consider how best to minimise the impact of landscaping on the environment. The event promises to be both lively and informative and among the speakers will be Andy Spetch from British Sugar Topsoil, who will highlight the ways in which British Sugar’s investment in leading technology in energy, efficiency, gas and water treatment has enabled the company to improve its use of raw materials and explore new product streams. Greenline Plants will be offering a guided tour of its site as well as a hog roast buffet after the event. Places cost just £15 + VAT per person for APL members and £30 + VAT per person for non-members. To book your place(s) now contact the APL Events team at www., email events@the-hta. or call 0118 930 3132. The event will take place at: Greenline Plants at Earlswood Nurseries, Forshaw Heath Road, Earlswood, Solihul B94 5JU.


July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7


Association News – BALI



isitors to this year’s Chelsea Flower Show came in droves on to the BALI stand in the new ‘Fresh’ area to find out more about the Association, its members, and the lovely planting scheme that graced the stand. It’s been a long time since the Association itself has built a garden at an RHS show and, while this was a minor challenge compared with the amazing show gardens (several of which were designed and/or built by BALI members), it still kept a few members awake at night in the build up to what was a highly successful event for BALI. Thanks to everybody who was involved in the design (by BALI Registered Designer Jill Crooks), project management, construction, and, of course, the manning of the stand throughout the event. The fabulous weather helped show it off to its absolute best and there is no doubt that BALI’s profile has been raised markedly as a result. BALI members’ Chelsea medal tally for 2012 was three Gold, four Silver Gilt, three Silver, one Gold Lindley, two Silver Lindley, three Bronze Flora and the People’s Choice Award for the Arthritis Research UK Garden built by BALI Registered Designer Thomas Hoblyn and constructed by BALI Registered Contractor

‘Fresh’ approach generates huge interest at Chelsea

Bowles & Wyer. Our congratulations to you all. BALI members in the Midlands and the North of England will have their opportunity to promote their businesses and fly the BALI flag from the Association’s stand at the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park from 18-22 July. More benefits from BALI membership Two more reasons to be a BALI member have been added to the list of membership benefits: BALIFINANCE is a superior asset and business finance service provided in collaboration with MacManus Asset Finance Ltd. Providing a one-stop-shop for BALI members requiring finance for all types of vehicles, plant and machinery, BALIFinance charges no fees for its service. As a broker, BALIFinance has access to around 20 finance providers, providing sums from £5k to £5m at the very best rates available, and service is prompt. If you are a BALI member considering finance to purchase new or used cars, commercial vehicles, plant, machinery or equipment, or are interested in releasing capital from owned vehicles or machinery, or exploring cashflow facilities such as factoring or invoice 1 BALI Registered Designer Andy Sturgeon’s Chelsea 2012 Gold-winning garden, constructed by BALI Registered Contractor Creative Landscapes. 2 Paul Cowell (BALI National Chairman) with Jill Crooks MBALI and David Dodd (BALI South Thames Regional Chairman) on the BALI stand at Chelsea 2012.


July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7


discounting, BALIfinance can help. For more details visit COMCERO – BALI has been looking at innovative ways to promote its members to the general public and has been working with Comcero to do just that. This free online marketplace ( connects consumers, businesses and trades people, enabling them to locate, buy and sell, and then manage the fulfilment of a service. Aimed at small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Comcero will be a fantastic way of getting BALI members in front of the masses. How does Comcero work? When someone seeking a particular service posts their requirement on the Comcero website, if it is covered by your service offering you receive details and are invited to tender. Importantly, you are anonymous to the buyer until you decide to accept their invitation to participate in the shortlist. As well as generating good quality leads and securing important new contracts, Comcero also gives you simple-to-use and highly effective CRM (customer relationship management) tools. At a glance, you’ll be able to see which tenders and jobs offer most profit, your revenue pipelines, your work scheduling and more. The easy-to-use online environment is independent and a very cost-effective new business generator where sellers know that, when shortlisted, they’ll be competing on a level playing-field. Visit or call BALI on 02476 690333 if you require assistance. To find out more about the benefits of being a BALI member, visit or call Rachel Douce on 02476 698651.


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July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7 14/06/2012 19:48


Business Tips

DESIGN&BUILD Tamsin Slatter reports

For any business, growth and profitability are vitally important. Without these key elements, invariably a business will shrink while more focused competitors reap the rewards. Let us follow the process and capabilities that make estimating software the popular choice in the design and build environment. The

STAGE 1 SURVEY For any design project, the starting point is to gain a good understanding of the site. Some designers will head out on site with tapes, dumpy level or other equipment to record the measurements and levels. Other projects will merit hiring the services of a professional surveyor. In this case, my survey was provided in an AutoCAD format from Ian Humby Surveys, and imported into Vectorworks. The different types of information provided are clearly organised so it’s easy to determine what’s what. STAGE 2 SITE ANALYSIS Using the levels provided by Ian, we created a site model. Although this is often the last skill designers will learn with us, once learnt, we recommend it as the first step the designer takes with the imported site information. The site model will display the existing site both in 2D and 3D, showing contours, or coloured areas to depict different slope categories. This is such a useful part of initial site analysis and aids design decisions. The software includes a comprehensive set of building tools, also used by architects to design and detail buildings. Incorporating 2D and 3D within the same object, the process of drawing is very similar to drawing plans, but the 3D is automatically generated. Documenting trees on site annotates key information, such as tree preservation zones, and shows the tree surgeon which to remove and which trees need some tender loving care. Before designing, existing elements that are to remain on site will need protection. For July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7

featured example – which forms the basis of the book Residential Garden Design with Vectorworks Landmark, written by Tamsin Slatter and commissioned by Nemetschek Vectorworks Incorporated – is a small development of hard and soft landscaping and has been split into a number of discrete stages, described below.




example, root zones for trees, roadways, hard landscaping that is to be retained. Boundaries are added to the site model to protect existing features from damage when the new design is imposed on to the site. Using the Heliodon tool, we added a light source to represent the sun in the correct position for the location of the site, so that we can animate the sun and gain a real understanding of the site, including creating a solar animation. STAGE 3 DRAFT DESIGN At this point, there’s no reason why the designer shouldn’t resort to familiar pen and paper to


explore design ideas. These can be drawn up on Vectorworks, or scanned and traced within the package to get the basic shapes right. Alternatively, use the easy Push/Pull tools to explore design ideas directly on the system. STAGE 4 HARD LANDSCAPING AND LIGHTING Once the design is determined, we recommend using the Hardscape tool to detail hard landscaping areas, along with the building tools for walls and the stair tools for garden steps. There are also tools for columns and readymade pergolas in the libraries, although these are

Business Tips

1 Vectorworks site model created from surveyor’s height data. 2 The hard landscaping complete. 3 The planting plan. 4 Presentation views of the completed scheme.


5 The Benchmark Export data tool. 6 The takeoff is imported into Benchmark. 7 The sections of the proposal. 8 An accurate estimate and specification are produced.

same sheet of paper, or export them as images for presentation on an iPad, or PDFs for sharing within a cloud service. 2



easy to model. One of the compelling reasons for using these tools is that they give the designer access to information – information that can be used to quantify the design and produce information ready to share with an estimating system. Although the key light in any garden design comes from the sun, evening lighting is so important for extending the use of the space. Built into the software is a library of lighting fixtures with built-in light sources, including deck light, floods and spots, ready to be placed straight into the scene. Tools for determining irrigation points are also available. STAGE 5 PLANTING AND IRRIGATION When I first used Vectorworks, it was the planting plan capability that was the jaw-dropping moment for me. Defining plants is easy, and once they are set up just the way you want them, they remain in your library for all future


projects. Planting mixes can also be created. These can be used where it’s more appropriate for mass planting in public spaces, or in a residential setting where you need to place bulb underplanting or wildflower mixes. But the real magic is in the scheduling – as the system counts the plants. STAGE 6 PRESENTATION Selling the concept to the client is the all important part of the process, and because we’ve used the combined 2D and 3D capabilities, it’s easy to produce plans and 3D perspectives of the garden together on the

STAGE 7 SCHEDULES AND ESTIMATE PRODUCTION However, the design is only the start. The next stage in turning the design into reality requires the production of an accurate cost estimate. Of course spreadsheets are a useful aid, and Vectorworks itself can produce outline quantity and cost information; the design and build industry requires a thorough and detailed understanding of cost and quantity. Working as the UK reseller of Benchmark Estimating Software, already used by many landscaping contractors and the UK Highways Agency, we have worked with Benchmark to develop a fantastic plug-in tool for Vectorworks. The integration enabled us to select the elements on the design, attach the relevant information and then export it into a file which we then imported directly into Benchmark Estimating Software using the Import from Vectorworks option. Benchmark automatically generated the relevant sections for the specification and auto-allocated the items to the project and produced the estimate. The library contains further details on the items that will be required to build the elements of the design. Of course, the estimate can be edited, and margins adjusted to reduce the risk of the project.

ABOUT TAMSIN SLATTER After a 20-year career in IT, Tamsin trained as a garden designer. Escape from the corporate world, the chance to work with nice people, learning about plants and how to draw was a dream come true and she

found Vectorworks invaluable. Tamsin now delivers courses and masterclasses to designers, helping them to work faster and more efficiently. Call 01488 658580, email View the course schedule at

July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7

2 1 D SG e 20 t a nc n e ere e s nf s A Co ing r Sp

Exclusive in-stock paving that beholds its past with a beautiful presence for your future designed landscape. H Hard landscape items available from warehoused stock for the domestic w a architect, landscape contractor, garden designer and general domestic user. d • Natural stone paving, kerbs and setts pavers • Clay paver benches and bollards • Seats, ben Stockscape also manufacture sculptures, water features bespoke sc granite statues. and carved g For further information: or call 0845 050 5592

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Tel: 0845 050 5592 June 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 6

Business Tips


HOW IS LEGIONNAIRES’ DISEASE CONTRACTED FROM COMPOST? The disease is most likely to have been inhaled from water droplets within the compost, but some reports indicate it can be acquired after direct contact with contaminated soil. Although rare in the UK, the bacteria Legionella longbeachae is commonly found in compost in other countries, including Australia, the USA, Japan, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

KEEP RISK IN HAND Following recent reports of legionnaires’ disease in Scotland, landscapers need to review risk assessments relating to compost handling, which has been identified as a common link, explains Jodie Read Companies employing five or more people are legally required to produce documented risk assessments. Such risk assessments should be subject to regular review, and, where necessary, be updated to include additional information. Recent reports of legionnaires’ disease being associated with handling potting compost highlights the need for landscapers to review the risk assessments that they have in relation to handling compost. Until now, manual handling was probably considered as the single most significant hazard associated with potting compost. A spate of incidents in Scotland indicate legionnaires’ disease should also be considered. Some gardeners have became seriously unwell, and one person even died after contracting the disease. Handling compost has been identified as a common link. WHAT IS LEGIONNAIRES’ DISEASE? Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia. Symptoms are flu-like and include fever, chills, cough, muscle pains and headaches. More severe cases may also cause diarrhoea or mental confusion. The disease does not spread from person to person.

WHO IS AT RISK? Everyone is susceptible to infection from legionnaires’ disease, although the following groups of people have been identified by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as being most at risk: ● People over 45 years of age. ● Smokers and heavy drinkers. ● People suffering from chronic respiratory or kidney disease. ● Any person with an impaired immune system.

CONTROL MEASURES Stricter labelling regimes for compost have been introduced in those countries where the disease is known to have occurred in the past. Currently, there is no requirement for UK producers to apply such labels. However, anyone handling compost can introduce some simple control measures to minimise the risk of contracting legionnaires’ disease from soil: ● Dampen the compost to suppress dust. ● Ensure good personal hygiene by washing hands thoroughly after handling compost and before eating or smoking. ● Consider the use of gloves. Ensure that any control measures you introduce are documented within your risk assessment and make sure that they are communicated to the people coming into contact with compost. UPDATING LEGAL REGISTERS For anyone with an OHSAS18001 management system, you should also update your legal register to take account of the potential health hazards that are associated with handling compost.

ABOUT JODIE READ Jodie Read is the Managing Director of Penarth Management Limited; a company which specialises in the provision of compliance consultancy and training for quality, environmental, health and safety management. Jodie and her colleagues assist companies in implementing and maintaining management systems, such as ISO9001 (Quality), ISO14001 (Environmental) or

OHSAS18001 (Health and Safety). The company is an affiliate member of the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) and Jodie is one of only a few approved ROLO health and safety trainers in the country. If readers have any queries regarding health and safety in landscaping, they are welcome to contact Jodie via e-mail: or by telephone on 029 2070 3328. July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7


Business Tips

understandingtupe TUPE is important legislation that is there to protect employees should their employer change hands. Yvette Etcell reports

There are occasions when a provider of services may “inherit” new employees by the operation of law under TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations) 2006. This is a complex piece of legislation. The purpose of TUPE is to protect employees if the work in which they are employed changes hands. It applies to many business transactions and to protect your business from claims, you need to understand when TUPE is likely to apply, what the effects are, what you have to do to comply and the penalties for failing to do so. In essence, TUPE applies where there is a “relevant transfer”. While application can be complex, virtually all service provision changes are covered so it is safe to assume that TUPE applies where a client awards a contract from one contractor to another, or when a service previously delivered “in-house” is subsequently out-sourced or vice-versa. OPTING OUT The effect of TUPE is that employees employed in the “undertaking” being transferred have their employment transferred to the new employer. Employees can refuse to transfer (“opt-out”), but in so doing they can lose valuable legal rights. TUPE states that “all the transferor’s rights, powers, duties and liabilities under or in connection with the transferring employees’ contracts of employment are transferred to the transferee”. This all-embracing concept encompasses rights under the contract of employment, statutory rights and continuity of employment and includes employees’ rights to bring a claim against their employer for unfair dismissal, redundancy or discrimination, unpaid wages, bonuses or holidays and personal injury claims etc. Employees therefore have the legal right to transfer to the new employer on their existing terms and conditions of employment (T&Cs) and with all their existing employment rights and liabilities intact. Effectively, the new employer July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7

steps into the shoes of the old employer. For this reason it is vital that employers know all about the employees they might inherit and there is a duty imposed on the old employer to provide such. Any dismissals will be automatically unfair, where the principal reason is the transfer or connected to the transfer, unless it is for an economical, technical or organisational reason – an “ETO” reason (NB: ETO defence is narrow in scope and difficult to rely upon). The law provides that new employers must take on the transferring staff on their existing T&Cs, and is prevented from making changes to these if the principal reason is the transfer. This often makes it very difficult for the incoming employer to harmonise T&Cs with their own. Where an independent trade union has been recognised by the outgoing employer (transferor), recognition will also transfer to the same extent. The transferor must inform appropriate representatives of the affected employees of the transfer and consult on any proposed “measures”.

COMPENSATION A failure to inform and consult, gives rise to a potential claim and if successful, compensation will be whatever a Tribunal considers just. The transferor has a duty to provide written details of the affected employees (including identity, age, particulars of employment, disciplinary and grievance records, employee claims and collective agreements) together with all associated rights and liabilities that will transfer not less than 14 days before the transfer. Failure to comply with TUPE could expose employers to claims which undermine the entire transaction. Finally, it is important to remember that you cannot prevent TUPE applying (it is not possible to contract out of TUPE), the legal right to transfer rests with the affected “employee” and neither the outgoing or incoming contractors can affect this right. Visit to access the Regulations

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

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

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July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7


Business Tips

1 Cutting and collecting is the easy bit, but…



Is mulching now a viable alternative? asks Angus Lindsay There is no doubt that the season so far has been somewhat varied. Mild dry winter, balmy warm spring, followed by the wettest drought I’ve ever known – and now the sun is here. For all I know, by the time you read this we could be under snow. In terms of grass cutting it has been a stop/ start season which thankfully is now well underway. However, the rain has caused no end of operational problems; the grass is long and thick and needs cutting, but we have not yet perfected a machine which can cut grass without leaving any evidence of arisings. (Come on manufacturers, build us a ‘proper’ hover mower!) Cutting and collecting Worse still is cutting and collecting. On an average 20-cut regime, 1,000m² of grass can produce more than 2 tonnes of grass clippings. Wet grass clippings are not the best for composting unless you can combine them with some other woody waste material which may not be generated on your contract at the right time of year. Sending green waste to landfill is a last resort solution – it is becoming increasing expensive and socially unacceptable. While there are obvious exceptions for collection (fine turf sports surfaces and high profile ornamental lawns) – it is not realistic nowadays to collect grass from roadside verges, general July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7

housing, cemeteries and public open spaces. Apart from the issues with disposal there is also the cost and logistics, particularly for ride-on mowers, where the cut and collect option is significantly more expensive than cut and fly or cut and mulch. The most common cut and collect ride-on mower, a 48” mid-mount machine with a high-tip collector, with a 12’x6’ trailer to move it costs around £12,500. You will also need to transport the cuttings and this all costs money: in the vehicle towing the trailer; big bags which require moving; a dust cart or a tractor and trailer. Looking at the mulching alternative – the same 48” machine fitted with a mulching deck and an 8’x5’ trailer will cost around £10,000. The need for any collection vehicles is also eliminated. The key to mulching grass successfully is to leave it that little bit longer so the cut/chopped material can fall down into the base of the grass

2 …now what do we do with it?


sward where it will return nutrients and nitrogen back into the soil. This reduces fertiliser requirements and can also help to retain moisture in times of drought. A mulching kit can be fitted to a standard rotary deck, which is not a great expense but the cutting blades must be kept sharp. The key, however, is the height of cut which seems to be the stumbling point as too many clients are still insistent on having their grass cut so low that in the summer the grass burns off and parks and playing fields look like deserts. What happened to “our green and pleasant land”? Fine cut flails You could also consider the more flexible approach of fine cut flails which are making their presence felt more and more around the country. Again, they work at their optimum with sharp blades and the grass being left that little bit longer to allow the cut material to drop into the base of the sward. So client, contractor, councillors and resident representatives need to look at their specification and review what it is they are asking for and discuss alternatives, especially as we are all looking to make savings. Every little helps.

ABOUT ANGUS LINDSAY As an agriculturist, 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 as a contract instructor for Massey Ferguson in Yemen.

During this time he also spent a year at Silsoe, gaining an MSc in Agricultural Engineering and Mechanisation Management. Returning to the UK he joined Glendale as machinery manager in l994 – going on to become Company Engineer – before joining The Landscape Group in 2009 as Group Head of Assets and fleet. Contact:

Don’t let any obstacles get in the way of productive mowing. Boost your business efficiency and profitability with the Husqvarna P 500 diesel series. Compact design, low cutting profile and unique articulated steering delivers unbeatable trimming ability and manoeuvrability. Reducing time and cost, in tight spaces, around trees and bushes, under benches and against fences. In addition to superb mowing performance, these machines are competetively priced, robustly built and ergonomically exceptional for many years of profitable, highly productive, comfortable mowing. Also, a wide range of attachments make these versatile all-year round machines. For further information or to arrange a demonstration, please contact us on 0800 169 6148 or visit us at: Scan to learn more about the P 500 diesel series June 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 6






Kempton Park Racecourse in located on the A308 between Sunbury-on-Thames and Hampton Court, less than one mile from Junction 1 of the M3 via Junction 12 of the M25, close to the M4, M3, A3, M40 and has excellent road and rail links from London.



FutureScape is not a one-dimensional show; we have a packed programme of short, snappy and informative seminars, hands-on Masterclasses being led by leading players in the UK. We have also lined up some unbelievably clever product demonstrations. Additional events are being run by the industry-leading associations. The early evening will also see the launch of our ‘View From The Top’ event.

MORE REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD ATTEND... FUTURESCAPE Pro Landscaper’s live event launches 20 November This is an exciting new event which will bring all aspects of the industry together, whether you are a landscape contractor, designer or an architect – this single day will be a must attend. FutureScape is supported by the industry’s leading associations and Pro Landscaper magazine. Tuesday 20 November 2012 will see our industry take over Kempton Park Race Course; the event will consist of a full-day’s seminar programme, masterclasses, a fantastic outdoor nursery section (10 of the UK’s leading nurseries), indoor exhibition, an array of new products and an excellent opportunity to meet and network with like-minded people – and best of all, it is completely free. July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7

The event is designed to help you grow your business, increase your supplier base, become more profitable, get up-to-date with the latest technology and legislation and discuss the latest issues affecting the industry.

FUTURESCAPE WEBSITE We will have lined up some excellent and informative guest speakers, be making some additional announcements and will be publishing a full events calendar soon so please make sure you keep updated by checking out our website: www.futurescape So block out 20 November in your diary now and come and join in this unique event – learn, network and have some fun.







Date 20 November 2012 Address Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury On Thames, Middlesex, TW16 5AQ Info Telephone 01903 234077 Email



Thank you to all who took part in our research which undeniably stated that late November was an ideal date for an industry event, whether you are planning for 2013 or allowing yourself a breather from your day job.

FutureScape is all about showing you ways to improve your business such as saving time, introducing additional products, tips on improving profit and building a long-term sustainable business.



We have lined up a fantastic outdoor nursery, where we have 10 of the top UK supplier’s demonstrating a wide range of plants. You will also be able to meet with some of the industry’s key suppliers, see their product ranges, discuss new developments and understand how the product could improve your business.

This will bring a bit of light hearted entertainment to the event – 16 industry teams (contractors, designers or architects) will battle it out to become the undisputed champions of the industry all in aid of industryrelated charities. If you want to enter your team please call Jamie Wilkinson on 01903 234077.





Book the 20 November 2012 in your diary now. It really does look like an event you can’t miss and more importantly will help your business.

July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7

June 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 6

Let’s Hear it From...



The head of the group’s UK grounds maintenance division explains the culture, ethos and success of the business How long you have been at ISS and what is your role? I’ve been with the business effectively since 1994 but in different guises. In fact, I joined the business as a landscape foreman in 1987 when the company was GMS, which was acquired by another business back in 1994. This was to bring the public sector expertise to the company. Four years ago I took up the post of Managing Director at ISS. My role at that time was to integrate the business into ISS Facility Services and to continue to focus on delivering grounds maintenance to our customer base and to grow in a profitable way. When you left college, what were your intentions? Did you get qualifications in horticulture? I studied forestry for a couple of years. I got a qualification and went into it for a limited time. I realised that it wasn’t really where I wanted to be so I moved into landscape construction working for a small company. While there, I did an HND in Landscape Construction. I moved into grounds maintenance with GMS and did the Agricultural Training Board’s supervisory development program. Further on I gained an MBA at Portsmouth University. Are the different sections of ISS run as separate businesses?

Yes we are. I run the landscaping business, however, I also sit on the UK operational management board of ISS Facility Services. To give you an idea of scale, ISS employs 43,000 people in the UK alone delivering all facility services. We turn over just under £1 billion a year.

Does the majority of that come from maintenance? Yes. Most of our clients are from the public sector and local authorities. How is business at the moment with all the public sector cutbacks? It’s an exciting challenge. We got the model right in supporting our customers ahead of the issues that people are having because of the Government’s comprehensive spending review


In terms of the landscaping business, how many do you employ? We employ roughly about 1,500, depending on time of year. And the turnover of the landscaping section? Around £50 million.

and cuts in spending. The challenges have not been straightforward but, as an example of our success we have just extended our contract with Arun District Council by another five years, which takes us to a total of 23 years with them. That is probably unprecedented. This is by no means an exception to the rule and we are fortunate to work with some very good customers. July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7


Let’s Hear it From...



Do you look at other ways where you can fill the gap of the revenue shortfall that obviously comes with the cutbacks? Do you offer any other services? We do. My responsibility is to deliver grounds maintenance to our customers, but if the solution to their issues and challenges is to deliver other services and find some synergies, then that is what we will do. How do you tender for new business? We have a central sales team and the sales director reports into me. He has a team who process the tender documents and submissions supported by operations putting resource plans together and feeding into that. That process comes through the sales director who then gets my sign off. Alternatively, a number of bids for smaller type works such as business parks and offices where the value could be between £30,000 and £50,000 are done locally in the regions. Would that be supported by your sales team? Yes, absolutely. How much of your business has come from re-tenders that you have won and contracts that you have extended? It’s an interesting point. I would say 65-70% of our business is either re-won or extended in the last five years. It’s not that we have lost the other 30%; the work is won in a different way or has come from new business. Thirty per cent July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7

of our customer base we would have won new contracts from in the last five years. How important do you think price is when it comes to tendering? It is the most important thing. It has swung around in the last three years from people saying they were 60/40 on quality/price, to probably 70/30 price/quality. Not because quality doesn’t matter, but because it is taken for granted these days. To win work or not to lose work? Both support a good business model, but it is always very motivational to win work. It is more dangerous if you are the incumbent pricing the contract because you are in danger of making too many assumptions.


Who are the big flagship contracts that you have? Windsor and Maidenhead, Arun, Southend, West Berkshire, Aberdeen and South Tyneside are a few of our biggest ones. Allerdale in Cumbria is a large one also, but that is slightly different because it is a partnership contract so that is about adding as much value as we possibly can for the price rather than having a set number of rates and tasks. It is a moving target, so that we can work with the council to re-define our joint priorities as the contract progresses. How would you sum up the ISS culture? It all works around a people model. It’s really simple, we have a model called the value chain

which focuses on getting your business platform right, getting the service you want to offer right, and having the right people – we call it employee engagement. It’s about making sure we communicate with our people properly and they are involved in the business. We have a number of forums across the business so that employees from all different levels can get together on a regular basis and air their views. We also have an annual survey that goes out to the 43,000 employees asking them a set number of questions. We get a massive amount of feedback from that. ISS is very much about people and leadership. Making sure we look after the people, and making sure the people know exactly what the customer wants. A lot of people want to put monetary value on that, but how much value can you put on someone having a nice environment around them? Well you can’t put a monetary value on it, except when you start to look at recruitment costs. The end game is the important thing. I am always looking for the staff’s view on that. The age old analogy is when president Kennedy went round the NASA space factory he visited the rest room and there was a guy cleaning toilets; he asked him what his job was and got the response: “I clean the toilets, I am the janitor”. He revisited in the afternoon and another cleaner was in there so he asked him the same question. The response he got that time was: “I’m helping put a man on the moon”. So that is exactly where I’m coming from and it is really important. All of our competitors cut grass and most do it well. We look for other ways to differentiate ourselves from the competition. You can enhance the service and


be more efficient if your employees recognise what the end game is. They need to be able to identify with what the client is trying to achieve. What sort of training do you give your staff to see this, understand it and actually be better themselves? We do a massive amount of internal training, we invest in two full-time training managers for the UK, a compliance manager, a quality manager and health and safety manager. We start off with induction training which is very important. Last year we launched our own grounds maintenance skills accreditation programme which is all about practical skills. Why did you launch your own one? Were the outside ones not delivering what you wanted? No they weren’t. My view is that too much


clean, crisp ‘value proposition’. Are we selling grounds maintenance, or are we selling ourselves to help the client deliver an end product? When we talk to our people, we ask if they know what the customer’s apple is. When I see someone who really demonstrates that they have got it, they then get an apple pin which, actually, they are quite proud to wear. They also go into a draw every month to win a whole range of Apple products – iPod, iPad etc, and the annual draw to win a trip to New York – The Big Apple.

We get a massive amount of feedback from our annual employee survey. ISS is very much about people and leadership. Making sure we look after the people, and making sure the people know exactly what the customer wants training in the land-based industry these days is linked to funding. We need college courses to be geared to what we need the staff to do and to what our customers are trying to achieve. We approached Lantra, with the view that there was a need for a nationally recognised qualification and they have accredited it. I think we have a responsibility to put something back into the industry and this is part of the way of doing it. How do we get that cultural issue around to the end result for the client? Well, we have a process called the APPLE. It is about a

Are you involved in the National Contractors Forum? Yes we are. I was involved last year in the initial discussions on how to move it on. I’ll be fairly blunt on this. I believe the National Contractors Forum (NCF ) is needed. It shouldn’t be because some of us are members of BALI and it is a strange situation where you have a number of BALI members forming what is effectively another national association, and BALI saying we will help you by running it. As one of the founding members of BALI I

1 Aberdeen City Council: delivering real partnership solutions in cost benefits, quality and sustainability. 2 First five ISS staff to complete in-house Lantra Approved Grounds Maintenance Practical Skills Award. 3 Aberdeen City Council high specification maintenance.


4 ISS’s 20-year partnership with De Vere includes the championship golf course at Wychwood Park. 5 Just one of 18 Green Flags won during our 14 years with the RB of Windsor and Maidenhead. 6 ISS wins Gold RoSPA 2012 for second successive year.

guess I have an emotional attachment to it as well as a business one. My view is that the NCF should have stayed an independent association, or, better still, BALI should have been representing its members sufficiently well enough to avoid the need for another trade association. Are your counterparts in the other big companies in the industry on board with it? I think most people will think that the NCF should stay independent. The stumbling block is no one in those businesses has any time to spend running the forum. They clearly feel the need for it but they are looking to it for answers on industry problems and issues, and the biggest issue seems always to have been lobbying the government. We will see what happens. What do you do for fun outside of work? My great passion is cricket; I’ve recently been to Sri Lanka to watch the test matches. That was a lot of fun. I find cricket is the ideal antidote to the job. Most of my job is about thinking strategically – a captain does the same thing, while having to react to a number of day to day challenges. I do a lot of running on the South Downs and have run the London Marathon six times, my best time for that is 3hrs 20mins –

contact ISS Facility Services Landscaping ISS House, Genesis Business Park, Albert Drive, Woking GU21 5RW Tel: 0845 057 6200 / (sales) 01563 548061 Email: Web:

July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7

Marcus Harpur

Let’s Hear it From...

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WALMSLEY SHAW Walmsley Shaw was started in 2000 by Martin Shaw, who discovered his true vocation as a garden builder following a long career in the construction industry. We build gardens, to exceptionally high standards. Working in close collaboration with the designer or architect, we ensure that the finished garden matches the client’s expectations. We’re based in Bristol, and work all over the South of England and Wales.

Walmsley Shaw The contractor was challenged by the client to create a modern garden that tied in with their traditional Bath house

June 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 6





almsley Shaw was challenged by the client and designer to transform the garden of a traditional and formal house in Bath, into a contemporary garden. The clients live in a listed Bath house which had a narrow north facing terrace to the rear, with a large sloping lawn with overgrown shrubs and a leylandii hedge at the bottom. After spending considerable attention to detail in renovating the interior of the property in a contemporary style, the clients wanted a garden that would reflect the same quality and style of the interior of this grand building. The designer’s brief for the garden was to create a modern space for entertaining, a den for the client’s teenage children, a relaxation area, and a large lawn. Most important was that it had plenty of colour and interest all year round. Large modern paving slabs were used in conjunction with rendered cream retaining walls and raised beds to create the terrace; this gave plenty of room for parties and the outside kitchen. Leading down into the garden a den from Rooms Outdoor was sunk into the lowest corner of the garden accessed by “floating steps”. In the opposite corner a relaxation area with a sofa is reached via stepping stones across July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7


a pond. Then from here you can go through a modern take on the moongate, to a sunken fire pit area. A large lawn below the extended terrace gave even more space for play and entertaining. One of the challenges of this project was that the access was restricted by a low arch down a narrow shared drive. In order to improve the access a section of wall was dismantled during the duration of the project. Due to the restricted access all materials from the garden had to be loaded into a

earthworks also involved levelling the main garden and dramatically reducing the ground to the far corner to allow construction of the outdoor room, basketball net and additional paved areas. Another criteria set by the designer and the clients, was that we complete the project by April 2011, however access was only given from September the year before. It was crucial that as much of the excavations and structural retaining walls were completed before severe winter conditions began.

We exported around 600m3 of spoil off site, and imported over 4,000 hollow blocks to construct the retaining walls to the garden. Not to mention the many loads of pre-mixed concrete 3-tonne dumper to be taken on or off site. For example, we exported around 600m3 of spoil off site, and imported more than 4,000 hollow blocks to construct the retaining walls to the garden. Not to mention the many loads of pre-mixed concrete. During this process, carefully selected subsoils from the excavations were also used as fill to increase the upper terrace to the house, which was tripled in size and increased to an overall height of 1.5m from the new lawn level. These

With great determination and maybe a little bit of luck we completed the groundworks, including foundations, before the end of October and wall construction by the end of November. The construction of the den was carried out by Rooms Outdoor and we had to have the excavation and floor slab ready for their arrival. For the den to be acceptable for planning permission the height of the outdoor building should not exceed the top of the boundary walls, which is why the designers designed

More images at:






1 Leading from the sunken garden back to the house. 2 Viewing the construction of the basketball wall through the Moongate. 3 Detail of pool terrace and Moongate. 5

sunken gardens. To allow this to happen, the existing boundary walls to the sunken garden area had to be underpinned to reinforce the wall foundation. A large water feature was constructed with stepping stones that led across to the pool terrace, further block and render walls were constructed which also included a moongate that has a 2m opening and required substantial reinforcement and foundations to enable structural stability. Through the moongate you arrive to a fire pit area, which was designed in the manner that the family could relax around an open fire at night. For the floating steps, we used a local fabricator to create sturdy structural supports to carry the paving which led down to the sunken garden. It was critical that they were constructed in a way that movement was minimal as they started from 1m up. The designer had selected off-white sandstone which was 900 x 600 slabs

Project duration 8 months Size 2,000m2 Cost £300,000+

4 Leading from the sunken fire pit through to the

pool terrace. 5 Floating steps taking you down to the sunken garden and the den. 6 Additional seating area for the client’s children within the sunken garden. 7 The children’s den hidden below the boundary walls.

throughout the garden which had an amazing effect, but the downside was keeping them clean and we spent an incredible amount of time cleaning during the project. On the house terrace an outdoor kitchen was installed with dramatic lighting, sound system and energy-efficient outdoor heating. Also, due to the client’s preference of appearance, the designed glass balustrade was deferred After one of Britain’s harshest winters we managed to complete the garden and the designers planting plan at the end of April, with no real delays.




REFERENCES Contractor Walmsley Shaw Ltd 31 Rookery Road, Bristol, BS4 2DS Tel: 0117 3309634 Email: info@walmsleyshaw. Web: www.walmsleyshaw. Designer Jano Williams Garden Design Web: www.janowilliams .com

London stone Vermeulen’s Garden Centre Horton Road, Stanwell Moor, Middlesex TW19 6AE Tel: 01784 455433 Email: info@londonstone. com Web: www.londonstone. com Garden room Rooms Outdoor Tel: 0800 6122540

Email: info@roomsoutdoor. Web: www.roomsoutdoor.

Dark Planet garden sphere David Harber Web: www.davidharber. Garden furniture Encompass The Pool Room, Stansted House, Rowlands Castle, Hants PO9 6DX

Tel: 02392 410045 Email: info@encompass Web: www.encompassco. com

Hedging and topiary plants Hedges Direct The Brow, Charlcombe lane, Bath, BA1 5TP Tel: 01257 263873 Order Line: 01257 266668 Web: www.hedgesdirect.

July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7



rightpath Wilson McWilliam Studio Creating meaningful locations with differing moods was essential to the design of this garden


he garden in Chorleywood, Hertfordshire was felt to be rather open and lacking in structure, with some issues of privacy and a general lack of real interest. Although there were some elements of added value such as the original pond and the majestic oak tree, these features needed to be linked together in a more coherent way. The concept of losing or shifting attention away from the dominant boundaries/hedge planting was also seen as important although it was equally necessary to convey a sense of scale and spaciousness to the garden. Routes and meaningful locations or “destinations� with differing moods within the wider garden were also seen as essential aspects of the new design to be considered.

Detailed requirements The move away from a single open space was identified as key to the success of any new design and the addition of wider planting within the garden would help to distract from the boundaries. However, the eldest son of the client is a keen rugby player, using the garden to practice his kicking. The new design needed a large lawn space for this purpose. For entertaining there are two main areas to identify. Family and informal meals outdoors July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7

New woodland walk with 60 new Betula pendula and Betula nigra.

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Project size 6,000m2 Duration on site 18 months

WILSON MCWILLIAM STUDIO Wilson McWilliam Studio combines the talents of Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliam in the design of exclusive bespoke gardens and public landscapes. Their studio is based in Chiswick, West London, but as a practice they work in London, Surrey, Hertfordshire and most of the Home Counties. They also work internationally at both garden and landscape scale.

July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7




The interface between the terrace and the water is a fundamental aspect of the new design would be best located closer to the kitchen. The house opens on to the terrace area along its entire length with glazed doors pulling back to diffuse the link between interior and exterior space. The second area would be closer to the pond where the client wanted to entertain more formally with friends. The main terrace needed to provide the main functional areas of the garden and needed to be as generous as possible to accommodate several groups of people at any one time. The links to the main reception rooms and views in and out of the house also needed to be considered. The possibility of shared materials between interior and exterior also appealed to the client. A continuous, unbroken surface between the house and garden was desirable. The existing pond was to be opened up and the chain link fence removed to create a much stronger connection to the house, terrace and garden. The interface between the terrace and the water is a fundamental aspect of the new design. The pond required some attention in itself however, as water levels


fluctuated significantly – possibly due to leakage and to the presence of a nearby weeping willow. The requirement was to deliver a more constant water level. CONSERVATION AREA Existing trees were to be retained where possible – the oak, acers and magnolia especially are important specimens within the garden. Any tree removal required the appropriate permission, as the garden is within a conservation area. The existing apples within the garden (originally the site was an orchard) had been severely pruned but a new and modest orchard formed part of the new proposal. The trees were selected as shorter stock to make harvesting much easier. The Meadow area was important within the garden and provides a visual connection to the nearby common. The existing meadow

was basically long grass – so a more species-rich alternative was installed. The existing utility and storage area was to remain in its current location. A greenhouse and vegetable plot was required – a specific request from the two children. To the front of the house, the garden is mainly devoted to arrival and parking. Most of the reception rooms look into the rear section of the garden. The gated entrance was to be relocated closer to the end of the drive,

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July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7

1 Masterplan drawing. 2 View across dew pond to the new house by Jane Duncan Architects. 3 Marginal planting around the Dew pond. 4 Gravel garden with walls creating a sheltered microclimate. 5 Walls and pathways under construction. 6 Beds prepared and ready for planting. 7 Perennial and grass planting installed. 8 Before work had commenced.

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allowing enough space for cars to pull in off the road. The rest of the narrow drive section is to provide space for the boys to cycle and play on a hard surface. Lighting was required along the drive and around the entrance more for functional reasons but is required within the garden as a more decorative element, especially around the terrace and pool. References were made to French holidays, a favourite destination for the family – a relaxed gravel planting relating to this was installed to the west of the house. Gravel was a favourite material. Walls rendered in the same colour as the house were favoured and featured in many of the selected images. The use of walls to relate the house and garden together was agreed. DESIGN RESPONSE Dew Pond House: Discovery – The concept of discovery is used to inform and create the new garden at Dew Pond House. Throughout the design, hedges, shrubs and planted screens, as well as constructed elements in the form of slender walls, have been used to partially hide or disguise areas within the garden.



The sense of discovery when new walks, spaces, planting and views open up lies at the heart of the design. DESIGN STATEMENT The dew pond is a defining element within the garden, which is a rarity that few other gardens share. This feature has been used as a focus not just of the garden but as a driving force behind

the design solution. The traditional formation of dew ponds was explored in which chalk was ground and mixed into a fine cement which was then spread on the surface of the pond excavation. This led in turn to the creation of screen walls which frame and sometimes reflect this construction method and use of materials. The screening was then carried through the rest of the garden as a means of spatial definition, creating privacy, glimpsed views, colour and light.



Designer Wilson McWilliam Studio London The Barley Mow Centre, 10 Barley Mow Passage, Chiswick, London W4 4PH Tel: 020 3002 6601 Email: info@wmstudio. Web: www.wmstudio. Main contractor Kings Landscapes Ltd 5 West Hill, Aspley Guise, Milton Keynes MK17 8DP Tel: 01908 585220 Email: Web: www.


Architect Jonathan Dale Jane Duncan Architects, The Old Warehouse

Chalfont Station Road, Little Chalfont, Buckinghamshire HP7 9PN Tel: 01494 766999 Web: www. janeduncanarchitects.

Perennial planting Robin Tacchi Plants Fen Farm, Garboldisham, Diss, Norfolk IP22 2RL Tel: 01953 681312 Email: rtp@ Web: www. Trees Deepdale Trees Ltd Tithe Farm, Hatley Road, Potton, Sandy, Bedfordshire SG19 2DX. Tel: 01767 262636 Email:

Web: Hillier Nurseries Ltd Ampfield House, Ampfield, Romsey, Hampshire SO51 9PA Tel: 01794 368733 Email: james_alexander Web: www.hilliertrees.

Stone CED Ltd 728 London Road, West Thurrock, Grays, Essex RM20 3LU Tel: 01708 867237 Email: Web: Pond specialist Fairwater Limited Lodge Farm, Malthouse Lane, Ashington, West Sussex RH20 3BU

Tel: 01903 892228 Email: info@fairwater. Web: www.fairwater.

Lighting Gary Pitt & Co Ltd 210a Harwoods Road, Watford, Hertfordshire WD18 7RT Tel: 01923 230467 Email: info@ garypittandcompany. Web: www.garypittand Coxwell gravel Grundon Sand & Gravel Goulds Grove, Ewelme, Wallingford, Oxon OX10 6PJ Tel: 01491 834311 Web:

July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7



The garden features a series of mosaic panels, which tell the bible story of the seven days of the Creation

SEVENTH HEAVEN Helen Taylor A nursery school garden at a West Yorkshire church is transformed into a “Garden of Eden”


ittle School pre-school nursery, which operates from the Methodist Church in Burley in Wharfedale, was offered the opportunity to apply for Bradford Council’s Early Years funding in 2010. This funding was being offered to pre-schools to allow them to provide stimulating outdoor play space July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7

and to improve their inside and outside environment for play and learning. The brief from the nursery identified three areas they wanted to develop: 1 GARDEN: To provide seating, a path (access for all), planting for colour, fragrance and texture, and a gated entrance from the tarmac playground for controlled use. 2 PLAYGROUND: Retain existing tarmac, for play space and weekend parking, adding features along the boundary. 3 WILDLIFE AREA: Provide access below the beech tree for play, habitat creation and wildlife study. The garden was designed by landscape

and garden designer Helen Taylor MSGD who worked with the manager of the preschool nursery, Helen Franks, to draw together ideas from pupils, staff and the church. Helen approached two artists to be involved in the project. THE DESIGN Initially the nursery was thinking about quite a small sensory garden. However, during early design discussions, the church embraced Helen’s proposal to use a larger area, which means that the garden provides not only new seating areas (in the sun and shade), paths and a variety of plants, but also a generous lawn (which will be




1 West elevation of the Methodist Church set off by the new lawn.


2 Children playing with the new Noah’s Ark mural by Lewis Morgan. 3 The “man” mosaic, represented by a large footprint, by artist David James. 4 Foxes in the astilbes. 5 Newly completed garden showing minor seating area and children looking at the mosaic footpath.

Project size 650m2 Duration on site 1 month



very welcome to the children after having only a tarmac playground). The hedge and new gates allow the children to play safely without access to the road. The garden has been named “the Garden of Creation” because of the integral series of mosaic panels, which tell the bible story of the seven days of the Creation. The mosaics, made by artist David James, are set into a minor path, which winds its way through ornamental planting connecting the seating areas. The story starts from the front of the church with the panels “Day” and “Night”. (‘On the first day God created Day and Night. The main seating area with the curved bench


represents Day 2 and has a central pebble mosaic which is an abstract representation of heaven. The adjacent planting includes a scented rose, Rosa Lichfield Angel. It is the intention to have the bench engraved with the inscription “In the beginning God created heaven and earth”. The story of the Creation was simplified into 12 themes across the seven days, ranging from Day and Night to Animals and Man, with each translated into an abstract or pictorial mosaic’ tile’ set into the minor path. For the final day, Day of Rest, the three small benches will have the inscription: “On the seventh day God finished his work and rested”.


HELEN TAYLOR An experienced and awardwinning landscape architect/garden designer, Helen Taylor MSGD undertakes projects for private and public clients including a broad range of gardens, urban spaces and school grounds. Helen works with artists to incorporate individual art into external spaces in an integrated way. Most projects are in the Ilkley, Harrogate and York area, but Helen will consider projects nationally.

July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7


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THE PLAYGROUND A 24m-long hardwood timber mural was proposed for the boundary wall to provide an original play feature. Helen’s initial sketch showing Noah’s ark and the procession of animals was developed by artist Lewis Morgan and constructed in mixed, reclaimed hardwoods. Lewis worked with the children at Little School and included penguins, hedgehogs and butterflies, the animal names for the three nursery classes and some of the children’s ideas – howler monkeys and komodo dragons. The area under the tree was developed into an outdoor classroom and wildlife garden. The children were involved in the creation of new

planting and habitat creation. A circle of log seats provide a shady spot for storytelling. CHALLENGES This was a challenging design brief because the garden design had to be appropriate for the church grounds (which is also a listed 2 building and within a conservation area). The proposed play features had to be subtle in design and materials because of the setting: we wanted to avoid off the peg, brightly coloured play pieces. The garden was to be used not only by the

nursery children, but the Sunday school, Cyber café (church youth group) as well as the church congregation and wider community, so the design had to work for all groups. Works in the tarmac playground were restricted because the area still had to function as a car park, therefore any installations had to be placed on the boundary. Plant selection had to balance the safety of children, the needs of wildlife and provision of sensory experiences. (Reference book: Poisonous plants: a guide for parents and childcare providers, Elizabeth A Dauncey, Kew Publications.) The budget for the garden was limited to the grant award (maximum £30,000); any additions had to be covered by fundraising or donations. While providing a magical and wild environment, the mature purple beech tree casts heavy shade over most of the garden area. 1 Central section of artist’s sketch of proposed Noah’s Ark mural and procession of animals.


2 The “Heaven” mosaic, by artist David James.


3 Existing garden prior to development of garden. 4 Visitors enjoying the garden at the SGD Anniversary Open Gardens Event, 2011.

REFERENCES Designer Helen Taylor Helen Taylor Landscape and Garden Design, 38 Lawn Avenue, Burley in Wharfedale, Ilkley, West Yorkshire LS29 7ET Tel: 01943 862537 Email: helen@helentaylor Web: www.helentaylor Landscape contractor Nigel Whitaker Aire Valley Landscape Services, 21 Tinshill Road, Cookridge, Leeds

LS16 7DR Tel: 07774 983006 Email: donna@nswhitaker. Web:

Artist, Noah’s Ark mural Lewis Morgan Lewis Morgan Sculpture Ltd, 41 Holyrood Road, Doncaster, South Yorkshire DN2 5HR Tel: 07985 096292 Web: www.lewismorgan Atrist, Creation mosaics David James

July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7

Olicana Mosaics, Kimberley Street, Ilkley, West Yorkshire Tel: 07980 086266 Web: www.olicana

Softwood furniture Hand Made Places at Broxap Unit 14, Bordon Trading Estate, Old Station Way, Bordon, Hampshire GU35 9HH Tel: 01420 474111 Email: liz.strain@hand

Web: www.handmade

LS12 6ER Tel: 0113 279 5869

Hardwood bench WoodcraftUK Unit 5B, Beverley Business Park, Grovehill Road, Beverley, East Yorkshire, HU17 OJN Tel: 01482 887921 Email: info@woodcraftuk. Web: www.woodcraftuk.

Shrubs and hedging Johnsons of Whixley Whixley, York YO26 8AQ Tel: 01423 330234 Email: info@nurserymen. Web: www.nurserymen.

Lawn Ron Smiths 263 Whitehall Road, Leeds

Perennials Orchard House Ripon Road, Wormald Green, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG3 3NQ Tel: 01765 677541

Concrete paving (Plaspave ‘Sorrento’) Plasmore Products PO Box 44, Womersley Road, Knottingley, West Yorkshire WF11 ODN. Tel: 01977 673221 Email: Web: Bound gravel surfacing Imag Ltd 1 Fountain St, Congelton, Cheshire CW12 4BE Tel: 01260 278810 Email: enquiries@imag. Web:

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July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7


Ethical stone

the true colour of indian sandstone Natural sandstone is a popular choice of material for hard landscaping, much of it extracted from quarries in India. The Ethical Trading Initiative writes here about sourcing it responsibly


andstone is a material at the heart of the UK landscaping sector. It is versatile, and an ideal option for creating beautiful patios and plazas. Colour also contributes to its appeal. It is valued for its multi-coloured hues, which include buff, brown and grey. Much of this natural stone is sourced from quarries in India, with a large proportion coming from the Kota and Bundi districts of Rajasthan state. In recent years, this stone has become increasingly popular in the UK. With increased demand has followed increased consumer and media interest. Investigative reports have shone the spotlight on the alleged exploitation of hundreds of thousands of workers, many of them children, in stone quarries across Rajasthan. In some quarries, there was also alleged enforced and bonded labour and suggested breaches of international labour standards. These issues place a challenging burden on landscapers and landscape architects. Clients want to believe that importing companies are working to a set of ethical sourcing principles, regarding the conditions within which their sandstone has been quarried. It doesn’t help that while there are a large number of sandstone importers that claim adherence to global ethical trade principles, the reality is that many of these claims are false. They mislead concerned consumers and undercut socially responsible companies that realise this is a July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7

process of continuous improvement. There is, however a group of natural stone importers that are genuinely committed to driving improvement in the conditions of India’s sandstone quarry workers. The good thing is that it’s easy to work out who is part of this group; it is those UK sandstone companies that are members of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). ETI is an alliance of companies, trade unions and voluntary organisations, working in partnership to improve the lives of poor and vulnerable workers across the globe. ETI Base Code The natural stone importing companies that become ETI members commit to adopting the ETI Base Code; a code based on international labour rights conventions that all suppliers are expected to work towards. The Base Code covers key principles including; that employment is freely chosen; that freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected; that no child labour is used; that working hours are not excessive; and that no harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed. ETI’s stone company members work together collaboratively, and have established a group to improve the working conditions of those in the sandstone export supply chain in Rajasthan. The ETI stone group recently took the

programme further, holding the first ever face-to-face meeting between stone group members companies, their Indian suppliers and civil society representatives. The meeting took place in the town of Kota, Rajasthan, and provided an opportunity for members and suppliers to share best practice and showcase the important strides being made by group members. It also addressed the challenge of ensuring that change is happening deeper down the supply chain at quarry worker level, which is the group of workers that tend to suffer the worst forms of exploitation. David Morrell, Chair of the ETI Stone Group and Group Head of Sustainability at Marshalls, said: “The Kota meeting provided a crucial platform for open dialogue and learning between ETI stone group members, and has allowed us to develop a framework for collaborative work which will mean continuing improvement to the lives of workers in our industry. With the help of ETI we have been able to put into place measures which will lead to a significant improvement in working conditions of the vulnerable workers in our supply chain, however, we know that this is a long journey and it will only be achieved by working together.” For more information about ETI, and a list of its stone company members, visit the website:




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July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7

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RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show


HAMPTONCOURT2012 PREVIEW Show gardens in store at this year’s flower show, from 3–8 July ■ BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER Designed by Anoushka Eiler, Bestique Built by Neal Richards Gardens Ltd Sponsored by Astellas Pharma

■ THE BADGER BEER GARDEN Designed by Flemons Warland Built by Landform Consultants Sponsored by Badger Ales The Badger Beer Garden takes visitors on a path through the Dorset countryside, with a chance to sample Badger’s brewed ales. The garden’s contemporary design is inspired by the landscape, heritage and local flora surrounding the Brewery and uses beer bottles in a unique way. It is the first garden in the show’s history to be sponsored by a brewery and hopes to bring a taste of the countryside to London. ■ THE ITALIAN JOB Designed by Jack Dunckley Built by Jack Dunckley Garden Landscapes, Sellaway Ltd, Greenscape Garden Landscaping & Maintenance Sponsored by Jack Dunckley’s Birchfield Nursery

A garden based on the simplicity of geometry and inspired by a combination of Italian stylistic design and modern contemporary garden designs. It is complemented by both formal and informal planting. The hard straight lines formed by the hard landscaping are softened by the planting arrangements. The garden has elements of balanced geometry, shown by the regularity of the hornbeams, and sculptures. The structure is designed as a simple cube, without sides to provide a light and airy space.

This garden takes visitors on a journey, lifting them out of the despair that more than 7 million adults in the UK with Overactive Bladder (OAB) can experience. The garden’s whirlpool water feature symbolises a distressing and unpredictable need to relieve the bladder, which can lead people with OAB to feel isolated, depressed and alone. Reaching over the ‘troubled water’, a bridge provides a pathway for those suffering from OAB. The bridge symbolises relief and freedom through the help that is available to manage the condition.

■ POSSESSION Designed by Tony Smith Built by Easigrass Sponsored by Easigrass Possession was inspired by a Radio 4 programme about pharmaceutical companies patenting compounds synthesised from rainforest plants. It questions who should benefit from the discovery of these useful and lucrative species. Surely it must be possible for us to manage the rainforests in a way that benefits us all, remembering that it is the indigenous tribes that have the strongest claim to possession of the forest, even though they would probably be the first to recognise that they are part of the forest and not its owner.

■ CONTEMPORARY CONTEMPLATION Designed by OneAbode Ltd Built by Morgan & Neal Ltd Sponsored by Morgan & Neal Ltd, One Abode Ltd

This garden features structural planting with a graphic formation of white flowering Agapanthus. Ferns drift through a bold geometric layout of Buxus topiary. The simplicity of the landscaping emphasises the lines of the sunken amphitheatre and seating platform, creating a garden that is contemporary, calm and tranquil. Floating metal steps lead to a single seat nestled within the planting, with a backdrop of silver birch trees.

■ A VERY VICTORIAN FANTASY Designed by Chris Evans Built by The Landscape Group, Bournemouth Parks Team and Volunteers Sponsored by Mouchel, The Landscape Group, GR Westbuild The two contrasting halves of the garden’s design draws inspiration from the arts and literary heritage of Victorian Bournemouth’s most famous residents. The dark side’s design reflects the Gothic works of Mary Shelley and Robert Louis Stevenson, while the drift-like planting of the lighter side brings to mind the works of Aubrey Beardsley. Both halves feature willow sculptures by Stefan Jennings with a series of fairies and demons overlooking their respective sides of the garden. July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7


Olympic Parklands


new park space created in past four years from former industrialised landscape in East London

GAMEPLAN The London 2012 Olympics – LDA Design’s role in developing the masterplan, parklands and public realm

orming the centrepiece of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the 2.5km2 Olympic Park is Europe’s most significant landscape project for an entire generation. It is also the largest new urban park in the capital since the Victorian era and has acted as a catalyst for regeneration in East London. In 2008, LDA Design was appointed together with Hargreaves Associates, to lead the development of the masterplan and detailed design of the parklands and public realm. CONCEPT TO DETAILS STAGE Underpinning the early concept design, was the intent for a vision not only to stage the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in London, but the lasting legacy that this will deliver. The overarching design principles, which have inspired and guided the development for the games and its subsequent Legacy Transformation are: ● Fit for purpose. ● Value for money. ● Creation of strong, distinctive identity and character. Many challenges had to be overcome before the masterplan for the park could begin construction, partly because of the sheer scale of it being the largest urban park development in the UK in the last 100 years. The heavily July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7

contaminated and derelict site had been previously occupied by battery and matchmaking factories, and had been both a post-war munitions dump and a municipal rubbish dump requiring substantial cleansing and restorative programme in order to make it fit for purpose. Over the past four years some 101ha of new park space has been created from this former heavily industrialised landscape. The park in numbers is 6,200 trees, 9,500 shrubs, 63,000 bulbs, 250,000 wetland plants, 766,000 grasses and ferns together with 650 bird and bat boxes.

View towards the Olympic Stadium from North Park

transformed into a three-dimensional mosaic of wetland, swales, wet woodland, dry woodland and meadow, together forming an absorbent flood-control measure and also ensuring that no spoil has had to be removed from site. POST GAMES: TRANSFORMATION AND LONG TERM USE One of the unique selling points of the London Olympic bid was a commitment to deliver regeneration. In addition to our games-mode role we have been commissioned to lead the

The hour-glass shape of the site naturally divides the park into a strongly ecological and green northern half and a more urban, entertainment-focused southern half Altogether they represent more than 48ha of new habitat. The park has been designed to host hundreds of thousands of visitors each day during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The hour-glass shape of the site naturally divides the park into a strongly ecological and green northern half and a more urban, entertainment-focused southern half, intended to grow into a ‘South Bank’ in the east of the capital. The two halves are connected by more than 5km of improved river banks. The previously canalised River Lea has been

design of the parkland in its post-games transformation where a permanent legacy of 102ha of metropolitan open land will be created. Temporary venues, structures and areas of concourse will be removed to make way for permanent parkland, designed to fit with the legacy masterplan for the wider area. This will complete the transformation of one of the most contaminated brownfield sites in the capital into a stunning new park for East London. The park is designed to provide world-class landscapes and facilities during the games and,

Survival of the Fittest 27 September 2012

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July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7









June 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 6

Olympic Parklands




with minimal cost and effort, transform into the post-games park that will continue to provide valued habitats within a vibrant, attractive modern and sustainable park that can be enjoyed as a place for people to relax, play and exercise for years to come. Post games the two areas of the parkland have different aims with the northern part focusing on the ecology and habitats and the southern park being a focus for events and activities. The transformation will give local communities better access to high quality green space and recreational facilities. Through high quality and creative design, a clear new green character and identity is created for Stratford City. LEGACY DESIGN The games will leave a key legacy of national benefits in culture, sport, volunteering, business and tourism. From the outset the vision was to create a sustainable legacy for London and the UK. The park’s landscape is fundamental not only for the Olympics but for the long-term future, so that people will enjoy the area long after the games are over. We therefore designed the park to be a network of living green that offers links between the communities

to the east and west and combines a vibrant mix of recreational and educational activities in an attractive setting. The open space will be accessible after the games via a network of canal towpaths, footpaths and cycleways. In legacy the parkland will extend outwards to existing green spaces, creating a network that will reach out to Hackney Marshes in the north, to Victoria Park in the west and to the Greenway in the south. After the games the canals and waterways of the River Lea will be cleaned and widened, and the natural floodplains of the area will be restored to provide a new wetland habitat for wildlife that birdwatchers and ecologists can enjoy. The park will be planted with native species, including oak, ash, willow, birch, hazel, holly, blackthorn and hawthorn, providing a home for wildlife in the middle of the city. All the world-class sports facilities will be

1 View along River Lea towards the Velodrome. 2 North Park – frog

pond with loggery structures. 3 North Park – display meadows.

adapted for use by sports clubs and the local community as well as elite athletes. New playing fields sitting alongside these facilities will be adapted for community use. Ultimately, for future generations the park will be an exemplar for future restoration projects – demonstrating that a good functioning and working landscape can be achieved anywhere in the world. The landscape is fundamental to sustainable development and to creating value. Our landscape masterplan for the park is fundamental not only for the Olympic fortnight but for the long-term legacy which will enable people to enjoy this amazing park long after the games are over. The transformation from neglected brownfield into a vibrant, sustainable park for London will have a positive impact on the area for years to come. So, let the games begin – 27 July 2012 is approaching and London’s Olympic Park is ready…

ABOUT LDA DESIGN Founded in 1979, LDA Design is an independent design, environment and energy consultancy. By taking a holistic approach, it helps clients to regenerate communities, create special places, realise development and commercial goals, and manage resources. Working on projects of all scales across the UK and internationally, LDA Design’s talented and experienced team approaches each commission as a fresh, creative and practical challenge.

3 July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7

AS Motors lapu 02:Layout 1



Page 3


Robust and versatile, the AS family of Allmäher® ride-on mowers come equipped with a low centre of gravity, wide wheelbase and optional four wheel drive to make them safe and stable – particularly on slopes and hilly terrain. The twin blade system deals effortlessly with thicket, high grass (up to 120cm) and scrub resulting in a perfect mulching performance.

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With sustainable development in mind, we at ETESIA have developed our own philosophy called Bio Concept. A range of clean engines, combined with an innovative product range, make our mowers as fuel efficient and environmentally friendly as possible. Our mowers are complemented by the Pellenc range of groundcare equipment, which use lithium-ion technology, providing unrivalled power for professional electric products.

July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7

Seeing is believing Etesia UK Ltd, Greenway House, Sugarswell Business Park, Shenington, Oxon OX15 6HW Tel: 01295 680120 email:

Ride-on mowers

ANEASYRIDE RIDE-ON MOWERS Ransomes Jacobsen Product Manager David Morgan looks at the options available for maintaining parks, amenity areas and open spaces with different types of ride-on mowers. Email: RIDE-ON CYLINDER MOWERS The ride-on cylinder mower can be found in many local authority applications from fine turf to less refined turf applications such as larger managed open spaces. The benefits of a cylinder mower are many and varied, but the principal benefit is the high quality of cut using a scissor action, which produces a very clean cut. They come with a wide ranging height of cut and they are an efficient use of power, requiring less fuel and reduced operating costs. They provide a wider width of cut versus horsepower required resulting in greater productivity and with the ability to raise and fold the cutting units the narrow transport width provides better access to tight areas. The mowing unit footprint is better suited to following ground contours. Cylinder mowers have the ability to overhang curbs, supported by the rear roller, which results in less damage to mower, and when presentation is important the roller provides an attractive striped finish. Clippings are evenly dispersed and they can be collected. There are relatively few obvious weaknesses with ride-on cylinder mowers but they can be perceived as higher maintenance due to their more complex design. Some may say that greater experience is required to keep the cutting cylinder on cut, with the possibility that they are more susceptible to damage as following the ground contours creates higher risk of debris damage.

derived from the observations of how a scythe worked, in other words a blade moving against standing grass. The rotary mower is simply a blade being driven against standing grass using impact to generate a cutting action. The benefits of rotary mowers are reduced maintenance costs and lower purchase price due to their less complex design; they have the ability to collect larger volumes of clippings using attachments and they cope better with longer grasses. They also benefit from fewer parts to adjust to maintain cutting performance and are easier to set up. Finally, rear and side discharge decks are available and some come with mulching decks. There are probably more weaknesses with rotaries than cylinder mowers. The higher power demanded to drive the cutting units results in less favourable fuel economy. The manner in which the clippings are discharged can often be untidy and the

physical size of the decks and their inability to closely follow the ground contours can cause scalping on undulating surfaces leaving large patches of bare earth. Higher noise and vibration levels are a result of shaft and belt drives, although lower levels can often be achieved with individual hydraulic motors on each blade. The reduced quality of cut using impact, not a scissor action, results in more damage to the grass plant, and an increased susceptibility to disease. Rotaries are probably less manoeuvrable when cutting around obstacles and there’s a higher potential for thrown objects at high speed, especially when more debris is encountered at low heights of cut. An analysis of the capabilities of these two types of mowers makes it clear that there is no single cutting solution to fit all applications or environments. The rotary mower fits a wider range of geographical and cutting environments but still has its disadvantages. RIDE-ON FLAIL MOWERS A combination of the previous two mowing alternatives leads to probably the third most widely used cutting principal, that of the

RIDE-ON ROTARY MOWERS The development of the rotary mower was

1 July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7



Ride-on mowers

1 (Previous page) Rotary mowers are less complex and easier to maintain than cylinder mowers. 2 Cylinder mowers are better at following undulating ground contours.


3 Flail mowers can cut a wide range of vegetation.

flail mower. These are very robust devices with the ability to cut a wide range of vegetation including hedges and trees. They are available in pedestrian, out-front and tractor-mounted versions. The major benefit of the flail mower is its ability to cope with tall vegetation. The diameter of the flail rotor, the blade shape and the amount of power available significantly affects the type of materials the mower can cope with. Flails generally produce an even discharge of clippings and less scalping than a rotary due to similar principles enjoyed by the cylinder units. In other words, a small footprint, especially front to back, enables better ground following over undulations. They are very durable and blades/ hammers swing out of the way if they contact obstacles and are potentially easier to adjust height of cut compared to other mowers. A striped finish can be achieved as they are usually fitted with a rear roller, which also gives them the ability to overhang curb edges. On the negative side, the increase in power to drive the rotor results in lower fuel economy and the noise and vibration generated by shaft-driven versions is also an issue. However, lower noise levels are achievable with hydraulic motor drives. Maintenance can also be an issue with blades and hammers to sharpen individually. On large versions scalping can occur due to the width of cutting unit which is less able to float over undulations. The flail principle is the same as the rotary in that it relies on impact and power to deliver a cutting action. Its robust design enables high productivity in a wide range of applications. THE FUTURE The current economic climate, especially July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7

4 Rotary mowers cope better with longer grass than cylinder mowers.


in the UK, has resulted in significant spending reductions by local authorities, many implementing reduced cutting regimes in order to ‘save’ money, in some cases reducing cuts by more than 50%. With drastic reductions in cutting frequency it will not be possible to cut longer grass with mowers designed to cut regularly maintained grass. This season we will see the impact of these decisions and it could be that councils have underestimated the reaction of the general public. In the UK we have a tradition of well-maintained public space and any reduction in standards is surely going to result in an increase in irate phone calls to elected council officials. So, do we continue to design equipment that use these three tried and tested mowing principles or look for some new and, as yet, untried technology? If we took the benefits of each of these to combat the inherent weaknesses in each, we could combine the ability to closely follow ground contours like a cylinder with the potential lower maintenance costs of a rotary and the durability and grass dispersal features of a flail. It has been recognised that a key advantage of the ride-on triple cylinder mower is not only the quality of cut. The machine tends to be shorter overall than an equivalent out-front


rotary design. The ability to vary the width of cut is often an unstated advantage especially in municipal applications mowing round street furniture and trees. The cutting units also tend to be in the operator’s line of vision, which can help reduce inadvertent damage. A potentially ideal solution might be a mower using impact to cut with the footprint of a ride-on cylinder triple unit. There are obviously significant challenges to this, and a flail mower with the footprint of a riding triplex cylinder mower is currently being developed and tested in Ipswich. This article has given me the opportunity to float the principle to a wide range of contractors and municipal turf professionals. If you have any comments, suggestions or would like to discuss in more detail please contact me:

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July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7


Latest Kit

MOWERS Allett’s Buffalo 34 pedestrian sportsground mowers are helping produce first-class playing surfaces at four Polish training centres being used by participants at the UEFA Euro 2012 finals. They were selected by STRI (Sports Turf Research Institute) which was appointed by UEFA to provide advice on the playing surfaces at the Euro 2012 venues. STRI’s brief was to raise the standard of the training pitches to international level and prepare them so they played and looked exactly like the stadiums hosting Euro 2012 matches. WWW.ALLETT.CO.UK

Tracmaster’s BCS Commander mower is a versatile, simple-touse machine designed to handle any difficult grassland setting with its range of cutting and clearing attachments. Implements for the BCS Commander include a scythe cutter bar, flail, rotary, mulching, and brush mowers, hay rake, mini baler, chipper-

The current harsh economic climate has seen councils forced to reduce their mowing frequency. This has resulted in the requirement for grasscutting equipment to withstand more demanding

shredder, power brush and dozer blade/snow plough. It also features a heavy duty drive system, low centre of gravity and simple controls with power supplied by reliable Honda, Yanmar and Kohler engines. It also ensures maximum steering comfort and perfect control. WWW.TRACMASTER.CO.UK

applications and longer grass. Broadwood International has redesigned the popular Wessex RMX 360 and RMX 480 hydraulically folding roller mowers, to allow larger volumes of cut grass to clear the deck quickly and so greatly increase performance in longer grass applications. The two machines are available as 3 point linkage-mounted or trailed on the popular ProGlider chassis and are ideal for councils, contractors, air fields, race tracks and other large amenity areas. Smaller, rigid models from 1.8m to 3m are popular with councils, schools and sports clubs. WWW.BROADWOODINTL.CO.UK

AS Motor’s Mulching Mower AS510 Proclip are robust yet light German-built AS Motor mulching mowers that weigh less than 40kg, making them simple and easy to handle. The AS510 Proclip is available as a 4-stroke self-propelled or push mower. This model is also available with a 2-stroke engine, much simpler with only three moving parts and therefore a lot lighter. Its 2-stroke engine has power on each and every stroke – twice as many as a 4-stroke. Also, the engine has a constant and fresh supply of oil, with no oil changes required, and as the lubrication is in the fuel there are no working angle restrictions. Contact for more information.

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Enjoy working outdoors, interested in plants, like working with people? Our courses and apprenticeships in horticulture and landscape construction, lead to a variety of rewarding careers in amenity and commercial horticulture. Suitable for school leavers and adults changing career or seeking accreditation, qualifications available include NPTC, City & Guilds and RHS certificates, BTEC and NOCN Diplomas.

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Our students have access to over 30-acres of gardens at our visitor centre in Enfield, and areas of Regent’s Park, Gunnersbury Park and Crystal Palace Park, for practical work. They have developed successful careers in everything from designing and building gardens and parks to working in botanical gardens, country estates, and in football stadiums as groundsmen.

Kick start your career With an apprenticeship your training is done on-the-job, so you can earn money whilst getting a qualification, practical experience and mentoring. Our programmes are recognised and endorsed by leading employers in the land-based sector, and some of our apprentices work in the Royal Parks, London Zoo, at Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey.

• Aspen, alkylate petrol, especially developed for forest and garden machinery, reduces toxic hydrocarbons by 99%. • We also stock Ecopar, a toxic free, 100% biodegradable alternative to diesel – reduces carbon footprint by up to 50%.

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July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7 20/03/2012 15:26


Training – Lantra

learning on the land Apprenticeships are a proven way to train your workforce. They can make your organisation more effective, productive and competitive by addressing your skills gaps directly – which is even more important in uncertain economic times Apprenticeships are good for business With 242,000 new entrants needed in the land-based sector over the next 10 years, it’s not surprising we often get told that recruitment and retention is one of the biggest problems our business faces. So what if we told you there was a solution that could bring an enthusiastic, loyal, hardworking employee into your business? What if we then told you that they are likely to increase the productivity and efficiency of your organisation? And receive paid for training so you could train them up for free? Apprenticeships are a great way of bringing new talent into your organisation. An apprentice will get stuck straight into the job while learning relevant skills to your industry and business. That’s because land-based apprenticeship frameworks are developed by the industry (led by Lantra) around their business needs and regularly updated to ensure they embrace new technologies, techniques and changes in market demands. The Apprenticeship training Framework for Horticulture covers a broad and varied industry, split into four main areas, of which Landscaping July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7

is one. As a result, Horticulture Apprenticeships have been proven to provide real, measurable benefits for Landscaping employers. Benefits for Businesses ● 80% of employers report an increase in productivity and business performance. ● Apprenticeships encourage loyalty and enthusiasm in staff, who feel more valued. 88% of employers report a more motivated and satisfied workforce. Remember apprenticeships are available for both new and current members of staff. ● Provide the skilled workers you need for the future. 83% of employers who employ apprentices rely on their Apprenticeship to provide for the future skills needs of the business. ● 81% of consumers prefer to use a company that employs apprentices – which equals new customers for your business. funding entitlement What funding could I be entitled to as an employer? Funding for Training Apprenticeship funding is available from the National Apprenticeship Service. The size of the contribution varies depending on the sector and

the age of the candidate. This is paid directly to the organisation that provides and supports the Apprenticeship; in most cases this will be a learning provider. ●A  n apprentice aged 16 to 18 years’ old – you will receive 100 per cent of the training cost. ●A  pprentice aged between 19 to 24 years’ old – you will receive up to 50% of training cost. ● 2 5 years’ old or over – you may get partial funding for some training courses. Employer Incentive This is aimed at encouraging employers to take on new apprentices. It helps eligible employers to offer young people aged 16-24 employment through the Apprenticeship programme, by providing wage grants to assist employers in recruiting their first apprentice. The National Apprenticeship Service will provide up to 40,000 Apprenticeship grants to small and medium-sized employers recruiting 16-to-24-year-olds. This is worth £1,500 and is in addition to the training costs of the Apprenticeship framework. Want to learn more? Further information on Horticulture, Landscaping and Sports Turf Apprenticeships from Lantra: Find the full Horticulture Frameworks online at: frameworkslibrary Alternatively telephone: 08000 150 600


 s a Sector Skills Council, A licensed by the UK government, Lantra supports skills and training for people and businesses in the land-based and environmental sector. Lantra is an independent UK organisation owned and managed by the land-based industries, working with employers and the UK government to address your skills and productivity needs. Find out more by visiting

HORTICULTURE COURSES At BCA, our Horticulture courses have been specially designed to prepare you for an exciting career within the horticultural and associated industries. Courses include:

Land-based ● Level 1 Diploma in ) ure ult rtic Studies (Ho Horticulture ● Level 2 Diploma in loma ● Level 3 Extended Dip ure ult rtic in Ho


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● Level 2 Diploma in Sports and Amenity Turf Maintenance ● Level 2 Diploma in Arboriculture loma ● Level 3 Extended Dip e tur cul ori Arb in

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Find out more at: or email: BCA, Hall Place, Burchetts Green, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 6QR • Tel: 0800 0711 666 • Text: 07950 081 234

Study at Writtle School of Design Undergraduate & Postgraduate courses accredited by the


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July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7



Pro Landscaper takes a look at what’s different this month. John Deere has published a new training prospectus, providing details of John Deere’s apprentice technician and parts training programmes, which is aimed at young people aged 16 to 19 interested in a career in landbased engineering. John Deere training manager Chris Wiltshire said: “We want to get across the message that the agricultural and turf machinery industry is an exciting, challenging and rewarding career choice for young people”. Technicians on the programmes work towards City & Guilds or NVQ Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications. Applications are now being invited for enrolment on the next set of courses commencing in September 2012. Further details are available at

York Minster given the Wow! factor

The Nave of York Minster cathedral has been transformed by 1,500m2 of real grass. York-based turf specialist Lindum donated the living grass carpet called Wow!Grass! for a recent fundraising dinner attended by 900 guests. Stephen Fell, Managing Director, Lindum, says: “As a big supporter of the Minster and the fundraising team who tirelessly raise money to maintain its beauty and splendour for everyone, I’m delighted to be donating our Wow!Grass! for the York Minster Rose Dinner.”

July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7

The new Makita EA3201 2-stroke petrol engine chainsaw is a robust, entry-level saw with a 32cc engine and new electronic ignition system that controls stable idling. The Easy Start spring-assisted starter and optimised engine management significantly reduces recoil resistance. MemoryPower-Ignition technology is used for re-starting when hot and the engine is fitted with a catalytic exhaust system that meets all current emission regulations. This lightweight engine is of full aluminium construction allowing ease-of-service and maintenance. Weighing just 4.3kg, this high specification saw is ideal for all grounds care and site operations. For more information visit

A Sussex garden design and construction company has teamed up with Alan Titchmarsh to transform six gardens for deserving people around the country. The six weekly hour-long episodes of ITV1’s Love Your Garden begin on Tuesday 26 June at 8pm. The Outdoor Room’s David Dodd and his team of six started work on the first garden at the beginning of May and they will finish the final garden at the end of July. They had just five days per garden to implement the changes. “It’s a massive task to design and construct a garden in only five days. But with my fantastic staff and by working 12-to-14hour days, anything is possible. It’s been an amazing experience working with Alan Titchmarsh. When he’s not in front of the camera, he doesn’t stop grafting.”

Natural stone supplier Natural Paving Products recently showcased its efforts to help those working in the stone industry in Gujarat, India. In 2010, the company obtained a 3 acre plot of land and has invested more than £100,000 to buy state-of-the-art machinery, providing materials to build a new factory and erect a new office block. Natural Paving has been a member of ETI (Ethical Trading Initiative) since late 2009; and members commit to provide safe and hygienic working conditions. Mark Wall, Director, said: “The difference the new facilities has made to the workers is remarkable. This is an on-going journey to improve facilities and the environment for our workforce more than 6,000 miles away.”

Joseph Rochford boss fundraiser aims high Paul Rochford, MD of Joseph Rochford Ltd, has recently completed his climb of Mount Denali in Alaska and is hoping to raise £25,000 for two charities, Tree Aid and the Kanyike project. Denali is particularly challenging as it is known as ‘the coldest mountain in the world’, where temperatures can drop to -50º. To support Paul’s climb, email or visit

BALI Landscaping Show – Review

1 World Skills competition. 2 James Coles Nurseries’ stunning display of Aquilegia. 3 Marshalls team demonstrating the new Cobbletech Driveway System. 4 Visitors to the marquee.


5 The seminar theatre.



6 (Right to left) Wayne Grills, Chief Operations Officer of BALI with Chris Carr of QLawns and Colin Brown of Shrubhill Farms. 7 Penarth Management talking to visitors. 8 Experts from Bartlett Trees. 9 The exhibitor marquee.

Pro Landscaper was at last month’s BALI Landscaping Show at Stoneleigh Park, where there were some magnificent stands to visit, seminars to attend and demonstrations to watch and take part in. The World Skills Gardening competition also took place over the two days, with teams of two creating the same garden from a given design, which demonstrated abilities in construction and planting. We got around to seeing as many exhibitors and visitors as possible and as always would like to thank everyone for their amazing feedback about the magazine and website – long may it continue!



4 2 8




July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7




BLOG We really can’t believe how fast time has flown since this time last year. It seems only yesterday we set the wheels in motion to start the business. The beginning of the year has flown by; with fencing work flowing in during January due to the high winds in the North West. Our new website became live after a slight delay, we are very pleased with the end product, visually it is bright and fresh, contains images of our work and we believe it is informative about who we are and what we do. Hopefully it is user friendly and easy to navigate. The appearance and speed are certainly a drastic improvement on the self-made website we had last year. It is constantly being updated with new images of completed work and our blogs and so on. The majority of marketing this year will be based around promoting the website locally. In 2012 we have enjoyed a variety of jobs so far, including driveways, full garden makeovers, cobbling, walling, turfing, fencing and steps. We have also worked on a restaurant in Preston City, providing them with an overhead canopy to protect some of their outdoor appliances and also with two property developers completing fencing on a new build and renovation property.

Yasmin Roworth of MPR Landscapes returns to give an update on her first year in business, current projects and time away from work We have been fortunate in that we have had a fantastic first year in business, but we have come to realise that sometimes it’s good to unwind. As a couple working together full time, sometimes we have to remind ourselves to talk about things other than the business. Mark works incredibly hard so it’s crucial he has Sunday off to rest and do other things. For me it’s a day for housework. Our passion for landscaping is born out of the variety in the projects we undertake – currently we are on working on a patio area which is being paved with sandstone flags, including outdoor lighting to be fitted along with decorative pebbles, boulders and aggregates. BUSY SUMMER SEASON This summer looks set to be good, we are booked up to July and beyond, which gives us great confidence that we must be doing something right. In the next few weeks we have a children’s play area to construct, a tiered garden to create, garden clearances, iron railings and gates to fit, fencing projects, land drainage and turfing, a driveway and two large patios to pave. It’s all go. The damp weather looks set to disrupt us slightly but we are flexible and constantly keep in touch with our clients informing them of what is happening due to the weather. Going forward, we are excited about

expanding our business and hope that everybody in the industry has a fantastic year. We would like to thank Pro Landscaper for featuring our business blog, it has been really enjoyable. The magazine is a great read and from writing the blog we have made some wonderful contacts in the industry, both on a personal level and for sourcing materials and so on. Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and visit

Project in Chorley – Before (top) and after

DIARY JULY 3–8 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, Hampton Court 11 APL Summer Networking Seminar, Greenline Plants, Solihull 18–22 RHS Tatton Flower Show, Tatton Park

19 Starting your own garden business seminar, Alan Sargent, Chichester College (Brinsbury Campus) Email:

Victoria Park, Southport 26–27 The Plant Hunters Fair, Dorothy Clive Garden, Market Drayton, Shropshire

AUGUST 3–4 Taunton Flower Show, Vivary SEPTEMBER Park, Taunton 4–5 Four Oaks Trade Show, Macclesfield, Cheshire 16–19 Southport Flower Show,

4–6 IOG Saltex, Windsor Racecourse 17–19 Glee, NEC Birmingham 29–30 RHS Malvern Autumn Show, Malvern Showground

YOUR EVENT If you have a diary event you wish to publicise, email details to the editor: July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7





Caro Garden Design

A small insight into the world of other professionals in our wide and varied industry. If you would like to appear in a future issue please email JODY SYMONS Technical Director, Tracmaster Ltd

What would you say is the best thing about your job? That moment when a client realises you’ve created something that they really wanted but wouldn’t have been able to achieve themselves .

What would you say is the best thing about your job? Never knowing what I will be asked to do next and what problems or challenges could come with it.

What made you want to get into the industry? Plants and planting led me into it, and although I was astonished when I realised that plants came last in the design process, it was a great discipline.

What made you want to get into the industry? I had become disillusioned with the motor trade after working in it for seven years and wanted to change careers but retain and improve the skill set that I had acquired.

Challenges ahead in your work? Helping clients realise that conservation, recycling and thoughtfulness are all great values and will help their gardens to flourish. Current trends in the market? All things sustainable. Edible plants have made a big impact. Outdoor kitchens are maybe the next garden envy. Your company’s plans for the next five years… Keep going. Keep growing. Keep our options open. Don’t get stuck in a rut. Who are you inspired by? My favourite would be Topher Delaney, she creates beautiful, inventive, measured spaces. Countryside or seaside? Seaside – I grew up on a small island in the Middle East and went to school as a teenager in Lyme Regis – so it’s in my bones. Your proudest achievement? Probably dragging my kids into adulthood! Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter? It’s got to be Spring, when I think “Ah, at last!” and there’s still Summer to look forward to. Where’s your favourite holiday destination? Friendly people and rainbow hued butterflies in deserted temple ruins – magical.


How is the bulk of your work made up? Usually problem solving. However, currently it’s predominantly figuring out how to manufacture a part or finding the correct supplier to make the part to the high quality that we expect.

Your company’s plans for the next five years… Continuing to design and source machinery and implements and add them to our existing range of machinery and implements. How do you remain competitive? By providing our customers with a quality product and the best possible customer support. Who are you inspired by? My Grandad, Terry Pratchett and Rolf Harris. Favourite film and TV shows… Favourite film: Leon. TV shows: Deadliest Catch and Gold Rush on Discovery Channel. Your proudest achievement? My daughter Abi. Favourite song? Gabriel by Lamb if I am in a quiet mood, or Killing in the Name by Rage Against The Machine if I’m not!

RICHARD MIERS How do you remain competitive? I give the client what they want, with my own style.

Richard Miers Garden Design What would you say is the best thing about your job? Day to day variety. One day I’ll be drawing and designing, another day I will be out on a site visit. What made you want to get into the industry? I’ve always had a passion for plants. I love technology and use it to the maximum (3D design drawings mainly) but I also love being in touch with the seasons and nature.

One thing you want to do before you’re too old? Visit Japan. Their culture and spiritualism is fascinating and I love the way they train the plants and trees (Niwaki). I’m representing the UK in the Gardening World Cup this autumn in Nagasaki. Countryside or seaside? Countryside until the hay fever season – then the seaside. Favourite song? Enjoy The Silence by Depeche Mode.

Challenges ahead in your work? Finding a replacement for Buxus hedging or a sustainable way of controlling Box blight.

Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter? In Spring, the emergence of bulbs, perennials and the leaves of the shrubs and trees is magical. But I’ll say Autumn, for its peace and softness.

How is the bulk of your work made up? All my work is for private individuals.

Where’s your favourite holiday destination? The Greek Islands. I love the spring flowers there. July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7


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July 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 7

Strength and Versatility for your Fleet

See us


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Model Shown: Toro Mid Size Hydro Mower 30069 with Flail 02720

In a business like yours, productivity is key. This is where Toro can help. Not only is our landscape contractor equipment engineered to be extraordinarily tough, it’s also flexible and versatile, so you always have the right tool for the job. Check out the Toro Mid Size Mower: Tackles rough and overgrown areas with ease Rugged, reliable power unit with interchangeable attachments Choice of high output flail or 32” / 36” / 48” rear discharge decks Take a look at revenue-generating Toro. For more info see or call 01279 723444 to locate your nearest dealer June 2012 | Volume 2 | Issue 6

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Pro Landscaper July 2012  

Pro Landscaper July 2012  

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