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March 2018

LONDON World’s first National Park City






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Refined & rustic BESTALL & CO LANDSCAPE DESIGN 20/02/2018 13:53

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the professionals’ choice

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March 2018 | Volume 8, Issue 3

Let’s Hear it From


Welcome to March 2018


David T Binks

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

when something new comes into the sector, and now that the whole process has been completed once we hope more businesses will want to be involved in future years to make it the event we feel the industry is deserving of. The feedback from the judging panel was that on the whole the entries were of a very high standard. We congratulate all the winners and of course, a special mention must go to Gristwood and Toms who carried away the Industry Partnership award and the Sponsors Supreme award. Well done to Darren Kilby and his team for an exemplary entry which was written from the heart. Of course, we must also congratulate Mark Gregory on the Most Influential award – many

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

Deputy Editor – Nina Mason Tel: 01903 777 583

Horticulture Careers – Laura Harris Tel: 01903 777 580

Features Editor – Abbie Dawson Tel: 01903 777 604

Managing Director – Jim Wilkinson Tel: 01903 777 589

Content Manager – Claire Maher Tel: 01903 777 601


Production Editor – Charlie Cook Tel: 01903 777 578 Subeditor – Kate Bennett Tel: 01903 777 597

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Subscription enquiries – Emily Maltby Tel: 01903 777 570

LONDON World’s first National Park City



Welcome to the March issue of Pro Landscaper. Last month’s inaugural Pro Landscaper Business Awards ceremony was held in the heart of London’s business district and celebrated the success of a varied range of companies who are succeeding at running a business as well as the fabulous work they do on projects and schemes. Jim and I were, as always, bowled over by the support we received from the industry when the awards were launched last year, in terms of the sponsorship we received from suppliers, the judging panel who gave their time and consideration to the entries and of course the people and businesses that took the time to enter. We realise there is always an element of caution

March 2018



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of you will have seen the initiative we launched last year to find the most influential people in the landscape sector. The final 24 were named at FutureScape 2017, with Mark receiving the most votes from 200 of his industry peers. His reaction to the award was: “I’m truly honoured and on cloud nine, it really is the best accolade I have ever had and ever will. To be held in that regard by your peers is as good as it will ever get.” Congratulations to Mark from Jim, myself and all the team at Pro Landscaper. If you’re interested in next year’s awards, you can register your interest now by contacting Have a great month,



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

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

The Association of

Professional Landscapers

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

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

Cover image ©Kat Weatherill (

Pro Landscaper / March 2018


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March 2018 INFORM

8 Agenda In the wake of the collapse of Carillion, would you forfeit your own payment terms for the opportunity to work for a large service provider?


10 News Our monthly roundup of industry news

13 BALI-NCF and STIHL GB Collaborating to deliver hedge trimmer training to contractor companies

14 News Extra: 30 Under 30 Green-tech to sponsor this year’s event

16 Pro Landscaper

Business Awards 2017

Read all the coverage from our brand new event

18 SGD Awards 2017 All the winners from this year’s ceremony

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

24 The Chelsea Diaries Robert Barker and Ed Burnham share their progress as they plan their Chelsea debuts

29 Let’s Hear It From Maylim

32 Company Profile Ground Control

34 Landscape Architect’s Journal Robert Myers Associates

36 View From the Top Nick Temple-Heald considers Carillion’s collapse and what it means for the industry

39 All Together Now It’s important to share and celebrate knowledge and expertise, says Adam White


Pro Landscaper / March 2018

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March 2018


Let’s Hear it From THOMAS O’MAHONY

LONDON World’s first National Park City








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40 The Clock is Ticking Andrew Wilson ponders how much designers should charge for their time

43 Grey to Green With the proposed Camden Highline in mind, Angus Lindsay discusses greening cities

44 Risky Business David T Binks provides a framework on reducing business risk

46 New Dawn How Great Martins Estate is being restored to its former glory

50 National Park City Daniel Raven-Ellison tells us why London should be a National Park City


55 Natural Charm Woodland planting brings privacy to a modern new property

58 Refined Rusticity A historic farm in Yorkshire is given an elegant garden

62 Check Mate Gabion walls and geometric paving create a chic garden for a new build

65 In Play London’s Dollar Bay development gains a versatile outside space for both adults and children

70 Scandi Style Anji Connell explains how the trend for all things Nordic can be brought outside

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Golden Oldies Noel Kingsbury on the delights of our heritage daffodils


Spotting Disease in Turf Coral Russell offers tips for preventing and spotting turf pests and diseases


Nursery Interview Behind the scenes at green wall specialist Treebox


103 Pest Focus Identify and control Pittosporum psyllid with help from Jeff Stephenson

104 Machine Heads Peter Wilder on how technology will slot into the future of landscaping

106 Helping You Make a Profit Sam Hassall explains how to identify and manage your risk

108 Rich Pickings Creatively designed allotments are possible, says Sean Butler

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Love Horticulture


Happy memories and healing spaces – why Rachel Eberle loves horticulture


Street Furniture Trends Romy Rawlings tells us what we can expect to see on our streets in the future


Lighting The stories behind four successful lighting schemes


Planters We take a look at the key planter trends for 2018

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

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Palmstead Soft Landscape Workshop 2017 Reporting back from this year’s edition of the successful event


Designer Plants Jenny Jones transforms a London backyard into a green oasis


Tried and True Seven reliable and versatile perennials, chosen by Andy McIndoe


Hit the Fig Time Ian Drummond explains why the fiddleleaf fig is the perfect interior addition



©Luke Massey



Tough Customers Alpines are great for those with smaller gardens, says Jamie Butterworth

Spring into Action Advice from Robert Webber on using lighting to get gardens spring ready

113 What I’m Reading Darryl Moore reviews Landscape for Living by Garrett Eckbo

117 What’s Your Role? Sarah Seery, head of horticulture and landscaping at Capel Manor College

118 Battery Powered Kit Our pick of the best battery equipment

121 Robot Mowers How they can revolutionise grounds maintenance

123 Product DNA Kebur Contempo Sierra Porcelain

125 Trading With Gaze Burvill

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

Pro Landscaper / March 2018


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Angus Lindsay

Noel Kingsbury

Peter Wilder

Ian Drummond

Group head of assets and fleet management, idverde

Garden designer and writer

Principal, Wilder Associates and Survey Drone Ltd

Creative director, Indoor Garden Design

With Camden considering its own version of New York’s iconic High Line, Angus Lindsay marvels at the power of nature to turn redundant urban eyesores into green refuges. Voicing his support for the volunteers who maintain these vital green spaces, Angus contemplates future opportunities for greening the industrial scars of our past, and the technology that could aid us.

The Wordsworth couplet ‘And then my heart with pleasure fills, and dances with the daffodils’ chimes with the sentiments expressed in Noel Kingsbury’s column, as he explores the origins and benefits of these harbingers of spring. Noel champions the understated charm of Narcissus pseudonarcissus, the UK’s ‘wild’ daffodil, and reflects on how these petite natives can be outshone by their showier cousins.

Concluding his series on the impact of future technology, Peter Wilder looks at robots, automation and artificial intelligence, and considers how it might shape the future of employment. Will machines be friend or foe, and what influence are they likely to have? Peter explores the possibilities, and joins us again next month with a new three-part series.

Ian Drummond introduces us to the long-lived, and delightfully named, fiddle-leaf fig (Ficus lyrata). Guaranteed to make a statement, this big, bold beauty is something of a celebrity in indoor planting, admired by interior designers and architects alike. It’s certainly not one to play second fiddle! Ian shares fascinating Ficus facts, and top tips for keeping these sculptural specimens as fit as a fiddle. @noelk57 @WilderAssociate @survdrone @IndoorGdnDesign

Other contributors Jeff Stephenson Head of horticulture and aftercare, Bowles & Wyer

Adam White Director, Davies White Ltd

Andy McIndoe Leading horticulturist

Sam Hassall Managing director, LandPro Ltd

Andrew Wilson Garden designer and lecturer

Jamie Butterworth Horticultural consultant, London Stone

Sean Butler Director, Cube 1994

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

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Anji Connell Interior architect and landscape designer

Nick Temple-Heald Chairman, idverde UK

Robert Webber Founder, Scenic Lighting

Pro Landscaper / March 2018


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The collapse of the UK’s second biggest construction firm, Carillion, is a huge concern to around 30,000 smaller businesses, which have been left wondering whether they will be paid for the projects that they were working on with the firm. Carillion was involved in some of the largest development projects across the country, including HS2, and collapsed with a debt of £1.5bn. The collapse has already had an impact on the landscape industry, leading us to ask: Would you forfeit your own payment terms for the opportunity to work for a large service provider?

Ken White Managing director, Frosts Landscape Construction

set on achieving milestones. The average payment terms are between 30-45 days from the date of agreed application. The issue comes when an MC such as Carillion puts subcontractors on 60-day terms or, in extreme cases, 120-day terms, which ultimately means 150 days’ of cost prior to receiving your first payment. The MC sometimes offers a facility to factor the invoice back to more preferred payment terms; however, you are ultimately giving away margin to achieve this. The real issue, assuming you accept the terms, is being paid later than the terms state – sometimes waiting years to get your retentions back, due to there being only one certificate of making good defects. Retentions are between 1.5-2.5% of the contract value after practical completion, which can be a large percentage of your profit, depriving the business of cash for future growth and increased market costs.

Robert Crowder Unfortunately, in the world of commercial construction, the payment terms are nearly always set by the main contractor (MC) – unlike in domestic landscaping, where you have more control over the terms. There are a variety of different payment triggers depending on the form of contract; some contracts are set on the percentage complete at the end of each month, others are 8

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Chairman, Crowders Nurseries

The temptation to grow any business by winning contracts from the big players is irresistible to most ambitious entrepreneurs. However, cash flow is crucial, especially for an expanding enterprise, and payment terms are vital. Since

the financial crisis of 2008, our business has become much more disciplined in credit management, and also risk management in general. A good benchmark is to not let one account become more than 15% of the total turnover of the business, otherwise the risk may be unsustainable. It’s not just a question of financial security – there is also a risk that a key customer gets taken over by another business with its own established supply chain, and then a key account is suddenly lost. We all like winning large contracts, but managing risk is an important part of running a successful business.

Ed Griffiths Head of operations, CGM Group

On a day-to-day basis I have always been reluctant to forfeit payment terms for the opportunity to work; however, as an employer, I have amended payment terms before. I have considered forfeited payment terms for the following reasons in the past: • Volume of work – bigger orders can offer stability and/or security to our finances. • Type of work – where the business has larger plant/equipment that can be utilised, we would rather see this working than being in the depot.

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• Seasonality of work – often during quiet spells, an opportunity to maintain staffing levels is desirable and minimises the time and resources required when recruiting. • References – reputation is a key factor in securing new business, so where work will increase our reputation and offer references for future works. • Strong working relationships – if very strong working relationships have been previously built and a client is deemed low risk, this could result in extended payment. All of the above would only be considered if the company passed our in-house credit check. Credit checks are bombproof – it’s a base level of security.

Dr Marcus Watson Managing director, Ground Control

It is outrageous that thousands of concerned employees and subcontractors are facing uncertainty as a result of Carillion’s collapse. With 120-day payment terms, convoluted applications and invoicing hoops, unequal terms and conditions heavily weighted against its suppliers, Carillion was using its supply chain’s cash to fund its race to the bottom, winning seemingly unsustainable contracts which they expected would be delivered by a sub-servient

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(desperate perhaps?) supply chain. We previously worked with Carillion when they took over our clients’ integrated supply chain. After trying hard to agree fair terms, we decided not to compromise further and we declined to work for them, foregoing a stable, positive relationship with the end customer. As a result, Carillion black-balled us. But this had benefits: some customers came to us directly and we had significantly reduced our exposure to Carillion when it went into administration. Our decision to walk away from this relationship was absolutely the right one: there is never a bad time to do the right thing for your business, people and customers. To answer the question, we are very happy to work with customers and contract in ways that work for them. We consider payment terms similarly to operational matters, weighing up the risks and rewards to determine whether the payment terms are acceptable. What we will not do is to forfeit our values. If a contract or relationship seems unfairly biased: walk away. What we learned with Carillion is that institutional bullies should not be allowed to win.


Owen Baker Technical officer for policy & research, BALI

Following the collapse of Carillion, BALI research revealed that most members choose not to forfeit their own payment terms for the opportunity to work for a service provider, regardless of its size. Members who rejected contracts and future work, when faced with requests for extended payment periods and potentially riskier clauses, were protected from losses during Carillion’s collapse. However, BALI is aware that this stance is difficult for smaller businesses to implement, as they may not be able to dismiss lucrative work as easily, or contest less favourable contract terms in a crowded marketplace. BALI is also aware that credit insurance may not always provide the protection required to reassure businesses that engaging with main contractors deemed even a minor risk by credit insurers. Risks resulting from aberrant or even illegal contracts, together with limited protection from credit insurance, are issues that negatively impact the industry.

What are the benefits and pitfalls of collaborating with other garden designers or landscapers?

Have your say: Pro Landscaper / March 2018


19/02/2018 16:27


NEWS Nurture Landscapes acquires Gavin Jones to create £65m group

Piet Oudolf to design feature for RHS show in 2018

Gavin Jones has become part of the Nurture Landscapes group of companies. The combined group will have sales of £65m, employ

From 2-8 July, The RHS’s largest flower festival will return to Hampton Court Palace, with new content for 2018 including iconic horticulture, a mass planting of Verbena bonariensis, and an immersive feature taking visitors on a journey through time. The show will celebrate iconic horticultural figures, welcoming influential landscape designer, nurseryman and author Piet Oudolf. Internationally acclaimed for transforming urban spaces, the Dutch designer will be bringing his naturalistic style to the show, creating a whimsical walkthrough feature. Using bold drifts of herbaceous perennials and grasses, the border will sit opposite the historical palace to create an array of colours and textures. Visitors will be able to immerse themselves in a meadow of Verbena bonariensis, which will sweep along the Long Water. The show will also take visitors on a journey through time, exploring

1,000 staff and service more than 3,500 clients across the UK. Gavin Jones will continue to trade under the name Gavin Jones as a wholly owned trading subsidiary of Nurture Landscapes Holdings Ltd.

Nurture Landscapes has expanded considerably since it was founded in 2008. It has a turnover of £35m, with around 550 staff and a national presence. Gavin Jones, which focuses mainly on the south, has a turnover of £30m, employs 450 staff and holds a Royal Warrant. Nurture has made 17 acquisitions to date, and qualified

for the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 in 2014 and 2015. The company was also recently announced as the UK national winner of the European Business Award for Social Responsibility and Environmental Awareness. The two companies are both IIP Gold-accredited and share best practice in common areas of business within the landscape maintenance industry. Nurture Landscapes’ business consists of landscape maintenance, winter gritting, plant displays and design and build construction. Gavin Jones will add significant capacity to the business’s commercial landscaping arm, as well as contracts for Richmond, Greenwich and Bushy Parks. It will be business as usual for clients of both companies; the main changes will be behind the scenes, as the Gavin Jones head office team will move from Weybridge to Nurture’s head office in Sunningdale.

the evolution of plants on earth. ‘Evolve: Through the Roots of Time’ will guide guests from the barren landscapes prior to the Cambrian era more than 500m years ago, through the Jurassic period’s lush tropical jungles, and into the present day, where visitors will walk through a meadow of flowering plants that first appeared during the Cretaceous period. Housed inside a dome structure and spilling out into the showground, the experience will open curious minds, showing how fossils were formed and seeds developed. The Floral Marquee will see 85 specialist nurseries take part, and other highlights include the inspirational gardens and annual Festival of Roses.

idverde sponsors Colchester’s tree giveaway scheme for a second year idverde’s Colchester team joined its client, Colchester Borough Council, to deliver the annual Trees for Years event. Now in its 12th year, this scheme provides over 2,000 free trees and fruit bushes to the local community. This year’s event saw more than 700 residents bag up to three trees for individuals, or 15 per school, 10

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community group, or parish council. This year’s trees included Acer campestre (field maple), Betula pendula (silver birch), Cornus (dogwood), and Corylus avellana (hazel), along with fruit bushes such as blackcurrant and gooseberry. This is the second consecutive year that idverde, which maintains the Borough’s parks and green spaces,

has sponsored the event. Members of idverde’s Colchester team were on hand to help distribute trees and

provide advice to residents on which would be suitable for their gardens. Cllr Tina Bourne, portfolio holder for housing and communities, said: “The event is always hugely popular, showing that Colchester residents share our commitment to creating an attractive and even greener place to live.”

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Glendale Horticulture strengthens management team Following the untimely death of Tony Hewitt, executive chairman of the Parkwood Group, in late December, Glendale Horticulture is taking action to reorganise and bolster the senior management team. “Tony had been actively involved in managing the business and it’s important that additional resource is added to the team to ensure we drive the business forward and exceed our commitments for the coming season,” says Mike Brunskill, director. Andrew Bennett will return to the organisation in the role of

sales director. Andrew, who is well known in the industry, will contribute his substantial experience and key customer facing skills, while Munya Verenga now heads up the production team across the company. Other members of the senior management team include Mike Brunskill, a long-term senior executive in the Parkwood Group, Phil Denman, who remains as

finance director, Simon Pearson, who has been non-executive director for two years, and Tony Milne, who provides systems and process support to the business. “Andrew will fill an important role for us during the coming season, and with further positions being recruited to support the sales team, we are looking forward to a strong performance in 2018. We have a clear strategy and the team and systems to really drive the business forward,” says Mike.

Registration opens for Pro Landscaper LIVE Bristol The Pro Landscaper team is delighted to announce the return of Pro Landscaper LIVE, with a series of exciting events happening across the UK. Following its 2017 launch, Pro Landscaper LIVE will take to the road again to educate, inform and inspire in Bristol, Guildford, Manchester and Leeds. The 2018 series will begin in Bristol on Thursday 22 March, at the historic De Vere Tortworth Court. Speaking of the inaugural event in Bristol, Pro Landscaper’s managing director Jim Wilkinson says: “The concept of a local ‘pop-up event’ that brings the

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industry together within a specific region proved extremely successful last year. We are delighted to take the Pro Landscaper LIVE event to Bristol, with an afternoon packed full of content, networking opportunities and a relaxed dinner. We look forward to welcoming landscapers, designers and landscape architects from the Bristol region.” The afternoon will take the form of a welcome lunch, a number of topical seminars and an industry debate including some of the industry’s most influential landscapers, garden designers, landscape architects, contractors

and suppliers. The day will close with a drinks reception and a threecourse evening dinner. Pro Landscaper LIVE will be based on an invite-only, first come, first served basis; each event only has space for 80 delegates. To register your interest, please contact Amber on 01903 777 581, or at

NEWS IN BRIEF Provender Nurseries expands team

Provender Nurseries has hired two new staff members. Graham Nott will join the quoting team, with more than 30 years’ experience in horticulture and customer service. Martin Wilson, who previously ran his own landscape maintenance company for 25 years, will be heading the cash and carry counter team.

Ransomes continues long partnership with Continental Landscapes Continental Landscapes has taken delivery of 33 pieces of machinery from Ransomes, marking a 20-year relationship between the two.

Lotus Design Studio awarded Best of Houzz 2018

London’s Lotus Design Studio has won a Best of Houzz award for customer service. The multi-award-winning design firm was chosen by the more than 40m monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community.

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Call for entries for new category at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 2018 The RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 2018 kicks off on Wednesday 18 July, and this year the brand new Future Spaces category is being introduced. This calls people from across the landscaping sector to push boundaries and make use of innovative concepts to design a futuristic outdoor space. There is still time to enter and

receive industry recognition for being a part of the flower show, as well as the opportunity to showcase talent and artistic flair. Once entries for applications close in late March to early April, three gardens will be selected to receive a grant of £10,000 to help finance the construction and planting. Entries can be built in any

shape up to 64m², and should be viewed from three sides. Each of the garden designs selected will be eligible for RHS medals, as well as nomination for the People’s Choice awards, and one of the selected gardens will receive the award for Best Future Space.

For your daily news update, please visit the Pro Landscaper website:



Laura Welborn-Baker


recently moved from private practice to the University of York to be part of the masterplan and development team, and my first few months have been spent understanding and exploring the way the campus is used and how students, staff and visitors view the existing landscape. I’ve been working with Make Architects on the University Masterplan, which covers development for the


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next 20 years. An important part of this is the creation of a Landscape Design Guide, which includes planting/species selection and management, hard surfacing materials and street furniture. The university was established in the Sixties, when the design concept was college-style CLASP buildings that had a strong focus on landscape. Developed around a principle of ‘intensive tree planting and the creation of a varied and interesting landscape’, it is known for having the largest plasticbottomed lake in Europe.

Chartered landscape architect Laura Welborn-Baker, one of Pro Landscaper’s 30 Under 30 in 2016, will be providing us with a quarterly update on the University of York’s 20-year, £500m campus masterplan as it enters its first phase, along with a number of other projects across the university

The university recently expanded over an area of approx. 117ha to create Campus East. When it comes to both the architecture and the landscape, Campus East and Campus West are very different in terms of scale and style. Campus East has a strong focus on sustainable drainage, wildlife habitats and naturalistic planting. This includes open swales and a large number of bird species; recently, an otter was spotted. Currently I’m working on a university-wide external signage and wayfinding strategy. The proposed strategy removes existing signage, reduces visual clutter and relies on a hierarchy of information to allow people to find their way around. The concept divides the campus into colour-coded zones, reflected on all signs and buildings.

I’m designing a new public open space outside Central Hall, one of the original campus buildings, which is used for graduation ceremonies, conferences and various events. The design will create an entrance and welcome area for people to gather, as well as an appropriate setting for an ‘iconic’ campus building.

Over the next few months I’m looking forward to many more landscape challenges across campus, and to avoiding the geese in nesting season – I’ve heard they can be vicious!

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collaborates with STIHL GB


ALI-NCF and one of the leading equipment manufacturers, STIHL GB, have collaborated to deliver expert hedge trimmer training to 30 contractor companies at four land-based colleges across the UK. Safety is a priority for the grounds maintenance industry’s National Contractors Forum, which deems it critical to create a safe working environment for the industry’s workforce.

‘Train-the-Trainer’ sessions were held from 23 January to 1 February to improve the safe use of hedge trimmers in the industry, as incorrect use of these was identified as a major risk to safety when the main causes of the most frequently occurring accidents were determined from BALI-NCF member organisations sharing accident statistics for the first time. Expert instructors from STIHL provided face-to-face training to more than 200 on-site trainers, including contract managers, team

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leaders and supervisors, who all received a certificate on completion. These half day workshops were held at Sparsholt College, Harper Adams University, Oatridge College and Myerscough College. The programme provided a combination of classroom teaching and practical hedge trimmer use, and covered topics including PPE, noise and vibration exposure, basic maintenance of the hedge trimmer, refuelling, and how to make both horizontal and vertical cuts.

OUR GOAL IS FOR EVERY ONE OF OUR EMPLOYEES TO RETURN SAFELY HOME EACH DAY Relevant clips were shown from a training video created by STIHL in collaboration with ISS Landscaping and Mitie Landscapes, which attendees could take away with them along with all of the course material developed by STIHL. These can now be used to deliver the operation training course to their own teams, in the hope of enabling thousands of the UK’s grounds maintenance workforce to carry out hedge trimming more safely. Feedback following the training has been overwhelmingly positive, with attendees

saying that it was an “excellent course” with “knowledgeable instructors” and “great videos and training”, all verifying the initial success of the project. Phil Jones, chairman of the National Contractors Forum, said: “There is a real will amongst the NCF members to work together to reduce workplace injuries. “Our goal is for every one of our employees to return safely home each day. We have made a good start in delivering on this, through the expert training delivered by STIHL GB. The ultimate measure of success, however, will be a significant and sustained reduction in injuries within our industry.”

Having addressed the highest cause of accidents with this training, a process has been set up for BALI-NCF members to submit accident statistics monthly to highlight the trends. From this, BALI-NCF will be able to extract a summary of other areas where safety training is necessary in the industry. Sharing the accident statistics will also provide BALI-NCF with the ability to benchmark this industry against others, and to benchmark individual companies against the industry as a whole, which will be invaluable for bid and sales processes. Pro Landscaper / March 2018 13

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GREEN-TECH to sponsor 30 Under 30: The Next Generation 2018 The award-winning landscaping supplier is on board for the 2018 edition of our prestigious event


ow in its fourth year, Pro Landscaper’s 30 Under 30: The Next Generation will be returning to FutureScape 2018 to recognise the achievements of ambitious young people within the industry. Last year saw the highest number of entries yet, securing its place as a highly coveted accolade within the sector. Sponsoring the increasingly popular initiative this year is award-winning landscaping supplier Green-tech. Commenting on the sponsorship, Greentech’s chairman Richard Kay said: “I am delighted to support and sponsor Pro

“Green-tech is a leading landscaping supplier and we are always happy to be able to give something back. We have had several of our team announced as previous 30 Under 30 winners, which has been wonderful for their confidence and motivation. They are all rising through the business. “I will be personally delighted if, by sponsoring this initiative, we can contribute to helping others do the same.” Jim Wilkinson, managing director of Pro Landscaper magazine, said: “At Pro Landscaper we are very proud of our products and their position within the market, but 30 Under 30: The Next Generation has to be one of the most significant initiatives that we have launched. “By the end of 2018, we will have recognised 120 members of the landscaping industry’s ‘next generation’. We also love to keep in touch with our previous winners, most of whom have

continued to develop and grow their careers within the sector. “We are delighted that, since its inception, the whole landscape industry has gotten behind the initiative, though this has made the judging more difficult; over the years, both the quantity and quality of entries has risen substantially. “This year, we are thrilled to welcome Green-tech on board as sponsor; we know that developing young people in the industry is a particular passion for Richard and Rachel Kay, so our partnership for 2018’s 30 Under 30: The Next Generation is the perfect fit. We’re sure the class of 2018 will be spectacular, and we can’t wait to see the entries.” Application details for 30 Under 30: The Next Generation 2018 will be announced in the near future.

Landscaper’s 30 Under 30: The Next Generation 2018. It’s a fantastic initiative and one close to my heart. I’m a firm advocate of inspiring the younger generation into the industry, investing in and developing them. After all, they will be the future faces of our industry. 14

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Oak View Landscapes The judges’ comments: “With a very strong emphasis on staff, recruiting, training, developing and has put in place good incentives. Profit sharing bonus, additional holiday incentives, their own awards, and company days. 89% staff retention figure over the past 5 years” “Very strategic and structured approach, which has resulted in strong growth and good profit margins. And as a business is very passionate about the landscaping sector, with their MD playing a key role in the industry. Sharing knowledge, experience and helping mentor young and up and coming businesses”

“This is truly a very well-run business with a great ethos”

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n Friday 9 February over 200 people gathered in the heart of London’s business district at the East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf, for the inaugural Pro Landscaper Business Awards ceremony and luncheon. The 11 category winners plus the Sponsor’s Supreme Award and Most Influental Overall winner were toasted at the event, hosted by former BBC News business reporter Declan Curry. Congratulations to all the shortlisted and winning people and companies from all the Pro Landscaper team. Details for next year’s awards will be announced on our website soon, keep an eye out for information to make sure you can be involved next year.

Matt Loader of Gristwood and Toms and Rod Pooley of Bristol City Council, winners of Sponsor’s Supreme Award with Giles Heap from CED Stone Group

Ground Control, winners of Commercial Landscape Company

Green-tech Ltd, winners of Supplier category 16

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Gillespies, winners of Landscape Architect Practice, with Jack Sweeney of Tobermore and Declan Curry

Glendale, winners of Apprenticeship Scheme category

JPS Landscape Design, winners of Garden Design Practice

Oak View Landscapes with Jim Wilkinson

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The winners Industry Partnership – sponsored by FutureScape Gristwood and Toms, in partnership with Bristol City Council Apprenticeship Scheme – sponsored by Horticruitment Glendale Landscape Architect Practice – sponsored by Tobermore Gillespies

Garden Designer – sponsored by Global Stone Butter Wakefield of Butter Wakefield Garden Design Garden Design Practice – sponsored by Lateral Design Studio JPS Landscape Design

Mark Gregory, winner of Most Influential Overall

Host Declan Curry

Supplier – sponsored by Adtrak Green-tech Ltd Grounds Maintenance – sponsored by Bourne Amenity Nurture Landscapes Commercial Landscape Company – sponsored by Green-tech Ground Control

Clare Morgan of Global Stone with Butter Wakefield

Design & Build – sponsored by Creepers Landform Consultants Landscape Company <£1m Turnover – sponsored by Turf Group Acre Landscapes

Matt Loader of Gristwood and Toms and Rod Pooley of Bristol City Council with Jamie Wilkinson

Mark Gregory and Catherine MacDonald from Landform Consultants with Robert Ryall from Creepers and host Declan Curry

Landscape Company >£1m Turnover Oak View Landscapes CED Stone Group Supreme Winner Gristwood and Toms, in partnership with Bristol City Council Most Influential Overall Mark Gregory

Acre Landscapes with Matt Spedding from Turf Group

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Drew Wetherell from Bourne Amenity with Nurture Landscapes

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Robert Myers MSGD and Giles Heap from CED Stone Group

James Smith and John Wyer FSGD from Bowles & Wyer with Anne Jennings MSGD

SGD AWARDS 2017 The SGD’s sixth annual ceremony saw garden designers come together to celebrate the past year’s successes

The ceremony, held on Friday 2 February, saw 400 people pack the Grand Ballroom at The Landmark Hotel in London, all waiting to hear the winners announced. The ceremony was hosted by designer and broadcaster Ann-Marie Powell and sponsored by CED Stone Group, which chose the event to showcase its new brand identity. Robert Myers MSGD was presented with the most prestigious award of the night, winning the Grand Award for ‘The Magic Garden’ at Hampton Court Palace, while Matt Keightley MSGD won three awards, including the distinguished Judges’ Award for his eastern-inspired Tyre Hill House Garden. In total, 17 designers were presented with awards across 19 categories, including accolades for the best Large Residential Garden,


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Healing or Learning Garden, International Garden and Roof Garden. The SGD Student Awards were won by Sheila Jack and Nicky Burridge. Sheila was the winner in the Student Design – Domestic category, winning the award for two of her submitted projects, while Nicky won the award for Student Design – Commercial. Other special awards presented on the night included the SGD Lifetime Achievement Award, granted to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the landscape and garden design profession. Gifted by the Council of the SGD, this year’s award was given to international landscape designer and philosopher Fernando Caruncho.

Nick Sharpe from Stonemarket and Helen Elks-Smith

Bo Cook, David Dodd, Giles Heap from CED and guest

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THE WINNERS International Award

Planting Design

Public or Commercial Outdoor Space


James Basson MSGD

Robert Myers MSGD John Lawson from Alitex with Fernando Caruncho and Sarah Morgan MSGD

Large Residential Garden

Acres Wild (Registered Practice) Medium Residential Garden (joint winners)

Matt Keightley MSGD and Ian Kitson FSGD

Matt Keightley MSGD Ian Kitson FSGD Historical Garden Restoration

Christian Sweet MSGD Paper Landscapes

Carolyn Willitts

Student Design Commercial

Nicky Burridge

Small Residential Garden

Helen Elks-Smith MSGD Garden by Robert Myers, winner of The Grand Award ©Alex Ramsay

Sheila Jack (x2 projects)

Garden Jewel (joint winners)

Jane Brockbank MSGD and Sue Townsend MSGD

People’s Choice Award

Roof Garden

Lifetime Achievement Award

Big Ideas, Small Budget

The Judges’ Award

Healing or Learning Garden

The Grand Award

Emily Erlam

Anne Windsor

Andrew Barringer from Harrod Horticultural, Matt Keightley MSGD and Richard Sneesby

Student Design Domestic

Ann-Marie Powell Landscapes

Fiona Stephenson MSGD Fernando Caruncho

Matt Keightley MSGD Robert Myers MSGD

Allon Hoskin and Joe Swift MSGD Jane Brockbank MSGD, Duncan Smith from Brett Landscaping and Sue Townsend MSGD

Andrew Spetch, Nicky Burridge, Andy Sturgeon FSGD, Sheila Jack and Jamie Butterworth

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Host Ann-Marie Powell MSGD

Images © Edward Hill



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Parks Alliance matters

Green shoots It’s been a long winter; weather has tested work plans, and funding has come under increased pressure. Let’s hope the green shoots appearing across our parks are a symbol of things to come! Rishi Sunak MP was appointed as the new Minister for Parks and Green Spaces following the cabinet reshuffle,

and we look forward to working with him. The Parks Alliance participated in the Parks Action Group (PAG), at which we reaffirmed the issues facing parks and considered how we can develop work-streams that make a difference. We are optimistic that change can be achieved through the PAG and its links across government. Having cut targeted funding for parks in 2018, Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is currently consulting on its funding programmes for 2019. TPA is seeking support to lobby HLF

to reinstate ring-fenced parks funding from 2019. Please respond to the consultation at: wix/2/p1862857042.aspx – don’t forget to ask for ringfenced funding for parks and open spaces.

Since Newcastle City Council voted to form a charitable parks trust which will take over 15% of Newcastle’s parks and allotments, the sector has been watching developments with interest. We wish the Trust every success, but remain concerned as other local authorities face funding challenges. Of particular concern is the willingness of some authorities to sell off parks and use the proceeds to fund those remaining. Let’s hope for an excellent spring for parks and the communities that enjoy them.

APL update BBC Gardeners’ World Live’s Young Landscapers Award The APL is proud to support BBC Gardeners’ World Live (14-17 June at the NEC) in launching the BBC Gardeners’ World Live Young Landscapers Award. The new competition

Artemis Landscapes, Kent. Designed by Viv Seccombe, Outside

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aims to encourage up-andcoming landscapers to engage with high profile projects. Designed to champion skills among young people and nurture emerging talent, the competition will see four young contenders working in pairs to build two Show Gardens; the designs, each more than 30m2, will require the landscapers to show off a variety of skills. APL WorldSkills 2018 open for entries The APL WorldSkills UK competition is launched on 5 March – look out for

releases on how you and your apprentices can get involved. The 2017 competition was a huge success, with Adam McGarry taking home gold and four of our competitors making it through to Squad UK to compete at international level. APL Business Development Programme launches This sell-out programme is being held at APL HQ, Horticulture House, and is a four-day course split into three modules over three months. The programme is designed to help small businesses

grow using a longer-term approach. Areas covered include developing a business plan, financial planning and management, refining business processes, and increasing efficiency of operation. We aim to run a second course starting in September, and are working on a one-day Business Start-Up Seminar for later in the year. This will run alongside the APL PreAccredited membership. For more information about any of our news, email

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SGD bulletin Student Awards The winners of the Society of Garden Designers Student Awards were announced as part of the SGD Awards ceremony in February. The awards were given to Sheila Jack and Nicky Burridge, both students at the London College of Garden Design. Sheila Jack, who came to garden design after a successful career as an editorial art director on US Vogue and UK Harper’s Bazaar, was the undisputed winner in the Student Design – Domestic category, winning the award

for two of her submitted projects. The judges remarked on Sheila’s beautiful sketches and strong graphic style, saying they ‘demonstrated a lightness of touch and a strong visual stillness.’ Meanwhile, Nicky Burridge won the award for Student Design – Commercial. Judges said the project was ‘a strong design that demonstrated a

good understanding of scale and perfectly complemented the formality and façade of the building’. The awards were announced at the Society’s sixth annual awards ceremony at The Landmark Hotel in London. The event was hosted by designer and broadcaster Ann-Marie Powell and sponsored by CED Stone Group. The Student Awards were sponsored by British Sugar Topsoil and London Stone SGD chair Sarah Morgan said: “The SGD Awards are all

Design by Sheila Jack

Design by Nicky Burridge

about celebrating the very best in landscape and garden design, and recognising the incredible talent across the industry. It’s clear just how much fantastic work is being done within the sector. Every one of these awards is richly deserved and I congratulate everyone on their achievements.” Discover more about the winners in the SGD Awards 2017 at

BALI briefing BALI directors vote to review Awards delivery At a recent BALI board meeting, directors voted to issue a new tender for the delivery of the BALI National Landscape Awards. Starting in 2018, it is anticipated that an initial one-year contract will be awarded to the successful bidder, with the potential for a three-year extension. In 2017, more than 1,000 BALI members, clients and industry guests attended the ceremony


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at Grosvenor House, London. Entries are now open for the 2018 BALI National Landscape Awards at BALI sets out its marketing plans for 2018/19 From 1 April 2018, BALI’s marketing strategy will enter its second year, and will look to continue promoting the association through a series

of targeted digital campaigns over the summer and autumn. BALI will also be looking to support its members at events, including RHS flower shows and trade events. There will be opportunities for members to get involved, and any interest should be sent to BALI’s marketing and communications manager, Darren Taylor (darren. BALI’s marketing strategy aims to raise awareness of BALI’s brand with the public, including its members’ services, and promote the association as a leading trade body to landscaping companies and individuals.

Have you renewed your BALI membership? BALI is asking members to renew their annual membership before the end of March 2018. Information on how to renew is outlined in the renewal pack and accompanying documents, sent out to all paying members in January. BALI hopes that 2017/18 has been a successful year for all its members and that you have kept up to date with all the developments within the association. If you have not yet renewed, you can contact BALI’s senior membership officer, Emily Feeney, at 024 7669 8658 or

19/02/2018 16:07


plants@work outline Name change It’s been a month since we took on our new name of plants@work, and Facebook is still refusing to update our page name. We hope that by the time you read this we have managed to persuade them to make the change! All other platforms have the new name. Oliver Heath

Leaf Awards We have received 48 entries for our Leaf Awards and the judges have met for their initial assessment. We are very excited about architect and designer Oliver Heath being the guest speaker at

our awards ceremony on 26 April, which will take place at the Western Roof Pavilion at the South Bank Centre. He will talk about biophilic design and update us on the BRE Biophilic Office project.

Biophilia The concept of biophilia was first recognised by Edward Osborne Wilson, a Harvard professor and a Pulitzer Prize winner for General Nonfiction. He is a biologist, and a theorist and a champion of biodiversity and biophilia. Biophilia recognises our genetic need to interact with the natural world, and that we function best when we can include views of, and get down and dirty with, nature — get out and enjoy green spaces. This need was understood by some of the early plant researchers; although they didn’t give it this name, there were suggestions that, since we evolved in the natural world,

we had started to come adrift from our roots after the industrial revolution. This is why we crave green spaces, and why plants, light and natural materials make such a difference to us in the workplace.

Spring Plant Fair, RHS Garden Wisley (23-25 March) An event celebrating the debut of spring will include growers from more than 30 nurseries, giving visitors the chance to pick up the

Orchids in the Glasshouse, RHS Garden Wisley (24-22 April) Visit this iconic RHS Glasshouse, where the orchid display is at its best at this time of year. Learn how to care for orchids and talk to experts from the Orchid Society of Great Britain. A perfect oasis for orchid lovers. wisley

RHS report Mother’s Day weekend, all gardens (10-11 March) Treat mums to a day out this Mother’s Day weekend! Take a stroll through RHS Garden Wisley or RHS Garden Harlow Carr and be uplifted by carpets of spring-flowering bulbs, or be tempted by

RHS Hyde Hall ©Georgi Mabee/RHS

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afternoon tea at RHS Garden Hyde Hall and RHS Garden Rosemoor, featuring delicious teatime favourites. There will also be shopping and floristry demonstrations among the many other activities available across all RHS gardens. whats-on-at-rhs-gardens RHS Free Tuesday, all gardens, times vary (20 March) On 20 March, visitors will have the chance to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the RHS’s four inspirational gardens in spring – for free! whats-on-at-rhs-gardens

Spring Plant Fair ©Georgi Mabee/RHS

highest quality plants. Visitors will find specialists selling rare or heritage plants that are not commonly found elsewhere, and many of the plants on sale will include an RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Orchids ©David Parry/PA Wire

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Chelsea Diaries

Designer Robert Barker and contractor Ed Burnham will be keeping Pro Landscaper in the loop as they prepare for their Chelsea debuts this year in the brand new Space to Grow category…

Ed Burnham Burnham Landscaping Garden The CHERUB HIV Garden: A Life Without Walls Designer Naomi Ferrett-Cohen Sponsor CHERUB For the last six years, the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show has been our playground; it’s a dream to work there. But the call from Chelsea came, and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to build a

garden with Naomi Ferrett-Cohen in the new Space to Grow category. The CHERUB HIV Garden: A Life Without Walls is for the CHERUB Collaboration charity, which takes a new approach to HIV therapeutics in the UK in pursuit of an HIV cure. Naomi studied at the London College of Garden Design and

graduated only last year. For her, as with us, the chance to debut at the world’s most prestigious garden show was too good to pass up. Andrew Fisher-Tomlin paired us up, and with our experience in shows and Naomi’s eye for design, we’re a duo to be reckoned with! Since the garden was confirmed before Christmas, we’ve been busy meeting suppliers and sponsors. The site visit to the Royal Hospital grounds took place back in January and gave us a great opportunity to see what everyone else was planning and be nosey! On the day, the RHS was keen to instil the

importance of plant planning with regards to Xylella fastidiosa and other diseases, and it’s a cause for concern as we move forward this year and into the future. Our own planning this month includes nailing the construction drawings for our main features, which are the white dome and bespoke bench. We’re working with Aztec Modelmakers and London Stone – more details in upcoming entries. It really is a case of meeting almost weekly and speaking daily. The more we do now, the easier it will be later.

Robert Barker Robert Barker Garden and Landscape Design Garden Skin Deep Contractor Terraforma Landscapes Sponsor The Skin Deep Group Being part of the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2016 with my garden ‘The Red Thread’ was an amazing experience. You would think that working with a great team and being awarded a Gold medal would


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have left me content, but I finished desperate to create another show garden. Luckily, my discontent was replaced with excitement when a sponsor approached me to design a garden for Chelsea 2018. ‘Skin Deep’ is a conceptual garden created for an established UK skincare company, with concrete blocks representing different faces and skin conditions. Each represents a condition that could affect any one of us over a lifetime. Our skin reflects our life story and reveals our

joys, stresses and worries, in the form of everything from birthmarks to wrinkles; it is also a window into our genetic past. This concept is echoed in the garden’s textural planting scheme. The plants have been chosen for their form and texture, reflecting different skin conditions. The path leads through a virtual cityscape sculpture to an area for contemplating the story our own skin tells. The early stages of connecting with a design are important. One experience at the start of this journey was

key: the company making the sculpture, Chiltern GRC, sent me a sample 20 x 20cm concrete block to present to the sponsors. I carried this block all over London, and bizarrely by the end felt like I had got to know it. Adventures can be complicated, but the beginning of a journey is often simple – it starts with one step, followed by another. No matter where this adventure takes me, I will always remember that it started with a simple block.

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Let’s Hear it From


Thomas O’Mahony, managing director at Maylim, tells Pro Landscaper about the company’s impressive rise – and consistently high standards

How did you get into the landscaping sector? I’m an engineer by trade, but I’ve always had a passion for building and architecture. I started my first public realm project in Manchester, working for a company called McNicholas, and I became more involved with pre-construction and design, progressing from project manager to director. In 2001, things started to lift off for me – I saw how far the boundaries can be pushed in landscaping. I was working on the £24m MORE London contract, which totalled 18,000m² of landscaping. It was so inspiring and changed my perspective of the industry. In 2007, Skanska bought McNicholas, and a lot of clients said: go and do it yourself. In 2009, when the opportunity arose to take over Maylim, I did just that! What was Maylim like in the early days? It wasn’t a landscape business: the focus was on ground works and concrete. When I first started, the company was turning over around £750k.

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I wanted to develop things. I thought, take the advice you have been given and the skills you have learned and go for it. The first job we won was at Merchant Square in Paddington. We won further projects off the back of clients I’d worked with in the past; it gave us a chance to get the business going. The only way was up. What’s the size of the business now? We saw an annual turnover of around £40m at the end of 2017, and employ nearly 70 members of staff. We have 80 full-time site personnel, as well as regular subcontractors who work with us on many projects. Last year we bought our own office, which has given us the space we need to grow. What work makes up the core business? External works and hard landscaping are our speciality. We’re now more in the commercial market than the residential; our projects are expeditious and completed to a high-end design detail. With these contracts, we are very much a trade contractor working for a principal contractor such as Mace or Lendlease. We recently completed the first phase of the Battersea Power Station (£11m), the BBC Television Centre (£8m), St Helen’s (£4m) and Rathbone Square (£3.8m), as well as the redevelopment of the Kings Cross gas holders. We’re very good when the job is highly convoluted. We take complex and logistically challenging jobs in our stride; the trickier the

project, the better we are. These tend to be the projects where the design details are intricate and an abundance of coordination and planning is required. More often than not, Maylim will take on the lighting, associated civils, highway and concrete works, delivering the whole project.

IT IS A PRIORITY FOR US TO SHOW THAT WE ARE NOT JUST A CONTRACTOR, WE ARE A COMPANY THAT WILL GET THE CONTRACT RIGHT EVERY TIME But you do still work on residential schemes? We do, yes. Berkeley Homes is a regular client of ours, and we do a lot with Galliards and Telford Homes. The BALI Award-winning One Tower Bridge project was for Berkeley. It was worth around £8m and involved beautiful roof gardens, as well as all external works. We are currently working on a project in Islington with Galliards, involving roof gardens, external works and hard landscaping, which will showcase our skills. How do you source your products? With stone, we tend to work with the industry leaders such as Marshalls, BBS, CED and Hardscape. We often go direct to certain suppliers for materials, and also maintain a small supply chain. A lot of our stainless steel and bespoke products are supplied by Kent Stainless, based in Ireland. We’ve had a strong

relationship with them for around 15 years, and have the same relationships with the rest of our suppliers. What’s the difference between working with architects and working with main contractors? A lot of the architects we work with are from our first recommendation, including the likes of Townshend and Gustafson Porter + Bowman. They enjoy working with us because we’re not a company that waits for a problem to be solved – we are proactive and find a solution as soon as possible. We look ahead, assessing the progress of the project as we go and making sure everything is following the design down to the finest detail. The thing architects seem to want most is reliability and the knowledge that the job will be done properly, first time and on budget. They like the fact that we live by our own quality, and if it’s not good enough, it’s not good enough. The old saying is ‘never leave a bad job behind’, and that’s a philosophy we adopt, even to the detriment of a financial burden. Our brand is quality. If we don’t deliver quality, we can’t go forward. Has the collapse of Carillion affected you at all? It did. We worked on two projects for Carillion: one for Argent at Kings Cross, and one smaller project. It isn’t a lot of exposure, but we still got caught. In the current financial climate, we try to be prepared for events like this; last summer we saw Carillion’s profit warnings and started to reduce our exposure. Thankfully, we have managed to keep our projects steady and our works have continued as normal. What are the key challenges Maylim faces? Everyone has the same answer – staff. It’s the people on the ground: getting the right supervisors, the right teams and the right skills. We don’t have a big staff turnover because we keep them active and engaged, ensuring they are developing their


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skills and knowledge. We like to give our employees opportunities, and the fact that a lot of our senior staff have come up through the ranks is a real testament to that. Do you recruit more from civil engineering than the landscaping market? The people we recruit have often worked in civil engineering, but with a focus on external works and hard landscaping. A civil engineer coming into hard landscaping is a substantial change; it is a lot more detailed. Constructing a building is generally straightforward, but with our work, you must deal with lighting, drainage, highways and more. Everything must come together, and these days, a lot of it is intricate design detail that we have to create ourselves. That’s why people find this line of work intriguing: it’s about creating beautiful spaces. It doesn’t come without a challenge though – another adversity is that the market is really tightening up. Will this tightening up of the market push you to look for work outside of London? We are starting to look outside of London, searching for projects with our existing clients as a starter. In the build-up to the EU referendum, projects slowed down for five or six months while people waited to see what was going to happen. Once Brexit was announced, it took another seven or eight months for things to get going again. It’s challenging – the rates have got tighter, and we

WE’RE NOT A COMPANY THAT WAITS FOR A PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED – WE ARE PROACTIVE did find it harder to win work towards the second half of last year. What about international work? I’ve been asked to look at projects in Dubai and we have considered it, but it has to be the right project and client. We’ve got a phenomenal team, so projects abroad are definitely within our scope.

Finally, what do you like to do outside of work? I rarely take work past Friday. I’m a keen cyclist and try to get out for a cycle at the weekend. I’m also building a house, which is very exciting.

What about positioning yourself in the market – is that more of a priority now? Our brand is about exceptional quality. We assessed ourselves, asking what we are, what we do and what we stand for, and we always came back to quality and seamless delivery. It is a priority to show that we are not just a contractor, we are a company that will get the contract right every time.

2 Rathbone Square

What do you think of industry associations? BALI promotes itself well and that’s crucial. Getting people into landscaping is important to

Let's Hear it From.indd 31

us, and the GoLandscape initiative epitomises this. Everyone at Maylim is proud of what they do, and they put the work in to make each project stand out. If the associations can promote this and show that it’s not a small-time career, that could help make the industry thrive. I’d love to get more involved with BALI and the Landscape Institute to help develop these ideas.

1 One Tower Bridge Roof Gardens 3 5 Broadgate 4 Battersea Power Station Roof Gardens 5 One Tower Bridge – Clock Water Feature 6 Triplets Park, Kings Cross

CONTACT Maylim Unit 4 Wharf Studios 32 Wharf Road, London N1 7GR Tel: 0207 785 6996

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Dr Marcus Watson, managing director of Ground Control, recent recipient of the Pro Landscaper Business Award for Commercial Landscape Company, discusses how the company has stuck to its founding principles, and encourages the landscape industry to recognise its importance to British society How was the company founded? Founded in 1973 by Steve Harrod, Ground Control was established on the principles of hard work, delivering a great job and always keeping customers happy. The business grew over time, and was incorporated in 1984. The company stayed in his ownership until 2004, when he and his family decided to hand over to somebody who could take it on its next journey. Two directors, Kim and Simon Morrish – now majority owners – liked what Steve had created and his business philosophy. Together with several members of the management team, they bought the business, which was turning over around £8m at the time.

OUR CORE DESIRE IS TO HELP CUSTOMERS WHO HAVE MULTIPLE SITES, ACROSS MULTIPLE REGIONS, WITH MULTIPLE EXTERNAL PROPERTY NEEDS How has the business developed, and what services does it now offer? In 2004, 70% of our business was in grounds maintenance in the retail sector. I joined in 2011; by that time we were turning over £38m and had diversified into the water utilities, corporate and defence sectors. We had also expanded into the public sector, still very much focused on delivering our core services because we’re a specialist provider. We developed the winter maintenance market around 2008, offering it as a complementary service to existing customers because there was a demand for it. We’re now turning over around £105m, depending on the winter season. There have 32

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in numbers

Established 1973 Employees 525 Turnover £105m Breakdown Grounds Maintenance 36% Winter Maintenance 14% Landscape Construction 26% Arboriculture 24% Awards 65 also been a number of acquisitions along the way – Vale Contract Services, Moray Landscapes, and Tilhill Land and Tilhill Arb. We have a sister company – Survey Roofing – which is not owned by Ground Control, but is associated with us and shares our philosophy. Do you predict any changes to the way arboriculture contracts are managed? It depends on the client. Customers with low regulatory requirements might want to put arboriculture and grounds maintenance together, particularly if looking at large public spaces, such as local authorities. Where there is high regulation, the risk profile and skill level of the two activities is sufficiently different, and so customers will continue to want two separate services. I’m not seeing many customers seeking efficiency by combining arboriculture and grounds maintenance, though.

Dr Marcus Watson

How is the company now structured? The Board consists of seven directors – four involved in the day-to-day running of the company and three holding non-executive positions. Then we have an executive team of 10, which represents the four client-facing businesses – grounds maintenance, landscape construction, winter maintenance and arboriculture – and the five support functions – finance, ICT, business development, health and safety, and HR. Each business unit director is empowered to run their business with the support of their colleagues for the benefit of our customers. Sitting alongside this structure is our sister company, Survey Roofing. What is your main client base now? We still retain a great presence in retail and with utility and infrastructure clients. We also have public sector customers, as well as social housing, corporates, facilities management and main contractors. It’s all business to business (B2B). Our core desire is to help customers who have multiple sites, across multiple regions, with multiple external property needs. How do you incorporate technology into your contracts with clients? Relatively speaking, information technology came to the grounds maintenance market late, but now if you want to work for the larger business customers and operate in the B2B space, you have to offer the minimum level of technology and visibility. The minimum is transparency of the work conducted and demonstrating health and safety compliance. How does Ground Control ensure compliance throughout its operations? It’s important to make sure that you’ve got the

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right compliance culture in place. People can sometimes hide behind health and safety and say they can’t do certain tasks, but it shouldn’t be an impediment to progress, it should enable you to do your job safely. Making sure that everyone on site is safe, and following the correct (efficient!) procedures, is part of a culture, and it starts with the leaders of the business living that culture. Compliance is not a burden, it is part of the service. What is the University of Ground Control, and how is it benefiting the company? The University of Ground Control is our training department, which ensures everybody in the company is equipped to carry out their job – but also the job they don’t yet have. It makes sure that we are resilient, and that people have the right career path and motivation; it gives them the tools and ambition to look for different areas within the business. We are able to recruit people who do not have many qualifications; the University of Ground Control helps them gain the required qualifications, whether it be manual handling, health and safety or first aid. Some of our directors have used the University of Ground

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AS AN INDUSTRY, WE FORGET THE IMPORTANCE OF THE ROLE WE PLAY IN BRITISH SOCIETY – WE OUGHT TO BE MORE CONFIDENT IN THE VALUE THAT WE BRING Control to develop their skillset as well; we have offered A Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and MBAs by partnering with reputable universities. Other courses we deliver in-house, either through our own online platform, GC Learning, or via face-to-face teachers who create content which is then approved by the relevant accrediting bodies, such as City & Guilds. The University of Ground Control and our culture are two of the key fundamentals of our success and growth. Where do you see the company in the next five years? We must continue to uphold our core principles: if you invest in your people and if you do a great job for the customer and deliver an outstanding service, your people and customers will reward you with their loyalty. I also want to make sure that we remain true to our philosophy of

being a specialist, so that we can continue to grow sustainably. Finally, what is one thing you think the industry could and should do better? As an industry, we sometimes forget the importance of the role we play in British society – we ought to be more confident in the value that we bring. The benefit of such confidence? Our industry will become more attractive and we will be better able to engage with our customers and our people about the advantages of properly maintained and developed landscapes. 1 Grounds maintenance work on housing site 2 Arboricultural work 3 Fundraising at Nuclear Races mud run 4 The Ground Control team scoops BALI Principal Award for Grounds Maintenance

CONTACT 1st Floor, Kingfisher House, Radford Way, Billericay, Essex CM12 0EQ Tel: 01277 650697 Twitter: @GroundControlGC Email: Web:

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Duke of York Square

Magic Garden Tournament Ground ©HRP


Rockingham Castle Keep Gdn ©Alex Ramsay


With projects ranging from historic restorations to ‘magic’ gardens and housing developments, we get to know Robert Myers Associates


ith a project brief inviting inspiration from legends and mythology, Hampton Court Palace’s Magic Garden was always going to be a memorable project for Robert Myers Associates (RMA). The practice won a design competition for the garden, which the client, Historic Royal Palaces, wanted to be an additional attraction for families, and encourage local people to return. Inspired by the rich history of the Palace and the site, RMA’s design created a contemporary space and a ‘playable’ landscape, with a tournament ground, mythical beast’s lair, and a 30m-long steam-emitting dragon. The new family play garden was officially opened in May 2016 by the Duchess of Cambridge, and attracted more than 250,000 visitors in its first year, winning a 2017 award from the Landscape Institute and being shortlisted for a Society of Garden Designers award. Schemes such as this are commonplace for RMA, which specialises in working on contemporary projects in historic or culturally significant settings. The practice is currently working on an opportunity to restore and 34

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rejuvenate a landscape originally designed by 225m² roof garden at 1 New Oxford Street. It Capability Brown, for a private client in works across the UK and internationally, and Hertfordshire. boasts long-term relationships with many of its Currently in the historical research and clients, such as the Wellcome Genome Trust at concept design stage, RMA is creating the Hinxton, where RMA has designed a number of masterplan for the Grade II-listed house, which landscape areas over the years. is surrounded by 97 acres of walled gardens, Its relationship with the Wellcome Genome pleasure grounds and parkland. Work is set to Trust began when Robert Myers, joined Elizabeth begin in mid-2018 and will involve the Banks Associates as a project landscape restoration of the original Capability Brown architect in 1993, working on the Wellcome Trust layout of drives, tree planting and landform, as Genome Campus project. Robert became well as the introduction of new garden elements Chairman of the practice in 2005, and a year around the house and in the later it was renamed Robert walled garden. Myers Associates. Its continual RMA has previously designed growth led to a second office three separate spaces at opening in Cambridge in 2012, Rockingham Castle in alongside its office in Leicestershire for James and Herefordshire, and it relies on Elizabeth Saunders Watson, Robert’s reputation among including a private swimming current and previous clients for pool garden. It introduced a bold repeat and new business, structure for a new garden including the Trust. surrounding the Victorian rose Now with 12 employees in garden, the site of the old keep total – some part-time – RMA Robert Myers and the main visitor attraction enjoys being a relatively small outside the castle. practice, because it can be The practice also undertakes projects for responsive and non-corporate. Being small new housing developments, such as the North certainly doesn’t hold it back: it was recently West Cambridge development and urban roof commissioned to provide the landscape strategy gardens, including the recently completed and detailed designs for architect John McAslan’s

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St Mary’s Islington aerial sketch Magic Garden – Dragon’s Nest ©Alex Ramsay Millbank view CGI


1 New Oxford St ©Morley von Sternberg

ROBERT MYERS ASSOCIATES IS MORE INTERESTED IN QUALITY THAN HAVING A DEFINED STYLE, AIMING TO CREATE ROBUST AND ELEGANT DESIGNS refurbishment and redevelopment of the iconic Grade II-listed Millbank Tower and Complex, on the River Thames in London. Creating a coherent series of practical spaces that also function as abstract compositions when viewed from the buildings above, RMA is designing significant public realm around the buildings, as well as a new private residential garden, green roofs and walls, and a rooftop podium on the third floor of the Y building.

Hereford Cathedral Lady Arbour Garden ©Allan Pollok-Morris

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Wellcome Trust - EBi Hinxton ©Richard Fraser

One of the most significant public realm projects for RMA is Duke of York Square in Chelsea, which was completed in 2003 before the practice was renamed, and has since become a hub for food, fashion, beauty and culture, alongside its historic roots. Robert himself led the team that created the masterplan for the new public square and retail quarter for Cadogan Estates Ltd, designing a series of animated but flexible public spaces, incorporating elements of the site’s history as artworks in the paving, and integrating litter bins and lighting into bespoke stone seating walls to reduce clutter. The practice has now been commissioned by Islington Council to design a new public realm to the north of St Mary’s Church, including part of the former churchyard and frontage on Upper Street. Linking sacred and secular spaces, and fulfilling the client’s vision to create

the ‘Heart of Islington’, the practice has included a robust tapestry of groundcover planting to the perimeter of the garden, which creates a soft green edge to the garden and encloses seat spaces while also allowing clear views into the space from the street. There will be a central lawn, to be used as an informal recreation area and performance space for local community groups, and green walls on the adjacent Neighbourhood Centre. To add to the garden’s sense of maturity, RMA will be retaining the original London plane trees and incorporating them into the scheme, on which work will commence around October this year. Standing out for its specialism in blending contemporary design into historic and cultural landscapes, RMA is more interested in quality than having a defined style, aiming to create robust and elegant designs. This view has led to the practice becoming known for its attention to detail. With more than 30 live projects currently on the go, 2018 is set to be another busy but incredible year for the practice. CONTACT Robert Myers Associates Tel: 01544 232035 Email:

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Nick Temple-Heald examines the recent collapse of Carillion – as well as the national dialogue that followed We started this year with two bits of news, one more predictable than the other. First, there was the sad death of my old boss Tony Hewitt. Tony was a pioneer in the grounds maintenance industry; before the mid Nineties there were no national, and very few regional, grounds maintenance companies. Even those companies that have a majority of their work in the private sector have a common provenance. In spite of the circumstances, it was good to meet so many industry people at Tony’s funeral, many of whom I hadn’t seen for years. The second, more predictable, event was the collapse of Carillion. The first concern should have been for Carillion’s 43,000 direct employees, and the hundreds of companies and individual contractors in Carillion’s direct and indirect supply chain. That was not what we got from our politicians. The Conservatives offered excuses over the government’s supervision of the procurement processes that led to Carillion being awarded large contracts as late as December. They hid behind procurement rules and procedures, saying that these processes had been started months or even years ago. This is nonsense; all public sector procurers have a

duty to check before awarding the contract that nothing has materially changed since the contractor was invited to participate. A company being on the point of going bust seems a pretty material change to me!

THE LARGER THE ORGANISATION, THE HAZIER THE ‘VIEW FROM THE TOP’ BECOMES Her Majesty’s Opposition, meanwhile, chose to roll out a ‘nationalise the lot’ campaign, with Jeremy Corbyn calling for an immediate halt to all public procurement processes currently underway – instead of speaking up on behalf of the thousands of people who had been affected. He left out the second part of the sentence: ‘and bring the whole economy to a grinding and catastrophic halt’. The truth is that, in some instances it is appropriate to outsource, in others, it isn’t; the criteria is whether the private sector adds value. Let’s not assume that one bad apple is indicative of the whole barrel. The majority of companies bidding for and performing public services are well run and responsibly managed. In calling Carillion a ‘bad apple’, I am not insinuating that the directors did anything

dodgy; that is for others to decide. The comments made by senior politicians this week, such as “these companies deliberately enter into contracts that they can’t deliver”, is bonkers. We all enter into contracts in good faith, based on our best estimates of the costs involved – and yes, we occasionally get it wrong. I wish I had a pound for every time a competitor beat us in a tender and someone said, “they will never do it for that”, or worse, “they are cutting their throats”. No: we lost because our bid wasn’t as good as the winning one. I don’t know anybody who has knowingly under-priced a bid, and I certainly never have. Speculating about what the directors did or did not do in the final year is irrelevant. There is only one reason for a contracting company going under: it runs out of cash because the losses made by its bad contracts cannot be offset by its good contracts to a sufficient extent to cover its fixed costs. How does a business like Carillion get itself in such a position? There will be plenty of theories, but mine has it origins in the language used in my question. Saying ‘Carillion got itself into bad contracts’ is attributing a human intention to a non-human entity. Carillion was hundreds of people in different departments, doing their own thing with the best of intentions – the cumulative effect, when not controlled, ending in disaster. The lessons are twofold: the first is that size is no guarantee of stability, particularly when extending credit lines to clients. The second is that, as a business grows, the need to be on top of what is going on increases. Unfortunately, the larger the organisation, the hazier the ‘view from the top’ becomes. ABOUT NICK TEMPLE-HEALD 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 landscapes business in Europe.


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For Adam White, two recent events have emphasised the importance of coming together to share knowledge Back in January I celebrated my 45th birthday stood on a stage, talking to 500 enthusiastic landscape and garden professionals at the Palmstead Soft Landscape Workshop event. After many successful years of holding it in September, Palmstead moved the event to January for this year. As ever, the speakers were all of high calibre and included Dan Pearson, Professor Nigel Dunnett, Laura Gatti and Tim O’Hare. The day was a great success, with subjects including podium deck planting, roof gardens, green walls and RHS Show Gardens. Palmstead Nurseries has been one of our go-to nurseries for years. It provided the plants for our RHS Gold Medal and RHS People’s Choice Award-winning show garden in 2007, as well as the 4,000 perennial plants we needed last year to create our RHS Gold Medal, RHS People’s Choice and RHS Best in Show-winning ‘Wild Garden’ at RHS Hampton. The Palmstead’s Soft Landscape Workshop event was the perfect place to share our ‘Wild Garden’ story and discuss the work we are doing at Davies White Ltd to tackle nature deficit disorder and plant blindness, and promote more inclusive therapeutic landscapes.

In between the headline acts we were given 15 minutes to share our story, and made the most of every second with an energetic and passionate presentation. On the 1 July I will become the 45th President of the Royal Chartered Landscape Institute, and this was my first chance to publicly share some of my aspirations for the role. We need to encourage all sectors of the landscape industry to start working more closely together, particularly landscape architects and garden designers. I am delighted to say my message was well received and gained words of encouragement from Nigel Dunnett and Dan Pearson.

Garden Museum ©Dan Pearson

Part of Dan’s presentation saw him discussing his work for the Garden Museum in Lambeth, London – and, coincidentally, the following day saw me heading to that very same place for the Landscape Institute’s ‘Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute’ (CMLI) ceremony. The guest speaker at the ceremony

CMLI event

was Tom Armour, a Fellow of the Landscape Institute and Arup’s global landscape architecture leader. I’m sure my new friends Dan Pearson, Nigel Dunnett and Laura Gatti will be delighted to know that Tom chose their work to showcase some of the inspiring work being carried out across the world. Gaining CMLI status is a great achievement and I was delighted to join our current president, Merrick Denton-Thompson, to say congratulations and well done. The CMLI ‘Pathway to Chartership’ is completed entirely at the candidate’s own pace, and is based upon the knowledge and experience they gain in practice after graduation from an accredited college or university. I took the exam 20 years ago and still benefit from the process and the lessons I learned. There are many landscape professionals who, despite having university qualifications and years of practical experience, have never taken their CMLI exams. These members should look into the new experienced practitioners route to becoming a CMLI member. If you think this is you, then contact Lee Graham (membership secretary) at the Landscape Institute. ABOUT ADAM WHITE FLI

Palmstead Soft Landscape Workshop

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Adam White FLI is a director at Davies White Ltd, a double RHS Gold Medal, double People’s Choice and RHS Best in Show award-winning Chartered Landscape Architects practice. He is a Fellow and President Elect of the Landscape Institute. Social media: @davies_white

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Andrew Wilson considers how time lies at the heart of everything we do, but is constantly questioned or misunderstood by our clients A question I am asked regularly is how much a garden designer should charge. Although in the Studio we often charge a percentage fee against a determined contract sum, the hourly rate still allows us to gauge how much time we have with which to work. For a graduate, that time charge is probably at its lowest, as they must somehow break into an existing market. As work comes in, the rate increases, and then it becomes a matter of competing with one’s peers. At the apex of one’s career, then, it is logical to assume that the hourly rate will be at its highest, although the speed and efficiency of the design response might also be at its optimum.

Surely clients choose an experienced designer knowing that they may be expensive, but they will use their accrued wisdom and professional experience to deliver a successful project? Well, yes to the first part of that statement – and a big no to the second part, generally. Increasingly, it seems clients forget the experience, knowledge and expertise that the designer brings to the table, let alone their professional intention to serve and advise the client to gain the best possible outcome. Getting to the outline design is relatively straightforward, although, increasingly, clients seem to find it difficult to keep to their original decisions. But as one moves into detail, the time spent on developing and refining a design increases. One of the reasons that there is a higher fee percentage allocated to this phase of the design process. There is an amount of give and take within any project, but all too often we find clients taking advice from others, rather than from the garden designer they have engaged. Despite identifying that changes made in the detailed stages will incur increased costs, we are

ALL TOO OFTEN WE FIND CLIENTS TAKING ADVICE FROM OTHERS, RATHER THAN FROM THE GARDEN DESIGNER THEY HAVE ENGAGED finding that this is almost an open invitation to do just that. Keeping tabs on what was originally agreed and what is now the case becomes increasingly difficult. Clients, it seems, expect more – but don’t want to pay for it. If we took the lawyer’s approach, the clock would tick on every phone call, letter, email and consultation. For the garden designer, that 40

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MOST CLIENTS DON’T EXPECT GARDEN DESIGNERS TO BE CONTRACTUAL, BUT PERHAPS THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT WE SHOULD BE approach would escalate our fees to the point at which we would be unemployable. Most projects generate a huge amount of work, but the thickness or weight of a document measuring that work is only really fully quantifiable at the end of a project, when most of the fee stages have already been claimed. At the beginning of a project, most clients would run a mile if they were shown that volume of work, and so we labour on with our clients blissfully unaware of the effort and extra hours clocking up to provide answers to their whims and changes of mind. We can all accept that garden design is not the most efficient way to earn a living – that people generally underestimate or are simply unaware of what we actually do. We might also accept that a percentage fee provides a sufficient level of income to take blows and to balance the ups and downs. In other words, how much we should charge, as opposed to how much we will do the job for. Most clients don’t expect garden designers to be contractual, but perhaps that is exactly what we should be. Many raise their eyebrows at higher fee proposals, but maybe we need to justify those fees all the harder. Sounds like a rallying cry? It is, but one to which we all need to respond! ABOUT ANDREW WILSON Andrew Wilson is a landscape and garden designer and a director of Wilson McWilliam Studio. He is also a director of the London College of Garden Design, an author, writer and lecturer.

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ANGUS LINDSAY Angus Lindsay considers the benefits and the technological logistics of greening our urban areas I was interested to read a couple of months back that Camden is considering its own version of New York’s High Line, where a redundant industrial structure has become a garden in the sky. Last year I was lucky enough to walk the length of the High Line, and you cannot fail to be impressed by the power of nature in turning an eyesore into a haven of peace and calm above the bustling streets. More of this in our cities, please! Nature can’t take all of the credit though, as the High Line has been ably supported by a large group of volunteers and artisans who ensure that it is maintained and continues to provide an area of tranquillity away from the madness of the city. The use of volunteers and user groups to maintain our greenspaces is also on the increase here in the UK. As local authorities struggle with budgets, teams of individuals with a passion for the outdoors are keeping our greenspaces alive by taking on more responsibility for the

Greening the industrial arteries of the past

maintenance and upkeep of a variety sites – from pocket parks and railway stations to canal sides and riverbanks. With parks and open spaces under increasing threat from building, transport links and industrialisation, could there be a future in greening the industrial arteries of the past, transforming them into linear parks, satellite recreation sites, green walls and coppices? Will

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We need more tranquillity in cities

we see more greenspaces maintained by enthusiastic and passionate volunteers, supported by local government and private enterprise? Look around most cities and large towns and you’ll spot redundant industrial sites, railway sidings, dark corners in the shadows of urban structures, roundabouts beneath flyovers,

cutting, shrub pruning, sweeping and grass maintenance. While nature takes the lead in 90% of cases, there will be sites where it may struggle. Shade, high footfall and poor drainage will all stifle nature’s attempts to establish a foothold – so why not consider artificial options to green these spaces? Not only would they bring colour to shaded areas, they’d help to soften the cityscape, and who’d be able to tell it wasn’t real as they drove past at 40mph? So, could this ideology become reality? Well, it’s happened in New York, and, hopefully, we’ll soon see Camden’s project take off. There are many examples of people power, seen through friends and user groups around the country. In our busy world, as we check our emails, it’s all too easy to become oblivious to what’s around us and just accept the demise of flowerbeds, floral

COULD THERE BE A FUTURE IN GREENING THE INDUSTRIAL ARTERIES OF THE PAST? roofs of tall buildings, redundant canal basins and locks. The options are considerable, and in many cases, nature has already reclaimed them in its unruly way. So where would you start, and can technology help this new breed of green warriors? For many of these sites, you’d want to maintain peace and quiet with minimal mechanical intrusion, so robotic mowers would be a good starting point as the areas could be specifically configured to the needs of the machine. Robotics are quiet, self-sufficient and emission-free, and the work could be done at night, leaving the area free to be enjoyed by the public during the day. Electric power tools also make sense, not least because you don’t have to drag fuels and oils around. They are quiet, lightweight, emission free and easy to use for tasks such as hedge

Nature softening our cities

displays and once landscaped roundabouts – now litter-strewn and unkempt, destined to become tarmac. Maybe we should all give up some of our time, and get back to greening our cities. ABOUT ANGUS LINDSAY Angus spent several years working on arable farms in Scotland before joining VSO in Egypt, implementing a mechanisation programme, managing field operations for a commercial cotton plantation in Nigeria and working as a contract instructor for Massey Ferguson in Yemen. He gained an MSc in agricultural engineering and mechanisation management at Silsoe, joining Glendale as machinery manager in 1994, and then idverde UK in 2009 as group head of assets and fleet. Contact:

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Recent events have thrown the need for businesses to assess their risk into sharp relief; David T Binks offers advice All businesses, whether one-man start-ups or national companies with hundreds of staff, have their ups and downs. How a business reacts to these ‘bumps in the road’ can have a profound effect on its development and future success. When something doesn’t go to plan, it is all too easy to play the blame game, with people pointing the finger in a bid to absolve themselves of any responsibility. However, it is when things go off script that weaknesses within a business present themselves and provide a platform to improve systems and procedures. In relation to this, an apt ‘initialism’ is the ‘Five Ps’ – Perfect Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Applying the ‘prevention is better than cure’ ethos, it is worth spending some time identifying what the possible weaknesses are within the business you work at. By analysing potential shortcomings or issues, you can begin to put measures in place that will de-risk your business should they occur. In essence, you can build a

BY ANALYSING POTENTIAL SHORTCOMINGS OR ISSUES, YOU CAN BEGIN TO PUT MEASURES IN PLACE THAT WILL DE-RISK YOUR BUSINESS suite of risk assessments for the everyday running of your operation – these don’t need to be confined strictly to the health and safety file. I appreciate that this all sounds very dry, but the upside to thinking this way is that it enables you to confidently impart responsibility to other team members, as robust procedures will be in place to cover pretty much any eventuality. As you would with a conventional health and safety risk assessment, you look at the likelihood of an event occurring, the impact it would have on 44

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your organisation, what you can do to mitigate it – and then what the outcome would be. For example, you could look at something as simple as the age of the vehicles you have within your business and whether they pose a risk to your operations; this risk could then be moderated with regular vehicle inspections and a servicing programme, which would hopefully help to identify any issues before they occur. This process can then be taken beyond looking at internal issues. It is worth analysing what could externally threaten the success of your business; a simple framework to help explore potential external influences is PESTLE (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental). For example, a pertinent issue under the ‘Environmental’ heading would be the current Xylella crisis and the impact it might have on your business. In line with this, you would want to identify measures you could put in place to control this risk, such as looking at your supply chain, deciding whether to only use stock with UK provenance, speaking with the APHA, and ensuring that all plants (if not

from the UK) have plant passports. Implementing a process to control and measure your company’s actions will aid decision making and define the direction you want your business to take. Looking at internal factors could be regarded as a potentially short-term focus, while exploring external factors looks to futureproof your organisation in the long-term. It is important to note that you will only get out of this process what you put into it — this analysis of your business serves as a snapshot at the time you conduct it, so revisiting your risk assessments biannually is a must; not only can this help to identify possible threats, it also makes you more aware of the possible opportunities going forward. ABOUT DAVID T BINKS David T Binks is managing director of Cheshire-based Landstruction, which was set up in 2010 and now has 40 employees. It has won Gold medals at RHS Chelsea and RHS Tatton Park. David also launched the Big Hedge Co., which supplies and installs mature hedging and topiary nationwide.,

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DAWN Pro Landscaper pays a visit to Great Martins Estate to learn how this formerly grand location is being brought into the 21st century


ituated to the east of Reading, Great Martins is finally fulfilling its potential as one of the most stunning private estates in the south of England. Following a period of ‘benign neglect’ by the previous owners, the site was obtained around four years ago by a mystery buyer, who set about making it his own. This included moving into the grand house – parts of which date back to the 16th century – and refreshing its spacious gardens. In order to accomplish this, the new owner called on garden designer Matt Keightley of Rosebank Landscaping. Once the design work had been completed, the owner drafted in head gardener Tom Bream to oversee the day-to-day running of the site. As we learned while talking to Tom, who was recently featured in Pro Landscaper’s 30 Under 30: The Next Generation, the job has become a true labour of love. A major task Asked to describe the Great Martins estate prior to its recent facelift, Tom described it as being “in need of refreshment,” with the majority of the garden having essentially been


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left to its own devices. It is, according to him, a very different environment now. “The estate is approximately 20 acres in size, with the large house situated in the middle,” he says. “It’s all been landscaped to a consistently high spec, with the exception of two areas of approximately three acres, which are currently being cultivated as natural meadows. “Following the completion of Matt’s landscaping project, the overall site now consists of two large lawns and a formal garden, including topiary, roses and so on. There’s also a landscaped lake, which is about an acre in size. “At various places around the estate, we also have a rhododendron walk consisting of about 600 mature plants, a half-acre stumpery, and two avenues of cherry and lime trees. There’s also a vegetable garden which serves the house, as well as the local old people’s home when there’s a surplus.” The most recent addition is a 100-metre long mixed border, consisting of repeating patterns of reds, oranges and yellows. The plant list for this is extensive, with stock including many different varieties of Baptisia, Clematis, and Delphinium. According to Tom, this transformation is the result of not only extraordinary design work, but


also many hours of intensive labour, which took place over about three years. Asked about the level of the owner’s involvement, Tom said: “For this project he was somewhat hands-off, but he did have a say in the design structure. He specified certain things that he wanted – for instance, the stumpery – but overall, it was left to Matt to fit the design around the estate.”

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“I would say that, in terms of design, it’s a very modern twist on a classical 18th-century English garden. For instance, it contains a lot of older features, such as the topiary outside the main house. The courtyard has also remained much the same. The modern touches include the terrace at the front, which features something like 16 twisted-stem bay trees, and

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the vegetable gardens, which are also done in a very contemporary way, with raised beds. Everything’s clean and crisp, and there are no twisting paths within sight of the house. It doesn’t carry the feel of a classical English landscape – it’s not rural at all.” Bee friendly It’s clear from talking to Tom that the relandscaping has been a major endeavour. There is still more to be done, though, in terms of both development and upkeep. Going back to the meadows mentioned earlier in the article, we ask what still needs to be carried out to bring them to fruition. “Regarding the wildflower areas in particular, we’re two years into a three-year programme,” says Tom. “That involves treating the area in October and March, and sowing annual wildflower seeds the following April.

“We’ve been repeating that process in cycles, basically as a way of getting rid of any of the old plants that were in the space, and particularly any weed stock. The idea is to then have a blank canvas in which to sow a perennial wildflower meadow mix. Ultimately, we want to have something that helps the wildlife in the area, although there is an aesthetic element to it as well, because the rest of the garden is so landscaped. There are beehives included in the meadow area, which provide a nice touch.” 1 View across the lake and the main lawn 2 The vegetable garden 3 The centre-piece of the topiary garden is a brass armillary 4 Lupins on show in the parterre 5 A lime tree avenue borders the main driveway Images 1-4 ©Tom Bream, head gardener at Great Martins Pro Landscaper / March 2018 47

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Other ongoing work includes the herbaceous borders, and an order has been put in for 1,000 hostas and ferns to contribute to the stumpery. One as-yet unfinished area is the vegetable garden, with the borders undergoing more redevelopment to transform them into a ‘working’ area. “The design is wonderful,” says Tom, “but it has to be made into more of a long-term, maintenance-friendly garden, rather than a ‘polished’ project.” As head gardener, Tom has been given ample resources, not only to make any required changes but also to keep things looking their best on a day-to-day basis. In terms of crewing, this means three full-time gardeners, with much of the specialist work contracted out locally. This includes both tree work and grass care, the latter of which is handled by ANB Groundcare. Much of the plant stock is obtained from Hortus Loci in Hampshire, as well as Orchard Dene, based locally in Henley-on-Thames. Trees are mainly bought from Majestic Trees. “I don’t have a fixed budget, which is an extraordinary position to be in,” Tom says. “There is sometimes pressure over rising costs, which mean things have to be squeezed a bit, but that really doesn’t happen often. “I have overall say on the work that needs doing, and clearly if I think the greens aren’t looking that great or need refreshing, I can request someone come in and spray them at

short notice. I inherited a lot of the contracts that are in place, but I’m happy with all the work which is being done.” Continuing the journey Tom began his journey to his current role as an apprentice in Colchester’s Castle Park, before graduating at RHS Wisley with a Diploma in Horticulture. From there, he moved onto a Hampshire-based project working with Arne Maynard, a landscaper who has remained his most-admired to this day. Great Martins is the culmination of his career so far, with a first year that he describes as ‘fantastic’. What would he like to see as the site moves

into the future? “So far, I’ve been able to realise a lot of my desires horticulturally, in terms of plants and the upkeep of the different areas,” he says. “I’ve been given artistic license and the freedom to enjoy myself without having to constantly ask questions or permission. Working with people like Matt has been a great experience too. “Going forward, I’d like to turn the rhododendron walk into a more Asian-inspired garden. I want to create more distinct planting styles, as well as bringing a botanical touch to the whole thing. “In terms of design, I like Japanese and English traditional gardens, although I’m not into anything massively prescribed. I think that has its place around a grand house, but otherwise I like things to be more informal, albeit kept to a very high standard. “I like Arne Maynard in particular because of the way he fits the style to the garden setting, rather than the other way around. He’ll put a design together than suits the character and location of the site, with real care paid to bringing out the best features of the natural landscape.” We can’t wait to see what the future holds – for both Great Martins and for Tom.

6 Head gardener, Tom Bream, in the vegetable garden 7T  he topiary garden features herbaceous borders around the outside ©Tom Bream, head gardener at Great Martins 8 Purple  tapestry planting around the border of the topiary garden


Pro Landscaper / March 2018

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Green Wall at Edgware Road

National Park City


With London set to become a National Park City in 2019, Daniel Raven-Ellison, campaign founder of the National Park City Foundation, introduces us to the concept and explains why the UK’s capital is the perfect candidate


rban national parks that sit alongside cities exist all over the world – the Rouge National Urban Park in Toronto, once fully established, will span 79.1km², while the Sanjay Gandhi National Park is mostly surrounded by Mumbai and was established nearly 80 years ago. The concept of a city itself being the national park, however, is a new one. Guerrilla geographer Daniel Raven-Ellison is a champion of the idea, and has campaigned for years to make London the world’s first. “A National Park City differs in that it is about the entire urban landscape of a city,” he says. “It would encompass all of London, about 16,000km², recognising that if you’re a peregrine falcon you can enjoy concrete as much as green space.” He explains that, while the National Park City concept is inspired by the values, principles and aims of traditional national parks, it is a grassroots movement to which nearly anybody can contribute. “There are 9m people in London, 50

Pro Landscaper / March 2018

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and all of them have the potential to contribute to the landscape of the city, through both small and large-scale intervention.” Daniel directs us towards data provided by Greenspace Information for Greater London CIC (GiGL), which estimates that 49.5% of London is green or blue. “If every Londoner was to green one square metre of grey land, then most of London would become green and blue – but we actually don’t need every Londoner to do this because of the large developments currently taking place with new public realms.” The planning powers around the National Park City idea remain with its regional and local government, rather than a national park authority. The concept of London becoming the first National Park City received the majority backing of council wards, including the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. To help the campaign, the Mayor unveiled a £9m Greener City Fund to enable local groups to help improve green spaces and plant trees across the capital, with

the aim of pushing the percentage of green and blue space in London to over 50%. Driving the campaign forward is The National Park City Foundation, of which Daniel is campaign founder. The charity was recently established to help support the movement, which Daniel and his supporters have been developing over the last four years – not only to make London a National Park City, but also to help other cities go on a similar journey. “London is the disruptive and innovative force in making this happen. Now that the campaign has been successful, the chances of the idea spreading to other world cities is much greater than if the idea had come from a smaller city.” What inspired Daniel to embark on this movement? The former geography teacherturned-National Geographic Emerging Explorer visited all 15 of the UK’s national parks over a six-month period and found that the urban landscape was not represented, despite the fact that the International Union for Conservation of

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Stratford to Central London

Beekeeping in the City

Bees in Westminster

Moo Canoes and Canary Wharf

I REALISED THAT IT’S NOT THAT THERE’S A CITY MISSING FROM OUR FAMILY OF NATIONAL PARKS; IT’S MORE THAT NATIONAL PARK THINKING IS MISSING FROM OUR CITIES Nature (IUCN), Natural England and other large organisations recognise ‘urban’ as its own distinct habitat and landscape. “I wondered why, when London is arguably the most biologically diverse region of the UK, we were excluding such an important area. I don’t think urban habitat is more important than moorland or rainforests or coral reefs, but neither is it true that those habitats are more important than urban areas – they’re just different. “I realised that it’s not that there’s a city missing from our family of national parks; it’s more that national park thinking is missing from our cities. One in seven species in the UK is at risk of extinction, with a number of those being within urban areas. Nearly 10,000 people die each year in London from air pollution. More than 300,000 properties in London are at risk of

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flooding. By having more nature in cities, better environmental systems and greater quality green spaces, we could really transform the urban environment and tackle these challenges.” To raise awareness of his campaign and to prove London’s potential as a National Park City, Daniel completed the Big Walk Around London: five weeks, 600km, and nearly 800,000 steps around the capital’s 32 boroughs, exploring as many green spaces as possible. “I was joined by more than 100 people, and what stood out to me was not only is London an extraordinary urban landscape, but also, there are so many brilliant projects in the city. However, the walk between these projects is sometimes one or two hours, when every community and neighbourhood in London should have a brilliant project that people can benefit from. We have

the expertise and talent within London to make an extraordinary National Park City, but we need to radically scale up our ambition.” Thousands of Londoners put money and petition weight behind the campaign, with more than 200 organisations joining the alliance – from park friends groups and allotment associations to property developers and multinational companies. For the landscape industry, London becoming the world’s first National Park City could help with the skills shortage the sector is suffering from, raising awareness of the importance of the urban habitat and inspiring young people to get involved in creating green spaces. CONTACT The National Park City Foundation Email: Twitter: @LondonNPC Hashtag #NationalParkCity

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JARMANMURPHY Woodland planting lends privacy to a secluded rural dwelling



BESTALL & CO LANDSCAPE DESIGN An old farmhouse is given a suitably grand country garden



Geometric paving and gabion walls at a new build in Dewsbury


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PROJECT DETAILS Project value ÂŁ110 per m2 for soft landscaping Build time 12 months Size of project Planting area 650m2


NATURAL CHARM JARMANMURPHY jarmanmurphy redesigned the driveway of this contemporary property with naturalistic woodland planting


Portfolio 1 Jarman Murphy.indd 55

he client brief was to improve a large area to the side and front of the property, creating planting schemes for new driveway areas, banks, borders, and beds in front of the house. This redesign was to be balanced with the need for screening, creating privacy from adjacent properties using carefully selected evergreens and strategically placed trees. The front of the house needed to be given greater prominence, with a more interesting entrance adjacent to the new parking area. Planting had to be low maintenance and seasonally interesting, but also soft and sympathetic to the existing mature trees and native shrubs that were already growing on site and in the surrounding locality. Project background Set back from a small village in Hertfordshire and accessed along a private road, the property is an attractive, detached, architect-designed residence. Oak had been used for new features within the house, which has a traditional yet contemporary feel. The clients were originally looking to redesign the planting in a central circular bed and alongside the drive. However, during the initial site visit, the designers felt that the house and its grounds were overshadowed by a large 40m-long Leylandii hedge that ran along the boundary. At 5m tall, it blocked light to neighbouring properties and created a dense, dark backdrop to the house that limited Pro Landscaper / March 2018 55

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planting options, and it was rapidly becoming unruly as it grew older. After discussing the site analysis with the clients, it was agreed to develop a design that included the removal of the Leylandii and old shrubbery, and to redesign the shape and planting of the whole area to create a modern woodland. Encompassing a range of heights and textures and featuring both evergreen and deciduous trees, the woodland would maintain privacy but also bring light and movement to a previously dark and neglected driveway and parking area. The revised design would also include a retaining structure alongside the raised banks, accommodating a wider driveway and thus allowing for more generous access to the property. jarmanmurphy was keen to make the property feel a part of the woodland landscape, but with a raised intensity of planting and year-round interest, including bulbs, grasses and seed heads. Special requirements The client, understandably, did not want to lose any of their privacy, so, after designing the treescape, the designers headed out on site

armed with a long pole to match and check the height of the trees. jarmanmurphy spent the morning visiting different rooms in the house with the owner, taking turns to stand outside and hold the pole up in different locations to ensure that the new planting design concealed neighbouring properties and their windows were concealed. This reassured the client, and allowed the designers to check their tree design in detail before ordering. Design and build jarmanmurphy focused the design on a contemporary, curving rendered wall, which echoed a surface that had been used elsewhere in the garden. The wall was to run along the length of the drive and diminish in height so that it would feel as if it was subtly disappearing into the landscape. The front of the property was paved with reclaimed York paving inset with granite setts, creating a simple repetition of lines and breaking up the visual appearance of a large hardstanding area for cars. A large, sweeping curved bed ran on from the raised banks; it was planted with a range of trees to create a staggered, naturalistic treescape and screen neighbouring windows and properties. An annexe in the corner of the site was given a cottage feel with a narrow winding path that cut through the planting and


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trees. The clients used their own local landscaper and his team to undertake the works. Challenges As new garden designers, jarmanmurphy had to build up relationships with suppliers and contractors. Being able to work alongside trusted and reliable professionals is vital, and as this was their first joint project, they worked hard to communicate and develop good relationships with everyone involved. Sourcing materials The reclaimed Yorkstone had already been sourced, so the designers worked with the material to create a subtle but interesting paving option, with the introduction of setts as a feature. A large gravel driveway was reinstated, and this, too, was

ABOUT JARMANMURPHY jarmanmurphy was formed in 2013, when Sarah Jarman and Anna Murphy set up their design partnership. They launched their company with a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Back to Backâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; garden at RHS Tatton Park, which won a Gold medal and Best in Category award. They design beautiful gardens with subtle hardscapes and immersive planting that has year-round interest.

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edged with granite setts, ensuring continuity of detail. The main focus was to be on the planting and trees, with traditional hard landscaping materials used in an understated, current style. jarmanmurphy worked closely with Deepdale Trees to source the correct heights and sizes for the trees. The nursery gave advice and support to enable the designers to create the desired woodland feel while meeting the client’s requirements. The plan featured three types of holly to offer different screening options: the

standard Ilex ‘Nellie R. Stevens’, the feathered Ilex x aquipernyi ‘Dragon Lady’, and the smaller, shrubby Ilex aquifolium ‘Alaska’. These were massed together to create colonies. Where semi-mature trees such as Amelanchiers were planted, jarmanmurphy added younger, smaller saplings to create the feel of a natural landscape. The garden’s herbaceous plants were sourced from Orchard Dene. A mix of native plants and cultivars created an enhanced naturalistic planting scheme.

1 Planting pocket separates parking area and pathway adding texture, height and prominence 2 Decidious and evergreen trees provide screening  eutral rendered wall retains woodland bank and 3N creates backdrop for late spring planting 4A  utumn colours of multi-stem Amelanchier lamarckii with Euphorbia, Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Bronze Veil’ and Eurybia divaricatus 5 Springtime view towards the front door 6 Autumn view along the driveway 7 Foliage detail of Polystichum aculeatum, Asplenium scholopendrium, Gallium odoratum, Viola riviniana (labradorica) Purpurea Group






Native plug plants for banks

Little Offley Landscapes

British Wild Flower Plants


Reclaimed York stone and granite setts


Rock and Stone


Supplies for rendered wall and driveway Butterfields, Luton Trees and large shrubs

J Parker’s Wholesale

Hedging Tendercare Nurseries

Images © Noel Murphy and jarmanmurphy Terracotta planters Pots and Pithoi

Deepdale Trees Herbaceous plants Orchard Dene Nursery

Portfolio 1 Jarman Murphy.indd 57

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REFINED RUSTICITY BESTALL & CO LANDSCAPE DESIGN The historical Bay Tree Farm in North Yorkshire is given a tasteful new garden reflective of its style and sophistication

WINNER Northern Design Awards 2017 Residential Landscaping Design category

PROJECT DETAILS Project value Over £200k Build time Phased over three years Size of project ½ acre


Pro Landscaper / March 2018

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Planting Much of the planting at Bay Tree Farm varies from softer hues like Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’ and Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’, through to much richer colours. Examples of the latter include Hylotelephium ‘Matrona’, Veronica spicata ‘Rotfuchs’, Knautia macedonica and

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Astrantia ‘Hadspen Blood’. Splashes of late summer vibrancy are found in clumps of Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ and Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’. The borders closest to the house are underplanted with a wave of white scented Narcissus ‘Thalia’ and the ever popular and cost effective Allium hollandicum ‘Purple Sensation’ (still a real people pleaser). Tulip Purple Blend are planted intensively and refreshed annually, supplying a hit of colour. In this way, spring interest is increased in those parts of the garden most readily seen from indoors at a time of year when biting winds still blow. Standard Ilex aquifolium ‘J.C. van Tol’ lollipops and Buxus sempervirens spheres add essential height and architectural elements. Carpinus betulus hedging around the sunken patio area brings in a touch of formality, while Stipa tenuissima (refreshed from gathered seed biannually) helps soften the garden’s straight edges. The movement of wind through the trees continues in the planting of evergreen Stipa gigantea in the lower beds. Like the soothing sounds from the water feature, the rustling grasses are an extra sensory element that render the sunken seating area a fantastic spot in which to unwind.

Photographs ©Kat Weatherill (


t was vital that a new garden at Bay Tree Farm reflect the sophisticated renovation of its ancient farmhouse. The team at Bestall & Co knew that the design had to be modern, yet sympathetic to the look of this imposing property. It also had to sit well in its vantage point above the breathtaking scenery beyond. This southwest-facing space was redesigned and rebuilt over three phases. Bestall & Co decided very early on to create a cultured contemporary garden. The team developed clean lines composed of resilient new sawn and honed Yorkstone, combined with reused old riven stone slabs from the original patio, echoing the renewed strength of the building. On the other hand, use of Cedar cladding and Iroko decking evoke the spirit of the surrounding woodlands with their warm timber hues. The grey and black tones of the stylish outdoor furniture, the framework of the Hartley Botanic greenhouse and the slate of the spherical James Parker water feature add a hit of modernity. So too does the inclusion of a bronze-effect sculptural piece as a focal point to the southeast of the garden.

1 Sunken entertaining area

Functionality A conscious decision was made to lower the level of the seating area in phase one, to avoid impeding views towards and from the house.

2 Late summer planting 3 L ate summer sun and potting shed 4 T  he bottom gate into the paddock 5 The fire pit area set for entertaining Pro Landscaper / March 2018 59

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You receive a warm welcome as you descend to the side of the fire pit, elegant in its simplicity. In a similar vein, the elements of the second phase – the pool, Cedar hot tub and custom outdoor kitchen – were strategically positioned for their proximity to the home and indoor spa and entertaining area. Phase three of the implimentation further developed a sense of practicality. The stately


Pro Landscaper / March 2018

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greenhouse was erected in this stage allowing the owners to germinate vegetable seeds, which can then be hardened off outside in the adjacent coldframes. There are raised vegetable beds, a small orchard and an ericaceous raised border for blueberry cultivation, a bed which was expensive to create but has paid off well, producing superfruits for many months. Despite its outstanding beauty, this remains a functional family garden. With help, it’s become the perfect place to relax, entertain and nourish body and soul. “We’ve worked closely with the owners of this beautiful farmhouse over the past couple of years to create a productive family garden, and it was such an honour to use this project to help us win the Northern Design Awards for best residential garden in 2017.” – Lee Bestall

ABOUT BESTALL & CO LANDSCAPE DESIGN LTD Bestall & Co Landscape Design Ltd has a team of six knowledgeable and enthusiastic designers and plants people. Founded in 2004 (originally as Inspired Garden Design), Bestall & Co was rebranded in April 2017 to reflect the style of the gardens they create: modern, classic, outdoor entertaining spaces which are sympathetic to their locations.

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Water feature

Bestall & Co Landscape Design Ltd

James Parker Sculpture


Bronze-effect sculpture and planters

6 Glasshouse in matte black 7 Lee in his RHS Chelsea 2016 garden

MRH Construction

8 All-weather outdoor seating

9 Cedar-clad outdoor kitchen


10 James Parker slate water feature 11 Refurbished pool with sawn sandstone coping

Nederhoff Plant Cedar cladding Outdoor kitchen Designed by Bestall & Co Landscape Design Ltd

Constructed by MRH Construction

Greenhouse and coldframes

BBQ and fridge

Hartley Botanic

Fire Magic

Outdoor shower


D’un jardin à l’autre

Harrods : Indian Ocean

Cedar hot tub

Fire pit

Riviera Hot Tubs


Portfolio 2 Bestall.indd 61

The Bestall Collection

Silva Timber

Pro Landscaper / March 2018 61

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he client sought a stylish and modern garden with visual impact to reflect the interior design of their newly built detached home, which had been built using local sandstone from Johnsons Wellfield quarry. They required a low-maintenance space and increased privacy, since the property is situated on a hill and is overlooked by a number of neighbouring properties. They also wanted an area for entertaining their large family and circle of friends, which would double as a place for their children to play.

Photographs ©Emma Vaughan and Darren McLean.

The design To visually connect the property with the garden, JB Landscapes designer John Brennan used the same beautiful warm beige sandstone that the house had been constructed from for the gabion walls and paving. The contrasting slate grey tiled roof and dark window frames were also reflected in


Pro Landscaper / March 2018

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CHECK MATE JB LANDSCAPES LTD An ambitious series of gabion walls helps transform this new build in Dewsbury

John’s use of 14mm black basalt chippings, applied alongside the cream-coloured paving. On the path leading to the wide and impressive front doorway, light-coloured pavers were staggered in a way that draws the eye in, with basalt gravel used in negative spaces to produce a series of sleek, straight lines that echos those of the modern house. To the left of the front door, and in front of the client’s large picture window, the pavers and basalt gravel have been arranged in a checkered pattern to create a pathway with visual impact. This leads on to a small sitting area covered by a simple, contemporary green oak pergola, its grey weathered timbers blending easily with the colour scheme. At the back of the house, the deck for entertaining and relaxation has been constructed using ecodek, a completely recycled material that is sturdy enough to

withstand all elements. The glass balustrade surround means that the raised deck is safe, without obstructing the view. The gabion walls Some walls were freestanding and some retaining, and to build them from traditional masonry would have been prohibitively expensive. As the owners wanted a modern look anyway, the decision was made to use gabions filled with local stone. JB Landscapes decided to use them for the entire boundary: this structure would act as a retaining wall in places, provide the privacy that the owners required, and also be a stunning architectural feature in itself. With a total length of 83m and plunging 3m below ground level at the retaining side, the construction was a test of stamina and skill for the JB Landscapes team. In the end, JB Landscapes used over

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100 baskets and more than 300t of stone to complete the project. In the past, gabion walls have been a longstanding feature of motorways, and when used in gardens and landscaping they have often come with the risk of uneven stones and poor structure. For this project, JB Landscapes decided to break the mould. Unlike other gabion structures, where stones are placed randomly, the team aligned the stones in a more precise, interlocking form, improving the aesthetic and ensuring perfect structural integrity. 1 Chequered paving provides drama 2 Front entrance to the property 3 Stepped gabion wall separates the drive 4 Low, wide sleeper steps with artificial lawn 5 Large composite deck with glass balustrade 6 Modern oak pergola adds height and structure

PROJECT DETAILS Project value ÂŁ120,000 Build time 15 weeks Size of project 631 sq m, including the area of the house

7 Cloud pruned Ilex

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John also had the innovative idea of planting within a section of the gabion wall itself. This meant that the hedge running along the eastern boundary would continue in an unbroken line, making the back garden a greener and more integrated space, and providing a greater degree of privacy. Challenges JB Landscapes encountered several challenges, including the placement of manhole covers that had been incorrectly installed on the boundary of the property – right in the line of the gabion wall. To overcome this, the team used stone lintels within the wall to act as small bridges wherever there was a manhole cover, creating an attractive solution to a difficult problem. As the house was a new build, it had actually been constructed before the completion of the adjoining road. This meant that JB Landscapes had to build the garden wall next to a road that didn’t yet exist, taking levels from the house. In addition to this, the project took a total of 15 weeks, right through the middle of a cold and very wet winter, making conditions extremely muddy and difficult. Despite the challenges, the team has created a stunning and stylish modern garden that echoes the character of the client’s house. Surrounded by a magnificent feature gabion wall, the landscaping design and choice of natural materials are tasteful, but also deliver impact. Fulfilling the client’s brief, the structural, minimal planting, composite decking and artificial lawn are both attractive and low maintenance, while the use of high-quality materials and beautifully finished features helps to create a garden that will continue to look good for many years to come.

8 Small evergreen clipped shrubs allow the pattern of the paving to make its impact


Pro Landscaper / March 2018

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Design and build

Green oak for pergola

JB Landscapes Ltd

Duffield Timber, Ripon

Gabion baskets


Fine Mesh Metals


Stone and pavers


Johnson’s Wellfield

The Garden Trellis Co.

Black basalt chippings

Artificial lawn

Hardscape Resourcing Ltd

West Yorkshire Artificial Lawns

ABOUT JB LANDSCAPES LTD John Brennan has been working in the garden industry for 20 years and has progressed from building gardens J B LANDSCAPES LTD to designing them. He trained in London with Chelsea Gold medal-winner Mathew Bell, where he worked on prestigious residential gardens, as well as large corporate projects. Coming from a landscaping background, John has an in-depth knowledge of how a garden works and is built. A skilled collaborator, he works with clients to turn their ideas, however vague, into a living, functioning outdoor space.


DURING Shrubs and other plants


Cloud-pruned trees GT Flowers, Leeds

Feature seat Client’s own

Knowl Park Nurseries

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TOTAL PROTECTION LANDSCAPING LTD This residential development in London’s financial district required an innovative outdoor play space for chlidren of all ages, as well as a stylish place for adults to relax

PROJECT DETAILS Project value £601,545.99 Build time July 2016-April 2017 Size of project 2,236 sq m


Hard Landscaping Construction (Non-Domestic), Between £300k-£1.5m

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ollar Bay is a new residential development by Mount Anvil and Citystyle Homes, offering 115 apartments and penthouses. Nestled in the capital’s financial district, the development is situated in a prime waterside location at the foot of the South Dock, providing amazing views unhindered by neighbouring buildings. Designed by award-winning international architects SimpsonHaugh and Partners, Dollar Bay features a stunning glass façade that reflects the changing light throughout the day and gives the impression of perfectly balanced crystals on the water’s edge. The waterfront area around the structure has been redeveloped to be fully accessible and includes public art, a café and outdoor seating, all within a landscaped setting. Total Protection Landscaping Ltd was contracted to supply and install all aspects of hard

and soft landscaping to external areas of the Mount Anvil Dollar Bay project. Remedial works Prior to commencing, Total Protection was required to carry out remedial works to the area. This included the riverside walkway’s original block paving, reducing the level of certain areas by digging out and removing material, and backfilling low-level sections to bring the site to the correct formation level. Hard landscaping Granite was the primary paving used for the hard landscaped areas, including feature banding and kerbs, as well as cladding for concrete walls, copings and steps. The brief also included the installation of play equipment, creating three distinct Pro Landscaper / March 2018 65

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zones: a 15m2 toddler play area incorporating timber blocks to promote exercise, balance, climbing, coordination and jumping; a 27m2 space for table tennis, encouraging physical activity and movement; and an area for children aged between 0-12 years, covering 92m2 of tilted lawn and play mounds for clambering, running and exploring. This final play location included a series of eye-catching, bright orange rubber safety surface mounds, containing a lightweight fill for build-up and a stainless steel retaining edge. Seating was provided via solid timber benches, picnic tables and striking wooden pergola structures, with steel railings and handrails, fencing and cycle racks fitted throughout the site for privacy and security. Some areas were also outfitted with contemporary stainless steel demarcation studs and stainless steel corduroy inset strips. To enable sufficient drainage, slot drains and access chambers were installed, which were then linked to the nearest manholes. To complete the project, the Total Protection team incorporated feature lighting to assist with safety and provide an appealing aesthetic effect, and also fitted lighting protection boxes. Soft landscaping Soft landscaping works included the supply and installation of lawn, trees and a selection of other plants and hedges around the site. The trees required underground guying/anchor systems, washed sand to the tree pits and aeration/ irrigation pipes, with Total Protection also responsible for importing subsoil, topsoil and mulch for specific areas. As part of the planning conditions, bird and bat boxes were supplied and 66

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fitted by the team, as well as a living green wall to the sides of the ancillary building. Challenges Unique to the clientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brief and needs, the whole play area was particularly unusual in design and incorporated a number of different elements, such as the timber block play equipment and grass/rubber crumb mounds. Works needed to be planned around key dates for public access, which Total Protection had to keep to for the client. With only a single entrance, and a body of water running along one side, the size and location of the site also proved challenging, and with no storage space available at Dollar Bay, all equipment had to be kept off-site and brought on for use daily. Despite these challenges, Total Protection has successfully delivered a unique, social play space filled with a host of interesting features, and installed by a professional and experienced team.

Hard and soft landscaping, external areas of Mount Anvil Dollar Bay project

1 Tilted lawn and play mounds 2 View through the project

Total Protection Landscaping Ltd

3 Toddler timber block play area


4 View through the timber pergola

Space Hub Design

5 Granite paving by the water edge

6 Table tennis to promote physical activity

Plants and trees

7 Solid timber benches on the perimeter

Crowders Nurseries

8 Cycle racks and raised granite cladded planters Tree guying/anchor systems and aeration/irrigation pipes Green-tech Green wall MMA Architectural Systems Bird and bat boxes Ark Wildlife Type 1, top soil, washed sand for tree pits and shingle Soils and Stone Paving, steel railings, handrails, fencing and cycle racks Marshalls Cladding and slot drains

ABOUT TOTAL PROTECTION LANDSCAPING LTD Total Protection Landscaping Ltd is an established and experienced landscape contractor with a proven track record in delivering hard and soft landscaping projects, from small domestic to large commercial public realm schemes. They specialise in high quality bespoke landscaping, but can also assist with large multi-phase landscape design and build schemes and smaller specialised requirements..

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Stainless steel demarcation studs and stainless steel corduroy inset strips urbanfinish Rubber crumb, resin Total Protection Landscaping Ltd

Benches and picnic tables Supplied by client

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ESSENTIALS Industry Selected Products & Equipment for the Landscape Installer Marshalls is pleased to announce its new range of Installer’s Essentials tools and ancillaries. The new range has been developed utilising Marshalls years of industry expertise to develop a range of landscaping tools, which are ideal for professional landscapers.


Marshalls has worked with well-known trade brands Altrad Belle, Probst and Lithoon to deliver a range of tools for use across all aspects of the job – from setting out the job, to compacting and manual handling. All of the tools can be used when installing Marshalls patio and driveway products and ensures landscapers are working more ensu efficiently and safely on site versus traditional methods of installation.


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Anji Connell breaks down the trend for Scandinavian style, recommending products and designs for capturing that Scandi vibe Minimalist Scandinavian style is set to make its way outdoors this year, fuelled by the trend of bringing the inside out. Scandinavian design encompasses that of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, and is characterised by simplicity, functionality and minimalism. ‘Scandi style’ conjures up thoughts of white walls with a neutral colour palette and pops of colour, mixed with natural textures and materials – a pared-back look with an uncluttered layout and a no-frills approach that lends an elegantly simplistic yet functional aesthetic. Our Scandimania remains steadfast: we have embraced ‘hygge’, the Danish word that evokes cosiness and togetherness, the art of cherishing oneself and others – incorporating everything from walking in the forest,

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Stokertje fires

foraging and barbecues to candlelit dinners in front of roaring fires. More recently we’ve been focusing on ‘lagom’, a Swedish word roughly translating to ‘just the right amount’. 2018 brings the Norwegian ‘friluftsliv’, which literally translates as ‘open-air living’. Scandinavians are intimately connected with nature and outdoor living, with even the smallest of homes possessing a little terrace or balcony. More than 50% of Swedes own or have access to a ‘sommarstuga’ or summer home, which are often only an hour or so away from their primary residences. People live in tune with the seasons, enjoying outdoor pursuits in the summer as well as the benefits of indoor living during winter. While we in this country ‘endure’ the winters, awaiting better weather, in Scandinavia, time spent with family and friends over winter is considered essential to psychological wellbeing. Exterior elements A palette of soothing greys and milky whites, complemented by light wood, is ubiquitous. It’s an eclectic mix of new and old, incorporating homespun pieces such as

H55 Lunge Chair for Skaarden

rustic wooden crates and shabbily painted furniture, and featuring a combination of patterns and textures – chunky knits and sheepskins, crumpled linen, cushions, throws and accent rugs. Adorn your decks with ‘trasmatta’ rag rugs for an authentic look, adding whimsical, magical oversized lanterns, minimal bulb pendants and visible electrical cables with a mix of vintage floor and table lamps. Finally, add plants! Don’t be afraid to place large-leaved plants and palms adjacent to cacti and succulents; have fun mixing different pots in ceramic, terracotta, wicker and bamboo. What’s new? Last year saw ‘Scandi boho style’ making an entrance – a perfect combination of styles, as the boho vibe adds a warm, welcoming touch. Another new fusion style is ‘Japandi’, a design movement that fuses Japanese simplicity with Scandinavian style. Here, the Japanese concept of ‘wabi-sabi’ – the principle of finding beauty in the imperfect – blends with the clean lines, raw functionality and flawless

Hang Chair for Skaagarden


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craftsmanship found in Scandinavian design. This style is a pared-back aesthetic of cool, muted undertones, pale and dark timbers, and refined elements with some raw edges, achieving a sleek, sophisticated look. Set statement furniture in wenge, charcoal or dark oak against the light oak tones of the Scandi look, plus soft pinks, greys and pastel greens as accent colours.

Aaron and Miranda Jones designed the range to replace outdoor heat lamps, which they felt did a poor job of keeping people warm. Their furniture works by raising the sitter’s core temperature, like underfloor heating, instead of emitting heat into the air, so they receive the warmth directly. Young Belgian creator Koen Van Extergem recently joined the Manutti Design Studio, and with its CEO has designed a sophisticated range of five modules that can quickly transform from a Recreate the look sunbed to an outdoor living space, while Smarin’s La Schaise range features soft elastic Australian designer Nikolai Kotlarczyk of CZYK straps wrapped around simple tubular steel has created the Fold chair from a single frameworks, while Raw Edges concrete seating aluminium sheet, providing strength and has a Scandinavian vibe and super integral durability while retaining a visual lightness. strength; recently installed at the Greenwich US company Loll Designs has created a Peninsula development in London, and designed range of brightly coloured garden furniture from to look like ‘scaled-up’ armchairs, this range discarded milk and detergent packaging, will remain in place for the next 10 years. while The Danish Design Store offers a Designer Christina Liljenberg Halstrom fabulous selection of outdoor furniture from has reframed the classic deckchair with Danish designers. the Hang Chair for Skagerak Modfire has some cool outdoor Denmark. Featuring a stable frame fireplaces that are ideal for spending and padded seat in a weather time around; its Astrofire fire pit is a resistant textile, it can be used sleek piece of sculptural beauty, both indoors and out. The Innit available in Tangerine, Maraschino, Chair, meanwhile, features a Azure Avocado, Ultra-Lounge powder-coated steel frame and White, Charcoal and Aqualuxe. colourfast UV-resistant woven vinyl Morso’s cast iron wood-burning cord, and is ideal for outdoor use. stoves make winters warmer and Targeted at the millennial more stylish, and to really get the generation, Alexander Lotersztain’s Scandi vibe you could search for an Les Basic collection features antique kakelugn ceramic-tiled Malm outdoor furniture, seating, tables, heater – or try a Stack stove, which lighting and accessories, and is reinterprets the ancient tradition of due to launch at New York’s International ceramic stoves in a contemporary form. Contemporary Furniture Fair in May 2018. If you’re in doubt about how to get the look, San Francisco studio Galanter & Jones just keep it simple! There is always elegance in claims that it has created the first cast-stone simplicity – and isn’t that what we all love about heated outdoor furniture. Brother and sister duo Scandinavian style?

Knotted Melati Hanging Chair Anthropologie

La Schaise chairs. Smarin design furniture

Steps outdoor furniture. Raw Eddges Design Studio

Nikolai Kotlarczyk of CZYK Fold Chair

ABOUT ANJI CONNELL Internationally recognised interior architect and landscape designer Anji Connell is a detail-obsessed Inchbald Graduate, and has been collaborating with artisans and craftsmen to create bespoke and unique interiors for a discerning clientele since 1986. Anji is a stylist, feature writer and lover of all things art and design. KARWEI – Decorative DIY store in the Netherlands

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Why I...

#lovehorticulture SARAH EBERLE



y childhood memories are of long hours spent messing around in the countryside. A life of pets and ponies, and with the privilege of a freedom that children no longer enjoy we roamed freely in the woods and clifftops, not to mention carrying our rabbits and guinea pigs to the farmers field to allow them to graze on lush crops and dandelions. This instilled in me a love for nature and all its beauty and the opportunities it provided for play, from ‘pinging’ grass seed heads to making daisy chains and ash whistles. As a teenager my interest and love of the light that played through Devon hedgerows and washed long shadows over the September landscape led me to consider that I wanted to be involved in the making of these special places. My love of plants and gardens came later – my memories of my mother working in the garden was that it took forever for things to grow! How one’s perception of time changes as you get older. Early in my professional career as a landscape architect, I veered right and specialised in gardens and their settings, and here my love for plants took hold. As a creative through and through I could not but wonder at the extraordinary evolutionary design of plants, how they work together (or not!), and the sense they impart to me of belonging in this wonderful natural world. Plants bring people together and gardens provide the place to do this, whether public or private places. PLANTS AND Plants and gardens are in my GARDENS ARE IN MY experience healing, not only individually EXPERIENCE HEALING, NOT but to communities, particularly in the ONLY INDIVIDUALLY BUT modern world where so many people are divorced from nature. TO COMMUNITIES In hindsight, maybe my love for this profession transports me back to my childhood, to a place of little worry and much innocence. If so, aren’t I lucky!

Tweet us @ProLandscaperJW and tell us why you love horticulture using the hashtag #LoveHorticulture


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Get more with a ToroÂŽ Groundsmaster Groundsmaster 360 Quad-Steer

Discover Quad-Steer all-wheel technology and feel more control than ever before This tough, highly versatile workhorse with its revolutionary Quad-Steer all-wheel steering, is the master of cutting around challenging obstacles. Trees, benches and litter bins become a doddle to navigate as it turns on a sixpence. When it comes to control no other zero-turn gives you more. Get more from your turfcare partner this year: More products > More advice > More training > More finance Reesink Turfcare UK Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Images shown for illustration only.

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STREET FURNITURE Romy Rawlings takes us through the key directions that street furniture is heading in as cities prepare to accommodate more and more people



efore long, more than 70% of the world’s population will live in cities. This means we must rethink the way we plan and use our urban areas – and this includes street furniture. Many aspects of street furniture have always required great care in their specification, including: form and function; enhancing the unique identity of a place; universal design and ergonomics; safety and security for those using the street; and addressing mundane, yet vital, needs, such as providing somewhere to put litter. These are all valid concerns, but street furniture has the potential to do much more, adding real value to our urban areas. City life is dynamic and challenging, and is becoming ever more sophisticated – so why would the products we need on our streets be any different? With that in mind, here are a selection of key trends in street furniture that could revolutionise our public space.

Wellbeing Poor air quality, worsening public health and an ageing population can all be tackled with the help of wellbeing-focused street furniture. We should, wherever possible, incorporate biodiversity and biophilia, now that it’s recognised that bringing nature into urban areas improves physical and mental health. Democratic design Street furniture design now sees the end user considered more than ever before. To address the needs of our population we need our public spaces to work harder – perhaps through the 74

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study of proxemics, whereby diverse activities are supported, maybe an intimate conversation or more active and gregarious use. Versatility/adaptation As the needs of a place change over the course of a day, week or year, versatile furniture has become desirable. Whether multifunctional, modular or demountable, it enables us to address the changing requirements of urban life. Maintenance Poor maintenance can make the difference between a well-used space and one that is avoided. Mismatched, dirty or broken furniture gives the wrong message, but this is often the reality as budgets decline. High quality is essential to ensure durability, enable lengthy warranties, and minimise maintenance; hopefully, through Building Information Modelling (BIM), the emphasis is likely to shift away from capital investment and towards whole life cost. Sustainability We have no choice now but to take account of our impact on the environment. Long-lasting products minimise the use of resources, which helps address the issue of sustainability. When designing and manufacturing street furniture, it’s

vital to be cognisant of every impact it will have on the environment, whether that’s through material choice, manufacturing processes or logistics. Technology/Smart Cities While the Smart City concept has been top of most manufacturers’ lists for several years now, we may need more time to understand what is going to be of real value to both residents and visitors. Is it a solar-powered seat that allows phone charging, an AR app, integrated travel planning? The key will be the ability of manufacturers to deliver integrated and useful products. The revolution in street furniture has only just begun – through the evolution of autonomous vehicles, for instance, we will have the capacity to transform our streets within a few decades. Are we ready to challenge convention? ABOUT ROMY RAWLINGS Romy is a Chartered landscape architect and UK business development manager for street furniture manufacturer Vestre. With a career based in landscape consultancy, the last decade has been spent predominantly with industry suppliers. Romy is a Landscape Institute ambassador and chair of its Diversity & Inclusivity working group.

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Four garden designers talks us through the lighting schemes that they’re particularly proud of

Mark Draper

©Light IQ

Charlotte Rowe

Lighting was an integral part of this design, allowing the garden to be viewed from the house at all times of day and year-round. The success lies in the combination of a few carefully selected effects accentuating different key elements. We used uplights and underwater cross-lights to highlight the the water feature and washed light across the steps that take you to the upper level of the garden. Surfaces play a key role: the pale limestone paving, lime-washed walls, copper water spout, water surface and polished black pebbles all reflect the light around the space.

Kate Gould

©Collingwood Lighting

Lee Bestall

This property sits on a sloping site, so retaining walls and steps were required; practical step lighting was therefore needed, along with other functional lighting. Feature lights make the most of the design, uplighting the parasol hornbeams on the main terrace and washing the sculptural retaining wall. Charm lights hung down from the pergola, creating a soft pool of light beneath, and LED strip lights were used beneath the cantilevered firepit seating. The lighting was controlled by a Light Symphony control system, which gave great practicality.

Garden lighting is often one of the first things our clients ask about when we meet, but is also the first thing to be value engineered out – thankfully not in this scheme. The lighting here is all manufactured by Collingwood, a company I have found to be very reliable, and includes beautiful fencemounted copper downlights, warm white LED strip lighting around the edge of the pool, and low voltage uplights to highlight the skeletal framework of the pleached limes and multi-stemmed shrubs.

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I was keen to include light-transmitting materials into the hard landscaping of my RHS Chelsea 2017 garden ‘City Living’. We approached Diespeker & Co to create 28m² of lighttransmitting terrazzo. We purchased 3.8 miles of fibre optic cable and chopped it into 81,500 pieces; the whole team poked thousands of fibres into polystyrene bases inside bespoke aluminium trays to meet Diespeker’s deadline for pouring the terrazzo. I also approached Anglepoise for its Giant Outdoor Collection, which provided a real highlight.

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Trend: Rustic, vintage, industrial mix Why: Europlanters’s rivet range planters lend themselves perfectly to the rustic, vintage and industrial trend. The range comes in cylinder, cube, trough and tall square shapes, and the mould has been made with rivets from an old shipyard, giving them an authentic look. Rivets can be added to any shape and in any combination, making the design potential endless. Product shown: Cylinder Rivet planter WWW.EUROPLANTERS.COM


Trend: Corten steel Why: Corten planters have an industrial feel without being harsh or cold, and their coppery tones add depth and warmth to a scheme. Iota is introducing a range of shapes in large sizes suitable for large shrubs and trees, as barrier planters and stand-alone features. Products shown (L-R) New Corten Round planter, Bespoke Corten planter at the Triplets, King’s Cross WWW.IOTAGARDEN.COM



THE POT COMPANY Trend: Indoor/outdoor planters

Why: Planters that lend themselves to both indoor and outdoor planting are proving ever popular. Planting indoors can reduce levels of airborne dust and carbon dioxide, and remove certain pollutants; it also keeps air temperatures down and humidity up. The Fiori Luminous range comes in a white/translucent finish with a white bulb as standard, and is suitable for both internal and external use. Fitting an LED bulb also allows the colour to be changed via remote. Product shown: Cono planter, Fiori Luminous range WWW.THEPOTCO.COM



Why: While bold colour and texture will influence design this year, the low maintenance factor will remain highly sought after. Strong and stylish, with an array of shapes and sizes, it gives instant ‘wow factor’ and complements both simple and intricate planting. Available in classic dark grey, light grey or white, these planters can also be made in any desired RAL colour. Product shown: Large Aluminium planters WWW.GARDENHOUSEDESIGN.CO.UK

Why: Rusty finish continues to be a popular planter trend, reflecting the desire for raw finishes. These Grand and Large Globe planters in Rusty finish suit both the Victorian and the contemporary architecture of the Kings Cross development. Product shown: Grand and Large Globe planters WWW.URBISDESIGN.CO.UK

Trend: Aluminium

Trend: Rusty finish

POTS AND PITHOI Trend: Terracotta

Why: “I see contemporary materials being used for planters and they look out of date as soon as the next ‘big thing’ comes in,” says managing director David Dodd. “Our terracotta, like natural stone, is timeless and ages beautifully due to it’s durability, unlike some man-made materials which after a couple of years look ready for the skip.” WWW.POTSANDPITHOI.COM


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We are a leading supplier of planters, burners and water features with over 30 ranges to choose from and over 150,000 pots in stock at our warehouse in the Kent countryside. No minimum order! 01892 890 353

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NURTURE NEWS Clifton Nurseries announces acquisition Following Nurture Landscapes’s acquisition of Gavin Jones Ltd on 1 February 2018, Clifton Nurseries has been acquired by two of its directors, Martyn Mogford and Will Clark, and will now trade independently with the existing teams at its nurseries in Little Venice and Woburn Hill, Surrey.

Clifton Nurseries will continue to build on its reputation, and under the lead of its retail director David Morley, the team will further develop the customer experience and trading performance of its retail, landscaping and garden maintenance operations at both of its unique sites. The directors are proud of the way that the Clifton Nurseries brand and operation has evolved since it became part of the Gavin Jones Group in summer 2016, and are confident that the business will go from strength to strength in the future.

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Horticultural nursery helps Haggerston Castle to bloom Johnsons of Whixley has supplied plants to two landscaping and construction companies as part of a major long-term project at Haggerston Castle. The first phase of stock included native trees, hedging, ornamental and specimen shrubs, supplied to Brambledown Landscapes Ltd in Durham, which undertook the initial landscaping between autumn 2013 and spring 2015. The 200-acre nursery then supplied various phases of stock to P1 Solutions from Edinburgh, which undertook the second phase of landscaping between February 2016 and spring 2017. This included mature specimen trees, instant hedging, a large range of ornamental shrubs,

grasses, heathers, and native structure planting. Andrew Richardson, joint managing director at Johnsons of Whixley, said: “We have a proven track record of supplying excellent quality products and services to businesses in the leisure industry, and it was a pleasure to be a part of such a fantastic development at Haggerston Castle.”

New sales and marketing director at Crowders Nurseries James Carter has just taken up the post of sales and marketing director at Crowders Nurseries. Speaking of his appointment to the Lincolnshire supplier, James said: “When Robert Crowder first approached me to discuss this opportunity, I knew it was just what I had been looking for. Crowders has a long-established reputation for excellence within the

nursery sector. I am looking forward to getting to know the personalities within the industry and helping Crowders to cement its reputation as a leading nursery stock supplier.” “James has an extraordinary passion for horticulture and an exceptional knowledge of plants,” said Crowders chairman Robert Crowder. “He also brings an enthusiasm and aptitude for business, which will be a great asset for our company and customers alike.”

Palmstead Nurseries Ltd launches staff training academy ‘To be the best we can be’ is the motto of the new staff training academy launched by Palmstead Nurseries Ltd, in Wye, Kent. “Staff training will help to create a wider understanding of what we do as a business,” managing director Mark Hutchinson says. “Our motto applies to each person, each team, the company and Palmstead Nurseries within the industry.” Taking place at the company’s new training facilities, Palmstead Nurseries has designed two training streams; ‘Hands on Horticulture’ – led by marketing manager Nick Coslett, with help from other members of the nursery and external trainers – and a second stream developing leadership skills for supervisory staff. The company previously provided training on an ad hoc basis but decided on structured tuition because: “the staff are our greatest asset, and training and improving people’s skills is rewarding for everyone, including the business,” Mr Hutchinson says.



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PALMSTEAD SOFT LANDSCAPE WORKSHOP 2018 Pro Landscaper reports back from another successful Palmstead Nurseries Soft Landscape Workshop

The speakers

Palmstead Nurseries’ 10th annual Soft Landscape Workshop on 24 January was attended by 400 delegates, making it the most successful event for the nursery to date. The series of seminars kicked off Palmstead’s 50th anniversary celebrations, and included prominent keynote speakers Nigel Dunnett, Tim O’Hare, Laura Gatti and Dan Pearson. Palmstead’s marketing manager Nick Coslett opened the event at Ashford International Hotel, introducing the day’s topic of ‘Taking gardens and landscapes to a whole new level’, which focused on the greening of podium spaces and vertical forests. The University of Sheffield’s Nigel Dunnett and City of London gardens supervisor Alex Piddington-Bishop spoke about the Barbican, London’s largest arts and conference complex, where most of the landscape elements are podium-based, or ‘landscapes above structure’. The City of London corporation Tim O’Hare


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manages 11,000 acres of green space; what marks the Barbican as different is that there is no automatic irrigation, meaning all watering on site is done by hand; the maintenance programme is still being developed. Referencing his work on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Jubilee Gardens, soil scientist Tim O’Hare discussed soil considerations for podium landscapes, which include drainage, compaction and the use of a ‘blinding layer’ between the topsoil and the drainage layer. Landscape consultant Laura Gatti explored what she called “one of the most important projects in Italy’s urban regeneration”, Milan’s Bosco Verticale. In a fascinating seminar, Laura explained the thought processes behind the vegetation-covered residential towers, and discussed the high levels of professional maintenance they require. Bosco Verticale

In the first of three short seminars, PlantWorks technical director Dr Louise Boyer spoke about how Mycorrhiza aids the success of trees, and how soil biology is often forgotten. Adam White and Andrée Davies gave a vibrant exploration of their show garden at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017, a wild garden for children that scooped three awards – including a coveted Gold medal. Professor Nicola Spence closed with an update on biosecurity, speaking about Xylella fastidiosa and what APHA is doing to prevent the disease entering the UK, including working with the industry to develop an assurance scheme.

Closing the event, landscape and garden designer Dan Pearson spoke planting on podium decks and creating urban gardens. Dan Pearson

Rather than shying away from the topic of the Garden Bridge – which he said “could have been amazing” – Dan described working on the project, delving into the planting plan and creating balconies with ‘vignettes of London’. He also explored a number of sites in the Kings Cross development, and his work at the Amanyangyun resort in Shanghai. Speaking after the event, Nick Coslett said: “The workshop marked the start of what will be a Golden Jubilee year for us at Palmstead, and we felt it was fitting that we should have some of the best speakers currently working on some of the most exciting projects in our industry. Today they really inspired the 400-strong audience with their ideas, designs and innovation.” With the workshop being such a huge success, we look forward to seeing how Palmstead Nurseries will continue to celebrate its 50th anniversary year.

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Aster divaricatus


Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’

Sarcococca confusa

Designer PLANTS Jenny Jones turns a tight concrete space into a green haven for a couple in Islington, London

The brief for this small garden in Islington, north London, was to create an oasis in the city and breathe new life back into what was a relatively unused space. The clients were a professional couple who had both recently taken semiretirement and wanted to be able to spend more time enjoying their garden. The biggest obstacle was that, like many gardens in the area, almost the entire space had been concreted over. The limited existing plant beds were shallow and the clients had struggled to grow anything of interest. After digging up four skips’ worth of concrete, the team was able to begin work setting out the beds and laying the Yorkstone 86

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and brick walkway. Jenny’s design for the garden was to divide it into two separate ‘rooms’: a spacious seating area for entertaining, and a smaller and more intimate space with bench seating at the far end. As the garden was shady for much of the day, the plants had to be shade tolerant. To brighten dark areas, white was key to the planting design. It was also necessary to cover three brick walls on either side of the garden,

Parthenocissus henryana

which were going to be kept. One wall in particular was very high, and although not unsightly, needed some planting to blend it in with the rest of the garden. Textures were also very important in this small space. An existing fig tree and Dicksonia antartica were kept for their striking foliage, and Ilex crenata balls were used for a finer texture, creating an evergreen border around the garden that would be interplanted with perennials. In the central shady bed, Jenny wanted to create a woodland space that would frame the seating area. Ferns were used for interest, with Epimedium, Tiarella wherryi, Brunnera macrophylla, Digitalis, and Aster divaricatus. The north-facing wall was the trickiest part of the design. However, the use of Parthenocissus henryana has worked extremely well, covering the wall while remaining manageable. Its colouring works perfectly in the garden, with strong white veining and leaves that turn a brilliant red in

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Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snow Queen’

Dicksonia Antarctica

Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’

Plant list

and autumn; she was even more pleased when she found it grows well on a shady wall. Many of the perennials were sourced from Jenny’s favourite perennial nursery, Orchard Dene Nurseries in Henley-on-Thames. It has a wide variety of interesting perennials, and all have done exceptionally well in the garden. The garden has been enjoyed throughout the year, and is definitely the green haven that the clients had hoped for. autumn. The leaves also have a pinkish colour underneath and in the centre, which ties in well with the different tones of the brickwork and some of the subtler pinks in the garden. Another climber used is Pileostegia viburnoides, a self-clinging climbing hydrangea. Jenny had seen it at RHS Wisley and remembered being struck by its leathery dark leaves and creamy white flowers in summer

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ABOUT JENNY JONES Jenny Jones is an RHS award-winning garden designer based in London and Oxfordshire, offering a wide range of services from complete redesign to garden refresh and planting plans. She is a Pre-Registered Member of the Society of Garden Designers (SGD).

• Anemone hupehensis var. japonica ‘Pamina’ • Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’ • Anemone leveilli • Aquilegia vulgaris • Aster divaricatus • Astrantia major ‘Large White’ • Athyrium filix-femina • Bergenia cordifolia ‘Purpurea’ • Brunnera macrophylla ‘Betty Bowring’ • Crocus minimus ‘Spring Beauty’ • Dicksonia antarctica • Digitalis lutea • Digitalis purpurea f. albiflora • Dryopteris affinis • Epimedium x youngianum ‘Niveum’ • Fritillaria meleagris var. unicolor subvar. alba • Geranium ‘Rozanne’ • Geranium sanguineum ‘Album’ • Gillenia trifoliata • Helleborus x hybridus • Hosta ‘Devon Green’ • Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snow Queen’ • Ilex crenata • Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’ • Muscari armeniacum • Narcissus ‘Elizabeth Ann’ • Parthenocissus henryana • Pileostegia viburnoides • Polygonatum x hybridum • Polypodium vulgare • Primula vulgaris • Rosa ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ • Rosa ‘Little White Pet’ • Sarcococca confusa • Skimmia x confusa • Tiarella wherryi

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Andy McIndoe selects reliable perennials that won’t let you down and will deliver in a wide range of conditions and schemes


ost perennials grow quickly from small plants to substantial clumps. They flower after a short lead time, some with a long flowering period, others for five minutes. Some take care of themselves, some need support, and some need lifting and dividing after a couple of seasons. The number of varieties increases every year, making selection challenging, so here are a few reliable favourites that work just about anywhere. Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’, a tall variety of catmint, has aromatic grey-green foliage and


Campanula lactiflora

full sun. The species has loose heads of pale blue bell-shaped flowers on 90cm (3ft) stems. Best used further back in a border amidst medium sized shrubs and roses. Eupatorium purpureum fulfils a similar role. Stout dark stems clothed in narrow leaves carry large heads of tiny bruised-pink flowers. Hardly showy in flower form or colour, it is a good mixer and grows well with grasses and prairie flowers.

Eupatorium purpureum Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’

blue flowers from early summer through into autumn. It makes a substantial clump of upright but lax stems around 60 x 60cm (2 x 2ft). It needs full sun and grows on any well-drained soil, but it does need support unless planted between strong grasses, roses or low shrubs. Bees and butterflies love it and it’s a great mixer. Similarly attractive to pollinators, Agastache has become popular in recent years. A mint-like aromatic with upright stems and spikes of blue flowers from mid to late summer, it is taller than the Nepeta and more self-supporting. It loves a sunny spot and mixes well with prairie daisies, grasses and later flowering perennials such as Solidago and Helenium.

Agastache and Solidago

Talking of prairie daisies, the sunny Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’ takes some beating. Forming tight clumps of dark green leaves the black-eyed blooms are carried on strong stems from late summer. The colour may be considered rather harsh, but it suits the season 88

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and works well with early autumn colour and late summer blues.

Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’

Bearded Irises are regular stars of the show gardens at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Glorious as they are, they are useless landscape plants which need space, solitude and attention if they are to bloom well. Iris sibirica is an altogether better choice with its elegant narrow leaves and delicate flower carried on strong stems. Planted in weed-free, well-prepared ground all these varieties will grow without regular lifting and dividing. Planted at the right density, subjects like

There are many varieties of blue geranium, but the most widely planted is the longblooming Geranium ‘Rozanne’, and deservedly so. Saucer-shaped blue flowers with white eyes are produced freely from early summer to fall. No support is necessary, just let it sprawl. A single plant covers a square metre, so ignore advice to plant in groups of three or more, except in very large schemes. Many Campanulas are excellent in mixed planting schemes. Campanula lactiflora and its various cultivars are particularly useful because they grow and bloom in semi-shade as well as

Geranium ‘Rozanne’

Iris sibirica

Agastache and Solidago make effective ground cover. All they require is cutting back in winter and an annual top dressing of slow release fertiliser. ABOUT ANDY MCINDOE Andy McIndoe is a practical horticulturist with more than 30 years’ experience in ornamental horticulture. He has designed and advised on gardens of all sizes and has been responsible for 25 Gold medal winning exhibits at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Twitter: @AndyMcIndoe

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here is a tree that has been something of a star in indoor planting for some time now, and I’m surprised I haven’t written about it before. It’s not as though it’s an unassuming part of any interior landscape, easily overlooked or forgotten – quite the reverse. This plant is splendidly overblown and completely obvious, a green and fecund style statement, and I single out the fiddle-leaf fig tree (Ficus lyrata) for praise for those very reasons. Loved by interior designers and architects, you will often see the fiddle-leaf tree featured in lifestyle and architectural magazines, such is the strength and impact of its aesthetic. It is brimming with positive attributes, the most obvious being its shiny, leathery leaves, which are deeply veined and violin shaped, and often reach 50cm in length. Scale is this plant’s greatest attribute. Install it within a vast space and it will work because


Ian Drummond

Images ©

Low maintenance, high impact and suitable for use in all sorts of spaces: the fiddle-leaf fig’s popularity makes perfect sense, says Ian Drummond

DID YOU KNOW? the proportions are so beautifully balanced; install it in a smaller area and you have a ready-made jungle. In its native West African rainforest it can be expected to reach up to 12 or 15 metres, but when container planted and pruned regularly, it will reach a manageable but


©Flower Council of Holland

no less impressive five metres or so. Growers have been working to develop smaller plants with larger leaves, to give a bushier appearance – ‘Suncoast’ and ‘Compacta’ cultivars are good examples, but F. lyrata is still the most common in the trade. The crown is typically round and full, ideal for so many areas of landscaping, but another added benefit of the fiddle-leaf is that it can be trained as an espalier, to great visual effect. It also has longevity, and, if given the opportunity, will live for 25-50 years – so it can certainly go the distance, should it ever be required to.

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Ficus lyrata originates in the African rainforests that stretch from Liberia to Gabon. This is the only place where the wild species occurs, because this is the habitat of the species of wasp required for the plant’s reproduction. The Ficus has an unusual pollination mechanism: each species of Ficus has its own wasp that lay eggs on individual figs, and the larvae develop within.

For a plant that gives so much, it requires very little in return in terms of care: • Soil needs to be evenly damp • Position in a light spot, but not in direct sunlight • Prune regularly, and remember to wear gloves as the sap is poisonous • Wipe the leaves regularly in order to enjoy them at their shiny best.

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

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Jamie Butterworth continues his series on plants for those lacking gardens, this time looking to the hardy world of alpines. Find out his four favourites...


s part of my series on what can be grown by people who don’t have a garden, I’ll be exploring plants that thrive in small spaces, in an attempt to make horticulture appealing to Generation Rent. This month I’m looking at the world of alpines, and how they can be used as sparks of joy to incorporate horticulture into even the smallest of spaces. Alpines are a great way to introduce plants into compact gardens, purely because of how they grow and have adapted to survive. They thrive in the toughest of climates, from the peaks of mountains to baking deserts and everywhere in between.

ALPINES ARE A GREAT WAY TO INTRODUCE PLANTS INTO COMPACT GARDENS, PURELY BECAUSE OF HOW THEY GROW AND HAVE ADAPTED TO SURVIVE It is hard not to fall in love with these miniature beauties, these diamonds of the garden – and, even better, they’re ideal for growing in small pots or containers. Why not try making a moveable display that can be changed throughout the year, playing and experimenting with colours, textures and flowers. Alpines really are the sweet shop of the plant world. Below are four of my absolute favourites, which I think every garden should have – no matter how small. Narcissus romieuxii A miniature, alpine daffodil originating from Morocco, this is fully hardy and can even

Narcissus romieuxii


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CUSTOMERS Jamie Butterworth

Oxalis versicolor

worth. Best grown in full sun to partial shade, and ideally in a small pot to really show it off. Lachenalia bulbifera ‘George’ Incredibly striking and vivid pink, this is an easy-to-grow, bulbous perennial that is at home in a pot or container. Loves to be grown in full sun and will reward you with the most spectacular tubular flowers. A real gem and favourite of mine.

withstand frosts of -15°C while in flower! When its enthusiastic, primrose yellow flowers burst open, it is a sure sign that spring is around the corner, and one of the most welcoming sights on a cold winter’s day.

Lachenalia bulbifera ‘George’

Iris ‘Pixie’ (Reticulata)

Iris ‘Pixie’ (Reticulata) Iris reticulata is the most stunning group of dwarf Iris, boasting elegant purple flowers shot with yellow. Growing up to 10cm, they lend themselves perfectly to being grown in pots and containers, or as underplanting for trees if you have a slightly larger garden. Oxalis versicolor With its abundance of candy-like red and white swirls, Oxalis versicolor looks good enough to eat. Flowering all the way from late summer to late winter, you really do get your money’s

For more inspiration on what to grow when you don’t have a garden, be sure to visit RHS Malvern Spring Festival, where the new and exciting category Green Living Spaces will provide tons of fun and exciting ideas on how to get Generation Rent growing!

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

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Noel Kingsbury discusses why we need to cherish our heritage daffodils – a quintessential feature of spring


pring in Britain would not be the same without daffodils: their bold yellow is a reminder and substitute for the sun that may be taking a while in coming. They grow fantastically well in the UK and are remarkably problem-free. There are occasional grumbles, of course, and its these I’d like to address. First, we need to understand why I can say that they are the most successful cultivated plant in Britain. There is evidence that old cultivated forms have been able to hang on and increase for centuries after their initial planting. The ancestors of the cultivated daffodil come from Spain, where they take advantage of the mild winters to grow roots from August or September onwards. Bursting forth in the first decent temperatures at the end of winter, they stay just ahead of any surrounding grass, and die back in late spring as neighbouring plants start to get the better of them. In other words,

THERE IS EVIDENCE THAT OLD CULTIVATED FORMS HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HANG ON AND INCREASE FOR CENTURIES AFTER THEIR INITIAL PLANTING they exploit a competitive gap. And they are soundly perennial, producing offset bulbs every year, so they naturally increase. Occasional disturbance is a boon, distributing bulbs further.


Noel Kingsbury

Certain varieties are so cheap that they can be easily added to any landscape project at minimal cost. What we need to bear in mind is that, once planted, there is no going back – they’ll keep on popping up every spring for a long time! There are sometimes implications to this. There are, in a few pockets of the UK, areas of so-called ‘wild’ daffodils. ‘Feral’ might be a better word, as there is little evidence that they are genuinely native, although whether they date back to the Romans or the Normans or mediaeval monks is debatable. These are vigorous, but have nothing of the size of most of the cultivated varieties, which look steroid-

enhanced by comparison. Let the ‘wild’ Narcissus pseudonarcissus loose, and it can spread and make a magnificent spectacle – but it is outshone when placed alongside cultivated varieties. N. pseudonarcissus populations are special, and where they are found they are regarded as being of real conservation importance; planting modern cultivars near them is almost sacrilege. Worries have been expressed that N. pseudonarcissus can be impacted negatively by cross-breeding with modern, commercial varieties. Daffodil experts tend not to take this very seriously, partly because, where N. pseudonarcissus occurs, it tends to be in overwhelming numbers. More seriously, N. pseudonarcissus is not commercially available in anything like the quantities that modern cultivars are. Bulking it up, distributing and planting needs to be done at local level, requiring a commitment to years of propagation. Daffodils have been planted extensively since the early 20th century, and pockets of historic cultivars can still be found popping up in all sorts of odd places; the grounds of now-demolished grand houses or churchyards are favourite locations. Old market gardens or nursery areas are also locations where large numbers of old varieties are sometimes left over, often from former cut flower businesses. Such places can be an important part of the local heritage of an area. Stick a job-lot of modern cultivars in nearby and the heritage varieties fade into insignificance. This has occasionally happened in locations managed by leading heritage organisations, I’m sorry to say. Given that daffodils are such long-lasting plants, it makes sense to cherish those survivors from the past where they remain, and sometimes go easy on the modern, however tempting. Pictured: One of Britain’s few localities with ‘wild’ daffodils, Narcissus pseudonarcissus, near Newent in Gloucestershire – easily overshadowed by mass plantings of modern hybrids

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

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Early fusarium


Pests and diseases are found in turf throughout the year â&#x20AC;&#x201C; meaning constant vigilance is needed. As we head into spring, Coral Russell, crop associations manager at the Turfgrass Growers Association, shares her guide to spotting disease and insect damage


oming into the spring season, there is a need to be vigilant; poor growth in your lawn could be attributed to insect larvae living in the soil and feeding on the roots. You may also notice birds pecking at the turf to feed on the grubs. Following their withdrawal from sale, there are now no approved chemical insecticides to control insect larvae; however, there is the option to use biological control using nematodes. Application of these needs to be correctly timed to be effective. In newly delivered turf, it is possible to simply pick off the larvae when you see them; however, a well-fed established turf can withstand damage caused by insect larvae better, so make sure you apply fertiliser when your turf needs it. It is important that lawns are regularly mown at a moderate cutting height during the summer months, as this reduces the chances of common diseases occurring. The main diseases found on turf during the autumn and winter are red thread disease and fusarium patch disease. Red thread disease (Laetisaria fuciformis) commonly occurs during wet summers and autumns; it causes pale pink patches of turf, often with pink fluffy fungal

Red thread disease


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growths. This disease is encouraged by low nitrogen levels in the soil, so ensuring a well-fertilised lawn helps to protect against this. A well-structured soil can also help alleviate the possibility of disease attack. Chemical control using fungicides is available; please speak to a registered advisor for guidance.

THE MAIN DISEASES FOUND ON TURF DURING THE AUTUMN AND WINTER ARE RED THREAD DISEASE AND FUSARIUM PATCH DISEASE The most common disease in turf in the UK is fusarium patch disease, Microdochium nivale. This disease causes irregular orange-brown areas of turf, which can often appear during the autumn and winter months when turf may not be growing fast enough to recover. When this disease occurs under snow, its symptoms are known as snow mould. Severe outbreaks of this disease can have a devastating effect on golf and bowling greens, with scars that can persist throughout the winter until the weather is mild enough for recovery of the turf to take place. Unlike red thread disease, fusarium patch disease is encouraged by high fertiliser levels. Be wary of overfeeding turf late in the season; autumn fertiliser applications are rarely necessary. Chemical control using fungicides is possible, provided weather conditions are suitable. Remember that, as autumn turns into winter, some chemicals may take longer to act. For further information and tips on how to manage pests and diseases please visit the Turfgrass Growers Association website,


ABOUT CORAL RUSSELL Coral Russell is a crop associations manager for the Turfgrass Growers Association, which operates 22 organisations on behalf of UK Growers. Prior to this, Coral worked within the dairy industry, having studied Agriculture at Harper Adams University.

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TREEBOX Pro Landscaper meets Armando Raish, founder of Treebox, to discuss the history of the business and its plans going forward Armando, how was Treebox founded? I was working as a project manager for a landscape company. A high-end client wanted to cover a seven-story mansion with green walls in 30 days, and the short timeframe meant that traditional methods wouldn’t work. I went away thinking that we needed a system that someone with our horticultural knowledge and ability could plant and maintain themselves – and after testing a few methods, we found one that worked. How has the company developed since then? We’ve learned a lot about what different professionals require. When we started supplying and promoting our product, there was still a lot of fear out there. We realised that we needed to start educating people, and began training and doing workshops. We also educated ourselves by installing systems, maintaining them and watching how they performed over the years. During the first few years, we kept modifying the product to create a really user-friendly item that we feel ticks all the boxes.

Do you have a style, or do you work off client requests? We initially wanted to create strong designs with bold, geometric shapes, whereas now people want more natural living walls that use a blend of plants. That’s our preference as well – it looks much more appealing all year round, because if one variety dies off and another one dominates you’d never notice it. If you have a band of colour, and it started to deteriorate, you’d quickly notice that the design was weakening. It’s easier and more practical to keep it simple with a blend of plants. Which of your projects stand out to you the most? The Rubens at The Palace Hotel in 2013 was probably our largest, most public installation, and we had grown confident in our system; we knew which plants worked and we

thought it was a great opportunity. It shows that something previously restricted to quite small projects can be a large-scale, commercial installation. The project entailed a lot of stress and pain – it was a massive undertaking – but we learned so much. You’re currently focused on tackling two important issues in urban environments, air quality and food production. How are you doing this? Studies have shown that vegetation can remove as much as 40-60% NO2 (nitrogen


Pro Landscaper / March 2018

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dioxide) and PM10 (particulate matter) out of the air – we just need more green surfaces. In terms of food production, we’ve always designed the Easiwall panels so that food can be grown on them. They’re deep enough to grow small carrots and bulb plants, and because they’re made from resilient plastic, they don’t tear or break down if you keep replanting them.

And finally, what lies ahead for Treebox? Since 1 February, Treebox has joined Biotecture. Together we can offer an exciting new suite of products that cater for everything, from the designer who wants to install something themselves, right up to high-end and public realm projects. I will also be taking an active step up and becoming a voice for the industry; I hope to shine a light on the new things that are going on, the lessons we’ve learned, and where the living wall industry is headed. CONTACT Treebox by Biotecture Synergy House 114-118 Southampton Row Bloomsbury, London WC1B 5AA Tel: 020 8543 4530 Email:

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How to tackle Pittosporum psyllid



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P. tobira leaves exhibiting chlorosis within and around galls


Jeff Stephenson discusses the increasing threat of Trioza vitreoradiata, or Pittosporum psyllid, and how to control it Among other duties, a gardener’s role includes attempting to keep up to date with industry developments. What was learned at college is often superseded by legislative changes, research results, new plant introductions and previously unencountered pests and diseases. In this article I highlight a particular pest that has been steadily gaining a foothold in my London gardens. Identifying the problem I first became aware of this pest a few years ago when mature specimens of Pittosporum tobira in my care began to exhibit small puckered bulges (pit galls) in young leaves during late spring. Further distortion and patchy chlorosis (yellowing through loss of chlorophyll) of the leaves followed. Sooty mould began to spread over surfaces on and around the plants, indicating the presence of honeydew excreted by sap-feeding organisms.

Distorted leaves with pit galls on Pittosporum tobira – characteristic symptoms of psyllid attack

Initially, mites were suspected, but on close inspection, signs of dorso-ventrally flattened, scale-like insect nymphs of 2-3mm in length were seen. Winged adults were also visible – approximately 3-4 mm in length, they resembled narrower, more active aphids. They were obviously insects, as their body was divided into head, thorax (with three pairs of jointed legs attached) and abdomen. When disturbed, they jumped away. These characteristics, combined with the inference that they possessed piercing mouthparts/ stylets (from the presence of excreted honeydew) placed them in the order Hemiptera. The fact that they jumped away implicated

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PEST FOCUS Trioza vitreoradiata, Pittosporum psyllid

either leafhoppers or psyllids. Leafhoppers leave behind visible skins when they undergo ecdysis (shedding), but none were present, indicating this new pest was most likely a psyllid. This group is highly host specific.

Psyllid nymph showing radiating waxy fillaments ©APHOTOFAUNA

Background An internet search led to Trioza vitreoradiata (Pittosporum psyllid), a native of New Zealand. According to A. Salisbury, C. Malumphy and A. J. Halstead in their article ‘Pittosporum psyllid Trioza vitreoradiata (Hemiptera: Triozidae) expanding distribution and host range in the UK’, which appeared in the British Journal of Entomology and Natural History in 2011, T. vitreoradiata reproduce sexually, taking approximately 60 days to complete a life cycle. They produce up to five generations in a mild year, and overwinter as adults. It feeds on Pittosporum, including those species not native to New Zealand. The distortion to foliage is unsightly and decreases the plants’ aesthetic value, which may make them less desirable as a landscape plant in the future, especially if the psyllid’s spread

continues. Certain species of Pittosporum have other uses, which may also be jeopardised; I’ve seen P. crassifolium used as a windbreak around fields in the Isles of Scilly, and P. tenuifolium is often encountered as a foliage plant in the cut flower industry. Control • Cultural – cutting off and removing newly affected growth may give some control. • Chemical – visit for possible pesticide measures. • Biological – lacewings, ladybirds, predatory bugs and parasitic wasps are natural predators in New Zealand (but more research is needed for the UK).

By highlighting the issue in articles such as this, more gardeners and landscapers will become aware and help to prevent its inadvertent spread on infested stock. ABOUT JEFF STEPHENSON

Winged adult psyllid showing segmented body ©APHOTOFAUNA

With more than 29 years’ experience in horticulture, Jeff Stephenson (Dip.Hort. (Kew) Hons MCIHort) heads up the horticulture and aftercare division of Bowles & Wyer. He joined in 1996 and has worked on small installations, soft landscaping and gardens maintenance for the vast majority of their schemes.

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19/02/2018 13:51


In the last of his threepart series on the impact of future technology, Peter Wilder discusses robots, automation and artificial intelligence, and how AI will shape the future of employment and training Up until now, this series has explored the technologies that are being employed to assist humans in delivering more efficiently – but what of those technologies that have the potential to replace humans altogether? Technology now exists that can replicate human understanding and learn from its experiences, in much the same way as humans learn from the environment around them. However, rather than leading to the post-apocalyptic world ruled by machines that many predict, perhaps this technology will enhance our ability to deal with long-term problems such as climate change, food, medicine and peacekeeping. The industrial revolution was one of the biggest changes in the evolution of mankind, and the mechanisation of many labour-intensive tasks began a mass migration to cities that continues today. Robotics has developed new tools that assist humans in all walks of life, from surgery to deep sea exploration. You have probably seen autonomous vehicles carrying out tasks, such laser levelling or remotecontrolled mowing for steep embankments. But machines that work in the service of human operators will be eclipsed by a new generation of machines that are able to think and act for themselves, and learn in the process. Artificial intelligence (AI) has been around for decades. In 1997, chess champion Garry

Kasparov was defeated by the IBM computer Deep Blue, a machine that could understand the rules, anticipate the actions of an opponent, and alter its strategy accordingly. The advances in robotics and Big Data since then mean that 104 Pro Landscaper / March 2018

Peter Wilder.indd 104

MACHINE HEADS machines now have an almost unlimited ability to process and learn from humans. A team at Warwick Business School has adapted a computer programme called Places to recognise beautiful landscapes, whether natural or artificial, using criteria that a human would employ. The software is a Convolutional Neural Network, a type of programme that can learn to recognise features in sets of data such as images that are presented to it. It was fed more than 200,000 images that were judged to be either scenic or not, and tasked with

PERHAPS THIS TECHNOLOGY WILL ENHANCE OUR ABILITY TO DEAL WITH LONG-TERM PROBLEMS SUCH AS CLIMATE CHANGE working out the characteristics of a valued landscape. Not surprisingly, landscapes featuring mountains, lakes and horizons were rated highly, as were those that featured historic buildings such as churches and castles. The surprise was that green landscapes are not considered scenic in themselves unless they involve contours and trees. AI is also being employed to solve complex problems, such as patterns in economics, weather systems, climate change and even the search for habitable planets, scouring data returned by telescopes and deep space probes. Closer to home, AI is studying our shopping habits and social interactions, suggesting things that would complement our recent purchase or people who might complement our existing network.

While we may one day be represented by AI lawyers and operated on by robot surgeons, creatives such as designers are less likely to be replaced. In New York Times journalist David Brooks’s article ‘What Machines Can’t Do’, he writes, ‘Any child can say, “I’m a dog” and pretend to be a dog. Computers struggle to come up with the essence of “I” and the essence of “dog,” and they really struggle with coming up with what parts of “I-ness” and “dog-ness” should be usefully blended if you want to pretend to be a dog’. Landscape architecture involves understanding the essence of aesthetics, culture, heritage, construction, economics, ecology, nature and architecture, and blending them together into something that is sympathetic to local context and function. Up until now, no machine has been able to do that. ABOUT PETER WILDER Peter Wilder is a landscape architect and principal of Wilder Associates. He lectures on Landscape Design and Technology at the University of Greenwich. In 2015 he established Survey Drone Ltd, an aerial mapping and remote sensing company employing a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

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Sam Hassall offers tips on understanding, identifying and managing your risk, in order to help you decide on your mark-up

Serious question: just think about this for a minute before you shout your answer. If you have a job that you know for sure is going to cost you £50,000 or so, how much would you be happy to put as a mark-up on top of it as your pure gross profit? You’re doing a quick calculation in your head on a range from 20% to 30%, because that’s what you always do. Now think of all the jobs you price through the year and think of all the ones you lose because you’re too high. Again, the same question: if you were sure about what your job was going to cost you and you had no risk, would you be prepared to drop your mark-up and bank a wedge of 12-15% – a definite £10,000 in the bank? And if your turnover was £1,000,000 per year, would you be happy to bank £100,000 gross and net, say, £75,000? (That’s after all your expenses, including your salary – see our labour cost article in an earlier edition of this magazine.) The point is that if you can eliminate risk, you can lower your mark-up. Truthfully, you can never eliminate risk unless you are running a cost-plus job – but you can minimise it.


PROFIT Managing risk & profit

Minimising risk Understanding and identifying your risk means more work for you at tender time. Here’s a short list of recommendations for how you can do this: • Very accurate measurement of the issued drawings • By spending time initially on quantifying every aspect of the scope of works, you develop an understanding of the project. When I am working on a tender, we spend two thirds of our time scheduling and quantifying. The trick is to go through the spec scope and employer’s requirements, which in itself takes some time • Next, make a schedule of all the top-level items that your client requires, and measure them • Once you sure that you have completed this task, you can pack your plans away and start breaking your top-level tasks down into their individual components • The next step is the detail and granularity of the project.

As an example, a pathway that you’ve identified and measured may have multiple components: • Path 25m long x 2.5m wide = 62.5m² • Excavations • Edging • Base • Surface. Okay, I agree you may do this every day of your working week, and you’ll probably say you know the rate for this type of pathway. What I’m about to say may be controversial – but there’s no such thing as a rate. To take the above pathway as an example, there are multiple variables: • Excavation: By hand/by small machine/by large machine • Muck away: Barrowing or dumper • Skip grab or self-loaded • Edging type, surface material, etc. As you can see, all of these variables will change the value and impact the ‘rate’ of the element that you are pricing.

Summary of the above point If you identify and price all the items in the job individually, you are going a long way to eliminating, or rather minimising, risk. The next element to consider is your profit. How much are you able to mark up all of the tasks that you have now priced? First, you need to consider the market that you are tendering in, and who your competitors for the tender are likely to be – hopefully organisations of equal calibre to yours. A larger company with more labour teams can usually price its labour at a lower cost per hour than a very small organisation with only three to six workers can. Readers should again refer to our earlier article which deals with the cost of labour and how overhead is calculated and included within the labour rate.

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Your cost versus your competitors’ cost The fact that you have done the identification and diligently broken your tasks down immediately makes you more expensive. There is an old saying in the industry: “The company that wins the job is the one that made the biggest mistake”. Because of your diligence, you can really afford to drop your margins now. How brave are you, and how much do you want the job? As mentioned earlier, because you usually markup at 20 -30%, you can now reduce this margin. Ask yourself what you would be happy to put in your pocket as a minimum, and mark it up by that percentage. Next, ask yourself how badly you want this job, and either leave your markup as it is or add on a bit more if you don’t want it desperately. Remember – you’re pretty sure of your bottom line now. Lastly, reassess your risk items. Referring to the pathway example above, let’s assume you’re pretty happy with the time and material costs of everything, but the one thing that could perhaps throw things out is the cost of the excavation. It may be wetter than expected, the access may be slower, and you’re not totally sure what the muck-away bulkage will be.

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Standard Mark-up (%)

Risk rating

Final mark-up (%)

















Mark-up and margin Many financial professionals prefer to understand the margin, rather than the mark-up. This is the return on a job, and is simply a different way of looking at the figures: • Margin (also known as gross margin) is sales minus the cost of goods sold. For example, if a product sells for £100 and costs £70 to build, its margin is £30. Or, stated as a percentage, the margin percentage is 30% (calculated as the margin divided by sales). • Mark-up is the amount by which the cost of a product is increased in order to derive the selling price. To use the preceding example, a mark-up of £30 from the £70 cost yields the £100 price. Or, stated as a percentage, the markup percentage is 42.9% (calculated as the mark-up amount divided by the product cost).


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

Pro Landscaper / March 2018 107

19/02/2018 16:03


Sean Butler sings the praises of the allotment, and demonstrates how it’s possible to add a touch of creativity to their design Allotments have existed for hundreds of years, with evidence suggesting that they may have been in use as far back as Anglo-Saxon times. Plots were fenced off and measured in rods – a measurement that we still use now; the most common size is 10 rods, equivalent to around 253m². The system we have today can be traced back to the 19th century, when land was given to the labouring poor so they could grow food. In 1908, the Small Holdings and Allotments Act came into force, followed by 1919’s Land Settlement Facilities Act, which made land available to all. In December 2013, I purchased a 10-rod allotment plot and gave it to my wife for Christmas. You might be cringing at the thought, but my wife enjoys gardening as much as I do. Being a designer and landscaper, this could not be any ordinary plot, and once it was built we became known by our fellow allotmentees as ‘the Chelsea gardeners’. It had a pergola entrance at each end, a picket fence to contain it, brick paved and metal-edged cockleshell paths, raised circular beds, and, of course, a deck to relax and sip tea on a Sunday morning, completed with mandatory shed. I have fond memories of gardening with both my grandfathers at their allotments, so I planted two standard roses in their memory – only for them to be stolen the very next day! Out of all the plants we grew that year, including 2,000 tulips so that we could have cut flowers at home, my favourite thing was going down on Christmas Day and picking two stems of Brussels sprouts for our Christmas Day dinner – so rewarding! Allotments and other areas for growing vegetables, fruit and cut flowers need not look so dull. Take for example, the gardens at

RICH PICKINGS Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxford. I had the pleasure, along with Raymond Blanc and Juliet Sargeant, of being a judge in a national competition to design a new vegetable garden there, launched when Juliet and I were on the SGD Council. We had many entrants, which we finally narrowed down to five. The winner, Anne Keegan, designed the colourful ‘Heritage Garden’, which was filled with traditional English vegetables, while another favourite was the ‘Bean There’ garden, created by Kathy Taylor MSGD. Designed around the shape of a bean pod and its emerging shoot, the twining paths allowed access through the whole plot and eventually to the greenhouse. Varying the The 'Bean There' Heritage Vegetable Garden at Le Manoir: Masterplan textures of the paths with gravel and brick Scale 1:50

Karolyn Mowll MSGD

'NORTH ENTRANCE' Chestnut wood arch with woven split hazel detailing

Rosa rugosa Alba hedge to 100cm ht

Reclaimed brick path with Everedge metal reusable edging (800 mm wide)

‘Bean There’ garden by Kathy Taylor MSGD

Perennial planting

Perennial planting with 'insect hotels' on chestnut posts

Vegetables & pollinator friendly planting

Existing bay tree pruned

N Bumble bee wildflower mix

Information area

Bumble bee wildflower mix

'CEDEC' compacted gravel path (700 mm wide) edged with Everedge metal edging (reusable)


Vegetables & pollinator friendly planting

Annuals, perennials, vegetable edging

'CEDEC' compacted gravel path (700 mm) edged with Everedge metal edging (reusable) Vegetables & pollinator friendly planting

Existing parterre garden

Existing path

Wild strawberries and pollinator plants Existing Birch hedge

Annuals, perennials, vegetable edging

Heritage apple tree boundary trained iin lattice to max.1800 ht

Heritage apple tree boundary trained in lattice to max.1800 ht

Vegetables & pollinator friendly planting

Post & wire support for apple lattice boundary Peeled chestnut posts100 x 1800mm ht (above ground level) at approx 4m intervals. End posts are strutted. Horizontal galvanised wires, tensioned, at 300 mm intervals.

Vegetables & pollinator friendly planting

Existing bay tree: pruned

Existing bay tree pruned

Wild strawberries & pollinator plants


3 willow compost containers Information board

Mixed native hedge with Salix caprea for early pollinators


Day lilies and pollinator plants

Pear trees x 3 in Whichford Pottery pots

Bark mulch

Sean Butler is a landscape designer and director of Cube 1994. With a background in civil engineering, Sean has an in-depth understanding of the design, construction and maintenance of the physical and naturally built landscape.

Emergent planting

Information point: CEDEC circle with embedded granite sett Open Pollinated Logo

2 Oak benches 800 mm wide Vegetables

Perennials & annuals

Oak perching benches x 3

6 bespoke bean supports Reclaimed brick path: running bond 700 mm wide


Leaf mould area Bark mulch paths at 700mm wide


Lavanders x 4

Bark mulch path 700mm

Reclaimed brick path 800 mm wide


Bark Mulch

Vegetables Vegetables Rose & sweet peas to climb arch

Low teucrium hedge

Existing road way

Bark chip path held in place with Everedge edging

Chestnut wood arch with woven split hazel detailing


Fruit cage




Information board

2 lines of bricks set into existing pathway connect the 2 areas of the garden 2 Half standard Bay trees in Whichford terracotta pots

Reclaimed brick path 800 mm wide Information board

Low teucrium hedges Limit of tree protection zone

The garden design is based on the shape of a runner bean as it germinates and grows. Three types of path: brick, compacted gravel, and mulch, form the shape of the bean, and stems. The paths interweave, as two winding stems, northwards up the garden. The wider brick paths are the main access to the garden for casual visitors while the narrower compacted gravel and bark paths are also for use as gardeners' paths.

200 mm raised beds in tree protection zone: retaining structure is a 300mm ht continuous weave hazel hurdle (backed with landscape fabric)

To ensure that visitors recognise the 'Bean There' Heritage Vegetable Garden as distinct from other areas of Le Manoir garden, there are:

+ 200 mm raised bed

108 Pro Landscaper / March 2018


Existing hedge

Ornamental and bee friendly planting (Perennials and annuals)


Quercus hispanica Luccombe (protected tree)

� � � � �

+200 step up

Bark mulch path

Clear entry points though 2 arches, (one at the north end and one at the south) into the main planting area. Woven hazel raised beds in the tree protection zone and hazel & willow detailing on the chestnut arches and bean supports. Boundaries: Apple tree lattice on west and north boundaries adjacent to existing parterre vegetable garden to make a light distinction between the two areas. Plant labels are simple: reusable but distinctive. Signage at entrances and within the garden. The Open Pollinated logo on the ground at the meeting of paths

The garden is designed to be sustainable, practical and attractive (to visitors and pollinating insects). Decorative, flowering and edible herbs line many of the paths and under plant the hedging and lattice apple boundary. Vegetables in the upper garden are planted more decoratively while the lower garden suits a radiating linear arrangement with bean supports as foci in each unit. Crops can be rotated in a clockwise direction around this seed-shaped area. Woven compost containers are provided and comfrey plants are grown for bees and for providing compost.

Hartley Botanic Glass house (roof runoff to percola under greenhouse)

Sean Butler.indd 108

created interesting tones that blended naturally into the surrounding landscape. By contrast, Karolyn Mowll MSGD submitted a really interesting, dynamic design, incorporating crosscutting paths, drystone walls and a small pond to attract frogs, which act as a natural pest defence by eating slugs and snails. Again, it’s the use of textures that help this garden achieve the right balance, with gravel, hoggin and stone paths all contrasting well with each other. The varying heights add further interest, which direct the garden into elements. I challenge you all to get creative and inspire your clients to grow home produce in a diverse and exciting way. Designated vegetable gardens take up too much space in most people’s gardens, so integrate them with interesting landscapes that will motivate clients to grow. Children will also benefit from the insight gained into growing and eating their own produce.

There is a wildlife pond with a seating area so that visitors may pause there and perching benches near the central information board. 2 willow compost containers

Irrigation is provided to all parts of the garden via a drip irrigation network while rain from the green house roof is to be returned directly to the soil under the green house as part of the tree protection order.

19/02/2018 13:37


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Spring has sprung and people are venturing outside again; Robert Webber offers tips on functional lighting to help them make the most of their outside space It’s been a busy start to spring for us; we have seen a dramatic increase in the amount of work we are costing, plus I’ve spent more and more time teaching since Christmas. As the dark days diminish, and we start to spend more time outside, those garden inadequacies that seemed to disappear over winter are once again highlighted. Now is the time to address those issues, and so I’d like to give you a few tips to use either on your own garden, or on any commissions you may be working on. Functional lighting and the ability for the client to move safely around the garden are both paramount. There’s no point in having a great seating area in the distance if you can’t get there without falling into the water feature on the way. Think about changes in level, as well as key exits and entrances – even something as simple as putting the bins out. It’s just as important to move through the landscape as it is to sit within it. If money needs to be saved, don’t cut out the functional lighting. I’ve seen it

Robert Webber.indd 111

SPRING INTO ACTION all too often; a garden that looks great from the house but is completely dangerous and precarious to actually use. Isn’t our goal as designers to make a space that is impossible not to explore? That’s our approach to lighting; we attempt to create new illuminations at each turn so that the garden leads the user through it, welcoming them to share in its nocturnal beauty.

THERE’S NO POINT IN HAVING A GREAT SEATING AREA IF YOU CAN’T GET THERE WITHOUT FALLING INTO THE WATER FEATURE If you have a garden with many paths or ways through it, don’t fall into the trap of lighting every one –the classic mistake of over-lighting. A good lighting designer’s technique is to just light one route, which will then be the only way the client accesses the secret areas of their garden. If you don’t light it, they won’t use it – so don’t worry too much about lighting the way to the compost bins. Think instead about the water feature and seating area, as that’s where your client will sit and understand the emotional aspects that you have designed. It sounds so simple, but it is a mistake I often see.

You should see the client’s face when I half the budget and double the effects. Simple priorities. Always part of the solution. After that, we would recommend you look at features. Every window looking out into the garden is a picture frame, so get inside the house at night (with permission!), and see how your client uses each room. For some, it will be as simple as the view from the kitchen sink, for others it may be a complete vista from the drawing room. Your responsibilities do not stop at the back door. For six months of the year, your client will view your ‘creation’ from inside the house, so a feature vista is as important as selling the plants. ABOUT ROBERT WEBBER Robert Webber is the founder of Scenic Lighting, a specialist exterior lighting company based in Berkshire. He designs and installs garden lighting throughout the UK and internationally. Robert can be contacted on rob@ or via his mobile on 07766 051 000.

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WHAT I’M READING Darryl Moore, Cityscapes

E DARRYL MOOR Title Landscape for Living Author Garrett Eckbo Publisher Hennessey + Ingalls The influence of mid-century modernism on interior design is today ubiquitous, but while it may be unavoidable when opening a magazine or entering a home retailer, its influence on landscape design seems to have been all but forgotten. Until the millennium, the names of the pioneers of landscape modernism, such as Garrett Eckbo, Daniel Kiley, Thomas Church, James Rose and Lawrence Halprin, were in fairly common currency in books and the media. Mention their names to recent graduates today, though, and you are faced with blank stares, despite the fact that their influence is even more relevant and important in the current climate. Post-war optimism Eckbo’s classic book ‘Landscape for Living’ is an essential text from the period and an almost flawless blueprint for landscape design. Published in 1950, it is effectively a manifesto for the burgeoning movement, brimming with post-war optimism for the new lifestyles and opportunities provided by new materials. Landscape design is considered in a holistic and inclusive sense as a dynamic set of interactions between people

What I'm reading.indd 113

and the environments they inhabit. Eckbo views landscape design as serving not the wealthy landowners of yesterday, but rather the democratic citizens of tomorrow. The breadth of his vision, encompassing both private and public projects of varying scales, is imbued with an acute awareness of landscape history and the need to step beyond the strictures of the past. Theory and practice The book considers both the theory and practice of landscape design. The former section addresses key elements such as soil, water and plants, as well as spatial aspects of design, such as form and arrangement. The practice section draws upon work from Eckbo’s studio with Robert Royston and Edward Williams, featuring wonderfully stylish, expressive drawings and informative photographs from the firm’s hundreds of projects in California, including residential gardens, parks, community developments, urban plazas and campuses. The book’s openness to the possibilities of landscape design chimed loudly for me at the time I entered the profession, and the emphasis Eckbo put on social relationships is reflected clearly in the work we do with Cityscapes today. Like our modernist forebears, we are firmly convinced that good and well-considered

design is a key part of bringing people and plants together in beneficial ways, and this can only be done through the fruitful synthesis of analysis and imagination. My interest in the book has since led me to visit some of Eckbo’s work that still exists in Los Angeles, and seeing the ideas expressed in their physical manifestations afforded an opportunity to truly appreciate his vision and lasting legacy. Unlike the immediacy of contemporary culture, which leaves little time for consideration of gardens and landscapes in their larger social and cultural contexts, Landscape for Living’s depth and breadth of engagement with all the relationships implicit in landscape design means that it is still a very relevant read. It is both inspirational and aspirational, reaching out for a better tomorrow – an approach that is much needed to face the challenges of shaping the environments we inhabit today. Pro Landscaper / March 2018 113

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WHAT’S YOUR ROLE? SARAH SEERY Can you tell me about your role? What does a normal day look like for you? Through the academic year it can be anything from dealing with students, staff and colleagues, to working with employers and partners. The other part of my job is making sure we’re planning: reviewing performance data, looking at curriculum planning, attending

England. I was there for about five years in various management positions, delivering projects and managing people. Prior to that, I was always in similar roles, people and project management and training. So, in 2007, horticulture presented a career change. I studied at Capel Manor as a full-time student, and then I went out and worked in the industry for a year in big commercial nurseries, selling plants to landscapers and garden designers, as well as sourcing plants. Then I was asked if I’d like to teach at Capel, and that was it!

meetings, working with the qualification awarding bodies. The rest is teaching, which I do two days a week – mainly classroom-based theory and practical.

Have there been any major changes in the industry, since you started in your role? I think there’s been a big wake-up call, and I’m so glad it’s happened; the industry now knows that it has to look at its future workforce and where that is going to come from. That’s been noticeable in the last four or five years, and people are working together to make sure that we’re connecting with young people – I’m delighted to see it. We’ve felt it in education – a few of the large organisations, such as the RHS, Pro Landscaper and BALI, are switched on to the fact that we’ve got to look for our future talent. We’ve got massive contractors, big awarding bodies and professional bodies all coming in and talking with our students – holding masterclasses, giving them interview technique training, supporting us in that way.

Sarah Seery, head of horticulture and landscaping at Capel Manor College, talks teaching, changing careers and planning for the future

When did you become head of horticulture and landscaping? May 2013 – I’d been at the college as a lecturer from 2009. Were you in similar roles before joining the College in 2009? No! I was a career-changer. I worked for English Nature, which has now become Natural

Whats your role.indd 117

What do you enjoy most about your job? The pleasure of seeing the students achieve and grow, making changes for their future and being happy. When people are happy in their work, their whole life will be happier. It’s about seeing the students learning and doing well. What do you find the most challenging? Education is a challenging sector due to the high expectations of students, parents, employers, inspectors, awarding bodies and ourselves. The challenge for me is to make space for my team to be creative in delivering the highest standard of teaching, so they can challenge and inspire our students and apprentices. What are your future aspirations? Within my role, the near future is about designing a curriculum that’s going to meet the needs of tomorrow, because I think our industry is growing very quickly. In London particularly, the food growing industry is changing, with things such as vertical and interior gardens, and we need to give people the skills to do that. Personally, a long-term aspiration is to go back to being a gardener! I come from Norfolk and I have a dream of working or volunteering in the walled garden at Holkham Hall, just getting my hands dirty every day! It’s in the plan – I’ll be there one day. Pro Landscaper / March 2018 117

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Tom Evans, marketing manager of Gaze Burvill, discusses the company’s focus on sustainability and British manufacturing in its 25th anniversary year


Company name Gaze Burvill Address Lodge Farm, East Tisted, Hampshire GU34 3QH Tel 01420 588444 Twitter @GazeBurvill Email Web

outdoor armchairs, for which customers can specify custom colours, fabrics and patterns. We also offer a wide variety of oak planters.

GAZE BURVILL Tell us about Gaze Burvill and how it was founded. Gaze Burvill was founded 25 years ago by Simon Burvill and Christian Gaze, who met through John Tom Evans Makepeace’s Parnham Trust in Dorset – Simon attending Hooke Park College, and Christian the School for Craftsmen there. Together they determined to make the best garden furniture from the finest sustainable materials, celebrating the best of contemporary design and traditional values. Gaze Burvill now employs just under 40 staff of whom 12 are craftsmen or apprentices. What products does the company offer? A focus for us is celebrating outdoor living, so our core products are probably seats, benches and dining tables. Our outdoor kitchens, like everything else we offer, sit at a premium position in the market in terms of both quality and price, and kitchens currently represent 40% of order intake, with demand growing exponentially. We offer lounging products, from sun loungers to

Trading With.indd 125

What is your main client base? The majority of our customers are aged over 40, with 70% of our business going through an industry professional, whether a garden designer, interior designer or landscape architect. What’s unique about your products? Our blend of modern and traditional, and the fact that it’s a product made from a sustainably sourced, prime grade natural material, beautifully made. Each piece bears the craftsman’s mark.

What warranties do you offer? We have a 10-year warranty, but we do advise that customers maintain the products, cleaning them once a year and applying a special treatment after about ten years. Do you supply nationwide? Yes, absolutely. Nationwide and worldwide.

How will the company be marking its 25th anniversary? We will have a series of celebrations, all focused on the company’s growth story and the projects that we’ve been involved in. Our trade stand at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 is being designed by Butter Wakefield, and we are delighted to be working with Butter again – she has placed Gaze Burvill furniture in some outstanding, and award-winning, private garden projects over the years, and we’re excited to see her plans for our Chelsea showcase develop. Can we expect to see anything new over the upcoming months? We’re focusing on how to furnish an outdoor space to make it an ‘extra room’ for our clients. We’ll offer a bespoke design and consultation service, and be able to produce a 3D scan of the space and a 3D printed model of the bespoke furniture or outdoor kitchen. We want to communicate to our clients how they can use their spaces in modern mediums.

What does it mean to Gaze Burvill to have become a core Walpole member? It’s nice to know that we are considered to be in the top 200 luxury British companies. It also helps us see the bigger picture, to think about the implications of Brexit and how both small and large companies can work to manage this change. Pro Landscaper / March 2018 125

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Landstruction is the culmination of three generations of landscaping and horticultural excellence. Established in 2010, we pride ourselves on providing world class service through the excellence of our people and the quality of product. Based on the border between Cheshire and North Wales, we are currently looking for an ambitious individual to support the company’s further expansion. In this position, you will be responsible for maintaining existing relationships with clients and suppliers as well as continuously seeking out new estimating opportunities.

We are looking for expressions of interest from candidates keen to work in a unique and rewarding environment combining agricultural, horticultural and landscape skills. The successful applicant will be involved in the establishment and maintenance of urban flower meadows across the UK, as well as other commercial and horticultural research activities to support specialist seed production, mix development, sales and order fulfilment. Candidates must have strong interest in practical ecology and horticulture, hold a clean driving licence, have good communication skills and be prepared to travel.

For more details please go to

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THE LANDSTRUCTION GROUP Location: North West and North Wales


Barton Grange Landscapes is looking for a dynamic person to run our Interior Landscaping and Christmas Decorating Division serving businesses around the North West. The main duties will include, managing the existing contracts, visiting and advising prospective new clients and providing quotations, installing new plant displays and Christmas displays, seeking new contracts through innovative marketing and networking. For more details please go to

PICTORIAL MEADOWS Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

THE LONDON GARDENER Location: South West London

We are a busy family business looking for a skilled and enthusiastic maintenance gardener to join our friendly team working on and installing beautiful private gardens in South West London. The successful candidate will be important in running our newly set-up maintenance division. You will play a central role in the day-to-day planning and implementation of our work, as we are looking to shape and grow this new side of our business.

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Estate Management designs, repairs, maintains and secures all campuses. We aim to provide a seamless service to all students, staff and visitors. Covering a multitude of services, we are available to assist with any issue concerning the University estate and grounds. An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Deputy Grounds Manager at the University of Essex. The post holder will supervise and manage a team of grounds operatives, ensuring all services are delivered to a high standard. You will be responsible for day to day operation.

Landstruction is the culmination of three generations of landscaping and horticultural excellence. Established in 2010, we pride ourselves on providing world class service through the excellence of our people and the quality of product. Based on the border between Cheshire and North Wales, we are currently looking for an ambitious individual to support the company’s further expansion. We are looking for an ambitious individual to prepare accurate and competitive estimates for projects by gathering information and analysing important metrics.

For more details please go to

For more details please go to



You will need a minimum of five years experience in landscape gardening.You will be working in a team and will be expected to have a good relationship with your fellow workers. We are looking for someone enthusiastic, reliable and willing to work hard.You will need a clean driving licence as you may be expected to drive the company vans.You will be expected to be ready to start work at 7.30am and will be back in the yard ready to go home by 5.00pm.

We have a great opportunity for the right person to join our team at Newground based in Blackburn, Lancashire, an award winning CIC and a member of the Together Housing Group. You will manage a wide range of landscaping work carried out in the North of England including but not limited to play areas, park improvements, public realm work, neighbourhood improvements and school grounds. As a core part of the role the successful applicant will be securing tenders and commissions and managing a programme of landscaping construction projects and environmental improvement services.

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UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX Location: Colchester, Essex


128 Pro Landscaper / March 2018

Jobs January.indd 128

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ANDREW WILSON Director of Garden Design Studies, London College of Garden Design & director/partner, Wilson McWilliam Studio & Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? I would say definitely inspirational, but it’s important that people see and understand them in that way. They are also a fantastic opportunity for designers and contractors to show what they can do and stretch their capabilities. Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? The landscape of New Zealand is pretty amazing, and Kenya is difficult to rival in many ways. I’d love to see Yosemite and Utah though. I was a huge fan of The Jewel in the Crown and the locations used were breathtaking – I’d love to see India. What would you blow your budget on? Top of my personal shopping list would be an Aston Martin – I have longed for one for ever. Closely followed by a home close to the sea so that I can get back into windsurfing. All of that should make a reasonable hole in the bank account!

130 Pro Landscaper / March 2018

Little Interview.indd 130

The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Kathryn Gustafson, or Norman Foster, or Thomas Heatherwick – possibly all three. I’ve met Kathryn briefly but not really to say much more than hi. One thing that you think would make the industry better? An understanding in clients of the true costs of the gardens they desire. Best piece of trivia you know? That my wife and I are in fact related and share the same great-great grandmother. We only found out after we were married. Role model as a child? My grandmother, Jane Littler. I remember her as calm and reflective. Couldn’t get through the week without... A decent red wine. Your favourite joke? How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but the light bulb has got to really want to change.

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


ANTHONY HARPER Contract manager, Glendale

Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? They do no harm. Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? Lake Como in Italy – the time and effort that goes into tree pruning there is phenomenal. What would you blow your budget on? Other than the obvious, training is key to improvement. The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? There are some really inspirational tree surgeons I follow on Instagram,

that I’d happily spend a day on the tools with. One thing that you think would make the industry better? The Arboriculture Association becoming more of a leading body, like Gas Safe. Best piece of trivia you know? We all know that trees are green because of chlorophyll, but did you know that green is the optimal colour our eyes see between black and white to absorb sunlight for photosynthesis? Role model as a child? Anyone with dyslexia who applied themselves and overcame adversity. Couldn’t get through the week without... Sleep!

19/02/2018 16:18


LUKE MILLS Director, The Landscape Service

Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? I do find them inspirational. Garden shows are great for the industry. Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you

to meet? Anthony Paul.

Panama hats are from Ecuador. Role model as a child? My mum.

What would you blow your budget on? A honeymoon.

One thing that you think would make the industry better? Support for design colleges and less negativity about the output of students.

The one person in the industry you’d love

Best piece of trivia you know?

Your favourite joke? Can you reduce your quote?

the most? France – elegant and relaxing landscapes. Even their roundabouts and roadsides are beautifully designed.

Couldn’t get through the week without Exercise.



Associate, Wilder Associates

Senior supervisor, idverde Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Inspirational. Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? Any tropical country. What would you blow your budget on? Travelling. The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Matthew Cantwell. One thing that you think would make the

Little Interview.indd 131 industry better? Giving the young generation more professional opportunities.

Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Inspirational.

Role model as a child? My parents.

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

Couldn’t get through the week without... A good sleep. Your favourite joke? You don`t need a parachute to go skydiving. You need a parachute to go skydiving twice. Best invention in recent years? Solar panels.

What would you blow your budget on? Robotic staff and machinery. The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Liverpool FC ground staff. One thing that you think would make the

industry better? Robotic machinery. Best piece of trivia you know? Cats don’t always land on their feet. Role model as a child? John Barnes. Couldn’t get through the week without… Sport. Your favourite joke? What’s black and white and moves fast? A nun falling down the stairs. What’s black and white and laughing? The vicar who pushed her!

Pro Landscaper / March 2018 131

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Pro Landscaper March 2018  
Pro Landscaper March 2018