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June 2013



SENSORY ADVENTURE A bright and safe sensory garden for nursery and reception children

Let’s Hear it From... Matthew Wilson, Managing Director of Clifton Nurseries

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Out & About at Chelsea Pictures from this year’s fantastic centenary show

Machinery Feature Three pages of the latest kit available

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Concept to Delivery


June 2013

June 2013 | Volume 3, Issue 6

Welcome to June 2013


SENSORY ADVENT URE Let’s Hea r it Matthew WilsoFrom... n, Man Director of Clifton Nursaging eries

In June we find ourselves high on the success of another RHS Chelsea Flower Show, we never fail to be uplifted by the spirit of all those taking part in the most prestigious event of the year. We visited towards the end of the build-up and witnessed what seemed like organised chaos as everyone concentrated on putting the final touches to their show gardens and exhibition stands. As the majority of you will know, this huge industry gives the impression of being a small world, when you see people who compete for business in ‘real life’ lending a hand to each other in times of need, and managing to keep smiling when the stress levels peak just before judging. It’s a different story for the rest of the week, when you can physically see the stress melt away when all who have been involved see the

EDITORIAL Director – Lisa Wilkinson Tel: 01903 234 077

ADVERTISING Business Development Manager Jamie Wilkinson Tel: 01903 234 077

Assistant Editor – Rose Hales

Senior Sales Executive – Luke Chaplin Tel: 01903 234 077

Equipment Editor – Joe Wilkinson Tel: 01903 234 077

Sales Executive – Sophie Abbott Tel: 01903 234 077

EDITORIAL ADVISORY PANEL Mark Gregory Chairman of APL and Landform Consultants Sam Hassall LandPRO Ltd Russell Eales Lawn care expert Karl Harrison Decking expert

Accounts/Admin Assistant – Ellie Downes Tel: 01903 234 077 Managing Director – Jim Wilkinson Tel: 01903 234 077 GENERAL ENQUIRIES Tel: 01903 234 077

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A bright and safe sen for nurser y and rec sory garden eption chi ldren

Out & Abo ut Pictures from at Chelsea this fantastic Centenar year’s y Show

Machinery Feature Three page s of the latest kit avail able

thousands of visitors faces lit up by the joy of seeing the amazing show gardens, stunning flowers and classy exhibits. In this sometimes troubled world, it’s

It’s extremely important that we all work to engage a new generation within this industry wonderful to see what horticulture can do to uplift the soul. That’s why it’s extremely important that we all work to engage a new generation within this industry – there were some alarming facts to come out of the recent ‘Horticulture Matters’ report, presented to the Government last month and it is now paramount that we make horticulture part of the school curriculum so that RHS Chelsea Flower Show will be around for at least another 100 years.



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

CIRCULATION Subscription enquiries: Tel: 01903 234 077 Pro Landscaper is published 12 times per year by Eljays44 Ltd. The 2013 subscription price is £95.00. 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.

PRODUCTION Design – Kara Thomas Printed by Pensord Press Ltd, Gwent, UK Published by ©Eljays44 Ltd – Business Intelligence

Business intelligence

Eljays44 Ltd County House, 3 Shelley Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN11 1TT Tel: 01903 234 077

The Association of

Professional Landscapers

Pro Landscaper is proud to be an affiliate member of BALI

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

June 2013


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June 2013 8 News Shed Round up of industry news

12 Three Peaks Extreme Challenge A closer look at the work Perennial do for the industry

15 View from the Top Phil Jones of ISS Facility Services Landscaping looks at how ‘people momentum’ causes natural business growth

For the first time, 10 show gardens won RHS Gold Medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 16 Out & About Pictures from this year’s Chelsea Flower Show

21 Association News The SGD launch the new ‘Designing for Community Space’ Award, BALI celebrate garden win, and the APL focus on Hampton Court



27 Sustainable Landscaping Janine Pattison focuses on retrofitting gardens for sustainability

29 Be Seen - Be Safe Delivery Concept to

June 2013


Angus Lindsay says less frequent roadside landscape maintenance is becoming a safety concern

32 Managing Conflict in a Team Margaret McNeil looks at how to deal with clashes between team members

34 Building Garden Ponds




y garden safe sensor n A bright andand reception childre for nursery

it From... Let’s Hear n, Managing Matthew Wilso n Nurseries Director of Clifto


June 2013

Contents.indd 4

t at Chelsea Out & Abou this year’s Pictures from nary Show fantastic Cente

Feature Machinery s of the Three page ble latest kit availa

Simon Sales dispels the myths, telling you all you need to know for a successful installation

35 High End Decking Karl Harrison defines what is meant by the term ‘high end decking’

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58 Seal or No Seal Landscapers and paving suppliers were asked for their opinion on the debate

68 Latest Kit The latest lawnmowers, as well as new machinery available for landscapers

69 Kubota RTV

400Ci and 500 Our Equipment Editor got the chance to test-drive Kubota’s new RTVs

72 Inside AVS Fencing, suppliers of quality fencing and landscaping timber products

75 Trading With WoodBlocX, creators of revolutionary wooden garden landscaping kits


I’ve never felt safer in a vehicle than I did in the new RTVs Joe Wilkinson, Equipment Editor

We spoke to Matthew Wilson, designer/ landscaper and Managing Director of Clifton Nurseries

CONTRACTORS A RCHITECTS Landscape Hub ARCHITECTS GARDENERS LANDSCAPERS CONTRACTORS ARCHITECTS Landscape HUB GARDENERS CONTRACTORS ARCHITECTS Visit, join and debate within LANDSCAPERS DESIGNERS A the landscape community Save the date – 19 November 2013 Twitter @prolandscaperJW Join in the conversation on Twitter Facebook Check out the Facebook page to comment and view photo albums LinkedIn Join the Pro Landscaper group to make connections with colleagues


14-15 The ARB Show, Bathurst Estate, Cirencester

43 Sensory Adventure Nigel Abbey Design Consultants and The Garden Builders constructed a garden for nursery age children

21-23 Blenheim Palace Flower Show 25-26 HTA National Plant Show

46 All Change New Eden transformed a child-friendly space into a grown-up garden

JULY 04 Q Lawns’ Sustainable Landscaping Event

50 Port of Call

Contents.indd 5

Download the Pro Landscaper App Available FREE from the App Store

12-16 BBC Gardeners’ World Live

PORTFOLIOS Read everything from up-to-date news to the digital version of the magazine

JUNE 05 BALI South Thames region event, Provender Nurseries

37 Let’s Hear It From

Hambrooks Landscapes created a nautical inspired garden directly on the waterfront



09-14 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

June 2013


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Congratulations to @ProLandscaperJW for a fantastic show @Futurescape - the quality of enquiries was exceptional! Exhibitor feedback

Very well worth attending. Excellent seminars, good for networking and meeting others in the trade. Visitor feedback

@FutureScapeUK Thanks for a well thought out and enjoyable event with good stands and interesting seminars! Visitor feedback


22/05/2013 15:16

Really easy to get to, good range of exhibits, quality exhibitors, interesting and innovative.

Thanks @ProLandscaperJW for putting on @FutureScapeUK. Good seminars and good trade stands.

Visitor feedback

Visitor feedback

@FutureScapeUK A big thank you to everyone involved in organising the event. Useful stands, interesting talks and lovely people. Well done :) Visitor feedback

Bravo to Jim and the team at Eljays for creating a great event.While exhibiting, we found the audience perfect for our products. Have spent all day following up and realising we have one order today and already speciďŹ ed for some substantial projects.

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Exhibitor feedback


at Kempton Park Racecourse, Sunbury on Thames TW16 5AQ For more information please contact Jamie Wilkinson on 01903 234 077

Futurescape spread full page.indd 71

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News Shed

NEWS SHED Lloyd Bore wins planning permission for external design of special needs school St Piers School, set within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, at The Young Epilepsy site, Lingfield, Surrey, will have a brand new purpose-built special educational needs (SEN) school which will replace the current school facility. Lloyd Bore’s brief was to design a fun, challenging and stimulating external environment that is safe and meets the needs of the pupils aged up to 18. The design meets and in places exceeds the requirements set out within the Department for Education’s ‘Building Bulletin 102’. This involved the creation of individual outdoor classrooms, a communal ecology garden, a pedal cart track, active

play space, arrival and departure areas and the design of functional drop off and pick up facilities. Lloyd Bore has been exploring imaginative alternatives to everyday playground items, such as bespoke laser cut fencing – to enhance the setting and ensure that the final product does not have an institutional or intimidating feel.

RHS – Horticulture Matters Report The RHS has presented a report to the House of Commons calling for government action to urgently address the skills gap in the horticulture industry. The Horticulture Matters report outlines a survey of 200 horticultural businesses conducted by the Society, and has demonstrated that more than 70 per cent of horticultural businesses cannot fill skilled vacancies, nearly 20 per cent are forced to recruit overseas and almost 70 per cent claim that career entrants are inadequately prepared for work. The report, commissioned by Britain’s leading horticultural organisations, including the Institute of Horticulture, British Growers Association, HTA (Horticultural Trades Association) and Lantra, concludes that a commitment to bridging the green skills gap is not only necessary but urgent. The survey confirmed an alarming shortage of skilled professionals in UK horticulture.The report demonstrates exactly how this skills gap is threatening Britain’s economy, environment and food security. Dwindling numbers of people with horticultural skills simply means that the industry cannot meet the growing demands placed on it. Horticulture

contributes £9 billion to the British economy each year as an industry and employs 300,000 people. The survey also found that 10 per cent of vacancies take at least one year to fill. More than 80 per cent of the survey respondents cited a poor perception of horticulture in schools and colleges as the issue, and 90 per cent said it was because horticulture lacks career appeal. Sue Biggs, Director General of the RHS, said “We’ve brought together Britain’s leading horticultural organisations to create this report. We are unanimous in the belief that there must now be urgent action to save British horticulture. Our report calls on the Government, employers and those in the education system to take action to safeguard the critical role that horticulture plays in Britain today”.

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News Shed

Garden Museum Events – June 2013 On 3 June, the Garden Museum and American Embassy will present Green Roof Avant Garde with Karla Dakin, a symposium surveying international practice in green roof design, horticulture, ecology and growing cultural significance. The event promises to explore urban ecology and green roofs with fellow speaker Dusty Gedge, green roofs as cultural experiences, and the latest US research on green roof horticulture. A second event, Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens Symposium, on

17 June, looks at how these now-vanished gardens can inspire public space in the 21st century. In 18th century London, pleasure

gardens were a phenomenon of the age: a stage for contemporary art and music, a place of gluttony, flirtation and fantasy, and a place in which aristocrats and celebrities mixed with the middle-classes for the first time. For this one-day symposium speakers from diverse fields will investigate how historic pleasure gardens can provoke and influence contemporary approaches to the use of shared urban green space.

Quadron assists the London Borough of Southwark to achieve 97 per cent resident satisfaction rate Following an independent survey of around 400 local residents carried out by Westminster Council’s insight team, it has been revealed that 97 per cent of residents surveyed were satisfied with their parks and open spaces.

Service Development Manager for Southwark’s Parks and Open Spaces, Henry Thompson, said “thanks to all at Quadron for their contribution to achieving this satisfaction level.The maintenance of our sites is a major contribution to this achievement.” The standard of Southwark’s parks and open spaces has been consistently improving each year. The borough now has 14 Green Flag parks. Historic Dulwich Park has been awarded a BALI National Award described by the judge as being one of the best parks he has ever seen.

Quadron looks forward to continuing to work in partnership with Southwark Council and the users of Southwark’s green spaces to ensure a continued high level of resident satisfaction in the years to come.

NURSERY NEWS Palmstead: Work with the Weather Plants are around three weeks behind their usual schedule this year, but have now hopefully caught up. We need reminders that we have to work with the weather, so in June we need to make sure those trees and shrubs planted in the cold winter are getting sufficient water to establish. Newly planted trees will benefit from a couple of two-gallon buckets of water a week unless it rains heavily. Mulching the planted beds helps to retain moisture and suppress annual weeds too. There are arguments that we need to use our native plants more and protect some from being overrun by invasive aliens. Our native English bluebell, for example, tends to have flowers falling to one side of the stem, whilst the larger Spanish bluebell has flowers more evenly distributed; if they hybridise this could spread and dilute our native plant gene pool. We ought to celebrate the diversity and differences of the plants we can grow here and as ever it’s about right plant, right place. This year’s Soft Landscape Workshop on 25 September will discuss this in more detail. A great line up of speakers will talk about negotiating better planting designs when faced with BREEAM and native only issues which purport to benefit biodiversity.

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News Shed

NEWS IN BRIEF Show Garden to Relocate after Chelsea

Jo Thompson’s’ Stop the Spread’ show garden for FERA at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show will be relocated to Bristol Zoo’s new wildlife park ‘Wild Place’ after the show.

Dan Pearson Exhibit at The Garden Museum

Green Fuse: The Work of Dan Pearson at The Garden Museum runs until 20 October and explores the breadth and depth of his landscape design, tracing the roots of his career as a plantsman and designer and looking at his education, influences and inspirations.

Tom Hart-Dyke to Speak at Q Lawns Event

Plant hunter Tom Hart-Dyke has been confirmed as one of the speakers at Q Lawns’ Sustainable Landscaping event on 4 July.

The ARB Show – LCGD to hold design clinic at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 14-15 June 2013 The London College of Garden Design has announced that it is creating a design clinic in conjunction with the Royal Horticultural Society at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. The show feature will allow visitors to get design inspiration from professional graduates of the College. Andrew Wilson, Director of Garden Design Studies said “This is a great opportunity for visitors to find out how a designer might be able to help them and in short half hour design sessions they will get some inspirational ideas.They may only want a few planting ideas but it is also a great opportunity for our graduates to meet potential clients and of course suppliers”. Wilson added “we always want

to display the talents and achievements of our students and graduates and this is a great way of doing just that.”The design clinic comes just after the College announced plans to be the first specialist garden design college to provide graduates with free continuing professional development after they have completed their Garden Design Diploma

Andy Sturgeon designs approved for £200 million London residence The In & Out Club in London’s Piccadilly, the historic former home of the Naval and Military Club and

Nurture Landscapes Shows Growth

Nurture Landscapes has grown its business by 10 per cent after winning two new landscape maintenance contracts worth £1.2m a year.

a Grade I listed building, is about to undergo extensive refurbishment to turn it into a £200million family home – set to be the most expensive in the country. Andy Sturgeon Landscape and Garden Design developed a landscape scheme for the house as part of a planning application, which has been approved.

The ARB Show 2013 will be dedicated to everyone working (or with an interest) in amenity tree care. It promises to be a valuable day out where visitors can see working machinery demos, plus get practical advice on the latest kit and technologies dedicated to the industry. There’ll also be more than 60 trade stands, where exhibitors will be showcasing new products available. The show is at Bathurst Estate, Cirencester, Gloucestershire.

Impressive School Garden entries at Malvern Bob Sweet, head of judges at the Royal Horticultural Society, said entries in the school garden section of Malvern Spring Gardening Show were the best he has ever seen anywhere in the UK. The Best in Show award went to the entry from Pershore College, which was a combined effort by pupils of Pershore High School, The Vale of Evesham School and Regency High School, Worcester.

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Three Peaks Extreme Challenge Pro Landscaper takes a closer look at the rigorous training programme being undertaken by the team, and how Perennial helps horticulturalists in need

Spare a thought for all those brave industry colleagues who have signed up to compete in the Three Peaks Extreme Challenge at the beginning of September. They are now in their fourth month of training and managing two 25 mile flat cycle rides and one 50 mile ride including gentle hills per week. It is vital that anyone taking part in this challenge is as fit as possible, as there will be stages when their strength and mind-set will be tested. Upper body resistance and core training at this stage consists of bench presses, upright row, shoulder presses, bent over row, bicep curls, tricep extensions, crunches, leg raises, jackknifes, Russian twists and plank. Believe me, I feel shattered just writing about it! With this in mind, if you won’t be taking part in the event, the next best thing would be to support all those that are, and at the bottom of the page you will find a number of ways in which you can donate towards the challenge, which is being held to raise funds for Perennial.

If you’re interested in taking part please email for more information. If you would like to pledge your support to the team please either email, or alternatively you can text NUTS67 and £5 to 70070 to make a donation. Keep up to date via Twitter @peaksextreme and Facebook 3PE. Good luck to all involved!


June 2013

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About Perennial Perennial is the national charity for those who work or have worked in horticulture and their spouses/partners when they face adversity or need. It was founded in 1839 as an early secular caring charity. An annual dinner became the focus of fundraising and in 1852 Charles Dickens became one of the first of numerous “celebrities” who have added their weight to the task of attracting support. As state pensions came in during the 20th century, Perennial’s focus was on problems of accommodation, running a care home for older gardeners and increasingly, as life expectancy rose, retirement accommodation. Many clients had lived in traditional tied cottages. The charity’s financial assistance broadened to include grants in emergencies and help to those who had become disabled, and began to help people from other branches of horticulture – parks, horticultural trades – which were growing in importance. In the 21st century new needs are responded to, and new solutions to both old and new problems found. Services provided free of charge include: ● Home visits by experienced staff The professional caseworker team offers a wealth of experience and practical help with all kinds of difficulties

● Financial help and support Confidential help and support by way of one-off grants or on-going regular assistance. ● Advice on benefit Entitlement advice, how to apply and help with completing complicated forms. ● Help with training costs When problems mean a career change – or more skills would help alleviate a difficult situation – Perennial may be able to offer financial support as training challenges are faced. ● Support for your small business Help for struggling self-employed or small businesses. ● Accommodation Whether you are looking for retirement accommodation or experiencing problems during your working life, Perennial can offer advice and practical solutions. ● Long term care for vulnerable elderly people In 2009 the charity launched a new fund specifically to help with the care costs of individuals in registered care or for care-at-home services.

22/05/2013 14:33

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News Extra

View from the Top

Treating employees well and allowing them to contribute will create collective success and lead naturally to business growth, says Phil Jones

Growth is good for business – right? Growing a business organically gives everyone a boost, not least the shareholders and stakeholders.There are many drivers for growth: building for sale, leveraging of fixed overhead, even vanity! Who is to say any are wrong? With growth comes economies of scale, more investment, a larger share of the market and increased brand awareness. However, the above are just consequences of an increased top line.The real benefits come from developing our people, which then in turn provides a platform for growth. I think this is what IT people call a circular reference! So, what is the most effective way of laying the platform for and effecting real growth? My way is through our employees. I travel a lot around our many grounds maintenance contracts across the whole of the UK. It is a part of the job I like best, meeting our staff; those I have known for many years and also those who are new to ISS. Each time I meet our people I see a real determination to do all they can to help the success of the business.This is more apparent today than ever before.Those who I don’t always see regularly take the opportunity to air their views via the regular ISS People Survey. This invariably contains ‘advice’ from our staff on what we can all do to collectively create success. As well as shared values, pride and a common purpose, all of our people share a passion for growing the business and developing alongside it. It is a parallel process, the business grows and they see more opportunities to grow as employees. Growth in turn provides us with the resource to perpetuate the development of our staff, and so on… This thinking makes obvious sense. However, I don’t necessarily believe it is a conscious aim,

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something people think about and act on. It is more, I believe, a product or consequence of having the right culture in the business.The right culture leads to the right behaviour and encourages people to feel that they belong to the Company’s vision and allows them to feel they can contribute to the delivery of that vision.

The real benefits come from developing our people, which then in turn provides a platform for growth

people engagement and employee development. In short, they see people being treated well and being given the opportunity to contribute to the success of their business. In turn the new people within our business – provided with the tools to do the job and therefore the right incentive to contribute – immediately become ambassadors for our brand. Longer term employees continue to support and help develop our brand, as they have done over the years.This has been a contributory factor in laying the foundations upon which we have built our growth in recent years. Simply put, it is the mind-set and the resultant actions of all our people that keeps us going forward and maintains that ‘people momentum’. It also keeps the business going in the right direction. Growth then happens as a consequence of solid values and behaviour, not just as a result of any single business aim. Engage your people and create the right atmosphere for individual entrepreneurship, and success in the form of sustainable business growth will follow.


We can harness this sense of purpose and allow it to develop into an increased sense of pride, by firstly creating an atmosphere where people can be creative and not fear failure.Then with the right minded people, natural desire and renewed motivation take over. Just as new employees come to our business as a result of growth, those same employees play an integral role in providing further growth opportunities. As we have grown, customer confidence has grown, when they have seen a clear strategy for

Phil Jones is Managing Director of ISS Facility Services Landscaping and is based at the company’s head office in Woking, Surrey. He gained an HND in landscape construction and moved into grounds maintenance early on in his career, further gaining an MBA. He has been with the company since 1987 and as well as running the landscaping business he also sits on the UK operational management board of ISS Facility Services. Follow Phil Jones @philjonesISS Follow ISS Landscaping @ISSLandscaping

June 2013


21/05/2013 12:48

Out & About


During May, the Chelsea Flower Show took place at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea where it has been situated since 1913 and the 100th Anniversary was a real crowd pleaser. Despite a difficult start to the season, the floral displays were magnificent, and the show gardens which were particularly challenging due to around a month delay in plant growth, were resplendent. Pro Landscaper sends many congratulations to the designers, contractors and plants people involved for their dedication and hard won medals.We visited towards the end of build-up week and of course, were there for the main event. 1




Main Avenue As always, the Main Avenue gardens each had their own story to tell, sponsors will have been rewarded by the many visitors deep in thought about the cause each garden was promoting, be it the huge current issue of pest threat in the FERA Stop the Spread garden by Jo Thompson, through to the Arthritis Research garden by Chris Beardshaw which tells of the journey from diagnosis to living with the disease on a continuing basis, something which Chris was able to chart from personal experience having been diagnosed at a young age.


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8 The


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Out & About


2 3


Fresh Gardens The second year of this category gained much interest and encouraged designers to be innovative through the use of new and different materials. A perfect example of this was the Harfleet & Harfleet designed Digital Capabilities garden, by being connected to Twitter, different parts of the garden were revealed depending on the volume of tweets – right on trend! If you’re more interested in the calmer side of life, the Mindfulness Garden by Martin Cook Studio created a wonderful scene of calm, offering the perfect haven for meditation.

1 The RBC Blue Water Roof Garden – Nigel Dunnett. 2 Arthritis Research UK Garden – Chris Beardshaw. 3 East Village Garden – Michael Balston & Marie-Louise Agius.


1 Juxtaposition – Jack Dunckley.

4 Stop the Spread – Jo Thompson.

2 Cloudy Bay Discovery Garden – Andrew Wilson & Gavin McWilliam.

5 The Homebase Garden ‘Sowing the Seeds of Change’ – Adam Frost.

3 After the Fire – James Basson.

6 Trailfinders Australian Garden presented by Fleming’s – Phil Johnson.

4 The Mindfulness Garden – Martin Cook.

7 The M&G Centenary garden ‘Windows through Time’ – Roger Platts. 8 The Wasteland – Kate Gould.

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5 Digital Capabilities – Paul Harfleet & Tom Harfleet. June 2013


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Out & About 2


Artisan Gardens 3

By its very definition, an artisan is someone who is engaged in or occupied by the practice of a craft, who may through experience and talent reach the expressive levels of an artist using his hands, mind and heart in his work and what he creates.These gardens demonstrate the amazing craft of creating a small space using traditional construction methods.The Un Garreg (One Stone) garden designed and constructed by Harry and David Rich of Rich Landscapes demonstrated the art of dry stone walling which surrounded a beautifully sculpted oak bench, and Ishihara Kazuyuki’s Design Laboratory produced a stunning Japanese tatami room built upon a natural waterfall giving visitors a flavour of this ancient culture.

1 Un Garreg (One Stone) – Harry & David Rich.



2 An Alcove (Tokonoma) Garden – Kazuyuki Ishihara. 3 Herbert Smith Freehills Garden for WaterAid – Patricia Thirion & Janet Honour. 4 Motor Neurone Disease ‘A Hebridean Weaver’s Garden’ – Janet Setchfield & Martin Anderson. 5 Le Jardin De Yorkshire – Alistair W Baldwin Associates.

The Great Pavilion


June 2013

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16/05/2013 12:48


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28/05/2013 10:29

Association News – SGD

Great community gardens The SGD are calling for public entries in the new ‘Designing for Community Space’ Award 1


esidents of the UK have depended on community gardens as a source of food for hundreds of years. The community allotments set up in urban front gardens and spare inner-city sites during the Second World War are just one example. Today, the contemporary community gardening movement has grown from strength to strength and now the scope of what community gardens can achieve varies widely. No longer just a provision for providing fresh fruit and vegetables, they can offer a haven for wildlife, provide improved play areas and outdoor classrooms for children or simply be a safe public space that is wellmaintained by the local community. Designing for Community Space Award As part of the SGD Awards 2013, the Society is launching a new

‘Designing for Community Space’ Award. It is the only category in the 2013 Awards open to non-members of the SGD and invites members of the public to submit entries for a community space, of any size, that is owned by, used by, or designed by the local community. The spaces may

garden must be funded by a charity to qualify as a community garden. As this is a design award, the Society is ideally looking for entries from the garden designer. However, if no designer was involved in the project the SGD will welcome applications from the garden

Today the contemporary community gardening movement has grown from strength to strength be temporary or permanent and do not necessarily have to involve the community within the design or construction process. The category is wide open with the judges looking for tiny artistic plots, innovative or experimental use of green space or even green space installations and pop-up gardens. The only stipulation is that the


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know a community garden that you think is worthy of winning the ‘Designing for Community Space’ Award then consider nominating the designer, encouraging them to enter or getting the community group behind it.

curator, the chair of the garden committee, a Friends group leader, or anyone representing the garden. Judges will be looking at the many factors and circumstances that have dictated the design of a garden and how the garden design has affected the community who use it. Many community gardens offer huge health and social benefits and are an immensely valuable resource to neighbourhoods across the country. Many provide healing centres for people with mental and physical disabilities or create opportunities for recreation and exercise or simply offer a place to grow organic food. Get involved If you are a designer who has helped transform a vacant site into a vibrant green space or if you


To find out how to register your interest in entering the ‘Designing for Community Space Award’ or to find out more about the SGD Awards 2013, visit the website Early bird entry fees apply to all applicants who enter before 8 July 2013 and the final deadline for submissions is 12 August 2013. The winners will be announced at the SGD Awards ceremony in January 2014. 1 The Dalston Eastern Curve Garden. Photo: Sarah Blee 2 The Community Garden at Tate Modern. 3 The Urban Physic Garden. Photo: Mike Massaro June 2013


21/05/2013 12:42

Association News – BALI

BALI briefing Modern Serenity wins Premier Gold


ALI members in the Association’s Yorkshire and North East Region were ecstatic when they received a Premier Gold at this April’s Harrogate Spring Show for their garden – A vision of modern serenity – and rightly so. Designed by Belinda Belt of BALI member Greenbelt Landscapes, the garden was constructed by a team of BALI Registered Contractors using products supplied by BALI Affiliate members. The whole enterprise was coordinated by our Sponsorship Officer Diane McCulloch. The show proved to be a real PR coup for BALI in the north with great media coverage and heightened interest from members of the public. Congratulations and a huge thank you to everyone involved: Belinda Belt and Greenbelt Landscapes, DTMS Group, Country Gardens, Sustain Landscapes, Greenspace Solutions UK, Johnsons of Whixley, FTS Aquatics, Green-tech, Natural Paving Products, Johnsons Wellfield, Barry Cooper Glass Design, and Diane McCulloch.

BALI Affiliate members meet at Landscape House Our members who supply products and services to the landscape sector met recently at Landscape House 22

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June 2013

for the first of their 2013 Affiliate Forums. Chaired by Wayne Langford of Sudscape, the meeting provided an important opportunity for the Association’s Affiliate members to look at ways of making the most of their BALI membership and to discuss wider industry issues that inevitably impact on their businesses. A presentation by landscape architect Anna Dekker on BIM, or ‘Building Information Modelling’ for the uninitiated, raised more questions than it answered and generated some lively discussion between those who saw the benefit of engaging with BIM and others

Landscape Sector Growing Media Working Group Following an approach by Defra, BALI is now a member of the Growing Media Panel. This group of organisations was established to carry on the work of the now disbanded Sustainable Growing Media Task Force and is dealing with the challenge of getting amateur gardeners, the horticulture industry, public sector bodies and the landscape sector to use only growing media that is deemed ‘sustainable’; defining the criteria for sustainable growing media is part of the Panel’s remit. The Landscape

The show proved to be a real coup for BALI in the north with great media coverage and heightened interest from the public who questioned yet another Government initiative that they feared would result in an unwelcome cost burden on their businesses. Jacqui Smith of BALI Affiliate Computers Unlimited – sole UK distributor of Vectorworks Landmark CAD design software – will be organising a workshop on BIM at Landscape House this summer when all will be revealed, and hopefully explained in detail.

Sector Growing Media Working Group, which reports to the Growing Media Panel, met for the first time at BALI Landscape House in April and comprises BALI members and other contributing organisations from across the landscape sector. Its specific remit is to find ways to get public sector organisations to specify only sustainable growing media in their tenders and embed this approach in the procurement

supply chain. The next meeting takes place at Landscape House on 13 June. Raising money for Perennial Since adopting Perennial as one of its two chosen charities for 2013, BALI has worked with charity staff to promote the fantastic range of support services that it provides to anyone who is working in the horticulture and landscape industries, and their families, or those who have previously worked in the sector. By visiting BALI member companies and explaining their work, Perennial have managed to reach many more people who may not have known that help was so freely and easily available, if only they had known where to turn. A team from BALI Landscape House will be taking part with other BALI members in ‘Activity4Charity’ in June and July by walking or running 10,000 steps a day for six weeks. If you want to get fit and, at the same time, raise money to allow Perennial to reach even more of your industry colleagues who need help, visit or email for further information.

21/05/2013 12:06


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17/05/2013 15:54

Association News – APL


Landscaping Excellence

The Association of

Professional Landscapers

Following the involvement and success of APL members at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, plans are now focussed on the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 1


n the back of last year’s success the RHS/APL Low Cost, High Impact gardens will this year feature four gardens demonstrating what can be achieved for £7,000, £13,000 and £15,000 (x2). This year’s designers and landscapers are Peter Cowell with Living Gardens Ltd, Caspian Robertson with Surrey Gardens, Mike Harvey with Arun Landscapes, and Adele Ford and Susan Wilmott with Outdoor Creations. New for this year is an interactive feature for the public demonstrating APL landscaping excellence. Demonstrations will consist of best practices on how to and how not to plant a tree, install decking, lay turf, build a wall or install fencing. Experts will be on hand to answer questions from the public and to encourage them to use APL members.


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APL at the North’s greatest garden party The RHS Tatton Park Flower Show takes place on 25-28 July 2013 and this year features an APL show garden, sponsored by Bradstone, designed by Paul Hervey-Brookes and to be built by the four founding members of the North West APL Cluster Group. This is great news for building consumer awareness of APL landscapers in the north of the country and the APL member businesses involved are Foxcroft Landscapes, Seasonal Landscapes, Kirman Design and Vision Landscapes. APL Seminar & Networking Event 23 October 2013, Provender Nurseries, Kent Are you closing the deal?

This year’s APL networking autumn seminar takes place at Provender Nurseries in Kent and will focus on sales and marketing, with a number of talks from a selection of APL members, designers, and others in the industry who can provide examples of tangible successful stories of what is working well for their businesses. Topics will include: ● How entering awards can boost sales ● Using show gardens as a marketing tool ● Using social media to promote the company To book your place visit or call the APL events team on 0118 9303132. TrustMark on the Radio A series of regional radio interviews for TrustMark on the subject of home improvements and advising consumers how to find good tradesmen took place at the end of April, with Stuart Carter as TrustMark’s spokesman and various TrustMark registered members who were case studies and fantastic endorsements for the scheme. In total 22 radio stations broadcast the story, including eight BBC stations across the country. Mark Gregory, the APL Chairman, from Landform Consultants took part in the

interviews on BBC Radio Sussex and Surrey and BBC Three Counties, obtaining some great coverage for APL and TrustMark. Other TrustMark scheme operators that took part in this promotion included PCA (Property Care Association), NAPIT (National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers), NFRC (National Federation of Roofing Contractors) and FMB (Federation of Master Builders). APL Awards 2014 So much can be gained from winning an APL Award – from coverage in trade and consumer press to raising your profile, improving your reputation with future clients by showing you’re a quality landscaper, to raising morale in the team and making your company more appealing to work for. It is a priceless marketing tool for just a little bit of your time and a £50 entry fee. Online entry for the APL Awards is now open at The closing deadline for the Awards is September with the presentation event taking place in central London in March 2014. 1 Last year’s best in show ‘Low Cost, High Impact’ garden designed by Nilufer Danis and constructed by Landform Consultants. 2 Caspian Robertson’s ‘Bugs in Boots’ ‘Low Cost, High Impact’ garden, to be constructed by Surrey Gardens. June 2013


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20/05/2013 12:03

Business Tips

1 Are these the most suitable plant choices for such a high profile area?

Sustainable Landscaping Janine Pattison looks at retrofitting gardens and landscapes for sustainability

There are many simple ways to retrofit a garden to make it more sustainable.The aim will be to make the garden easier to maintain and require fewer inputs of labour, herbicides, pesticides and irrigation without compromising the functionality and attractiveness of the space. The first thing to consider is whether the design still works.Things will have changed since the garden was first created and an analysis of its current state and how it is used may reveal simple ways to achieve improvements which will make it more sustainable. Improvements to access and circulation routes can make the garden more usable and easier to maintain. New and larger machinery may be much more efficient but require more generous access. Are the plants performing as they should? Some may have become too large or may require


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2 Poor drainage and excess foot traffic make this area unsustainable in the long term.


too much regular maintenance. Areas that were sunny may now be shady due to tree and shrub growth and the under-storey planting may have suffered due to low light levels. Consider replanting areas with better suited, lower maintenance choices and take advantage of new varieties – perhaps some dwarf forms which will not need

Improvements to access and circulation routes can make the garden more usable and easier to maintain as much regular pruning. Remove or reduce the need for annuals wherever possible as these require significant amounts of time and money to implement each year. Lawns are a major consumer of resources: requiring regular applications of water, herbicide and fertiliser to remain attractive as well as needing labour and fossil fuels to mow them. Consider reducing the amount of lawn, perhaps by increasing areas of low maintenance ground cover planting or allowing areas to become more meadow-like with the accompanying benefits to biodiversity. The regular use of herbicides can be reduced by keeping the ground covered, either with a dense canopy of planting or thick layers of mulch. Avoid areas of bare soil as these quickly become weedy and will be time consuming to maintain as well as unsightly. High inputs of fertiliser and irrigation water will produce large amounts of growth which will cause large amounts of pruning and green waste. This situation can be made more sustainable by reducing the amount of water and fertiliser, and

ensuring that green waste is composted on site for reuse within the garden. Some areas of hard landscaping may have become damaged due to wear and tear or weather conditions. Before being repaired or replaced consider whether they are still required and could be removed.There may be a path to a shed that isn’t there anymore and can be safely removed. If areas of hard landscaping are to be replaced think about using more sustainable materials like recycled concrete slabs or composite decking. If an irrigation system is installed which runs from the mains it would be worth investigating in a simple rainwater harvesting system.The plants will be happier with rainwater and your client will face a reduced water bill. Garden lighting technology has improved massively in recent years and modern LED fittings are much longer lived and much more economical to run. If the old system is failing then take the opportunity to upgrade to low voltage LEDs. Making a garden more sustainable is about reassessing the space and evaluating those steps that can be taken to reduce inputs without spoiling the finished garden.

ABOUT janine pattison

Janine Pattison MSGD is a multi award-winning garden designer and horticulturalist who trained with English Heritage at Eltham Palace in London and at Kingston Maurward College in Dorchester. A registered member of the Society of Garden Designers, the British Association of Landscape Industries and the Garden Media Guild, Janine is also a highly qualified RHS horticulturalist.

June 2013


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20/05/2013 11:53

Business Tips

Be seen – be safe Maintaining green areas less frequently is all very well until overgrown sites by roads and motorways start to become a safety concern, says Angus Lindsay

As part of my role I spend a lot of time travelling around the country visiting operational sites and suppliers. During my travels it has been interesting to observe how things change during the seasons and also the effect of changes in the economic climate. Longer grass on verges and in open spaces is to be expected as local authorities look to save money by changing cutting regimes. This is not really a problem as long as frequencies are adhered to, it just may not look as manicured as it used to. This situation, however, becomes a bit more critical when you look at the maintenance of sites adjacent to high speed roads and motorways. There are several areas where I have noticed a significant change over the last few years in grass cutting, road signage, gully cleaning, hedge cutting and in particular the maintenance of sight lines. It is my understanding that when working next to a busy carriageway where the speed limit is 50mph or above, there should be adequate signage in place to warn drivers. On higher speed routes and central reservations this will involve traffic management and possibly lane closure. Worryingly, on several occasions I have seen individuals litter picking and cutting grass at the edge of motorways with nothing more than their hi-vis and a van on the hard shoulder with its hazard lights on to protect them. This doesn’t exactly look like a safe working practice to me! I appreciate that coning off the hard shoulder and/ or having a lane closure vehicle and mobile safety barrier in place is expensive for a litter picking or grass cutting operation, but what price do you put on the safety of your staff? Even when lanes have been closed off to protect the workforce I am aware of several incidents where impatient drivers have driven through cones to beat the traffic, in the worst example, by a police car! Another indicator of cost cutting affecting

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road safety is the decreasing standards in sight-line maintenance, such as at the edge of junctions when the grass is tall it is very easy to lose sight of a cyclist, especially if the road joins at a lower level. If you ever travel on the A46 towards Coventry you will notice that prior to the slip road to Kenilworth there are several

Reducing maintenance frequencies is all well and good in an effort to save costs but when it starts to endanger the lives of road users and workers on the roads, some common sense must apply

spectacular skid marks probably caused by drivers seeing the exit sign at the last moment as it is obscured by overhanging branches – an accident waiting to happen. Similarly, overgrown hedges can obscure sight lines and road signs. The majority of rural hedges are usually well maintained and when cut by professionals are an impressive feature of the landscape. But, when done badly or left for several years between cuts it can look like they’ve been attacked by a helicopter – and it’s a pity the finishing touches around telegraph poles and road signs always seem to get missed off. Reducing maintenance frequencies is all well and good in an effort to save costs but when it starts to endanger the lives of road users and workers on the roads, some common sense must apply. Maybe those making the decisions on roadside maintenance should drive the routes they are responsible for and look at the hazards from the motorist’s perspective. Sat navs may make road signs redundant for many, but they don’t tell you what’s coming round the corner. Just behind that overgrown hedge you can’t see past as you edge into the main road, bang, there’s a motorbike!

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:

June 2013


21/05/2013 12:01


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20/05/2013 14:32

Business Tips

A question of gender Andrew Wilson opens the debate on whether gender is indicative in the use of planting versus hard landscaping in garden design

Having interviewed and taught budding garden I was reminded the other day of some of the designers for almost 30 years I have to note that stranger phenomena that exist in the professional most men are happy to take a holistic view of the world of the garden. People were tweeting about profession whereas a proportion of women see the Spring SGD Conference speakers being garden design in a more selective way, expressing entirely male this year when the audience was concerns over construction detailing when no predominantly female.This is not a new similar concerns are voiced over planting detailing. phenomenon but it is a situation that persists. Talk to journalists about garden construction Although at London College we often achieve and the interest level quickly wanes. Is it too much parity between numbers of male and female of a leap here to note that most garden journalists students, overall in garden design the majority of are women? Few will have written about the finer students are female. A look at successful garden technical achievements at Chelsea recently or the designers however indicates that the majority are incredible array of materials used in delivering the male, presenting something of a puzzle.There is various gardens. no glass ceiling in the Column inches on this garden profession and We need to embrace subject will have been yet these findings short while planting all aspects of garden design suggest otherwise. The world of the and garden making – to accept discourse by comparison will have run landscaper is almost that construction and to metre after metre. exclusively male and The designer suffers one could take the planting together make a similar fate at the hand simplistic macho view successful gardens of the journalist with that this is heavy duty little interest shown in man’s work.Yet not all the design process and much more in the end this work is manhandling paving and digging result, or really just the planting! Construction and drainage trenches.There is no significant reason why more women couldn’t work in this field and it materials receive a cursory sentence or two. I’m sure this emphasis on planting percolates into would be interesting to see what impact they our subconscious. might have on the profession. In my teaching I try to reflect the real world of garden design in the programme but find this view often challenged when prospective students expect the course to be predominantly about planting.Yet most litigation in garden making is related to construction and its design – few clients will sue over planting. In our recent costing exercise at the college, students found that planting accounted for a maximum of 20 per cent of their schemes.That leaves a whopping 80 per cent of any typical project cost covering non-planting elements. This cherry picking attitude to the design and realisation of the garden, which should involve all

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Cleve We

Steve M

major aspects, is surely misguided. It reinforces a sense of separation between the two main constituent parts of a garden.The split also turns a blind eye to costs and contributes to a continuing and misguided sense that gardens are cheap.This over sentimental obsession with plants leads to a misunderstanding that gardens can be designed on a shoe string and are often all the better for it! I am a plant lover; planting design is one of my most favourite occupations as a garden designer but we need a reality check here, removing our rose tinted specs. We need to embrace all aspects of garden design and garden making – to accept that construction and planting together make successful gardens and that it can’t be one without the other, no matter what our gender. Perhaps then we can more widely accept that gardens are a serious investment.The narrowing of the gender divide might also provide us with a more even split in both speaker and audience gender at our conferences – what have we got to lose?

ABOUT ANDREW WILSON Andrew Wilson is a landscape and garden designer as well as Director of Wilson McWilliam Studio. He is also a Director of the London College of Garden Design, an author and an RHS judge of Show Gardens.

June 2013


21/05/2013 12:25

Business Tips

Managing conflict Margaret McNeil, of OnSite Training UK looks at how to deal with the niggles between team members that spoil the working environment, as well as the major rows that sometimes occur Before writing this, I found a lot of other little jobs that needed doing and I kept putting the reminder to the bottom of the pile and it felt like a little elf that kept tapping me on the shoulder saying: “you really ought to get that done, you know”. Unfortunately, that is how a lot of us deal with conflict at work – it’s not the best part of the job and we hope it will sort itself. Bad situations tend to start off as something which is simply annoying, but if they’re not dealt with they grow, getting uglier and more painful, eventually blowing up with the potential to cause serious issues. So the first rule of dealing with conflict is don’t ignore it. Even though you may decide it is all ‘handbags’, be sure that your diagnosis is correct by subtly checking with the participators, perhaps an off the cuff remark to the individuals when you can get them on their own. Or, following a theme that runs through these articles, try a bit of humour: “Woah you two! What’s all that about?” or similar can work. If you ignore unacceptable behaviour the problem can escalate until the disciplinary process has to be used or a formal grievance is lodged, by which time it will be much harder to achieve a successful resolution.

? The first rule of dealing with conflict is don’t ignore it 32

June 2013

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Some potential sources of conflict in the team are obvious: ● Bullying and harassment ● Discriminatory behaviour ● Theft

Others are more subtle: ● Taking credit for other people’s work or ideas ● Talking over people in meetings ● Not inviting team members to social events ● Ignoring people ● Poor personal hygiene

If you are regularly reviewing your team and not just doing the annual performance ritual, asking the right questions and listening to the answers might reveal any issues.Think about when your partner is in a mood, don’t you get a better result when you say “you seem a bit unhappy/ angry at the moment – can I help?” rather than “you’re in a right mood again – what’s up?” Don’t cop out with a diagnosis of ‘personality clash’ as this term seems to absolve all involved


from changing their behaviour or acting to make a better working environment. We are not all the same, but we should all be able to accept what we see as the shortcomings of others. Some people are constant moaners and get on everyone’s nerves; challenge them to think more positively and count their blessings. Get those involved to talk to each other about their grievances – you need to be there to act as ‘mediator’ and to make sure that everyone gets their say, and to try to suggest ways forward.Your team will appreciate that you are dealing with things promptly and you’ll get the respect you deserve. If you’ve tried the informal approach and it hasn’t worked, it may be time to sit down and follow your disciplinary procedures. It’s best to make sure that even your informal comments and chats have been recorded somewhere – just so that you can say that you’ve tried to sort things out without resorting to formalities but as the conflict is still there, the situation needs formal attention. Finally don’t be afraid to ask your manager for advice – they have probably been down that road several times and can give you some tips. Dare I say it, ask someone at home what they think. As they are outside the situation they can give an opinion that might help too. Whatever you do, don’t let the problem fester!

ABOUT MARGARET MCNEIL Margaret McNeil is from OnSite Training UK. Whilst lecturing at a horticultural college, she spotted an opportunity to offer flexible learning to horticulturalists and started OnSite Training UK with Roger Clarke. Since then over 1,000 landscapers have qualified through them. Their Lamport Gardening Academy launched on 2 February 2013.

21/05/2013 12:32

Business Tips

Extreme weather is becoming the norm, are landscapers ready? Asks Jacob Tompkins from Waterwise UK

A few weeks ago, pretty much as soon as the constant rain had ceased for a couple of days, the Daily Express front page headline screamed ‘Water use to be banned as killer drought grips Britain’ – or something like that, I can’t quite remember. The assertion in the headline was not true, groundwater and reservoir levels are high and the likelihood of restrictions is close to zero. However the Express headline and the fact that I said ‘close to zero’ rather than ‘zero’, highlight the new variability of our climate. This is the reality of climate change, not a Britain where you can go to the beach without a coat, but a Britain with massive extremes of climate – wetter, drier, hotter and colder and all at the same time. Things will get worse as this month sees a sombre milestone with carbon dioxide levels passing 400ppm – the highest for three million years. So what does this mean for you? Landscaping will be at the forefront of this change in climate; it will have to be resilient to extremes of weather and will have a role in both mitigation (reducing CO2 levels in the atmosphere) and adaptation (working out how on earth we will be able to live in a flooded/ arid/freezing/scalding climate). Landscapers will need to rethink all aspects of design. You will need to look at the use of shading and water to reduce temperatures for buildings. You will need to look at how water behaves across a site, where it can be stored and conserved and how floodwaters can be accommodated and how things like blue-green algal blooms can be avoided. You will have to revise which plant species to use where and when so that landscapes can resist droughts and waterlogging and big fluctuations in

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temperature. You will have to think about soil structures and irrigation systems that can function in extreme temperature and when water will be both scarcer and more expensive. Furthermore, you will have to consider new pests and pathogens, which as we are starting to see already, will change the flora of the UK (the FERA garden at Chelsea focussed on just this issue).

leader at the cutting edge of adaptation and mitigation. The first option, the reactive one, will lead to increased costs, customer dissatisfaction and job losses, the second one will mean that the industry can increase its reputation and shape the agenda. The second option will require up-skilling and a lot more self-promotion (as you already do a lot of the things I’m talking about but no one knows because you don’t tell them).

A Britain with massive extremes of climate – wetter, hotter, drier and colder and all at the same time Alongside all of these changes will be societal and legislative changes. The political response to bees and the neonics ban shows that the horticulture sector can be hit by both the problem and the solution (and shouting about it afterwards won’t make any different – you need to take voluntary action early, as the farming and horticulture industry should have done as soon as the evidence relating to neonics started to emerge). Constant headlines and experience of more floods and droughts will change the public’s attitude to water (as you can see from what has happened in Australia), it will also lead to government action and this could come in the form of pricing or regulations or the threat of regulation. Climate change will have a massive impact on the landscape sector. There are two ways this could go, the industry could be swept away by the changes in weather, new legislation and changing customer expectation, or the industry could start to adapt now and realign itself as a

ABOUT WATERWISE Waterwise is a UK NGO focused on decreasing water consumption in the UK and building the evidence base for large-scale water efficiency. Waterwise is an independent, not-for-profit organisation working closely with the water industry, governments and regulators, manufacturers and retailers. Waterwise is acknowledged by governments and regulators as the leading UK authority on water efficiency. Jacob Tompkins is the Managing Director of Waterwise, the independent water efficiency organisation:

June 2013


21/05/2013 12:49


Droughts/Floods Threaten Britain after Hottest/Coldest Month for 100 Years!

Business Tips

Building garden ponds Over the years, ponds and water features have become an essential element of a garden and are usually top of a clients’ wish list along with space to entertain, good lighting, an outdoor cooking area and beautiful plants. So knowing that clients want a water feature and knowing that installing them will help you grow your business, and look good on your website, what stops some landscapers from building them for their clients? There should be nothing stopping them, because pond construction is quicker, easier and more reliable than it has ever been and it’s time to dispel the myths of the past. So, what do you need to know? Pond liner Pond liner has moved on a long way in the last 20 years. Gone are the days when Butyl was the only choice for the professional, it’s now a simple choice to use either EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) if you want your supplier to construct an exact, box welded shape off site, or 1mm rubber (Firestone liner) that can be used for anything from an informal pond to a huge lake and can even be cut, taped and bonded on-site for lining formal rills and pools.

Pond liner underlay Modern pond liners are now surprisingly tough and robust but don’t be tempted to underlay them with sand or old carpet because it won’t protect your liner from tree root penetration. Instead, to give you peace of mind, use a proper protective geotextile, fleece underlay and enjoy the benefit of a lifetime product guarantee. 34

June 2013

Lighting Landscapeplus.indd 34

What’s stopping you? asks Simon Sales of Landscapeplus

Pond pumps Pumps fall into two main types: fountain pumps that are used to create a nice effect on the surface of the water, and filtration pumps that are used to circulate the water through the filter system. To select your pond pump, first work out what you want to achieve and then ask your supplier to guide you through the options. Filtration There’s no point in building a fantastic water feature for your customer unless you install a filtration system to keep the water crystal clear. A few simple calculations are required to work out the filtration requirement and again, get advice from your supplier about the best type of filtration for your project.There are four types of filtration to choose from: in-pond, pressurised, flow-through and gravity-fed, one of those will be ideally suited to your water feature. Skimmer Whilst the filter will keep the water clear, a skimmer will remove dust, leaves and debris which float on the surface of the water, and is an easy fix to ensure the water sparkles all year round. Installing cables and pipes Getting lighting cables, power for pumps and filtration hoses out of the side of a water feature (beneath the water level) used to be tricky and always ran the risk of compromising the water tightness of a pond. Thankfully this issue has been resolved and by using one or more simple-to-fit pond transitions you can confidently run as many cables and hoses out of your pond as required. Maintainance Don’t forget to keep your water feature in tip-top condition with regular maintenance. Replace UV lamps periodically, add a pond

treatment when required and by using a PondoVac for the occasional thorough cleansing you’ll have a happy client and a full order book. Finally, if you are in any doubt about what you need and how to install it, just ask your supplier who will be able to give you the help and advice you need to confidently and successfully design and install your water features and ponds. Landscapeplus hosts a series of FREE to attend, Skills Workshops throughout the year at which you can develop the practical skills to design and install lighting, irrigation and pond products in your gardens. For more information call 01666 577577 or email Unit 1 Kemble Business Park, Crudwell, Nr Malmesbury, Wiltshire SN16 9SH Tel: 01666 577577 Web: Email:

21/05/2013 12:21

Business Tips

High and mighty What is high end decking – Karl Harrison explains

High end decking is the correct use of appropriate timber materials, creatively designed and expertly constructed with the needs of the client the priority. It’s not about the most expensive materials but is about how the materials are used. High end is about managing the client’s every expectation and providing a well-managed and risk-free service that is backed up with years of trouble-free maintenance and of course, a beautiful product.

Too much use of the word There are too many instances where hyperbole exaggerates the quality of the work done – no real service, poor installation and simply because the contractor has spent slightly more than normal and with a brisk lick of oil they can call their installation high end, oh please… Mutton dressed as lamb doesn’t even deserve a comment, never mind the “high end” statement. In most instances the best installations with the very best service will stand out for themselves, in most presentations the very best projects are obvious.

The best of the best of the best Whilst any materials can be used, for the purposes of delivering “high end” one should consider the best treatment of the materials, from storage through to fixing and finishing. Fixing your deck, no matter what quality it is, should be only to the very best substructure. Use the best stainless steel fixings and create an exact millimetre perfect installation. When it’s finished don’t walk on it, hover, this is for the client – it’s their deck not yours.

Karl Harrison.indd 35

Devil is in the detail

Don’t forget the maintenance

The detail isn’t simply what it looks like, it’s about the whole deal, every millimetre of it. Has every piece of timber been perfectly gapped at 4mm, exact and with conviction; perfection and nothing less? Yes it takes three times the labour – it doesn’t matter, details take time and without it you are miles away from the precision required. Every single screw predrilled to the same depth, make one mistake and you should remove that piece and start again, it will get noticed. Every square centimetre sanded to perfection, blended and smooth, ready to take a liberal but balanced saturating in the best professional timber oil. Wipe on, wipe off – no, a saturation and correct application. The detail is everything and if you miss one single element no matter how small, you should start again.

Don’t just supply, fit and walk away – always offer a service that is unmatched and that guarantees to be at your client’s beck and call. Provide a maintenance schedule with a 12 month contract, leave no stone unturned and allow for four visits per year. Calculate the amount of cleaning materials, consumables and oil, sufficient manpower for regular cleaning and copious amounts of the right oil. Be prepared to change the odd piece of timber too, don’t ask, just change it. Make your service trouble free and make your maintenance visit invisible, if the client doesn’t know you have been and the decking looks stunning, you’ve got ‘high end’ right.

It’s not about the most expensive materials but is about how the materials are used Just good looking or long lasting? Long lasting is paramount; your project is not the best unless it stands the test of time. Did you use wet-pour fresh concrete to secure the posts or did a cheap bag of poorly mixed post fix do? Is there sufficient gap under your deck for air circulation and immediate water runoff? If your deck is not right in every way your client won’t be happy for long and their investment hasn’t been well managed and your efforts will have fallen short of delivering to their expectations.

ABOUT KARL HARRISON Karl Harrison runs Exterior Solutions Ltd based in Buckinghamshire, with his wife Lana. The company offers expert decking advice and is the sole UK distributor for high-end timber decking manufactured by Exterpark.

June 2013 35

21/05/2013 12:16

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Let’s Hear it From...

LET’S HEAR IT FROM... Matthew Wilson Matthew Wilson is Managing Director of Clifton Nurseries, a hidden gem in London’s Little Venice, and London’s oldest nursery. He became well known in the media after appearing as the presenter of The Landscape Man, a Channel 4 series three years ago and is a panellist on Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time

How did you get started in horticulture?

I grew up on a nursery; my parents grew cut flowers for the floristry industry and owned a nursery just outside Sevenoaks in Kent where we had about 12 acres of land and 2.5 acres of glass. We were growing things like Alstroemerias and Chrysanthemums for Covent Garden. So although I grew up in that environment, at the beginning I had no interest in following my father’s footsteps at all. Was your father the first generation of the business?

Yes he was. He started off working in fruit at East Malling Research Station, and he was involved in working with the M series root stock programmes. When my parents sold the nursery in the late seventies, my dad moved onto Hadlow College as a lecturer before going on to run Fairlawne estate in Kent for the UAE Royal Family. When I left school I took a number of different jobs including trainee hotel manager, meat porter, pizza chef and builder’s labourer – so I had a variety of experiences. And what career did you settle on?

Well, I worked for The Sun newspaper as a

Let's hear it from.indd 37

freelance journalist with Piers Morgan as my boss. At that time he ran the Bizarre showbiz column (1989/90). I enjoyed journalism and I still enjoy writing. And after that?

The recession came along, and I thought I could take the opportunity to do something I really wanted to so I applied for a place on a Media Studies course at Sunderland University. Whilst waiting for the course to start, I did a couple of months work with my Dad at Fairlawne and after about four weeks, I found myself really enjoying it – so that was that. At the last minute I decided against going to Sunderland, and managed to secure a position at Hadlow College, where I stayed for three years. Who inspired you?

I think it was my father in that one day whilst working with him at Fairlawne, he complimented me on what I was doing. They were very mundane jobs such as strimming and picking strawberries in the kitchen garden, but I think one of the things that I would argue that you can’t teach people is empathy, you have either got it or you haven’t. For example, in my career

I have worked with people from all levels of experience and what never ceases to amaze me is the number of professional landscapers or gardeners that don’t know how to use a rake, they don’t feel how it should go through the soil, in the same way as people don’t know how to compose plants. My dad was my inspiration early on with the encouragement he gave me. The countryside and outdoors were the things I loved when I was younger, which is partly why I felt a connection when I worked for my dad, a lot of it was to do with being outdoors. So leaving college, you worked for Watford Borough Council, caring for a community garden, did you have a team with you?

No, I was the team! They would bring in people from the local authority to support and help me. I learnt a huge amount, but after two and a half years I got to a point where I thought I needed to move on. So actually, by complete accident, I set up on my own as a landscaper. This happened because a friend of a friend bought a new house with a big garden, 16 acres. They had spoken to lots of different designers and landscapers about their garden and they hadn’t found someone who could

June 2013


21/05/2013 12:22

Let’s Hear it From... deliver what they wanted. My friend happened to mention me, I went along and met them, did a couple of very quick sketches which they liked and then asked when I could start!

energetic and enthusiastic. I was coming in fresh and they had a very young small team there, all of whom seemed to fit very well and to my absolute astonishment, I was offered the job in January 2000.

When was that?

How long were you there?

That was 1996. I spent almost two years there because it was such a big job but I realised that I hadn’t had a holiday or a day off, I wasn’t allowed to be sick, all of the things that you experience in self-employed life. In actual fact, when I thought about it, I was probably worse off because I didn’t have any health cover or pension. By that point we had about three jobs on the go and I had several guys working for me, and I was spending a lot of time on the phone to suppliers and missing what I really loved – working with plants. A friend of mine recommended a job as a deputy head gardener at Hever Castle in Kent, so I applied for it and got it. However, I was there for the briefest time in my career because after nine months, and being made acting head gardener, my dad spotted an advert for the position of Curator of Hyde Hall’s Dry Garden and advised me to go for it. I got an interview which was a total surprise. At that time the RHS only had three gardens; Wisley, Rosemoor and Hyde Hall. I realised there wasn’t going to be another job opportunity as a curator at an RHS garden for several years. They were looking for somebody who was going to drive change, and be

I was there for four and a half years and I really didn’t want to leave. Hyde Hall’s Dry Garden was such an unconventional garden – pure clay soil (there was a tile works in the village for 250 years) – almost no topsoil at all and it was made worse by the fact that the garden was on a little hill and years of ploughing before the days of reversible ploughs had pulled what little topsoil there was, down into the bottom. There was 420mm of rain a year, which under World Health Organisation guidelines makes it a desert. There were many environmental difficulties and challenges. Whilst I was there I had to find a different meaningful direction for the garden, and along with Robin Williams and Kenneth Carlisle (the two members of RHS Council assigned to support me at the garden) that’s what we set about doing.

By complete accident, I set up on my own as a landscaper

How easy was it to get everybody on board with what you wanted to do?

They were brilliant. The first thing was making the dry garden. I designed all the planting and Chris Carter, a landscape architect, designed the hard landscaping. There are 8,000 plants in that garden from over 1,400 different species and cultivars. Here



we are 13 years later, and it has still never been watered. We also planted 60,000 trees to try to restore some of the balance in the landscape. Why did you move from there?

Because I’m a sucker for a challenge! The RHS had taken over Harlow Carr in 2001 and it was in a bad way; it had suffered from years of decline. The Northern Horticultural Society had hit its natural ceiling of about 10,000 members and they couldn’t grow it despite their best efforts. I went to look at it and it was one of those moments where it was too good an opportunity to miss because it was, again, an opportunity to expand my knowledge to a whole new range of plants. Also, it was an opportunity to take what had been considered a really great garden in the past and try to get it back on its feet again. During my five years there we increased visitor numbers from about 120,000 to over a quarter of a million, but I suppose the biggest physical achievement there would be the learning centre. We raised £3.5 million to build it and it was the highest BREEAM rated public building in the UK. I learnt a huge amount working as part of the design team and spending time with an architecture practice that was solely focused on designing green buildings. What made you decide to move on from Harlow Carr?



June 2013

Let's hear it from.indd 38

An opportunity arose for a different role at the RHS in a creative, cross garden capacity called the Head of Gardens Creative Development. It was based in the south which was another plus as I had

21/05/2013 12:23

Let’s Hear it From... 1 Harlow Carr, main borders. 2 Domestic garden, Hampstead. 3 The Dry Garden, Hyde Hall. 4 Roof Garden, Grosvenor Crescent. 5-6 Rudding Park Hotel, North Yorkshire.

Garden Trellis Company, who offer a great service and great quality products. For trees we use Majestic and Barcham, and our plants come from Tendercare, Evergreen, Chichester, Hortus Loci and Europlants. For smaller jobs, we use the plants from our nursery which is a handy resource to have available. 4

met my wife, and we wanted to start a family. She didn’t have the opportunity of moving north so I moved back down here, and whilst working part time for the RHS I was filming The Landscape Man which I enjoyed hugely. Whilst at Harlow Carr, I worked with The Landscape Agency, who did all the masterplans for the RHS gardens and I talked to them about possible opportunities. Patrick James and I spoke about setting up a London office and that is what happened. I was working three days a week and doing other stuff the rest of the time. That was really interesting as we did a lot of work with the National Trust, and did masterplans for three National Trust gardens – it was really good to use my experience from aesthetic planning but also to have to think about things like visitor footfall and how spaces get used by visitors. By this time my twins had come along and from a purely practical need I had to move on. I was doing three days a week and two days writing which was fine but all of that started to feel more and more tenuous as the recession got a bit deeper. We (The Landscape Agency) were working at Waddesdon Manor, owned by the Rothschilds, who are the principle shareholders in my current business, Clifton Nurseries. So lo and behold, here I am.

is around about 25 per cent of the turnover; and the balance is landscape garden design and build. Historically, the garden design and build part of the business used to be much bigger, if you go back to the late eighties and early noughties, it was turning over four or five million a year and we won five Gold medals at Chelsea. The Prince of Wales was among our clients. Clifton was the place to go if you wanted your garden designed and built but all that changed due to the market becoming more about individual named designers rather that the anonymity of a practice.

What do you do to relax outside of your day job?

I have four-year-old twins. We like to go off and do things with the children. I like spending time on my own garden too.

CONTACT Clifton Nurseries Ltd 5A Clifton Villas, London W9 2PH Tel: 0207 432 1851 Email: Web:

How many people work here?

There are 62 in total. Are most of your jobs London based?

The design and build projects are pretty much all London and home counties, but for design works we go further afield. We have a current project an hour south of Toulouse. The client read a feature I had written for the Financial Times about the Dry Garden at Hyde Hall and is very interested in sustainability and environmental considerations in gardening.

It was an opportunity to expand my knowledge to a whole new range of plants

What is the structure at Clifton?

There are three parts to the business – the retail garden centre, which accounts for 40 per cent of the turnover; interior and exterior maintenance, which

Let's hear it from.indd 39


What do you do about sourcing products for your hard landscaping jobs?

We try and use British companies as much as possible. One current project has a lot of bespoke granite water features which I designed, but the real skill is with the stonemasons who are working on them, a UK company with Portuguese craftsmen stonemasons. We work very closely with The


June 2013


21/05/2013 12:23

Grand Designs Live 2013

PUTTING ON A SHOW Christine Wilkie Designing a garden for Grand Designs Live was an all-consuming but thoroughly rewarding experience. Christine Wilkie talks about the concept of her garden, how it was built, and why building a show garden is so worthwhile A few days before Christmas the Society of Garden Designers emailed with a request from Media10, organisers of Grand Designs Live, for entries to design a show garden with the ultimate prize of being named Grand Designs London Garden Designer of the Year 2013. I decided to enter. Little did I realise that designing a 20m² show garden was to become so all-consuming. The design brief was to submit a garden design inspired by one or two of the Grand Designs watchwords: contemporary style; inspirational; ethical and environmental responsibility. Beyond that, the only limit was your imagination. So, often restricted by real-life briefs, the freedom to design a garden exactly as I’d like was compelling. However, such an open brief posed its own challenges: which concept idea to develop? When to commit to the chosen concept and progress to master plan? How to manage build costs without compromising the design? I submitted my design, ‘Glow – a garden to warm the soul' reflecting the garden’s main feature of a pebble wall housing a stainless steel and glass bio ethanol fire. It was then simply a matter of waiting. When confirmation came eight weeks prior to the 40

June 2013

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competition that I had been shortlisted as a finalist, it was all systems go. As the show garden had to be self-funded, the next big challenge was finding product sponsors. I approached each supplier in turn for either materials donation, or product loan, in return for marketing under the Grand Designs Live banner.

A show garden is definitely a worthwhile tool if you are looking to build your business and industry credentials It was also vital to engage an experienced contractor to build the garden. J&S Scapes are experienced in show garden construction and have several show gardens under their belt. As this was my first it was great to have them on board. From then on it became a team effort. Grand Designs Live presented a different set of construction challenges in that the show gardens are built indoors at the London ExCel. For one thing, it meant re-thinking what would ordinarily be possible

outdoors to make it workable indoors, namely concrete floors in place of soil. So the only way was up! We pre-built as much of the garden as possible as we would only have three days on site to complete it before the show doors opened on Saturday 4 May. Advance planning and preparation meant that the on-site build went pretty much according to plan. Judging day arrived with judging undertaken by Kevin McCloud and James Alexander Sinclair. Thankfully all the hard work paid off and I was awarded Grand Designs London Garden Designer of the Year 2013. I had decided early on that the show garden

21/05/2013 12:09

Grand Designs Live 2013

was to be my main marketing activity. With such a project it’s important to keep an eye on costs, not least so that I could calculate the return on investment. It’s still early days but judging by visitor interest and enquiries taken at the show the overall spend will have been worthwhile. It’s also been great for making contact with other professionals, such as architects and property developers.




The most immediate effect is the raised profile that participating in such an event brings. Viewed from this perspective, a show garden is definitely a worthwhile tool if you are looking to build your business and industry credentials.


Christine Wilkie Garden Design Tel: 020 8904 4157 Email: Web:

Landscaping J&S Scapes Tel: 01296 688 080 Email: Web:

Western Red Cedar Global Timber Products Ltd Tel: 01283 576089 Email: Web:

Lighting Ellwood Electrical Ltd (BLT Direct) Tel: 01473 716418 Email: Web:

Plants Farnham Common Nurseries Tel: 01753 647710 Email: Web:

TecLain porcelain cladding Precious Marble Tel: 01234 218319 Email: Web:

Artificial Lawn Easigrass Distribution Ltd Tel: 0845 094 8880 Email: Web:

EcoSmart fire Smartfire uk Tel: 020 7384 1677 Email: Web:

Cedagravel gravel stabilisation system and Traxmax aggregate CED Natural Stone Tel: 01895 422411 Email: Web:

Replica Portland Stone Planters Livingreen Design Ltd Tel: 0131 440 9804 Email: karen.sawyer@livingreendesign. com Web:

QT Lounge Chair & Footstool Indian Ocean Tel: 020 8675 4808 Email: Web:

Bee Hotels The Red Beehive Company Tel: 023 80434703 Email: Web:

Paradise Baia Stone Blanco pebble tile Porcelanosa Grupo Tel: 08444 818 950 Email: Web:

Christine Wilkie 2.indd 41





1 James Alexander Sinclair, Christine Wilkie and Kevin McCloud. 2 Raised beds in cedar and Teclain porcelain slabs. 3 Unloading the pre-constructed pergola. 4 The floating patio with Easigrass, Porcelanosa pebble tiles and cedar battens. 5 Laying the pebble tiles. 6 Preparing the feature wall. 7 Installing the cedar tongue and groove boards. June 2013


21/05/2013 12:09

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20/05/2013 14:06

Shortlisted: Commercial Garden Category

SENSORY ADVENTURE Nigel Abbey Design Consultants and The Garden Builders This play and learning space for nursery and reception children encourages them to use all their senses in a bright and safe environment

Š All photographs Nigel Abbey 2012

Portfolio 2.indd 43

June 2013


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More images at:




ABOUT NIGEL ABBEY DESIGN CONSULTANTS Nigel Abbey Design Consultants is a creative multidisciplinary design consultancy. They currently design and develop sensory gardens and structured play and learning areas for schools. The design consultancy is located in Thames Ditton, Kingston upon Thames, Greater London.

ABOUT THE GARDEN BUILDERS The Garden Builders is a professional landscape design and construction consultancy based in Fulham, London. Established in 1998 – it creates high quality gardens for residential and commercial clients.


June 2013

Portfolio 2.indd 44

he brief entailed creating a sensory garden suitable for nursery and reception aged children. Up to 60 children could use the garden at any one time meaning that the garden should be low maintenance and have limited planting. William Morris Primary School is in a socially mixed demographic area. It is adjacent to a large council housing estate and affordable housing. There is a high proportion of children receiving free meals in this Merton Borough school. The dynamic executive head teacher has brought the school from ‘Failing’ to ‘Good’ in just three years after her appointment. Her vision of extending the learning environment outside the classroom has been a significant contributing factor in this success. DESIGN CONCEPT As the area has to accommodate a high number of children at any one time, open space is an important factor. We have therefore treated the area as a semi-open play and learning space. This space encourages children to explore and find out about the wider world around them, as well as developing basic motor skills by negotiating gentle features and feeling different tactile materials. We have created a virtual world where children can explore and excite all their senses. The central island feature is surrounded by sea and land shaped by areas of artificial brightly coloured grass. This provides a safe, visually stimulating and exciting setting.


The garden contains: water features, wind chimes, touch walls and picture units.The touch walls feature natural items such as sea shells semi-embedded into them.The picture units feature large images as a 'window on the world' (these were images of continents: the Americas, Asia, Africa, Australasia, Antarctica).The island features a real palm tree and highly scented plants. Semi-abstract 'boats' with seating provide areas for quiet learning groups and could be used for picnicking. Additional parasols on the 'land' could provide shade on hot days.The entrance wall represents a wave.The garden is dedicated to Mary Kingsley, an inspirational explorer and writer.The totem features a brief summary of her achievements. SOURCING The project demanded a high level of research and development to achieve the design concept.There were a number of bespoke items that had to be sourced and commissioned. These included special exterior quality canvas art prints, touch wall panels, bridges, jetty, boats and a totem.There were also various features that had to be sourced including wind chimes and water features. Planting was also crucial as the stock had to be stunning, easy to maintain, safe for children, scented and hardy. Plant stock was supplied by Provender Nurseries under the direction of plant expert Lorraine Hartley. The touch wall panels were particularly challenging, however we found a firm of modelmakers for the movie industry (SGMM).

21/05/2013 13:39

William Morris Primary School P R O P O SE D SE N SO RY G A R D E N SI TE

Portfolio 26 000 white rocks









boulders Highly scented Shrubs boat /seating

boat /seating Windchimes

Real Palm tree

Large Boulders

Timber rounds to raise bed Cascading water feature


ramp planter




Jetty with rope rail




11 500

ramp Existing soft play area


Bamboo canopy


Water feature Water fall

ramp Playground



boat /seating picture

1 View across the completed sensory garden.


2 Bamboo canopy offering shade.


drain cover emergency exit

14 000


3 One of the touch wall panels, comprised of pebbles and shells embedded in colourful acrylic bases.



School building

Project details

4 Prior to starting work, the playground was an uninspiring place.

Upper playground

5 Plan drawing.

Nigel Abbey Design Consultants

26 March 2012 Cost:Amended approx. £50,000

6 Sailing boat and jetty.

Size of project: 250m2

7 Different shades of the artificial grass.

The touch panels feature actual shells, pebbles and gems which had to be safely embedded into coloured acrylic bases.They also made ‘permanently’ flying flags out of aluminium alloy with surface applied graphics. The totem was routed into solid timber by DAB Graphics – a firm specialising in signs for nature trails and wildlife parks. We supplied black and white artwork and the design was cut out of the timber. The artificial grass installation was a major feature demanding complicated cutting and seaming. This was carried out by Blades Artificial Grass. Giant boulders were supplied by Specialist Aggregates Ltd. Working at a school had its own inherent problems which we had to overcome.Timings were tight and we had to complete works out of school term time. During construction in the school holidays of summer 2012 there were contractors on site working on other projects which we had to co-operate with. These fell into two categories: a professional consulting firm who were building an extension, and a small subcontractor erecting a canopy. We had to liaise with the large consulting company to provide an electrical supply to our project site for the water features. This proved complicated – mainly trying to cut through their red tape – but we managed it successfully! The smaller firm gave us a few headaches over their site management, however we overcame this and kept the school fully informed at all times.

Portfolio 2.indd 45

Timeline of development: • Design brief February 2012 • Design concept presented April 2012 • Research, development and procurement May – June 2012 • Construction July – August 2012 • Completed September 2012



REFERENCES Designer Nigel Abbey Design Consultants 1 Hayward Road, Thames Ditton, Surrey KT7 0BF Tel: 020 8398 8317 Email: Web:

Touch Wall Panels Stephen Greenfield Modelmakers 19 Ridgeway, Epsom, Surrey KT19 8LD Tel: 07831 758 953 Email: Web:

Contractor Garden Builders 259 Munster Road, London SW6 6BW Tel: 020 7381 8002 Email: Web:

Plants Provender Nurseries Ltd The Landscape Centre, Leydenhatch Lane, Swanley, Kent BR8 7PS Tel: 01322 619 928 Email: lorraine.hartley@ Web:

Artificial Grass (right) Blades Artificial Grass 33a Gwydyr Mansions, Holland Road, Brighton, East Sussex BN3 1JW Tel: 01273 710 815 Email: Web:

Water features Primrose 44 Portman Road, Reading, Berkshire RG30 1EA Tel: 0118 903 5210 Email: customerservice@primrose. Web:

Timber: softwood sleepers Champion Timber Champion House, 205-209 Burlington Road, New Malden, Surrey KT3 4NB Tel: 020 8949 1621 Email: marketing@championtimber. com Web: Bamboo canopy UK Bamboo Supplies Ltd. Unit 8, New Place Park, Framfield, East Sussex TN22 5RH Tel: 01825 890 041 Email: Web: Jetty: Composite Decking/ Reeded posts Alan Hayward Joinery Web: Rope balustrade Moor Fast (Marine) Ltd. Web:

June 2013


21/05/2013 13:39



CHANGE New Eden A family's changing needs required the transformation of a child-friendly space into something more grown-up

ABOUT NEW EDEN Established in 2002, New Eden is a garden design and build company based in Chelmsford, Essex. The company builds all shapes and sizes of domestic garden but the emphasis is on quality materials and great workmanship, usually led by an in-house design service. The company has a very close-knit team of designers, landscapers and managers working together to deliver as professional and friendly a service as possible to its customers.


June 2013

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21/05/2013 13:42


Shortlisted: Overall Design And Build


he garden is on a new estate, overlooked from the rear and with a neighbour’s swimming pool building close to the boundary on the left hand side.The existing garden had a block-paving patio.This project is the result of a garden clearance, the installation of a new summerhouse or “den” for the children, and a need to make the garden a low-maintenance grown-up space for dining, entertaining and relaxation. Lawn space for occasional sports and play was required but it was no longer the principal use of the garden; the parents had their garden back! The overall garden space was broken up to add interest and depth.The principle seating, dining, and entertaining area was positioned

outside the kitchen.This is a generous size, laid to paving, and includes a pergola structure which gives some much-needed shade but also the opportunity for growing scented climbing plants. Overhead lighting fixed to the pergola enables it to be used during summer evenings. A path links the patio to the summerhouse. Adjacent to the dining area patio, a lower terraced area (outside the living room) offers an extra seating opportunity.This acts as a more lounge-like, relaxing space.The right type of furniture is key to setting the scene i.e. more loungers, deep cushioned seating, low coffee table. It could be contained with hedging or trellis to give a more enclosed feel.This area also incorporates a log store for the lounge fireplace. The garden is rectilinear in layout i.e.

simple, straight lines. Materials such as gravel, sleepers and brick details have been used to retain some traditional elements but used in a contemporary style.The garden is more formal and structured with mostly hard landscaping by the house, and more informal with mostly soft landscaping away from the house. Paths, hedging, pergolas and trellis all help with the transition between spaces. A natural pond or water feature was also incorporated. THE SOLUTION The main dining and entertaining area was outside the kitchen, built using yellow limestone laid in a coursed pattern, with a path that continued to the summerhouse. We created a lower dining area, enclosed and shaded 4

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from the sun by a pergola and integrated trellis – designed and built from scratch, using Douglas fir. This also provided screening from the houses to the rear of the property. The paving here is sawn and sandblasted sandstone to give a more luxurious feel compared to the more rugged limestone of the dining area, and these two materials were separated by a threshold of small Marshalls Tegula Cobbles. The Tegula Cobbles continued as an edge detail to the sandstone where they wrapped around the corner and carried on as the side path material. We also used them beneath the log store.

More images at: 1

STURDY PLANTING Planting combined mostly shrubs and evergreen ground cover. The customers wanted impact and had a few specific requests including an Olive tree (planted by the water feature) and an Acer (planted in the dappled shade of the neighbours trees on the right hand boundary). The rest of the planting was left to us. We kept the shrubs around the lawn as relatively robust plants, to the side of the summerhouse we created a shady, barked woodland walk to the storage shed, using ferns and Fatsias growing through the bark and around the water feature we





June 2013

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planted Stipa arundinacea, with Persicaria, Sedum and Bergenia spreading out over the cobbles.



FOLLOW UP The garden is now very low maintenance but we visit a couple of times a year to shut down the irrigation system and spend the rest of the day pruning, dead-heading, trimming the box hedge, mulching and feeding. The only criticism from the customers is that they had to have another small shed installed behind the summerhouse to accommodate the cushions for all their garden furniture!

1 Pergola and trellis constructed from Douglas ďŹ r. 2 Perspective sketches. 3 Perennial and grass border planting. 4 Stone cobble feature interspersed with Persicaria. 5-6 The garden prior to transformation. 7 Lawn preparation and irrigation installation. 8


8 View over garden from the pergola.

REFERENCES Main Contractor New Eden Landscapes Ltd Unit 25 Reeds Farm Estate Roxwell Road, Writtle, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 3ST Tel: 01245 424 850 Email: Web:

King & Co Dunmow Road Rayne, Braintree, Essex CM77 6WF Tel: 01376 340 469 Email: Web:

Designer/Architect Richard Gosling Unit 25 Reeds Farm Estate Roxwell Road, Writtle, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 3ST Tel: 01245 424 850 Email: Web:

Aggregates & Consumables Chandler Material 91 Widford Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 8SY Tel: 01245 352 650 Email: www.buildersmerchantsessex. Web: www.buildersmerchantsessex.

Plants Tendercare Southlands Road, Denham, Uxbridge Middlesex UB9 4HD Tel: 01895 835 544 Email: Web:

Travis Perkins Navigation Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 6HX Tel: 01245 490 000 Email: kevin.shuttleworth@travisperkins. Web:

Portfolio 2 New Eden new text.indd 49

Turf Paynes Turf Hilltop Nurseries, Clacton Road, Weeley, Clacton on Sea Essex CO19 6DN Tel: 01255 830 325 Email: Web: Irrigation Landscapeplus Unit 1, Kemble Business Park, Crudwell, Malmesbury, Wiltshire SN16 9SH Tel: 01666 577 577 Email: Web: Blasted Sandstone CED Ltd 728 London Road, Thurrock, Grays, Essex CM20 3LU Tel: 01708 867 237 Email: Web:

Fresh sawn Douglasfir Brooks Bros The Timber Yard, Runsell Lane, Danbury, Essex CM3 4PG Tel: 01245 211 700 Email: Web: Skip Hire Kartaway Waste Management Essex Regiment Way, Chelmsford, Essex CM3 3PZ Tel: 01245 444 700 Web: Equipment used: Makita breaker Makita (UK) Ltd Michigan Drive, Tongwell, Milton Keynes, Bucks MK15 8JD Tel: 01908 211 678 Email: Web: Drill/drivers Ryobi drill/drivers For your nearest dealer go to: Web:

June 2013


21/05/2013 13:43


PORT OF CALL Hambrooks Landscapes The perfect design for a waterfront property makes the most of its outdoor space, creating an area that can be used all year round


he original garden area was a chalk base covered with shingle.The client wanted an outdoor entertainment area that reflected the surrounding stylish waterfront properties, which would provide an element of privacy from the busy waterway while also supplying a storage solution for their boat rigging. After discussing their requirements at great length, the client felt confident enough to allow us to come back with a design that met their brief. Over the hardwood sleeper deck, solid oak beams create a framework of upright and horizontal layers for climbing foliage to help provide a sense of privacy. These beams will, in time, weather to a subtle silver-grey in keeping with the surroundings. Nautical style lighting reflects

the atmosphere of the marina, while hinged raised beds with storage space underneath double up as planting areas to give year-round interest and colour, with blue grey sandstone paving lined with chunky white pebble for contrast and interest. ACCESSIBILITY RESTRICTIONS The biggest technical challenge facing this project was the restricted access. With the waterway on one side and properties flanking either side, access could only be gained through the client’s home. The solution was to bag up all the old shingle, chalk footings and other debris into one tonne bags. We hired a crane to remove the bulk bags of rubbish and then deliver the heavy materials such as the solid oak timbers, over the top of the property.



Shortlisted: Under £20,000 Category 3


June 2013

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Portfolio ABOUT HAMBROOKS LANDSCAPES Established for over 40 years, Hambrooks is based in Curdridge, Hampshire and is one of the UK’s largest independent landscaping businesses. They have in-house garden designers together with landscaping, garden maintenance and commercial ground works teams, with a wholesale hard goods yard and a wholesale nursery. Hambrooks also has a separate Garden Landscaping Centre in Titchfield, Fareham where hard and soft landscaping goods are for sale to the trade and the public. There is also a design studio and six show gardens.

1 Completed garden view. 2 Hardwood sleeper deck and terracing. 3 Raised bed planting softens the overall look. 4 A view of the marina through the framework. 5 Gravel and blue grey sandstone paving lined with chunky white pebble, with raised planting beds completing the area.

Nautical style lighting reflects the atmosphere of the marina 4

Project details The project was valued at £20,000 Size of project: 6m x 13m Timeline of development: October 2011 – three months 5

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More images at:



1 Plan drawing. 2 Border planting. 3-4 Before and after photographs of the area.

REFERENCES Designer Mike Hodges Hambrooks Garden Design Studio, Brambridge Park, Garden Centre, Kiln Lane, Brambridge, Eastleigh, Hampshire SO50 6HT Tel: 07738 995 673 Email: Web:

Contractor Hambrooks Wangfield Lane, Curdridge, Hampshire SO32 2DA Tel: 01489 780 505 Email: Web:

Lighting Halogen Lighting Store 183 Barrack Road, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 2AR Tel: 01202 486 676 Email: info@halogenlightingstore. Web: Equipment Hire Portsmouth Crane Hire 50 Standard Way, Fareham, Hampshire PO16 8XL Tel: 01329 825 955


All landscaping & plant supplies Hambrooks Garden Landscaping Centre 135 Southampton Rd, Titchfield, Hampshire PO14 4PR Tel: 01489 779 998 Email: Web: 4 52

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water harvesting


The team at Bradleys Surfacing Systems have developed an effective water harvesting system for domestic properties. RE



easy gardening

R environmentally Fsound TE A


Plastic grass reinforcement mesh Applications

reduce water bills

Grass car parks Residential parking Pedestrian walkways Wheelchair-access routes Grass verges

System summary

Benefits Loads up to 8 tonnes per axle Reduces rutting & protects roots Slip-resistant structure Invisible once grass has grown SuDS source control compliant

Benefits of the system To help combat rising water prices in the UK, Bradleys Surfacing Systems has developed an effective rainwater harvesting system designed for domestic properties and suitable for any size garden. Lawns are converted from natural turf to synthetic turf with a modular grid system and tank underground to store the water, which is then made available above ground when required, either locally in the garden or inside a property.

Benefits of the system include a sustainable way to use water at home, an effective way of reducing flooding and all the benefits of a normal synthetic lawn; no need to own a lawn mower, or mow the lawn, leaving you with a clean and perfect looking garden all year round.

For more information about the new water harvesting system, email or visit

Fiberweb Geosynthetics Ltd

to download a comprehensive brochure.

Tel: +44 (0) 1621 874200

Bradleys Surfacing Systems 0121 449 2824 07810 222499

Bradleys Surfacing Systems 0121 449 2824 07810 222499

™ indicates a trade mark of Fiberweb plc or a Fiberweb Group company, many of which are registered in a number of countries around the world.



Pasture Grove, Leeds QP advert templates.indd 16

The Pasture Grove project, involved the harvesting of rainwater from: 20/05/2013 15:49 • the lawn, by converting it to synthetic turf and having the Bradleys water harvesting system • the roof, by capturing the water from the gutter downpipe. Harvested water is tanked underground and made available by a pump. In this case a Victorian style hand pump was selected to fit in with the age of the building and act as a garden feature. Other options include solar powered pumps or pumps powered by mains electricity. When the system is full, excess water is taken away by an overflow pipe connected to the existing drainage. The project was completed in two days and the system can hold up to 500 litres of water.

& Cobbles

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Quarry Yard, Woodside Avenue, Boyatt Wood Ind Est, Eastleigh, Hants SO50 9ES


SUDS-compliant, BREEAM AccreditedM Accredited21/05/2013

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21/05/2013 14:19

Plantsman’s Plot

Plantsman’s PLOT A round-up of trees and plants available at some of the country’s best nurseries To appear in Plantsman’s Plot, please send your plant of the month, details and image to Commonly known as the Star Jasmine or Summer Jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides is a stunning evergreen climber with delightfully scented, beautiful white flowers all summer long. Although slow to get started, once it gets its roots down Trachelospermum grows steadily, proving useful for covering screens, fences, walls and even arches. Here at the Plantation we always have at least one Trachelospermum jasminoides arch at the entrance to our hanger – once you’ve walked through a Trachelospermum arch in full flower it becomes a ‘must have’! Although virtually hardy in the south it does still prefer a sheltered sunny position.

Ligustrum ovalifolium is a much underrated hedge which has many attributes. Being semievergreen it gives shelter and screening all year round. The highly scented white flowers are a great source of food for insects and butterflies. When kept regularly trimmed, Ligustrum forms a good dense hedge that is at home in any type of garden. It can be supplied in various sizes in 1m troughs.

Styrax japonicus is a very distinguished, graceful tree or shrub, developing a dense, tiered texture of branches over time. It is equally at home as part of a naturalistic woodland planting or as a feature tree in a more formal setting. The pure white, pendent flowers appear in late spring and summer, after the season’s throng of spring blossom has subsided. Thrives best in a moist, loamy, lime-free soil in sun or semi-shade.


June 2013

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Rosa ‘Moje Hammarberg’ is one of the rugosa types, really all these Rosa rugosa types are undervalued shrubs. Great fragrant flowers ranging from single or doubles and dark red through to pink to white, lush textured foliage, dense bushy and thorny growth means it makes a great hedge. The haws are like cherry tomatoes and stay on until winter giving the birds a treat too. A s a shrub they need a bit of space and will grow to 2m but as a hedge pruned back each winter, they make a perfect screen with bonuses. These are robust plants with very modest maintenance needs and are happier on heavier soils too.

A wonderful evergreen foxglove with warm, peachy-yellow flowerspikes netted with cinnamonbrown on the inside of each bell-shaped bloom. A succession of elegant, branching 80cm-tall green-budded spikes shoot up from rosettes of oval, glossy green leaves throughout the summer months to reveal their unusual colouring. Invaluable for adding summer-long height and interest to cottage garden schemes or wildlife gardens, Digitalis ‘Spice Island’ also looks at home in a prairie-style planting where they will romp freely with earth-tone flowers. Like all foxgloves, they are best planted in a sheltered spot in full sun or partial shade where they will be a magnet for bees and other insects.

21/05/2013 12:35

Plantsman’s Plot

As spring continues and summer beckons many of the Crab Apples come into their own with soft hues of pinks, whites and occasional darker shades. Malus Cardinal has beautiful foliage and flowers with an intense pink and a much darker leaf giving a marvellous contrast. Autumn gives a display of small red fruits that are excellent for wildlife. This variety is very disease resistant. Growth will reach 5m by 3m over 10 years.

Robust in nature and stature, Ligularia przewalskii is a striking plant that will make a bold statement in any border and will perform happily year after year. Happy in deep, fertile, reliably moist soil in full sun with some midday shade, this tall herbaceous perennial is perfect for planting near a pond or bog garden. It has a look of the tropical and alien at the same time with the deeply cut leaves culminating in a distinctive pointed tip. The upright flower spikes can reach up to 2m in height with the added drama of the purple-black stems and the small dense racemes of yellow flowers in perfect contrast.

The Greek word for rainbow is Iris, and this fits perfectly the range of colours this simple plant can offer the garden. Easy to grow and care for with little maintenance, with a multitude of uses from the border, window boxes and patio tubs. With the flower colour range also comes fragrance, some varieties even offer a variegated leaf as another attraction, and once growing you can divide and replant or share with friends and family. Keep a few plants in a quiet corner of the garden as a stock bank for cut flowers for the home.

Recent years have seen the introduction of many new varieties of Hydrangea paniculata. One of the first to flower is ‘Early Sensation’; its blowsy white flowers fade to pink as summer progresses. This characteristic has been intensified in the varieties such as ‘Sundae Fraise’ and ‘Vanille Fraise’ which show off the pink colouring very well. For those who prefer a more pure white then ‘Phantom’ is the choice. Their informal style fits very well with the cottage garden look.

Plantsmans Plot.indd 55

Malus Rudolph is the pick of the scab-resistant Crap Apples. A fantastic spring flowerer with clean foliage throughout the summer, which puts it streets ahead of most other clones. It is happy on a heavy soil and forms a nicely rounded crown at maturity.

Birch are popular elements in gardens and landscapes as they do not have invasive roots and only cast light shade, so can be used in mixed plantings. A quite spectacular contrast to the commonly seen white stemmed examples are the forms of the Red Chinese Birch, such as Betula albo sinensis septentrionalis and Betula albo sinensis ‘Kenneth Ashburner’. They have wonderful coloured stems which vary throughout the year from creamy pink to mahogany and almost purple, combined with small dainty green foliage. Container grown single stemmed and multi-stemmed specimens are available.

June 2013 55

21/05/2013 12:35


What’s in your topsoil? Over the last five years there has been a huge increase in the number of topsoil suppliers. With this proliferation has come a big variation in quality. Andy Spetch from British Sugar TOPSOIL will help you make the right choice and buy what is fit for your intended purpose

The British Standard for topsoil BS3882:2007 is designed to help you when buying a topsoil. So get familiar with it; it will help. All good suppliers of topsoil should be able to provide you with a “Declaration to BS3882:2007” which says that they provide a quality controlled product. Good topsoil is a balanced mixture of mineral particles, water, nutrients, organic matter, air and living organisms. Soil texture This is the proportion of sand, silt and clay within a topsoil. Sandy Loam - sand 70 per cent, silt 18 per cent, and clay 12 per cent is an ideal textural classification for a general purpose topsoil. Organic matter Organic matter (OM) consists of living organisms and is important to soil function and plant growth as it influences soil structure and hence aeration, drainage and root growth, water-holding capacity and soil fertility. OM helps to bind mineral particles into granular or crumb structures and the proportion of water that is available for plant uptake. It is a major source of essential plant nutrients including nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and sulphur. It is also the food for soil organisms, and without it, biochemical activity, which is essential for ecosystem functioning, would cease. However too much OM, especially if immature, can lead to: ● A deficiency in nitrogen as the OM uses the nitrogen in the soil to fuel the composting cycle ● Unstable ground and planting conditions ● Water logging through the retention of too much water Good quality topsoil should have an OM content of between 3 and 20 per cent. 56

Topsoil.indd 56

June 2013

pH pH is the measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a soil. It affects nearly all soil properties and is a major factor in determining where trees, shrubs and grasses will grow. It influences structural stability, plant nutrient availability, microbe activity and soil pollutant mobility. Good quality topsoil should have pH 5.5-8.5. Nutrient


Ideal available plant nutrient


Growth of leaves and stems



Root growth and development



Cell growth and development



A constituent of chlorophyll, the green pigment, which enables plants to photosynthesise


Electrical conductivity General measure of the soluble salt content or salinity of a soil, a good quality topsoil should have an electrical conductivity value within the range of 100-1500uS/cm (soil : water extract). Nutrients A good topsoil should be adequately supplied with the major nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. Carbon / nitrogen (C/N) ratios Topsoils that have a C/N of 30:1 and over, have too little N to allow for rapid decomposition. Therefore, the microorganisms will take ammonium and nitrate out of the soil to fuel decomposition. This depletes the soil of nitrate and ammonium. Topsoil’s with low C/N ratios (20:1 and less) have sufficient N for the microorganisms to decompose the residues

without taking from the soil. A good topsoil should have a C/N ratio of <20:1. Potential contaminants Heavy metals: ● Phytotoxic – Harmful to plants ● Zootoxic – Harmful to humans and animals Chemically related compounds: ● Phenols ● Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) – found in coal tars ● Total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) – derived from fossil fuels ● BTEX compounds – derived from petroleum ● Asbestos Where does the topsoil come from? As a non-renewable resource it is important to buy responsibly sourced topsoil. Ask your supplier where they get their topsoil from. Digging it out of fields is not a responsible or sustainable practice and should be discouraged. Generally speaking always look to purchase topsoil from a known and consistent source and always ask for a certificate of analysis and check the dates on the certificate to ensure it is current information.

TOPSOIL being presented with the Principle Award for the Affiliates Award at the BALI 2012 Awards (Andy Spetch: centre) British Sugar TOPSOIL, the UK’s largest supplier of quality topsoil, is a name synonymous with quality and professionalism. Web:

22/05/2013 15:50

Photo by Prof J Hitchmough

With proven success on many complex and prestigious planting projects and over 2000 species grown, Palmstead can make a real difference to your schemes. Call or visit us online and start benefiting from our award winning quality plants and excellent service.

Workshop 25 september 2013 Are native or non-native plants best? th

0123310/1/13 813340 13:48

Wyevale Ticket Advert Jan 2013:Layout 1

Page 2

Palmstead SPOT COLOUR?.indd 1

22/05/2013 14:49

Your ticket to a greener landscape

P E R F E C T MAN I CU R E Our aim is to make your vision a reality with effective yet practical plant solutions.

Wyevale Nurseries Ltd, Kings Acre, Hereford HR4 7AY Tel: 01432 845200 Email:

ADVERTS.indd 181

Whatever your involvement in the horticultural industry, be it, Garden Designer, Landscape Architect. Domestic or Commercial Landscaper, Greenline Plants can offer all the plants you will need. To see our plant portfolio visit Forshaw Heath Road | Earlswood | Solihull | B94 5JU T: 01564 703947

22/05/2013 15:05


Seal or no seal?

There is much debate around whether paving should be sealed or not. Pro Landscaper contacted a selection of suppliers and landscapers to get their views – it seems that there is no definitive answer and the debate will continue, however, here are their comments which may help you decide what to do:

We recommend that sawn paving is impregnated (sealed). Applying an impregnator massively reduces stone porosity and prevents stains from penetrating.This in turn will significantly reduce the level of maintenance required post installation. Being an ex-landscaper I have always retained a strong interest in landscape construction.Through speaking to landscape contractors on a daily basis I am aware of the trepidation towards sealing. While these concerns are valid, they are easily overcome with the usual planning and research which accompanies any type of landscaping project, and they should not act as a barrier to providing a client with the best possible product available. Steven Walley Managing Director, London Stone

Sealing stone is a matter for the customer to choose depending on what use the area will get and the look and design of the garden. Granite and basalt don’t particularly need sealing as they’re pretty non-porous already and quite dark; the same goes for slates which will weather anyway over time. We would recommend sealing limestone in pale colours to avoid staining from leaves, food and drink in barbecue areas and general traffic in high use areas. For a contemporary garden we would recommend sealing, but for a more “cottagey” feel, it is not as necessary. Tabitha Smith, Sales Manager, Beltrami


There’s an ever increasing demand for more unusual, interesting and cheaper natural stone, which appears to be coming from every corner of the globe. Many people don’t fully understand the properties of some of these stones, which is where the problems start. My general view is that it is better to let stone ‘breathe’ outdoors and build up a natural patina.Your stone may naturally have iron rich deposits in it which can come to the surface over time, creating rust spots. If unsealed, these may be cleaned off relatively easily, or will naturally break down with weathering. However, if sealed, these spots are trapped under the sealant and will remain far longer. Once you’ve applied a sealant, you’ve also created an on-going maintenance issue. Many sealants break down over time with UV, leaving some patios looking patchy after a couple of years.You’ve then got to jet wash, or even sandblast the stone to remove any patina before resealing. David Dodd Owner, The Outdoor Room

When we pave we seal, either Pavegard or LTP products. Why? I prefer the look, and feel comfortable that we have provided the best service we can by enhancing the colour and durability. Lana Harrison, Director, Exterior Solutions Ltd

Usually we recommend against using sealants when natural stone paving is laid outdoors.There are a range of good products on the market but we find that the conditions make sealing a difficult job to get right. Natural stone paving needs to be completely dry and clean before a sealant is applied and it's often hard to tell when the underneath has fully dried out. However, if you do intend to seal your paving we would suggest that you only use a quality stone sealer and follow the instructions as recommended by the manufacturer. Julian Wood, Sales and Marketing Director, Global Stone

Our materials, which are very dense and have a water absorption ratio of less than 5 per cent, are less likely to stain and mark and thus it is not necessary to seal, but many other stones in the marketplace do not achieve this rating and would be better sealed. Reference should always be made to the technical data sheets for the material which is a legal requirement of the CE mark. Sealing can be helpful as a protective surface, and consideration needs to be made to where the material is being used and the wear and tear it will undergo. It shouldn’t be required for residential paving, but it can be used to maintain and enhance colours where a secondary surface finish has been applied such as flaming or sanding. Nick Williams, Commercial Director, Burlington Stone

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If you want to keep stone looking fresh and new, then consider chemical impregnators. If you want it to weather to a more natural look over time, accepting the changes in appearance that nature and stains create, then don't. Most igneous stones will cope with general dirt and grime if a good cleaning regime is adhered to, but the more porous nature of many other stones means that they are more likely to soak up stains.The choice has to be the customer’s, and suppliers should only advise on the implications of that choice. Giles Heap Director, CED

I think sealing block paving with a quality product can be of benefit. I have however been put off because although it can be a good thing, it's a total aggravation for the installer. Why? ● If there's any efflorescence you have to

leave the paving until it clears. ● If it’s raining you can't seal. ● If it threatens to rain you can't seal. ● If the paving is damp you can't seal

Basically this can delay payment from the client and they often get annoyed because they want their project completed. Gary Cobb, Owner, Acer Paving & Landscaping

Our view is that the paving should not be sealed immediately after laying as this will often lock in the mineral salts drawn up through the stone from the mortar bed, causing 'watermark' staining on the surface of the stone. It's best to seal after a period of three to six months has elapsed since laying the paving and only following a period of dry weather. We don’t feel it is essential to seal paving unless it is heavily trafficked, exposed to damp conditions, tree covered, or prone to grease stains from barbecuing for example. Some types of stone such as black limestone may benefit from sealing to help retain the dark colour tones of the paving. Georgina Reed, Managing Director, Paving Superstore

My landscapers laid polished sawn sandstone a few times last year, and they decided against sealing it. There was no recommendation by the supplier (Brett) to do so which could therefore have potentially invalidated the 10 year warranty on the products. Gaynor Witchard, Gaynor Witchard Garden Design

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Royal Forest Pennant is used in many schemes, from residential driveways, paving and bespoke commissions to streetscapes and town renovations. For most applications, it is not considered necessary to seal Pennant sandstone but in some circumstances, due to location or customer requirements, it can be advisable to protect the qualities and long-term appearance of the stone from the vagaries of the weather and general public. It is important that the treatments must be completely invisible and respectful to the stone and its processes, allowing the product to continue its life cycle as a natural, sustainable entity. Nick Horton, Managing Director, Forest Pennant

June 2013


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partnerships in landscaping Pro Landscaper was invited to attend a trip to Ireland recently to look at trading partnerships between the UK and Ireland in the landscape industry The first stop on the day-long schedule was Ecocem, which is an independent, specialist producer of GGBS (ground granulated blastfurnace slag) cement.The company was set up in 2001 to undertake industrial developments in Europe in the production and use of GGBS.The first GGBS production facility was built in the Netherlands supplying the Dutch and Belgian markets. Along with this and Dublin, there is also a third facility at Fos-sur-Mer in the South of France. The product has been found to increase the durability of concrete and costs £20 per tonne less than traditional cement products on the market. Some notable projects that used the product are the diving board at the Olympic stadium and the Emirates stadium. The packaging has recently been redesigned to double its previous shelf life to six months. The product is lighter, whiter and brighter than traditional cement products; landscapers will find the product reduces efflorescence. Next on the whistle-stop tour was the Kilsaran headquarters in Co. Meath, an impressive site which is home to the administration and manufacturing facilities of the company which turns recycled aggregates into decorative sustainable landscaping products. These products are manufactured using three pigments – red, black and yellow – which can be mixed and blended to produce a range of colours and patterns. The recycled aggregate is blended with the pigment and harvested rainwater, and is then set into the required mould by compaction and vibration before sitting in a vapour curing chamber for 24 hours at a constant temperature (this reduces efflorescence). Once this process has been carried out the finishes can be applied, which can be anything from polishing and grinding to shot blasting and curling. Kilsaran have a testing lab where clients’ specific requirements can be tested prior to manufacture. Kilsaran are


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June 2013

confident that they can suit any needs and are able to work with clients to match their requests. McMonagle Stone is based on the west coast of Ireland in Mountcharles, Donegal. It operates five quarries in the local area and produces stone paving products and architectural cladding stone. McMonagle have customers specialising in commercial, public and domestic projects and can produce 20 different finishes, as well as producing bespoke products for large and small projects. The focus is on quality assurance and they regularly work with design teams and consultancies to ensure their needs are met. The company are keen to grow their offering in the UK and have just launched a new innovation called Stoneer, which is cut from 100 per cent natural stone, giving projects a contemporary look and durability. McMonagle Stone is the only company in Europe manufacturing this type of product. The product is light and easy to install, is produced in 30mm thickness, is maintenance free and has lifelong durability. Corners are also available to give a completed project the look of “full thickness” stone. The product is available in Mountcharles Sandstone, Silver Quartzite, Gold Quartzite, Grit Sandstone, Nova black, White Limestone, Blue Limestone and Liscannor. Also presenting at the event was Kent Stainless Ltd which was founded in 1982 as a general steel fabricator. The company began specialising in stainless steel drainage products in the early 1990s. The range was then complemented by the production of stainless steel street furniture including bollards, bins, cycle racks and seating. The continued investment in product development and research & development ensures new products and ranges are always on the horizon. Kent Stainless has been a part of numerous prestigious UK contracts including Transport for London and Wembley Stadium.


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21/05/2013 12:12

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21/05/2013 10:53 Providers of English Handcrafted Planters and Outdoor Furniture in Oak, Iroko or Accoya. Other services include a bespoke joinery service for all interior & exterior design.

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planters Caprice in lacquered bronze The ultimate luxury in designer planters – beautifully crafted, stunningly captivating, also available in lighted version for subtle illumination.

Camellia Bowl It was designed by Richard Mackness of Urbis Design especially to hold Urbis’ own collection of large camellias.

Compact Wooden Planters This new range of Compact Wooden Planters is handmade from sustainably sourced Tricoya and Accoya, available unpainted or hand painted in any colour.

Madison Planter Range Frost-proof, UV protected, lightweight, 10 year limited warranty, and available in five colours.

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Giant Fibrestone Planters The unique 1.2m x 1m x 1m fibrestone Chelsea box, perfect for large trees and shrubs – it can even house four members of the Round Wood sales team!

Stainless steel planter system A system which provides around 200 modules allowing endless combinations and solutions, transforming a planter into a storage chest, bench, or to install lighting.

June 2013


16/05/2013 10:41

TERRAQUA Environmental Solutions


Biomatrix Water Floating Islands & Waterscape Systems Affordable floating ecological systems Water Quality Islands are now available, allowing you to design your waterscape experience to achieve natural water quality improvements and multiple habitat and amenity benefits. From attractive island features to floating planted walkways, bird nesting habitats, fish refuge islands, or high buoyancy recreational islands. Biomatrix natural floating systems can help bring your waterscape to life.

Bird Nesting Islands

The Active Island is an engineered floating ecology designed to optimise natural treatment processes within a planted aquatic landscape feature. The system is suitable for improving water quality in ponds, canals, rivers, lakes and reservoirs, as well as providing effective treatment of higher strength residential and industrial waters.

We work to respond to the unique opportunities and challenges of your site to increase value to visitors, owners, and wildlife. If water quality problems are limiting the value of your projects or waterscape. We have an attractive natural ecological treatment system, the Biomatrix Active Island Reactor providing circulation, oxygenation and natural biological processes to help restore your waterscape to health.

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Latest Products

outdoor structures

Hudson Bay Gothic The Gothic style shed has carefully detailed facia boards and Gothic arches within the door and window frames. This stunning statement shed has a cedar shingle roof and is finished with Sadolin Superdec in Hudson Bay. All sheds come in an array of colours enabling the shed to be incorporated into the garden or allowing it to stand proud and bold. There are five standard sizes in three designs.

Chippy range Oak frames blend beautifully into any surrounding and have strong environmental credentials, oak framed garages in particular remain popular. Round Wood of Mayfield offers a selection of kit garages through the Chippy range. The model shown is the CH2G, a standard 2-bay garage with a gable roof, including posts, braces, staddle stones and weatherboard. Tiles are not included but can be specified, these are often sourced independently to match the local vernacular. A CH2G has a footprint of 5.6m x 5.3m with a ridge height of 3.895m.

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Jekyll Rocking Chair Jekyll Rocking Chair features a classic 19th century floral pattern throughout and offers comfortable relaxed seating on wide sturdy rockers. The Jekyll Rocking Chair is supplied fully-made as a single piece of furniture and is available in a choice of 12 stunning colours and requires no maintenance whatsoever. Water resistant cushions to add to your comfort are available in a choice of three exterior Sunbrella fabrics.

Pure lounge Designed by Wolfgang Pichler, Pure is a modular lounge system, made in highest quality Corian, powder coated aluminium, teak and concrete. Pure is a simple, architectural design incorporating sofas, lounge chairs, sun loungers, tables and a fire table. The different modules can be designed to make infinite configurations to suit most terraces and gardens. A wide range of outdoor fabrics are available for the sumptuous cosy cushions, and all-weather covers can also be specified for the furniture.

Tulip Range Contemporary street furniture has often been criticised for failing to harmonise with its environment. In seeking a solution, Blanc de Bierges have launched an exciting new urban street furniture range. The Tulip Range includes benches, seats, planters, bollards and litter bins. Elegant in form and of robust construction, the furniture is primarily designed to be used as a suite, but the classic lines enable each product to be used individually.

Surf Bench The Surf Bench is a unique piece working on the principle of cantilever â&#x20AC;&#x201C; giving the impression of defying gravity. This creative design comes in an array of metal finishes and with a choice of wood top in oak, walnut, or teak, additional top options available on request. The metal element of this design comes hand finished in mirror polished stainless steel, antique bronze or even antique silver giving each piece a personal touch. This versatile piece can be used inside or out depending on the customers desires.

June 2013


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21/05/2013 10:15

Business Lawnmowers Tips

Cutting care Tom Stidder, product support manager with Ransomes Jacobsen has 15 years’ experience in the turf maintenance equipment industry; here are his top tips to extend the life of your mower

As a manufacturer of turf maintenance equipment we devote a substantial amount of time, effort and money to produce operators’ manuals for every machine we produce. These manuals contain a wealth of information on safety, operation, maintenance and general use of the equipment. My first top tip, if you’re serious about getting the most out of your mower... manual! While I the manual accept that it may not be the most riveting read, it will provide you with virtually all you will need to know to ensure that your machine continues to perform as you want it to. Controls Understand the controls on the machine, what they do and how they function, especially the warning systems that will be activated to help prevent damage to the mower. Never switch off or override safety devices or operator presence controls as this may lead to accidents and damage to both you and the machine. Transportation If you are transporting a machine on a vehicle or trailer, always use the recommended tie down points as this will prevent possible damage to hoses and hydraulic lines. On less

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robust machines it may lead to damage to the panels and controls through use of excessive force in the strapping process. Use the transport latches on ride-on machines to secure the cylinders or rotary decks in their correct position.This will help prevent unnecessary damage while in transit.

If you’re serious about getting the most out of your the manual! Blades On rotary mowers, check the blades regularly; the blade tip is the most important area as it is the first to strike the grass; keep it sharp and check along the rest of the blade for damage. A damaged blade will, almost certainly, be out of balance and this will cause vibration. This is not pleasant for you and has the potential to wear out shafts, bearings, belts and pulleys at an alarming rate. Listen out Get to know your machine; you’ll know when it is operating as it should and you’ll also know when it isn’t. Listen for changes in noise levels, the squealing of belts, the knocking of a shaft, untoward engine noises; all of this will tell you something is wrong.

Regular checks And finally, the prime cause of machine failure and reduced longevity is the lack of regular daily checks and routine maintenance. On a daily basis, ensure that you check oil, fuel and coolant levels; the condition and set up of your cutting units; that all lights are working and electrical functions are operational; ensure the tyre pressures are correct and check for excessive wear or damage. Finally, check the engine bay for debris. After use, ensure that the machine is washed and cleaned ready for the next time it’s used. Every week, check for loose components, hydraulic fluid leaks, fan belt tension and air filter. Don’t forget to lubricate all grease fittings. After around 250 hours of use, change the engine oil and oil filter. At the end of the season, carry out the manufacturers’ recommended maintenance, which will include checking the condition of the battery and changing the engine oil and filter.The air filter element will be changed; fuel filters replaced, change hydraulic oil and filters, drain and clean fuel tank along with replacing engine coolant. I recommend that you use genuine parts every time you replace an item on your mower. Genuine parts are made to exactly the same standard and specification as the original item and are guaranteed to perform as they should.

December June 2013 2012


16/05/2013 10:29

Latest Kit

LAWNMOWERS Designed for maximum durability, operator comfort and productivity, John Deere’s 8400 commercial 37hp triple reel mower features high capacity jumbo cutting units, a Cross Cut function to make turning and switching from mowing to transport very quick and easy, and

RECO offers Grasshopper zero-turn mowers. Models are available with a choice of sizes, cutting decks (including out-front) and mulching kit options. Hydraulic drive systems with high performance filtration are a particular feature. Other features include cooling fans for transmission motors, interchangeable blade sets and effective lower bearing protection. Accessories such as leaf/debris blower, aerator, collector and sweepers are available for most models, to increase the versatility of the machines. Compared to steering wheeled machines the zero-turn mower is easier and quicker to manoeuvre, resulting in higher work rate along with increased comfort and wellbeing of the operator. WWW.RECO.CO.UK


June 2013

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an all-wheel drive traction system for effective mowing on slopes. The 25cm (10in) diameter six-blade cutting units have been specially designed for cutting long grass on road verges, parks and other public and private green spaces. WWW.DEERE.CO.UK

From trimming well-kept lawns to mowing rough grass, this Kubota self-propelled walk behind mower, combining high durability with high performance, is guaranteed to give a professional cut whatever the weather. Featuring a blade brake clutch, for added safety when emptying the 75L grass bag, heavy duty deck, shaft drive, front bumper and the option of hard

wearing aluminium wheels or a full width rear roller – this is one walk behind mower that packs a serious punch. WWW.KUBOTA.CO.UK

The new Z-Force S 48 from Cub Cadet is different from conventional ZT models in that it is operated by an adjustable steering wheel, which makes riding the machine easy to learn with excellent control on tricky manoeuvres. Every centimetre of the Z Force S’s heavy-gauge, welded steel cutting deck has been engineered to make sure you get unsurpassed airflow, blade overlap, and quality of cut. In addition to the Zero Turn range the Wide Cut E mulching lawn mower is ideal for large areas of grass that are difficult to access with a lawn tractor. WWW.UK.CUBCADET.EU

Makita has launched five new mowers in their groundcare range, which includes a small and versatile electric mower which offers a host of features and is ideal for lawns of up to 500m². The new ELM3711X has a 1,300W, 240V motor and has a useful 37cm cutting width with

3-step wheel height adjustment to allow cutting heights ranging from 20 to 55mm. This push type mower is light at 14.9kg, has narrow inboard wheels to facilitate easy close-to-wall mowing, and a

clever design of quick-lock folding handle for easy transport and storage. WWW.MAKITAUK.COM

This season will see the introduction of the new Ransomes Meteor from Ransomes Jacobsen. It uses a flail rotor within a Magna cutting unit frame, providing the robustness and versatility of a rotary mower while giving a more acceptable finish.The new cutting heads can cope with longer grass than a

cylinder and are suited to reduced cutting cycles, which are being introduced by many local authorities due to budgetary constraints. Powered by a turbo-charged version of the Ransomes Parkway 3 tractor unit, the Meteor offers operator comfort with plenty of engine power. WWW.RANSOMESJACOBSEN.COM

16/05/2013 10:21

Business Vehicles Tips

Kubota RTV 400Ci and 500 Launch event

Pro Landscaper’s Equipment Editor Joe Wilkinson was invited along to the launch day of the new petrol powered Kubota RTV400Ci and the RTV 500 – side-by-side utility vehicles introduced to progress the already large range of Kubota products with the landscaper in mind. The day consisted of pilot buggy racing (I urge you to try it if you haven’t) and driving around an off-road course at the Banzai Events base in Bicester, Oxfordshire. After learning about the new products, we were given the chance to try them out ourselves, and I can honestly say I’ve never felt safer in a vehicle than I did in the new RTVs, even as I was travelling at a steep angle towards the ground! These machines are smooth, quiet and very easy to operate, the CVT Transmission and inertial clutch on the 400Ci constantly keep you in control. The RTV 400Ci has a one cylinder, petrol, air-cooled Subaru engine, capable of producing 16hp at full capacity, and it was very pokey; whereas the RTV500 has a two cylinder, petrol water-cooled Kubota engine and can produce a little less at 15.8hp.There is enough room to comfortably fit two people on the cushioned

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bench, even though the vehicles are only 20cm wider than the ATVs Kubota produce. Both have the same dimensions, of 2690mm in length, 1390mm in width and a height of 1829mm. The payload capacities differ slightly in each machine; if you need to carry more the RTV 400Ci is the better machine for you as it can carry 480kg to the 500’s 430kg. Both have the ability to pull a trailer, along with a range of other attachments.

They were comfortable climbing steep slopes, careful coming down and very stable over rough terrain, even at relatively quick speeds We were urged to test the machines to near their limit. This was after our morning escapades on the pilot buggies (incidentally, Jamie, Pro Landscaper’s Business Development Manager, managed to win the time trials, beating the other 19 people) and it was a great day.

There was not a lot the RTVs wouldn’t do. They were comfortable climbing steep slopes, careful coming down and very stable over rough terrain, even at relatively quick speeds. The padded bench seat was comfortable and the padded back bench offered support when the machine was effortlessly negotiating bumps and dips in the ground. The RTVs come in a choice of two colours, the traditional striking Kubota orange and a camouflage colour which is mainly used in the hunting market, and still looks pretty cool. The cargo bed is made of a fully composite material to stop chips and damage when carrying machinery and tools. The RTV400Ci retails at £7,800, the RTV500 costs £8,800. These machines are a perfect replacement for an ATV.

December June 2013 2012


22/05/2013 14:59

Latest Kit


Bobcat has launched the new E25 reduced tail swing compact excavator. Equipped with cab and standard bucket, the new model has an operating weight of 2.571kg. Both the canopy and cab versions of the E25 compact excavator offer plenty of foot and leg room as part of a very comfortable work environment. A new main control valve, optimised pump and higher working pressure in the hydraulic system allows smooth, quick and simultaneous operations together with powerful digging forces. WWW.BOBCAT.EU

The Wessex ProLine TGX-150 outfront flail mower complements the popular brands and ticks

Trimming up after the mower, edging lawns, clearing vegetation from trees, posts and the base of hedges, and mowing in areas that can be inaccessible for bigger machines, the brushcutter is an indispensable tool for professional landscapers and homeowners. Tracmasterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new CAMON range


June 2013

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John Deere has introduced a number of additional new features on the 25hp XUV 855D Gator 4x4 utility vehicle for 2013, designed to improve overall performance and durability. These include a digital instrument cluster, improved engine braking and a much larger 27.6L fuel tank. The dash-mounted

instrument cluster displays the odometer, ground speed, fuel level and coolant temperature, engine rpm, a clock and the four-wheel drive indicator. It can be adjusted for different tyre sizes to ensure that the ground speed is accurately shown. WWW.DEERE.CO.UK

KUHN Amenity Pro, better known for its power harrows and tillers also manufacture sprayers. Based on the same tank, the Actis (3-point linkage) and the Elis (demount) feature the possibility of mixing chemicals at the point of exit via the CONTROLMIX system,

all the boxes for economy and versatility. You can marry the TGX up with John Deere, Kubota, Ransomes, Shibaura, Iseki, New Holland and more and take on the long grass on a roadside verge

has been designed to meet the needs of all users and to satisfy wide-ranging working demand.

and thus keeping the tank full of clear water. This enables the operator to tackle different tasks with the same machine in one round with the added benefit of saving on chemical costs by using only what you need. WWW.KUHN.CO.UK

with easily adjusted cutting height. High ground clearance lets you negotiate kerbs and other obstacles and the TGX follows ground contours with its own wheels and full width rear roller. WWW.BROADWOODINTL.CO.UK

Brian James Trailers have been crafting a diverse range of quality trailers for over thirty years since the company was formed in 1979, such as the CarGo Compact. Customer care and value for money are at the heart of the business. Every Brian James trailer is manufactured to full EEC approved standards, has a five year chassis warranty, and high grade quality type approved lighting. WWW.BRIANJAMES.CO.UK

The modern and innovative design includes features such as easy and safe refuelling thanks to the enlarged mouth of the fuel tank, a silenced muffler, an anti-vibration system and a professional knapsack for perfect weight distribution on the back. WWW.TRACMASTER.CO.UK

16/05/2013 10:15

Latest Kit

The Timberwolf SX200 DHB is designed to perform for landscapers, local authorities and the hire market. With a robust 240mm feed roller and improved infeed, it means that this sub 750 shredder can shred green materials, hedge trimmings, conifer, shrubs, brash and palm with ease, perfect for creating compost. The shredder

has auto-feed back-off system, with conveyor as an option. It can easily be operated by a single user and has a dedicated integral A-frame. Quieter than some bigger shredders, it is suitable to use in urban areas where noise pollution is often a pressing concern for businesses. WWW.TIMBERWOLF-UK.COM

From pruning a small shrub to tackling a dense, overgrown hedge, Tracmaster’s three new CAMON hedgetrimmers will produce the perfect cut. Powered by a rechargeable battery, the cordless HT510B has a 51cm double-sided blade, making it convenient to use for light jobs, while the SLP600 N and TJ 23 are petrol-powered, have a 60cm double-sided blade and can be used for more heavy-duty work. WWW.TRACMASTER.CO.UK

McConnel has launched ROBOCUT Pure, a new addition to its growing range of all-terrain remote control mowers and attachments. Created as an entry-level model for those keen to enter the remote control mowing market, ROBOCUT Pure shares many of the characteristics of the flagship model, offering a suite of advanced features and benefits that include exceptional stability on slopes of up to 55 degrees, safe, responsive, easy to master controls and a powerful

By hiring two Multihog MH90’s, Nottinghamshire County Council expects to make substantial savings on traffic management costs. The council is also the first local authority in the UK to kit the MH90 base units out with unique Multihog flail mower/ cutter attachments enabling faster and safer verge cutting operations.

The side shifting and traversing front mounted flail mower attachment can be hydraulically positioned to work either side, offering major benefits compared to traditional fixed rear or side mounted cutting equipment, keep their eyes on the road ahead particularly when working on dual for better visibility. carriageways. The front mounted mower attachment allows drivers to WWW.MULTIHOG.CO.UK

Latest Kit Machinery.indd 71

and fuel-efficient 40hp engine made by Isuzu. ROBOCUT Pure is a streamlined version which still retains the core features essential for highperformance mowing. WWW.MCCONNEL.COM

Maruyama is launching a new power tool for summer says its UK importer, DMMP. The Maruyama BCV5020 50CC Semi Clearing Brush Cutter is ultra-lightweight and has a new anti-vibration system, which uses oversized volumetric antivibration dampers, located in tandem on the front side and the engine side. The machine has a useful tool-free handle adjustment: the central wing nut enables easy adjustment without the use of tools. Optimised intake, transfer and exhaust port timing contributes to delivering optimum power and efficiency. WWW.DMMP.CO.UK

Turf Teq’s Power Rake, with its 915mm (36inch) working width, is the quick way to prepare soil for turf, grass seed or wild flowers. It’s far quicker than a rotavator, working stones into windrows for easy collection, producing a fine tilth with no lumps and, because it tills only the top few millimetres of soil, you don’t have to re-consolidate the ground. The soil is immediately ready for use and will not slump when the first serious fall of rain comes along. Use it also for breaking up and levelling self-binding gravel and similar surfaces. WWW.GROUNDSCARE-PRODUCTS.CO.UK

June 2013


16/05/2013 10:15


AVS Fencing AVS Fencing Supplies has been trading for 20 years and has become a market leader in the supply of fencing materials in the UK. Their admin office, the nerve-centre of the company, is situated in the beautiful West Sussex countryside in Horsham. Eight customer branches are then spread out across the country at various key locations from Sussex right up to Peterborough; AVS strive to be a business which is local to the customer in order to make both choosing and buying products quicker and easier. Having a network of local branches means that products can be quickly redistributed between branches, AVS is local but with the quality of a nationwide company. The branches are the face of the company, supplying a wide range of products in one place; altogether the branches total 15 acres and all have large scale yards housing huge stocks of fencing, gates, sleepers and landscaping timber. Currently the annual company turnover is £14 million and there are plans to grow the network of branches and the company as a whole. The branch staff at AVS, many of whom have strong backgrounds in the fencing and landscaping industries, are all very experienced and know the products inside out. They aim to build lifelong relationships with their customers by being a source of knowledge and advice; AVS want their customer’s projects to be successful, and will go the extra mile to achieve this. Around 100 people are employed across the company, with 72

June 2013

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AVS is local but with the quality of a nationwide company extra staff hired on a seasonal basis during the spring and summer months. The staff at Director level are equally as experienced and knowledgeable – sourced from the trade and passionate about what they do. The secret to AVS’s longevity, and maintaining motivation and energy for over 20 years is to preserve and surround themselves with the right people, and never stop learning. As well as visiting their local branch and picking up the necessary items, customers from the south coast up to Lincolnshire and Leicestershire can opt for delivery. Most trade orders are delivered free of charge within three to four working days, modest charges are applied to small orders required rapidly and those outside of normal areas. The company also supplies security fencing nationwide and a delivery charge is normally made. The company’s efficient self-unloading

vehicles make hundreds of deliveries a day across the network. An important part of the business focuses on sawn softwood timber products, including UC4 posts with guaranteed longevity. All are grown and supplied from within the UK and Ireland in well-managed and sustainable forests. Some other products are sourced from abroad but only those of the highest quality. A successful range is closeboard fencing, which the company stocks in vast quantities and is of exceptional quality. The products that AVS source and sell are of a very high standard, with an extensive range of timber products backed by a 15 year guarantee. Timber is a variable material; however AVS work hard to ensure their products meet the high standards that the landscaping customer demands every time. Trusted supplier relationships and strict quality control play a huge part in achieving this goal. AVS have in-depth knowledge of saw milling and timber treatment, they are confident that correctly selecting and drying timber prior to pressure treatment is the key to maximising its life expectancy. As Pine (Redwood) timber allows the treatment to penetrate deeply into the grain, they insist upon its use as ground contact timber, ensuring it is manufactured to British Standard BS8417. The company plan to continue improving and expanding, putting the customer’s need for premium quality products, with supportive, informed and efficient service first.

AVS Fencing Supplies Ltd First Floor, The Pavilion Graylands Estate, Langhurstwood Road, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 4QD Tel: 0800 288 8324 Email: Web:

16/05/2013 14:31

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• The UKs leading manufacturer of quality alternative to hardwood decking • The UKs only wood-free composite that is totally non-slip • Beautiful stain resistant decking that is fade resistant and maintenance free • Tel 02476 439 943 for samples and a quote

• Innovative, superior quality, wood-plastic composite decking, fencing and cladding • 100% recycled, maintenance free and resistant to mould and fungi • Environmentally friendly, hard wearing and weather resistant • Perfect for use in wet areas: spas, Jacuzzis, pools and gardens • For samples and a quote call 02476 439 943

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21/05/2013 09:34

Trading with...

WoodBlocX Give us a brief outline of your company...

WoodBlocX is a revolutionary new product for garden landscaping. Chunky wooden BlocX fit together using large recycled plastic dowels to create strong raised beds, planters, retaining walls, ponds, kerbing or special garden features like seats – almost any structure you want to build in the garden. The BlocX are topped with bevelled capping to give an elegant finish to the whole job. Leave out the wedges and you can disassemble your project for reconfiguration at a later date. WoodBlocX are made from accredited timber sourced from sustainable forests. Products are manufactured to last for a minimum of 20 years. The product is produced by Munro Sawmills now in its fifth generation of woodcutters. The system was created in 2000, in recognition of a need to provide a simple to build system, without the need for specific DIY skills.

our website where they can find out about all the different uses for the BlocX and view photos of previous projects, find out costs for different size projects and view how-to videos. This is also backed up by a dedicated customer service phone line. How important is the landscape contractor to your business?

Landscapers make up a massive part of our business, they use our product on a regular basis as we are fast, efficient and can deliver any scale of design onsite within three to four working days. What additional support do you offer landscape contractors?

We offer a completely free design service for all of our clients. We obtain a few key measurements and can then create a bespoke kit, or give them ideas on how to best utilise the space with suggestions for shapes and sizes. Do you think landscape contractors will be spending more or less with you this year? Peter and Henry Blake

What is the ethos of the company?

To provide a quality product and to offer the highest level of service both before and after the sale.

Our sales to landscapers have increased 40 per cent each year for the last three years; we are optimistic that this figure will continue to increase. Do you expect business turnover to increase, decrease or stay the same?

Father and sons family-run business for five generations, we have manufacture, sales, marketing, design and customer service completely covered.

We’re expecting it to increase over time; we’re being proactive in our marketing and making positive links to businesses and organisations, so far having a very positive effect.

What is your route to market?

Are you planning to increase your rates?

We only sell directly online. Potential customers visit

Not this year.

What is the structure of the company?

Trading with Woodvlocx.indd 75

What is your product range?

We have over 600 kits for different style raised beds, retaining walls, ponds and garden planters. Have you got any new products planned?

Our product range is ever increasing: when we design a bespoke kit for a client we add it to our website so that others can browse and buy them. What will you be doing in 2013 to remain competitive?

Making sure that we still provide excellent customer service, and continuing with our free design service. How do you market your company?

We market ourselves online heavily and also in the gardening and grow-your-own press. Why do landscapers choose your brand over your competitors?

There are no other products on the market offering the solution that we do, plus it can significantly reduce build time and the final article looks really professional. What exhibitions will you be attending this year and why?

We attended the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year. It is the first ever consumer show that we have attended, Chelsea is high profile with a diverse mix of visitors and gave us some great exposure as a brand. WoodBlocX Munro Sawmills , Old Evanton Road, Dingwall, Ross-Shire, Scotland, IV15 9UN Tel: 0800 389 1420 Web: Email:

June 2013 75

22/05/2013 14:45

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21/05/2013 09:56



PETER BELTON Peter Belton of Frogheath Landscapes was the winner of the Young Achiever Award 2013, at the Association of Professional Landscaper Awards in March Frogheath Landscapes has a long association with developing young people within the local community and pride themselves on their commitment to taking on and training apprentices. Peter, who initially came to Frogheath as a Heathfield Community College work experience student, began an apprenticeship with them shortly after leaving school at 16. He also studied at Plumpton College one day a week. Preferring a practical work setting to the school environment, Peter has thrived during his apprenticeship and studies at Plumpton College receiving a Level 2 Diploma in landscaping and a Lantra intermediate apprenticeship in Horticulture in the landscaping sector. Alison Moody, co-director of Frogheath alongside her husband Stephen, stressed the importance of training within the company; all staff in the business take on some form of training, which is always tailored to the needs of the individual – be it a short course, diploma, or apprenticeship.This encouragement and support network provided by Frogheath is probably the reason why this is not the first of their young staff

Frogheath. Unfortunately, due to the withdrawal of government funding for vocational diplomas, the facility closed. Stephen Moody involved the local press in campaigning for the centre to remain open, stressing the importance of such facilities to provide the training needed, but was sadly unsuccessful. Peter now commutes to Eastbourne to complete Level 2 of the bricklaying course.

I have worked hard to achieve the highest standards that I can in all the courses and practical things I have tackled members to receive the APL Young Achiever Award, which was also previously won by Will Dann in 2009. Peter shares Frogheath’s enthusiasm for training, once he completed his course at Plumpton College he then began a two year bricklaying course at Uckfield Skills Centre, also one day a week, whilst continuing to work for

Look out for.indd 77

Currently aged 19, Peter has shown that with the right encouragement and training, as well as personal drive and ambition, young people who struggle in the mainstream school environment can become talented individuals with an array of practical skills. Once he completes his bricklaying course, he can be employed on site as a qualified bricklayer. He also took part in the Guild of

Bricklayers National competition earlier in the year representing Sussex Downs College. Peter said: “Even though I might not be very academic, I have worked hard to achieve the highest standards that I can in all the courses and practical things I have tackled. I am earning a decent wage, going to college one day a week… I think I have achieved a lot.” Peter has received positive feedback from everyone he’s worked with, including colleges, tutors and work colleagues who are impressed with his attitude, commitment, and skills.The APL judges praised him by declaring him “an employer’s dream, exactly what someone would look for and what the industry needs.” The high standards that he consistently achieves, as well as his self-motivated and positive attitude, and persistence in his training where others might have given up, have contributed to him winning the APL Young Achiever Award. Frogheath Landscapes Tel: 01435 883 516

June 2013


21/05/2013 12:30



LITTLE INTERVIEW Katherine Crouch Katherine Crouch Garden Design Do you expect 2013 to be better than 2012? A little, but taking three weeks out to go to Australia, then spending a month planning a stand at Chelsea Flower Show will have a negative impact on income. Name one thing unique about your business. I was BBC Gardener of the Year 1999 and BBC Gardener of the Decade 2008. What is the busiest time of year for you? Spring and autumn. August and December are dead, except for maintenance work, but actually that fits well around family life. What do you think the trends/changes will be in 2013? More and more emphasis on low maintenance gardens. After the last year of rain, who cares about saving water?

David Stevens FSGD, FI Hort David Stevens International What is your most important piece of machinery/equipment? My brain What do you think the trends/changes will be in 2013? Haven’t a clue, fashion is a dangerous enemy. How is sustainability embedded within your business? I’m not sure how many trees I’ve planted in my career, tens of thousands. Do you monitor your competitors’ progress? From time to time but most are friends rather than competitors.


June 2013

Little Interview.indd 78

A small insight into the world of other professionals from our wide and varied industry. If you’d like to appear in a future issue please email enquiries to How is sustainability embedded in your business? Keeping it local for materials, plants and labour. Planting schemes that won’t need watering once established. Best book you’ve ever read? A Pullet on the Midden by Rachel Knappett. What’s your favourite meal? Thai green curry with home grown coriander, basil, and garlic. Haven’t managed the lime and coconut yet... Your dream job? Richard Branson asking me to refurbish his garden(s) in the Caribbean. What would people be surprised to learn about you? That I can whistle to stop a New York taxi. First album you ever bought? Love It to Death by Alice Cooper.

What are your unfulfilled career ambitions? To create an electronic garden of light as in Avatar. Best book you’ve ever read? Frank Lloyd Wright – An Autobiography.

Andrew Smith

Managing Director, Smiths & Sons (Bletchington) Limited Name one thing unique about your business. Reputation earned in over 100 years of trading under the same family ownership. What do you think the trends/changes will be in 2013? House building will become busier. That’s good news for landscapers and people like us who supply them. How is sustainability embedded within your business? A couple of years ago we adopted our environmental policy as the cornerstone of our Environmental Management System. In 2013 we have made a major investment in a washing plant to produce recycled sand and gravel. How important is social media as a means of communication with clients? Developing our website and e-communication has definitely helped business over the recession. Twitter and Facebook are next on the agenda. Best book you’ve ever read? Moby Dick – a leviathan of a book. Bizarre and near unintelligible at times, but what depth.

Your most inspirational garden? Seizan Ryokusui no Niwa – Hotel Kohjimachi-kaikan by Shunmyo Masuno.

Your most inspirational garden? My own. I live in a lovely spot near Oxford with a view of the village church. Sometimes I just stand there and marvel at how lucky I am.

What would people be surprised to learn about you? I don’t accept commissions from snobs.

What’s your favourite meal? Can you beat fresh bread and some mature cheddar cheese?

First album you ever bought? Krupa and Rich by Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich.

Your dream job? To be England’s wicketkeeper.

If you could be any Superhero – who would it be? Silver Surfer.

What would people be surprised to learn about you? That I regularly read the second lesson when we have services at our local church.

21/05/2013 12:26


Ann-Marie Powell Ann-Marie Powell Gardens What is the busiest time of year for you? We are lucky enough to be busy year round, although it has taken years in the business to achieve this. What do you think the trends/changes will be in 2013? Perennial vegetables and edibles, a move away from the prairie movement into more structural planting arrangements and more deconstructed, looser gardens than we’ve seen in recent years. How is sustainability embedded within your business? Our studio aims to reduce, recycle and reuse wherever

Allan Fell

Landscaping and property maintenance Do you expect 2013 to be better than 2012? If it doesn’t rain like it did last year. Yes; have wellies will travel! What is the busiest time of year for you? Probably spring as everyone wants their garden looking great, all at once. What is your most important piece of machinery/equipment? A 20 year old Mountfield lawnmower, it’s what

Little Interview.indd 79

possible, new materials are often locally sourced and I find huge pleasure in employing local craftsmen. How important is social media as a means of communication with clients? Rather than communicating with clients, we use it as a tool to keep abreast of industry news. And to gossip!! Describe yourself in three words. Mischievous, determined, unconventional. What are your unfulfilled career ambitions? With gardens, books, journalism and television; I’ve been very lucky in my career so far, but, if I was honest, I would still love to have a 22m x 10m garden at Chelsea. Maybe one day.

I started up with, and it still works. Ok I’m superstitious and nostalgic. How important is social media as a means of communication with clients? It can be a free, wide-reaching method of catching someone’s attention. Describe yourself in three words. Creative, artistic, able. What are your unfulfilled career ambitions? To manage and carry out the redesign/improvement and construction of a private country estate, anywhere in the world.

Your dream job? If I wasn’t a garden designer, I’d love to be a club DJ. I love music, and partying! What would people be surprised to learn about you? Everyone always seems surprised that I went to an all girls church boarding school. I can’t imagine why! First album you ever bought? Dirk Wears White Sox by Adam and the Ants. If you could be any Superhero – who would it be? Tank girl. Definitely.

Best book you’ve ever read? It’s tied between Steinbeck’s The Red Pony and J.R.R.Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Your most inspirational garden? The Alnwick Garden. Your dream job? To be given a country estate or park as a blank canvas, and the resources to do the work. First album you ever bought? Let’s just say it was by the Sex Pistols.

June 2013


21/05/2013 12:27

Jobs Experienced Maintenance Gardener

JOBS For full details on all jobs, please go to and click on the ‘Jobs’ section. Call 01903 234 077 or email with your vacancy.

Robinsons Garden Care Location: Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire Salary: Competitive rates of pay

This is an exciting opportunity to join a dynamic professional horticultural company. We maintain a wide variety of gardens and grounds in Hertfordshire. We’re looking for someone to join our team with formal or vocational horticultural qualifications. The candidate must be self-motivated and able to work alone or as part of a team and above all have gardening experience. This is a self-employed role. Please apply by sending a CV to For more details please go to and click on the ‘Jobs’ section.

Chargehand Groundsman / Gardener


This role is to assist the Company Director of Willimotts Garden & Sportsground Services in daily duties to the highest standard.This is a supervisory role overseeing other team members. Duties will include sports ground preparation and maintenance, and will also include general garden maintenance. Experience in sports ground maintenance is essential, including correct and safe usage of machinery, setting out and maintaining various sports pitches.To apply for this position please send CV and covering letter to

Award winning family run landscaping company based in Colchester are looking to employ an experienced landscaper. We carry out design and build projects within the domestic sector, ranging from £5k to £200k. Applicants must have at least four years’ experience in hard landscaping and have good knowledge of all aspects of landscaping including woodwork, paving and planting. A driving licence is essential. Please email CV and covering letter to

For more details please go to and click on the ‘Jobs’ section.

For more details please go to and click on the ‘Jobs’ section.

Parks & Horticultural Manager

Team Leader / Manager

We are looking for an energetic Manager to be part of The Landscape Group team at our Hastings, Rother and AmicusHorizon contract.This would be an ideal opportunity to take the first step into contract management and a career in the green services industry. You will be responsible in ensuring the safety of the site and team members. A full driving license is essential. Email:

This is an exciting role for an ambitious candidate who is seeking a long term, stable position. Our client owns a company which provides grounds maintenance to retail parks, commercial offices, hotels etc, as well as gardening services to residential clients, and in addition provides landscaping services and tree work. Work is in Hertfordshire, London, Surrey, Buckinghamshire and Essex. Please apply with full CV to will be an interview and then a trial day with the client. Please let us know if you have a portfolio.

For more details please go to and click on the ‘Jobs’ section.

For more details please go to and click on the ‘Jobs’ section.

Grounds Maintenance Contracts Manager

Business Development Graduate

We are looking for an experienced Contracts Manager to manage our Grounds Maintenance operation, working out of our Birmingham depot.You will be responsible for ensuring we deliver the high quality service our clients expect, within an agreed budget. You will quality check work on sites, meet and liaise professionally with clients and provide them with monthly reports as required.This position requires travel throughout the Midlands area, therefore a full driving licence is essential.To apply, please email your CV and covering letter to or contact Lisa Houghton on 01908 286164.

The Landscape Group are looking for a talented graduate to join our Business Development team.You will be involved in calculating pricing works during tender activities, preparing tender documents and estimates with the assistance of appropriate members of the senior management team (e.g. Operational, HR, H&S).You must have, or expect to gain, an upper second class Honours degree or above in a relevant subject, ideally Mathematics. Please send a covering letter with salary expectations and CV to Suzy Box:

For more details please go to and click on the ‘Jobs’ section.

For more details please go to and click on the ‘Jobs’ section.

Landscape Architect Graduate Placement


The Landscape Group have a portfolio of exciting and successful projects which now includes a 10-year contract to provide estates and facilities management for the Olympic Park.The Landscape Group will manage the park and tackle biodiversity, all aspects of horticulture and cleansing and everything outdoors. We are now looking for a talented Graduate to join our award-winning team at the Olympic Park.You must have, or expect to gain, an upper second class Honours degree or above in a relevant subject, such as: Landscape and Garden Design, Landscape Management or Landscape Architecture. Please send a covering letter with salary expectations and CV to Suzy Box

Our client is a fast growing company which provides land management consultancy, large scale estate restoration and tree surgery. Due to expansion there is a newly created post for an Estimator to support the two Contract Managers. Please apply with full CV to There will be an interview and then a trial day with the client. Please let us know if you have a portfolio.

Willimotts Garden & Sportsground Services Location: East Anglia Salary: £17-19k DOE

The Landscape Group Location: Hastings Salary: Dependent on skills and competencies, includes benefits package

Frosts Landscape Construction Location: Birmingham area

The Landscape Group

For more details please go to and click on the ‘Jobs’ section.


Jobs.indd 80

June 2013

Holland Landscapes Location: Holland-On-Sea, Essex Salary: Good rates of pay

Andersplus Location: St. Albans Salary: IRO 25K

The Landscape Group Location: Coventry

Andersplus Location: Hertfordshire Salary: £18-22k DOE

For more details please go to and click on the ‘Jobs’ section.

21/05/2013 12:51

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