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Concept to Delivery


May 2018

Let’s Hear it From




ROBOTS? Tim Howell All you need to know


KNOTWEED Cover.indd 1


Transforming the


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May 2018 | Volume 8, Issue 5


May 2018

Let’s Hear it From

Welcome to May 2018




Welcome to the May issue of Pro Landscaper. The recent warm weather over most of the UK is greatly appreciated, as everything has been at least three weeks behind – which, of course, must be playing havoc with people preparing for RHS Chelsea. May hails the start of summer and is, of course, the month of the greatest public advertisement for our industry: after

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

months of planning, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show gardens are now under construction. We always love to visit the showground as the camaraderie, help and advice imparted to the first-timers by those more experienced (we won’t say veteran) garden designers and landscapers really highlights what a sharing and giving industry we are a part of. Good luck to all those involved, and we look forward with anticipation to seeing the fruits of your labours. Don’t forget to check out our RHS Chelsea supplement with this issue. The Pro Landscaper LIVE events kicked off in Bristol at the end of March; with 100% attendance, we enjoyed a fabulous afternoon of panel sessions and informal evening dinner. The LIVE days continued in April with our visit to Guildford. Feedback from both has been extremely positive –

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

Subscription enquiries – Emily Maltby Tel: 01903 777 570


Tim Howell


All you need to know

Transforming the




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see page 20 for a snapshot of the Bristol and Guildford events, and of course, our grateful thanks to the sponsors who supported the days. At the very end of this month, we’re back in Manchester at The Mere Golf and Country Club, Knutsford for another afternoon of educational content and networking. If you’re signed up for any of the LIVE events, we look forward to seeing you there. 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 2018 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 ©B|D

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May 2018 INFORM

8 Agenda Are mergers and acquisitions good for the industry?


10 News Our monthly roundup of industry news

16 The Year of GoLandscape BALI gives Pro Landscaper the details on its GoLandscape initiative Concept to Delivery

18 Ascot Spring Garden Show A snapshot of the inaugural edition

20 Pro Landscaper LIVE Reporting back on our successful Bristol and Guildford events

May 2018


Let’s Hear it From




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



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

Tim Howell All you need to know




Transforming the


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27 The Story of an Artisan Garden Kati Crome discusses her Chelsea garden

28 30 Under 30: The Launch Applications are open for 2018

30 30 Under 30 Noticeboard Updates from previous winners

33 Let’s Hear it From Cormac Conway, Conway Landscapes

36 Company Profile The Landscaping Consultants

38 Landscape Architect’s Journal B|D Landscape Architects

40 View From the Top Tim Howell considers the future of the industry with the rise of robots


Pro Landscaper / May 2018

Contents so far.indd 4

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42 The Right Stuff Use the right tools for the job, says Angus Lindsay

45 What Next? Andrew Wilson considers the importance of maintenance

46 Eyes Open Adam White asks how we can tackle ‘plant blindness’ in children

49 On the Money How do entry-level wages affect people entering the industry, asks David T Binks

51 Another Green World We take a trip to Richmond Park


55 Opulent Oasis Cameron Landscapes and Gardens creates a lavish space for a London nightclub

60 Gold Standard A new build property is given a luxury outdoor space by Ryan Alexander

64 Grey Matter Cube 1994 uses cool tones to revive a traditional courtyard

67 Forest School A Manchester school is given a wild woodland and more by Stephen Martlew

72 Elevated Style Anji Connell rounds off her two-part series on stylish products and ideas for balcony living

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Stealing the Show Jamie Butterworth ranks his favourite plants from last year’s RHS Chelsea


Japanese Knotweed Dr Dan Jones discusses his extensive research into Japanese knotweed

100 Living Walls Three projects which aim to tackle pollution with living walls

102 Nursery Visit Tendercare EDUCATE

107 Pro Landscaper Business Awards: Winner Profile Glendale

108 Helping You Make a Profit Sam Hassall derives a formula for planting costs

110 One Step Ahead Make sure you’re designing for the long term, says Jeff Stephenson

112 Nerves of Steel Sean Butler offers tips on the placement of steel reinforcements



Life/Style Jason Lock, head of design and build at Bowles & Wyer, talks work and play


Love Horticulture

87 88

10 Years of Nurture Landscapes We reflect on a decade of business for Nurture Landscapes



Water Features Four inspiring projects which make use of water in a range of ways

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We speak to Malcolm Gough of the Talasey Group

Designer Plants

120 DMM ID

Tropical Touch

Plants Work Ian Drummond gives a sneak preview of his upcoming Chelsea garden


117 Talasey Group Q&A

119 Arb Kit

Andy McIndoe suggests bold, summery foliage as the weather warms up

Fire Pits Stylish fire pits for bringing functionality and form to outdoor spaces



Forging strong industry connections will help you go far, says Robert Webber

News from the UK’s growing sector

Hannah Genders creates a planting scheme for an eco-home

Ann-Marie Powell opens up about what horticulture means to her


Nurture News

114 Perfect Partners

The new range from DMM

123 Product DNA CityTree, GreenBlue Urban

124 Site Visit CORE Landscape Products

125 What I’m Reading David Keegan reviews Garden Dreams

Kiwi Culture

126 Trading With

Plants from New Zealand have had a huge impact on British planting, says Noel Kingsbury

130 Little Interview

Long Rake Spar

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

Pro Landscaper / May 2018


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Tim Howell

Dr Dan Jones

Robert Webber

Andrew Wilson

Managing director, Mitie Landscapes Ltd

Managing director, Advanced Invasives Ltd

Founder, Scenic Lighting

Garden designer and lecturer

In this month’s View from the Top, Tim Howell asks whether we’ll always need people to maintain our open spaces, and shares how the team at Mitie utilises technology, embracing it to drive efficiency across the business. Imagining a future where robots roam the streets providing grounds maintenance services, Tim considers the benefits and drawbacks of automation, and how it’s likely to shape the industry.

Dr Dan Jones, managing director of Advanced Invasives Ltd, shares the findings of his five-year, £1.2m Japanese knotweed trial with us this month. Working in partnership with Swansea University and Complete Weed Control, Dan and his team benchmarked all 19 chemical treatments active in the UK and are now using this body of work to define new best practice for managing Japanese knotweed.

Robert Webber explains why partnerships are the key to success, and urges new designers, landscapers and contractors to forge connections early on. Citing a commission to design and install the lighting for Dean Grange – built by Ryan Alexander and announced as this year’s APL Supreme Winner – Robert reflects on what makes a great partnership. (Turn to page 60 for our Dean Grange portfolio.)

Following a series of talks and debates titled ‘Whose Garden is it Anyway?’ at The London College of Garden Design, Andrew Wilson tackles the issue of aftercare. With the need for ongoing maintenance widely accepted in the commercial sector, Andrew asks why the same isn’t true for domestic projects, and looks at how we can encourage clients to commit to their gardens after the initial design and build. @TimwHowell @Knotweed_Doktor @scenic_rob @AndrewWilsonii


Other contributors Angus Lindsay Head of fleet, idverde

Andy McIndoe Leading horticulturist

Sam Hassall Managing director, LandPro Ltd

Adam White Director, Davies White Ltd

Ian Drummond Creative director, Indoor Garden Design

Jeff Stephenson Head of horticulture and aftercare, Bowles & Wyer

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

Noel Kingsbury Garden designer and writer

Anji Connell Interior architect and landscape designer

Jamie Butterworth Horticultural consultant, London Stone

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Sean Butler Director, Cube 1994

Pro Landscaper / May 2018


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As mergers and acquisitions become more common within the landscape industry, we explore whether this has a positive effect on the industry, or whether its impact can be detrimental

David Grace Director and co-owner, Indoor Garden Design

The glib answer is ‘yes and no’. It is inevitable that they can adversely affect small independent businesses by impacting our ability to tender for, or retain, some of our larger clients. We are often frozen out, for example, when large facilities management (FM) companies acquire

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS CAN CREATE A FOCUS FOR INTEREST IN THE INDUSTRY, AND THEY ARE CATALYSTS FOR CHANGE landscaping businesses and therefore offer landscaping services (albeit to a poorer standard). The FM sector, however, is struggling, and clients often realise that they receive far higher quality, and ultimately better value, from 8

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Pro Landscaper / May 2018

directly employing smaller independent landscaping companies. In contrast to larger competitors, which often limit customers’ choices, we can demonstrate our quality, flexibility and innovation. Mergers andacquisitions can create a focus for interest in the industry, and they are obviously catalysts for change. However, they will also result in the fragmentation of the sector into larger and smaller players, which contains risks – including aggressive pricing.

Doug Graham CEO, idverde UK

If carried out in the right way, with the right intentions, then they can benefit the industry. All too often companies set out to acquire businesses for the right reasons but end up getting it wrong. Mergers and acquisitions are good for the industry if the outcomes contribute in a positive way to key drivers, such as: • A better value and stronger service offering to clients – whether public or private organisations – underpinned by industry players that are genuine about employing and developing staff to provide those services.

• Opportunities for people who work in the industry to develop their skills and experience with their employer, and take on new challenges. • Mergers and acquisitions can energise

ALL TOO OFTEN COMPANIES SET OUT TO ACQUIRE BUSINESSES FOR THE RIGHT REASONS BUT END UP GETTING IT WRONG innovation as capable management teams collaborate together to discover better ways of working. This helps offset the views held outside our industry that we are rather traditional and old-fashioned. Provided the larger, merged organisation upholds good values and has a sound strategy, then mergers and acquisitions do benefit the industry.

Ken White Managing director, Frosts Landscape Construction

Acquisition is perhaps a double-edged sword, depending upon the reasons for it and whether or not you are the acquirer or being acquired.

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There is a lot of consolidation through acquisition taking place in the grounds maintenance and facilities management marketplace – which is not necessarily a good thing if it produces the old Tesco model, where small companies (subcontractors) feed into the supply chain, generating high volume, low margin revenue streams. When companies come together to extend, enhance or provide more diverse services, it can be extremely positive for staff and clients alike, opening up a world of new opportunities and the potential for personal

WHEN COMPANIES COME TOGETHER TO EXTEND, ENHANCE OR PROVIDE MORE DIVERSE SERVICES, IT CAN BE POSITIVE FOR STAFF AND CLIENTS ALIKE development. These types of acquisitions often come about through regular requests from clients to get involved in specific types of work. We have seen a number of mergers in the private domestic sector as a means of filling staff shortages, allowing the merged company to capitalise on new and bigger opportunities. Successful acquisition in any sector is reliant on the merging companies having a similar ethos and culture.

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Peter Fane Managing director, Nurture Landscapes

I think the landscape industry has been fairly sleepy for some years, and acquisitions can be a way of generating momentum and activity. Quite a few businesses benefit from being acquired; it often rejuvenates the team, the momentum and energy within the structure. A number of smaller businesses cannot afford some of the important elements required nowadays, such as training, health and safety and compliance. Many people running a business find it hard work, time consuming and rather costly; you have to be a certain size and shape in order to be able to afford that type of investment. We have found that employees on the ground are thrilled to receive proper training on machinery, chemical usage, health and safety, etc.

ACQUISITIONS CAN BE A WAY OF GENERATING MOMENTUM AND ACTIVITY. QUITE A FEW BUSINESSES BENEFIT FROM BEING ACQUIRED – IT REJUVENATES THE TEAM AND ENERGY WITHIN THE STRUCTURE We have also found that both senior and junior level employees are excited to have a larger business within which to grow and be nurtured. Smaller businesses that are owned 100% by the owner, with no ambitions to grow, can really limit opportunities to climb up the ladder. The only thing you really buy when you acquire a business is people – clients and employees, who need to be looked after. If acquisitions are handled well and the focus is kept on the client and the employee, they can be good, but they can, of course, be destructive if they go the other way.

NEXT MONTH How would you best handle conflict resolution? Have your say:

Pro Landscaper / May 2018


19/04/2018 16:32


NEWS Harris Bugg Studio to design Kitchen Garden at RHS Garden Bridgewater

Ground Control has achieved a prestigious place on Inc. magazine’s ‘Inc. 5000 Europe 2018’ list as one of Europe’s fastest growing, privately-owned companies. The accolade is the latest in a string of achievements since the company’s inclusion in the ‘London Stock Exchange Group’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Europe’ report, coming after its Queen’s Award 18 months ago. Inc. 5000 recognises the innovative achievements of European companies in generating sustainable growth and jobs. Described by Inc. 5000 as a company that is ‘truly powering the European economy’, Ground Control – which operates across 45,000 sites throughout the UK and employs more than 3,000 people – has been expanding by 20% each year. “It is a true honour to be recognised in this way,” said Ground Control CEO Simon

Harris Bugg Studio and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) have announced that the practice will design the new Kitchen Garden at RHS Garden Bridgewater, following a national competition. Located within the Walled Garden, the Kitchen Garden is a key element of the masterplan for the fifth RHS Garden, devised by Tom Stuart-Smith. Four spaces will be created: The Permaculture Garden, the Classic Fruit and Vegetable Garden, the Ornamental Productive Garden, and the Walls. Demonstrating a wide range of plants with purposes – including

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Morrish. “Across our many sites throughout the UK, our people work incredibly hard to deliver consistent, high-quality services to our customers. A huge thanks goes to the whole team for their amazing hard work and dedication.” Eric Schurenberg, CEO of Inc. magazine, said: “For 37 years, Inc. has welcomed the fastest-growing private companies into a very exclusive club. The median company on the list increased sales by more than 254% since the start of 2013, while the average honouree grew a mind-boggling 473%.” As an Inc. 5000 Europe honouree, Ground Control now shares a pedigree with the likes of Intuit, Under Armour, Microsoft, Timberland, Pandora, Patagonia and Oracle.

© RHS / Mark Waugh

Ground Control’s consistent growth included in Inc. 5000 Europe 2018 list

as fruit and vegetables, medicines, herbs, disinfectants, pesticides, perfumes and dyes – the garden will also explore unusual species and growing techniques. “Our aim is to create a garden that resonates with its rich and important historic past, while of course being packed with horticultural inspiration for visitors,” said Charlotte Harris. “RHS Garden Bridgewater is an incredible legacy for not just the RHS, but the whole of the North West, and we feel enormously honoured to be part of this project,” said Hugo Bugg. Marcus Chilton-Jones, curator for RHS Garden Bridgewater, commented: “Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg are pioneering design talents of their generation, and I could not be more delighted that their plan will be made real.”

19/04/2018 14:16


Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) launches annual forum

NEWS IN BRIEF New general manager for Civic Trees

The importance of green space for young people is to be highlighted at the annual Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) Forum. ‘Children, Young People + Greenspace = A Healthy Equation’ will be held at Glasgow Caledonian University on Thursday 14 June, and will feature world-renowned experts, including landscape architect Adam White and architect Hanna Johansson. CGSN chair Keith Geddes said: “The Forum will look at international and local examples of good practice, and explore the challenges

we face and the opportunities available to us in creating an environment in which children and young people can participate actively in the development and use of a high quality environment.” Adam White was part of the team that designed the regeneration of Cuningar Loop Woodland Park, a £5.7m legacy project from the 2014 Commonwealth Games that saw the formerly derelict land transformed with an extensive path network, adventure play facility,

Ken White of Frosts Landscapes has stepped down as chair of the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL). Vice chair Rod Winrow of Garden House Design (pictured) will take on the role of chair, with David Sewell of The Gardenmakers becoming vice chair, until the November AGM, when they will stand for re-election. Ken decided to step down as work

New chairman for the APL commitments prevented him from giving as much attention to the APL as he wished. “Ken’s dedication to the APL as a Committee member, and as its chairman, has been instrumental in the direction that the organisation has taken over the past couple of years,” said APL general manager Phil Tremayne. New chair Rod Winrow said: “It is an honour to take on the role. The APL is going from strength to strength and will continue to be the ‘go-to’ trade association for domestic landscaping. I plan to

bike skills area and bouldering park. He is the President Elect of the Landscape Institute. Hanna Johansson, an associate architect with Bjarke Ingels Grouphas, led on the development of the Billund City Vision, a 30year plan to transform Billund into Denmark’s Capital of Children. www.centralscotland

support members and develop our consumer profile, working with Phil Tremayne, the Committee and the HTA team. This will be through our business development programme and cluster group meetings. “I would love to develop closer ties with other industry partners such as the SGD, BALI, LI and GoLandscape, and wish to continue the good work that the APL has done with our apprenticeship scheme. I’m proud to be part of the exciting times ahead for our industry.”

Deric Newman is to become general manager of Glendale Civic Trees. Deric steps up from the role of director of sales, a position he held for more than 20 years. As general manager he will oversee all aspects of the business.

Lantra Scotland’s Learner of the Year Awards

Reece McNaughton, an 18-year-old apprentice from Kelso, has won the Horticulture category at Lantra Scotland’s Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards. Reece was also announced as Overall Runner-up.

Tim O’Hare Associates surveys RHS Garden Wisley

Landscape and soil consultancy Tim O’Hare Associates has carried out a Soil Resource Survey to determine the quality of soils that will be displaced by improvements and building at RHS Garden Wisley. Subject to the results of the survey, the soils will be reused on site.

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19/04/2018 14:16



Kubota UK appoints Carousel as sole dealer distribution partner Kubota UK has announced the appointment of leading European service-logistics specialist Carousel as its sole distribution partner, fulfilling all spare part requirements for its extensive dealer network, as well as optimising the manufacturer’s logistics services. Effective immediately, Carousel will oversee all Kubota UK and European dealer deliveries, collections and returns. Kubota’s network currently consists of more than 200 dealers across Europe.



As part of the solution deployment, Carousel will work in collaboration with Kubota’s UK warehouse partner Unipart Logistics, operating from its central hub in Birmingham. Kubota’s dealer network will benefit from an enhanced delivery service for replacement parts, a self-service booking portal, as well as greater visibility over shipments, all of which will significantly improve customer experience. Foreign influence in garden design, with Nilufer Danis

We speak to Nilufer Danis of Lotus Design Studio, discussing how garden design from overseas has impacted her work, why it’s crucial to consider global warming in design, and the specific projects she’s worked on that have been impacted by her Turkish heritage.

Portfolio: One Tower Bridge

Maylim was awarded the external works contract for the Berkeley Homes One Tower Bridge development, totalling more than 8,000m², phased over 14 zones.

Green Living Spaces launches at RHS Malvern Spring Festival New to RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2018, the Green Living Spaces feature will show first-time buyers and renters how to green their limited spaces and bring the outside in. Two balconies, two patios and an interior room will be packed with inspiring ideas. “More people are on the move than ever before, with 37% of the British population in rented accommodation,” said Jamie Butterworth, RHS ambassador and Green Living Spaces mentor.

“We need to find new, creative ways to bring plants into our lives.” Hoping to encourage the next generation of horticulturists, the designers will demonstrate practical, inspirational and beautiful ways to maximise space using plants from nurseries in the Floral Marquee and Plant Village. Tickets are now on sale for RHS Malvern Spring Festival, which will be taking place from Thursday 10 May until Sunday 13 May.

The 7 strangest plants in the world

Not all clients have the most conventional taste, and Mother Nature has a plethora of weird and wonderful creations to offer us. Pro Landscaper has rounded up the seven strangest plants from around the world, all of which would make striking features.

A sit down with Ross Conquest Pro Landscaper talks with Ross Conquest of Conquest Creative Spaces, finding out about the company’s growth and recent win of the Matthew Bradley Memorial Cup for Construction at this year’s APL awards.

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BALI education officer Stephen Ensell tells us about the organisation’s GoLandscape initiative


his year has been dubbed ‘the year of GoLandscape’. The pilot initiative, launched at FutureScape 2016 to tackle the industry’s skills shortage, is being taken forward by BALI’s education officer Stephen Ensell, who has exciting plans for GoLandscape over the upcoming months. Since joining BALI in August last year, Stephen has introduced pilot enrichment programmes at two land-based colleges, aiming to entice students onto horticultural courses and help them to gain more qualifications. To do this, Stephen says we need to support colleges: “We’re promoting the industry to schools and signposting them to the colleges, but we’re also helping the colleges to be better prepared.” Following a members survey, BALI found that employers were finding it difficult taking on recent college graduates who had not gained certain certificates, such as a ROLO Health and Safety course certificate or a LISS/CSCS card, as they then must pay to put them through these qualifications. Pilot programmes at Capel Manor College and Bridgwater & Taunton College are addressing this concern. The BALI Chalk Fund will sponsor the registration, assessment and certification for students who successfully apply, while the colleges provide the training. To help encourage students onto horticultural courses, BALI is recruiting GoLandscape ambassadors from every aspect of the industry – and not exclusively BALI members. “For us,


Pro Landscaper / May 2018

News Extra Go Landscape.indd 16


GoLandscape everyone unites under this one skills issue. All we ask is that those interested in becoming an ambassador attend a training event, where we talk them through what the role entails and the key message that we are trying to get across, so that we are all on the same wavelength when going into schools and colleges,” says Stephen, who has previously taught horticulture and owned a landscaping company for nine years. BALI is looking to recruit a minimum number of ambassadors in each area before rolling the scheme out across the UK, to make sure that there are enough people available to attend

ONLY 7% OF SCHOOL CAREER ADVISORS RECOMMEND A CAREER IN HORTICULTURE TO THEIR STUDENTS when a school or college expresses interest. “Only 7% of school career advisors recommend a career in horticulture to their students, so we need to change their perception of the industry,” says Stephen. GoLandscape will also be showcased to the public at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2018 with an unjudged feature garden, built by students and apprentices, along with mentors from the industry. As well as being a great opportunity for those building it, the garden is a chance to showcase the range of skills that go into creating a garden, and promote the industry as a whole. The association will also target a wider audience with a more interactive GoLandscape website, where users can find information that is more applicable to them as individuals. It will act

as a resource tool, where people can find their local college or learn more about the industry and the career opportunities available. “We have had great success with exservicemen and women, and we’re also potentially looking at piloting a training programme with rehabilitated ex-offenders; there is such a broad range of people coming into the industry that we need to make sure we cater for as many of them as possible, and this is what we’re hoping the initiative and website will do.” With so much in place already this year to progress GoLandscape, Stephen is now looking further ahead at how he can use the success of these ventures to push the initiative forward in the future. For more information on GoLandscape or becoming an ambassador, visit or contact Stephen Ensell on 024 7669 8655 or

19/04/2018 09:41

THE AWARDS ARE OPEN FOR ENTRIES! Visit to view the categories and entry criteria and submit online today. Registered Contractor/ Registered Designer/Group Final Deadline: 7 June 2018

For general enquiries, contact Emily Feeney 024 7669 8658 or Kirsty Wood 024 7669 8654 or email

International/Affiliate/Employer Excellence Early Bird Discount Deadline: 7 June 2018 Final Deadline: 12 July 2018

For sponsorship opportunities, contact Diane McCulloch 0161 478 8506 or email

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18/04/2018 14:36

The Landform Spring Garden – designed by Catherine MacDonald

INFORM On Point Garden – designed by Tom Hill


Spring Garden Show

Capel Manor College – won Best in Show in the Young Gardeners of the Year Competition for Kelleway’s Corner garden

Myerscough College – won People’s Choice in the Young Gardeners of the Year Competition for Northern Soul garden

Ascot Racecourse hosted the inaugural Ascot Spring Garden Show from 13-15 April, showcasing six stunning show gardens and six gardens created by horticultural students for the Young Gardeners of the Year Competition. Multi-award-winning garden designer Pip Probert scooped the show garden People’s Choice Award for her Yardley Flower Garden, built by Outer Spaces. The students’ gardens were created in association with the Prince’s Foundation and aim to show what can be achieved in a small space. Organiser and TV personality David Domoney awarded Best in Show to Capel Manor College for its garden Kelleway’s Corner, which was also awarded a Gold Medal; the People’s Choice Award went to Myerscough College for its Northern Soul garden, which received a Silver-Gilt Medal. After a successful first year, we look forward to seeing how the show will progress in 2019.

Capel Manor College collecting the award

Yardley Flower Garden, designed by Pip Probert, won the show garden People’s Choice Award


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Pro Landscaper / May 2018

19/04/2018 15:03

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04/04/2018 13:09 15:29 18/04/2018




ro Landscaper LIVE began in March, and we’ve had two events bringing the landscaping community together to learn and network. Many thanks to all the suppliers who supported these events. Pro Landscaper LIVE Bristol, sponsored by Millboard, took place at Tortworth Court on 22 March. A total of 80 people came along to listen to seminars on soils, partnership working, composite products and site surveying, as well as an industry debate, drinks and an evening dinner. A range of other suppliers supported the event and were happy to explain their products to delegates. The informative and communitybuilding event was a huge success, which we hope will be emulated throughout the series. We then spent an afternoon at Loseley Park for Pro Landscaper LIVE Guildford on 17 April, sponsored by CED Stone Group; 100 people listened to sessions on plant health, show gardens, stone and soils, finishing with the ‘Working Together’ debate, drinks and dinner. Our next event, Pro Landscaper LIVE Manchester at The Mere Golf & Country Club, will be held on Thursday 31 May. If you have booked to attend the event, the team very much looks forward to seeing you there.


17 APRIL 2018




Bristol 22 MARCH 2018

Fab day/evening @Pro LandscaperJW Great meeting, networking and talks in beautiful setting @devereofficial The Garden Goddess @karen_goddess @ProLandscaperJW @Jimeljays @Lisaeljays A big thank you for yesterday’s Pro Landscaper LIVE event, so well put together as always, great to be involved, thoroughly enjoyed it. Mark Draper @MarkyboyDraper

Thank you @ProLandscaperJW LIVE at Bristol for an informative and insightful event, so good to be among fellow professionals from #gardendesign to #landscaping. Great food @devereofficial Tortworth #ProLandscaperLIVE #drjpdesigns Dan Payne @drjpdesign

Good debate @ProLandscaperJW live #Guildford @PCLandscapes @OakViewLandscap @Gardenlink @WilkinsonRae @davies_white on how to work together and keep professionalism high and be proud of our talents. Educate the consumer of the value of landscapes, both financial and wellbeing. APL @The_APL

It has been a great day at @ProLandscaperJW Guildford Caspian Robertson @Caspian_Gardens Thanks to the lovely @Lisaeljays @Jimeljays and all at @ ProLandscaperJW For a fantastic #ProLandscaperLIVE yesterday – great day and great to see everyone #lovelandscaping Rae Wilkinson @WilkinsonRae


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Our day at the #ProLandscaperLive event in #Guildford @LoseleyPark ended very nicely with a tour around the walled garden, great food and company. Thank you to @ProLandscaperJW for the invite, we had a really interesting and enjoyable day. #OneIndustryUnited #networking Aye and Susan @Ayegardening @ProLandscaperJW another great event. Fantastic setting and catering. Thanks to the sponsor, exhibitors as well as those giving talks #ProLandscaperLive. Great networking with so many new and familiar faces too John Bates Gardens @BatesGardens

19/04/2018 16:36

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19/04/2018 15:40

Installers are loving the NEW Marshalls Installer’s Essentials range! A fantastic range of tools which help to maximise production on site, whilst also keeping installers safe. With an easy to use catalogue and simple ordering process direct to site delivery, it couldn’t be easier to get the tools you need when you need them.

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18/04/2018 13:11

ASSOCIATION APL update Get your entries in for the 2019 APL Awards We have already received some fantastic entries for the APL Awards 2019, so make sure you enter the projects

Ryan Alexander Landscape Design & Build – APL Supreme Winner 2018



you are proud of for the chance to win a coveted APL Award in 2019! Complete your entry by 18 May 2018 and your fee will be processed once your entry is received. If you need more time to submit images just let us know and we will be as flexible as we can. Enter now at: HTA holds informative event on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) On 28 March the HTA held an

event that was open to HTA and APL members and nonmembers, giving expert advice on the upcoming GDPR implementation. The seminar – which took place at Horticulture House, Chilton, Oxfordshire – followed on from a session on the subject at the HTA Marketing Forum last year. Cathrine Ripley of solicitors Field Seymour Parkes detailed how GDPR will impact organisations, and went through the types of changes that will have to be made in order to comply, with

reference to loyalty cards, membership schemes and marketing emails. Edwin Meijer from Garden Connect then explained what the company has done to make sure its activities are compliant, so that delegates could use its learnings as practical take-home advice and make the necessary changes within their own businesses. The HTA has published a full write-up of the event including a FAQ sheet, and has other resources available at:

Parks Alliance matters

Water, water, everywhere What has happened with the weather? After confidently welcoming the arrival of spring in last month’s bulletin, the Easter weekend was probably one of the wettest on record, and in many areas most of the Easter school holidays have coincided with a period of poor weather. The impact on parks has been

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significant, in terms of both visitor numbers and the ability to undertake maintenance and hold events, and the weather has clearly influenced work programmes and held up seasonal maintenance.

The Parks Alliance (TPA) continues to take an important role in the governmentconvened Parks Action Group

(PAG) group, and we have been involved in a number of meetings looking to address the decline in funding, knowledge and skills, and find ways to secure the future of our parks. The Parks Alliance is also changing in that the support in kind provided by idverde, and specifically Rob Pearce, is coming to an end as Rob moves on to pastures new. idverde will continue to support TPA at Board level. In his ‘spare time’, Rob has provided really effective business management to TPA, for which

we are very thankful. We wish Rob well in his new role and put out a call to the sector to support TPA – perhaps by seconding or providing resources to assist in running the organisation. We would be delighted if you would make contact, if you can offer support.

Pro Landscaper / May 2018 23

19/04/2018 10:18


SGD bulletin

The Society of Garden Designers returns to RHS Chelsea 2018 The Society of Garden Designers returns to Chelsea this year, alongside 16 gardens from 17 members. Chelsea’s Eastern Avenue will once again be home to the SGD, with a stand designed to demonstrate the wide variety of design approaches offered by the Society’s registered members and practices. The stand will invite visitors to view an array of members’ work

to Grow category. In total, 17 SGD members are exhibiting 16 gardens at the event – including Tom Stuart-Smith MSGD and Matt Keightley MSGD, who are both designing Feature Gardens to demonstrate how beneficial gardening can be to health and wellbeing. Elsewhere, Jo Thompson MSGD, Stuart Towner, Tom Massey, Jonathan Snow, Patrick Collins and Nic Howard will

through a built-in screen, wall poster displays and a portfolio within the exhibit. In addition, registered members will be available throughout the week offering informal design consultations to visitors. In the show’s main arena, the Society’s designers will also be back in force, taking up residence along Chelsea’s Main Avenue, among the Artisan Gardens, and in the new Space

be designing Show Gardens, Sarah Eberle FSGD, Catlin McLaughlin, Tamara Bridge and Kate Savill will be designing Artisan Gardens, and Kate Gould MSGD, Tony Woods MSGD, Catherine McDonald, Naomi Ferrett-Cohen and Amanda Patton MSGD will be exhibiting in the Space to Grow category. Sarah Eberle FSGD, the show’s most highly decorated designer, will also once again be designing the Hillier’s Garden display in the Great Pavilion – hoping to win the company its 73rd consecutive gold medal. Find out more about the Society of Garden Designers and all its members at

plants@work outline Springing forward With May approaching, we can hopefully look forward to warmer weather and many of those summertime events. Meanwhile, plants@ work members will be celebrating their wins at our annual awards at the very end of April – but more of those next month. We’re also preparing for this year’s Favourite Office Plant of the Year. Last year’s winning plant was Aspidistra; which plant will gain the title this year? We’ll


Pro Landscaper / May 2018

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also be busy planning our National Plants at Work Week campaign in July – watch this space for more about these events.

Show. We already know that Indoor Garden Design will be participating alongside IKEA again this year, showing plants in the home and focusing on their beauty and their health-giving properties. Will any of our other members be there? Whoever exhibits, The Chelsea Flower Show is always worth visiting to see the latest trends and varieties in more than just garden plants.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 22-26 May One of the biggest events in the horticultural calendar is the RHS Chelsea Flower

The Chelsea Fringe, 19-27 May Running alongside the Chelsea Flower Show is the less formal Chelsea Fringe.

This runs in various locations around Greater London and beyond, offering sights to see and workshops to take part in. From an Urban Tree Festival in Kentish Town to a Floating Meadow at Paddington Central or a Botanical Sculpture Trail in the Walthamstow Wetlands, the choices are many and varied. events/category/uk/london

19/04/2018 10:19


BALI briefing

‘Let There Be Light’ day a success On 26 March, BALI’s designer board director Rosemary Coldstream hosted the ‘Let There Be Light’ Designer

Development Day at Mulberry Plants, Reading. The day involved a full programme of presentations, handson sessions and technical demonstrations on garden lighting. Paul Willavoys and Sam Cox from Landscapeplus, and Robert Webber from Scenic Lighting, enlightened the audience with the latest lighting techniques. The day was the first in a series of designer-focused events hosted by BALI, which will continue throughout the summer and into autumn. For more details, visit

BALI announces spring/ summer events programme BALI’s event programme for the summer of 2018 includes its first garden trade stand at RHS Malvern Spring Festival in May, the return to RHS Chelsea Flower Show that same month, its first ever Trade Village at Gardening Scotland 2018 in June, and a new GoLandscape feature garden in collaboration with the RHS at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in July. BALI is also returning to the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show, and will be supporting Scottish members at FutureScape Scotland. Bookmark for the latest details.

BALI launches e-communications plan The way that BALI sends e-newsletters to its members has changed recently. Since 12 April, a new BALI News e-newsletter has been distributed every fortnight, instead of every week, and a new fortnightly BALI Events e-newsletter launched on 19 April. Finally, a BALI Technical e-newsletter will be sent monthly. These changes are based on feedback from members in the annual BALI membership survey. BALI is also preparing for GDPR by asking members to set individual preferences, with more details to be shared in April 2018.

RHS report


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Marquee will see nurseries selling old favourites and new varieties. malvern-spring-festival

RHS Malvern Spring Festival, Three Counties Showground in Malvern (10-13 May) Expect show gardens, nursery displays, food producers and tips from garden experts and chefs at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival. The Floral

Plant Photography Masterclass, RHS Garden Wisley (19 May) Take your plant photography to the next level at this workshop with photographer and author Adrian Davies. Following an introduction, there will be


RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Ranelagh Gardens in Chelsea (22-26 May) The world’s most famous flower show will see 10 show gardens filling Main Avenue, Space to Grow gardens offering original ideas, and

Artisan gardens at an extended location – as well as more than 90 nurseries and hundreds of shopping stands. The first ‘Chelsea Late’ will take place on Friday 25 May, with visitors invited for an evening of music and entertainment.

sessions in the garden and glasshouse, as well as indoors. Please bring your camera (DSLR preferred), lenses and tripod. Tickets available online. wisley Wildlife Weekend, RHS Garden Hyde Hall (19-20 May) Learn about the wildlife in your garden at our Wildlife Weekend. There will be opportunities to meet birds of prey, staff will take you on a guided walk, and children can build a bug hotel! hyde-hall

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19/04/2018 10:20



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 The countdown is on! With only four weeks until the start of our build at Chelsea, we are now heavily into the scheduling and delivery coordination. The health and safety forms have been completed and

submitted, the passes have been sorted, and it’s nearly time to put the champagne order in...

A Life Without Walls for CHERUB HIV charity is gaining attention and the press have expressed plenty of interest – not only in the garden itself, but also in the cause and message. Behind every garden, there is normally a client/sponsor who hopes

to gain visibility for its brand or message. For a designer, it may be for various reasons; perhaps to kickstart a career in landscape design, or because the spotlight raises their reputation. For us as contractors, we are always seeking to push ourselves and put our skills to the test – and where better than the most prestigious flower show in the world? Of course, we’re looking to gain publicity, and a good medal goes a long way when marketing our brand, but just as important is the journey we all take together. This year’s journey has had its highs and lows, as any garden does, but fundamentally we are

enjoying the process and the different crafts that have come together to create our garden. It certainly gets you thinking about the strength of UK talent within this industry. Now let’s just hope for some sunshine through May!

Robert Barker Robert Barker Garden and Landscape Design Garden Skin Deep Contractor Terraforma Landscapes Sponsor Harley Street Skin Care While the admin-based tasks mount up, the key elements of the garden, such as the plants and the sculpture, continue to quietly develop behind the scenes. The sculpture is a dramatic structure made up of hundreds of


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concrete blocks. Each block represents a person, and each will represent a different skin condition. As soon as I designed the garden I knew that getting the look of the sculpture right was going to be challenging. Luckily for me I was introduced to Carl Salmon, owner of Chiltern GRC. The minute Jamie Fuller (from Terraforma Landscapes, who is in charge of the garden build) and I met with Carl and his team, we

knew that the sculpture would be in good hands. Obviously, having something bespoke made was always going to involve lots of conversations and meetings. I appreciate that, for some, it may sound like a laborious task, but it’s been a pleasure to work with like-minded, enthusiastic and creative people who are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that I am happy with the

finished results. Therein lies one of the joys of creating a show garden: it isn’t just about the show, it’s about the support and commitment from everyone involved that makes it such an amazing experience. From the dedicated team at London Stone, the amazing work at Chiltern GRC and the care taken over the plants at Kelways, to the volunteers who are willing to give up their time to be part of the team, you can’t help but feel part of something exciting.

19/04/2018 10:14



Artisan garden Garden The Embroidered Mind Epilepsy Garden Designer Kati Crome Landscaper Conway Landscapes Sponsor Embroidered Minds, Epilepsy Society, Young Epilepsy


he unique thing about an RHS Chelsea Artisan garden is that the story it conveys has to be immediately obvious within limited space, similar to the experience of being in an art gallery, says Kati Crome. A meeting with the garden designer to find out about her 2018 RHS Chelsea Artisan garden, ‘The Embroidered Mind Epilepsy Garden’, confirms this. Kati’s friend, writer, journalist and broadcaster Leslie Forbes, was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2005. Being a writer, Leslie researched the condition and came across the historical connection with textile designer William Morris’s daughter Jenny, who had epilepsy. Leslie discovered that The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in Queen Square, London, was next door to the home of the Morris family, but there are no records of Jenny having been treated there. The secrecy surrounding Jenny’s condition was probably due to the way epilepsy was perceived in the late 1800s, when a seizure was known as a ‘fit’ – a word associated with madness. Leslie Forbes, in collaboration with others, had written the novel ‘Embroidered Minds of the Morris Women’ based on this story, and during a lunch date in May 2016 she asked Kati to design an RHS Chelsea garden to tell the fascinating tale. Shortly after this meeting, Leslie unexpectedly passed away, but Leslie’s husband Andrew wanted to honour her promise to Kati and the garden was submitted for the 2018 show. This garden has connections to Jenny Morris and takes visitors on the journey of a seizure

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through planting. Everybody with the condition experiences seizures differently, so Kati warns that not everyone will relate to her interpretation of epilepsy. Kati carried out research to find words that sufferers associate with seizures – such as harsh, brown, crispy, hurtful and nasty – and these are represented in the garden by Carex grasses and teasels. Unusual plants such as Rumex flexuosus have been used because of the copper tinge of their leaves, which will be interspersed with brambles and nettles. Part of the garden depicts the time before the seizure, when there is calm and serenity, and where planting will be in line with the William Morris era – white roses, Acanthus, cornflowers and Valeriana officinalis, which was used as one of the first epilepsy treatments. The focal point of the garden is a bespoke oak slatted bench. As the design hits the bench it creates an electrical activity EEG-style pattern; to achieve this, the oak has been steam bent and jointed with copper rivets leading to the back wall of the garden. Here, at the back, you will find a living wall with repeated patterns, which will represent William Morris’s wallpaper designs.

Post-seizure, when Kati says Leslie experienced her most creative moments, the colours in the garden become brighter and the imagination goes wild – here, there’s a feeling of being ‘rewired’. The overall message of the Embroidered Mind Epilepsy Garden is hope for a brighter future, and a wish to get rid the stigma attached to the condition.

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19/04/2018 09:50

Sponsored by Green-tech, 30 Under 30: The Next Generation is back for 2018, with Pro Landscaper, Pro Arb and FutureArc magazines beginning the search for 30 of the most impressive young people within our industry.

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Richard Kay, Chairman – Green-tech

“ “

“ “

Green-tech is a leading landscaping supplier and we are always happy to be able to give something back. We have had several members of our team announced as previous 30 Under 30 winners, which has been wonderful for their confidence and motivation and 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.

We’re very proud to have played our part in making sure the younger generation of industry people are recognised for the talent, enthusiasm and fresh ideas they bring to the landscape community.

Lisa Wilkinson, Director – Pro Landscaper

Being one of the 30 Under 30 winners in 2017 has given me the chance to meet and be recognised by more people within the industry. I appreciate and value the initiative massively, it has helped both my business and my personal development.

Jake Catling, Managing Director – The Landscaping Consultants

19/04/2018 16:17


Presented at:


g e

Landscape Local Authority Architect 1% 6%



Landscaper 29%

Interior Landscaper 1%


Tuesday 20 November 2018

30 Under 30 Professions

Grounds Maintenance 31%

Supplier 15%

Garden Design 17%

Why apply? The 30 Under 30 initiative was launched in 2015 as a way of recognising the work that young people across the horticulture and landscape sectors are putting into their career. Entering 30 Under 30: The Next Generation is a great way to gain recognition for your own work or the work of someone you know. Previous winners have expressed that the awards is a wonderful way to enhance their careers.

Who can apply? Rules are simple, anyone nominated must have been aged 30 or under on 1 January 2018 and must currently work within the horticulture, arboriculture, garden design or landscape sector.

How do I apply? To apply for this year’s 30 Under 30: The Next Generation, please head to our website: to download the application form and then return the completed form back to us!

We are delighted to have highlighted and celebrated the excellent work of young and upcoming talent since 2015. Please join us and nominate either yourself, a colleague or someone you feel deserves the recognition of the industry.

GOOD LUCK! For more information about this initiative, please contact us! t: 01903 777 581 e: w:

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19/04/2018 16:17

30 UNDER 30


noticeboard INSPIRATIO




Owner, Tom Massey Landscape and Garden Design

“I am working on a residential project in Richmond, being built by Landform Consultants. It includes a 12m-long green wall that I am working on with The Landscape Architect, Darleymoor Yorkstone paving supplied by London Stone, and a stream that starts with a runs the length of the garden, ending up in a formal corten steel trough. Ben Garner of Water Artisans is providing design assistance on the water feature, and we are also introducing 15 mature trees. Before work started, the garden was completely neglected, so it will be a real transformation. It is the most challenging project I have taken on to date, with lots of intricate detailing. I am really looking forward to seeing it come to life.”

NATHAN DONOVAN Managing director, Donovan Landscapes

Nathan, whose company Donovan Landscapes recently became a member of BALI, is currently working on a two-year project in East Sussex, completing the entire landscaping around a large new property. To monitor the progress of the project, Nathan is using a drone, taking aerial photographs to show to the client.




Managing director, Conquest Creative Spaces


Pro Landscaper / May 2018

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At the APL Awards 2018, Ross won the first Matthew Bradley Memorial Cup, introduced after the passing of landscaper Matthew Bradley to recognise construction excellence; he said he felt “inspired” by the win. The ceremony also saw Conquest Creative Spaces receive a Gold award in the Project Value Under £20,000 category and a Silver award in the Project Value £20,000-£35,000 category.

TAMARA BRIDGE Owner, Tamara Bridge Garden Design

“I seem to remember that, when nominated for 30 Under 30 two years ago, my ultimate career goal was to be able to say I had designed a Chelsea show garden. This year I will be at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show with The Warner Edwards Garden, designing with Kate Savill for the second year in a row. I think this really does prove that, if you want something enough, just get out there and find a way to make it happen.” Find out more about Tamara Bridge and Tom Massey’s show gardens at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show in our show guide


Business area manager, John O’Conner

Since becoming one of Pro Landscaper’s 30 Under 30s in 2015, Ashley has successfully completed a Level 5 NVQ in management and is looking to undertake Level 7. He has also been promoted from contract manager to business area manager, and is responsible for operations and business development within the West Midlands region. Congratulations, Ashley!

19/04/2018 15:05


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18/04/2018 12:10 13:12 10/11/2017 18/11/2015 16:55


Let’s Hear it From


Cormac Conway, owner of Bishop’s Stortford-based domestic landscaping business Conway Landscapes, tells Pro Landscaper how he set up his company and graduated to building gardens for RHS shows – including Katie Crome’s ‘Embroidered Minds’ garden at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show How did you get involved in the landscaping sector? When I was 14 years old I worked weekends at a garden centre, mainly bagging up sand and gravel for £10 a day – it was hard work, but I was keen for the money. I left school and went straight into the banking sector at a really exciting time. It was a great experience, but after a while the traveling and working indoors became too much, so I joined a construction company that specialised in underpinning houses and digging out large basements in the Kensington and Chelsea area. It was tough and involved working with some very complicated steel structures for the basements we constructed. I formed Conway Landscapes in 2000. My father-in-law owned a construction company and offered me six to eight weeks of work, and that gave me the confidence to go out on my own. I completed the contract within four weeks! At this time, I was also doing some of my own landscaping: fencing, paving and turfing. I did a leaflet drop, which didn’t really work, but I did start getting a few jobs through word of mouth. In 2001 I was asked to create a fair sized garden at a private college – I spent about an hour and a half on the site, which was a complicated area with lots of slopes, and services and technology running underneath it. The designer, Alex Trotman, seemed to like my approach and knowledge, and recommended to the bursar that I undertake the project. So I got the job and, as with most school and college projects, I had six weeks to complete it.

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How did you then develop the company? The job I completed for Alex was the start of us working together on RHS Show gardens, and in 2001 she asked if I would like to build her garden at RHS Chelsea 2002. By this time, the business was really up and running – we were getting some very nice projects, and I had built a small team and used subcontractors when needed.

I DO FEEL NOW, HAVING BUILT 16 GARDENS FOR RHS SHOWS, THAT HAVING OUR NAME ON AN RHS APPLICATION FORM HELPS A GARDEN GET ACCEPTED I looked into what RHS Chelsea was all about – I was a little naive then, but it was very different then (in 2002). We had little money, and I even sponsored part of the garden myself, thinking it could lead to other jobs. I was shocked at the detail that needed to go into the garden, and the judging process, but I absolutely loved it: the buzz, the camaraderie, and being able to say ‘I built that’ of the finished project. I was so proud, and we got a Silver medal, which for me was amazing. I plastered that fact all over my van! At the same time my reputation was building, and work was picking up and gaining momentum. I have continued to build at RHS Chelsea and RHS Hampton Court. I do feel now, having built 16 gardens for RHS shows, that having our name on an RHS application form helps a garden get accepted. I’ve worked with garden designers such as Woolcott and Smith (we have constructed all seven of their gardens and are good friends), Tracy Foster on the Hedgehog Street garden and the Just Retirement garden at Hampton Court, Wild and Wonderful for Louise Venter in 2009 in association with BCA, and Anthea Guthrie at Hampton Court and Chelsea. I’m particularly pleased with our result last year in building Mindtrap, designed by Ian Price, and The World Horse Welfare Garden, designed by Woolcott and Smith. Both received Gold medals, and the latter received the People’s Choice Award as well. This year we are working with Katie Crome on the Embroidered Minds garden, raising awareness for epilepsy, and it’s going to be a corker! How do you structure your company? We currently have five employees, and that has been steady since 2014. It’s hard for us to find the right 34

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19/04/2018 09:52


people, and then we are on top of all our jobs to make sure we deliver the highest quality. We do have a good network of subcontractors tofill in the gaps. If we grow any further, it will be organically. What is a typical job for you? The gardens we tend to build are within our geographic area, and to the value of around £50k. We don’t travel too far, but we would if we really liked the project. It’s also much better for the staff if they don’t have a long commute and are able to get home every evening. The ideal set-up for me in the future would be to have an in-house designer, four teams with a contracts manager and admin support, and me managing the process. We are currently updating our website – although nearly all of our work comes through reputation and recommendation, we need to keep our ‘shop window’ up to date. We want to push the fact that we have awards from RHS shows and have gone through the vetting process of the accredited associations and suppliers. What are your key supplier relationships? We are a registered installer for Marshalls, which has some tremendous products and offers a great service – we have always had a good relationship with it, and it has a really helpful team. We are also members of the Bradstone Installer scheme, and are a Millboard registered installer. It’s important for us to provide a good service and reliable products on the ground. We

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have recently won one of this year’s Marshall Installer Awards, and have just become a member of the APL. What are your thoughts on the current state of the industry? The issue is staffing – finding and keeping the right staff and getting the younger generation to enter the industry. Last year we had Ross Conquest of Conquest Hard Landscaping and Craig Nester from Habitat Landscapes helping us at Chelsea. They showed an interest in building at the shows, but it’s difficult for landscapers to get the chance to build show gardens, as the RHS wants you to have experience. Having Ross and Craig working with us meant that they got hands-on experience and met some of the RHS staff. It was great fun having them on board, and hopefully they influenced some younger landscapers to get involved with the industry. What do you like to do outside of work? For the last four years I’ve been chairman of the local flower show (Hallingbury Flower Show), having been on the committee for 10 years. It gets more than 1,000 visitors annually, and is taken very seriously within the two villages of Great and Little Hallingbury. I also own a campervan, and travel around the UK when time allows. I love playing golf and am a member of my local course – so I’m never really far away from the landscape, even in my spare time!

THE BIG ISSUE IS STAFFING – FINDING AND KEEPING THE RIGHT STAFF AND GETTING THE YOUNGER GENERATION TO ENTER THE INDUSTRY 1 Mindtrap: built by Conway Landscapes, designed by Ian Price 2 Hedgehog Street: built by Conway Landscapes, designed by Tracey Foster 3 Large country garden overhaul, designed by Quercus Garden Design 4 Small sloping garden, designed by Quercus Garden Design 5 World Horse Welfare Garden RHS Chelsea 2017 Built by Conway Landscapes, designed by Woolcott and Smith 6 Mindtrap: built by Conway Landscapes, designed by Ian Price

CONTACT Conway Landscapes (UK) Ltd, Brookside, Tilekiln Green, Great Hallingbury, Bishop’s Stortford CM22 7TQ Tel: 01279 508887

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Jake Catling, managing director of The Landscaping Consultants, talks growing his business, show garden success, and how winning 30 Under 30: The Next Generation 2017 has been beneficial

How was the company founded? I founded The Landscaping Consultants in 2013, at the age of 24. After working in the landscaping industry part-time before I left school aged 16, I enrolled in college straight away on a landscape apprenticeship course, and spent eight years learning and refining skills. That’s when I felt that I had the drive and ambition to go out on my own. Although many told me that I was too young and it was a risky move, I had confidence in the skills I had gained from being a landscape foreman. Having built three award-winning gardens for a previous company, I have always taken great pride in my work; I wanted to be the one to determine the final finished quality of projects, to ensure client satisfaction and my own. Setting up The Landscaping Consultants Ltd seemed the way forward for me.


in numbers

Established 2013 Employees 4 Awards 1 RHS Gold Medal, 30 Under 30: The Next Generation 2017 winner, Pro Landscaper Business Awards 2017 finalist latest machinery and equipment, some of which has been sourced from abroad as they are not available here yet; this ensures that projects are carried out efficiently and to the highest standards, which is important when you run compact teams. To coin a phrase: ‘work smarter, not harder’. We were also a finalist for

ALTHOUGH MANY TOLD ME THAT I WAS TOO YOUNG, I HAD CONFIDENCE IN THE SKILLS I HAD GAINED FROM BEING A LANDSCAPE FOREMAN How has it developed since? The company has developed from me working solo to having four members of staff, three of whom I have personally trained – with the help of college courses, which gave them the necessary underlying knowledge. I believe this helps to maintain the company’s ethos and high standards. We have invested in some of the 36

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the Pro Landscaper Business Awards 2017, in the Landscape Company Under £1m Turnover category, which I felt very honoured about. The company has also progressed to become a BALI Registered landscape contractor, which I am very proud of, as that has always been a target for the company from the

Jake Catling beginning. I have also had the privilege of joining the BALI South Thames Committee and becoming a GoLandscape ambassador – an initiative that we as a company support wholeheartedly. How did you become involved in show gardens? I was a subcontracted foreman for another landscaping company when I built Matthew Childs’ Light at the End of the Tunnel garden at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012, which won an RHS Gold medal and Best in Category. This got my quality of workmanship and eye for detail recognised by other landscape companies, which in turn led them to subcontract my company to build a further three show gardens at Hampton Court, and one at Chelsea. In 2016, I built The Lavender Garden at Hampton Court, which also won Gold. This year, we will be building a garden at Hampton Court for Ula Maria of Studio Unwired – a very talented young designer – which we are very excited about. What geographical areas do you cover? Being based in Guildford, Surrey allows us to service a large area of South East England and London. Do you undertake both domestic and commercial projects? We have undertaken both types of projects in the past, but the majority of projects taken on are residential due to our compact size; this is also better suited to our ethos of providing a high quality bespoke and personal service. Are you looking to expand the company? We are always looking to better improve the company and push its expansion, and we do this by training apprentices. I started as an apprentice

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myself, and feel confident about the benefits that they can bring to a growing company. I don’t think I need to have high numbers of staff, but they do need to be high quality. Although this route takes more time, it gives better long-term results. My ultimate goal is not to be the biggest, but to be a trusted and well-respected company, recognised for its quality within the industry. However, natural expansion is inevitable.

How has 30 Under 30 helped your business? Being one of the 30 Under 30 winners in 2017 has given me the chance to meet and be recognised by more people within the industry, which is fantastic as I love meeting new people, especially in this friendly industry. I appreciate the initiative massively – it has helped both my business and

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I STARTED AS AN APPRENTICE MYSELF, AND FEEL CONFIDENT ABOUT THE BENEFITS THAT THEY CAN BRING TO A COMPANY myself. I have received lots of constructive advice and knowledge from many industry professionals, so thank you to all of those who have taken time to talk to me – it is much appreciated. How important is social media in promoting the company? Social media is extremely important. It helps us to stay connected with other industry professionals, and allows us to showcase our gardens and promote our company in a positive way. I also love to stay up to date with the latest industry goings on, and celebrate others’ achievements with them. Finally, what is the one thing you think the industry could and should do better? I think our industry needs to be more tightly regulated, as I believe that only then will we be seen as the professional industry we are. It will

also help to ensure a consistent quality of workmanship at all levels. We can also help to change the perception that we are a less professional industry by encouraging more students through GoLandscape to go on to land-based courses and apprenticeship schemes; this will ensure that the workforce remains high quality and professional.

1 The Lavender Garden, Gold medal-winning garden at RHS Hampton Court 2016 2 Dining area in completed project 3 Formal Ewe maze garden in Barns 4 Jake using the company’s Toro TX1000 on the RHS Hampton Court 2017 butterfly dome 5 Water feature and lounge area in completed projects 6 Summer house garden in Thames Ditton 7 30 Under 30: The Next Generation 2017

CONTACT The Landscaping Consultants Ltd, 135 Lime Grove, Guildford, Surrey GU1 1PH Office tel: 01483 389454 Twitter: @thelandconsult Email: Web:

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King’s Cross Pond Club ©John Sturrock


Lovedon Fields ©B|D

ARK EdCity ©Sheppard Robson



With its passion for public realm and innovative approach, B|D is transforming spaces across the country


elebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Gloucestershire-based B|D Landscape Architects has firmly established itself within the market. Director Rob Beswick founded the practice in 2008, having previously worked as a project landscape architect in London, Chicago, Bath and Bristol. Using his experience, Rob has grown B|D to a team of 10 landscape architects, adding a new member each year; the business celebrated one of its most successful years in 2017, winning three Landscape Institute Awards. One of these award-winning schemes is Lovedon Fields in Wiltshire, an exemplary landscape-led HAB Housing development currently on site in King’s Worthy. As part of the HAB (Happiness Architecture Beauty) initiative, set up in 2007 by Kevin McCloud, it needed to respect and be integrated with the local environment – an aim it has clearly achieved, having won a Highly Commended Award in the Local Landscape Planning category at the 2017 Landscape Awards. The semi-rural site is due to be completed shortly, and will include allotments, wildflower meadows, a village green and sporting facilities in addition to homes. 38

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B|D is currently working on a broad range of projects, both in the UK and overseas. These include regenerating the campuses of more than 15 universities, and designing and delivering 20 primary and secondary schools in and around London.

B|D’S APPROACH TO LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE COMBINES CONTEMPORARY SUSTAINABLE DESIGN WITH CREATIVE ECOLOGY The practice is designing the landscape around Oxford University’s new Beecroft Building. The building, which was designed by Hawkins\Brown, will house the university’s physics department, which is one of the largest in the world – but the confined urban context also includes existing notable buildings such as Keble College and Chapel and the Clarendon Laboratory. These, along with the main entrance off Parks Road, the University Park, and a mature cedar tree planted in 1880, need to be taken into account when implementing the landscape. The cedar will now act as a focal point for the square, which will also feature granite paving, pollinator-friendly planting, and high-quality seating.

Also within the education sector, but on a wider scale, is ARK Ed City, a ground-breaking non-profit project that will create an innovative education hub in White City, London. This will bring together organisations with the shared mission of improving education standards in the local community – and further afield. Plans include a new primary school and adult education centre, a cutting-edge youth zone, and the expansion of a nursery, as well as 132 new homes and 12,000m² of office space. Stakeholders have engaged with local groups throughout the design process to ensure the project has the best possible outcome for the local community. Landscape proposals include the creation of a vibrant public realm for the site; this will provide spaces for people of various ages and backgrounds to socialise, learn and play. B|D’s approach to landscape architecture combines contemporary sustainable design with creative ecology. Its designs draw inspiration from the history, ecology, environment, use and character of each site. The King’s Cross Pond Club was a hugely successful temporary installation linking nature with the urban environment. Created as part of the King’s Cross public art programme, it was the first freshwater public bathing pond of its kind in the UK, and was overall winner of the Design of a Temporary Landscape category at last year’s

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Oxford Beecroft Quad ©B|D


The Triangle ©B|D


Lovedon Fields ©HAB

The Milkshake Tree ©Paul Raftery

Landscape Institute Awards. The chemical-free 10m x 40m pond was surrounded by wildflowers and grasses, and was situated within Cubitt Park at King’s Cross from May 2015 to October 2016, in collaboration with OOZE architects. From designing temporary projects and a small-scale cloister garden for the 900th anniversary of Tewkesbury Abbey, to creating the concept design for a water-absorbing ‘sponge city’ in China, B|D works at all scales. It is currently working with 2017 Stirling Prize winning architects dRMM on the regeneration

of the Triangle site at London’s Royal Docks, within an area that is being transformed from industrial to residential and commercial. As the transport network is currently more suitable for vehicles than pedestrians, landscape proposals will look to introduce a series of connections at key points, creating pedestrian links to nearby emerging developments. This will result in greener, safer and better-connected streets and public spaces for Newham. Carefully chosen plant species will improve air quality, mitigate strong winds and create enriching spaces for new residents and the public.

THE BUSINESS CELEBRATED ONE OF ITS MOST SUCCESSFUL YEARS IN 2017, WINNING THREE LANDSCAPE INSTITUTE AWARDS The third project to win a 2017 LI Award, alongside Lovedon Fields and the King’s Cross Pond Club, is pop-up installation The Milkshake Tree, created in collaboration with pH+ architects and the London Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy, as part of the London Festival of Architecture. B|D is also involved in the creation of the charity’s new centre in Haringey, and the B|D team is running the Tewkesbury Half Marathon in May in aid of the organisation. With its belief in creating extraordinary effects with ordinary things to deliver meaningful and much-loved public spaces and places, B|D is a landscape architecture practice after our own hearts, and one we’re proud to feature. CONTACT B|D Landscape Architects Tel 01684 298582 Email: Twitter: @BD_landscape

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19/04/2018 10:12


The robots may come to dominate our industry, says Tim Howell – but there will always be a place for human involvement I’m fascinated by what the future holds for our industry; drivers of change focus on resource, efficiency, information, safety and sustainability. The first business or supplier that comes up with something radically new will reap the rewards of innovation and have the industry queueing at its doors. Or will it? I see a future where many grounds maintenance services are delivered not by people, but by programmable machinery – robotics. Imagine a world where robots roam our streets, programmed to cut grass, spray weeds, clean external areas, and even grit sites during winter months – all at a time of day that causes minimum disruption to customers. Does this sound too futuristic? Maybe, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see this happening in the not-too-distant future, and certainly before I hang up my gardening boots. There are already many suppliers offering fully programmable robot lawnmowers for static locations or domestic gardens. Although I’m curious, I’m yet to take the plunge for my own garden – the pleasure of producing a well-cut lawn is something I’m not ready to hand over to a collection of microchips and computer code.

We work in an industry that is steeped in tradition, with practices that will be hard to break. The skills and vast knowledge required, the variability of our working environment and its interaction within the wider environment will prove nigh-on impossible to break away from a high level of human involvement.

WE WORK IN AN INDUSTRY THAT IS STEEPED IN TRADITION, WITH PRACTICES THAT WILL BE HARD TO BREAK At Mitie, we’re not quite ready to launch a fleet of automated horticulture robots, but we are focused on using new technologies to help drive increased levels of efficiency. For example, our vehicles are specially adapted to provide both grounds maintenance and winter services safely throughout the year. We design our vehicles from the ground up, using our own unique specification that includes tailor-made storage space and alterations to the vehicle’s bed to allow for large gritting hoppers, and safety lighting – and all vehicles are tracked, so we can react to customers’ urgent requests quickly. By measuring the mileage, driving habits and route efficiency of our teams, we can reduce costs as well as be good to the environment.

Driving efficiencies in this way gives us the opportunity to constantly look at and invest in new technology. Mitie operates ‘high tech’ teams that are provided with the latest bespoke vehicles, equipment and technology, which goes through extensive testing before we make any significant changes to our core equipment range. The growth in battery-powered equipment is particularly interesting for the type of work that we do. It’s quieter and less disruptive, emits fewer vibrations, and has a lower environmental impact, so I hope that it withstands the rigours of commercial operation and has the same range of adaptability as its more established fuel-burning cousins. We’ll never see an end to the involvement of people in horticulture – not just because of the skill base required, but also because of the enjoyment that working outside brings to hundreds of thousands of people. We shouldn’t let that stop pioneers in our industry, who can revolutionise the way we work, but maybe one day we will see a people-free grounds maintenance service. I’ll be watching with interest – after I’ve finished mowing my lawn, that is.

ABOUT TIM HOWELL Tim Howell has worked in the landscape industry for more than 30 years. He is the managing director of Mitie Landscapes Ltd, where he has worked for the last 15 years. Mitie Landscapes employs more than 800 people across the UK. Share your thoughts with Tim at:


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19/04/2018 10:42


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18/04/2018 13:13 03/04/2018 15:49



Angus Lindsay discusses the importance of using the right tools for the job, especially when it comes to the basics So, there you are, three quarters of the way through a job and the weather’s closing in, but you’re determined you’ll get the work done. Then, bang! A shear bolt breaks and you scrabble about looking for a bolt and the necessary spanners. After a couple of frantic minutes, you find a replacement and a nut, but the only tools you have are a pair of pliers and a set of vice grips. You battle on and get it fixed, though it doesn’t quite fit and isn’t tight enough, but you get the job finished, load the machine, and get back to the yard. Invariably the botch job of replacing the shear bolt is forgotten about, only to become a problem when the machine is next taken out. Sound familiar?

The right spanner on the right nut – what could be simpler?

IT IS A WORRYING TREND THAT IN OUR DEVELOPED COUNTRY THE SIMPLE TASK OF MATCHING A SPANNER TO A NUT SEEMS TO BE AN ALIEN CONCEPT TO SOME PEOPLE During my years working overseas I spent many hours teaching people the benefits of using the correct spanner as opposed to the fit-all adjustable option or, worse still, a hammer 42

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and chisel. While this was in developing countries where resources and skills were limited, once shown the correct way to do things operators retained this knowledge and learnt from it, so much so that rounded off nuts and bolts soon disappeared from our equipment. However, it is a worrying trend that in our developed country the simple task of matching a spanner to a nut seems to be an alien concept to some people, and it doesn’t stop there.

MAYBE IT’S OUR INCREASING RELIANCE ON TECHNOLOGY WHICH IS DILUTING OUR PRACTICAL SKILLS I recently heard of a situation where ride-on brush cutters had been purchased fully road legal. Now, this could just be a belt and braces approach for situations when these machines come off a work site and spend a short time on the highway before being loaded onto a trailer, but if not, I’d hate to be the operator asked to drive something the size of a go-kart on the public highway flat out at 6mph with an 18t truck bearing down on me! OK, so that’s an extreme example, but all too often I see mismatched equipment being used on the back of tractors, machines being pushed beyond their limits on banks, or vehicles carrying or towing loads well in excess of their capacity – a worrying trend which seems to be on the increase. I could harp on about the reasons being down to stretched budgets, or the lack of flexibility in the machinery currently available in today’s market, but the issues are a bit more basic than that: matching a 19mm spanner to the corresponding nut is truly basic stuff. Maybe it’s our increasing reliance on technology

Needs must, but it doesn’t make it right

which is diluting our practical skills; for instance, on YouTube you can find several video clips showing in intricate detail how to set the cutting cylinder on a greens mower, but if you don’t know a torx socket from a ring spanner then you’re going to struggle. So, I guess what I’m saying is that we need to get back to basics in order to move forward, as technology can only take us so far. They still make spanners, screwdrivers and all manner of tools, so let’s learn to use them correctly. The same goes for matching implements to power units or machines to tasks. Manufacturer specifications will give you a guide, but you need to use this in relation to your operating environment and what you’re doing with the machine and, most importantly, make sure your operator is trained and competent to use the equipment, otherwise you could find yourself with a bit more of a problem than rounded off nuts! 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:

19/04/2018 08:30


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WHAT NEXT? ANDREW WILSON Andrew Wilson explores the life of the garden once the design is realised. Maintenance and upkeep are key considerations In our spring Info Burst season at The London College of Garden Design (LCGD), we tackled the knotty problem of the upkeep of gardens and landscapes once projects come to completion. In a series of talks and debates called ‘Whose Garden is it Anyway?’, Stephen Crisp gave a gardener’s view, Richard Curle the landscaper’s view and yours truly brought up the rear with the garden designer’s view. What became clear was the need for concentrated effort, and to some extent education, concerning the future of our gardens and landscapes, mainly for our clients but also for the many who garden or at least call themselves gardeners.

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For landscape design in the commercial sector, there is generally an understanding that a landscape will need ongoing aftercare and this is often identified from the outset before the design is complete. In a private or domestic setting this is rarely so clear, with clients sometimes in denial that the landscapes in which they have invested are in need of ongoing support. Obviously there needs to be an ability to pay for this commitment in the longer term, but the willingness to acknowledge this commitment is often the greater problem. Stephen Crisp made an analogy to the purchasing of a decent car. Having made the purchase, owners are unlikely to ignore regular servicing or new tyres. Everything needs some form of upkeep over time and gardens are no exception, especially after the original investment is made. The difficulty comes with the relative cost. Few garden owners are willing to undertake gardening and upkeep themselves beyond lawn and hedge care. The lack of time or the unwillingness to give up time inevitably leads to the use of additional labour. Even on the current minimum wage, an eight-hour day for a gardener, one day per week, would cost £62.64 or £3132 over a 50-week year. This figure assumes that one day per week is sufficient to cover the needs of the garden and that the minimum wage would find us a suitably qualified gardener. A retired person who gardens might typically charge £15 per hour which would deliver a day rate of £120 and an annual figure of £6,000. Neither of these examples would find us a sufficiently qualified gardener for any of the schemes that Gavin and I would produce. On the one hand the costs would of course rise as skill level and training increase. Some would say

change the design of your planting to match the skill level available – this might seem logical, but this would only serve to encourage the mow and blow fraternity. Additionally, most designers would eventually (i.e. fairly quickly) get bored of producing endless lawn and hedge combos!

EVERYTHING NEEDS SOME FORM OF UPKEEP OVER TIME AND GARDENS ARE NO EXCEPTION, ESPECIALLY AFTER THE ORIGINAL INVESTMENT IS MADE The main issue here is that with rising costs for skilled maintenance many people eventually switch off, and here is the nub of this problem. What value is actually placed on a wellmaintained, high-quality garden? Many clients invest substantially in the design and build of their gardens only to fall at the last hurdle on the cost of its continued existence. It seems often that it is not that they can’t afford the cost per annum, but that they don’t feel that gardening is sufficiently worthy or skilled to warrant a higher financial investment. What we know from clients who have made that higher investment is that our gardens live on very successfully and our customers are very happy, understanding and enjoying the true investment they have made. The big question is: how can we spread the word? Pictured: Skills aplenty for hedges and lawns but not for grasses and inter-planted perennials or matrix planting. Weybridge garden border, Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliam

ABOUT ANDREW WILSON Andrew Wilson is a landscape and garden design consultant, director of the London College of Garden Design, an author, writer and lecturer.

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19/04/2018 08:26



ADAM WHITE How can we tackle ‘plant blindness’ among children? Adam White has some ideas ‘Plant blindness’ is a term coined in 1998 by American botanists James Wandersee and Elizabeth Schussler, who define it as “the inability to see or notice the plants in one’s own environment”, and state that it can lead to “the inability to recognize the importance of plants in the biosphere and in human affairs”.

Secret Life of Plants. The book documents the experiments that have revealed unusual phenomena regarding ‘plant sentience’ (i.e. the ability to perceive or feel). In the USA, plants account for 57% of endangered species but receive just 4% of conservation funding; by some estimates, one in eight plant species is threatened with extinction. The lion’s share of conservation funding goes into protecting animals – why is this the case? Perhaps it is easier to relate to animals because they share similar life experiences to humans.


People raised in the countryside are less likely to be plant blind than those raised in urban environments. Cities have always had green spaces, but while city dwellers often appreciate them, they rarely notice the plants. Garden designer Guy Petheram explored the subject in an article for the RHS Garden magazine last year. He drew attention to the growing body of evidence that shows how ‘alive’ plants are – they signal to each other, and react to many stimuli in ways that are comparable to animals. He made the argument that we need to see plants as fellow living things, not just as colours and forms. I discussed this same topic with Larry, a keen gardener I met on my recent trip to South Africa, who shared a book with me called The 46

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Studies show that early experience of growing plants often leads to the child growing up with a respect for and interest in them. I fondly remember growing cress and mustard on my bedroom window sill, and 40 years on it still fascinates me to see a seed germinate. Our industry can make a huge difference if we encourage younger generations to choose landscape careers and help end plant blindness. At Davies White, we have just completed a school playground project in south west London. Following a series of hands-on design workshops, the children not only prioritised play structures, but also asked for raised planting

beds and an Eden Project-inspired geo-dome greenhouse. We are continuing to engage with the children so that they can grow vegetables, take cuttings and grow plants from seed. In many projects, we have included Magnifying Posts that let children zoom in on nature’s intricate details. Following the success of our Wild Garden at RHS Hampton last year, the RHS appointed us to create a new children’s garden at RHS Wisley in Surrey. Unlike many other play projects, this space will be woven together with playful planting. Over the Easter break we ran a model-making workshop and included a scratch ‘n’ sniff plant quiz with the help of plant sensory scientist Emma Desmier. The children began to see the importance that planting plays in the lives of insects, bees, butterflies, birds and squirrels. In addition to swings and slides, the models featured treetop nests, underground burrows, mushroom caves and edible forests. We have created a short film about the workshop, which you can find on our YouTube Channel. We need to celebrate the importance of planting; if we can empower nature-aware children, we will combat plant blindness and raise their awareness of the living world around them. ABOUT ADAM WHITE FLI Adam White FLI is a director at Davies White Ltd, a double RHS Gold Medal, double People’s Choice and RHS Best in Show award-winning Chartered Landscape Architects practice. He is a Fellow and President Elect of the Landscape Institute. Social media: @davies_white

19/04/2018 08:24




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10/04/2018 16:45:43 18/04/2018 13:10



DAVID T BINKS David T Binks wonders whether low entry-level wages are putting young people off the landscaping industry What are the options for a young person with a burgeoning interest in green services, and what might make them falter in their choice of career? The two most conventional routes into landscaping are apprenticeships and traineeships. The former is a short (up to six month) placement with a company, which allows an individual to upskill so as to potentially secure a job or apprenticeship, with very little or no pay; the latter can last for a few years and assumes the candidate has some basic skillsets (English and Maths), along with basic experience of the industry – but the level of pay is still very low. There may be instances where a student on a horticultural or landscape design course wants to gain experience by way of traineeship, which works for employer and employee alike – it lets the employer ‘try before they buy’ while providing the employee with experience. Trainees or apprentices are expected to work for little or no money due to their lack of experience – which could be a key sticking point when it comes to getting young people interested

in landscaping. There is a disconnect between what young people expect to be paid and what they are actually paid – with a recent study showing that young people in the UK expect to earn around £21,000 in their first job.

TO EXPECT AN APPRENTICE TO WORK WHOLEHEARTEDLY FOR LESS THAN £30 PER DAY SEEMS ARCHAIC The justification for low entry-level pay is that it separates the wheat from the chaff, but to expect an apprentice to work wholeheartedly for less than £30 per day seems archaic – unsurprising, given that apprenticeships have existed since the Middle Ages. Back then, an apprentice was indentured to a ‘master’; these days, most apprentices still live at home, receive a regulated wage and work regulated hours – but they have access to much more information than they did 400 years ago. Taking into account the ‘information age’ we live in and the access people have to one

another through social media, it is no shock that the salary expectations of 16-20 year olds have become skewed. Technology and materialism go hand in hand – having the newest phone, being seen in the right brands, eating in the newest restaurants (and posting photos while doing all of this) are the metrics by which society measures success. What we need is for the iGeneration to want to ‘Insta-Story’ their newest landscape creation, and feel proud about the positive impact it has. By doing so, they can begin creating their own brand and their own legacy through the landscape – a legacy which will last longer than the new car they aspire to own. In a bid to realign people’s views of a career in landscaping, the true value of landscaping needs to be fully realised. Only when society realises the crucial role landscape plays in enhancing our physical and mental wellbeing, will it place a higher financial worth on what we do. ABOUT DAVID T BINKS David T Binks is managing director of Cheshirebased the Landstruction Group which now has 40 employees. Set up in 2010, Landstruction has won Gold Medals at RHS Chelsea and RHS Tatton Park. Big Hedge Co. supplies and installs mature hedging and topiary nationwide.,

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Pro Landscaper takes a trip to one of the UK’s most amazing public open spaces – the idyllic Richmond Park in London


ondon’s Royal Parks are some of the most extraordinary green spaces to be found in the UK, providing both a massive incentive for tourists to come from around the world, and a ‘shop window’ through which we can display the very best of our horticultural tradition. There are a total of eight royal sites dotted around the capital, ranging from Hyde Park, just across the road from Marble Arch, all the way out to Bushy Park in the west, near Hampton Court Palace. This latter part of town also contains Richmond Park which – at just under 2,500 acres – is the largest of the Royal Parks, as well as the focus of this issue’s article on local authority parks and green spaces.

THIS MAGICAL SPACE PROVIDES PEACE AND TRANQUILLITY FOR MILLIONS OF LONDONERS Like the other royal sites, Richmond Park was originally owned by British royalty, mainly for hunting deer. It is currently a National Nature Reserve, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Area of Conservation, and a well-loved location for those looking for a nice day out. It is also included on England’s Register of Historic Parks and Gardens, registered at Grade 1.

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As Sir David Attenborough says in a recent documentary about the park’s role as a nature reserve: “Until morning, it’s the darkest and quietest place in the capital. This magical space provides peace and tranquillity for millions of Londoners.” Blue-chip site Adam Curtis is the manager of Richmond Park and, as such, is responsible for the upkeep and management of this blue-chip site. “The park was originally enclosed by Charles I, who built a wall around it sometime around 1637, compulsory purchasing whatever small farms were in the area,” he tells us. “He created it primarily for deer hunting, subsequently moving his court out to Richmond Palace and commuting up and down the Thames. There is also a royal residence on the park, known as the White Lodge, which is now occupied by the Royal Ballet School. Pro Landscaper / May 2018 51

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“In relation to its use by the British people, the most significant development took place in the mid-19th century when an Act of Parliament decreed that the Royal Parks should be run with public funds for the benefit of the public. The freehold is still held by the Crown to this day, but for all intents and purposes, the government is now the landowner.” We were somewhat surprised to learn that Royal Parks funding has reduced year on year since 2010. Government funding now amounts to around only 30% of the overall budget.. According to Adam, this shortfall has been made up through judicious use of the land itself, taking advantage of commercial opportunities. “We’re involved in putting on a variety of massive events, such as pop concerts and things like Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park,” he says. “We’ve also got a lot of domestic lodges – originally used by parks staff – which are now being rented out in the most commercial market possible. “Other sources of income include the licensing of film units to use the parks as locations, as well as ‘sweating’ our catering concessions a bit more than we used to. We’re doing incredibly well out of those. 52

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“Thinking of Richmond Park in particular, a major source of income is Pembroke Lodge, which we believe to be the busiest wedding venue in the country, hosting 350 events a year. Again, we’ve also got a variety of on-site catering options for visitors wanting anything from Sunday lunch to a bacon roll. They’re pitched in particular to users of the park itself, and while not quite Pembroke Lodge, they still operate at a high standard. “The last visitor count was made about four years ago, and the total was something like 5.5m people a year. If anything, the park now feels even busier than it did back then, with popularity almost doubling every 10 years or so. “It’s marvellous that people are going for walks in the countryside and having family time, rather than just spending time in the pub or sitting at home. The park is somewhere people can walk, relax, contemplate and commune with nature – it’s incredibly valuable.” A magical environment As indicated, Richmond Park is one of the prime locations in the capital for those looking for a relaxing day out, whether that’s just going for a leisurely stroll across its many acres of greenery, or heading out for a spot of lunch. An integral part of the pleasure derived from a visit

to the park, however, comes from the sheer variety of flora and fauna on display; there are different environments within the site, including a newly-planted rose garden and an ‘elm walk’. “We’re nationally and internationally designated for wildlife, and we’re incredibly good for that,” says Adam. “We’ve got more than 1,000 veteran oak trees in the park – many of which are 700 years old – as well as lots of bird species. We’ve also got areas of unimproved classic grassland with around 400,000 ant hills – which, in themselves, are over 200 years old.

WE’VE GOT MORE THAN 1,000 VETERAN OAK TREES IN THE PARK – MANY OF WHICH ARE 700 YEARS OLD “We’ve started to cultivate wilder areas in particular – we’ve allowed a certain amount of bramble to establish. That, in turn, is quite good at protecting hawthorn, which enhances the landscape for birds and other wildlife. We’re very much a contemporary nature reserve in that respect, despite the park being originally created as a royal hunting ground for venison.” An amount of bracken has also been allowed to proliferate over the years – good for the deer that still inhabit the park, as well as some species of birds. The trick is not to compromise the grassland, which is why the maintenance team uses shire horses to roll the bracken. One particularly famous area of the park is a 40-acre woodland garden known as the Isabella

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Plantation. Set within a Victorian woodland that originated in the 1830s, it is best known for its evergreen azaleas, which are positioned around several extraordinarily lovely ponds and streams. Alongside these is the national collection of ‘Wilson 50’ Kurume Azaleas, together with rhododendrons, camellias, and more. “The most popular time for the Isabella Plantation is around late April and early May, when the azaleas are at the peak of their flower,” Adam tells us. “People come from all around the world at that time, which you can understand – it really does feel quite magical there.” He returns to the subject of Pembroke Lodge, which boasts traditional lawns and seasonal bedding. “We put the new rose garden in a few years ago, and it’s just starting to mature now. There’s an area near the Lodge called Poets Corner, where the Ian Dury bench is located. We previously had some irises there, but the lady who managed them moved to

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another site and took her iris collection with her. What we always have to remember is, with areas like Pembroke Lodge, everything has to be kept in top condition because it’s real ‘front of house’ stuff – not just for us, but for the country. The Royal Parks also manage the gardens at Number 10 Downing Street, and of course it’s the same principle at work there.” In terms of crewing, Adam manages two teams of gardeners, with five situated in Pembroke Lodge and six based at the Isabella Plantation. The estates team has five people, plus a seven-person litter team to deal with the site’s approximately 140 bins. The park also maintains a separate, contracted, arboriculture staff, with several crews of at least two people each working through both the summer and winter, when a forester also joins the team. Richmond Park is one of the true ‘jewels in the crown’ when it comes to British parks, boasting everything you would expect from a

modern green public space – and all on a massive scale. A true idyll in the urban sprawl, it is exactly the kind of site that will keep Pro Landscaper coming back.

1 King Henry’s Mound Telescope ©The Royal Parks/Giles Barnard 2R  eflections on Peg’s Pond ©The Royal Parks/Darren Williams 3P  embroke Lodge in Spring ©The Royal Parks/Darren Williams 4 Flowers  in spring in the Isabella Platation ©The Royal Parks/Darren Williams 5 Adam Curtis 6R  hododendrons in Isabella Plantation ©The Royal Parks 7 Fallow deer ©The Royal Parks/Giles Barnard 8 Landscape views of Pen Ponds in Spring ©The Royal Parks/Darren Williams 9 Ducklings ©The Royal Parks/Greywolf 10 Great Crested Newt ©The Royal Parks/ James Grundy

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CAMERON LANDSCAPES AND GARDENS Lavish spaces for Annabel’s nightclub, London



RYAN ALEXANDER LANDSCAPE DESIGN & BUILD A luxury home gets an impressive suite of grounds to match



Cool tones and shapely planting revitalise a traditional courtyard



STPEHEN MARTLEW LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE An outside space rich in habitat for E-ACT Blackley Academy




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OPULENT OASIS CAMERON LANDSCAPES AND GARDENS A suitably sumptuous series of gardens for a luxury London nightclub’s new premises

Build time Three to four months Size of project Main terrace: 220m² Smoking terrace: 45m² Lightwell: 15m²


his year, London nightclub Annabel’s opened the doors to its new location at 46 Berkeley Square, a Grade I-listed Georgian mansion house. Cameron Landscapes and Gardens was briefed to design and create ‘must-see’ destination gardens and planting to complement the Palladian architecture and opulent interior. The business designed the garden terrace, smoking terrace and lightwell, and dressed the façade of the building. Design and build The key influencing factors on the design were the Annabel’s philosophy, the style of the building, and the atmosphere that Cameron Landscapes wanted to achieve. The intention was to create an enchanting space that reflected and enhanced the magnificence of the structure and its history, while providing a modern twist and encapsulating 21st-century glamour. The result is comfortable,

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eclectic and full of personality, providing an inviting, sophisticated space. Each area has its own charm, but there is a unifying thread throughout. Plants of different heights, shapes, thicknesses and textures were used in layers to great effect, providing depth, balance and interest. A strong evergreen backbone of tree ferns, palm trees, Magnolia and Camellia is underplanted and dressed with vibrant seasonal planting, while several large trees give the feeling of a woodland glade – complete with woodland groundcover, which can be changed according to the season. The plant selection has created a most unusual and rare collection for central London, and urns, planters, wall hangings and built-in troughs were chosen to complement the opulent interior. With the club open for the majority of any 24-hour period, it was important that the design and materials worked seamlessly from day to night. Whatever the time, visitors needed to be Pro Landscaper / May 2018 57

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transported to and engulfed by an unexpected, verdant oasis. At night, clever, subtle lighting transforms the space into a magical experience. Challenges Space and functionality With Annabel’s being a commercial space, Cameron had to design around the required number of covers – so one of the most significant challenges was creating high impact, memorable gardens in the space available. The team worked with pots and planters rather than planting beds, which take up more space and can’t be moved to accommodate extra covers. The climbers installed on both the garden terrace and smoking terrace were a mix of artificial and natural, reducing the need for beds and allowing access to the likes of air conditioning units behind the trellising. Health and safety The gardens are visited daily by hundreds of members, so the team had to carefully consider all materials and plants from a health and safety perspective. This also meant ensuring each item was firmly secured, and that there were no sharp edges on the foliage.


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Temperature Due to the gardens’ commercial nature, the temperature needs to be kept above a set minimum; during the cooler months, there will be artificial heating, and throughout summer, the retractable glass roof by steel architects Waagner Biro will be opened more frequently. Cameron Landscapes took this into account when selecting the plants, as some specimens would not survive in this environment.

Materials The terrace employs a combination of both traditional and tropical planting, including: • Large established trees with evergreen value: Veitchia, Citrus, Dicksonia, Taxus domes. • Evergreen and seasonal climbers: Trachelospermum jasminoides, Clematis armandii. • Colourful and seasonal bedding plants and bulbs: Hydrangea, Galanthus, Hyacinth, Narcissus, azaleas.

Deliveries The central London location meant that careful planning was needed when craning in the large central tree and other plants of significant size; surrounding roads and pedestrians had to be considered carefully.

An eclectic mix of pots have used throughout the scheme, showcasing some beautiful examples of reclaimed French and English planters. The team went to great lengths to source special one-off pieces, including decorative enamelled ‘Rouen’ French planters dating back to the 18th century, as well as sculptural antique urns and reclaimed Bath and Portland stone pots. This diverse mix of carefully selected materials lends a unique and decadent style to the finished terrace. The use of reclaimed Yorkstone for the flooring and Purbeck stone for the bespoke drystone wall planter ensure high impact and ‘wow factor’, as well as creating the feeling of being outside and contributing to the desired atmosphere.

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1 Yorkstone terracing, trees and seasonal planting. 2 Citrus and narcissus pots screen the bar area. 3 Seating surrounded by mature trees. 4 The central Osmanthus tree is enhanced and supported with seasonal underplanting. 5 Trellis and artificial climbers on posterior walls.

REFERENCES Design, installation and project management, garden maintenance Cameron Landscapes and Gardens Pots and planters

Swiss Brackets, Floral Metal


Cameron Landscapes and Gardens is an awardwinning, fully integrated garden design, build and maintenance company. The practice supplies dynamic design, reliable construction, meticulous maintenance and a vast and instinctive plant knowledge to domestic and commercial clients, both in central London and nationwide. Bulbeck Foundry The Vintage Garden Company Garden Art Plus Ltd Mud Mountain Capital Garden Products Pots to Inspire Ltd at Woodside Garden Centre V&V Reclamation Piet Jonker

Private auction sale Mirror Rough Old Glass Plants and trees Nederhoff Plant Chichester Trees & Shrubs Architectural Plants


Evergreen Arnott and Mason (New Covent Garden Flower Market) Quality Plants (New Covent Garden Flower Market) Solitair (Belgium) Artificial plants Bright Green Stone Artorius Faber

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GOLD STANDARD RYAN ALEXANDER LANDSCAPE DESIGN & BUILD Winner of the APL Supreme Award 2018, Ryan Alexander delivered a vast outdoor space for a new luxury property


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ean Grange is a newly built place of the original table, perfectly in line with the luxury family home, designed by front doors of the newly built property, onto the rear James Lambert Architects. The doors, and finally out to the mound within the wild garden design, by Bowles & flower meadow where a corten steel eye catcher Wyre, and build, by Ryan Alexander sculpture sits. Landscape Design & Build, needed to both When setting this sculpture in place, Ryan complement and reflect the high specification Alexander had to stop the internal build for half a and use of quality contemporary materials day while a high-powered laser was beamed within the house. through the house from the The outdoor space gazebo to ensure absolute comprises a series of precision. This attention to different areas, including a detail means that the eye wild flower meadow, formal catcher is now situated within rear lawn, entertaining area a 10mm tolerance of the line complete with fire pit, to where the original table orchard and walled garden, once stood. Project value sunken garden, children’s Similarly, the striking jetty Circa £1m play area, pool and guest feature at one end of the house terrace. ha-ha designed by Bowles & Build time 14 months Wyer has been positioned in Design and build such a way to direct and Size of project The new property has a project one’s view out to the Approx. nine acres particularly interesting rolling countryside beyond. background, with James Lambert basing its overall Challenges design on his first meeting Much of the build was with the client around their dining room undertaken during the construction of the house, table in the original house. James came up which presented logistical challenges and with a visual concept to encompass the negotiations with the building contractor to ensure entire site, and a personal story to bring the the project would be completed on time and within vast area together. budget. Heavily compacted soil from the last two Taking a visual line from where the table was situated at the front of the plot, he shot it 1 Fire pit and entertaining area illuminated at night straight through the sight. As a result, a 2 Turning circle with water feature and soft planting gazebo now stands within the front garden in 3 View of ha-ha from wildflower meadow beyond




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To find out more about the lighting installation by Scenic Lighting turn to Robert Webber’s column on p114

years and house construction traffic had resulted in severe waterlogging, leaving the site in a poor state when works first began. This had also led to some of the existing mature trees within the grounds becoming distressed. Ryan Alexander overcame this hurdle by bringing in a specialist arborist to carry out radial trenching of the trees to bring them back to good health. Sourcing materials Ryan Alexander, along with the architect, spent a vast amount of time researching and sourcing materials to be used. The team set up specific areas during the build using samples, such as a small dry-stone wall, a selection of grouting colours with different paving and an assortment of soft plants, so that the client could see and touch the products in order to select which options they preferred. This created a practical environment where ideas could be discussed and evolved as a team, between designer, builder, and client. 62

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Special requirements Burlington Stone products were key features within the house and these were carried through into the sunken garden, with contrast bands of the same interior stone used to bring the two areas together. The client was keen to grow fruit trees so that he could produce cider and apple juice, so Ryan Alexander sourced specialist espaliers from France and Somerset, known for their juice and cider-making qualities. The client was also keen to reuse materials from the pre-existing property, so the bricks for the kitchen garden were all reclaimed from the old house. Ryan Alexander’s exceptional attention to detail saw them take home the top accolade at this year’s APL Awards, scooping the muchcoveted Supreme Winner award as well as winning the Project Value Over £200,000 category. Described by the judges as: “An impressive and inspirational achievement for other landscapers, with the opportunity to interpret all available space with creative planting achieved to perfection.”

4 Curved pergola leading to entertainment area 5 Entrance and lawns with sweeping driveway 6 Sunken terrace illuminated at night where Burlington Stone was used 7 View of formal entrance from lawns 8 Construction of ha-ha and jetty 9 Construction of sunken terrace area 10 Construction of fire pit and entertainment area 11 Construction of ha-ha and jetty

ABOUT RYAN ALEXANDER LANDSCAPE DESIGN & BUILD Ryan Alexander is a landscape design and build company operating across the south of England and beyond. With over 25 years’ experience and led by Ryan and his wife Caroline, the team is passionate about quality and obsessed with detail. Whether completely transforming a private garden or collaborating with a commercial client, they are flexible and dynamic in approach.

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During/before images ŠLandscape Associates




Ryan Alexander Landscape Design & Build


Design (garden) Bowles & Wyer Design (house) Specialist stone and water feature Planting

James Lambert Architects

Supplied by Farnham Common Nurseries

Hard and soft landscaping materials

Trees and large shrubs

Supplied by Country Supplies

Supplied by Griffin Nurseries


Metal works

Supplied and installed by TCR Irrigation

Project Fabrications Lighting

Supplied and installed by Scenic Lighting

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Burlington Stone Aggregates Smiths Bletchington

Photographs ŠJames Lambert Architects

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Domestic Garden Construction – between £100k£250k

GREY MATTER CUBE 1994 Cube 1994 transforms a traditional courtyard into a stunning contemporary space complete with outdoor kitchen


aving designed and built a very traditional courtyard for the client 16 years previously, Cube 1994 was invited back and asked to transform the garden with a contemporary style. The new design would see the courtyard divided into a series of spaces, including a relaxation area with sofas and a 1.6m long fire table as its centrepiece, a sheltered spot complete with its own outdoor kitchen where the clients could dine and a second ‘open-air’ dining space. The client was also keen to incorporate water, lighting and a grey colour scheme. Design/build The team decided to retain the clipped box hedge from the original courtyard, as this would work equally well in a contemporary setting, and added a selection of modern specimen plants to give the new garden an instant sense of maturity. To separate the relaxation area from the open-air dining space, a large bespoke water feature was designed and installed. Formed from light grey Yorkstone, and measuring 4m by 1m, it features a self-contained metal tank to house the water, pumps and electrics for the fibre optic


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PROJECT DETAILS Project value £144,000 Build time 12 weeks Size of project 495m2

lighting. Flanked by two parallel flowerbeds to soften the large expanse of space, the combination of subtle movement, sound and light makes this water feature multidimensional and a real sensory highlight of the garden. The bespoke nature of the water feature meant it was a first for Cube 1994. The team had to design a system for the feature to function, as well as futureproofing it for any ongoing maintenance required. A large 4,040mm x 1,040mm tank, holding 400 gallons of water, was created with two wing tanks, one dry and one wet. The tank was built onto concrete block padstones with ‘I’ beams running down the full length of the tank for support. A rubber flange was placed over the contact points to prevent any reverberation. Inside the tank, stainless steel supports were designed for each of the 280kg sections of Yorkstone, which had been predrilled, presealed and finished with a pencil rounded edge. To include fibre optic lighting in the feature, Cube 1994 designed its own system to allow the optical fibres to be integrated into the water pipe. The optical lighting was installed in the

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dry tank with a recessed access cover, and the pumps were placed in the wet side. When switched on, the gentle flow of the pumps was adjusted to create just enough flow to allow the surface area of the Yorkstone to be covered. The 100-year-old outbuilding was given a makeover, with two sets of doors and a central dividing wall taken out to create a generous outdoor kitchen and dining area. A large section of oak was cut to create lintels on either side of the building, supported by four 250mm x 250mm uprights, and a king post was positioned in the centre, along with two further decorative trusses to support the pendant lighting. Continuing the garden’s neutral grey colour palette, the interior walls were coated with

1 View of the courtyard open air dining area 2 View of courtyard relaxing area 3V  iew across the courtyard and outbuilding 4B  espoke Yorkstone water feature 5 Rivelin fire table 6 Feature slate wall with water blade 7C  ontemporary sculpture Pro Landscaper / May 2018 65

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a Monocouche render in a light grey RAL code, while the external walls were covered in a dark grey slate to add much-needed texture. Cube 1994 finished the space with a fully-equipped outdoor kitchen, complete with bespoke stainless steel work surfaces, drinks cooler, a sink with hot and cold water, storage and a barbecue. To add heat at night or on cooler days, two ceramic radiant heaters were placed at either end of the room, above head height. A second water feature was incorporated, set into the dark grey slate wall. Installed with an auto top-up tank due to the windy nature of the site, the striking water blade was also backlit to accentuate the flowing water. To add texture and height, six Urbis planters were strategically placed, planted with dwarf Astelia ‘Silver Spear’, and backlit to enhance the mood at night. Three-metre high Taxus baccata was used to screen the boiler room from the courtyard, with underplanting of Buxus balls and perennials, and multi-stemmed Osmanthus aquifolium planted in front. The remaining flower beds had a similar theme repeating through them, including Verbena bonariensis, Eremurus, Veronica, Salvia, Agapanthus, Cerinthe, Phlox, Digitalis, tulips, Eryngium, Echinops and Buxus balls. The team incorporated mood lighting around the courtyard to complete the overall effect. Winning a BALI National Landscape Award in 2017, the garden was selected for demonstrating exemplary standards of professional excellence.



8 Before view of the outbuilding

Design, build and bespoke water features


Outdoor kitchen

Europlants UK Ltd

9 Before view of the courtyard

Cube 1994

RV Fabrication Welding Services



ABOUT CUBE 1994 Cube 1994 provides bespoke garden design, landscaping and maintenance services in Essex. From formal traditional to urban contemporary gardens, Cube will take on even the most complex projects. Accredited by the SGD and BALI, Cube has built award winning gardens at the critically acclaimed RHS Chelsea Flower Show and at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show.


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Portfolio 3 Cube1994.indd 66 Yorkstone London Stone Paving stone Natural Stone Supplies

www.naturalstonesuppliesessex. Dark grey slate (outbuilding) CED Monocouche render (outbuilding) Jewson

Urbis Outdoor furniture Jim Lawrence Napoleon Grills Tansun

Fire table Rivelin Lighting Jim Lawrence City Electrical Factors Ltd

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STEPHEN MARTLEW LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE E-ACT Blackley Academy’s underused playing field becomes a wild wonderland, helping pupils tune into nature


tephen Martlew Landscape Architecture (SMLA) was appointed to deliver improvements to E-ACT Blackley Academy in early 2015. The brief focused on the development of a ‘habitat area’ on the school field, including an outdoor teaching space, all-weather pitch, places to grow fruit and vegetables, wetland and woodland – reinforcing the school’s commitment to the Forest School ethos. It also included improvements to the car park and entrance areas. E-ACT Blackley Academy is a primary school in North Manchester, with an age range of four to 11 years old. For several years, the

school has arranged visits to nearby Boggart Hole Clough to carry out woodland-based play and learning activities with Forest School practitioners. The academy saw an opportunity to transform its underused playing field so that it could develop this type of learning on site. Tendering the project to four contractors and using a traditional procurement route enabled smaller local contractors to bid for the project; this kept overheads and preliminaries down, and enabled SMLA to achieve a lot with the budget. Excavations from the new classroom building were used to construct

landform areas, which saved on the cost of moving the material off site, and allowed SMLA to play with levels and model the ground on a previously flat site. Design and build • Entrances and car park Works to the car park included resurfacing and reorganising. Pedestrian access was redefined with two distinct entrances, and railings were introduced to separate pedestrians and vehicles. The pedestrian routes were surfaced in warm Tobermore Retro paviours, which blended well with the building’s brickworks.

PROJECT DETAILS Project value £200,000 Build time Four months Size of project 28ha

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• Early Years area Staff were keen to have a play feature that would encourage imagination; SMLA developed the idea of a natural play area with rounded boulders, which has facilitated social interaction and imaginative play. Before placing the rocks, care was taken to ensure they had the optimum spacing for preventing falls and accidents. Drawings by Year 1 pupils were incorporated into a composite artwork for the Early Years gate, which was laser cut into corten steel and fabricated by local metal workers Strongpoint Engineering. The two corner beds were filled with a selection of herbs, along with ‘Katy’ apple trees. • Habitat area A raised, stepped area was created to serve as an outdoor classroom, performance space and viewing point, with a series of large, polished concrete pebbles added to the edge as a playful element and a counterpoint to the Early Years area’s more natural boulders. The 3G all-weather pitch provides year-round use.

• Growing area Raised, timber-edged growing areas allow each class to have its own mini vegetable patch, with Japanese quince planted to the rear. The southern edge of the field was planted with mostly native fruit trees, sourced from RV Roger in Pickering. These included apple, pear, damson, plum and sweet chestnut trees, as well as an Isaac Newton apple tree that is descended from the original! • Woodland habitat Native trees were planted as feathered whips at 2-2.5m, giving a more open character and avoiding the need for excessive thinning. These included holly, rowan, field maple and birch. Seven extra-heavy standard oaks were spread across the area to give immediate impact, as well as trees that provide edible nuts, such as sweet chestnut and hazel. It is hoped that the many self-seeded ash trees to the site’s eastern edge will spread and establish within the woodland. The area is under-seeded with Emorsgate woodland mix, which includes shade-tolerant species that will be allowed to develop as a meadow. Hedgerow planting, including blackthorn, dogrose, holly, elder and hawthorn, has been added around the perimeter, providing privacy and security. • Wetland Sown with an Emorsgate meadow mixture, the wetland perches above the heavy clay subsoil underlying the football pitch. Juncus effusus, Rogersia and Gunnera manicata impart a playful aspect. A timber boardwalk snakes through, interlocking with the landform. Sourcing materials All of the paving construction within the field area was permeable, in order to comply with flood risk requirements from Manchester City


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Council. Precast Elementale seating units were chosen for their smoothness, making them safer for children to clamber over, and a bound gravel path made from recycled material links elements within the habitat area. Yellow Balau Hardwood from Silva Timber was used for the decking. Challenges The pitch had been designated as a playing field, but was poorly drained and only usable between May and September. Sport England, which was negotiated with during planning, insisted the project had an element of organised sports activity, so a proposal with a 3G all-weather pitch to Football Association-approved dimensions was agreed. The site investigation revealed high concentrations of lead in one part of the field, caused by a land-drainage system with a cinder backfill around the drainage pipes. The area was covered with a root barrier and an overlay of 600mm minimum of subsoil and topsoil. All growing areas and those planted with orchard trees were treated similarly, to prevent roots from growing into contaminated zones. 1 Outdoor classroom area beside pitch 2 The boardwalk and wetland area 3 Boulders in natural play area 4 Drawing of the playfield section 5 The Corten gate 6 Raised beds, with one for each class

ABOUT STEPHEN MARTLEW LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE Stephen Martlew Landscape Architecture has been based in central Manchester since 1995. The practice has a creative, design-led approach, emphasising the construction of meaningful places with sensitivity to the needs of client and end users. It has a track record of creating projects for a variety of clients. from social housing providers to private individuals, commercial clients and community groups.

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Grass seeding_woodland Shrub planting Existing gate to retain Service Access

new 1.8 m high mesh fence

Existing 3 m high fence to retain

Growing Area




Orchard planting


WOODLAND + 0.70 m


+ 99.30

Wetland planting new fencing to match

+ 98.30

+ 98.63

No edible planting. Remediation works to be taken based on site investigation.

Early Years Play Space to be developed by the school

Meadow edging LANDFORM : th


grass mat surface

1.2 m high fence relocated

+ 1.00 m

+ 98.70

Natural play area Timber deck

+ 99.50

Resin bound surface



new 1.8 m high mesh fence & double gate

ce to

Tarmac surface


Concrete edging units


+ 1.00 m

m fen

+ 99.50



- 1.20 m

FIVE -A-SIDE PITCH 27.3 X 18.8 m

+ 98.80

hop path (bound gravel surface)

WETLAND + 98.60

new fencing to match + 98.63

Suresett porous construction

Terrace planting 3

Cycle trail

+ 98.30

Resin surfacing

Stephen Martlew Landscape Architecture / Patricia Garcia

Terrace planting 2

+ 100.80

Proposed Building

Landscape architect/Design

Terrace planting 1


Hard- terraces


Natural play area

+ 2.00 m LANDFORM

existing 1.2 m high fence (by building development)



pl + 100.80

existing railings to retain

Groundwork Landscapes

proposed 1.2 m high railings

Recycled gravel path J Hopkins

proposed "raised levels"

Growing Area

Orchard planting




3m high


Yellow Balau Hardwood decking

+ 0.70 m to reta


Silva Timber

+ 99.30

DESIGN PLAN Planning issue Revision notes

Corten steel gate for Early Years play area/railings Strongpoint Engineering

3G all-weather pitch Grassbox Solutions Orchard trees RV Roger

Rev A_ Updated plan as Sport England regulation 10/12/15 Rev B_ Updated site plan Unit 2 8a Loom Street Manchester M4 6AN TELEPHONE 0161 907 3226

DRAWING TITLE Landscape site plan





Blackley Primary School


E-Act Blackley Academy


1:200 @ A3



Sept 2015





Precast units for seating and retention Elementale, supplied by Hardscape

Polished concrete pebbles Ben Barrell Retro paviours for pedestrian routes

Other nursery stock Brentwood Moss Nurseries mentwood_nurseries.html Wildflower and grass seeds Emorsgate Seeds

Wetland area: EM8 Meadow mixture for wetlands Woodland habitat area: EW1 Woodland mixture


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Airplant frame


In her second piece on balcony living, Anji Connell looks at ways of bringing greenery to a small, raised space

Balconies, roof gardens and green rooftops continue to thrive in our cities, and vertical planting substantially increases available planting area. Whether they are lush and floriferous or minimal in design, living walls not only look good but also come with health and wellbeing benefits. There are many professional living wall Each cocofibre liner is 14in tall x 14in wide x 5in systems available, but there are also deep, and holds nine front plants, six side other options to consider that can be plants and three top edging plants. effective in smaller areas, such as The LCDA Claustra screen is a superb balconies. These include planting choice, whether as a decorative addition, pockets and modular systems; for screening and defining areas, or as a Wally Planters has modules with green wall. Designed for LCDA, Benjamin self-watering tanks, and Treebox Pawlica’s ‘Deltaflore’ are concrete, has an Easiwall system. triangular, plantable tiles that form green Irrigation and maintenance walls and façades in a modular system. also need careful consideration If properly cared for, the plants will thrive when choosing a living wall – the and flow from Deltaflore’s openings, less there is to do, the more time cultivating exciting plays of light and there is for relaxing. shadow to provide, in the designer’s Soft planters such as Trimm words: “a poetic atmosphere”. Copenhagen’s Vertical Soft Pots No soil? No problem! Air plants have can be used en masse to create naturally evolved to thrive without it, and a green wall, while Pamela the AirplantFrame is the perfect way to Crawford’s Living Wall Planters present them. The frames are made from are artworks in themselves; they powder-coated aluminium, with hand-strung can create a simple living wall stainless steel cables that allow users to option for a balcony or a standTrimm Copenhagen’s arrange each air plant and customise a living alone piece, or they can be hung in Vertical Soft Pots wall, and are available from Airplantman. groups for greater visual impact. Take inspiration from Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ current Andy Warhol exhibition, where an 82in long, 10in high wall of bromeliads pays homage to Warhol’s lifelong passion for flora and repetition. The artist’s iconic ‘Flowers’ screen prints, recreated as a mural or a printed waterproof screen in glass or acrylic, would make a perfect backdrop for furniture and planting. On a smaller scale, Eco Green has a range of shelving that can be used to house plant pots, creating a compelling green wall. Good Earth Plant Company, meanwhile, creates ‘living art’ with moss shaped into Pamela Crawford’s Living Wall Planters letters to make up words or sentences and



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company signage. Using wall sculpture is another way to add interest to a project. Leaf Eddy is a wall mounted decorative sculpture; its leaves are available in 14 carat gold lustre, gold edge or white gloss, and come in packs of 25. Why not incorporate leafy greens among the ceramic leaves? Planters and accessories Indigenus Planters are designed in Leaf Eddy collaboration with leading designers, artists and architects from South Africa, who understand the scale and impact that great sculptural planters can have in an architectural space or landscaped garden. Created by highly skilled craftsmen, they are lightweight and durable, and come with inner pot linings for effective plant care.

Ferm Living Plant Box

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Louis Vuitton’s Objets Nomades hammock

Indigenus Tuber planters

“It’s becoming more and more important to find ways of bringing nature into our spaces,” says Indigenus owner Peter van der Post. “The planter has been long overlooked as an item that can elevate the aesthetic of an interior or exterior landscape and create seamless transitions between the two. I think this is why the architects and designers that have collaborated with us have been genuinely excited by the prospect of reimagining the planter. My brief to them is simple: create pieces that are intelligent, distinctive and enduring.” In approaching the design of the Soma for Indigenus, Laurie Wiid Van Heerden of Wiid Design researched the proportions, strong lines and ‘anchoring presence’ of tree trunks, combining these aspects with the distinctive curves and profiles evident in his cork products and ceramics. Soma means ‘the body of an organism’, tying in with the tree-like form and sculptural simplicity that give this planter its natural appeal. Laurie’s Terra Range, also for Indigenus, is a remodelling of the mid-century modern planters on stands; the rectangular planters have Laurie’s signature rounded corners and a solid Iroko timber base. The result is sleek and light, combining the sensuality of pale curved concrete with the warm tones of carved wood.

Leading architects Stefan Antoni and Greg Truen of SAOTA Architecture and Design have created Indigenus’s Steen planters from glass-reinforced concrete, which is lighter and stronger than regular concrete. Steen is available in three sizes and three colours: natural grey concrete, limestone white and black. The Indigenus Tuber, meanwhile, designed by Haldane Martin, is crafted from Iroko wood and comes in small, medium and large sizes. Atelier Vierkant has an extensive range of textured, unusually shaped and coloured planters. “All our ceramics are shaped by hand and fired at a high temperature, to be frost resistant,” explains the company’s owner Dries Janssens. “We make custom pieces, and each shape and volume is unique to fit into the context of the architectural design.” When it comes to accessories, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec’s Officina Candelabra for Magis adds a bit of whimsical fun, while the Ferm Living Plant Box is very much on point for 2018: add plants, drinks, and whatever else takes your fancy! Finally, a Bubble Beehive is an urban solution to the global problem of declining bee populations; it comes with all the traditional elements of a beehive, but looks far cooler, with a neat, organic shape. All that’s left to do is hang up your hammock! Preferably from Louis Vuitton’s Bubble Beehive Objets Nomades.

Indigenus Steen planters

Atelier Vierkant

Atelier Vierkant


Laurie Wiid’s Terra range for Indigenus

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. Benjamin Pawlica’s Deltaflore

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Best project Hawkedon House was probably the best project I ever worked on; it won Supreme Winner at the APL Awards 2014 for its construction by Stewart Landscape Construction, and was a finalist at the SGD Awards 2015. It was the first large scale project undertaken by Deakinlock, and the first time that I was involved in selecting and supplying large specimen trees from Europe. Mentors There are several people who have directly or indirectly influenced my development. One was the late Mark Rumery FSGD, design director at Notcutts and a master of large garden design – he always maintained that space is as important as, if not more important than, intricate detail, and that’s something I have kept with me for the last 30 years. Also, some of the contractors I have worked with over the years, both good and bad, have opened my eyes to what is possible – but also shown me that’s it’s important to be vigilant when it

comes to work practices and quality, something I now never take for granted. High and low points of your career Having been chair and CEO of the APL, helping to shape its offering to the domestic landscape market was an honour. Now as a judge for the BALI Awards, I feel privileged to be able to use the experience I have gained over the last 30 years, working alongside my fellow judges, to scrutinise some of the best landscape projects in the country – it’s both an honour and a great responsibility! One of the high points of my career was establishing Deakinlock; for nine years it was a successful business and we created some great gardens across East Anglia. Sadly, all good things come to an end, and we are now pursuing our careers in different directions. What you hope to achieve in your work during the next 12 months Joining Bowles & Wyer has been an exciting move for me; being part of a team again is great. I hope to bring knowledge and experience to my new role, while working on complex projects and learning new skills in the world of main contractor landscaping. I never thought at 52 I would be on another learning curve.

LIFE/STYLE INSPIRATION People Professionally, there are too many to mention, but those that stand out are: John Brookes – I never met him but read his books when I was at college, which helped develop my interest in garden design. John Melmoe – his unquestionable desire for quality, precision and professionalism. Mark Guterres – owner of Transam Trucking Ltd and The Imperial Wine Company. His success is his staff. He pays above the going rate, rewards success and delivers 100% of the time. My brother, an MS sufferer – his bullish determination to continue a normal life, keep working and to live in a completely inappropriate house ‘because he likes it’. Gardens I have to admit I have not visited many gardens, but one I have is Trebah Garden in Cornwall. As you descend to the coast you walk through stunning groves of blue hydrangea, and then under the canopy of almost prehistoric Gunnera. Rated in the top 80 finest gardens in the world, it does not disappoint.


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Jason Lock

The head of design and build at Bowles & Wyer tells us what makes him tick, both at home and at work

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PERSONAL Hobbies During the week I stay with family in Northampton, as it’s a too far to commute from Suffolk, and I look forward to some early evening walks around my brother-in-law’s farm. I have been a keen rower with the Beccles Rowing Club for many years, attending many regattas – my claim to fame is winning my class in a Single Scull race in Cambridge, despite capsizing on the way to the start! I also love shooting, though I’m not particularly good. I love game, and it often features in our weekly shop as we’re surrounded by fantastic butchers. Design tastes Living in an old house keeps me busy with maintenance, but I also hanker after a modern house and a minimalist landscape, mixed with ‘organised chaos’. I like formality and structure, but love the randomness that plants can bring. Favoured dress style At heart I’m a country dweller, despite being brought up in London, so most of the time I’m in wellies, jeans, a check shirt and an old jumper, walking my dog or helping my wife muck out her horses. Most treasured possession My family. Drink One of our friends is a wine importer, and over the years we have been spoilt with some amazing wine; he once produced two bottles of 1944 Riesling – remarkable, as most German wine was either drunk or destroyed during the war. I also enjoy a pint of Ghost Ship from Adnams. Most fun you’ve ever had When I got married, the after-party was in my brother-in-law’s pub; we had a local band and took over the place until the early hours, surrounded by friends and family. Secondly, when I drove home after buying my TVR Chimaera – the sound, the speed, the grin.

Places you’ve been; places you’d like to go I undertook a road trip of America from Greenwich to Boston, Montreal, Toronto, Niagara Falls and New York. I’ve also been to most of France, Crete, Spain, Austria, Germany (mainly buying trees) and Ireland. I have a desire to travel to Japan and explore their gardens and culture, as well as New Zealand. How you like to travel I like to travel under my own steam, which is why I like Europe. I don’t fit in most forms of public transport – I prefer to travel independently in my own time and following my own route, seeing the real country rather than spending endless hours in airport lounges. If I do get to go to Japan I shall have to cope! How you like to stay when you’re on holiday We prefer gîtes or villas, being able to do our own thing rather than being herded round hotels.

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Main image ©Charlie Hopkinson


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Why I...

#lovehorticulture ANN-MARIE POWELL

For Ann-Marie Powell, horticulture is a true vocation – a calling that extends back into her childhood



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


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©Charlie Hopkinson

fter my dad did the classic ‘stand on the rake’ trick when I was eight, our foray into growing our own was cast asunder, with the tool being thrown across the garden in a cloud of expletives. That said, our visits to my grandfather’s house opened up a whole new world. My miner grandfather’s allotment supported his income and his large brood of six children; that, and his postage stamp front garden, were his escape. Horticulture was his joy – it gave him life. With my mum working and my dad in military service, I dragged my little sister around the scrubby edges of the Legoland monotony of estate houses, where we found another world. Butterflies erupted from hedgerows, fields became dens, and trees became houses to climb. It felt like the gentle nurturing of our grandfather was directing our exploration. A stint at an all-girls boarding school where the young gardeners grew food for the table further ignited my interest, then a year or so of travelling resulted in an epiphany. Mother Nature had been gently casting her allure upon me since my youth, and had finally sunk her teeth into me. Returning, I enrolled on a garden design course at Capel Manor College, rolled my sleeves up and then let go. To me, horticulture is not simply what I do, it is what I am. Horticulture is all around us – it’s TO ME, HORTICULTURE what we eat, what we wear, how we feel. Horticulture adds to our experience of life, IS NOT SIMPLY WHAT I DO, makes our lives better and shapes our world. IT IS WHAT I AM I have a huge respect for the science, art and practise of horticulture. I like nothing better than to work with people who have the same enthusiasm for our craft as me. My finished gardens are made up of the skill and patience of other specialists, who have invented, studied, explored and developed the components. I owe much to them. I’ve always loved the William Blake quote: “To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wildflower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.” We horticultural professionals all see the world, infinity and eternity. What do I love about horticulture? Simply put, all of it.

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0845 9011 988 0845 9011 988 19/04/2018 15:48


As the award-winning Nurture Landscapes celebrates its 10th anniversary, we speak to managing director Peter Fane about the company’s exponential growth – including its most recent acquisition, which has nearly doubled its turnover


urture Landscapes may have been founded on April Fool’s Day 10 years ago, but the company boasts some serious growth. Through both organic and acquisitive development, Nurture Landscapes now has a turnover of £35m; this remarkably excludes its latest acquisition, the highly reputable landscape company Gavin Jones, which adds an additional £30m turnover to the Nurture Group. As the company’s 17th acquisition, and with nearly 100 years of history, Gavin Jones is arguably the pinnacle of Nurture’s acquisition history since the company was founded in 2008. To reflect this, Gavin Jones will remain a separate business entity, retaining its Royal Warrant and rich history, rather than being incorporated into Nurture Landscapes.

For Nurture, however, Gavin Jones brings with it more than just history. Along with £20m worth of grounds maintenance, it also has £10m of commercial landscaping, for which it has built up a reputation over the years. “It’s not an aspect which Nurture has had historically, but commercial landscaping is a side that we are very keen to offer, as more and more 78

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10 years


of our corporate clients are asking for largescale, one-off projects on their sites,” says Nurture’s managing director Peter Fane. “We at Nurture don’t have the expertise or direct contract management and staff to be able to fulfil those, so by having this commercial landscaping arm at Gavin Jones, we now have the capability.” Traditionally, Nurture Landscapes has focused on the corporate landscape maintenance market and winter gritting – an offering which makes up an impressive £8m of the overall turnover. In February of this year alone, the company carried out £2.7m of winter gritting and snow clearance. Another reason for keeping Gavin Jones separate from Nurture is its difference in focus – it is involved in some fields that Nurture is not, such as Royal Parks, Royal Palaces and MOD contracts. It also has an in-house arboriculture service, which is something that Nurture has subcontracted in the past.

As such, Peter says that they will tender for work under the brand that they think is appropriate for the specific contract. Though the operational teams will be separate, the back office is being centralised, with one sales team, one compliance team and one finance team for both companies. Grounds maintenance company Turfsoil, which Gavin Jones bought nearly two years ago, has been ‘hived up’ into the larger company. Clifton Nurseries, meanwhile, which was bought by Gavin Jones around the same time, has been acquired by two of its directors, Martin Mogford and Will Clarke; this acquisition includes The Plantation Nursery, which will now become part of the Clifton brand. The vast majority of the 450 Gavin Jones employees have joined the Nurture family, with the office team moving to join Nurture’s head office in Windlesham, Surrey. In an interview with Pro Landscaper last year, following the acquisition of Frosts Group’s landscape maintenance operations, Peter said: “One of the benefits of acquiring a company is that talented individuals always come with them. We like to nurture them as best we can, and make sure they are still with us in 10 years’ time.” This remains the case: Nurture proudly boasts Gold IIP, as well as a personal approach

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to its employees, which has been maintained despite the ever-increasing size of the business. The company is also focused on developing its staff and integrating them into Nurture when a company is purchased. Nick Hills, for example, joined Nurture as an operative when the company acquired Park View Landscapes in 2012; he is now director of the northern region, which has a turnover of around £9m. Each of the company’s six geographical regions – Scotland, the North, the Midlands, the South, the South West and London – are

ONE OF THE BENEFITS OF ACQUIRING A COMPANY IS THAT TALENTED INDIVIDUALS ALWAYS COME WITH THEM run by a director and a management team, all of whom have shares or share options in the business, totalling 18% ownership of the company. With strong regional coverage and the staff in place to look after it, the focus for future acquisitions is less about geography and more about the type of business: “We have the geographical coverage, with nearly 400 vans, over 1,000 employees, and numerous depots spread across the UK,” says Peter. “Now, it’s about ‘bolt-on’ acquisitions, which can be quite large, but they have to be the right type. “We won’t be buying in the commercial landscaping sector; we will only buy in the landscape maintenance sector, for that continuity of income.” Nearly 17% of Nurture’s overall £69m turnover is commercial landscaping, but

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with the fluctuation of the economy, this is the aspect of the business that could be most at risk in the event of an economic downturn. With this in mind, Peter tells us: “I’m not looking for it to grow, I’m looking for it to continue – for us to carry out great projects with an excellent reputation and for more of these projects to be for our existing grounds maintenance client base.” Grounds maintenance is the aspect of the business that Peter is keen to expand. When we spoke to him last year, he believed Nurture Landscapes would be turning over £50m in three years – a target it has already surpassed in less than a year. He is now looking at additional acquisitions later in 2018, but is also focused on the organic growth of the business. “Over the next 12 months, from 1 April this year, we’d expect to win £7m worth of business a year – £5.5m grounds maintenance and £1.5m gritting – in addition to acquisitions. We could happily grow £10m a year – we have that momentum now, and the reputation, which is enhanced by Gavin Jones.”

Following 10 hugely successful years and a continued focus on growth and staff development, it is no surprise that Nurture Landscapes won the Grounds Maintenance category at the inaugural Pro Landscaper Business Awards, and it will no doubt continue to be a company to watch.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

The Royal Berkshire Hotel, Ascot Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London Twickenham Stoop, home of Harlequins Nurture gritting lorry Giant bamboo installation at Broadgate Interior displays at the Wellesley Hotel, Hyde Park Arlington Business Park, Bracknell

CONTACT Nurture Landscapes Ltd, Nursery Court, London Road, Windlesham, GU20 6LQ Tel 01344 234000 Email Web

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Limestone  Sandstone Building Stone   Flooring   Walling Masonry   Landscaping   Restoration  01386 584384

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Water features

From a sculptural water bowl to an ambitious series of water gardens – prepare to be inspired

Location: London Project: The Bronze Infinity Water Sculpture, commissioned for a client in London, has many attributes; these include its simplicity, and the way the bronze ages over time, both of which work in harmony with the water’s mirror effect within the bowl. The inner trumpet mouth gathers the water, creating a ‘mirror’ as it flows into the centre of the sculpture. The inner bowl is black, giving depth to the water and a look of infinity, while the patination of the bronze sculpture creates a wonderful verdigris colour. This sculpture, which is around 900mm in diameter, is a timeless yet ever changing feature within the garden.

Location: Athens, Greece Project: Chilstone has many fountains to choose from; these can be freestanding, wall mounted, or displayed in the centre of a pond. They can be adapted to fit any space, and create a beautiful focal point when combined with planting. This is exemplified by the Kew Fountain, ordered from the company’s stand at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which forms the focal point to a new garden in Athens. The planting, combined with the water and stone fountain, creates a superb feature.



Tills Innovations Ltd

Location: River Thames Riverlight Development by St James Project: Riverlight consists of 806 apartments housed in six pavilions. They are located on the riverfront, in the new Nine Elms development on London’s South Bank. Designed by architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, with landscape architects Gillespies LLP, the mixed-use concept incorporates a raised river walk to allow views over the Thames, as well as a sophisticated network of water features and water gardens designed, supplied, installed and maintained by Fountains Direct Ltd. WWW.FOUNTAINS-DIRECT.CO.UK

Fountains Direct Ltd


Waterscapes Ltd Location: Hammersmith, London Project: As part of the regeneration of the Fulham Reach riverside, Waterscapes Limited was employed to provide public realm water features and a landscape irrigation system for the new development. Working with the landscape contractor, a natural pool feature and a water table feature were installed. Both are designed to fit seamlessly into the commercial and residential public space. The high quality and cleanliness of the water required for such prominent public water features is ensured by behind-the-scenes advanced pumping, filtration, treatment and control systems. WWW.WATERSCAPESLIMITED.COM


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In Northamptonshire we have a dedicated team of over 100 who, just like Steve, strive to create the finest stonework for your projects, from balustrades and statues to fountains, follies and planters. Fine stonework to enhance your home and garden

Call 01604 770711 To find out more about Steve’s skills, visit

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Ornamental planting schemes to complement a new build eco home



Bring summer to gardens with these bold plant picks



JAMIE BUTTERWORTH The Chelsea plants that made the biggest impression last year


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DR DAN JONES Sharing the results of years of research into this invasive pest





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19/04/2018 09:59

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



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Readyhedge. The home of mixed native hedging.

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

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18/04/2018 13:32


NURTURE NEWS New RHS plant list to help deter garden deer

With the UK’s deer population on the increase, and several species increasingly found in rural and urban gardens, the RHS is calling on the public to help it update its list of deer-resistant plants. As spring arrives and fresh, young shoots draw deer into gardens, the RHS is asking the public to record the damage they cause to garden plants. The tell-tale signs of deer activity include stripping of flowers and foliage, and damage to tree bark. Garden classics such as delphinium, foxglove and rhubarb currently feature on a list of plants that help to create deer-resistant gardens. An update to the list, first created in the Eighties, will help the RHS to identify preference and resistance according to species, as well as to reflect on new trends in planting. “Deer are more commonly thought to roam rural areas, but we’re seeing a steady rise in the number of people reporting them in town and city gardens,” said Leigh Hunt, principal horticultural advisor at the RHS. “We’re keen to learn how gardeners can minimise and even prevent animal damage through careful selection of plantings.”

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Provender Nurseries spring preview event a ‘roaring success’ In early March, Provender Nurseries revealed the result of extensive changes on site with its spring event. Held over three days, guests were invited to take a tour of the entire site and review the extensive changes that have taken place over the last year. More than 150 companies attended during the three days, and were given guided site tours by Provender Nurseries’ staff members. Guests were also given a cooked breakfast and a 10% discount voucher. Provender hopes that the extended areas and changes

carried out over the past six months will bring huge benefits to customers. Now having the capacity to hold more stock of popular sizes and categories, Provender Nurseries will continue to stock the wide range of plants that makes it stand out from other trade wholesalers. Guests were also introduced to the new Cash & Carry team, which works at the main sales counter and will deal with customers on site. The new customer order

collecting team is already busy collating orders and undertaking regular rolling stocktakes. “There have been many changes on site in the last year and I am immensely proud of what the team has done,” said Richard McKenna, Provender Nurseries managing director. “We would like to thank all our customers for their patience while we have been undertaking extensive works on site.”

GreenBlue Urban proud to support CityTree CityTree is a biotech air filter system that uses moss to clean polluted air within the urban realm, and IoT technology to deliver quantifiable performance data in real time. It is being trialled by Westminster City Council and installed by Crown Estates in Glasshouse Street, near Piccadilly. CityTree was developed by Green City Solutions of Berlin, in conjunction with the University of Dresden; it is a pioneer project, and the first example of biotechnology being used to tackle air pollution. Each CityTree can reduce particulate matter by

up to 30% and is principally effective in pollution hotspots. The wall of irrigated mosses also produces a cooling effect on the surrounding area, helping to combat the urban heat island effect. Featuring an integrated water tank, automatic irrigation system and solar-powered Internet of Things technology, the CityTree is largely self-sustaining and provides remote monitoring

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The eco house

NURTURE Clerodendron

Bee on Echinops

Designer PLANTS Hannah Genders creates a scheme to bring out the colours of a new build, ecologically friendly home near Bristol

Hannah Genders was involved in this project near Bristol before the house was even designed or built, starting six years ago with the plants. The site is in a sharp V-shaped valley and has about six acres of land. Towards the rear is a woodland area, which needed clearing and replanting, and this is where work started in the first year. Following this, the owner’s new, lowenergy eco house was designed and built, complemented by beautiful ornamental gardens sweeping down to the beach. The planting here is soft perennials and grasses, with plenty of colour to pick up the strong tones of the house 88

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while adding texture and interest throughout summer. Shrub borders planted in this area add vibrancy, and step the areas down from the main patio to the bottom pool. Some notable plants in the scheme chosen by Hannah are: Stipa gigantea Sometimes called ‘giant oats’, this is invaluable for creating texture and catching the light. Large oat-like flower panicles first come out in June and stay until well into the autumn. Here, it has been planted in among other perennials and creates a veil-like effect between the house and garden. Stipa will take a well-drained soil, and is good at surviving drought. Sanguisorba officinalis ‘Red Thunder’ This plant works well mixed in with grasses.

It produces cylindrical red flower heads in late spring, looks perfect with the scheme’s ornamental grasses, and picks up the house’s red tones. A well-drained soil in the sun is ideal for this plant. Helenium ‘Waltraut’ For late summer colour, this plant is ideal; it has bronze and orange daisy-like flowers that are held above the leaves. Bees and butterflies love it for the late nectar, and it will thrive in a sunny spot – it just requires plenty of well-rotted manure when planted. Cotinus ‘Grace’ The use of Cotinus in the shrub border echoes the colours of the house. While some shrubs may be common, they are often well worth their place in a scheme;

19/04/2018 09:37



Clerodendron flower detail

Stipa seed heads



Plant list

Cotinus ‘Grace’ is one of these, a mediumsized shrub with wonderful purple foliage that turns red and orange in autumn. It is also good for cuttings in the house, so the client loves it. Echinops ritro ‘Veitch’s Blue’ A must-have plant for those who want to attract butterflies and bees to their gardens. The purple globe thistle, as this is commonly called, flowers in three stages – all of them stunning. It is easy to grow in well-drained soil enriched with compost, but usually needs staking to hold the flower heads upright. Clerodendrum trichotomum var. fargesii This was one of the key plants that Hannah wanted to save from the house’s original

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planting scheme. The flowers of this mature shrub are heavily scented, and it stands at around six metres at the back of the house. It grows well in sun or partial shade, but needs a humus-rich soil.

ABOUT HANNAH GENDERS Hannah set up her landscape design business 20 years ago. She has a degree in landscape design and a passion for creating beautiful gardens that are sustainable and wildlife friendly. Hannah is an RHS medal winner at Chelsea and The Malvern Spring Festival, and holds BALI awards for design innovation.

• Achillea ‘Terracotta’ • Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’ • Aster x frikartii ‘Mönch’ • Campanula persicifolia ‘Blue Bloomers’ • Cirsium rivulare ‘Trevors Felley Find’ • Clerodendrum trichotomum var. fargesii • Cotinus ‘Grace’ • Dierama pulcherrimum • Echinacea ‘Sundown’ • Echinops ritro ‘Veitch’s Blue’ • Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’ • Geum ‘Mrs J. Bradshaw’ • Helenium ‘Waltraut’ • Iris ‘Tropic Night’ • Knautia macedonica • Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’ • Panicum virgatum ‘Rehbraun’ • Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ • Sanguisorba officinalis ‘Red Thunder’ • Stipa gigantea • Verbena bonariensis • Veronica ‘Shirley Blue’

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19/04/2018 09:38


After a hard winter, Andy McIndoe’s bold, summery foliage suggestions come at the perfect time


old foliage creates striking tropical effects in sheltered gardens, without the need for seasonal planting of tender subjects such as Colocasia, Canna and Ricinus. It works best in small gardens and feature areas sheltered by walls, fences or other trees and shrubs; large leaves are easily damaged by wind on exposed sites, so some protection is essential. For many exotic subjects, shade is an advantage and only adds to the impact of the planting.

Bold foliage at RHS Wisley

The false castor oil plant, Fatsia japonica, is too widely planted to need description. This shade lover is perfect for containers and small courtyard gardens, as well as situations where it can be allowed to reach substantial proportions. Old plants can get leggy, but are easily rejuvenated by hard pruning in late winter, after the white ivy-like flower clusters have faded. Annual hard pruning can be used on a number of other woody plants to produce upright stems and impressive foliage. The best-known subject often treated in this way, Paulownia tomentosa, can produce leaves more than 45cm (15in) across if cut back to 60cm in winter. Catalpa, the Indian bean tree, also responds accordingly. Catalpa x erubescens ‘Purpurea’ is particularly effective, with large heart-shaped leaves that are a deep, inky purple

Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Rex’


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at the tips of the shoots. The foliage colour is improved by hard pruning, but it does need enough direct light to maintain the colour. The most impressive large leaves are those of Tetrapanax papyrifer, commonly known as rice paper tree. This is a large suckering shrub with thick, ascending stems topped by huge, deeply lobed leaves that, in ideal conditions, can be up to 90cm (3ft) across. It is dramatic and almost prehistoric in appearance. In frost-free conditions, the foliage is evergreen, but even

Catalpa erubescens ‘Purpurea’

Melianthus is effective planted alongside Clerodendrum bungei. This suckering shrub forms a clump of upright stems with glossy, toothed dark green leaves, topped by clusters of deep pink fragrant flowers in late summer. It may look rather a miserable stick or two when planted, but once established it makes a striking subject for a semi-shaded situation. The honey spurge, Euphorbia mellifera, has enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years. A frequent sight in Cornish gardens, it is now often seen more widely afield. It forms a large mounded shrub with green stems and narrow, fresh, regularly arranged green leaves. Clusters of tiny honey-scented flowers at the tips of the shoots are laden with nectar and highly attractive to bees.

Euphorbia mellifera

BOLD FOLIAGE WORKS BEST IN SMALL GARDENS AND FEATURE AREAS SHELTERED BY WALLS, FENCES OR OTHER TREES AND SHRUBS with mild frosts it is deciduous. In colder regions it can be knocked back to the ground, but appears again the following spring. Melianthus major also performs in this way. One of the most striking architectural shrubs, it has steely blue-green leaves with deeply toothed leaflets. In a warm year, slender heads of tubular, deep crimson flowers appear at the tips of the stems in late summer; the blooms are honey scented, hence its common name of honey flower.

In bigger spaces, the sun-loving Euphorbia mellifera works well in front of the vigorous and striking Cotinus ‘Grace’. If pruned hard to around 90cm (3ft) each year, it produces strong, waving stems that carry large, rounded red-brown leaves; these turn flame-scarlet in autumn. Unpruned, it is large and spreading, but does have the benefit of big, smoky flower plumes in late summer. ABOUT ANDY MCINDOE Andy McIndoe is a practical horticulturist with more than 30 years’ experience in ornamental horticulture. He has designed and advised on gardens of all sizes and has been responsible for 25 Gold medal winning exhibits at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Twitter: @AndyMcIndoe

19/04/2018 08:27


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‘ve been thinking about how much our working habits have changed in recent years. It’s now completely accepted (particularly if running your own business, or are freelance) that emails and texts will be looked at 24/7 and responded to if necessary – regardless of the hour, often even on holiday. Social media has blurred the lines


Ian Drummond


Home office – co-created with IKEA for the Great Pavilion at RHS Chelsea this month – is what we hope will be an inspiring and accessible example of how to create a working space that is in harmony with the home, and chimes with our ever-evolving working lives. We wanted to design something colourful and exciting, a place to stimulate creativity and ideas, an environment in which people can be their best selves and make things happen. We also wanted this space to be able to blend in with a home, because it’s not always possible to have an exclusive working space – elements of it may have to multitask, and flexibility is key. Our open plan home office comprises a working and meeting area and includes some clever and innovative furniture that not only looks great, but also works with your body to maintain optimal posture. There’s storage that could be for home and could be for office – either way, it’s fundamentally functional and stylish. As always, though, amid all this and enhancing everything, it’s the planting that is truly transformative: we have ©SATSUMAS plant stand

between professional and personal, too. Instagram started out as a way of sharing photos, and has exploded into a vast commercial marketplace. You have to be in, all in, because consistent, committed participation is everything. Even our terminology has changed – ‘post’ was once something that came through the letter box, whereas it’s now a carefully-chosen image with a series of time and trend-sensitive hashtags, reaching out to the ever-widening community in the hope they will tap that all-important heart-shaped icon and follow. The point is, these things are not compressed into the nine-to-five, and in this increasingly fluid, boundary-less working world, it is not surprising that the home office is becoming more prevalent. Indoor Garden Design’s installation ‘Plants Work’

harnessed the mighty power of green to create natural screening, focal points, visual interest and a healthier working environment. Plants also create texture, bringing form and pattern into a room like the best kind of sculpture or the most breathtaking textile. The installation will demonstrate current trends in house plants, showing people how to use the right plant for the right place, and there will be a host of information on the science behind our love of plants and the ways in which they boost wellbeing, health and productivity. The overall message is an important one: bringing plants inside makes a difference to us at a primal level – they are living, changing, growing, breathing beings, and everything about them is positive because they connect us with nature. More than anything, Plants Work is a celebration of the beauty and importance of horticulture in the home and workspace.

HOTLIST • Sansevieria • Hedera helix • Spathiphyllum • Cactaceae • Ficus benjamina • Aloe vera • Yucca elephantipes • Ficus microcarpa • Bromeliaceae • Phalaenopsis • Monstera deliciosa • Rhipsalis baccifera • Muehlenbeckia complexa • Senecio archeri ‘Himalaya’ • Chlorophytum comosum ‘Bonnie’ • Chlorophytum comosum ‘Ocean’ • Peperomia rotundifolia • Pilea glaucophylla • Sedum makinoi ‘Tornado’

©Rachel Warne

Ian Drummond gives us a sneak preview of Indoor Garden Design and IKEA’s ‘Plants Work’ space for RHS Chelsea 2018

ABOUT IAN DRUMMOND Established in 1975, Indoor Garden Design is a multi-award winning company at the forefront of contemporary interior and exterior horticultural design, transforming workspaces, offices, hotels and restaurants, and bringing events to life.

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19/04/2018 08:34


Fresh from a trip to New Zealand, Noel Kingsbury discusses the Kiwi plants that have had a huge impact on British gardening


’ve just been to New Zealand for the first time. Looking at its wild flora, there is an odd sense of déjà vu — it is almost entirely evergreen, and there are a surprising number of familiar-looking plants. At times, it looks like it has been expensively designed, or as if the contents of a British garden centre have spilled out over the landscape – lots of graphic texture, strong architectural shapes and shrubs that are so neat it is almost as if they have been pruned. There is an irony here. British emigrants to New Zealand in the 19th century did their utmost to make the country as much like ‘home’ as possible, often with disastrous results; they introduced British wildlife and wild plants, which then ran amok, causing considerable damage to the local environment. Vast swathes of the landscape lack any locally native plants. And yet, oddly, we seem to be determined to make many of our designed landscapes as much like New Zealand as possible. What’s going on here? Looking at New Zealand’s native flora, it is clear that there is an enormous number of plants that tick all the boxes for what makes a good urban landscape plant. Hebe was among the first to be used, with the hardier species being taken up by the landscape industry over the last few decades of the 20th century. Being evergreen, compact and predictable in growth rate, they are ideal for many landscape situations, especially since they do not need pruning to stay neat. Their drawback, though,

KIWI CULTURE Noel Kingsbury

ever tried. What you plant, you have to put up with. Mock these plants at thy peril! Tree ferns began to arrive at the same time as Phormium, but since their natural habitat is either the sheltered Cornish valley or the London yuppie garden, I will say no more about them. Since then, the main arrivals have been the so-called New Zealand sedges – species of Carex. When they were first used, there was a certain amount of joking (“how do you know when they are dead?”), but the whinging has long since stopped: these are adaptable and robust plants whose colour palette complements greens rather well.

LOOKING AT NEW ZEALAND’S NATIVE FLORA, IT IS CLEAR THAT THERE IS AN ENORMOUS NUMBER OF PLANTS THAT TICK ALL THE BOXES FOR WHAT MAKES A GOOD URBAN LANDSCAPE PLANT is that they do not last for ever, getting steadily looser as they grow; by 10-15 years of age they often need replacing. Phormium appears in a great many wild and semi-natural habitats in New Zealand. A rarity in British gardens, micropropagation made them into a feasible plant for the landscape industry in the Nineties. Greatly overused, in my opinion, their spiky shapes tend to grab the attention immediately, which has the effect of making everywhere they are planted look the same. They do have a number of ideal qualities, however: long-lived, indestructible, able to grow in a vast range of situations, and predictable. While they could be pruned, the results would look so ridiculous that I don’t think anyone has

There are a lot more New Zealand plants that we could potentially use, which I suspect may begin to appear in the trade. We could well see more Pittosporum, although they are not 100% hardy and, like most New Zealand flora, not notably drought-tolerant. Many new cultivars are compact, growth form is always dense, and form is distinct. The same could be said of several other genera that are still relatively uncommon outside gardens, such as Coprosma. For clients who don’t want to prune, Coprosma’s natural shaping abilities have advantages. More dramatic leaf shapes from genera such as Pseudopanax also promise much. All in all, we should perhaps be expecting more from the other side of the world.

Pictured: A typical roadside on South Island – plenty of potential urban landscape plants?

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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19/04/2018 08:38


With Chelsea almost upon us, Jamie Butterworth looks back at his favourite plants from last year’s show


he rollercoaster weather of late is ensuring a complete lack of sleep for anyone involved in a show garden this year, from Cardiff right through to Chelsea. The planting plans drawn up last summer are now being reviewed on a daily basis. From record-breaking snow to torrential rain and prolonged cold weather, growing conditions have been far from ideal for UK nurseries. Despite this, nurseries across the UK are busy growing thousands upon thousands of plants that will ultimately make their way to the biggest horticultural event of the year – a task that requires skill, nerves and luck in equal measure. Anyone growing for shows this year has my utmost admiration and respect! I must confess to be slightly relieved that I’m watching from the sidelines for this year’s Chelsea. I was always planning to write about what’s hot and what’s not at this year’s Chelsea – but trying to predict the show’s theme, or indeed what the heroes of Main Avenue will be, has become rather difficult. I could name the usual suspects that are sure to put in an appearance, but where’s the fun in that? Instead, I’ve decided to revisit the plants that made Chelsea 2017 a triumph. Below are four of my favourites from last year’s show, which I hope we will see again this year:

Eschscholzia californica ‘Ivory Castle’ This annual was featured in Matt Keightley’s BBC Radio 2 Touch Garden; it’s a fantastic Californian poppy with a beautiful creamy colour that works effortlessly to help set off the plants around it. Accompanied by a mixture of

Eschscholzia ©Hortus Loci

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THE SHOW Jamie Butterworth

Valeriana alliariifolia

Chelsea. Featured in Charlotte Harris’s RBC garden (the best planting on the showground, in my opinion), this fantastic perennial grows to around 80cm tall and adds a perfect touch of clean, crisp white to naturalistic planting. Definitely a favourite of mine.

dark reds, such as Lysimachia atropurpurea ‘Beaujolais’, Astrantia major ‘Claret’ and Iris ‘Kent Pride’, Matt cleverly used the Eschscholzia to tie the pallete together. Grow in full sun, with good drainage.

Laser trilobum

Laser trilobum A firework of an umbel, used throughout Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliam’s Wellington College garden. Used in this garden to represent brain synapses, it did exactly that. It grows well in part shade, and has a slightly blue-green foliage that flowers much better in its second year.

Athamanta vestina

Athamanta vestina New to Chelsea 2017, this is a brilliant umbel that was featured in both Sarah Raven’s BBC Radio 2 Sight Garden and Kate Savill and Tamara Bridge’s BBC Radio 2 Scent Garden. Athamanta vestina is something slightly different for lovers of the carrot family. Growing to only 30cm, it is a much smaller umbel, with fine cut foliage that loves a sunny position. Valeriana alliariifolia A pure white species of the Valeriana officinalis that we have come to know and love at

Only time will tell us the stars at this year’s Chelsea, and I have no doubt that it will be a spectacular show which will inspire and captivate the imaginations of us plant lovers.

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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19/04/2018 08:36


Dr Dan Jones tells Pro Landscaper about his extensive research into Japanese knotweed


apanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica var. japonica) was introduced into Europe in 1841 by German botanist and physician Philipp Franz Balthasar von Siebold. In 1850 he sent a specimen to Kew Gardens, which offered the plant for sale to local commercial nurseries. Since escaping from cultivation in Maesteg, Wales in 1886, Japanese knotweed has become well-established across the UK, Europe, North America and the Southern Hemisphere. This spread is astonishing – particularly as, to date, it has only occurred via plant fragments, and not from seed.

THROUGH OUR RESEARCH, WE HAVE DEFINED A NEW PATENTPENDING APPROACH It is clear why knotweed was prized for planting: it is easy to propagate, grows rapidly to 2.5m tall, and produces abundant creamy-white blossoms in summer and autumn. However, as an ecologist, this ease of propagation is precisely why knotweed is a huge problem for native biodiversity and wider society. Japanese knotweed is now found in more than 70% of the 10km x 10km grid-squares in the UK, though it is not necessarily abundant throughout each grid. This is the result of historic horticultural and land management practices that did not consider invasive plants in their modern context. This story continues to develop into the present, as successive cycles of legislation and poorly-evidenced knotweed control practice have driven the issue into the UK’s print media and national consciousness. In 2010, it was estimated that Japanese knotweed control was costing the UK economy around £170m per annum. This was touted in

Japanese knotweed growing along the River Rhymney in South Wales, crossing public and private property boundaries ©Advanced Invasives


Pro Landscaper / May 2018

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KNOTWEED Japanese knotweed growing along the banks of the River Taff, Cardiff

the national press as I completed my Masters research project, which focused on mapping knotweed at South Wales-level. It occurred to me that simply finding knotweed on a map was not sufficient for managing it – it was essential to find out if it could be killed and/or controlled. In 2011, I was awarded a Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS) to study at Swansea University, with Ian Graham and Alan Abel (Complete Weed Control Limited) forming my Industrial PhD Supervision Team. Partnership working between Swansea University and Complete Weed Control was essential for delivering the industry-relevant research that is now being published in the academic press. To ensure that control testing was representative of real-world conditions, I opted for 15m x 15m (225m²) field trial plots, repeated three times – 58 in all. Finding enough knotweed was an undertaking, but by 2012 I had secured three sites in Swansea and Cardiff. Between 2011 and 2016, we benchmarked all 19 of the active control methods and herbicides used for controlling knotweed in the UK, Europe and America. This experiment continues to be unique in terms of scale, duration, and scientific rigour, and is the largest Japanese knotweed field trial ever conducted. It is obvious why this research has not been conducted before – the commercial cost has been (conservatively) estimated at £1.2m.

However, given the costs of managing knotweed in the UK, the experiment’s value is self-evident. Through our research, we have defined a new patent-pending approach, The 4-Stage Model, which links herbicide selection and application with the plant’s seasonal surface-rhizome flows. We found that glyphosate-based herbicides control knotweed significantly better than all other herbicide groups currently used, and that physical methods such as covering simply do not work. Now we are using our research to replace guidance based on short-term experiments and anecdotal information – discovering how to tackle invasive plants in real-world conditions, informed by evidence. While we acknowledge the political debate surrounding glyphosate, seasonal targeting with glyphosatebased treatment gives more effective outcomes, using lower doses of herbicide across Japanese knotweed in flower, the whole Cardiff ©Advanced Invasives treatment lifecycle – by definition, it is more sustainable than other control methods that do not work. Our ongoing experimental approach delivers a more affordable knotweed treatment that is more eco-friendly than traditional, blanket herbicide application. ABOUT DR DAN JONES Dan is managing director of Advanced Invasives Ltd and an Honorary Researcher in Swansea University Department of Biosciences. Dan has a particular interest in applying scientific understanding of invasive plant ecology to real world problems.

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The plant species were chosen for Scotscape their year-round pollination, air The Rutherford cleaning qualities and wildlife habitat Cancer Care Centre qualities. They include: Area: 104m2 Mahonia spp.: One of few winter pollinating species, often flowering from November to February, and an important source of food for winter-active bumblebees. Hedera helix: Late-flowering ivy is a valuable source of nectar, provides year-round shelter for birds and small animals, and can act as a winter lifeline for wildlife with its abundance of berries. Ivy also has excellent air filtering traits, absorbing dangerous toxins such as benzene and xylene (found in vehicle exhausts and tobacco smoke). Heleborus niger: An excellent late winter/ early spring-flowering plant that is a good source of food for bees and other insects.

Living walls Pro Landscaper takes a look at three living wall projects helping to tackle pollution and increase biodiversity

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This project, funded by Transport for ANS Global London, was a large-scale scheme to Selbourne improve air quality in one of the most Road, polluted parts of London. Selbourne Walthamstow Road in Walthamstow has suffered from one of the worst ratings for air purity anywhere in England – unsurprising when considering the heavy traffic. The scheme aimed to turn this around by changing the priorities of transport methods. Pedestrians are given highest priority, cyclists are given second priority, and then buses and finally cars are given lowest priority. This promotes healthier transport methods. WWW.ANSGROUPGLOBAL.COM

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19/04/2018 16:07


NURSERY VISIT Pro Landscaper visits Tendercare, where we find out about the destination nursery’s history and its work for the royals Tendercare is an 18-acre nursery in Denham, Middlesex, offering a vast selection of mature trees and plants, as well as garden lifestyle products, to wholesale customers and the public. It was founded in 1989 by Angela and Andrew Halksworth, who continue to be hands on, working with their team of highly trained horticulturists, designers, nurserymen and client consultants to offer a comprehensive service. This includes site visit advisory services and layout design, warrantied planting, and a one-stop shop for mature plants – from ferns, herbaceous and grasses to climbers and trees.

Tendercare was set up in 1987 for Angela and Andrew’s early collaboration, which offered a tendering service for projects on behalf of interior and exterior landscaping companies. They decided to develop a nursery alongside this, taking on a derelict 18-acre farm site in Middlesex. Initially only dealing with trade, the company developed its services for the public after Noughties TV garden makeover programmes brought specimen plants to a wider audience. Tendercare has recently redeveloped its frontage and parking, and is recreating a new trade office with its own parking for easy access or collections. Tendercare works in partnership with several other suppliers, who show their products in display gardens. These include Stonemarket, Crown Pavilions, Haddonstone and HSP Garden Buildings. Trade and private customers visit to see products in situ – while these businesses have lovely websites, it’s a great opportunity for customers to see what they’re buying. This, plus the nursery’s 102 Pro Landscaper / May 2018

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TENDERCARE accessible location near the M25, makes Tendercare a true destination. During its time in business, Tendercare has provided plants for a number of high profile projects – providing the Acer campestre ‘Elsrijk’ for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding at Westminster Abbey in 2011, and Amelanchier trees for the wedding of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at St George’s Chapel in 2005. This was the first time trees had been put into a Royal-connected

chapel, according to Angela. With another royal wedding imminent, Tendercare will soon appear on a television documentary featuring those who have been involved in previous royal weddings. As well as royals, Tendercare works with designers and landscapers of all different types. “Landscapers and private clients like our

services because it saves them the worry of using specialist machinery required for handling mature plants and large trees, and the plants are covered by our warranty,” says Angela. “They hand-pick their plants at the nursery, and we do the rest.” A highlight for Tendercare this year is its work as contractor and plant supplier for the Wuhan Water Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, designed by Laurie Chetwood and Patrick Collins. The garden will depict the unique geography, history, plant resources and technical achievements of the city of Wuhan and the surrounding Hubei Province in China; Tendercare will provide a plethora of plants of Chinese origin. Throughout its history, Tendercare has been a pioneer in the use of technology within the nursery industry, recently introducing a shopping app that downloads plants viewed and selected onto a ‘wish list’. This helps to save time and improve accuracy when processing orders. CONTACT Tendercare Southlands Road, Denham, Middlesex, UB9 4HD Tel: 01895 835 544 Email:

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18/04/2018 14:30



Winner: Apprenticeship Scheme

Glendale won the Apprenticeship Scheme Award at the Pro Landscaper Business Awards 2018; we take a look at the company’s commitment to developing the next generation


ational green service provider Glendale employs 1,400 staff across the UK, an incredible 8.5% of whom are apprentices. It’s this impressive figure, and a number of successful schemes, that led to Glendale winning the Pro Landscaper Business Apprenticeship Scheme Award. As a member of The 5% Club – whose members must commit to having 5% of their workforce as apprentices, sponsored students or graduates within five years – Glendale is already exceeding the target, and is continually working to better this figure. With 82 apprentices currently across its contracts, the company is fully committed to investing in the next generation, addressing the national skills shortage that is affecting the horticulture industry, and tackling youth unemployment. Last year, Glendale was involved in designing a 12-month apprenticeship in arboriculture with Cornwall College, with the aim of increasing the quality of training available in the industry. Since 2006, the company has also worked with Liverpool City Council on a work-based five-year

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WITH 82 APPRENTICES CURRENTLY ACROSS ITS CONTRACTS, THE COMPANY IS FULLY COMMITTED TO INVESTING IN THE NEXT GENERATION training programme for its apprentices. Six years later, it launched a one-year preapprenticeship programme aimed at 16 and 17-year-olds who aren’t in education, employment or training; those who complete the one-year programme are invited to continue their training on the five-year scheme. Apprentices in their final year of the five-year scheme become mentors to pre-apprentices, and each Glendale apprentice is provided with a mentor to support them through their training. Adam Ryan, one of Pro Landscaper’s 30 Under 30: The Next Generation 2017 winners, worked his way up to being grounds maintenance team leader at Glendale after completing the five-year apprenticeship programme with Glendale and Liverpool City Council. Anthony Harper, who was also

awarded the accolade in 2017, started as an apprentice arborist and is now a contract manager for Glendale’s arb team in Harrow. Glendale not only supports a younger demographic, but also offers its apprenticeships to all ages across different services, from administration to utility arboriculture. In 2013, the company launched The South West Academy – initially set up to train speciality utility arboricultural staff for Glendale’s contract with Western Power Distribution, but extended to enable apprentices and trainees to undertake a structured training programme that includes an NVQ Level 2 in Horticulture. It now covers all of Glendale’s contracts within the South West. Mike Brunskill, managing director for the north at Glendale, said: “We’re thrilled to have won this award in acknowledgement of our work in relation to apprenticeships, as we’re committed to creating opportunities for apprentices in the industry and upskilling the next generation of green services professionals.” As “the backbone of Glendale’s succession plan”, apprenticeships are a key focus for the company, and we will no doubt see this aspect of the business continue to develop and help to close the skills gap within the industry.

Pro Landscaper / May 2018 107

19/04/2018 08:56



Frustrated by the difficulty involved in working out planting plans, Sam Hassall enlists help in devising a definitive formula


Planting quantities and planting costs

It’s always worried me that when we get on site to plant we either have too many or too few plants based on the drawing count – the design of the plant plan doesn’t match the planting distances.The other day, I was talking to Gabe – a friend of my son. Gabe has a degree in maths and is a great kid; I knew that if I gave him a few beers, he would work out a definitive formula for me.

The wrong way Let’s first have a look at the incorrect way of calculating: the rectangular square method. This is where you calculate the plant quantities based on the square of the distance between the plants. I have often seen designers and contractors use the incorrect square method. This calculation works like this: A designer specifies planting to an area at 500mm centres. To work out the plant quantity, find the square of the distance and divide it into 1, e.g. 1/ (0.5x0.5) = 1/0.25 = 4 plants per m². Or if the planting centres are at 450mm: 1/(0.45x0.45) = 1/0.2025 = 4.93 plants per m². This is incorrect. As you can see, the vertical and horizontal distances are correct, but the diagonal distances are too large. If you have calculated in this way, an astute designer may demand that you dig up and replace your plants at the correct spacing.

The correct way The following diagram shows a similar 1m2 area with the plants at the correct layout and the correct spacing in all directions. As you can clearly see, the plants are spaced at 500mm centres on a diagonal grid. The plant spacing is 500mm from centre to centre at any point. With this system, as you can see, there are more plants per m2. I just couldn’t find a constant formula to calculate the amount; this is when I fed Gabe a few beers and he worked it out for me.

Gabe’s calculation This is Gabe’s formula – I’m calling it ‘The Sam-Gabe planting quants formula’ until I find a catchier name. Einstein is known for his formula, so I don’t see why I can’t get in on this action. (I know Gabe devised it, but I was the inspiration.)

Formula for calculating the correct number of plants in a given area = Area to be planted (√3/2 x r² )

108 Pro Landscaper / May 2018

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Tables showing planting sizes and densities, times and costs Sizes and densities

Planting time and costs

Plant spacing

Setting out

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Plant centres in m

Plants per m2

Placing in minutes






















































































































































































Plant costs/m2








Plant centres in m

Plants per m2













































































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

Please note that these figures do not include for any preparations or moving materials on site.

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19/04/2018 10:48

Gardens are best where they evolve under the care of experienced horticulturists


Jeff Stephenson stresses the importance of designing for the long term, if gardens are to retain their initial success

Our perceptions of gardens are coloured by the immediacy of what’s on view, but this is only a snapshot in a garden’s life. Change is inevitable, and understanding what influences change is crucial for designers and horticulturists alike. Maturation of plants, weathering of materials and maintenance budgets must all be considered. If well engineered, new projects will flourish in the second and third years as herbaceous perennials establish, hedges mesh, topiary enlarges, and shrubs flower profusely. View the same garden again after five to seven years, and at 15-20 years; has it endured, exhibiting a greater depth, has it evolved into something different, or has it deteriorated into a faint echo of its former self? At five to seven years, there are dramatic changes as first shrubs and then trees mature and dominate. Understanding ecological succession (the process of change in species composition over time, through shading, competition, soil constitution, etc.) can assist in both design and management for successful longevity. The crucial question is: are gardens being designed and managed for short-term display, or are they expected to persist? A good example is where we see designers relying on space and form, using a limited palette of tightly planted and pruned semi-mature hedges and trees to produce an instantaneous but well-balanced

Strong design beomes degraded when budgets are cut through lack of client commitment 110 Pro Landscaper / May 2018

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ONE STEP AHEAD visual composition. Unfortunately, over time, these schemes do not fare well. Competition for light and root space is inevitable, leading to deterioration from around 10 years onwards. Often, owners can cause unnecessary detriment. Client interest can wane and maintenance budgets get cut, limiting plant replacements and sundries, resulting in a degradation of quality. Equally, subsequent owners have differing tastes, adding and removing features until coherence is lost.

THE CRUCIAL QUESTION IS: ARE GARDENS BEING DESIGNED AND MANAGED FOR SHORT-TERM DISPLAY, OR ARE THEY EXPECTED TO PERSIST? I’ve seen multi-terraced ‘hanging-garden’ residential schemes (belonging to separate apartments) which should represent the epitome of utopian living. However, the foibles of human nature will invariably efface any high-minded visions. Parochial intolerances often manifest themselves to the point where residents complain bitterly about their neighbours’ plantings above them. Shading, fouling of paving and leaf drop are denounced, until each owner is coerced to restrict or remove what should be a bounteous cascading display. Carefully considered planting in containerised schemes is critical if midterm displays are to withstand. Trachycarpus fortunei can look great in large pots, but will inevitably become too tall, necessitating untimely removal; Chamaerops humilis, which has a slower growing, multi-stem habit, may be a better option. Phyllostachys spp. are stunning in troughs, creating instantaneous screens, but their excessive leaf

drop blocks drainage gullies and eventually the force of expanding culms will fracture containers. Taxus perform poorly in troughs and invites vine weevils; to thrive long term, it needs a good depth of soil by being planted in open ground.

Creating plagioclimax communities will ensure longevity of schemes

How about services? Irrigation systems can be critical in establishing new schemes, but often, misuse leads to atrocious surface rooting and subsequent drought intolerances. In time, pumps and valves will fail – so upkeep is critical. This also applies to lighting schemes: without regular maintenance, lamps will fail, cables may be chewed by rats will eventually ingress into fittings. The expected lifespan of a garden should inform the decisions behind its design and management; having a commitment to this from the client is crucial to its realisation. Gardens must be allowed to evolve by engendering good understanding of horticultural practices, and placing their care into the hands of qualified, experienced gardeners and service technicians. ABOUT JEFF STEPHENSON 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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Sean Butler draws on his past experience as a civil engineer to dispense tips on the correct placement of steel reinforcements

Before I was a landscaper, way back in the Eighties, I worked in civil engineering. One of my favourite jobs was being a steel fixer. It was very hard and dangerous work, but I liked the challenge of creating a perfect steel layout from a set of drawings that looked like a computer wiring programme. I was in charge of the largest section of the Limehouse Link tunnel. We built, in steel rebar, the most technical steel-reinforced roof construction ever created, and consequently formed the biggest single-poured concrete structure in the world at that time. My knowledge of rebar construction has enabled me to overcome many problematic situations when constructing gardens – so here are a few tips on how to fix rebar. Although steel fixers will place the reinforcing steels on larger projects, most contractors do carry out some reinforcement. Getting it in the right position and keeping it there during concrete placement is critical to the structure’s performance. Reinforcement should be placed as shown in the drawings. Cover One important reason that the reinforcing steel must be placed properly is so that the right amount of concrete cover is achieved – concrete cover being the amount of concrete between the reinforcing steel and the surface of the concrete member. Cover is the single most important factor in protecting reinforcing steel from corrosion, and is also necessary to assure that the steel bonds to the concrete well enough to develop its strength. The requirements for minimum cover are usually listed in the project specifications, or shown on the drawings. • Typically, for concrete cast against and permanently exposed to earth, such as footings, 75mm is the minimum. • For concrete exposed to weather or earth when using 12mm bars and larger, 50mm is the minimum. • For 6mm bars, 40mm. 112 Pro Landscaper / May 2018

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NERVES OF STEEL Positioning What’s important to remember is that the design of the structure is based on the steel being in the right place. Incorrect placement can – and has – led to serious concrete structural failures. For example, lowering the top bars or raising the bottom bars by 12mm more than that specified in a 150mm deep slab could reduce its load-carrying capacity by 20%.

INCORRECT REINFORCING STEEL PLACEMENT CAN – AND HAS – LED TO SERIOUS CONCRETE STRUCTURAL FAILURES Placing reinforcement on top of a layer of fresh concrete and then pouring more on top is not an acceptable method for positioning – you must use reinforcing bar supports, which are made of steel wire, precast concrete, or plastic. Chairs and supports are available in various heights to hold specific reinforcing bar sizes and positions. In general, plastic accessories are less expensive than metal supports. When tying bars, there is no need to tie every intersection – every fourth or fifth is normally sufficient. Remember that the tie contributes no strength to the structure, so more are necessary only when the steel might become displaced during concrete placement. Be sure to keep the ends of the tie wires away from the surface of the concrete, where they could rust.

When you are unsure of a garden’s history and areas of paving may be at risk of subsidence, always consider using reinforced steel concrete as the base to lay paving onto. A simplified steel fixing solution can be achieved by using mesh, which comes preformed in varying grades: • A393 10mm bars • A252 8mm bars • A193 7mm bars • A142 6mm bars A142 is commonly stocked by large builders’ merchants. It can be used in two layers, separated by either a metal chair, if available, or a small piece of broken concrete 100mm thick. Old council paving slabs are ideal replacements for steel chairs when broken up into small pieces. If paving over old ponds, swimming pools or any other voids, always use steel to create a reinforced concrete slab to work on. The slab should extend beyond the footprint of any voids by at least 500mm. Always be confident in creating solutions to problems – now go and get fixing!

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

19/04/2018 10:13





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This month, Robert Webber explains why forging strong industry connections is so important

Finally, the bumpy start to our year has become more level. I’ve spent months and months quoting so much work that it was only a matter of time before it started to roll in. I’m not sure why, but it’s been a strange time in the landscaping world, and getting clients to say ‘yes’ has been more difficult. Working together as designers, landscapers and contractors is the way forward for us all – sharing the burden of planning, and then sharing the success when it works so well. So I’d like to take this month to share a commission we completed last year – a garden in Berkshire that won the APL Supreme Winner 2018 award. It was built by Ryan Alexander Landscape Design & Build, designed by Bowles & Wyer, and overseen by architect James Lambert; we were privileged enough to design and install the landscape lighting across the large front and rear gardens. Working in partnership is key to ensuring the success of a commission. Problems will occur, but you will always win by staying flexible and steadfast. I’ve worked with Ryan on many projects before this one, but it’s always an


ongoing learning process to understand collaborators’ strengths, and build trust. For a garden that cost well over £1m, this was paramount in order for us to manage schedules, visits and infrastructure. Ryan knows the added value we bring, and leaves us to what we do best. I’ve often said that there is little point working with people you don’t see eye to eye with – we have all had clients and contractors like that, and it’s always such a stress!

Photographs ©Ryan Alexander and James Lambert

WHEN I TEACH AT VARIOUS COLLEGES, I ALWAYS ADVISE NEW DESIGNERS TO START LOOKING FOR GOOD PARTNERSHIPS NOW Our process with Ryan started the same way as most of our commissions – with a flow of ideas, design challenges, client expectations and site practicalities, a back and forth of expertise to create a seamless partnership. When I teach at various colleges, I always advise new designers to start looking for good partnerships now. Don’t wait until you have a need! Ask your peers now and get to know people; arrange a coffee and talk, so that when 114 Pro Landscaper / May 2018

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the need arises, the solutions are there. Over the last couple of years, I’ve had many designers spend a day on site with us – as long as they buy the egg and bacon rolls! They get to see the added value we bring first-hand. Ask around, ring a few people and meet them for coffee. Wherever you are in your landscape journey, you can always make room for a fresh contact. 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.

19/04/2018 08:50



20/04/2018 08:56

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Call 0330 333 8030 or email for more information and to order your 2018 Talasey brochure.

The Talasey Group is the UK’s leading independent supplier of landscaping solutions. We provide: Natural Paving natural stone landscaping materials; Vitripiazza Italian porcelain; Luxigraze artificial grass and accessories; Baksteen Dutch clay pavers; Resiscape resin bound aggregates and; Pavetuf landscaping installation, maintenance & cleaning products.

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ollowing the huge success of Natural Paving Products (UK) Ltd, the company announced its name change and rebrand to Talasey Ltd earlier this year. It now trades under the brand Talasey Group encompassing all its new and established product brands: Natural Paving (natural stone landscaping materials), Vitripiazza (Italian porcelain vitrified flagstones), Baksteen (Dutch clay pavers), Luxigraze (artificial grass and accessories), Pavetuf (stone installation and cleaning products), and Resiscape (resin bound aggregates). We catch up with Malcolm Gough, Group Sales and Marketing Director, to find out how the Talasey Group has developed since it was introduced – and what we can expect from the company this year.


THE TALASEY GROUP BRAND APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN REALLY WELL RECEIVED IN THE MARKET How has the Talasey Group developed since the new brand was introduced? As with any company name change, there was always a risk that it wouldn’t be adopted or that the company would lose its identity, but the Talasey Group brand appears to have been really well received in the market. People seem to get it, and realise that we would be held back with a company name like Natural Paving. The seasoned brand of Natural Paving won’t be lost, though, as this joins the other product brands to create a very comprehensive range of landscaping solutions. Has each of the new product ranges been successful? Yes, definitely. We are really surprised at how quickly our new product brands have become accepted and grown to become near market leaders in their own rights. Natural Paving is the largest independent stone brand in the UK, and the second largest stone brand overall. Pavetuf is about four years old and is very well

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established – it probably sits within the top four in its market category. We now have nationwide coverage with our Vitripiazza porcelain paving – a large number of merchants stocks these lines. It’s still early days for Resiscape resin bound aggregates and our Baksteen range of clay pavers, but we are seeing a significant number of tenders and enquiries. Has Natural Paving Products seen an increase in sales since the introduction? Natural Paving is still a core product brand for Talasey, and has gone from strength to strength, year on year. Can we expect to see any new product launches over the upcoming months? Yes – maybe not new brands, but we are looking at new products within those brands. Following the

success of, and to support the continued growth of, our product ranges, we have also recently expanded and doubled the size of our Distribution Centre at Doncaster. Will the Talasey Group be showcasing its product ranges at any shows or exhibitions this year? We are pleased to be involved in a number of events, especially FutureScape in November. 1 Malcolm Gough, Group Sales and Marketing Director 2 York Mix paving (from Natural Paving) and 27 Super Luxury artificial grass (from Luxigraze) 3 Neve vitrified porcelain flagstones (from the Vitripiazza range) with Dove clay pavers (from the Baksteen range). Pro Landscaper / May 2018 117

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19/04/2018 09:34


DMM la unches NEW D MM ID


Pro Landscaper takes a look at DMM’s new DMM ID range, which has been designed to simplify the management of arboricultural kit

DMM, together with Papertrail, has identified a problem faced by anyone who handles incoming and outgoing kit, or manages a lot of kit in general. The laborious task of having to input serial numbers every time you receive a shipment of equipment can take up a lot of time and is susceptible to human error. The aim of the new DMM ID range is simple: the RFID technology has a unique ID chip built into it, which is scannable with the DMM ID reader, so that the unique serial number is automatically typed into your computer, instead of having to be input manually.

more user friendly. For a basic package, you’ll get up-to-date status reports for each item accessed via a dashboard, as well as folders and tags for locations and roles. With an advanced subscription, you can laptop computer. The DMM customise inspection IDReader will pick up the schedules, status unique serial number on reports, export options, contact. For the time workflows and integrations being, this Gyro PM and task management. Users can also technology will have to be create ‘kit bags’ made up of different input by scanning one piece equipment, which allows you to track an of equipment at a time; it will, individual kit bag easily when it’s out. There are however, turn a long, boring job different costs associated with different levels into a much shorter one. of Papertrail, so it’s worth exploring which The ID tags also mean that the package will suit your needs. products can be used even if


The technology The technology works as either a RFID tag, which looks like a black dot and can be stuck on your PPE (these tags are they’re covered in paint, or the serial waterproof and dustproof number is scratched off. This means iD-Rope-Label and have a 50-year lifespan), or is that you won’t have to get rid of a already inside the metal products carabiner if it is in an undesirable – you’ll find an ‘ID’ icon on their labels. condition at its six-month review. UHF frequency ID tags require a specific reader, which works using Bluetooth technology. This means that it can be used Recordkeeping within 20m of a mobile device, desktop or Though DMM won’t be providing a software package with this new equipment, it can be used with Excel spreadsheets and Papertrail. Consider the reader a keyboard that automatically types serial numbers into your choice of software. DMM has worked with and recommends Papertrail for tracking equipment. Though Papertrail isn’t a requirement for using this Catch technology, it will make it easier and 120 Pro Landscaper / May 2018

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Kit DMM doesn’t sell all of the products that you’ll need to track in your day-to-day work, so it has created a range of ‘retrofit’ ID tags, designed to be placed onto the rest of your kit – including zip ties, rope labels, helmet stickers and dots. These are self-explanatory, apart from the dots, which are small and durable dome-shaped tags to be stuck on metal devices. The rest of the DMM products that come with built-in UHF RFID covers carabiners, wire lanyards, rope lanyards, rope, slings, gyro pulleys, rope protectors and centre harnesses.

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Glendale Horticulture Glendale_Hort




GROWER Operating from twelve sites across the UK, Glendale Horticulture supplies a wide selection of plants including trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials and bedding plants for the landscape market. With over 100 years of combined trading experience through our nurseries, Glendale Horticulture is ideally placed to offer quality plants and expert advice for your projects.

Contact us today to discuss your plant requirements on 01704 895014 (North) or 01732 770999 (South) or visit

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CityTree is the world’s first bio-tech filter that quantifiably improves air quality. A single CityTree provides the enormous benefits of up to 275 trees, giving users the equivalent of an entire forest on just 3.5m².

1. Moss for clean air Protected by shade-given plants, moss binds particulate matter, produces oxygen and cools the air.

2. Cutting edge IoT technology Integrated IoT technology delivers environmental data, as well as comprehensive performance and status information, on the CityTree in real time.

3. Optimum watering Thanks to a fully automated provision of water and nutrients from a built-in tank, watering is completely independent.

4. Own energy provision Installed solar panels generate energy for operating the CityTree, and this energy is stored in the batteries.

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5. Various designs With benches in a range of woods, various colour options and different shade-giving plants, the CityTree harmonises with any urban environment.

6. Eco-friendly construction The City-Tree has a long-life cycle, can mostly be recycled, and can be assembled or dismantled within just a few hours.


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CONTACT GreenBlue Urban Ltd Tel 01580 830800 Email Web Twitter @Greenblueurban

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CORE LANDSCAPE PRODUCTS Manni Keates, director of CORE Landscape Products, tells us how the company has evolved and about its new brand, CORE Design Co.

Founded nearly 10 years ago with a focus on innovation, CORE Landscape Products started out manufacturing and supplying gravel stabilisers to builders’ merchants after seeing a gap in the UK market. Though the product itself was successful, and CORE is now stocked in every Selco Builders Warehouse in the UK, the company expanded its range to include more landscaping products, and saw a greater opportunity in supplying directly to installers.

Sample packs – now supplying direct to trade

Now, 80% of CORE’s sales are either to those installing the product or to the client, and it supplies exactly what its name would suggest – the core products required for landscape projects. These include edging, artificial grass and composite decking. “We broadened the search for products which would complement each other and fit under one brand,” explains director Manni Keates, one of three people who run the family business. “Instead of being a specialist supplier

WE BROADENED THE SEARCH FOR PRODUCTS WHICH WOULD COMPLEMENT EACH OTHER, AND WHICH WOULD FIT UNDER ONE BRAND of gravel stabilisation, the company evolved into a specialist landscape merchant.” Already operating across two sites, CORE Landscape Products is fast outgrowing its space – the only issue holding it back from even further expansion. The business already supplies more than 300 products nationally from its distribution centre in Iver, Buckinghamshire, where it recently introduced a new trade area; here, installers can visit the site, view the products and take away samples, as well as watch methods of installation. The company also boasts a loyalty scheme for returning customers – the more they spend in a year, the more discount they receive. This, along with the high quality of its products, means that the majority of CORE’s sales are from repeat business or recommendations. One of the latest additions to the product range is decorative screens, which can be used for a number of purposes, including wall art and privacy. With these being aimed more

at high-end designers than landscapers, CORE decided to launch a secondary arm to the company, CORE Design Co. “The other products we have are not designled, they’re for a purpose, whereas the screens are decorative – so we came up with CORE Design Co. It’s not a separate company, but the branding is different. It’s more minimalist. “We have three different variations of screens, which can be used in different applications. We also have colour-changing LED light towers, which are a similar CORE screens design, and a new range of firepits.” The new venture has already proved successful, despite only launching last year. CORE Landscape Products will be at FutureScape 2018 in November, showcasing the new range, and at ScotHort in September, to gain further brand recognition in Scotland.

CORE Drive 50-30 – CORE’s bestselling domestic driveway grid, with more than 500,000m2 sold

CONTACT CORE Landscape Products, Units 1-3 Calves Lane Yard, Bellswood Lane, Iver SL0 0LU Email Tel 01753 652555 Twitter @CORE_LP_HQ CORE Edge – available in 63 colour and size combinations, with a bespoke service 124 Pro Landscaper / May 2018

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WHAT I’M READING David Keegan, David Keegan Garden Design

DAVID KEEGAN Title Garden Dreams Author Various; edited and illustrated by Ferris Cook Publisher Stewart, Tabori & Chang Looking at my bookshelves laden with titles, all in some way connected with landscape and horticulture, it initially seems hard to choose which I would write about. Quite quickly, though, I find my eye drawn to a book that I dip in and out of regularly – one in which the writing seems to wrap itself around you, drawing you into a realm of dreams, hence its very apt title. Garden Dreams is a small hardback, with a cover resembling a sumptuous tapestry and an illustration of a poppy that reminds me of a Rennie Mackintosh design; it leaps out and presents itself as precious. This inspirational book, written in 1991, is a collection of nine essays by well-known writers, musing on gardens they would like to create. Each story is colourfully filled with spectacular illustrations by Ferris Cook. Full and free reign The beauty of the book is that the writers are not describing or writing about gardens they have designed, or are to design – it centres around them being given full and free reign to imagine those they would love to create. Although there is a somewhat dreamy feel to the writing, as its drifts through the writers’ imaginations, it is also a practical

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book, with some writers providing detailed and well-described plant lists and associations. Although the writers featured in this charming little book have passed away, all were towering figures in the world of gardens and landscapes of the 19th and 20th century. It is an opportunity to connect and delve into the minds and thought processes of those whose legacies have helped to shape and inform our industry. Some are household names, such as Vita Sackville-West (a name familiar to all in the horticultural world) and Louise Beebe Wilder (ranked among the 20th century’s most famous horticulturists, as well as being considered America’s greatest garden writer); others are not so well known.


A direct line What makes this so fascinating is the direct line offered into the very heart of each author’s thoughts, passions and processes when dreaming of their ideal, offering an insight into what can be achieved with a ‘no holds barred’, free reign approach to the creation of a garden. One writer I was particularly drawn to is Russell Page, once described as “the most famous garden designer no one’s ever heard of.” Here was a garden designer who could charge $1,000 a day, but often took on commissions for next to nothing for clients he liked. As a designer, I am all too aware how easy it is when designing to get caught up in the hard edges of a project – the budget and its technical requirements. In reality, I need a spark to inspire and direct the creative process

that will influence and guide my design. Yes, the technical stuff needs to be in there, and the hard material considered, but for me these elements are a bit like the grid lines on a blank canvas awaiting the arrival of colour, texture and movement – and that’s what this precious little book is full of. Sometimes learning can be as simple as taking the time to stop and dream. Pro Landscaper / May 2018 125

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driving licence, working knowledge of the planning system in relation to trees and BS5837 ‘Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction’, exceptional written and verbal communication skills (including report writing and data presentation), and understanding and technical application of stage 2 investigatory works (i.e. Aerial Tree Inspections and decay detection). It is preferable that you have practical tree surgery experience, a Level 4 qualification in Forestry, a working knowledge of AutoCAD and GIS, an understanding of wider industry risk assessment methodologies (i.e. QTRA or THREATS), and are a member of the Arboricultural Association or Institute of Chartered Foresters.

Through outstanding customer service and exceptional operational delivery, you will ensure that all project requirements are met, services are delivered safely, on time and budgeted margins are achieved or exceeded. You must have a Level 3 qualification in Arboriculture (minimum), a Professional Tree Inspector certificate, a full and clean UK driving licence, excellent tree identification skills, current knowledge of industry best practice, sound written and verbal communication skills, and effective IT skills, including MS Office and survey data collection software – with aptitude to learn new technology

Horticulture CAREERS For more details please go to

For more details please go to

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McMurtry Ltd, Park Farm, Stancombe, Dursley, Glos, GL11 6AT 01453 544135

19/04/2018 16:13




Company name Long Rake Spar Address Youlgrave, Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1LW Tel 01629 636210 Email

Sarah Hill, marketing director at Long Rake Spar, explains how the Derbyshire-based company has become a leading supplier within the UK – and how it plans to expand this internationally

Twitter @longrakespar Web

Do you supply UK-wide? Yes – with strategically placed production facilities, we offer national coverage to our many stockists and contractors through an extensive transport network, offering single pallet deliveries to full loads. Can you tell us a bit about Long Rake Spar? Long Rake Spar was established in the heart of the Peak District in 1867, as a quarry Sarah Hill extracting fluorspar, calcite and lead. In 1985, Long Rake Spar Co Ltd was acquired by T&T Broadhurst and the company began to diversify, expanding into mineral processing by installing washing, blending and drying equipment to target more specialist market sectors. What products do you offer? Today, the core business consists of two main product sectors: our Grantex Selection of dried aggregates, including resin surfacing, for industrial markets, and our Natural Selection of decorative aggregates, which are for the hard landscaping industry.

Rainbow Pebbles

Where do you source your products? We source mainly from the UK, but increasingly a high volume of our products is sourced in bulk shipments from Europe, or via containers from the Far East.

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What are your lead times? Our Grantex Selection of dried aggregates for resin is usually despatched within two days, direct to site. Our mixed loads of decorative aggregates are despatched in either full loads or part loads, with a maximum lead time of five working days for full loads or seven working days for part loads.

Prepack bags

Do you provide samples? Yes – with such an extensive choice of products, the supply of samples is a full-time job. How do you market the business? We strategically advertise within industry-related magazines, typically within the builders’ merchants sector, which is our core market for decorative aggregates, and within other industry-specific titles for our industrial/resin sector. We also exhibit at various trade shows, which helps to drive product awareness and footfall to our many stockists and contractors. With an active presence on all social media platforms, we actively share our customers’ case

Long Rake Spar from above

studies, which also provides great endorsements for our products. All of this helps to actively promote our company to potential new markets and customers, but equally important is our great customer retention rate – testament to our committed sales team, which delivers unwaveringly high levels of customer service. What is the next step for the brand? With the gateway to Europe close to our new production site at Rye, we will be looking at ways to develop and strengthen our brand overseas to pursue further export opportunities. As our brand presence within the UK remains quite strong, it’s a case of continual product development, with a focus on maintaining our high levels of customer service. This will enable us to retain our status as the leading specialised decorative aggregates supplier in the UK.

Product range

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

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



Skilled and experienced landscapers required to work as part of domestic garden design and build teams, working in West and South West London and into Surrey. This is a great opportunity to become part of a friendly team with excellent prospects for promotion. A minimum of three years experience in a similar role is required. Successful candidates will have the following basic skills: Brick and block laying, basic carpentry, paving, and fencing. A preference will be shown to candidates displaying excellent attention to detail and good customer service skills.

Irrigation installation company Watermatic Ltd is looking for an experienced team leader/ supervisor.The role will involve: managing a small team; installing, maintaining, repairing and servicing irrigation systems; ensuring the workplace/environment is kept to a high standard; maintaining accurate and comprehensive installation, service and maintenance records; and asssisting work colleagues as and when required.

LANDSCAPING SOLUTIONS Location: West and South West London, Surrey

WATERMATIC LTD Location: Radlett, near Watford (jobs based in London/Home Counties)

For more details please go to

For more details please go to



Urban Planters is looking for someone with a background in horticulture to work on ongoing planting maintenance for one of its clients. Daily maintenance includes irrigation, pruning, seasonal changes, green wall maintenance, and the replanting and replacement of damaged plants. Applicants must have a keen interest and passion for horticuIture. This will be a ‘hands on’ role, with candidates expected to have qualifications such as Level 2 or 3 in horticulture.

This is a full-time position for an experienced soft landscaping and maintenance foreman. The successful candidate will be well presented, motivated, reliable and able to lead a landscaping team. Must have at least three years’ experience and demonstrate a high standard of workmanship. Plant knowledge and a full driving licence are both essential.

For more details please go to

For more details please go to



Ashlea Ltd is looking for a contracts manager to ensure that all projects are managed in a consistent, commercial and professional manner. The role will involve: organising staff under your control; maintaining health and safety standards on site; complying with company policy and legislative requirements; minimising environmental impact; following quality procedures and highlighting opportunities for improvement; ensuring economical and efficient use of company resources; maintaining standards of excellence; and producing significant contribution to annual turnover of contract work.

You will need to be well presented and self-motivated. You will be working as part of a team, but there will also be occasions when you will be working on your own initiative. A full driving licence is essential, along with your own transport to get to site. The right candidate should have at least four to five years’ experience as a landscaper, and be proficient in paving and slab laying, timber framework and decking, block paving, groundwork, fencing, soft landscaping and garden maintenance.

For more details please go to

For more details please go to



This award-winning garden design and landscaping business based in Wallingford is looking for an experienced landscaper to join as a foreman to lead a skilled and enthusiastic team. We design and build private gardens, and take great pride in work that delights our customers. Must have five years’ experience on the tools, a full, clean driving licence and ideally 360º experience and ability to tow a trailer. Attention to detail and ability to pass on experience and best practice to juniors is vital, as is evidence of successfully managing hard and soft landscaping projects.

An opportunity has arisen for an experienced and qualified gardener to work at a private estate in Surrey. The position would suit gardeners with demonstrable experience of garden management and maintaining the general upkeep of a similar environment through mowing, strimming, spraying of weeds and hedge trimming. Applicants should ideally hold a recognised academic horticultural qualification. Experience with a full range of garden machinery – hedge cutters, ride-on and pedestrian mowers, blowers etc. – is preferred.

For more details please go to

For more details please go to

URBAN PLANTERS Location: London

ASHLEA LTD Location: Glasgow

GREENART GARDEN DESIGN & LANDSCAPING Location: Wallingford (working across Oxon, Berks and Bucks)

128 Pro Landscaper / May 2018

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LOCATION LANDSCAPES LTD Location: Petersfield, Hampshire


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ANJI CONNELL Design director, ACID+ Anji Connell Interior Design Ltd

Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Absolutely! But quite often impossible to see due to the crowds. Best to select a less popular time, such as the end of the day session. Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? South Africa’s unique fynbos is new to me and quite extraordinary, as are many of the wine farms in the Western Cape with their incredibly beautiful landscaping – especially Babylonstoren. What would you blow your budget on? An Anish Kapoor sculpture or a Yayoi Kusama Pumpkin.

The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Yayoi Kusama. Although an artist and not a landscaper, her work enhances our landscapes. Her Pumpkin and Narcissus Garden, with 873 stainless spheres floating in water, is a joy to

130 Pro Landscaper / May 2018

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behold, as are Charles Jencks’s life mounds. One thing that you think would make the industry better? Urban development and concretisation play a role in flooding and climate change. It should be made more difficult to hardscape over front gardens. Gardens are not only aesthetically pleasing – they attract wildlife and have health benefits. Best piece of trivia you know? Butterflies taste with their feet. Couldn’t get through the week without... Coffee and my iPhone. Best invention in recent years? I can’t keep it to one – designer Aïssa Logerot’s ‘Madame Est Servie’ is a Cheval mirror that becomes an ironing board when tilted and locked in horizontal position. Stylish, functional and perfect for guest bedrooms. Then there’s the iPhone, Instagram, portable espresso makers and dry shampoo!

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


ANTHONY MACSON Creative marketing manager, London Stone

Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Inspirational – I treat them as pieces of art. Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? I would like to explore the varied landscape of California. What would you blow your budget on? A fully-functional outdoor kitchen would be a dream! The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Monty Don. The female members of my family would be very jealous, they love a bit of Monty!

One thing that you think would make the industry better? As with most industries, paying people better. So many jobs in horticulture are poorly paid – how are people expected to survive? Best piece of trivia you know? Only female ducks quack! Role model as a child? My big brother and his mates. They’re my mates now! Couldn’t get through the week without... Watching crime dramas with my wife. Your favourite joke? ‘I saw a documentary on how ships are kept together. Riveting!’

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ROBERT HUGHES Garden designer/owner, Robert Hughes Garden Design

Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? They used to be, I find them all a bit ‘samey’ now and feel the designers are under pressure to conform. Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? The US and Australia.

landscaping, so I’d like to thank him.

What would you blow your budget on? A stunning, contemporary summer house/garden shelter.

One thing that you think would make the industry better? I’m looking out of my window now thinking better weather, or really big gazebos!

The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Diarmuid Gavin, it was he who inspired me to get into

Couldn’t get through the week without… My wife, she keeps me living. Your favourite joke? I can never remember jokes. Best invention in recent years? Multi-room speakers.

Role model as a child? Steve Bull.



Digital editor, Pro Landscaper

Grounds maintenance contracts manager, NT Killingley Ltd

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

Inspiring young people coming out of education. Best piece of trivia you know? Jimi Hendrix used to soak his bandana in acid before going on stage.

What would you blow your budget on? Quality staff.

Role model as a child? LeBron James – he’s relentless.

The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Brian Herbert.

Couldn’t get through the week without... My exercise regime.

One thing that you think would make the industry better?

Best invention in recent years? PRS guitars.

Little Interview.indd 131

Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Inspirational. Provides a great insight into new and innovative ideas.


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

Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? Yellowstone National Park USA. What would you blow your budget on? GPS Line Marking Equipment. The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Percy Thrower (RIP).

One thing that you think would make the industry better? More apprenticeship opportunities. Best piece of trivia you know? Sea otters hold hands when they sleep so they don’t drift apart. Role model as a child? Ian Rush (LFC legend). Couldn’t get through the week without… Having a laugh! Best invention in recent years? GPS.

Pro Landscaper / May 2018 131

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