NORNEY WOOD RESTORED HAVEN
LET’S HEAR IT FROM
SAFE AND STYLISH
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
BUILD YOUR BUSINESS
Duncan Carrier, Carrier Landscapes
Nordland Landscapes’ award-winning project
Growers are embracing tech, says Lewis Normand
Alison Warner on weathering any storm
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and suppliers, numbering a total of just under 1,400, with in excess of 300 questions asked to the different panellists. To continue the programme, Season Two of the Pro Landscaper Summit webinars will focus on #getlandscaping, driving the sector forward and making sure we are ready to get back to working safely, profitably, environmentally-friendly and elevating the value of green spaces, whether they be public or private, domestic or commercial. Pro Landscaper has continued to publish during these difficult times. As always, we thank all our contributors, who share their thoughts on the impact of coronavirus in this issue. We also feature an interview with Duncan Carrier of Carrier Landscapes, who has grown a successful portfolio within the housebuilding sector. Thank you also to our readers, to all those who have shared kind words and their continual support for Pro Landscaper throughout lockdown. It has been invaluable. We hope you enjoy reading this month’s issue.
JIM & LISA
IT HAS BEEN INSPIRING TO WATCH THE INDUSTRY COME TOGETHER TO SHARE INFORMATION, EXPERIENCES AND KNOWLEDGE
elcome to the June issue of Pro Landscaper. Firstly, we hope all of you are well and keeping safe during these unpredictable (and yes, unprecedented) times. If the current situation continues to improve as it has recently, we’re hoping that most of the construction side will be back on site and that supplies will be delivered as ‘normal’. For those still restricted by lockdown, we hope you’ll be back very soon. When we launched Pro Landscaper in 2011, we set out to create a community across all aspects of the landscaping sector, in which every company could feel part of the wider industry and that they are not alone. In fact, the headline on our first leader was: ‘We’re In This Together’. Well, how true this is, and certainly the COVID-19 pandemic has brought it home. It has been inspiring to watch the industry come together to share information, experiences and knowledge. The Pro Landscaper Summit webinar programme (Season One) was a fantastic example of this, with a cross sector audience of garden designers, landscapers, landscape architects
Pro Landscaper / June 2020
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Serene Surroundings Macgregor Smith Mediterranean Sensation Mashamba Design Safe and Stylish Nordland Landscapes Landscape Architect’s Journal LUC Gardens For Every Lifestyle Debs Winrow The Ring of Fire Grillo Planters Latest products
INFORM 08 14 19 20 23
News Our monthly roundup of industry news
Let’s Hear It From Duncan Carrier, Carrier Landscapes
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View from the Top Nick Temple-Heald To Plan or Not To Plan? Andrew Wilson Rediscovering Mother Nature Ben West
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Feature Garden Norney Wood Communication is Key Lewis Normand Where Are Our Future Trees Coming From? Nick Coslett Urban Green Spaces Platipus Anchors
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The Build System Alison Warner Visualising with Vectorworks Katarina Ollikainen
Changed Days Angus Lindsay Inside Woodscape Perfecting Porcelain Brett Landscaping Setting High Standards for Porcelain Kebur Porcelain Paving Latest products
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Upskill your furlough Online courses for lockdown Love Horticulture Mandy Buckland What’s Your Role? Paul King Little Interviews Questions with the individuals who make up our industry
NORNEY WOOD RESTORED HAVEN
LET’S HEAR IT FROM
SAFE AND STYLISH
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
BUILD YOUR BUSINESS
Duncan Carrier, Carrier Landscapes
Nordland Landscapes’ award-winning project
Growers are embracing tech, says Lewis Normand
Alison Warner on weathering any storm
Pro Landscaper / June 2020
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CO N T R I B U TO R S Nick Temple-Heald Three months ago, Pro Landscaper published its Green Issue. Nick reflects on how the industry – and indeed the world – has changed since then. He also says that now the government is seeing the value of green spaces, it needs to ensure the future of these spaces are part of its plans.
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With the pandemic forcing educators to look to online learning, Andrew explains how he is now a convert, saying there are both pros and cons of technology such as Zoom. But he still hopes to resume face-to-face learning at the London College of Design, albeit with safety measures in place.
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Alison Warner Alison Warner, business coach for trade and construction industries, joins our contributors this month to explain the BUILD system and how the elements of this need to be balanced for a business to be successful.
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Vectorworks Landmark has a whole host of benefits for the landscape industry, says Katarina. These include freedom when designing as well as being cost-effective and saving the user time. Follow this three-part series from Katarina to learn more about the software.
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Pro Landscaper / June 2020
NEWS HS2 STATION FIRST TO GET TOP AWARD FOR ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY DESIGN
he new HS2 station, to be built near Solihull and the NEC in the West Midlands, has become the first railway station globally to achieve the BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ certification – a measure of sustainability for new and refurbished buildings – putting it in the top 1% of buildings in the UK for eco-friendly credentials. This landmark award recognises the station’s eco-friendly features, including maximising natural daylight and ventilation, a station roof design which can capture and reuse rainwater, and features to enable net zero carbon emissions from day-to-day energy consumption. Directing rainwater from the main station building via a network of underground pipes into a rainwater harvesting tank will assist in providing part of the building’s
Pro Landscaper / June 2020
water requirements. The landscaping features sustainable drainage systems to reduce the burden on surface water drainage whilst naturally irrigating planted areas. There will be new natural habitats created around the station, leaving a legacy of biodiversity and an enhancement of native species. Peter Miller, HS2’s environment and town planning director says: “Our stations will be amongst the most environmentally friendly stations in the world, so this certification is fantastic news for Interchange station. In building the station, we are also committed to sourcing and making efficient use of sustainable materials, reducing waste and maximising the proportion of material diverted from landfill.” www.hs2.org.uk
CHANCELLOR EXTENDS FURLOUGH SCHEME UNTIL OCTOBER
hancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that the furlough scheme is being extended by a further four months with workers continuing to receive 80% of their current salary. To support people in getting back to work, he added that from the start of August furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff. The employer payments will substitute the contribution the government is currently making, ensuring that staff continue to receive 80% of their salary, up to £2,500 a month. Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Our Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has protected millions of jobs and businesses across the UK during the outbreak – and I’ve been clear that I want to avoid a cliff edge and get people back to work in a measured way. “This extension and the changes we are making to the scheme will give flexibility to businesses while protecting the livelihoods of the British people and our future economic prospects.” New statistics published yesterday reveal the job retention scheme has protected 7.5 million workers and almost one million businesses. The scheme will continue in its current form until the end of July and the changes to allow more flexibility will come in from the start of August. More specific details and information around its implementation will be made available by the end of this month. The chancellor’s decision to extend the scheme comes after the government outlined its plan for the next phase of its response to the coronavirus. www.gov.uk
LI ANNOUNCES NEW PLANS TO SUPPORT PARKS AND GREEN SPACE SECTOR
ane Findlay, president-elect of the Landscape Institute, has announced the creation of a new forum to support and champion the parks and green space sector. The Parks and Green Space Forum will provide insight and guidance to the Landscape Institute as it works to provide leadership and build capacity for the sector.
This new Forum will work alongside the LI’s Landscape Management Leadership Forum, focusing on practitioners working in landscapes at scale, protected landscapes, and landscape-related government agencies. “For some time, many parks and green space practitioners have lacked a professional home,” says Jane Findlay. “The LI is committed to supporting all landscape professionals. A crucial step in fulfilling this aim is promoting the role parks and green spaces play in our communities, strengthening the voice of practitioners working in these important places. “The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has highlighted how important parks and green spaces are to the nation’s well-being. As governments and the public begin to truly appreciate their value, we need to collaborate to lead and champion the sector. Now is the time for all involved in landscape, parks and place to come together.” www.landscapeinstitute.org
NEWS IN BRIEF TREES FOR CITIES AND ECOSIA LAUNCH NEW CAMPAIGN FOR NHS WORKERS Not-for-profit search engine Ecosia has announced the launch of its first UK-based tree planting project in partnership with Trees for Cities and The NHS Forest. It helps UK users show their appreciation for frontline NHS workers during the coronavirus pandemic. www.ecosia.org
GREENBLUE URBAN LAUNCHES NEW E-COMMERCE PLATFORM GreenBlue Urban has announced the launch of its e-commerce platform Green Blue Gardens. The new online store will allow clients to order their GreenBlue Urban landscaping products easily and efficiently. www.greenbluegardens.com
TIVOLI GROUP LTD SIGNS GLOBAL BUSINESS PLEDGE TO TACKLE COVID-19 CRISIS
ivoli Group Ltd has joined hundreds of other businesses in a global initiative to help the most vulnerable citizens to pull through the coronavirus crisis. Former UK Cabinet minister, Rt Hon Justine Greening, launched the C-19 Business Pledge with entrepreneur David Harrison. It encourages employers to join the international coronavirus effort by pledging to help their employees, customers and communities get through the crisis. The initiative has already received the backing of employers representing more than million staff and students. Darren Cunningham, Tivoli’s chief executive, says: “We take the welfare of our employees very seriously. Balancing this with ensuring service continuity to our clients has been a priority during the pandemic, as we recognise the importance of grounds maintenance activities and the contribution they make to clients and communities.
GARDEN APPRECIATION HAS SURGED, SAYS RHS POLL
“Our pledge demonstrates how we have adapted our business to join the national fight against COVID-19. “Tivoli’s commitment to our employees, customers, and the communities we work in has always been at the heart of our business – and now it is more important than ever.” www.tivoliservices.com
As the RHS kicked off its first Virtual Chelsea, new research from the organisation shows that nearly six in 10 people (57%) now value their gardens more than previously. More than half (51%) said they will value their garden more after lockdown. www.rhs.org.uk
Pro Landscaper / June 2020
Online Exclusives WEBINAR INTERVIEW WITH SUE BIGGS, DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE RHS Pro Landscaper hosted a one-toone interview with Sue Biggs, director general of the RHS – via Zoom, of course. Sue said how the RHS is dealing with the pandemic and its plans going forward. If you missed it, you can watch the full chat on our YouTube channel. www.prolandscapermagazine.com/ pro-landscaper-webinar-interview-withsue-biggs-director-general-of-the-rhs/
PRO LANDSCAPER’S LOCKDOWN LITTLE INTERVIEW: WAYNE GRILLS Wayne Grills, CEO of BALI, reveals his soaring tea intake since lockdown began, as well as the TV series that has him hooked. He also explains why he thinks the government has been doing a good job in keeping people informed. www.prolandscapermagazine.com/ pro-landscapers-lockdown-littleinterview-with-wayne-grills/
GROUND CONTROL LAUNCHES £5M SUSTAINABILITY IMPACT VENTURE FUND
new £5m investment fund dedicated to sustainability and environmental initiatives has been launched by Ground Control. Financed by five percent of Ground Control’s annual profits, the Evergreen Fund will specialise in providing seed and growth capital to early stage companies and social enterprises that are focused on delivering measurable, beneficial and sustainable environmental impact. “From the very start, a passion for nature and commitment to sustainability has been central to what Ground Control does every day,” says Ground Control co-founder Simon Morrish. “Whether it’s moving to a fully electric fleet of vehicles or leading major tree planting schemes, we are dedicated to finding new and innovative ways to protect our environment. With the financial investment from Ground Control, we are now in a position to catalyse
IOG ANNOUNCES REBRAND TO GROUNDS MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
he Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) has announced its new name and brand, the Grounds Management Association. Following unanimous backing by
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH CORE LANDSCAPE PRODUCTS As it approaches its 10-year anniversary, CORE Landscape Products explained the products that give the brand its identity, the impact COVID-19 is having, and its plans for the future, including a new trade website. www.prolandscapermagazine.com/ exclusive-interview-with-corelandscape-products/
Pro Landscaper / June 2020
and amplify sustainability and carbon sequestration initiatives. “Launching the fund is a natural extension of our belief that business can and should be a force for good when it comes to environmental responsibility, especially during such a critical period for conservation and climate change. “What binds everyone involved in the Green Fund – our founders, co-investors and investees – is our belief in business as a force for good and our collective ability to affect positive change together.” www.ground-control.co.uk
the Board, a member vote was called on the new name at the beginning of March. Votes have been cast by members via post over the last month, with 84% of those who voted supporting the new direction and name. Extensive research conducted by the organisation, including the 2019 report ‘Groundsmanship – Sport’s Vital Profession’,
identified an ageing demographic within both the paid professional and voluntary sectors, and a lack of diversity within the existing profile. The organisation decided to modernise, to widen the appeal and status of the profession. The new, fresh identity befits the modern-day approach to the management of sports turf in the 21st Century. The new name is part of a wider rebrand, including updated branding and the new tagline – making sport possible. The icon is inspired by pitch markings and intersecting grass patterns. This creates a unified mark symbolising teamwork and partnership with the different elements working together. The rebrand provides clarity on the role of the industry and is in line with the Grounds Management Association’s ‘Grounds for Sport’ campaign, which seeks to highlight how vital grounds management is to sport nationwide. www.thegma.org.uk
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Let â€™s Hear it From
DUNCAN CARRIER CARRIER LANDSCAPES
AFTER MORE THAN 30 YEARS OF PROVIDING QUALITY LANDSCAPING SERVICES, CARRIER LANDSCAPES IS PROVING RESILIENT IN THE CURRENT ECONOMIC CRISIS. MANAGING DIRECTOR DUNCAN CARRIER TELLS US HOW, AS WELL AS EXPLAINING THE JOURNEY THE COMPANY HAS TAKEN OVER THE LAST THREE DECADES
AROUND 80% OF ITS WORK IS NOW FOR HOUSEBUILDERS
Pro Landscaper / June 2020
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elebrating its 30th anniversary last year, Carrier Landscapes has become a prolific contractor within the housebuilding sector. It started out building small domestic and commercial projects, undertaking a small amount of maintenance, but got its first break when founder and managing director Duncan Carrier was approached by Persimmon Homes – “when they were a lot smaller and their head office was porter cabins in Derby,” he says. Since then, the Leicestershire-based company has continued to grow, with Duncan’s children Eva and Wilf joining the team after graduating from university, as well as adding several reputable housebuilders to its portfolio, boasting 154 sites and a client list including Barratt Homes, Bellway and Morgan Sindall. Around 80% of its work is now for housebuilders; the team continues to carry out domestic and commercial work, though, recently picking up a BALI National Landscape Award for its landscaping of Lockhart Garden at Ratcliffe College in Leicester. The space, designed by landscape architect Ashley
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Lynch, is an area for reflection within the college grounds and opened in May last year. “We are always looking for other areas,” says Duncan. “Part of the package is now maintenance. We have five teams in that department, but we don’t go out looking for verge cutting or work like that; we just maintain some school grounds locally.”
It also offers garden design and arboriculture services, but perhaps most interestingly, Carrier Landscapes has its own 20-acre nursery to supply trees and shrubs to its various projects. “The nursery plays a part in maintaining our quality,” says Duncan. “I’d wanted one since the early days; when we moved here, it was just a green field. We’ve grown it from that. “We grow as much as we can, which is a good profit centre for us. The plant request comes to the nursery; the plant is then pulled and checked for quality, then it goes through another inspection before it goes out. We are very keen on quality.” Mostly, the plants are for use in-house, says Duncan, but they do sell to a handful of other landscapers, including a domestic landscaper based on the same site. “We’ve always liked to be self-contained because of the service aspect; we stock sand, gravel, slabs, rocks – everything.
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Show home maintenance BALI Awards 2019 Feature planting on show home Courtyard at Ratcliffe College
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We carry a full range in the nursery, from bedding to 200L specimens, but we don’t sell to the public as we’re not geared up to do so; we don’t have a tea shop or sundries. “We also have all our own kit, so we don’t have to go chasing hire shops for kit. Equipment is barcoded for logging it in and out.” Being mostly self-sufficient is helping Carrier Landscapes to be somewhat resilient through the coronavirus pandemic. “We’re very fortunate; we don’t have any borrowed money, which puts us in a much stronger position for surviving, and we’ve been very careful with what we spend. We have also pushed retail sales from the nursery during the current pandemic with great success.” Like many other UK businesses, though, Carrier had to furlough most of its staff during lockdown; 80 out of just over 120 employees. More than 430,000 companies across the UK applied for the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (as of 23 April), which would pay 80% of employee’s wages up to £2.5K per month. Duncan says they are slowly bringing back teams, providing it’s safe to do so; all staff on site must be following social distancing measures, and the size of the teams has been reduced; maintenance on show homes, for instance, is being carried out by solo operators. Work has continued on expanding the nursery, too. New infrastructure, such as an additional
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CARRIER LANDSCAPES HAS ITS OWN 20-ACRE NURSERY TO SUPPLY TREES AND SHRUBS polytunnel, has been built, as Duncan says they are investing heavily in the future of this side of the business. The company has experienced steady year-on-year growth, and whilst the impact of coronavirus may impede this, Duncan is confident Carrier Landscapes will continue its success. After all, it survived the Great Recession in the late 2000s. “We had to draw in our horns,” says Duncan. “Initially, housebuilders were spending more to keep the houses selling, but then it hit us a bit later. At that point, we decided to rebrand and spent a lot of money getting all the health and safety up to grade, thinking that after the recession there would be less people out there capable of doing commercial landscaping. We had to leave domestic work behind. “We have always gone for quality; we don’t confess to being the cheapest but we find people are prepared to pay a bit more for quality and service, because in housebuilding it’s all about the service side.” Quality has always been the focus for Duncan, and having been in the industry for more than 40 years, he has a clear idea of what quality landscaping is. He came into the trade straight from school, starting out undertaking part-time college courses on block release. He then went to Kent for a year to do ACH. “I knew when I left school that I didn’t want to work inside. I started
landscaping at what used to be Wheatcroft Roses, which has now been sold. I liked it, so I took myself off to college and 31 years ago I started my own business.”
8 Outside of work, Duncan is an avid cyclist. “I do a lot of road biking. I go abroad and take part in events. Last October, I went to Taiwan where they have a cycling event called ‘Taiwan KOM challenge’, a race climbing 100km long and 3,250m high.” Both outside and at work, Duncan and Carrier Landscapes will no doubt weather the storm and stay on track. 5 6 7 8
One of Sulney Nurseries multispans Plot enhancement Block paving to show home Cycling in Oman
C O N TA C T Carrier Landscapes Ltd, Station Road, Upper Broughton, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE14 3BQ Tel 01664 822722 Facebook @CarrierLandscapesLtd Email email@example.com
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N I C K T E M P L E- H E A L D WHO’D A THOWT IT?
NICK TEMPLE-HEALD REFLECTS ON HOW THINGS HAVE CHANGED SINCE EARLY MARCH AND HOW CORONAVIRUS HAS AFFECTED US THUS FAR, WHILE ENCOURAGING US TO STAY POSITIVE
o coin a phrase once common during my northern upbringing: who’d a thowt it? In early March everything was normal; the current issue of this magazine concentrated on the environment with a number of contributors lining up to shout “heretic” at me, and the novel coronavirus was just another health scare. Now many parts of our industry across Europe are at a standstill, many of us are locked down at home, we have a ‘Leader of the Free World’ that thinks we should inject ourselves with Dettol, and whilst there will, at some point, be a vaccine for the virus, hardly anyone will be immune from the worldwide economic recession that is to come.
AFTER 30 YEARS WORKING IN THE INDUSTRY, I HEARD A SENIOR CABINET MEMBER PUBLICLY STATE FOR THE FIRST TIME THAT: “PEOPLE NEED PARKS” Even though I’m not out and about as normal, I’m aware of industry colleagues that have unfortunately fallen victim to COVID-19 and are no longer with us. Indeed, we have sadly lost an idverde colleague to this dreadful pestilence – a reminder of the reality behind the statistics we see on the daily update.
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It could be said that never in peace time has our collective focus completely changed in such a short period. I haven’t heard one mention of a climate emergency now that we have a real one – although it is clear that after six weeks of lockdown our cities have never been cleaner. It’s a shame that it has taken a global pandemic to get politicians to plough funding into Life Sciences, which in common with most science has been woefully short of resource for at least two decades. The fact that this particular scare became real should not come as a great surprise. For decades, the World Health Organisation has been telling us that it was not a question of if there would be a pandemic of this nature but when. As a whole species we’re simply not ready for something that was inevitable. A detailed contingency plan might just have helped. An example of “fine detail” not considered was as simple as the fact that virtually every test method for analysis of RNA samples used the same buffer solution and caught us with our trousers down when the world ran out of it, restricting testing from the outset. After 30 years working in the industry, I heard a senior cabinet member publicly state for the first time that: “people need parks”. We all know it to be a statement of the blooming ROBERT JENRICK obvious but what isn’t obvious, it seems to politicians, is that parks and open spaces are not created and maintained for
free. When this is over, gardens and open spaces will be more important than ever and perhaps we should make a point of reminding Robert Jenrick of his assertion and ask how he intends to make sure they are all still there for people to enjoy come the next emergency. Not least perhaps making their provision and maintenance a statutory requirement.
WE WILL BE HERE TO, QUITE LITERALLY, START THE RE-BUILD AND TO CONTINUE TO MAKE THE ENVIRONMENT WHERE PEOPLE LIVE A BETTER PLACE So, what of the future? I'm confident that our industry will come through this largely intact and that will be a tribute to the excellent people that work within it. We will be here to, quite literally, start the re-build and to continue to make the environment where people live a better place.
A B O U T N I C K T E M P L E- H E A L D Nick Temple-Heald is chairman of idverde in the UK and a member of idverde’s group board in France. Together, idverde employs some 5,000 people in France, England and Scotland and it is the largest landscape business in Europe.
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ANDREW WILSON TO PLAN OR NOT TO PLAN?
ANDREW WILSON CONSIDERS THE QUESTION OF WHAT MIGHT COME AND HOW WE MIGHT ADAPT AS WE MOVE FORWARD OUT OF LOCKDOWN
t the time of writing we have been informed that we have passed the peak of infection. I am writing in a sense of limbo before the weekend announcements that might show us the way out of lockdown. In establishing the London College of Garden Design in 2008 with Andrew Fisher Tomlin, we vowed that we would never offer correspondence or online teaching; and yet in March we had to adapt, so we ventured into teaching remotely using Zoom. I have to say that it has worked remarkably well in both lecture and tutorial format with tutors and students alike enjoying the process. As with so many of the new approaches to our work, there are pros and cons in the use of this technology. What we have all saved is commuting time. For some of our students, that is more than an hour or two travelling each way twice a week, and for me, 45 minutes each way into Kew and back.
THERE ARE PROS AND CONS IN THE USE OF THIS TECHNOLOGY The downside to this is that we have all tended to work more, thus filling that time. More productive you might say, but potentially more exhausting. Whilst the commute may be seen as a necessary evil, it does actually provide a time to reflect – a gap in the regular pattern of the day which has temporarily disappeared. Some of my most creative thoughts and responses to design ideas have come whilst riding my motorbike, as my mind manages to
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continue its exploration of possibilities in a sort of self imposed isolation. I feel for those who have had children at home to educate and keep focused every day whilst also trying to work or, in our case, complete their diploma programmes. All their carefully planned time and focus has been taken away as we all self-isolated. And yet,
most managed to get to know their children in a much richer and rewarding way, sharing time together in local exercise and within the closer domestic environment. We have lost some students who have deferred until next year when we should be back to a normal face to face teaching approach – or will that be the so called ‘new normal’? Most have remained with their studies, although with a more flexible programme and moveable deadlines to accommodate those moments when everything needs to be juggled and re-prioritised. For the new academic year in September we are trying to plan, but we need the detail
of the new timetable, new rules on social distancing and the permitted size of gatherings. The phasing of this gradual process is also of some import, not just for us as directors but also for our incoming students who need to plan ahead and relocate in some instances.
WE CAN USE THE ONLINE FORMAT FOR SHARED TEACHING WITHOUT JUMPING ON THE NEAREST PLANE From our point of view as directors, the return to face to face teaching is part of what we deliver at LCGD, but I think we may not be kissing goodbye to Zoom too quickly. With our new college underway in Melbourne, we can use the online format for shared teaching without jumping on the nearest plane. We could run our Info Bursts to a much wider audience who would not need to leave their home and we could reach new audiences across the world with specialist courses. But we need to get past that first briefing on leaving lockdown to understand the slow return to our new world and to navigate a new economic reality. Still a way to go, then!
ABOUT ANDREW WILSON Andrew Wilson is a landscape and garden design consultant, director of the London College of Garden Design, and an author, writer and lecturer.
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REDISCOVERING MOTHER NATURE BEN WEST EXPLAINS WHY WE NEED TO GET BACK IN TOUCH WITH NATURE AND THAT COMPROMISE IS KEY
o far I’ve focused on the theoretical and practical problems we face in our relationship with the environment. If we are to continue to pursue the goal of ‘economic growth’, this term must come to mean something very different than hitherto. Going forward, all our actions must be scrutinised through the lens of sustainability or regeneration. Our current nescience in this area stems from our conceptual disconnect from nature. I stress ‘conceptual’ because it is all in the mind; literal disconnect from nature is impossible, for what are we but natural through and through? We have lost sight of this truth and therein lies the problem.
Lifestyles and schooling have blinded us to nature and our place in it. Worse still, many of us are filled with fear of plants, insects, fungi and the landscapes they inhabit. Those blind to nature have no incentive to love and nurture it. When we fall out of love, indifference and neglect set in. When we fall out of love with nature, we neglect ourselves. COVID-19 can rekindle the flame. Nature is courting us again. She has asked us to slow down so that we might renew our acquaintance.
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The sun is shining, the birds are singing and there’s blossom on the vine. She is giving us another chance to remember who she is and how good we are together. Maybe we could give
COVID-19 CAN REKINDLE THE FLAME. NATURE IS COURTING US AGAIN it another shot? Let’s allow ourselves to fall under her spell once more. Let’s reaffirm our vows; and this time, let’s honour them. We would do well to remember that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. If we fall back into our gallivanting, will her benevolence endure? Successful relationships are built on compromise. For this relationship to be more than just a fleeting affair we need to meet her halfway. We need to surrender the conceit of the world as dead matter at our disposal and dismantle our dominator culture in order to learn lessons from life forms far older than us that have evolved to live harmoniously with nature; plants, for instance. They can be the great levellers. Let them be our teachers and the garden our classroom – or more appropriately our forum, for this is a conversation, an exchange of ideas amongst equals. All gardens have something in common whether we like it or not – weeds. I’ve written previously of the biodiversity benefits of allowing weeds to grow. What if I told you consuming weeds can also help us remember who we are? As I write I see before me a host of garden weeds; dandelion, herb robert, nipplewort, plantain, sow thistle, sorrel, ramsons, goosefoot,
cleavers, bittercress, burdock. I could go on. All have long nourished and healed us. The rediscovery of a forgotten world of varied flavours and textures, a world beyond the restricted palette of supermarket fruit and veg, is liberating and empowering. It’s also an act of defiance; we are connected once more to our ancestry and environment on a visceral level. Food and medicine are not only found upon shelves, they are products of the feral earth. The health benefits are myriad, both in the inherent nutritional value of the wild foodstuffs and the healing communion with nature. Thousands of years of evolution cannot be quashed in a handful of generations. This stuff is deep within us. Most describe this kind of reconnection as a ‘coming home’. Weeds in ‘wild’ gardens expose us to a more intimate, egalitarian, interconnected understanding of nature, and thereby of ourselves. A great deal is at stake if we do not regain our capacity to converse with her. Small steps shall set us on our way. Drop us a line with your thoughts and feedback on Ben’s article at: firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT BEN WEST Ben West spent his formative years tramping the woods of Staffordshire, and studied environmental management at Keele University prior to relocating to Surrey and setting up Landscaping Solutions. The firm has achieved multiple RHS medals and BALI Awards since then. Now, Ben wishes to use his passion for natural landscapes to direct the firm’s future trajectory, and ensure clients consider nature when planning landscaping schemes.
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SURROUNDINGS GARDEN SQUARE, RUSHDEN LAKES MACGREGOR SMITH S I T U AT E D W I T H I N T H E N E N E VA L L E Y, R U S H D E N L A K E S I S T H E EPICENTRE OF THE LOCAL AREA. IN THIS QUIET CORNER, GARDEN S Q U A R E W O U L D B E C O M E A N O A S I S F O R V I S I T O R S T O E N J O Y, REFLECTING THE BEAUTY OF THE SURROUNDING LANDSCAPE
et within the beautiful Nene Valley, Rushden Lakes is a hub for the local area, focused around the Skew Bridge Ski Lake. Visitors can shop, dine along the lakeside, take a canoe out on the water or hire a bike and take many of the trails which fork out from the Nene Wetlands Visitor Centre on site. Working with its client The Crown Estate, Macgregor Smith’s vision for the public realm at Garden Square stemmed from the idea of creating a verdant oasis in this corner of Rushden Lakes, giving visitors the opportunity to relax in a calm space surrounded by greenery. The space encourages people to explore and interact with their surroundings and builds upon the unique natural character of Rushden Lakes. Design Within the design, a natural play space creates informal opportunities for children to explore in amongst fallen logs and boulders, echoing the many stream beds that characterise the surrounding Nene Valley. Generously planted raised Corten steel beds enclose spill-out seating areas, where handmade brass leaves are set
PROJECT D E TA I L S Project value £500k Build time 4 months Size of project 1,500m2
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into the resin flooring, mimicking the fallen foliage from the surrounding trees. Birches, hazels and apple trees tie into the surrounding woodlands and provide edibles within the landscape, with insect hotels and bird boxes nestled in the trees boosting the habitat for locally important species. Shade tolerant planting, with ferns, Echium vulgare and anemones further reinforce the character of this verdant ‘dell’, with pops of colour in the smart benches bringing a contemporary twist. Build Willerby Landscapes Ltd helped to bring this vision to life in an ambitious construction programme. Following its successful appointment in November 2018, works started on site in early 2019, with the main hard and soft landscape installed in March and April, ensuring Garden Square was ready to welcome its first visitors in May – with the scheme brimming with spring flowers. Supplies Such a tight programme did not leave any margin for delays, requiring the design to be fixed at an early stage to enable the ordering of long-lead items such as the smart benches. The availability of planting stock was another key consideration, with a requirement to source containerised trees as the planting needed to be installed out of season. Macgregor Smith and Willerby Landscapes carried out a tree tagging trip with Deepdale Trees in mid-February and selected some fantastic specimens for the space. Coles Nurseries supplied some top-quality ferns and perennials for the scheme, with the planting making a striking impact from day one. Macgregor Smith had previously worked with Dylan Group, which supplied the forked Robinia posts and feature timber walling elements for Garden Square. Given the natural
variation in the product, it was important to visit the supplier to pre-select the timber posts to suit the design requirements and ensure the scale and character were suitable for the space. The design concept of brass oak leaves set into resin bound gravel surfacing was successfully achieved, creating a subtle yet playful effect around the entrances to Garden Square. Inspired Metal initially created the prototype leaves, advising on the patina and fixing mechanism, before they were sent to Addagrip which produced a sample panel with the leaves set into the resin bound gravel, ensuring the aggregate was graded to fill the smaller gaps around the leaf lobes. Challenges One of the key challenges when developing the concept for Garden Square was the build-up for the artificial grass mound. The mound was designed as a play element and therefore
needed to provide a structurally sound safety surface, as well as offering good permeability and a suitable medium to support the three trees planted within the lawn. It was also important to ensure the play elements were safe, with a smooth profile and no sharp edges, balanced with the desire that they add character and create opportunities for natural play, enhancing the appeal of Garden Square. This project has helped visitors take time out to enjoy the unique character of their surroundings, whilst encouraging them to consider the wider green network of Nene Valley. 1 Garden Square framed by birch and apple tree 2 Verdant planting mix and small seating area 3 Robinia timbers frame the entrances to the square and integrate insect hotels 4 Bronze leaves in resin bound gravel surfacing 5 River birch tree growing in the play area 6 Colourful street furniture and planting beds 7 Warm timber tones and vibrant greens create a naturalistic feel
A B O U T M ACG R EG O R S M I T H Macgregor Smith is an award-winning landscape architecture studio based in Bath. Full of broad thinkers and collaborative workers, the company has a flair for imaginative thinking and creating successful, inspiring places. It considers one of its key strengths to be place making – taking inspiration from the special qualities of a site and its context, it aims to create functional and vibrant spaces that stimulate the senses and lift the spirits.
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REFERENCES Landscape contractor Willerby Landscapes www.willerby-landscapes.co.uk BRASS OAK LEAVES
Smart benches mmcite www.mmcite.com Play logs Copper Beech Play www.copperbeechplay.co.uk Timber posts Dylan Group www.dylangroup.co.uk Play boulders CED www.cedstone.co.uk
Brass leaves in paving Inspired Metal www.inspiredmetal.co.uk
Photographs Â©Macgregor Smith
Trees Deepdale Trees www.deepdale-trees.co.uk Plants Robin Tacchi Plants www.robintacchiplants.com
INSTALLING PLAY BOULDERS AND LOGS
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Coles Nurseries www.colesnurseries.co.uk
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PROJECT D E TA I L S Project value â‚Ź101,000 Build time 6 weeks Size of project 2,150m2
SENSATION CA NA FREDA MASHAMBA DESIGN P E R C H E D I N T H E S E R R A D E T R A M U N TA N A M O U N TA I N S , T H ES E C L I E N TS WA N T E D A M E D I T E R R A N E A N GA R D E N W H I C H WAS A P P E A L I N G TO A L L T H E S E N S ES
et high in the Serra de Tramuntana mountains amongst a century-old olive plantation, Ca Na Freda is one of the few remote places still to be found in Mallorca. Forming part of an old grand estate, the house sits at the end of a stunning 10-minute drive, up hills, through valleys and past countless ancient stone terraces. The property itself has beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding estate, of rugged mountains and glimpses of the Mediterranean.
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Brief Having already worked with Mashamba Design, the clients were very trusting and so the brief was simple. They wanted a beautiful Mediterranean garden with lots of colour, scents and herbs for the kitchens – a garden for all the senses. Design and build As with all of Mashamba Design’s projects, the surrounding landscape and the house architecture set the tone for the garden. The dry stone wall terraces and multiple levels around the house were incorporated into the design, with trailing rosemary and purple flowering Lantana montevidensis flowing over the walls. A moat of Lavandula dentata var. dentata ‘Royal Crown’ wraps around one side of the house, with the linear lines of lavender dropping from one level to the next, ending in a delta at the most prominent viewing spot from the house. The lovely pastel colours of the lavender and Echium contrast stunningly with the yellows of Euryops and Bulbinella. A herb garden complete with all of the smells of the Mediterranean sits next to the kitchen,
shaded by some gnarled old olive trees, and cypress trees, Seville roses, Teucrium and dwarf Pittosporum line the tops of the different terraces leading up to the car park. The numerous terraces wrapping around the house and the master courtyard also needed dressing and bringing to life. Mashamba Design worked alongside locally based Moredesign, which was in charge of working its magic on the interiors and the hardscaping. Along the terraces, Moredesign provided a beautiful and interesting platform upon which to work, with elliptical flowing lines of imbedded river stone contrasting with the simplicity of poured concrete. A large iron pergola provides all important shade above the outdoor dining area. The classical lines of the house and the stone facades meant that terracotta was the logical material for the pots, and these were placed regularly amongst the key terrace areas to both complement and soften the lines of the house. For the planting of the pots, small clipped olive trees, Aspidistra elatior, Agave attenuata and Cycas were used in abundance due to their fantastic year-round form and appeal.
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1 2 3 4 5 6
Olive amongst the lavender Mallorcan dry stone wall Vibrant Seville roses Magical limonium A lavender field in the mountains Terrace time
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2 Materials Due to the exposed nature of the site and the fact that most of the pots were large, it was essential that the pots were made to be weather proof and to last. Italian Terrace terracotta pots and urns were used, not just because of their beautiful designs, but also as the terracotta is fired in ovens reaching 1,100ËšC, which results in a material that can resist the elements.
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Challenges Being in a remote location with steep, narrow, windy roads, access was an issue for larger vehicles, and so Mashamba Design had to work with the existing topsoil and levels. The existing topsoil was improved with a mix of compost and manure, as well as root growth stimulants to ensure the garden had the best start in life. The other main challenge Mashamba Design had to deal with was the goats. Goats are abundant in the Tramuntana mountains and they can strip a garden in no time. Juicy, irrigated plants within a dry, rocky environment, are always going to be highly valued and tempting. A two-metre high fence was set up along the perimeter of the newly landscaped areas, with all nearby trees removed so that they could not be climbed and used as a ladder to enter the gardens.
ABOUT MASHAMBA DESIGN Mashamba Design is a Mallorca based company that specialises in Mediterranean gardens and the art of outdoor living. Headed by designer couple Alexander and Jennifer Warren-Gash, they thrive on designing and bringing to life innovative and inspiring landscapes and terraces.
REFERENCES Hard landscaping Moredesign www.moredesign.es Specialist plants Vivers Santa Maria www.viverssantamaria.com Pots Italian Terrace www.italian-terrace.com Plants Generally sourced from wholesalers around Valencia on the Spanish mainland
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S O U T H PA R A D E
NORDLAND LANDSCAPES W H AT W A S O N C E A D U L L A N D D R E A R Y O U T D O O R A R E A H A S B E E N T R A N S F O R M E D I N T O A B R I G H T, C O N T E M P O R A R Y S PA C E , WHICH COMPLEMENTS THE MODERN INTERIOR DECOR
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independently off the boundary fencing. There is also a four-channel lighting system controlled by a Wise remote-control switching system. This controls adjustable Hunza spike spots which up light the planting on all sides of the garden. The existing carriage lights on the house were also swapped for a more contemporary fitting. As the Wise box offers four switch lines, the lights are grouped into zones and switch independently to each other.
dishevelled and unloved space, thick with overgrown evergreen shrubs, bordered by ramshackle fencing and home to uneven paving and awkward looking open drainage needed to be completely reworked in order to make the space safe for the clients’ children to play.
PROJECT D E TA I L S Project value £20,807 Build time 4 weeks Size of project 33m2 Awards Pro Landscaper small project BIG IMPACT Awards 2019, Build Under £25,000 Shortlist
Client brief Surrounded by high structures, the clients wanted the space to feel open and inviting, whilst keeping a certain degree of privacy. It was also to be bright and vibrant, with space for the clients’ children to play. The clients also wanted it to include materials which complemented the stylish interior of the house. Planting was to have year-round interest and the garden needed to have a space in which they could entertain family and friends.
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Build Printed porcelain paving was laid in a grid pattern and a coloured grout was used. The back doorstep is clad in a colour matching tile, with a pencil edge and recessed details to the surface. Along the right side of the garden, a raised bed built from concrete block has been installed, rendered, then later painted in an off-white shade. This leads to the floating timber bench, which tucks nicely into the right-hand corner. The bench is supported by concrete block work pillars constructed to match raised planters. Cedar batten fencing made from two different batten widths bordered the space, fixed in a random staggered bond to support posts which have been concreted into the ground, allowing the batten fencing to sit
Planting The planting scheme in this small courtyard used a limited number of species and worked with repeats for style and continuity. Tall multi-stemmed Amelanchier lamarckii planted in the main raised beds act as a focal point, providing spring blossom, autumn colour and vertical height and drama, taking one’s eye up outside the confines of the boundary fence. A mix shade of tolerant Hostas, Polystichum polyblepharum, Asplenium scolopendrium, Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae and Liriope provide year-round interest as the garden gets a limited amount of sun. A large camilla and two small olive trees were already planted and further implemented into the scheme. The client requested a soft, natural look to the planting. This was achieved using Hydrangea paniculata Little Lime ‘Jane’ which provides interest throughout the year, in combination with Erigeron karvinskianus, Heucherellas and Cosmos add textures and a softness of colour, contrasting well with the contemporary materials and design. Materials Patterned porcelain paving was chosen for its hard wearing, non-absorbent nature, which also provided as the closest match to the interior tiles. A light colour was opted for to help brighten the garden. Encaustic tiles brightened up the dull space and the mismatched brickwork used on
1 View from steps 2 GRP planters used to hide drainage channel 3 Raised planter with underplanting 4 Printed porcelain paving 5 Encaustic patterned tiles used to clad step risers
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the step risers. Cedar timber walls were also used to help brighten the boundaries due to the silvering of its brown colour as it weathers.
Challenges After discussion with all parties, the decision was made that the flow of paving should not be interrupted with cross falls, dips and visible drainage gullies. In order to overcome this, the team opted to use the existing drains against the house, utilising a conduit pipe cast into the doorstep which was unmovable due to it being cast as part of the floor slab. The team installed a 100m-wide drain, 300mm from the house which was set at the lowest point of the garden towards the drain. The drain was later hidden with a run of planters placed on hidden feet, which allow free flow to drain, and the drain below.
ABOUT NORDLAND L A N D S CA P E S Nordland Landscapes is a garden and landscape design and build company based in Muswell Hill, North London. As well as constructing its own designs, Norland Landscapes has also built for many well-known garden designers.
REFERENCES Garden design and styling Shelly Hugh-Jones Garden Design www.houzz.co.uk Timber products Champion Timber www.championtimber.com Electrical installation W5 Electrical Ltd www.w5electricalltd.co.uk Plants Creepers Nursery www.creepersnursery.co.uk Light fittings and irrigation Landscapeplus www.landscapeplus.com
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Building materials Travis Perkins www.travisperkins.co.uk
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SET UP MORE THAN 50 YEARS AGO, LUC WAS THE UK’S FIRST MULTI-DISCIPLINARY ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANCY. TODAY, THE COLLABORATION CONTINUES. DIRECTOR AND HEAD OF DESIGN, ADRIAN WIKELEY, TELLS US HOW THE COMPANY HAS REMAINED SUCCESSFUL TO THIS DAY.
JOURNAL I LU C
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n 1996, when environmentalist and former director general of the Nature Conservancy Max Nicholson established Land Use Consultants (LUC), he united the previously fiercely independent professions of landscape architecture and town planning and created the UK’s first multi-disciplinary environmental consultancy. Over 50 years on from its conception, collaboration remains central to the way LUC works, echoed through each one of its team of 190 skilled professionals, all unified by a determination to achieve sustainable developments. “LUC prides itself on being at the forefront of innovative thinking, successfully resolving even the most complex of issues,” Adrian explains, “LUC cares about the legacy it leaves and aims to make a real difference through its work.” LUC achieves this by focusing on five key values: contribution, innovation, collaboration, intelligence and professionalism, which sees each and every project delivered with integrity and quality. Innovation Shouldering the Glasgow Branch of the Forth and Clyde canal, this site was formerly designated as Vacant and Derelict Land. Over time, its potential had been further lost to vegetation and anti-social activities. After LUC’s intensive four-day workshop to engage with the North Glasgow community about the future of the Forth and Clyde Canal and its surroundings, a vision for the area was developed. At the heart of this, was the creation of the first ever local nature reserve in the Glasgow City boundary. “It has the potential to provide a valuable recreational resource for local communities that suffer some of Scotland’s worst deprivation statistics,” explains Adrian. The 17ha of green space will include more than 1.5km of new paths with viewpoints, interpretation, wayfinding infrastructure, artwork and natural play components along the route. Habitat management and diversification will also be important, as well as SuDS infrastructure which will serve the future residential development adjacent to the site.
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5 Collaboration The Llangollen 2020 Working Group was set up to develop a vibrant town centre that better meets the needs of residents, visitors and businesses so they are able to benefit from, engage with, and enjoy the beauty of the Dee Valley. Located on the River Dee at the edge of the Berwyn mountains, the spectacular scenery, wealth of outdoor activities and highly valued heritage assets drew in tourists. However, the significance of each asset was being undermined by the quality of the public realm within its immediate setting. Having received funding, there are some key improvements which have been proposed. A new viewing platform adjacent to the Grade I Listed Llangollen bridge, overlooking the River Dee, will widen the availability of public realm space where access has previously been constrained. The renewal of stepped access from the town centre to the Llangollen Canal will also improve movement, while ramped footpaths from Llangollen bridge through to Lower Dee Mill Park will be created to benefit those who currently are unable to access certain areas. A new signage and interpretation strategy will re-engage people with the site’s historical significance, and draw attention to key points of the town’s history. Gateway features will help tell these stories and aid wayfinding, while new areas of planting will improve local biodiversity. Intelligence The design team at LUC offers a mix of skills, allowing it to tackle projects of all sizes and continue to challenge itself. One project which truly showed off LUC’s design skill was the Tumbling Bay Playground in the Olympic Park.
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The design progresses uniquely through a series of areas. A hazel copse and birch pioneer woodland encourage den making and play trails. A sand and water area inspired by the history of the River Lee, allows children to become water engineers. And finally, a Scots Pine area consisting of climbing nets, organic tree-top pods and connecting bridges challenges users. Each area represents the plant life-cycle and has distinct bespoke detailing to enhance play value and create highly memorable and unique places. “It’s a world-class playground which now sets a new precedent for the design of topquality children’s facilities in public parks,” Adrian tells us. “It is also special for us because it further develops our portfolio in this area, which commenced 20 years ago with the award-winning Diana Princess of Wales Playground in Kensington Gardens.”
LUC CARES ABOUT THE LEGACY IT LEAVES AND AIMS TO MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE THROUGH ITS WORK
6 Contribution LUC is able to skilfully deal with the increasingly complex relationships between built and natural environments. No more skilfully do we see how nature and the built environment can come together successfully than on a rooftop garden. Sitting at 65m above street level, the fully accessible public garden at Fenchurch Avenue offers its visitors 360° views across London’s skyline. LUC’s scheme echoes aspects of the English garden tradition, sensitively combining seasonal herbaceous planting with exposure tolerant and evergreen grasses, vines and espalier fruit. Crowning the garden, an immense metal pergola, supporting a grove of 88 wisterias, provides welcome shade and ever-changing light and shadow effects, as well as a crescendo of amethyst-blue
7 flower in spring. “That project was a once in a lifetime opportunity. We were able to create a sensational design befitting a unique location.” LUC doesn’t just want to provide planning and design expertise to deliver sustainable solutions for its clients; it is also serious about managing its own direct impacts on the world. “Our net zero pledge is about concentrating efforts to reduce carbon emissions from core business activities, and encouraging other businesses to do likewise,” explains Adrian. “The pursuit of carbon neutrality has the added aim of determining how LUC’s unavoidable carbon emissions are best offset year-on-year.” LUC’s success can certainly be attributed to its adaptability, responding to new challenges, its client’s changing needs and opportunities presented by new technologies. Just this year, LUC made the decision to convert to an Employee Ownership Trust, sharing profits on an equal basis and involving everyone in key decisions. This has helped to secure LUC’s continued independence as well as aligning its governance structure with its culture and values. At the time of writing this, although COVID-19 is still forcing many businesses to remain working from home, fragments of normal life are returning. Like many others, LUC has continued to deliver its services throughout the last 10 weeks, and will ensure any return to on-site activity is carefully planned and executed. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Cassiobury Park Tumbling Bay – Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Four Great Highways, Fenchurch Avenue Roof Garden, London Claypits Green Infrastructure, Glasgow Tumbling Bay – Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Fenchurch Avenue Roof Garden, London
C O N TA C T Adrian Wikeley, LUC 250 Waterloo Road, London, SE1 8RD Tel 020 7383 5784 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
All images ©LUC
Twelve months into the 18-month contract, work was halted due to COVID-19. Despite this, LUC anticipate that the majority of the work will be complete by Christmas 2020.
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or the first time ever, consumers may finally realise the importance of their outdoor space as they find themselves being in their home environments longer than anywhere else. "Hoorah", we all say. Now, that doesnâ€™t mean you can ease up on marketing, advertising or social media posts encouraging future customers to live outdoors, but it does make it a little easier to talk seriously about spending a good amount of budget to achieve the garden they actually want to be in. It seems that a garden that only looks good is not what our future customers need or desire. Home offices will take a shift in priorities as will sheltered and covered areas for cooking,
dining and relaxing in. People who have never considered caring for plants are now looking at growing their own vegetables, so planting plans can take centre stage once more. Spaces need to be multi-functional, beautifully designed and cosy all at the same time. Moving business online The explosion of technology being used in our industry including Zoom, Screen Sharing and Homeworking has been embraced and is a delight to see. It has kept us all talking with each other, sharing fears, ideas and plans. Like us, hopefully this has given you a perspective of how we can manage some of our processes with customers more effectively and effortlessly, with
Pro Landscaper / June 2020 43
fewer meetings and less journeys involved – especially at the non-payment stage of the customer journey. Qualification of the lead and prospect is more necessary than ever with cashflow tight, and smaller teams and resources available to answer the steady flow of enquiries that we all see at this time of year. Using tools to identify the seriousness of the
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prospect, seeing the budget confirmed and in place, along with the readiness to proceed can all be done before a meeting is offered. Great for our financials!
opening up the opportunity for more organic posts about us as a family, not just a business. We pulled late night shifts to update our website, adding clear imagery, weights, measurements, delivery times, and after care notes. We processed all our web orders with personal messages letting customers know we were still here and gained a huge respect and following. For our fellow ‘tradies’, we developed our website to be able to offer trade prices online through a secure login, and full shopping basket functionality so products and materials we sell can be quoted and then ordered 24/7 by credit card to ease payment and guarantee deposits. For our prospect base, we developed a library of mood boards ready to share, downloaded manufacturers' PDFs to send with suggestions, and offered calls in the early evenings and on Saturdays. This way they can still feel that they are in control of their outdoor projects whilst home schooling, caring for others, controlling a growing DIY list, and working.
In the past, if we’d expected our prospective client to conference call to see design plans, which we’d follow up with an emailed quotation and a telephone conversation, we’d have been lucky to not lose them to a competitor who would have visited straight away. But this reality is surprising and strangely empowering as we’ve managed just that. So, what ‘tweaks’ have we made at Garden House Design? Firstly, we let our followers on social media know exactly what we were up to,
Key trends of the lockdown • Obviously home-growing, so more emphasise on dedicated veg plot areas or containers will be key to designs going forward. • Outdoor grown-up living rooms, with requirements for sofas, bean bags, outdoor rugs and fireplaces being saved on Pinterest boards and shared with us. For larger budgets, structures are being designed to cover them so the space can be enjoyed all year round.
FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, CONSUMERS MAY FINALLY REALISE THE IMPORTANCE OF THEIR OUTDOOR SPACE
Share your own garden, tell your stories of how you live outdoors, what plant and veg you’ve grown with success, or failure, and what your favourite pizza topping is to eat outside. Show them how you’ve created fabulous outdoor spaces for others. Customers are now looking for outdoor consultants to guide them, inspire them and then project admin their dreams through the build. Finish with accessories which will also increase your profit margin. Link up with others, utilise your supplier’s vast experience, have your portfolios up to date, do social media posts more regularly and together we’ll keep this fantastic industry growing and maturing so we can all continue to do what we love in whatever world we may live in.
• Cooking outdoors is getting more sophisticated with consumers following cooking videos, learning to bake, and having to consider a seven-day meal plan in advance as eating out became a distant memory. From simple, free-standing wood fired ovens to large all-inclusive outdoor kitchens, it seems every new project coming our way needs to include a kitchen in one form or another. • Evening enjoyment with firepits, lighting, heaters and dense planting all to create a secluded and warm space to enjoy. Of course, none of these garden trends are particularly crystal ball, but the importance of their functionality needs to play a bigger part in our design pitches and presentations. Sure, they still want involvement and design choices in stone colour, wood tones and other landscaping materials, but it’s getting more important than ever to advise clients how easy one particular slab over another will be to clean. How decking as a choice will be warmer when barefoot. Kitchen designs will allow clients to entertain into the evening, and garden lighting will be soft and dramatic to watch the space transform into a night time garden.
ABOUT DEBS WINROW Debs Winrow, creative director of award-winning landscape company Garden House Design, is an avid trend spotter, responsible for seeking out the latest and best outdoor living products, and developing an expansive portfolio to offer to both consumers and fellow landscapers and designers. OUTDOOR DINING
44 Pro Landscaper / June 2020
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HAVING SPOT TED GRILLO’S CHEF’S ANVIL AT RHS CHELSE A FLOWER SHOW, THESE CLIENTS FELL IN LOVE WITH IT AND DECIDED TO INCORPORATE IT INTO THEIR COUNTRYSIDE GARDEN
rillo’s clients live in Bardfield End Green, a quaint village in rural Essex. They spotted Grillo at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and instantly fell in love with the concept. They were in the process of doing an extensive house refurbishment and wanted the exterior entertaining area to match the interior one. They built a stunning terrace overlooking the surrounding countryside, a beautiful spot to enjoy evening sunshine and relax with guests.
Instead of having the barbecue tucked away in the corner, Grillo wanted to bring guests and hosts together, to enable socialising and cooking to happen in one place. The Chef’s Anvil does just this, bringing people together around food and flames. Grillo installed a complete outdoor kitchen for the client – a large U shape, including bar seating, a built-in gas grill, a sink, worktop space, all centred around the Chef’s Anvil firepit barbecue.
THE CHEF’S ANVIL The Chef’s Anvil is the iconic centrepiece for most Grillo outdoor kitchens. Its name is inspired by a blacksmith’s anvil – a key component of a blacksmith’s work, with everything a blacksmith creates shaped and formed on its versatile work surface. The Chef’s Anvil too is multipurpose, working as a dramatic and intriguing centrepiece, as well as a versatile cooking surface. A steel cooking ring sits on a broad fire bowl and pedestal. Users build a log fire in the middle and are able stand round it, cooking and socialising, adding the drama and flavour of real fire to your summer cook-ups. A cover and a range of accessories including scrapers and a churrasco skewer are supplied with it.
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46 Pro Landscaper / June 2020
Grillo works with many garden designers and landscape architects, helping them to turn bland patio spaces into amazing entertaining and socialising zones.
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F E AT U R E GARDEN NORNEY WOOD
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N U R T U R E D B AC K TO I TS F U L L P OT E N T I A L BY OW N E R S J E A N A N D R I C H A R D T H O M P S O N , N O R N E Y W O O D N OW S E R V E S A S A H AV E N FO R B OT H N AT U R E A N D I TS V I S I TO R S , A I M I N G TO E N C O U R AG E A S E N S E O F ST E WA R D S H I P FO R T H E E N V I R O N M E N T A S W E L L A S A R E S O U R C E FO R P L A N T K N OW L E D G E
ean and Richard Thompson purchased their Edwardian home and the surrounding garden and woodland in 2006. Visitors to Norney Wood step into more than just their back garden, though. Inspired by Gertrude Jekyll and settled in the Surrey Hills, Norney Wood adopts a modern twist in more ways than one. The private garden is open to the public for a range of events throughout the year, hoping to inspire its visitors through its remarkable beauty as a
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nostalgic English country garden and its contemporary ecological approach. Strong perpendicular lines of hard landscaping and extensive hedging structure the space, while traditional plants including roses, lavender, geranium and nepeta are block planted and bursting full of scent. Water features throughout the garden create a tranquil atmosphere, and a natural woodland also surrounds the space.
BOOKS ABOUT AND BY GERTRUDE JEKYLL AND HER PARTNERSHIP WITH LUTYENS HAVE MOSTLY INSPIRED US But Norney Wood wasn’t always this idyllic; in fact it has been crafted over the course of more than 10 years. Work commenced in January 2007 to transform the 10 acres. “The garden was tired, overgrown and needed to be brought back to life,” explains Jean. Most of the space was made up of mown lawns leading to natural areas of overgrown woodland, where laurel had been allowed to grow into large trees which dominated the space. This meant the surrounding beech trees had grown to 40ft to compete for space. The terrace garden had been completely lost in undergrowth and was being destroyed by bamboo. What little flowering there was had been demolished by free roaming deer and rabbits. Jean and Richard could see the garden’s potential though, with the beech,
52 Pro Landscaper / June 2020
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oak, larch and scots pine trees in particular attracting their interest, and a large bank of rhododendrons providing hope. Working with Acres Wild to create the initial design for the garden, it was important to root the garden firmly into its historical context and location. There was to be a contrast between the strong underlying design and the exuberant naturalistic planting, as distinctive areas extend around the house in a series of linking spaces. “Books about and by Gertrude Jekyll and her partnership with Lutyens have mostly inspired us,” Richard tells us. “In particular, a book entitled ‘Garden Ornament’ by Gertrude Jekyll published by Country Life in 1918.” The initial phase was the creation of the formal gardens directly behind the house and the West Courtyard Garden to the right of the house. Four crab apple trees mark the entrance to the West Courtyard Garden, opening up to Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood' underplanted with Hakonechloa macra and ferns. Two large terracotta pots filled with Hosta ‘Christmas Tree’ and dotted with allium are strategically placed at the head of the path. This leads alongside the house, past Rhododendron ‘Daviesii’, Alchemilla mollis and through yew hedging. There's also a small blade fountain which cascades into the pond from the bargate wall, and is filled with a variety of water plants. From the West Courtyard Garden, glimpses of the Lawn Terrace Garden and the Pleached Lime Walk with a bank bursting full of rhododendrons can be seen. A nepeta and rose path borders the Lawn Terrace while Rosa ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ grow along the house. When originally planted though, instead of a vibrant pink, the flowers bloomed a creamy pink-apricot colour. Sending a replacement flower, David Austen was equally puzzled. Jean and Richard eventually found that the mystery rose was a combination of Rosa Tea Clipper 'Ausrover' and Rosa ‘Gentle Hermione’ and today it grows in arches which replicate the gable ends of Norney Wood. The strong architectural features of the nepeta and rose path and the Pleached Lime Walk link the house to the garden. The pleached Limes are underplanted with seasonal interest, as Helleborus, allium, Pulmonaria and Convallaria majalis burst through in the spring and geranium, roses, ferns, Hosta and Rodgersia bloom in the summer. The ‘thunder house’ lies at the heart of the garden, where visitors are able to view most of what’s on offer and it is inspired by a passage in Gertrude Jekyll’s writings: “Apparently, Gertrude Jekyll liked to be outside but undercover to watch thunderstorms,” explains Jean. “It turns
out that this building bears a striking resemblance to the Thunder House in her garden at Munstead Wood.” The main formal water feature sits in the tranquillity garden, named not just because the calm sound of water encapsulated within this space. Simple planting decorates the borders, with Agapanthus on either side of the blade fountain, yew balls, Acer palmatum ‘Osakazuki’ and Rosa ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ and ‘Gentle Hermione’ filling the air with a sweet aroma. The second phase involved the removal of a large portion of the laurel, though some was kept to create a natural laurel grove. This revealed a line of beech trees which now lead to a natural pond. Over time, various plants and grasses have taken root around the edge, giving the pond a natural look and feel. The East Courtyard Garden and Hot Summer Garden were developed during the third phase. The East Courtyard Garden mainly uses hard landscaping, as walkways move through Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight', Wisteria floribunda, Heuchera 'Green Spice' and Campanula lactiflora.
BY KEEPING THE 10 ACRES OF WOODLAND WILD, IT IS A HAVEN FOR WILDLIFE Flanking the steps to the Hot Summer Garden are mounds of Hebe rakaiensis behind which are the chalice shaped flowers of Zantedeschia. The area itself is bursting full of bright and scented summer plants, including Verbena bonariensis, Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna', Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’, and Hemerocallis 'Chicago Fire'. But Jean and Richard didn’t just want to create something which was aesthetically pleasing. Sustainability was central to the project from the very beginning. By keeping the 10 acres of woodland wild, it is a haven for wildlife; from deer, badgers and foxes to hummingbird hawk moths, bats and woodpeckers. As the garden is fenced off, there is minimal damage from the outside wildlife and Jean and Richard are able to continue to enjoy their space in harmony with nature. This nature-focus approach extends to their home: “It was important to turn our early 20th Century house into a warm and inviting home using the most sustainable heat sources possible,” Richard explains. Ground source heat pumps were installed, 7,000L underground
Norney Wood.indd 53
rainwater tanks collect rainwater from the roof and are automatically topped up by a borehole during dry periods, and solar panels generate electricity. Jean and Richard haven’t stopped there, either. It is incredibly important that Norney Wood, as well as itself being sustainable and ecologically beneficial, serves at an educational tool. The grounds are regularly opened to students who are participating in horticultural courses, and Norney Wood supports local artists and arts clubs through a range of activities and events, ranging from art classes, flower arranging classes, photography days and yoga.
Jean and Richard have also allocated a local primary school its own garden, which is used as part of its Key Stage 1 curriculum. The school has begun to create orienteering courses throughout the garden, so children can learn about maps and compasses as they find their way from tree to tree. “It is vital to teach them about their natural surroundings at an early age,” says Richard. “The children are the future.” It is through engaging with the local community that Norney Wood hopes to serve as a window into the wonderful world of nature, showcasing the classic beauty of an English garden packed full of wildlife, alongside its 21st Century developments towards sustainability.
Pro Landscaper / June 2020 53
COMMUNICATION IS KEY AS GROWERS HAVE BEEN LEFT WITH LITTLE CHOICE BUT TO BROADEN THEIR COMMUNICATION MEDIUMS, LEWIS NORMAND URGES THEM TO CONTINUE TO UTILISE THESE POST-LOCKDOWN
midst the world of sadness and loss that we have found ourselves in, there have been highs of positive responses to adversity, beautiful acts of humanity and glimmers of hope for our future. We need some of this in horticulture. Without a government bailout, the horticulture industry is sadly guaranteed huge financial losses as well as a significant shrinkage in the number of businesses operating. For such a huge sector (and let us never forget that we are a huge sector in the UK at £24.2bn in 2017, according to the HTA), we don’t get represented as we should in government and arguably in the media generally; on occasion, even certain ‘celebrity’ faces we might expect to support us come out against us and show how little they know about our offering. As an industry, we are much bigger than all English football put together (£5.44bn in 2019, Deloitte).
54 Pro Landscaper / June 2020
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We are also worth more than the total spent by everyone visiting the UK from abroad in 2019 (£22.9bn, ONS). Yet, we continue to be widely ignored and often confused with agriculture or treated as unskilled, compounding our lack of perceived value. Several excellent lobbyists work hard to have us heard, but much of it seems to be ignored when it comes to actual support for our work and value for our contribution from those in charge. Urgently, a Minister for Horticulture seems like a necessity to have our voice properly represented beyond being a poorly considered component of a Defra minister’s remit. So, as we hope for something better but expect little, most of us have quietly addressed some of the weaknesses in our businesses in order to grow stronger out of what remains after lockdown. One area, where I have always been critical of horticulture (and I try hard not to be critical in general as it is unproductive) is communication. We are all great verbal communicators, but our industry has lagged behind many others in terms of using contemporary technologies to communicate. Specifically, this applies to growers, a surprising number of whom still use the fax machine as their primary mode of communication with clients 20 years after the rest of the professional world focused on emails and social engagement. There may even be some younger readers lost at the mention of the word ‘fax’. It has always surprised me that this reticence from many growers to modernise exists and it surely has limited the people they can work with. Lockdown has brought a lot of people out of the shadows, with new Twitter and Instagram accounts being set up; companies that previously only spoke with the world through limited and often antiquated technologies now engage a new audience in highly visual and exciting ways. Over the last month, the number
of smaller nurseries making themselves known to the world beyond their local audience has been incredible. Equally, many larger wholesale suppliers have used social media effectively to offer new services and update their customers on the status of their businesses. Lots of
SOME GROWERS HAVE BEEN ABLE TO ACTIVELY MONETISE THEIR PROMOTIONAL VIDEOS inventive live videos, tutorials, Zoom garden consultations and so much more have shown that we can be hugely creative when it comes to communicating in innovative ways when we find or make the time to be. Some growers have been able to actively monetise their promotional videos selling plant packages based on their promotion and opening new future supply lines up for their businesses. If we should do one thing as individual companies coming out of this crisis, it is to keep this up. I know of many great growers producing wonderful plants, who simply never engage with their customers and never find new customers. It just isn’t sustainable anymore and there is a huge audience waiting to hear from them. The days of saying that we don’t have enough time to reach out to our prospective customers are over. We must invest time and perhaps even some money into being visible and available for an increasingly visually motivated customer. Being a Luddite may cost less, but it will surely lead to obscurity in a world that likes to know that you exist, and in a sea of quality suppliers be reminded why they should buy from them.
ABOUT LEWIS NORMAND Lewis has worked in a wide variety of roles within horticulture over a 20-year career. He has lectured on garden design and horticulture, and designed gardens in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. Since 2011, Lewis has focused on nursery sales, now working as sales manager at Bernhard’s Nurseries, and has helped to launch a number of new plants into the UK plant market. He is a specialist supplier to show gardens, supplying more than 100 gardens at major shows.
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NICK COSLETT SAYS UK NURSERIES NEED TO COME TOGETHER TO REVIEW PROVENANCE AND ORIGIN OF TREES TO ENSURE A RESILIENCE TO CLIMATE CHANGE
write in early May, still in ‘lockdown’, but chatter about unlocking is cacophonous. I know many landscapers and growers, although adaptable and resilient, will have had a full or partial shutdown. Despite government support, cash flow will be severely squeezed in an industry where it has always been a weakness. Will there be enough work on once we unlock or after the current commissions are done? Growers with luck will have their stock but the sales window may be narrower. The predicted crash of GDP is in our minds and we may all have to adapt. At least now ministers recognise the physical and mental benefits of good quality green space, so there may be hope there. However, COVID-19 and Brexit (don’t forget that!) are shorter term issues to overcome. Climate change implications are by far the long-term elephant in the room. We know trees are amongst one of the key tools to reduce atmospheric carbon. And with future milder, wetter winters and drier, warmer summers, plus an increase in extremes of weather and predicted temperature changes of +1.5-2° by 2050 (and very probably +3-4° by 2100) we need these long lived plants to be resilient. So, where are our future trees coming from? Do the current ones have the genetic resilience to tolerate these changes? Do we know where our current tree stocks come from? In my experience, UK nurseries don’t know much about where their tree stock comes from; some may know its provenance, but rarely its origin.
WHERE ARE OUR
TC O MRI N GEFER O SM ? The Forestry Commission is promoting the use of native and naturalised tree species to increase canopy cover; recommending trees are sourced from well adapted warmer provenances 2-5° south, which has also been the policy for HS2 plants.
OUR NURSERIES COLLABORATIVELY NEED TO INVESTIGATE PROVENANCE
native trees and look at these species across their natural range of distribution. For example, there may be suitable oaks currently on a Pyrenean hillside called ‘Xyz’ in France, which tolerate hot and dry summers but also the winter frosts if they are on the northern slopes. Those on the southern slopes may be too tender and unable to withstand the frosts which we will still get here, even if less frequently. Identifying the geographic areas and then collecting the seeds or acorns from a mast year, with the correct permissions means that those acorns can be grown here in the UK with a much lower biosecurity risk (as seeds don’t tend to harbour the pests found on mature plants). However, large oak trees won’t be available to the trade for a further seven to 10+ years. But if they were, how would you specify them? Oak (Quercus robur) UK grown but of French ‘Xyz’ provenance and origin. However, these trees could give confidence to designers and specifiers that their projects will work and thrive in the future climate and weather. DISTRIBUTION MAP OF QUERCUS ROBUR Quercus robur
During the last ice age, our native trees were pushed south by the advancing ice and our native species remain in these refuges. So, you can find our oaks in southern France, Spain and Portugal (see map). It's the trees from these areas that may have the genetic resilience for higher temperatures and periods of drought, yet still have tolerances for frosts. Our nurseries collaboratively need to investigate provenance and especially the origin of their source plants. They should review our
EUFORGEN Secretariat c/o Bioversity International Via dei Tre Denari, 472/a 00057 Maccarese (Fiumicino) Rome, Italy Tel. (+39)066118251 Fax: (+39)0661979661 firstname.lastname@example.org More information and other maps at: www.euforgen.org
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This distribution map, showing the natural distribution area of Quercus robur was compiled by members of the EUFORGEN Network ©EUFORGEN 2009, www.euforgen.org
Citation: Distribution map of Pedunculate oak (Quercus robur ) EUFORGEN 2009, www.euforgen.org. First published online on 10 November 2004 -
Updated on 24 July 2008
P R OV E N A N C E A N D O R I G I N E X P L A I N E D I have an oak tree and a particularly beautiful one with good shape and habit outside my home in Kent. I collect the acorns from it in a mast year. I grow those acorns into young trees and then sell them. This means they will be of Kent provenance – or, using the Forestry Provenance Zone map, zone 405. Unless I know the origin of the parent tree, the origin will be unknown. To have accurate origin, seeds need to be collected from known stands where the trees are either naturally occurring (e.g. in an ancient woodland) or a stand resulting from a known seed source. Then, and only then, the origin can be declared.
56 Pro Landscaper / June 2020
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ABOUT NICK COSLETT Plant guru Nick Coslett has spent his working life in landscape and horticulture. He initially trained as a landscape architect, then parks manager, and for the last 20 years, he has worked with Coblands and Palmstead nurseries, running the Soft Landscape Workshops which have become popular industry events. He’s been involved with BALI as national and regional chairs. Now retired, he is a BALI National Landscape Awards judge and Chalk Fund trustee, and has more time to follow his lifelong interest in the industry.
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ALL IN RI ATE O ESTIC GAR EN
CARL REEDERS E XPL AINS THE BENEFITS OF LIVING WALLS AND GREEN ROOFS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WHY HE IS SO PASSIONATE ABOUT THE NEW PL ATIPUS G-WALL AND G-ROOF SOLUTIONS
ith urban areas continuing to grow around the world, the need for us to utilise available green spaces is at an all-time high. The use of living walls and green roofs has become the established solution for maximising urban green spaces and enjoying the many benefits that they bring us. I first became inspired by these solutions when I visited the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. You could clearly see the significant impact living walls and green roofs have had on the environment. They are known to increase the oxygen levels and improve air quality in both interior and exterior environments. Studies have also shown that they can reduce nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter by between 40-60%. They provide good sound insulation due to foliage refraction and
THE NEED FOR US TO UTILISE AVAILABLE GREEN SPACES IS AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH reflection. Living walls can absorb sun energy through a process known as evapotranspiration, keeping the areas cool. Buildings with exterior living walls can be up to 20° cooler than their counterparts. The layer of thermal insulation also helps keep the building insulated during winter reducing energy costs. Living walls and green roofs also provide biodiversity by becoming an extension of the natural environment for all species of butterflies, insects and bees. As you can G ALL SINGLE imagine, I was thrilled when CELL ASSE L Platipus developed its own living wall and green roof solutions, G-WALL and G-ROOF, to give all private and commercial garden lovers a robust and efficient system to transform their own green spaces. Our G-WALL
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G R E E N S PAC E S
incorporates the already hugely successful and patented D-MAN® cell to ensure guaranteed strength and security for any living wall project. The modular nature of the G-WALL allows for incredibly simple vertical and horizontal expansion, using interlocking, omnidirectional cells with an individual cell capacity of 580ml. These cells use ‘jigsaw’ integration rails and are easily connected using lightweight hand tools. This makes the G-WALL System incredibly versatile so that anyone can start using the system straight from the box. It is quick and easy to assemble and requires no batons, rails, hanging grids or membranes. Each cell provides four pockets for planting and accepts standard 13/14mm irrigation pipe. The facia also includes pocket ‘drip through’ irrigation slots to ensure water is supplied to all plants. The benefits of green roofs, podiums and terraces are also well established and Platipus has designed a system to make construction easier and more effective. The G-ROOF is a modular structural and drainage support system ideal for intensive and extensive roof gardens. The durable G-ROOF cells can be connected and placed directly on a waterproofed surface and the rigid system
provides ideal load bearing support without the need for a root barrier and other layers. By stacking and rotating cells 90° planting area levels can be constructed quickly. The G-ROOF system fully integrates with standard Platipus Tree Anchoring Systems to allow trees and shrubs to be easily secured in any location. Cells also include large G ROO S STE integrated cups for valuable water storage. This is an extremely challenging but exciting time for the landscape industry. I believe with all the benefits living walls and green roofs provide, they will become an integral part of all landscape designs in the future.
ABOUT CARL REEDERS Carl is the tree systems manager for Platipus Anchors Limited. He has spent many years in agriculture and is now captivated by the landscaping industry. He loves chatting to members of the industry and was part of the team that won a BALI Affiliate Award for Exceptional Service in 2019. www.platipus-anchors.com
Pro Landscaper / June 2020 59
is made from solid steel providing strong, durable and subtle edging. It creates a clean edge between driveways and lawns, beds and pathways.We manufacture in galvanised, natural steel and corten. Available nationwide on a supply only basis or supply and install. Choice of heights and thickness available to suit every application
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TA L K I N G U S T H R O U G H T H E B U I L D SYST E M , A L I S O N WA R N E R EXPLAINS HOW BUSINESSES CAN M A N AG E T H E I R M O N E Y M O R E E F F I C I E N T LY A N D S E T A S I D E A R A I N Y DAY F U N D
n 2016, I began writing my book ‘Build and Grow’, which involved getting everything out of my head and down on paper as to what I was doing to help my clients. You see, I kind of had the same problem as my clients; I was too busy, and the only way I could scale was if I took on other coaches and trained them in my methodology. But that was the problem, I didn’t really have any methodology – or so I thought. When I stepped back and looked at the different things I was doing with clients, there were definite patterns and similarities. And so, the BUILD system was born. The BUILD system stands for: Business Planning Understanding Your Strengths Implementing Systems and Processes Love Your Customer Develop and Delegate Essentially, it covers the four elements of any business: sales and marketing, the customer experience, the team, and the finance and systems. For any business to be successful, these four elements need to be kept in balance. What we often see in construction and trade businesses is that the demand for their services outweighs their capability to deliver it. This can either be in the form of human resource or efficient systems, or both. So, how does the BUILD system actually help trades to weather any storm? Well I am very fortunate to say that it is helping me and several of my clients do this right now as the system teaches you how to manage finances. Now this isn’t a quick fix. You would need to have been implementing the principles for some time to gain the benefits, but here are a few of the principles.
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H OW T H E
BUILD SYST E M
CAN HELP YOU RIDE
ANY STORM Have a system in place to manage your cash This means paying yourself each month, having a separate account for tax set aside that you don’t touch, and a separate account for ‘savings’. This is rainy day money; even if it’s just a small amount you put aside each month, this is an essential habit to form. You should aim to have three months of working capital in this savings account, i.e. what it costs to run your business each month (overheads) times three. If this seems impossible, your overheads are too high or you’re not charging enough.
YOU SHOULD AIM TO HAVE THREE MONTHS OF WORKING CAPITAL IN THIS SAVINGS ACCOUNT Have a financial forecast in place and regularly review it How much do you plan to turn over each month? How much do you expect to spend on materials and labour? How much profit do you expect to make? Most accounting software allows you to put this forecast into the system so you can report against it each month, giving you vital feedback on whether you are on course or if anything needs to be adjusted.
Common size your expenses Yes, even some accountants have never come across this term or indeed put it into practice, but it’s really the only way that you can make your numbers meaningful. It is the practice of expressing your costs as a percentage of sales. As a rough guide, materials, labour and overheads should be around 30% each, producing 10% net profit, and may be more depending on the size of the business. In essence, if you have a strong handle on your numbers and good practices in place to prepare for a rainy day, you will be in a much stronger position to get through a crisis. I know that this has made all the difference to me personally over recent weeks, and it is a practice my clients and I will continue. For more tips and advice, please join our Trades and Builders Business Growth Facebook group or visit our website www.evolveandgrowcoaching.com
A B O U T A L I S O N WA R N E R Alison Warner, known as The Trades’ Coach, is a bestselling author and founder of Evolve and Grow Ltd, a business coaching firm that specialises in helping construction and trade businesses. www.evolveandgrowcoaching.com
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V I S UA L I S I N G W I T H
V EC TO RWO R K S K ATARINA OLLIK AINEN E XPL AINS HOW VECTORWORKS L ANDMARK IS A ONE-STOP-SHOP FOR L ANDSCAPE DESIGN
esign is about communication – you must find a way to transfer the thoughts and ideas in your head onto paper in a way that all members of your team can understand. Clients, contractors, suppliers, local authorities, architects and engineers – they all need to be able to see your vision, and this is where Vectorworks Landmark software comes in. So, what makes Landmark unique? Landmark is a dedicated CAD and BIM software for landscape and garden design. However, its focus is on the specific needs of the landscape industry. You have all the fantastic tools from the suite; from quick management of GIS files and imagery, to full 2D and 3D modelling capabilities, as well as a superb plant tool, landscape areas and hardscapes. You can make sun illustrations for the whole year to see where you have deep shade and baking sun. You can create 3D terrain models to develop and analyse your designs, such as water run-off, slope percentage and cut and fill.
64 Pro Landscaper / June 2020
Here are some of my top personal reasons for using Landmark: • Freedom. The fun you can have; designing with complete and total freedom is unlike anything else. Starting from a point where everything is possible gives you a beautiful, spacious feeling. It helps to break all boundaries previously put in place.
DESIGNING WITH COMPLETE AND TOTAL FREEDOM IS UNLIKE ANYTHING ELSE • Structure. This might sound counter-intuitive to the earlier point, but only if you have a structured framework can you concentrate fully on the creative side of the process. • Focus on the design instead of tedious, repetitive work. I loathe doing things twice. Vectorworks helps by taking over the time-consuming chores involved in designing. I would much rather spend my time pondering over what to pair my Tulipa ‘Antraciet’ with than counting circles to create a plant schedule. Start your concept by creating the underlying geometry, then convert the areas to intelligent objects. Not copy, not redraw – convert. This works for walls and plants, hardscapes and landscape areas, furniture and accessories. Here comes the clever bit — all these objects contain data, information you then can collect in worksheets to produce schedules and BoQs. • Run the whole project in one place. You can produce everything in Vectorworks, from concept drawings to final plans, schedules, presentations and detail drawings. Of course, this also means that when you have to make changes down the line, you only have to change it in one place.
• Vectorworks saves you money. Both by making you faster and by catching problems earlier. You can try things out on the drawing board instead of on the building site. You can also keep an eye on the budget by assigning costs to all components of the design. • Saves you time. Vectorworks comes packed with already created resources as well as access to the BIM Library. It also has a library system where you can collect and store your own created resources so that you can then easily access them via the tools. • Promotes collaboration. This is a biggie. You can collaborate with other designers who are running different software, by import and export of a vast array of file formats as well as file referencing. You can share your models in the Vectorworks Cloud, so your collaborators and clients can interact with it. • Works for all project scales. From planting designs of back garden projects to housing development masterplans, the tools are there; it's up to you to choose where you go with them. Last year, Vectorworks University was launched, a free website for learning everything Vectorworks. There are inspiring webinars and training modules for a wide range of subjects, and new items are published almost daily. Go to university.vectorworks.net, sign up with your email to have an ocean of knowledge at your fingertips.
ABOUT KATARINA OLLIKAINEN Katarina Ollikainen is the landscape industry specialist at Vectorworks UK and is involved in the continuous work on BIM implementation. Her main focus is on workflow, collaboration and information exchange, as well as working with the development team on making Vectorworks Landmark as user friendly as possible. Katarina’s most recent job was as senior designer for Ann-Marie Powell Studio where she had the opportunity to run some of the studio’s largest projects.
C H A N G E D DAYS B
ANGUS LINDSAY CONSIDERS HOW LOCKDOWN MIGHT CHANGE PEOPLE’S PERCEPTIONS OF GREEN SPACES AND HOW IT COULD IMPACT THE WAY THEY ARE DESIGNED GOING FORWARD
y the time you read this I really hope we have got through the worst of the coronavirus pandemic; though I doubt we are far from a return to some sort of normality, what will our world look like? It has been heartening to see the industry pull together via webinars and through the many forms of social media that we have come to rely on in the last couple of months to share frustrations, experiences and thoughts. Whilst these have been strange days for all of us, I bet none of us have watched as many government announcements as we have over the past few weeks. We’ve all had to review our individual roles as to how we can keep going and best deliver our services; the next and greater challenge will be starting operations again post lockdown. One area of disappointment has been the reaction from some members of the public who have verbally abused those able to work to maintain and manage key sites; I do wonder if those doing the abusing are also the ones flouting the “stay at home” message and who in the future will be complaining that the grass in their local park or road verge is too long. Having experienced an abnormally wet start to the year followed by a prolonged dry period, getting things back on track will be a major headache – we are, after all, dealing with living
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material which needs to be managed. The machines and vehicles should be ready to go but will they be adequate following several weeks of growth, and can they be operated safely where there is now a greater need to distance ourselves from colleagues and the public? Just the task of getting staff to and from work now presents a significant problem; gone are the days of three people in the front of a truck. Even with basic screening, the best you can safely transport in a double cab without impinging on driver safety would be three people.
JUST THE TASK OF GETTING STAFF TO AND FROM WORK NOW PRESENTS A SIGNIFICANT PROBLEM When we fully emerge from this situation, we will undoubtedly have to review our roles by making better use of technology, working from home and looking more closely at the trips we make up and down the country. The lack of traffic on the road and people movements in general has done wonders for air quality and our wildlife has thrived. We should take note of this and appreciate the difference this has made to the environment as I doubt we will get such a stark reminder again. I really hope that the population who have spent weeks cooped up within their homes will now better appreciate the green spaces and natural sports surfaces within their towns and localities along with the work that goes into creating and maintaining these facilities and the
industry behind it all. On a similar theme, those who commission and manage these green spaces now need to look differently at how these are accessed in times of crisis as a large percentage of the population who don’t have the luxury of a garden rely on access to communal green spaces. As social distancing looks to become part of everyday life, it is time to consider the future design of our green spaces and where they can be realistically located to increase access to a greater number of the population. This, I’m sure, will see a greater use of autonomous mowers to maintain these sites as part of the design for life in the future.
A B O U T A N G U S L I N D S AY Angus spent several years working on arable farms in Scotland before joining VSO in Egypt, implementing a mechanisation programme, managing field operations for a commercial cotton plantation in Nigeria and working as a contract instructor for Massey Ferguson in Yemen. He has an Agricultural Engineering and Mechanisation Management MSc from Silsoe, and joined Glendale as machinery manager in 1994, then idverde UK in 2009.
Pro Landscaper / June 2020 65
GARDEN DESIGN BY JOHN WARD, AZARA LANDSCAPES
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WOO DSCA P E WO O D S C A P E D I S C U S S E S H O W I TS ST R O N G C O M PA N Y P R I N C I P L E S H AV E H E L P E D I T TO G A I N I TS P O S I T I V E R E P U TAT I O N A N D P R E ST I G I O U S STAT U S How was the company founded? The business was founded in 1977 by John and Jeanette Buchan. Woodscape was one of the first to use naturally very durable timbers to create street furniture. In the early nineties, John and Jeanette’s children – Katy Hill and Richard Nelson – joined the business.
Where is Woodscape based? Under Richard and Katy’s guidance, Woodscape has steadily grown into the much bigger business it is today. It now operates from a 45,000 sq ft manufacturing and distribution centre in Blackburn, Lancashire, employing 64 staff and working with the UK’s leading professional landscapers, architects and developers.
What are your lead times? Some basic products can be manufactured in days, and we pride ourselves on responding to the customer’s needs. Typically, we are working to construction deadlines and so manufacture is planned weeks in advance. For many large developments, particularly those requiring bespoke designed items, our team will often have been working with the client for more than 12 months. We aim for long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with the industry. What key feature of Woodscape defines the company? Many years ago, Woodscape took the lead in the street furniture sector in obtaining FSC® Chain of Custody Certification as a statement of our principles in protecting the natural environment; not because the market demanded it, not because it was commercially beneficial, but because it was ethically the right thing to do. FSC® CoC to us is a reflection of what our business represents and how we see ourselves – as a responsible, world aware company, eager to ensure our products reach the market without doing harm to the forests of the world.
What products do you have in your range? There are hundreds of products featured in our catalogue; while we are arguably best known for our hardwood seating, our planters, bollards, litter bins and signage continue to be extremely popular and are purchased by many different industries. What is your route to market? Our products are used in a wide range of scenarios, from small community projects to large scale redevelopments in our major cities. Because of this we design nationwide alongside the UK’s leading architects and landscape designers as well as many public and private sector clients, who find us due to our 40-year presence on the streets of the UK and our reputation for quality we work hard to maintain.
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cheapest but Woodscape products are the ones that stand the test of time and still look beautiful after years of use. What is the company most proud of? Woodscape has been an integral part of the British landscape for decades, and you will have seen our products many, many times. You will have sat on our benches, had our bollards guide your path or walked upon or taken shelter under our varied crafted timber builds, and taken their quality and longevity for granted. We provide products that go beyond their inevitable day-one ‘wow factor’ and become part of a location in a way that feels natural, almost generational, as if they were always there and always meant to be there. Even if you don’t know our name, you know Woodscape.
C O N TA C T Why do people choose Woodscape? Simply because we’re the best at what we do. We care about quality; from the choice of our timbers through to the overall finish, we care passionately about every little detail. With Woodscape, clients know what they are getting. Our street furniture may not always be the
Woodscape Ltd, Shadsworth Business Park 1 Sett End Rd W, Blackburn BB1 2QJ
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Pro Landscaper / June 2020 67
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EDUCATE E EN SAN STONE AUTUMN BLEND
M A R K M AC I N T O S H WAT S O N , E N G I N E E R I N G AND TECHNICAL D E V E LO P M E N T M A N AG E R AT B R E T T LANDSCAPING, E X P L A I N S H O W TO S O U R C E A N D I N STA L L P O R C E L A I N PAV I N G T H E R I G H T WAY
s porcelain tiles have soared in popularity among homeowners, landscaping professionals need to ensure that they are sourcing genuine porcelain products. Aesthetically pleasing, hard-wearing and stylish – porcelain is inherently and significantly less likely to stain and retain moisture, so it is ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. Through clever, innovative manufacturing techniques, creating a composite porcelain unit 60mm thick allows for use on driveways. Porcelain tiles are made by selecting suitable raw materials combined with a suitable mix design and a precisely controlled manufacturing process. This includes finely grading the right type of clays and firing them at extremely high controlled temperatures in a kiln which is hundreds of metres long. Having a very low porosity, this will enhance both the frostresistance and stain-resistance, providing longevity to the installation. The tiles E EN SLATE should have been MIDNIGHT SHADOW tested for water absorbency, which is something to check when buying porcelain. The advantage of the lack of water absorbency also helps with stain resistance, which means that porcelain tiles are easier to maintain. Porcelain tiles are extremely durable, which makes them ideal for walkways, patios and
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gardens, plus they are much easier to clean. This will in turn save your customers time
and money for maintenance, repair and replacement. Once installed properly, they can last for many years. Even in high traffic domestic settings, porcelain tiles retain their new appearance. It’s vitally important, however, to ensure that your product is real porcelain as not everything in the UK market being described as such is actually porcelain.
IF THE PRICE IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, THEN IT ISN’T PORCELAIN If the price is too good to be true, then it isn’t porcelain. Products that are not genuine porcelain can cause problems during and throughout the life of the installation because of fundamental technical issues which won’t be obvious while looking at the flag. If you are sourcing tiles for your customer, make sure you see the technical data sheet. From the manufacturing standard ‘BS EN 14411: 2006 Ceramic tiles. Definition, classification, characteristics and marking’, the key details to look for are the water absorption values. If the product has either an ‘AIa’ or ‘BIa’, both with water absorption less than 0.5% and the designation is dependent on the manufacturing process used, then it is allowed to be described as and sold as porcelain. In reality, some porcelains can offer much lower water absorption characteristics
(potentially down to 0.05%) which, while good for the aesthetics and longevity, needs a more focused installation to ensure a good, strong bond between the product and the mortar bedding. This is needed to ensure tiles don’t simply pop off the bedding during cold spells from any water ingress.
If it is correctly installed, high quality porcelain paving should produce a beautiful garden and very happy customers who will enjoy the finished product for years to come.
A BOU T M A R K M AC I N TOS H W AT S O N Mark is an experienced commercial engineering professional. He is an active committee and steering group member on a number of key industry organisations and trade associations responsible for product standards and product application. Mark has been at Brett Landscaping for over five years and is responsible for developing technical advice for application, product development and ensuring that products meet and exceed industry standards.
Pro Landscaper / June 2020 69
KEBUR REVEALS THE LAUNCH OF A NEW SET OF GUIDELINES FOR PORCELAIN PAVING, DEVELOPED WITH THE APL
s the market for porcelain paving has continued to grow over recent years, so too has our knowledge on how best to install the product. With installations taking place in such high numbers, landscapers and homeowners should rightly expect clear and consistent advice on how to achieve the very best aesthetics and durability. Alongside other suppliers and landscapers, Kebur Garden Materials has been supporting the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) to develop a set of guidelines that draws on what we’ve learnt and helps landscapers to avoid repeating common mistakes. What’s clear cut? Porcelain’s brittle nature, low porosity and clean edges mean certain techniques are generally considered essential; cutting with a water fed continuous diamond blade, using adequate PPE, tile spacers and bond bridges or slurry primer, for example, have all become standard practice. It’s also important for landscapers to be able to identify quality porcelain tiles from cheaper alternatives. Rectified edges make installation a lot easier and a full colour body means your tiles will look a consistent colour if using a cut edge as a step or coping.
SETTING HIGH STANDARDS FOR
Greyer areas of porcelain Some aspects of porcelain installation have tended to be more contentious, leaving landscapers lacking clear guidance and relying on their personal judgement. A lot of landscapers lay on a compacted sub-base of Type 1 scalpings. “This is fine for 90% of applications,” says David Booton of Kebur Garden Materials. “But the sub-base choice should be decided on several factors including ground and soil conditions. On clay
70 Pro Landscaper / June 2020
soils and new build housing developments, for example, we find a solid concrete base may be advisable if the ground conditions display the potential for excessive movement.” Landscapers also need to apply their experience to select from the wide choice of grouting products available. Kebur Garden Materials’ landscaping team often uses flexible exterior tile grout for its fine texture and durability. However, many products offer different advantages, from aesthetics to ease of application and suitability for cold and wet weather installation. “As a rule, the choice of jointing material should reflect the choice of permeable or non-permeable construction method,” says David Strows of Artform, who was also involved in developing the guidelines. Whilst the APL recommends a fall gradient of 1:60, it also suggests another option to
reduce this accentuated fall – laying porcelain with a permeable bedding system and jointing compound can allow water to run-off between tiles and provide a more sustainable drainage solution. Raising industry standards Due to be published by June, the APL Installation Guidelines set out clear dos and don’ts to help contractors achieve consistent high-quality results with a range of materials including porcelain. They will provide the backbone of APL work such as inspections, apprenticeships and the World Skills competition. “These guidelines will bring much-needed clarity,” explains Phil Tremayne, APL manager. “And should really help the industry unite around raising standards.” New South East landscaping training academy With growing consensus around installation, and new products emerging all the time, Kebur Garden Materials is committed to supporting the landscape industry to continually learn and improve. “We’re delighted to be planning the launch of the Kebur Landscape Academy later this year, in partnership with the APL,” says David Booton. “Landscapers will be able to access hands-on industry-backed training on porcelain and other installation techniques with expert trainers at our easy-to-reach location in the South East.” 1 Full colour-bodied porcelain like this Kebur Contempo Sandstorm gives a consistent colour on its cut edge, making it ideal for edges and bullnose copings. 2 Using tile spacers on porcelain is common practice. Other aspects of installation are more up for debate.
C O N TA C T Kebur Garden Materials, Lynchford Lane Farnborough, Hants, GU14 6JD
Tel 01252 517571 Email firstname.lastname@example.org www.kebur.co.uk
BOLDSTONE BOLDSTONESCULPTURE SCULPTURE
HOW TO CONTROL THE OPM Tackle the spread of oak processionary moths by planting certain flower bulbs that stimulate their natural enemies
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he oak processionary moth (OPM) continues to spread and is now well established in most of Greater London and in some surrounding counties. Government studies also show the pest spreading on an annual basis. Efficiently tackling the OPM comprises various measures which interact to combine forces. Stimulating the presence of natural enemies such as birds and insects is an essential link in the management of these troublesome caterpillars, in addition to the preventive spraying, the removal of the nests and catching the male butterflies with pheromone traps. Dutch bulb growers and exporters JUB Holland, widely known in the UK for its quality flower bulbs for landscapers and local authorities, has conducted research since 2015 into the possibilities of attracting the OPMâ€™s natural enemies with specific flower bulbs. Many insects will naturally combat the oak processionary caterpillars, such as parasitic flies, parasitic wasps and beetles. A large proportion of these insects depend on nectar and pollen during their lifetime as adult insects. One example is the common green lacewing (Chrysoperla carnea). The larvae are active
predators and feed on aphids and young caterpillars. The adults hibernate buried in leaf litter at the edge of fields, emerging when the weather warms up. Each female lacewing lays several hundred small eggs, choosing concealed spots near potential prey. The larvae hatch in three to six days, eat voraciously and can completely destroy caterpillar colonies. JUB Holland discovered that the OPMâ€™s natural enemies can be lured to the desired locations early in Spring by planting certain flower bulbs. Yellow flowers attract a lot of these insects, which is why it is important to plant daffodils. Blue grape hyacinths (Muscari) are nectar-rich and therefore frequently visited by insects. These are just two of the many bulbs used in the JUB Holland special bulb mix. Planting the mix near oak trees also contributes to the decline in the OPM population early in the season. Dutch local authorities and estates have already planted the mixture last autumn and this year, the mix will be available in the UK. For more information about the JUB Holland mix or to get a quote, please email email@example.com
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EMPEROR CLASSIC: NERO SANTIAGO
www.bowlandstone.com “You don’t need to be a specialist to install porcelain paving; the techniques used to install porcelain are similar to those for traditional paving. Porcelain needs to use a slurry paste/primer before laying. This avoids the paving pulling away from the concrete before drying.”
CED STONE GROUP
“Lay porcelain on a full mortar bed using a permeable mortar www.cedstone.co.uk such as StoneBed and use a strong primer. Slabs must be primed to ensure a good bond to the bedding layer. Porcelain doesn’t absorb moisture well, so when jointing, a little primer on the edges will assist the bond to any grout, unless you are using an external tile grout which is specifically designed for it, or a high strength slurry. A good fall on the paving is advisable because even the slightest amount of dew will sit on the top and will ice up much quicker than natural stone.”
T H E B E N E F I TS • Hard wearing • Porosity of 0.5% or lower • Scratch and slip resistant • Low maintenance • UV, frost and acid proof • Versatile
TOP TIPS FOR PERFECT INSTALL ATIONS
• Installation can be easier • Won’t require any sealing
EXPLORING THE BENEFITS OF PORCELAIN PAVING, WE HEAR FROM SOME PORCELAIN PAVING SUPPLIERS ON THEIR TOP INSTALLATION TIPS
“The thicker 20mm porcelain can be www.londonstone.co.uk installed the same way as natural stone, using a Type 1 aggregate sub-base and a semi-wet mix mortar bed. What is a must, however, is the use of an SBR primer on the back of the slabs to ensure the proper adhesion between the slabs and the mortar bed. When installing longer porcelain tiles (over 1m), dimensional tolerances on the surface can occur from the manufacturing process, therefore a staggered bond pattern is recommended to accommodate this.”
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GLOBAL STONE www.globalstonepaving.co.uk
Pictured: Cinder Porcelain Paving, London Stone Designed by Karen McClure, www.karenmcclure.co.uk Built by Esse Landscapes, www.esseland.co.uk
• Adds value to properties
“Always dry lay the patio first so you can www.bradstone.com ensure the homeowner is happy with the look and layout and, more importantly, that you have enough pavers. When laying porcelain paving, ensure you are using the correct bedding. Use a mechanical mixer to make a mortar of 4:1 sharp sand to Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) and be sure to avoid building sand or white cement. Using a masonry brush, coat the entire underside of the flag immediately prior to laying.”
“Check all packs have the same batch codes and you have enough slabs. Always use the correct cutting equipment, with a blade specifically suitable for porcelain. Always use a good quality grout or jointing compound that is non-porous and don’t butt joint porcelain. Don’t half bond tiles over 600mm long, maximum of one-third/two-third is recommended. Don’t let grout set on the surface of your porcelain; clean, clean, clean as you go. And, as always, ensure falls are correct.”
SIX NINE SERIES CALMA
Pro Landscaper / June 2020 73
WE ALL NEED SUPPORT WHEN WE’RE UNDER PRESSURE
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Deliver successful and sustainable landscaping and pitch construction projects with British Sugar TOPSOIL • General Purpose SubSoil – BS8601:2013-compliant and ideal for general landscaping purposes • Free-Draining SubSoil – for lawns, sports pitches and schemes that require its higher total sand content (95%) • BS3882:2015-compliant multipurpose topsoil for general landscaping and sports field construction projects • The perfect planting medium, with enhanced organic matter and optimum nutrient levels Available in bulk, or in bulk bags – minimum order required (£1 for every bulk bag sold will be donated to Perennial) 0870 240 2314 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bstopsoil.co.uk
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P EO P L E
LOVE HORTICULTURE MANDY BUCKLAND
I N S I D E P E O P L E T H I S M O N T H PA G E 7 7 F U R L O U G H C O U R S E S , PA G E 7 8 L O V E H O R T I C U LT U R E : M A N D Y B U C K L A N D , PA G E 7 9 W H AT â€™ S Y O U R R O L E ? : PA U L K I N G , PA G E 8 2 L I T T L E I N T E R V I E W S
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WE REMAIN OPEN, HOWEVER DELIVERIES ARE NOW CONTACTLESS
Delivering to Buckingham Palace
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Specialising in contaminate free materials, which are fully tested to the British Standard, our products are regularly specified by leading Landscape Designers, and widely used by the Landscape and Horticultural Trades and Industries Supplying orders from one bag to many thousands of tons, we offer a bagging service for merchants and undertake deliveries Nationwide, using our own fleet of Silver Fors trucks. Please call us to discuss your landscape material needs.
LANDSCAPE SUPPLIES Tel: 01306 877540 or buy online at
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DON’T MISS OUT ON THE
PRO LANDSCAPER ONLINE SUMMITS Catch up on the exclusive seminars and one-on-one interviews which have taken place so far.
For full details on all jobs, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk Call 01903 777 570 or email email@example.com with your vacancy
GARDENSCAPEDIRECT LTD Location: Kent Gardenscapedirect Ltd (a south east based garden and horticultural products manufacturing and retailing business, part of the Bourne Group) is seeking to appoint a Sales Manager, based in their head office at Cranbrook, Kent. Responsibilities include: 1. Heading up a small sales team taking sales orders over the phone and online 2. Maintaining and updating price information 3. Developing opportunities for growth Qualities required: 1. Proven management skills 2. Good team player in a youthful and ambitious management team 3. Dedication and commitment Salary not a constraint for the right person. Apply with full cv to Nicola@gardenscapedirect.co.uk.
GARDENSCAPEDIRECT LTD Location: Kent
For more details, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk
Gardenscapedirect Ltd (a south east based garden and horticultural products manufacturing and retailing business, part of the Bourne Group) is seeking to appoint a Sales Manager, based in their head office at Cranbrook, Kent. Responsibilities include: 1. Heading up a small sales team taking sales orders over the phone and online 2. Maintaining and updating price information 3. Developing opportunities for growth Qualities required: 1. Proven management skills 2. Good team player in a youthful and ambitious management team 3. Dedication and commitment
O NL I NE
Salary not a constraint for the right person. Apply with full cv to Nicola@gardenscapedirect.co.uk. For more details, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk
CORONAVIRUS: HOW A B USINESS OWNER CA N PREPA RE FOR LIFE POST-PAN DEMIC
We’ve spoken to some of the biggest names in the industry, including RHS director general Sue Biggs. From the impact on the supply chain to how small businesses are coping, we cover the biggest issues which are affecting the industry since lockdown began. Head to our YouTube channel to find out more! Keep an eye on the Pro Landscaper website for the next series of Online Summits.
W W W.Y O U T U B E . C O M / E L J AY S 4 4 W W W. P R O L A N D S C A P E R M A G A Z I N E . C O M
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UPSKILL YOUR FURLOUGH
AS THE FURLOUGH SCHEME CONTINUES AND MANY WORKERS REMAIN AT H O M E , W E TA K E A LO O K AT S O M E F R E E O N L I N E C O U R S E S W H I C H M AY E N C O U R AG E YO U TO S E I Z E T H E O P P O R T U N I T Y TO B U I L D U P YO U R S K I L L S E T
n 12 May, chancellor Rishi Sunak extended the job retention scheme, or ‘furlough’, until 31 October, with workers continuing to receive 80% of their current salary. It is a measure that many businesses have had to take in order to save jobs and their company. Indeed, according to HM Treasury: “The job retention scheme has protected 7.5 million workers and almost one million businesses.”
THE JOB RETENTION SCHEME HAS PROTECTED 7.5 MILLION WORKERS AND ALMOST ONE MILLION BUSINESSES From the start of August, however, new flexibility will be introduced to reopen the economy and support people back into work. The government has also said it will explore ways through which furloughed workers who wish to do additional training or learn new skills are supported. But are there things you could be doing in the meantime? As we enter another week of lockdown and the days continue to blur into one, there are actually lots of ways furloughed workers can make the most of their time and upskill without spending a penny. Alongside its web portal page which contains relevant sector guidance and supporting documents, BALI launched a series of bitesize digital marketing webinars in early April. These were subsidised by Landscape House which
meant they were free for members. Running until mid-June, webinars have so far covered search engine optimisation, Google analytics, LinkedIn, content marketing and online advertising. In mid-April, BALI started developing an online version of its popular ‘Register of Land-based Operations Health, Safety and Environmental Awareness Course’ (ROLO) for operatives. By working with the same training provider partner, the new operative ROLO course will shortly be available to those in the industry that need to attend a virtual ROLO session so they can continue their application for a LISS/ CSCS (Land-based Industry Skills Scheme/Construction Skills Certification Scheme) SmartCard. The Skills Toolkit offers a selection of free online courses, tools and resources to help you improve your digital and numeracy skills. The resources suit a range of interests and skill levels and have been developed by The Department for Education in consultation with some of the country’s leading educational experts and employers. Courses include everyday maths, creating a professional online presence and the fundamentals of digital marketing. If digital marketing is something that you’re looking to bring in-house, and you’d like more
than an introductory course, Shaw Academy is currently offering a selection of courses for free. You can earn an internationally recognised diploma in digital marketing while learning about SEO, SEM, SMM, content, strategy and campaign creation. There are in fact a number of free online digital courses, including Google Analytics Academy Courses which help you learn about Google’s measurement tools so that you can grow your business through intelligent data collection and analysis. The Open University has more than 40 years’ experience delivering flexible learning, and now OpenLearn offers the opportunity to access an abundance of free online courses to appeal to all interests and all skill levels. From money and business, to nature and environment, to health, sports and psychology, users are allowed to enrol on as many free courses as they like, earning statements of participations and digital badges. Lockdown has certainly been challenging for everyone, and during such an uncertain time it’s easy to feel unmotivated. But furlough doesn’t have to mean we stop learning, and what better way than by building skill sets and perhaps even learning new talents and interests?
Pro Landscaper / June 2020 77
# LOV E H O RT I C U LT U R E Mandy Buckland FOUNDER, GREENCUBE DESIGN
entered our industry back in 2003, snapping up an opportunity from my then employers, I grabbed a redundancy package and ran out the door from the repetition and the mundane tasks. I had a passion for design, longing to reshape my career, and a desire to find a meaningful and rewarding role. I went along to my local college open day and came away having signed up to a four-year degree course in garden design, much to my husband’s surprise. Why garden design? An innate desire to work with nature, a hunger for plant knowledge and an interest in design – it ticked all my boxes. The course taught me to analyse, discover, challenge, abstract, research and be original as well as the basic tools and skills to deliver good design. We were incredibly lucky, pushed and motivated, learning from a team of great lecturers who set the bar high. I also met a wonderful friend for life, Heidi Davies. It was the best move I’ve ever made. I love my job and can honestly say I look forward to each day. I worked for two design and landscape companies whilst studying, before setting up greencube design in 2007. I’ve had the privilege, experience and reward of designing show gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival, including a garden to highlight climate change in 2010. If you asked what my favourite garden style is, I would say pared back, easy on the eye and back to nature. My favourite compliments from clients are: “I’ve never had butterflies visit my garden until you arrived” and “this garden keeps on giving, we love it”. Creativity requires a relaxed mind. How do I relax? Early morning power walks, yoga, gardening (my garden is my test environment) and long coastal walks at the weekend, balancing life to enable creativity that’s fresh. It’s not a job, it’s my life – though my husband bans me from talking about work after 8pm every evening.
I LOVE MY JOB AND CAN HONESTLY SAY I LOOK FORWARD TO EACH DAY
T W E E T U S @ P R O L A N D S C A P E R U K A N D T E L L U S W H Y Y O U L O V E H O R T I C U LT U R E U S I N G T H E H A S H TA G # L O V E H O R T I C U LT U R E
Pro Landscaper / June 2020
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PAUL KING PANORAMIC LANDSCAPE CONTRACTORS PRO L ANDSCAPER CAUGHT UP ( VIA THE NEWLY FOUND ZOOM) WITH PAUL KING, WHO L AST WEEK TOOK UP HIS NEW ROLE AS BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR AT PANORAMIC L ANDSCAPE CONTRACTORS. THE COMPANY, FORMED IN 2019, PRIMARILY FOCUSES ON SOFT L ANDSCAPING IN LONDON, THE SOUTH E AST AND E AST MIDL ANDS
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aul has been in and around commercial landscaping most of his working life, previously working for companies such as ESL Landscape Contractors, The Grounds Care Group and more recently at Flora-tec Ltd. Apprentice trained at Hadlow College, with OND Comm Hort at Writtle University College, he continued his education working on the tools, going on to contract management, then into the business development roles. So, why the new role? And why now, just as the country moved into complete lockdown? Some might this see as a risk, but Paul explains that the conversation with Panoramic Landscapes started in early 2020, although not the right time for either party prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. “Obviously I knew Phil from our time together at ESL. I spoke to him, as he was in the process of starting Panoramic. But the reason I joined is that the company’s culture excited me with its ambition, desire to grow and the focus it is putting on delivering a great end job and high level of customer service, and on putting the client first.
“By nature, I’m a go-getter, I have built up some excellent relationships during my time in the industry and my new role will maximise both of these. I’m tasked to increase the company’s turnover, as long as the jobs fit within our criteria and delivers the right profit margin. So far this week, I have spent most of the time on the phone speaking to my contacts and building new ones. “The main focus is to explain and introduce Panoramic, let them know our credentials and initially make sure we get a shot of getting on the tender list. We know where we are good and what we can deliver, so we know which contracts suit our business and these will be the focus and the ones we want to win. “Though it’s a strange time, lots of the major contractors are still working and seem to have a little more time for conversations. Since the company was launched in 2019, we have already won some amazing work, including a single soft landscaping project worth just under
WE HAVE VERY EXPERIENCED DIRECTORS AND STAFF WHO HAVE DELIVERED EXCEPTIONAL PROJECTS OVER NUMEROUS YEARS £1m which proves we have the ability to deliver projects of high value. Even though the company is young, we have very experienced directors and staff who have delivered exceptional projects over numerous years. “For the first six months I will be judged on bringing new business through the door, which is of course what you would expect from a business development director. We need to build up our market presence, grow our visibility, build the portfolio and establish the reputation of being an excellent soft landscaping business that delivers.” There are some very interesting times ahead, not only for Panoramic, but for the whole of the commercial landscaping sector. “There will be unexpected opportunities within the industry, though, and Panoramic is ready to seize these,” says Paul. “Through experience and knowledge, we offer unbiased and insightful help to our clients.”
Pro Landscaper / June 2020 79
For full details on all jobs, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk Call 01903 777 570 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your vacancy
SKILLED LANDSCAPE GARDENER ANDRES GARCIA LANDSCAPING Location: Buckinghamshire
Andres Garcia Landscaping is looking for an experienced landscape gardener to join its busy and expanding landscaping team working in and around Milton Keynes and surrounding areas. The successful candidate will need to be well presented and self motivated. They will be working as part of a team, but there will also be occasions when they will be working on their own initiative. A full driving licence is essential. The right candidate should have experience as a landscaper and be proficient in paving and slab laying, timber framework and decking, block paving, groundwork, fencing and soft landscaping and garden maintenance.
IRRIGATION DESIGN AND INSTALLATION SPECIALIST CHOICE SHOPS LTD Location: Shropshire
Choice Shops Ltd, winner of the Best New Business in Shropshire Award, is seeking an irrigation specialist. The ideal candidate will need experience in the installation and design of irrigation systems, in either a domestic or commercial setting. Experience of water storage, distribution and drainage is a plus. Excellent communication and rapport-building skills are desired. Key responsibilities include building internal product knowledge and training the team, writing product buying guides, and identifying new products and opportunities to grow the business.
For more details, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk
For more details, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk
GROUNDS MAINTENANCE TEAM LEADER
If you have a love for the outdoors, a sense of pride in your work and always want to go the extra mile, then Tivoli has the opportunity for you. It is looking for a full-time grounds maintenance team leader to receive full training, competitive benefits, and the opportunity to develop a career. Previous experience of managing a team is essential. Responsibilities include team briefings, PPE checks, compliance with health and safety and all operational compliance. The successful candidate will need a full UK driving license and should be a team player with good communication skills and a can-do approach.
Stefano Marinaz Landscape Architecture (SMLA) is looking for a skilled horticulturalist to join its team. The successful candidate will be responsible for looking after SMLA’s clients’ gardens across London, and will work both independently as well as with the rest of the team. They should have at least an RHS Level 2, but a Diploma in Horticulture is more desirable. They will need to be honest, self-motivated, reliable, able to plan their work appropriately and have a friendly yet professional approach. The ability to pay attention to detail is also important, as is the need for a proactive and can-do attitude. A full driving license is also required.
For more details, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk
For more details, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk
Fresh Horticultural Careers’ client is looking for an experienced nursery worker to join its team. The Windsor-based company needs someone to take on general nursery works, potting, watering, stock control, as well as being client facing. Applicants will need good plantsmanship, though training can be provided, and a passion for plants is key. This is a great opportunity for someone looking to improve their plant knowledge. The nursery work that the successful candidate will undertake includes growing plants for major RHS shows, including Chelsea. It also includes contract growing for high end design clients to exacting timings. A driving license is essential.
A client of Fresh Horticultural Careers is looking to recruit an experienced head gardener to manage gardens/grounds in West London. Applicants must be trustworthy, reliable and have exceptional work experience. The ideal candidate with have previous grounds maintenance experience with the ability to identify common garden plants, pests and diseases. They will need to effectively manage their time and duties to ensure the grounds are well looked after. This is a large commercial project that will include leaf blowing and all round horticulture skills. An immediate start is available for the right candidate.
For more details, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk
For more details, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk
HARD LANDSCAPE MANAGER
Fresh Horticultural Careers’ design and build client based in South West London is seeking an experienced hard landscape manager to join its expanding team. This exciting hands-on role offers the opportunity to work on some top end gardens. It requires someone who can lead the team, showing initiative and good people skills. The successful candidate will need to be self-motivated with good horticultural knowledge and be passionate about landscaping. Their duties will include managing a hard landscaping team including timeliness, efficiency and looking smart at all times, as well as overseeing and carrying out landscaping projects.
Gardenscapes is looking for enthusiastic and experienced landscapers to join its team. Applicants must have an eye for detail and take pride in their work. They will need to have sound knowledge and experience of machines, including 360 digger/dumpers, though training can be provided. A full, clean UK driving license is essential. The successful candidate will benefit from working within one of the leading landscaping companies, working with some of the top designers. They will receive training on new products with suppliers. There are also opportunities for a career progression within this dynamic and growing company.
For more details, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk
For more details, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk
TIVOLI SERVICES Location: Berkshire
FRESH HORTICULTURAL CAREERS Location: Windsor, Berkshire
FRESH HORTICULTURAL CAREERS Location: South London
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STEFANO MARINAZ LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE LTD Location: London
FRESH HORTICULTURAL CAREERS Location: London
GARDENSCAPES Location: Surrey, Sussex
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T H E L I T T L E I N T E RV I E W
PRO LANDSCAPER ASKS QUICK-FIRE QUESTIONS TO GAIN A SMALL INSIGHT INTO THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE UP OUR INDUSTRY. TO TAKE PART, EMAIL CONTENT@ EL JAYS44.COM
Operations manager, idverde
Owner, Rae Wilkinson Garden & Landscape Design
You’re self-isolating – whos’ your favourite person to be locked up with? My wife (hope she sees this).
You’re self-isolating – whos’ your favourite person to be locked up with? I’m so glad to be in lockdown with my hubby and kids.
What’s changed in your daily routine that will continue post-lockdown? More use of Microsoft Teams and Zoom to replace phone calls; much better to speak to people face to face, albeit from afar. How many cups of tea/coffee are you now drinking per day? Lost count after eight. Best new series or book you’ve discovered? The English Game on Netflix – it’s a bit of football in these desperate times for live sport. What is your background noise when working from home? Radio 2, it’s like being in the office. In hindsight, what would you have prepared in advance? More meat in the freezer and more charcoal, both barbecue related. Is the government doing a good job of keeping you informed? Excellent daily updates on TV and social media.
How many cups of tea/coffee are you now drinking per day? Around four cups of green tea and lots of water – much less coffee than usual! Best new series or book you’ve discovered? Devs – brilliant. What do you miss most about pre-lockdown life? Real contact with friends and family. DIY or gardening? Gardening has won in our house, including some construction; our garden is finally looking how we have always wanted it to thanks to lockdown. What is your background noise when working from home? It has to be silence so I can concentrate on all the things I need to. In hindsight, what would you have prepared in advance? More materials for our gardening projects.
What’s your predicted date for returning to normality? Not sure we will see things back to normal this year, but I hope I’m wrong.
Is the government doing a good job of keeping you informed? In terms of work, parameters and support options during lockdown, it’s been a bit sketchy for our industry, particularly for small limited companies and sole traders.
Best new follow on social media? Rock the Lockdown on Facebook or @MORETHANWEEDS on Twitter.
Best new follow on social media? Mark Abdey. I love seeing his atmospheric paintings of Exmoor on my Instagram.
G R EG PAC K M A N
Managing director, NAG Solutions
Co-founder, The Landscaper’s Circle
Senior tree inspector, London Borough of Islington
What’s changed in your daily routine that will continue post-lockdown? Shopping on my own – I have the control!
What’s changed in your daily routine that will continue post-lockdown? Keeping hydrated! I thought I was drinking enough water, but I definitely wasn’t.
You’re self-isolating – whos’ your favourite person to be locked up with? The family cat.
How many cups of tea/coffee are you now drinking per day? I always need one coffee in the morning to get me going, but that’s generally it.
How many cups of tea/coffee are you now drinking per day? Seven or eight.
How many cups of tea/coffee are you now drinking per day? Way too many, but that’s nothing new; 10+. Best new series or book you’ve discovered? I’ve managed to escape Netflix and not watch much TV at all. Currently reading ‘Restoration Agriculture’ by Mark Shepherd. DIY or gardening? That’s a no brainer – I have a new garden! What is your background noise when working from home? I’m a man, therefore I cannot multitask – it’s silence for me. In hindsight, what would you have prepared in advance? It was really strange trying to use up stuff ready to move whilst all around me people were bulk buying everything. Had I been 100% confident that the move would go ahead, I would have set up garden materials orders to the new address. Is the government doing a good job of keeping you informed? I have to say I leave that to Mrs G; if I listened to it live, I’d end up getting it twice anyway, so I just get the Mrs G edit to save time. What’s your predicted date for returning to normality? I’m not really planning for normal; I’m looking to make some permanent changes to my life and my services.
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What do you miss most about pre-lockdown life? Hanging out with my friends, though we have been video calling and planning virtual pub quizzes. What time is ‘wine o’clock’? With or after dinner! Though I have to confess, wine is not up my street – Long Island Iced Teas and Vodka Cokes all the way! What is your background noise when working from home? I flit between silence and a couple of my playlists on Spotify. Is the government doing a good job of keeping you informed? I believe so. As an online business, The Landscaper’s Circle isn’t majorly affected, but our customers are, so we are trying to do everything we can to support them. What’s your predicted date for returning to normality? Hopefully soon, but I think it will be a couple of months. Best new follow on social media? @whitneyysimmons – Whitney has been posting no-equipment workouts that are accessible for all levels, which is amazing.
Best new series or book you’ve discovered? Tiger King and Mindhunters. What do you miss most about pre-lockdown life? Coughing without judgement. DIY or gardening? Gardening. What time is ‘wine o’clock’? Coffee o’clock for me – 7am onwards. What is your background noise when working from home? 5Live and 6Music. In hindsight, what would you have prepared in advance? Home gym. Is the government doing a good job of keeping you informed? Too many conflicting messages. What’s your predicted date for returning to normality? October. Best new follow on social media? The Mark Francois parody account on Twitter.
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