Pro Landscaper November 2021

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NOVEMBER 2O21

ExCeL London | 16 & 17 November 2021 SHORTLISTS REVEALED

LET’S HEAR IT FROM

WINNERS ANNOUNCED

GREEN UP CAMPAIGN

small project BIG IMPACT and Podium Awards

Vanessa and Rachel, VaRa Garden Design

Pro Landscaper’s 30 Under 30: The Next Generation

Challenging grey supermarket car parks

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WELCOME

W E LCO M E N

That’s not all for November. We’re launching the search for next year’s Pro Landscaper Business Award winners too, and we have interviews with former winners VaRa Garden Design and ASA Landscape Architects to highlight why these companies scooped the top prizes. We’re also celebrating the first anniversary of our UK Landscape Barometer. For the last year, we have been collecting data on industry confidence, as well as turnover, enquiries, staff and conversion. These have been month-on-month comparisons, but we can now provide our readers with year-onyear data, starting with this issue. This wouldn’t be possible without all those who have contributed to our Barometer every month, so we want to say a special thank you to the companies which have made this report – the first of its kind – a success. Our thanks also go out to all those who entered each of our awards, to all those who are taking part in FutureScape this year, to all those who will be attending, and to all of you, our readers, for your continued support which allows us to launch new events, awards and features in the first place. We hope to meet you at this year’s FutureScape on 16 and 17 November.

NOVEMBER HAS BECOME ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING MONTHS OF THE YEAR FOR PRO LANDSCAPER

NINA

©HG Landscapes Woburn Ltd

ovember has become one of the most exciting months of the year for Pro Landscaper. Not only do we host our leading trade event FutureScape, where the industry comes together to share inspiration and best practice, but we have also introduced in more recent years three award ceremonies, each recognising different aspects of the landscaping sector. Last year, despite being fortunate enough to hold a virtual version of FutureScape, November wasn’t quite the month we hoped it would be. The year before, we’d been putting big plans in place for a bigger and better FutureScape, extending it to a two-day show and moving to a prestigious venue, the ExCeL London, before the pandemic changed our plans. But the wait is over. For 2021, we are thrilled to be back with an in-person event. We’re equally excited to be showcasing the rising stars of the industry in our 30 Under 30: The Next Generation Awards; to be recognising projects with a value of less than £30K in our small project BIG IMPACT Awards; and to be celebrating impressive above-ground schemes in our Podium Awards. You can find the shortlist for the latter two amongst the pages of this issue, and you can read about 30 extraordinary people under the age of 30 who are making a difference in our industry.

www.prolandscapermagazine.com

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CONTENTS

INFORM

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45

12 14 16 19 22 24 26 28 30 34 35 38 41 4

Content.indd 4

News Our monthly roundup of industry news News Extra Green-tech’s new MD

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Pro Landscaper Business Awards Launch 2022

Let’s Hear it From VaRa Garden Design 30 Under 30 Update James Smith FutureScape Seminar Programme small project BIG IMPACT Shortlist Announced Podium Awards Shortlist Net Zero: A Bold Ambition Jason Knights London’s Blossom Garden Adam White Paragraph 80 Katie Flaxman Barking! Andrew Wilson

Pro Landscaper / November 2021

UK Landscape Barometer Industry feedback and statistics for August Carry On Regardless Neil Edwards

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Future Projects Wildfell Centre, Ground Control

Cop Out? Christopher Martin

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INSPIRE 53 56 60 65 69 74 76 77 80 83 85

Next Level HG Landscapes Woburn Ltd Mediterranean Escape Bond Landscape Design The Place To Bee Tony Benger Landscaping Landscape Architect’s Journal ASA Landscape Architects Feel the Burn Anji Connell Life/Style Pip Probert PLBA Winner Profile Connick Tree Care PLBA Winner Profile Glendale Managed Services On-Trend Outdoor Kitchens The latest from Grillo Deckadent Bespoke designs with decking 30 Under 30: The Next Generation Announcing this year’s winners

www.prolandscapermagazine.com

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CONTENTS

N OV E M B E R 2 0 2 1 NURTURE

E D U C AT E

101 104

119 120 121

107 108 110 112 115

Feature Garden Tresco Abbey Garden Landscaping in a Changing Environment Nick Coslett Give Glyphosate a Chance? Noel Kingsbury Botanical Brilliance Lewis Normand Flourish Plants Successful start in a pandemic Nursery Focus English Woodlands Turf Choices Four suppliers share guidance

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123 124 127 131 133 134 136 139 140 142 146

Get a Firm Grip on the Figures Alison Warner “Back of the Bubble” Gareth Wilson Wondering About Working From Home? Oracle Solicitors How Would You Rate Your Performance Appraisals? Nick Ruddle All Change! Angus Lindsay

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Green Up Campaign Green is the new grey Setting The Standard Vertedge’s standout product

NOVEMBER 2O21

Go and See at FutureScape Five showcases not to be missed Stand Out On Sketchup John Brooks Core Landscape Products Company Profile Beauxfort Quick-fit stable gravel driveways What’s Your Role? Phil Rogers Materials Focus Charred timber Little Interviews Questions with the individuals who make up our industry

ExCeL London | 16 & 17 November 2021 SHORTLISTS REVEALED

LET’S HEAR IT FROM

WINNERS ANNOUNCED

GREEN UP CAMPAIGN

small project BIG IMPACT and Podium Awards

Vanessa and Rachel, VaRa Garden Design

Pro Landscaper’s 30 Under 30: The Next Generation

Challenging grey supermarket car parks

To receive a copy of Pro Landscaper, please contact Jake Collett. Email jake.collett@eljays44.com or call 01903 777570.

Pro Landscaper / November 2021

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THE KEY TO LONG TERM GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE IS BELOW GROUND

See us at Stand G41

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CONTRIBUTORS

CO N T R I B U TO R S Adam White In memory of those who lost lives during the pandemic, and in tribute to those who risked their lives to help others, a London Blossom Garden has been created in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Adam White shares more about the space, which he recognises as one of the first memorials to have nature at its heart.

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W W W.DAVIESWHITE.CO.UK

JASON KNIGHTS P30

@DAVIES_WHITE

Katie Flaxman

NEIL EDWARDS P49

With a focus on natural surroundings, paragraph 80 projects could inspire other landscaping schemes to adopt similar principles, says Katie Flaxman. Centred around building country homes, paragraph 80 insists those built in rural areas enhance their immediate setting, encouraging more attention to their landscape.

P35

W W W.DESIGNSTUDIO31.CO.UK

@DESIGNSTUDIO31

ANJI CONNELL P69

Nick Coslett The eagerly awaited COP26 conference will finally be taking place this month. But whilst politicians battle out the best way for their countries to tackle the climate crisis, Nick Coslett asks landscape professionals to consider what they could be doing to prepare for a changing climate. Stuck for ideas? Nick puts forward a few suggestions to take on board.

P104

NOEL KINGSBURY P107

@MADABOUTPLANTS

Gareth Wilson

ALISON WARNER P119

As a somewhat new material to the landscape market, there continues to be a debate around the right way to lay porcelain outside – and this is leading to a few problems when it comes to installations. Expert witness Gareth Wilson shares his experiences with the paving and the ways in which you can avoid costly mistakes.

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W W W.GKWILSONLANDSCAPING.CO.UK Design – Kara Thomas, Kirsty Turek

EDITORIAL Editorial director – Lisa Wilkinson lisa.wilkinson@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 579

Head of sales – Jessica McCabe jessica.mccabe@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 587

CONTACT

Eljays44 Ltd 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA Tel: 01903 777 570

Head of content – Nina Mason nina.mason@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 959 393

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Horticulture Careers – Dan Riley daniel.riley@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 570

Equipment editor – Rachel Gordon proarbeditor@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 570

Managing director – Jim Wilkinson jim.wilkinson@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 589

Editorial researcher – Gemma Lloyd gemma.lloyd@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 594

Director – Jamie Wilkinson jamie.wilkinson@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 585

Senior subeditor – Katrina Roy katrina.roy@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 959 391

MARKETING AND CIRCULATION Tel: 01903 777 570

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Subscription enquiries – Jake Collett jake.collett@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 570

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Pro Landscaper is proud to be an affiliate member of BALI

Pro Landscaper is published 12 times per year by Eljays44 Ltd. The 2021 subscription price is £100. 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.

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MANAGEMENT Managing director Jim Wilkinson Director Lisa Wilkinson Business development manager Jamie Wilkinson

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INFORM

NEWS SUE BIGGS CBE TO RETIRE AS DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE RHS

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fter 11 years in the role, Sue Biggs has announced that she will be retiring as director general of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in June next year. The recruitment process for a new director general for the RHS has since begun. During her time leading the RHS, Sue has championed improvements in the gardens, flower shows, community initiatives and educational programmes, raised standards of horticulture and science and helped inspire gardeners and young horticultural professionals alike. Sue comments: “I’m extremely proud of everything we have achieved over the last decade, and without council, the leadership team and other incredible teams, volunteers and people across the RHS, as well as our generous supporters, it simply would not have

been possible to make such deep rooted changes. To leave this wonderful charity after the creation of the amazing RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford and after bringing our science work to the fore with Wisley Hilltop – The Home of Gardening Science, makes me very happy to know that future generations will benefit from both for decades to come.” In the same week as announcing Sue’s retirement as director general, the RHS also revealed that The Newt in Somerset will be the new headline sponsor of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and the Charity Gala Preview for the next four years, starting when the event returns in May 2022. www.rhs.org.uk

COUNTRYWIDE GROUNDS MAINTENANCE APPOINTS NEW NOTTINGHAM DIRECTORS

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ountrywide Grounds Maintenance has appointed Saj Raja and Mohammad Ikram as new regional managers of its Nottingham based location. Mohammad Ikram, who will oversee operations in Nottingham, expressed his excitement to manage a “thriving grounds maintenance company” and has ambitious goals for the team and their future. “At Countrywide, we want to deliver the best standards and provide an excellent customer service,” he says. Ikram adds: “Nottingham has history, culture and so many incredible outdoor spaces. Much of Nottingham’s appeal stems from its diverse range of areas, neighbourhoods and boroughs within the city and county boundaries. I look forward to working and living in the area.” Raja, who has a successful business background in hospitality, has vowed to develop

its team of expert operatives and office staff by ensuring they all maintain a customer-first approach to their work. “We want to become one of the top-performing local employers, offering a service that ourselves and our community can be proud of. At Countrywide, we provide solutions to many problems and enhance our local area with attractive environments.” www.countrywidegrounds.com

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INFORM

INDUSTRY MOURNS THE LOSS OF PETE STUBBS

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ete Stubbs, Nurture Landscapes’ head of operations for Scotland, passed away on the evening of Sunday 26 September. Nurture Landscapes – where Pete spent the last seven years – paid tribute to the man who made a huge difference to the company and to the team. A statement issue by the company said: “Over the past year or so Pete had suffered with some serious medical issues which had left him with no real immune system and after fighting hard over the past few weeks, he finally succumbed to COVID-19. “Pete joined Nurture in March 2014 and played an integral part in shaping the Nurture business throughout the North and Scotland.

“Over the past few years, he has run Nurture’s Scottish operation which he and his team have developed into a fabulous business with annual sales close to £4m. Pete had a longstanding relationship with many people at Nurture, having initially joined Waterers Landscape in December 1997, so many in the industry had known Pete for over 23 years. “Pete was born and bred in Manchester. He was a man of many talents who ran marathons, played the guitar and loved to cook. Most importantly, he was a kind and loving man whom everyone could rely on. Our thoughts, prayers and love go out to his wife Annette and Pete’s sons. He will be greatly missed.” www.nurturelandscapes.co.uk

TIVOLI ANNOUNCES NEW CEO

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ivoli Group Ltd has announced the appointment of Nicola Lovett as chief executive officer with effect from 1 November 2021. Nicola will be joining Tivoli from Engie where she held a number of executive roles, most recently as Engie’s CEO for UK and Ireland. Prior to joining Engie in 2013, Nicola held senior positions at both Balfour Beatty and Serco. Richard Sanders, chair of Tivoli Group Ltd and partner at its private equity owners Sullivan Street Partners, says: “We are excited to welcome Nicola to the team. Her track record, experience and leadership style will be invaluable in guiding the company through the next phase, as we prepare for 2022.”

On her appointment, Nicola says: “I am looking forward to leading the business and helping it achieve its ambitious plans. The team is focused on creating a diverse and engaged workforce and installing leading platforms and systems which will allow us to focus on operational performance. With the need to protect the planet and create open spaces to support wellbeing, the future is exciting. I cannot wait to get started!” www.tivoliservices.com

Online Exclusives INDUSTRY REACTS TO NEW GREEN RULES Measures were recently introduced that will ensure companies have NetZero targets and strategies in place for them to be eligible to bid for major government contracts worth over £5m. We asked idverde, Cultura Group, and Mitie for their opinion on the new green rules, and what this could mean for the future. www.prolandscapermagazine.com/ industry-reacts-to-new-green-rules

GLENDALE SCOOPS A SERIES OF SIGNIFICANT CONTRACTS National green service provider Glendale has been awarded a number of prolific contracts over the last year. One of the most highly coveted wins in the last month has been with the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. From 1 November 2021, Glendale will start a seven-year green space service contract with the local authority, with an option to extend it by a further seven years. www.prolandscapermagazine.com/glendalescoops-a-series-of-significant-contracts

CITY IRRIGATION LTD The UK’s One Stop Trade Irrigation Equipment Supplier

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INFORM

©Edward Hill

WINNERS OF THE SGD AWARDS REVEALED

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he Society of Garden Designers has announced the winners of the ninth annual SGD Awards at the Landmark Hotel in London on Friday 15 October. The most prestigious award of the night – The Grand Award – was presented to designer Sara Jane Rothwell for a stunning sloped garden in London which the judges described as a ‘sexy, avant-garde design which has been flawlessly executed’. Kristina Clode won the coveted Judges’ Award for a school sensory garden and renowned garden designer, author and broadcaster David Stevens was presented

THE WINNERS

with the SGD Lifetime Achievement Award marking a career that spans more than 50 years. Richard Sneesby, head of the SGD Awards judging panel said: “With well over 100 entries this year, we judged some of the best gardens we have seen. We were especially encouraged to see many entries in the smaller garden categories which showcased exquisite detailing and beautiful planting as well as gardens which

©Richard Bloom

where it will offer a place of respite for patients, families and staff at the hospital when it opens next year. There is actually a lovely synergy here, as St Thomas’ Hospital was home to the world’s first professional nursing school when it was established by Florence Nightingale in 1860, so the new legacy garden will be a fitting tribute to someone who did so much to raise the reputation of nursing as a profession. The garden will be relocated outside the hospital on the upper terrace of the Albert Embankment, with views across the River

Pro Landscaper / November 2021

News Chelsea diary.indd 10

SARA JAN E ROTH W EL L’S GRAND AWAR D W I N N I N G GAR D EN

Chelsea Diary DAN RIDDLESTON, MD, BOWLES & WYER

Thames to Westminster. It’s an area of the hospital that is currently being used as a COVID-19 testing and vaccination centre so the transformation of the site into a restorative garden is particularly poignant. While almost all of the Chelsea garden’s key features will remain in the new legacy garden, including the signature 60ft pergola, some design details have been reconfigured to ensure the new layout offers an appropriate response to the hospital site. Most notably, the garden will lose its distinctive rectangular form so it can be entered and appreciated from several different angles, and some of the printed perimeter walls will be reduced in height so the plot feels open and welcoming. In addition, the garden pool will be replaced with a sculptural splash boulder with a font-style bird bath and the cantilevered seat will be moved to a prominent place at the front of the garden, so visitors can sit and enjoy the river views. Preventing damage during the deconstruction was essential. Key pieces such as the pergola were designed specifically for reassembly in much the same way that a jigsaw might be, so we could manage the process carefully. Other intricate work included the removal of the 14,000 bricks that formed the paths in the garden. These had to be picked up by hand with the utmost care so

GARDEN D E TA I L S

Garden The Florence Nightingale Garden Designer Robert Myers Sponsor The Burdett Trust for Nursing

they could be re-laid as paths at the hospital. We also managed to salvage around 70% of the plants including the yew ‘pillows’ and the feature trees. It was an exciting, if nerve-wracking, challenge. Over the past year, we have all come to recognise the restorative power of nature and the importance of gardens and green spaces for our health and wellbeing. We are delighted to be involved in such a worthwhile project.

©Richard Bloom

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nd just like that, Chelsea is over for another year. After years of planning and a 20-day build programme, we waved goodbye to the final show visitors and started the emotional task of carefully deconstructing the garden. It was, however, a hopeful occasion as the garden is being moved to a permanent home at London’s St Thomas’ Hospital

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celebrate the importance of setting rigorous and challenging environmental goals and the critical role that outdoor places have in providing social and community benefits. We were delighted to see so many gardens making a difference to people’s health and wellbeing.” www.sgd.org.uk

As Avey Bhatia, chief nurse at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “This garden is a very welcome gift that our patients, staff and visitors will be able to enjoy. It is beautifully designed and will offer an oasis of calm in a busy hospital environment.”

www.prolandscapermagazine.com

20/10/2021 16:22


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INFORM

NEWS EXTRA

NEW MANAGING DIRECTOR APPOINTED AT GREEN-TECH LONGSTANDING COMPANY GREEN-TECH HAS ANNOUNCED THAT THERE IS TO BE A NEW MANAGING DIRECTOR, KRIS NELLIST, WHO WILL BE TAKING OVER THE REINS AT THE END OF OCTOBER AS RACHEL AND RICHARD KAY STEP DOWN

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o-founded in North Yorkshire in 1994 by Richard and Rachel Kay, the couple have been running the business ever since. Over the last 27 years, Green-tech has been growing in size and success year after year. Today, the company is a market-leading, popular and successful landscaping supplier, with a team of over 80. Kris has been welcomed with open arms at Green-tech, as he arrives with a huge wealth of knowledge. In his most recent job, he worked as a finance director at a freight forwarding firm. “The role gave me a good insight into the global supply chain problems we are all hearing about at the moment.” Prior to this, Kris worked in executive roles for two large rail operators, and in the very early days, as Kris explains: “I cut my teeth in London working for many years in senior finance roles in retail for the world’s largest luxury goods group.” Overall, Kris’s working life has enabled him to develop a wide range of skills and work experience across a range of industry types that will be essential in the running of Greentech. Pleased and ready to start in his new role, he expressed: “I’m really excited about

I’M REALLY EXCITED ABOUT WHAT THE COMBINATION OF MY EXPERIENCE IN THESE SECTORS CAN DO FOR THE FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF GREEN-TECH what the combination of my experience in these sectors can do for the further development of Green-tech.” Having long-term goals in place are important in this role, and one that is of huge significance to Kris, is ensuring that the special

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team, and Kris wants to build on this. Along with the management team he plans to continue to grow and develop the team and the business. Excited to get started in the new role, Kris shares that: “There’s a couple of trade shows coming up that I will be attending, and I’m really looking forward to being able to introduce myself. It’s important that I get out there and start to meet and build relationships with Green-tech’s customers, suppliers and industry friends.”

RACHEL AND RICHARD KAY

KRIS NELLIST

and “personal” touch continues on at Greentech. Kris understands that this is part of Green-tech’s success story, stating: “I certainly will not be drastically changing anything about the current running of Green-tech. It is well known as a fun and lively place to work with a team that give 100% to our customers. This will not change.” During the weeks running up to the day he takes over, Kris has been working closely with Rachel to understand the DNA of the business. “It’s a big deal for both Richard and Rachel to step away. They’re the co-founders, and I can’t replace that. But, I can certainly carry on their passion, drive and commitment that continues to run through the company.” Over the years, Rachel and Richard have worked especially hard to develop a strong

I CAN CERTAINLY CARRY ON THEIR PASSION, DRIVE AND COMMITMENT THAT CONTINUES TO RUN THROUGH THE COMPANY In March earlier this year, Green-tech was acquired by Origin Enterprises PLC. Rachel and Richard expressed that the deal was a reflection on “Green-tech’s ambition of being focused on always moving onwards and upwards.” And, although he can’t give away too many of his goals planned for the future of the business, Kris said: “I can say that Green-tech will seize all opportunities presented, and I will be working with Origin to ensure that Green-tech will continue to grow and remain at the forefront of the industry as the market leader in the landscaping and forestry industries.”

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21/10/2021 08:55


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INFORM

Wildfell Centre

Braintree, ESSEX A NEW REWILDING CENTRE AIMS TO SHOWCASE AND SHARE THE BEST BIODIVERSITY AND SUSTAINABILITY PRACTISES IN LAND MANAGEMENT

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his month, the UK will host the

whilst utilising what’s already there as well.

habitats created will include a woodland edge,

UN Climate Change Conference

This will form the basis of the Wildfell Centre for

scrub, hedgerows, species rich grassland,

of the Parties (COP26).

296 ACRES

Action towards the goals

of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will be accelerated while companies on the frontline of climate change come to the fore. It’s safe to say that Ground Control – currently carbon neutral with ambitious goals of becoming net zero by 2025 – is one of those. And now, it’s creating one of the UK's largest nature recovery centres. The benefits which come from rewilding include helping wildlife adapt to climate change, reversing biodiversity loss, drawing carbon from the atmosphere and our own health and wellbeing. Rewilding isn’t just about letting nature take care of itself while we take a step back. It also involves reinstating natural processes – and sometimes species – all the while encouraging a balance between nature and people. Ground Control’s rewilding site

SITE PURCHASED

Environmental Recovery, a research and training facility to provide

wildflower meadow, orchards, ponds and wetland. “The recent release of the IPCC report

hands on learning opportunities in

highlighted the urgent need to switch to a low-

woodland creation, meadow and

carbon footing,” details Kim. “A key part of

hedgerow restoration and

this process is identifying and increasing the

biodiverse habitat restoration.

environmental value of land through habitat

“The Wildfell Centre presents

creation and improvement to help reverse

FOR £2M

us with an exciting opportunity to

ONE OF THE UK'S

degraded land,” explains Ground

creation, biodiversity net gain and carbon

Control director Kim Morrish.

sequestration will allow public and private

REWILDING

“Together with our £5m

LARGEST

highlight the benefits of rewilding

SITES

Evergreen Fund, the Wildfell

227 ACRES

environmental sustainability –

OF CROPLAND

54 ACRES OF WOODLAND

15 ACRES

Centre supports our commitment as business as a force for social and within our industry and beyond.” Land evaluation, project design and stakeholder engagement at the site has already begun with initial woodland, habitat creation and restoration projects commencing in 2022. The proposed woodland

OF GRASSLAND

creation will be at least 130 acres

13 PONDS

trees. The woodland design will

near Braintree consists of 227 acres of cropland, 54 acres of woodland and 15 acres of grassland. There are also

of predominantly native broadleaf

the decline in the UK’s natural environment. “Showcasing the best practices for habitat

TOGETHER WITH OUR £5M EVERGREEN FUND, THE WILDFELL CENTRE SUPPORTS OUR COMMITMENT AS BUSINESS AS A FORCE FOR SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

deliver the maximum, wide ranging benefits of tree planting. These

landowners to reimagine their landbanks and

13 ponds, wet and dry ditches, remnant

include carbon sequestration, biodiversity net

explore what they can do to maximise green

hedgerows and a section of river corridor.

gain, natural flood prevention, water quality

gains and create a sustainable legacy for the

Ground Control will transform parts of this,

improvement and social wellbeing. Other

next generation.”

16

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21/10/2021 15:21


INFORM

P R OJ ECT D E TA I L S Project Lead Ground Control

Indeed, the Wildfell Centre for Environmental Recovery will offer clients and landowners the opportunity to learn from evidence-based trials in sequestering carbon whilst increasing biodiversity and sustainability practices relevant to their landbank. “Landowners don’t have a roadmap showing them how to effectively use their land in key areas such as reaching net zero emission and boosting biodiversity,” explains Chris Bawtree, woodland creation lead at Ground Control. “We want to help them identify and leverage under-utilised land to reverse the decline in our natural environment.” A huge part of this project will be recording

LANDOWNERS DON’T HAVE A ROADMAP SHOWING THEM HOW TO EFFECTIVELY USE THEIR LAND IN KEY AREAS SUCH AS REACHING NET ZERO EMISSION AND BOOSTING BIODIVERSITY

and measuring changes in green gain. Chris says: “To help standardise the process, we’ve begun working on creating a single, independently verifiable biodiversity metric and certification program for land under management.” To mark this whole venture, sustainability leaders from organisations such as Anglian Water, Network Rail, Forestry England, JLL, Guinness, Fujitsu, Aviva and Network Rail attended the ‘Green Gains Live’ summit to discuss ways to better utilise land to limit global warming and support environmental recovery. This truly stands as a defining marker as to how this project is as much about connecting nature as it is about connecting people.

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21/10/2021 15:32


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Tel: 01256 771222 www.wildflowerturf.co.uk Advert Template PL.indd 5

21/10/2021 10:28


INFORM

Let ’s Hear it From

VANESSA HOCH & RACHEL POCOCK V A R A GARDEN DESIGN

FROM THEIR VERY FIRST PROJECT TOGETHER AT RHS HAMPTON COURT PALACE FLOWER SHOW, RACHEL POCOCK AND VANESSA HOCH HAVE GONE FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH. WE SPEAK TO THEM ABOUT THEIR AWARDWINNING COLLABORATIVE APPROACH, RECENT RHS CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW APPEARANCE AND WHAT THEY BELIEVE ARE SOME OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES FACING GARDEN DESIGN

N

either Vanessa nor Rachel had garden design down as their first career choice. But both came to it, nonetheless. Rachel, an orthopaedic physiotherapist working for the NHS, needed a creative outlet, Vanessa ,with a role in marketing, needed a new challenge. They both coincidentally came across the same course at Capel Manor College and soon discovered just how well they worked together as a team. A competition held by Capel Manor College in conjunction with Provender Nurseries saw the two pair up for the first time. Though they joined forces because they were both short on time to get the entry submitted, their vision for the redesign of an area of planting was so successful that it led to an even bigger challenge – Hampton Court. In 2015, Vanessa and Rachel undertook the design, build and planting of the Foundations for Growth Garden at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. “It was a fantastic experience, but it was quite daunting. We had a small budget of £5k and Provender lent us the plants to use. We also didn’t have a contractor,” explains Vanessa. “We decided to centre the garden around education and getting your hands dirty. We invited hard landscaping students from Capel Manor College to help build the garden with us.” It’s a sentiment which was encapsulated in a quote from James Raffan etched on Corten steel within the

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INFORM

garden: “Information alone can never become knowledge, and knowledge never becomes wisdom without some kind of rooting in the good soil of experience.” Winning Vanessa and Rachel a Silver-Gilt medal, the pair felt they had truly found the recipe for success. “That was the first garden we had ever designed and built, and it was a show garden, and it got a Silver Gilt medal. We were thrilled,” explains Vanessa. This wouldn’t be their last foray into an RHS flower show either. This year, VaRa Garden Design was

commissioned by the RHS to create the site planting at Chelsea Flower Show. Borders included plants like Crocosmia, Anemones and shrubs like Cotinus and Euonymus alatus. Each bed featured woven arches and fences from WonderWood Willow. The biggest change for this year was of course the season, but Vanessa and Rachel were able to take this in their stride. “We had to reassess the whole planting palette but Europlants, which helped with the plants, were really flexible and allowed us to pick and choose what looked good,” explained Rachel. And, in the end, both enjoyed the change. “It was really refreshing to have a different season to look at,” shares Vanessa. “It was varied work as well. The planting is spread out throughout the showground and new areas were being added all the time, so we got to use a mixture of tall grasses and beautiful rich colours.” Both of these flower show experiences remain highpoints for Vanessa and Rachel, not just for the world recognised accolade, but also for their atmosphere. “Coming from the NHS, I definitely found most people are there for a common good and it feels a bit like that in this industry,” notes Rachel. “Chelsea had the same

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spirit as Hampton Court, with everyone pulling together to put on a show. I think that’s what got us all those years ago, just how friendly, approachable and supportive the whole industry is.” “Going through both the planting design competition and the show garden just showed us how well we work together, so we spent the next few years working part time at our other jobs while building this business,” explains Vanessa. The two continued in this fashion for a few years until they decided they had to go full time in order to offer the level of service they wanted to. “We haven’t looked back since,” explains Rachel. “It’s a lot about building your confidence around charging for your work when you’re first starting out as well as valuing what you do.” Although the RHS flower shows are clear career highlights, the project which saw them win a Pro Landscaper Business Award for collaboration also stands out because of its meaningful brief. Commissioned by the charity Greenfingers, VaRa Garden Design redesigned a remembrance garden at Rainbows Hospice, which supports nearly 400 families with life-limited children and young people. Design touches included planting reflecting the ‘rainbow’ hues from the building’s interior, a soothing water feature, and a beautiful new Remembrance Tree where families could commemorate a child they had lost by making their own personalised glass leaf.

It was always going to be an incredibly important space for families to visit, but what Vanessa and Rachel didn’t anticipate was how much it would mean to staff, too. “It was a hugely humbling experience, a real privilege,” explains Vanessa. “It continues to have a long-lasting legacy.”

GOING THROUGH BOTH THE PLANTING DESIGN COMPETITION AND THE SHOW GARDEN JUST SHOWED US HOW WELL WE WORK TOGETHER “It was a lovely project to win the award for, because it truly was a collaboration between the charity, staff, glass leaf maker Lynn Jackson, Caltef Designs which created the remembrance tree and the landscaping team, Alfresco Landscaping,” recalls Rachel. It’s clear to see that Vanessa and Rachel have come across a winning combination which easily extends to other teams, specialities, and clients. The two always work on gardens together, appreciating the skills each can bring to a design and understanding the importance of a fresh pair of eyes. “It’s very much a case of two heads being better than one. It’s good to have a sounding board”, Rachel says. “We very often start off with a design and then collaboratively pare it down to get a strong, clean design that fits the brief.” As well as garden consultation and garden design, VaRa Garden Design also offers planting design and project administration and build.

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21/10/2021 14:05


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Though not all clients want Vanessa and Rachel to undertake all these services, they recommend that this is how to get the best out of a project. “A big challenge for garden designers is getting clients to appreciate and understand the benefits of employing our services for the whole process,” explains Vanessa. “When it’s managed as a team, the client will get the best out of the design as well as the construction.“ And this is, ultimately, the thing most important to the pair – as it is for all garden design companies – that the client is getting the utmost out of their space. Be that logistically or psychologically. A unique response to a brief is crucial in achieving this, but while Rachel and Vanessa work to realise client’s needs and wants, they also believe it’s important to challenge them. “There’s a reason they’ve employed us. We want to challenge the client and get them to realise what they can actually get out of their space, to broaden their thoughts and add unique elements no one else will have,” shares Vanessa. For Vanessa and Rachel, creating these kinds of spaces is all about immersing clients in their gardens. Texture is also key, both through materials and planting: “Planting brings so much visual interest as well as tactile – it makes a garden come alive”, Vanessa explains. There are plenty of domestic projects under Vanessa and Rachel’s belt bursting with this creativity. One such project turned out to be their steepest learning curve – literally. Urban Garden was a steeply sloping garden overgrown bar some steep, uninviting steps that, in theory,

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led the clients to the top of their garden. VaRa Garden Design replaced this with spacious platforms which lead to a dining patio. Surrounded by planting, these areas feel enveloped, and yet the overall garden has been opened to make the most of the view. “Getting our head around the levels, making sure it was useable and interesting, with a nice, relaxed journey up the garden – not the steep little steps that they had previously – was a real challenge,” recounts Vanessa. “But we were happy with the end result and the clients absolutely love it.” And for Vanessa and Rachel, it’s this variety of projects which they gravitate towards. Alongside a potential Chelsea Flower show garden in the

PLANTING BRINGS SO MUCH VISUAL INTEREST AS WELL AS TACTILE – IT MAKES A GARDEN COME ALIVE near future, they have been picking up work with architects recently, where indoors and outdoors aim to work in harmony and landscape is considered from day one, as well as several wildlife gardens with minimal hard landscaping. But otherwise, it’s simply onward and upwards for Vanessa and Rachel, as they continually build on the reputation which was established at that very first Hampton Court garden.

1 Urban Garden – planting enveloped staggered platforms built onto a steep slope 2 RHS Chelsea 2021 – artisanal woven willow detail 3 Greenfingers’ Rainbows Hospice Remembrance Garden – bespoke corten remembrance tree with glass leaves to reflect the lives of those lost 4 Rural Country Garden – generous borders match the grand scale of this newly built home 5 Contemporary Country Garden – the relaxed water feature is softened by Achillea and Nassella tenuissima 6 Country Courtyard – sustainable re-purposing of original materials to create a cosy sunny patio

C O N TA C T VaRa Garden Design Email info@varagardendesign.co.uk

www.varagardendesign.co.uk

Pro Landscaper / November 2021 21

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'IT'S OK NOT TO BE OK' GARDEN, RHS FLOWER SHOW TATTON PARK

3 0 U N D E R 3 0 U P DAT E

PASTURE FARM

©RHS/Tim Sandall

JAMES SMITH

'IT'S OK NOT TO BE OK' GARDEN

FRESH FROM COMPETING AS A FINALIST IN THE RHS YOUNG DESIGNER OF THE YEAR COMPETITION, JAMES SMITH SHARES THE NEXT STEP IN HIS CAREER

J

ames Smith’s career so far has with his thought-provoking garden, been a “rollercoaster”, he says. From ‘It’s OK Not to be OK’. starting out as a landscape designer “My whole garden was about mental at a small design practice straight health and getting people to open up and out of university to working for one of the talk to other another about their issues,” most well-known design and build companies explains James. “The difficult part was in the industry to heading out on his own as narrowing down the topic, so I worked around a freelancer, James has gained a wealth of one key statistic – that one in four people experience and understanding. He’s now suffer with ill mental health. That’s how about to embark on the next stage of his I came up with the idea of featuring four oak career, and it’s arguably the most exciting yet. James joins fellow 30 Under 30: The Next Generation winner Luke Mills at The Landscape Service, which was founded by Luke in 2017 and is establishing itself as a forward-thinking and innovative practice, using the latest technology such as virtual reality headsets. “When the country started to open up again after lockdown, I was working as a freelancer and getting quite a few opportunities through,” says James. “This one that pillars which were all identical using the same caught my eye, because timber to show how you don’t always know I was already doing some which one is suffering. There was a calm freelance work and relaxing sunken for Luke. He seated area in the offered me the centre for people opportunity to to sit and talk.” join the company Tatton was as a landscape James’ first foray into designer and a chance show gardens and it to help progress and run was, admittedly, a steep 'IT'S OK NOT TO BE OK' VISUAL The Landscape Service too. learning curve; but, as with The “exciting” opportunity also many designers before him, he’s follows James’ recent celebration as caught the show garden buzz and is a finalist in the RHS Young Designer of the eager to create more. “It was a really good Year competition. He scooped a Silver medal experience and I hope I can bring the skills and at the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park this year learnings from my first show garden into others

EVERY STEP WAS A LEARNING EXPERIENCE, BUT IF YOU DON’T MAKE MISTAKES THEN YOU CAN’T LEARN FROM THEM

22 Pro Landscaper / November 2021

©Topoforma Landscape

in the future. I’d not helped any designers on a show garden before, so I went into it somewhat blindly and every step was a learning experience, but if you don’t make mistakes then you can’t learn from them.” He has his sights set on designing a garden for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show but is first preparing to kickstart his role at The Landscape

Service, “to help move the company forward, design people’s gardens and hopefully change their lives”. Bringing experience from a variety of roles, James will undoubtedly bring a unique outlook to the Southampton-based business as it continues to explore the new technologies of garden design.

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WHEN

16 - 17 November 2021

WHERE ExCeL London

HOW

Register for your free ticket on our website or contact the team on 01903 777570

WHY

SPEAKERS Ruth Willmott

Thomas O’Mahony

Alistair Bayford

Sarah Eberle

Tim O’Hare

Helen Elks-Smith

Lewis Normand

Marcus Watson

Face the future of the UK and play your part amidst a showcase of future-fuelled products, materials and services – all you need to stay ahead in your landscape business. Join the celebrations of the highest achievements as the winners of the Pro Landscaper’s 30 under 30: The Next Generation, Pro Landscaper’s Podium Awards and Pro Landscaper’s small project BIG IMPACT Awards are announced. Powered by a superb seminar programme, expert panellists with real-life, relatable experiences get ready to tackle the issues you face and challenge industry norms for a brighter landscape future.

01903 777570 www.futurescapeevent.com Advert Template PL.indd 6 futurescape fp.indd 3

21/10/2021 10:29 10:05


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Tuesday 16 November

Pro Landscaper Theatre Sponsored by GreenBlue Urban

Nurture Theatre Sponsored by Van den Berk Nurseries

10:00

11:30

Four Growers: The Future of Horticulture Rising costs, the impact of Brexit, labour shortages and climate change – horticulture has certainly felt the weight of recent challenges. Four leading horticulturists examine the route ahead in terms of plant choice, availability and changing customer demands. Lewis Normand | Richard McKenna | Robert Crowder | Simon Sutcliffe | John Marsden

14:30

Planting for Britain: The Future of UK Native Plants Helping the UK to ‘build back greener’ post-Brexit and post-pandemic, UK growers need to be prepared to adapt and predict demand for future planting plans. The panel will look into underlying planting and production considerations, plant design trends and how to work closer with specifiers and designers to ensure business and stock continuity. Lewis Normand | Sarah Eberle | Naomi Ferrett-Cohen | James Smith | Martha Krempel

15:30

The Hub: A Guide to Creative, Sustainable Garden & Landscape Design Humaira Ikram and Darryl Moore talk about curating thehub.earth, highlighting events, activities and news relating to design, sustainability, historical landscapes and plants. Darryl Moore | Humaira Ikram

11:30

Beyond 2021: The Future of Our Landscapes In a post-COVID world, is the landscaping profession taken seriously? Set to contribute £42bn to the UK economy by 2030, the industry’s importance will be analysed and celebrated by cross-sector experts. Outlining how landscaping needs to gain the commercial recognition and value it deserves, the session will tackle the pressing issues businesses are facing; from staffing and sourcing, to diversifying and differentiating yourself in a competitive marketplace. Jim Wilkinson | Adrian Wickham | Jane Findlay | Thomas O’Mahony | John Melmoe Four Landscapers: The Future of Landscape Construction Whether you are involved with public, commercial, domestic projects, the underpinning principles are the same – you can never stop learning, and the techniques, materials, methods and legislation all evolve. Four specialists will share their own journeys and how they are facing the future of landscape construction head on. Jim Wilkinson | Ross Conquest | Jake Catling | Craig Nester | Peter Robinson

12:30

Pro Landscaper’s small project BIG IMPACT Awards 2021 The winners of Pro Landscaper’s small project BIG IMPACT Awards will be announced, with all vying for the top prize of Supreme Winner.

15:30

Pro Landscaper’s 30 Under 30: The Next Generation Reunion Sponsored by Green-tech Since its launch in 2015, there have been 210 winners of the prestigious 30 Under 30: The Next Generation award. All the previous winners are invited to attend a reunion to catch up and celebrate their achievements.

17:00

18:00

Pro Landscaper’s 30 Under 30: The Next Generation 2021 Awards Sponsored by Green-tech Now in its seventh year, Pro Landscaper’s 30 Under 30: The Next Generation initiative once again recognises the rising stars in the industry, presenting this year’s class of winners with their prestigious awards, sponsored by Green-tech. Pro Landscaper’s The Summit The importance of outdoor living, public open space, gardens and landscapes has never been greater. So, what role should we be playing in promoting the industry’s benefits for the environment, health and wellbeing, and a more eco-friendly future? Jim Wilkinson | Marcus Watson | Helen Elks-Smith | Sarah Eberle | Mark Gregory | Steven Walley | Sue Morgan

24 Pro Landscaper / November 2021

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Business Theatre Sponsored by VertEdge 11:30

Facing the Future: Grow & Develop Your Business Taking the leap with your business takes bravery, but also planning, targeting and purpose. Considering ways to help company owners take the next step, Alison and Nick explore methods and skills to drive your business forward. Nina Mason | Nick Ruddle | Alison Warner

14:30

Soil Health and Climate Change Tim O’Hare

15:30

Fully Charged: Powered by Battery You need battery powered equipment you can rely on. What do the leading equipment manufacturers have in their armoury to power our future landscape builds? Our switchedon expert panellists take on the topic, looking at how battery usage will change, exploring alternative power sources, and debating how associated problems can be overcome. Jim Wilkinson | Simon Hewitt | Mark Earles | James Walker

Inspire Theatre 12:00

Arbordeck Awards Arbor Forest Products’ annual Arbordeck Awards return for 2021, giving landscapers the ideal opportunity to showcase their best decking projects at FutureScape Expo and be in with the chance of winning a fantastic prize package. This year, there are more chances to win than ever before thanks to the introduction of two brand new categories.

13:00

How to streamline your work with Vectorworks Landmark 2022 Join Vectorworks for a look at the new and exciting features of 2022 as well as a few tips and tricks on how to speed up your workflow. Katarina will go through how to decide what you should implement and how to get from concept to finished design without wasting time. Katarina Ollikainen

14:30

The Great Soil Debate Four of the UK’s top suppliers will discuss how to ensure the soil you select is certified, fit for purpose, as well as touching on substrates, legislation and environmental considerations. Jim Wilkinson | Andy Spetch | Simon Hedley | Drew Wetherell | John Coles | Mark Wood

15:30

Four Designers: The Future of Landscape Design Four prolific landscape designers will tackle the topical issues affecting their approaches to design and specification. With millions more embracing outdoor living and green space, the relevance and importance of landscape design has never been greater. Peter Donegan | Stefano Marinaz | Tony Woods | Ruth Willmott | Michael John McGarr

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21/10/2021 16:59


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Seminar programme Wednesday 17 November

Pro Landscaper Theatre Sponsored by GreenBlue Urban

Nurture Theatre Sponsored by Van den Berk Nurseries

10:00

10:00

The Right Tree: The Future of Today’s Choices There is arguably no greater visual impact in a landscaping project than large and semi-mature trees. Their ultimate success in a landscaping project, though, requires a commitment by the supply chain. Choosing the right tree for the right location is just the start. Delivery, handling, anchoring, irrigation and aftercare; our panel will draw on their experience, successes and challenges. Lewis Normand | Jamie Butterworth | Tom Owen | Steve McCurdy

11:30

On Top of the World: The Future of Green Roofs The Green Roof Organisation launched the Green Roof Code in 2021, and it has been an important step in establishing best practice guidelines to improve standards in green roof product supply, installation and safety. The panel will broach the Code’s implications, the sector’s opportunities and where future developments are heading. Nina Mason

14:30

How The Interior Landscaping Industry Engages With Architects Thomas Palfreyman

11:30

12:30

14:30

One Industry: Future Collaboration UK ornamental horticulture and landscaping will support more than 760,000 jobs by 2030. Each sector’s voice is amplified by its own trade body and, in this debate, panellists will share a leadership perspective on remaining stronger together. Representatives from each trade association will seek to forge stronger bonds, collaborating on a united front and highlighting how membership adds value to and brings benefits to your business and its bottom line. Jim Wilkinson | Wayne Grills | Phil Tremayne | Brodie McAllister | Lynne Marcus Four Landscape Architects: The Future of Placemaking Placemaking and urban planning have risen up the agenda. The creation of high-density cities and residential areas needs a higher commitment to green infrastructure, public open space and environmental consideration. Four leading landscape architects will share and debate the pressing issues in the UK’s great landscape masterplan. Rachael Forsyth | James Lord | Ewan Oliver | Carolin Göhler Pro Landscaper’s Podium Awards 2021 Pro Landscaper’s Podium Awards are back, and they’re bigger and better than ever. The winners of these prestigious awards will be announced in a standalone ceremony at FutureScape, with a Supreme Winner to be revealed. Designer, Contractor and Supplier: Parallels or Partners? An age-old debate, but one that never ceases to throw up a new perspectives. With delegates versed in the design, build and supply of successful, prestigious landscape schemes, our panellists have views and real-life experience of how they can work best together. Setting the ground rules, keeping the communication channels open with respect and professionalism – each touchpoint will no doubt draw a lively discussion – and one you might want to jump into, too. Jim Wilkinson | David Dodd | Rosemary Coldstream | Carl Reeders

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Business Theatre Sponsored by VertEdge 10:00

Loud and Proud: The Future of Marketing and Social Media Promote your brand, maximise your reach and stand out from the crowd. Sound easy? Find the right tone, audience and messaging and you will be on the right track. Our panellists have identified the key touchpoints in their marketing strategies for some of the most recognised landscape brands, and they are ready to share their stories to help you in your promotional endeavours. Jessica McCabe | Hannah Jepp

11:30

Recruit, Train, Retain: The Future of Landscape Recruitment Recruiting and retaining a reliable workforce has never been easy in the external environment. Exploring the routes to recruit, support and develop, our panellists know only too well the importance of nurturing and encouraging the people at the heart of a business. Jim Wilkinson | Oliver Hemson | Marian Barker

14:30

Working It Out: Dispute Resolutions Managing customer relationships alongside day-to-day operations can be daunting, and even more so when there is a conflict, and disputes can be damaging. Gareth will outline how best to manage your contracts for clarity with clients from outset, allowing for swift and effective resolution. Gareth Wilson

Inspire Theatre 10:00

Climate Change Ready? The Future of Sustainable Landscapes The landscape sector has sustainability at its very core. Has there been an increase in demand for climate change-ready plants? What is the next ground-breaking development in sustainable materials? How is the sector preparing to meet the challenges and demands of its stakeholders? Ben West | Alistair Bayford | Jilayne Rickards | Mark Kier | Joel Ashton

11:30

The Green Shoots of a Post-COVID Work Environment Kenneth Freeman | Ian Drummond | Thomas Palfreyman | Richard Sabin

14:30

Green is the New Grey: The Future of Supermarket Carparks Pro Landscaper’s Green Up Campaign is committed to seeing more green and less grey in supermarket car parks. Panellists will explore why the campaign is needed, some key green solutions that can be implemented and how you can lend your voice to the campaign. Rachael Forsyth | Howard Gray | Adam Dunnett | Richard Burton

Pro Landscaper / November 2021 25

21/10/2021 17:00


INFORM

SHOR SUSTAINABLE GARDEN UNDER £30,000

SPECIAL FEATURE UNDER £20,000

SPONSORED BY

TLIST

PLANTING DESIGN UNDER £20,000

SPONSORED BY

SPONSORED BY

WILDLIFE COTTAGE GARDEN FLOURISHING GARDENS

CLOUDS HILL PATIO POOL ALICE MEACHAM GARDENS

THE RAVINE GARDEN ADAM VETERE

FRANK’S GARDEN GAIA GARDENS

CORTEN STEEL BRADLEY JAMES GARDEN DESIGN

IVEAGH ROAD CAROLINE BOOR GARDEN DESIGN

NORTH DOWNS ROOF GARDEM MILLHOUSE LANDSCAPE DESIGN & BUILD

KOI POND GREEN OAK

WIMBLEDON MODERN GARDEN E L ROTHERY GARDEN DESIGN

BREATHE EASY MUSTARD SEED GARDENS

ROMORANTIN PLACE & OBELISK KEARY DESIGN ASSOCIATES

TURKEY MILL ROUNDABOUT SCHEME GAREDEN DESIGN AND LANDSCAPING

7 PORTLAND GARDENS RENEW LANDSCAPES & DRIVEWAYS

BOULDER WALL MARTHA KREMPEL GARDEN DESIGN LTD

GOTHIC GARDEN GREEN OAK

COTTAGE GARDEN - ROSE COURTYARD AND RAILINGS MORGAN OATES

THE ASHTON GARDEN KATHERINE LEE GARDEN DESIGN

FAMILY GARDEN TREE HOUSE MORGAN OATES

PINNACLE POINT LUNDSCAPE OUTDOOR DESIGN

SUSTAINABLE CONTEMPORARY PERGOLA PETTS WOOD GARDENS

GEOMETRIC GARDEN PAINTED FERN GARDEN DESIGN

HARD LANDSCAPING UNDER £30,000 SPONSORED BY

FRANK’S GARDEN GAIA LANDSCAPES

GARTEN CLOSE LOWES LANDSCAPES

26 Pro Landscaper / November 2021

spBI shortlist.indd 26

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21/10/2021 14:26


INFORM

DESIGN UNDER £30,000

BUILD

UNDER £30,000 SPONSORED BY

GROVE GARDEN ACACIA GARDENS

DESIGNUNDERAND BUILD £30,000 SPONSORED BY

SPONSORED BY

AN ARTIST’S GARDEN ADAM VETERE

A COURTYARD RETREAT AUBURN GARDENS

BUDDY LOVE BLUE BUTTERFLY GARDEN DESIGN

CROC DROP LANDSCAPE AND PICNIC AREA B&E SERVICES THE MONDRIAN GARDEN GEORGIA LINDSAY GARDEN DESIGN

BURGESS BUTLER LANDSCAPES JENMANS DAWBORN GARDENS & LANDSCAPE ILKLEY COURTYARD JAMES MARSHALL GARDEN DESIGN

CLAPHAM WESTSIDE EXTERNAL CONCEPTS

PEACEFUL PORCELAIN GREENSCAPE GARDENS THE ZIG-ZAG GARDEN KATHERINE LEE GARDEN DESIGN

NW5 KEMPE ROAD GRDN LANDSCAPE & GARDEN DESIGN

BABBINGTON PARK LIQUID LANDSCAPES

WILLOW COTTAGE ECO HOUSE GARDEN KRISTINA CLODE GARDEN DESIGN

JAPAN AT HOME LANDSCAPIA LTD

HEYDALE MUSTARD SEED GARDENS TOWNHOUSE ESCAPE, HOVE LANGLEA GARDEN DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION HOUSING ESTATE GARDEN NIGEL L PHILIPS / ONE-TO-ONE GARDEN DESIGN LARCHWOOD MUSTARD SEED GARDENS

NEW BARN GARDEN QUALITY OUTSIDE LIVING

THE LODGE R JAMES LANDSCAPES

ABBEY MEADS LIQUID LANDSCAPES

RICHARD ROGERS RICHARD ROGERS DESIGNS

WOODLAND RETREAT IN THE CITY SILVERFLOWE DESIGN

SMALL CITY GARDEN OXFORD GARDEN DESIGN

SERPANTINE ROAD PAUL SLATER DESIGNER LANDSCAPES

Winners announced Tuesday 16 November at FutureScape Pro Landscaper Theatre | 12:30pm www.prolandscapermagazine.com

spBI shortlist.indd 27

Pro Landscaper / November 2021 27

21/10/2021 16:55


INFORM

Recognising rooftop projects sponsored by

Shortlist Residential SPONSORED BY BOUGHTON LOAM

EAST GROVE BBUK STUDIO LIMITED

E05 WEMBLEY PODIUM AND ROOF TERRACES ELITE LANDSCAPES THE STYLUS BUILDING NATURAL DIMENSIONS LTD

FINLOW FARM, ALDERLEY EDGE BUTLER LANDSCAPES

ONE CROWN PLACE MAYLIM

CANADA GARDENS PRP ARCHITECTS LTD

GASHOLDERS STEFANO MARINAZ LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE

Retail SPONSORED BY PRO LANDSCAPER

IKEA, GREENWICH BRIDGMAN & BRIDGMAN

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21/10/2021 14:34


INFORM

Public

Commercial

SPONSORED BY RAAFT

SPONSORED BY RAAFT

TOWNHALL SQUARE BOWLES AND WYER

245 HAMMERSMITH ROAD EXTERIOR ARCHITECTURE

SOUTH QUAY PLAZA LEVEL 56 NAO LANDSCAPES

GOODMAN’S FIELDS FABRIK

14 WESTFIELD AVENUE (BUILDING A) GILLESPIES

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Winners announced Wednesday 17 November at FutureScape Pro Landscaper Theatre | 12:30pm www.prolandscapermagazine.com

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Pro Landscaper / November 2021 29

21/10/2021 14:37


INFORM

J AS O N K N I G H TS NET ZERO: A BOLD AMBITION

JASON KNIGHTS, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF GROUND CONTROL, EXPLAINS HOW THE COMPANY PLANS TO ACHIEVE ITS AMBITIOUS GOAL OF BECOMING NET ZERO BY 2025

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arlier this year, buoyed by achieving carbon neutral status earlier than planned, we took the bold decision to bring forward our target for achieving net zero by five years to 2025. What was already an ambitious plan just got a whole lot more challenging, especially when you consider what constitutes net zero is not yet fully defined. What we do know is that there is a big difference between carbon neutrality and carbon net zero. For the former, it is enough to work out where your emissions come from (known as Scope 1 and 2 emissions), lower them as much as possible and offset what remains. Net zero is about removing as many carbon emissions as possible from across the value chain (known as Scope 3 emissions), then removing an equivalent amount of carbon as the residual carbon left over. That’s where things get complicated because it’s not within our power to dictate how other companies run their businesses. We have turned to the Carbon Trust to help us work out our Scope 3 carbon footprint, calculate a target for Scope 1 and 2 emissions reductions based on a globally recognised, science-based methodology, define our net zero strategy and produce a report on what our plans are for approval by the Science Based Targets initiative. We are also working with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), which is providing us with advice as we develop our strategy. Our aim is to find the sweet spot between doing the right thing, having a positive impact and using our core business to drive

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commercial differentiation. CISL is helping us understand not only what the possibilities are, it is also advising us on the challenge of understanding our impact and then influencing change to drive down that impact up and down the value chain. We’re under no illusions about how difficult this journey will be and have already begun to implement significant changes to address our Scope 1 and 2 emissions. Among the initiatives we have launched are switching all our vehicles to electric – a huge area of focus since 71% of our emissions come from our fleet – replacing fossil fuel-powered hand-held tools with battery equivalents by 2023 and procuring 100% of our energy from renewable sources. But to realise our net zero ambitions, we need to find ways of driving emissions reductions in our supply chain too. That first involves identifying the Scope 3 carbon footprint and working out the boundaries in terms of what we can reasonably be expected to influence. We are working with all our Tier 1 suppliers on their carbon reduction targets. Ground Control is also reviewing its onboarding process when it comes to working with new suppliers to bring in those that align with our values and aims. Since all companies will be thinking about their own net zero journeys, there is the potential they will accelerate plans they already have in mind in response to the standards we are aiming for. We realise in some cases the technology isn’t there yet, but our aim is to bring that innovation

forward and drive as much carbon out of the supply chain and our own operations as possible. We want to be leading the way in the industry and working with the Carbon Trust and CISL has

GROUND CONTROL IS ALSO REVIEWING ITS ONBOARDING PROCESS WHEN IT COMES TO WORKING WITH NEW SUPPLIERS TO BRING IN THOSE THAT ALIGN WITH OUR VALUES AND AIMS made it clear to us we can’t just settle for what we know we can achieve today. If we push the boundaries and set ourselves bold goals, that’s when the innovation happens. If you only aim for what’s already achievable, by the time you reach your target, it will be yesterday’s standard. And with the reality we face, that’s no longer an option.

A BOU T JASON KNIGHTS Jason Knights joined Ground Control as managing director in 2020 following 10 years in leadership roles at Wates. His last role was as managing director of SES Engineering Services, now a division of Wates Construction Group, following Wates’ acquisition of Shepard E Construction Services in November 2016. A specialist M&E services business, Jason grew SES and created its excellent reputation in the industry, transforming it from loss-making to profitability in four years.

www.ground-control.co.uk

www.prolandscapermagazine.com

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INFORM

A DA M W H I T E LONDON’S BLOSSOM GARDEN

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT ADAM WHITE SHARES THE STORY BEHIND HIS INVOLVEMENT IN THE LONDON BLOSSOM GARDEN – LONDON’S LIVING COVID-19 MEMORIAL

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he Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is now home to the London Blossom Garden – a living memorial to commemorate the city’s shared experience of the coronavirus pandemic. The garden offers a place of reflection for Londoners to remember those who have lost their lives, and pays tribute to London’s brave key workers who risked their own lives to help others and keep the city moving. The local community helped to shape the tone of the garden and it has been created for everyone to find solace in and enjoy.

Back in August 2020, The Mayor of London commissioned The Edible Bus Stop® and our practice, Davies White Landscape Architects, to co-design and manage the creation of the garden. Rosetta Arts joined the project team to help engage local people, key workers and community groups. The garden was constructed by idverde with the bespoke seating being co-designed and created by Junior Phipps, Flee Jones and Dan Gritten. The garden was also made possible due to the support and involvement from the National Trust, Greater London Authority, Queen

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Elizabeth Olympic Park, Bloomberg and Lee Valley Park. Planted in the north of the park, the garden has 33 UK grown blossom trees, each representing a London borough, including the City of London. The trees are arranged in three close circles made up of eight different species of tree. Every spring the garden will come alive with hawthorn, cherry, cherry plum, and crab apple

THIS MEMORIAL WOULD BE ONE OF THE FIRST WITH NATURE AT ITS HEART blossom, creating a stunning scene of colourful blossoms against a backdrop of the vibrant green surrounding parklands. The species-rich lawns and vast peat-free grown perennial planting beds provide spaces for wildlife to thrive. The path contains 33 pieces of recycled concrete and reclaimed timber to echo the number of trees. Bespoke seating made from recycled concrete and reclaimed timber from the London docks sit near each tree ring providing a space to relax and reflect in the natural surroundings. Art historian Aindrea Emelife helped inform how we should develop and deliver a garden that would have a lasting legacy. As a team we all knew responsibility to create something appropriate and respectful was huge. Before designing anything, we researched the role of public memorials in society. What soon became apparent was this memorial would be one of the first with nature at its heart. In partnership with the charity Thrive, the garden led to the COVID-19 bereavement

support programme to help grieving Londoners, which includes dedicated volunteers based in and around the garden providing LEAD PROJECT TEAM WITH support. During the THE MAYOR OF LONDON London Design Festival, we gave a guided tour and then as part of the Olympic Park Summer School Festival we partnered with the charity BLOOM to run a series of biodiversity workshops for local young people. Last year, the sight of spring blossom, beautiful but fleeting, reminded us that the rhythm of the natural world continued even though all other aspects of our lives had changed. Inspired by the garden, over the next five years The National Trust will be delivering The Blossom Project, an initiative that CO-DESIGN PROJECT TEAM will see circles of blossom trees planted in cities and towns across the UK. We are delighted to announce that the garden has been shortlisted for an Excellence in Horticulture Award and Excellence in Construction Award at this year’s Landscape Institute Awards which are free to view, taking place online on the 25 November.

ABOUT ADAM WHITE PLI Adam White is a chartered landscape architect, a Fellow and the Past President of the Landscape Instituite. Along with Andrée Davies he is a director at Davies White Ltd. Social media: @davies_white

www.davieswhite.co.uk

www.prolandscapermagazine.com

21/10/2021 14:02


INFORM

K AT I E F L A X M A N PARAGRAPH 80

KATIE FLAXMAN EXPLORES PARAGRAPH 80 PROJECTS AND ASKS WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF EVERY PROJECT TOOK ON BOARD ITS POLICIES

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aragraph 80 projects were first introduced to give people the opportunity to “continue the centuries-old tradition of building stately homes in the English countryside”. The idea being that each generation should have the opportunity to play a role in the long history of country house architecture in the UK. Planning policy in relation to these has been adapted over time, eventually being incorporated into the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) at paragraph 80 (previously paragraph 55 and 79). Successful planning permission for these homes has become much coveted amongst professionals. Paragraph 80 projects have the capacity to propel the industry forward with concepts, quality and technologies that can be adopted across all realms of building, landscape, and design. Given their propensity for progressive and sustainable future development, our question is, what would happen if all projects had a similar approach? Though the planning policy relating to these developments has changed over time, the focus on landscape has remained constant.

A development is expected to “significantly enhance its immediate setting and be sensitive to the defining characteristics of the local area”. The whole application regularly centres on the site and its natural characteristics, with planners actively looking for landscape input within applications, often rejecting schemes which omit this.

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More than landscape though, applications of this kind frequently benefit from ‘design review panels’ where a multi-disciplinary group of professionals provide feedback on the scheme. This allows for the input of a wide range of perspectives including landscape, arboriculture,

PARAGRAPH 80 PROJECTS HAVE THE CAPACITY TO PROPEL THE INDUSTRY FORWARD ecology, architecture, heritage consultants and more. This level of collaboration gives more time and attention to many overlooked aspects including the natural world, making for bolder and more thoughtful overall schemes. At Studio 31, we have been (and continue to be) involved with a number of Paragraph 80 developments and our experience in these processes has changed the way we work across all our projects. Our understanding of complex planning applications has allowed us to adopt methodologies from these processes across all our work to provide a more considered design. We work with a consultant ecologist on most projects, have begun to quantify biodiversity and environmental gain, have deeper understanding of the site’s historic and present context, view projects from multidisciplinary angles and value the input of other professionals in giving us a perspective we wouldn’t otherwise have. Paragraph 80 projects are a slower process, but with this comes a more considered process too. A project gains a collaborative and contextual team, technological/research innovations, deeper consideration of environmental/sustainable factors and a nurturing of the natural world.

They give much greater time and attention to landscape, often creating wilder and more ecologically sound schemes. They work to protect and/or enhance the landscape on a more intrinsic level than is commonly seen within the built environment, providing a benchmark for the design process. It’s important to acknowledge the privileged position of these developments that are out of reach to most of society. It’s essential that we use them as an opportunity to adopt a design criterion which propels the industry forwards for everyone. As professionals, we can choose to do only as much as is necessary for the individual project or we can make space to do something greater. We can use the learning from these exceptional but expensive schemes to filter down into community, health and public placemaking, offering not just a handful of individuals the opportunity to reside in exceptional spaces but the wider population too. We can make many fewer environmental concessions and hold each project to greater account. These are all objectives local authorities and planners are moving towards, but I wonder – should we leave it to them to enforce these processes? Or should we, as professionals, take responsibility and learn lessons from the most complex and outstanding planning applications to make all projects truly progressive schemes?

A B O U T K AT I E F L A X M A N Katie Flaxman is co-founder and director of Studio 31 Landscape Architects. Studio 31 is an awardwinning, adventurous and environmentally conscious landscape architecture practice working across the residential, public realm and health sectors.

www.designstudio31.co.uk

Pro Landscaper / November 2021 35

20/10/2021 14:15


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CELEBRATING THE BEST OF TREX AT FUTURESCAPE 2021 FutureScape is back as an in-person event on the 16th and 17th of November 2021, giving landscapers from across the UK the chance to find out more about the latest products, services and technology for the industry. The two-day event will allow attendees to meet with Arbor Forest Products’ expert team to discuss all things Trex composite decking. Those attending will have the opportunity to learn more about the World’s Number 1 decking brand, which offers users a low maintenance, high performance and environmentally friendly outdoor living solution complete with a 25-year Trex limited residential warranty. Arbor Forest Products’ team will be available throughout the exhibition to answer any questions about Trex, with samples to hand for anyone who wants to take a closer look at the products.

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What’s more, the return of FutureScape means that the Arbordeck Awards are also back for 2021 – and they’re bigger and better, with the addition of two new categories: TrexPert of the Year and Top Spec Trex Deck. With more chances to win than ever before this year, the Arbordeck Awards have once again seen record numbers of entries – with the widest variety of entrants since the awards first launched in 2018, from TrexPROs to homeowners. The awards are continuing to grow each year, attracting more and more skilled installers and proud homeowners – making the judges’ decision on category winners increasingly difficult. Commenting on the return of FutureScape and the Arbordeck Awards, Arbor Forest Products’ decking business manager and 2021 head judge, Jonathan Cooper, said: “FutureScape is always a key event in Arbor Forest Products’ calendar and we’re delighted to be back at the exhibition in person again this year. We’re looking forward to showcasing everything Trex composite decking has to offer to landscapers from across the country. “It’s also fantastic to be able to bring back the Arbordeck Awards for 2021 and to see them continuing to reach a wider audience each year. We’re looking forward to recognising and celebrating installers for their hard work during what has been a challenging 18 months for us all. Good luck to all of those who have entered a deck – while we can’t reward everyone who has entered, it’s been fantastic to see such ongoing dedication and loyalty to Trex.”

For more information on the Arbordeck Awards please visit www.arbordeck.co.uk/awards21 – and you can keep up to date with the awards by following Arbordeck on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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SHORTLIST With a record number of entries, it’s been another fantastic year for the Arbordeck Awards. We’re proud to announce the 2021 shortlist. Don’t forget to Join us at FutureScape for our Arbordeck Awards ceremony at 12pm on 16th November, where we’ll be announcing the winners of each category plus the Deck of the Year award.

Best small Trex deck

Best Trex design solution

Best large Trex deck

Beams & Braces Cromer

A.M. Joinery Great Clifton

A.M. Joinery Great Clifton

Browns Landscape and Decking Andrews Place

Beams & Braces Cringleford

AMS Garden Services Woodhouse Eaves

Browns Landscape and Decking Ingress Park

Custom Curve Decking Hartley Way

Beams & Braces Cringleford

Browns Landscape and Decking Longfield

Custom Curve Decking Warlingham

Custom Curve Decking Warlingham

Decking Design Alder Close

Simon Thomas Deck & Design Craig Cwm Celle Salem

JJH Construction Northampton 2

JR Tolley Brayford Drive

JJH Construction Northampton 2

Simon Thomas Deck & Design Wayn Y Felin

Best Arbordeck softwood timber deck

Trexpert of the Year

Top spec Trex deck

The London Decking Company North London

Darren Gooch Beams & Braces

Beams & Braces Cringleford

Thompsons Timberworks Great Ayton

John Michael Custom Curve Decking

Custom Curve Decking Hartley Way

Thompsons Timberworks Ingleby Incline

Michael McCloy Elite Composite Designs

Simon Thomas Deck & Design Craig Cwm Celle Salem

Best commercial Trex deck Advanced Decking Lakeview Custom Curve Decking Cedar Nursery

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Thank you for your entries

We’re delighted to have seen so many high quality decking installations.

21/10/2021 10:35


INFORM

ANDREW WILSON BARKING!

ANDREW WILSON CONSIDERS THE TREND FOR CLIENTS TO EXTEND OR MANIPULATE THE DESIGN PROCESS – BUT ARE THEY WILLING TO EXTEND THE DESIGN FEE?

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he charging mechanisms for landscape or garden designers have been a useful basis for fee calculations for decades. The ability to break down the process helps designers to keep abreast of their work and time allocations. But, for the client too these stages help to understand the process and what to expect from the designer at the various points of design delivery. That is in theory at least. There seems to be a current trend for clients to somehow expect more at each stage – more detail or more options, especially in the delivery of the outline or masterplan. As designers, we take great care to produce a detailed brief that embodies client needs but we also aim to manage expectations with a clear understanding of what will or will not be included at this stage when the main design thinking is being framed. Obviously it is our aim to deliver the most appropriate design to each individual client and to respond to needs or uncertainties as they arise, but increased demands can play havoc with fee calculations and, ultimately, the ability to remain profitable. A client sign off on the brief used to guarantee a smooth ride through sketch design and masterplan stages with clients often becoming increasingly enthusiastic as they saw the design intention taking shape. More frequently now we are being questioned at every stage, asked for additional information in the early stages of design, some of which is firmly rooted in the later detailed stages. It is difficult to ascertain whether this phenomenon is based on impatience or on the need to somehow get one’s moneys worth. The niggle is that bit by bit the original design brief is modified or expanded – a gradual process that sends the designer back to the drawing board each time

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without any additional fee. A clear change of brief would generally lead to a renegotiated fee as the whole design would start from a different premise. A gradual evolution of the brief is much more difficult to negotiate.

MORE FREQUENTLY NOW WE ARE BEING QUESTIONED AT EVERY STAGE, ASKED FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IN THE EARLY STAGES OF DESIGN, SOME OF WHICH IS FIRMLY ROOTED IN THE LATER DETAILED STAGES Perhaps clients are becoming more design savvy or possibly wanting to design themselves through the vehicle of the designer, but it is possible that they are paving the way for increased fees as designers try to deal with the financial implications. Why employ a designer in the first place? I suggest to my students that clients may identify problems that they do not have the skill set to resolve – design issues, planning applications, working in sensitive locations for example. Alternatively, they may have the inclination to design but find themselves struggling to make time. Either way, designers have the skill set and, if paid correctly, the time to resolve issues to any client’s satisfaction but clients need to buy into the process.

We have started to stipulate to our clients exactly what will be delivered at each stage in terms of drawings, supporting information, technical detail and so on – for some new clients this seems like overkill and can put people off. For others it seems that the more information we deliver the less likely they are to read it. Perhaps that is a product of the age we live in but finding the right balance is sometimes a challenge in itself. In the main, designers are positive optimists but there is the chance that our positivity is stretched and sometimes taken for granted – it would be a pity if this was a sign of things to come. Pictured: Why have a dog and bark yourself? Andrew’s working Cocker Spaniels, Sam and Ted.

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

www.lcgd.org.uk

www.prolandscapermagazine.com

20/10/2021 14:32


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INFORM

C H R I STO P H E R M A RT I N COP OUT?

WILL THE UN’S CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE MAKE A DIFFERENCE? CHRISTOPHER MARTIN SHARES HIS TAKE ON THE SITUATION

I

t’s finally upon us, after a year’s delay – the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is taking place in the city of Glasgow this month. But will it be the paradigm shift we need it to be? It has been said that decades of previous political debate and international convention have left little mark on our progress towards fighting and defeating the existential risks associated with climate change. The talks and processes of COP have themselves come into the firing line of the UK’s former COP26 president, Claire O’Neill, saying that the current format of the global talks needed to be re-energised and focused, with previous talks being dogged by endless rows over agendas, ongoing unresolved splits over who should pay and insufficient attention and funding for adaptation. She highlighted: “It was particularly awful at the last

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conference in Madrid. While half a million climate action protesters gathered in the streets, I sat in plenary sessions where global negotiators debated whether our meeting should be

www.prolandscapermagazine.com

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classified as ‘informal’ or ‘informal-informal’. There is a yawning gap between what the world expects from us and where we are. It’s a systemic failure of global vision and leadership.”

STUNTS AND PIOUS PLEDGES WON’T SAVE THE PLANET; WE NEED TO RETHINK ENTIRE DESIGN, MANUFACTURING AND SALES PROCESSES With that rather damning critique back in 2020 I can only hope that things have changed, but the politics of climate change have always been challenging. The fast pace of election cycles don’t lend themselves to strategic (and disruptive) economical and social repositioning, but those that have stepped forward in the pursuit of a healthy relationship with the planet’s resources have been rewarded, in terms of reputation but also politically. Political leaders around the world are now “committed” to the pressing need to take action, declaring a climate emergency; yet the fundamental question remains unanswered by many of them: what action will they take to get to zero carbon in the next 10 years? Companies are also falling over themselves to trumpet their green credentials, but here we find that sometimes not much is happening behind the curtain. Stunts and pious pledges won’t save the planet; we need to rethink entire processes. Those that have changed are discovering it is either very expensive or an unglamorous, iterative process over thousands of tiny improvements. Neither makes for good press releases.

From an urban context, the energy gained from the burning of fossil fuels is arguably the single most important reason why we have seen an unprecedented rise in global living standards since the industrial revolution. However, we are now facing a climate emergency because of the global heating caused by the greenhouse gases emitted from this combustion. The UK transport sector is the country’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases with 33% of all carbon dioxide emissions in 2018 being from this sector, and road transport alone accounting for around 20%. Change within the transport sector is therefore especially urgent. In doing this, we have to understand that people’s behaviours are governed by the Law of Least Effort and that of course we have reasons for not doing something right now. Going forward we need Action Plans for Change that turn high level aspirations into step-by-step projects rooted in Behavioural Economics. This is how we break political paralysis; it is often said politicians know what they need to do, they just don’t know how to get voted back in after doing it. This is the Action Plan we need – one that connects societal and environmental good with our foibles, fads, and fantasies.

A BOU T C H RISTOP HER MARTIN Christopher is an influential urban designer and planner working all over the globe to help communities improve their public spaces; as well as supporting cities and governments to develop strategy, change policies, and make great places possible. He is co-founder and director of Urban Strategy at Urban Movement; a trustee of the UK charity for everyday walking – Living Streets; vice chair of the UK Urban Design Group; and is a member of the United Nations Planning and Climate Action Group.

www.urbanmovement.co.uk

Pro Landscaper / November 2021 41

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IQ

I

n this issue of the UK Landscaper Barometer, we are focused on the trading month of August 2021. As we approached the end of the summer season, participants hoped for positive changes to be coming soon as they continued to battle labour and material shortages. Unfortunately, change is not believed to be coming any time soon and there are a number of reasons contributing to this feeling. After a small increase last month, it may be disappointing to see that the number of participants feeling more confident has dropped significantly, now sitting below 10%. For some companies, turnover and enquiry rates are lower. There is a general feeling of fear which is heavily situated upon the current inflation rates, and what this could mean for the future of landscaping companies, and the landscaping industry on the whole. One participant commented that “inflationary pressures on materials and wages continue to impact our existing projects”. Some participants have mentioned that the quality of their quotes is improving, but another added that many of their customers are “sitting on quotes”, as they are able to go on holiday again and “considering spending money on this instead”. If you would like the full report or would like to contribute to the UK Landscape Barometer moving forward, please send an email to Gemma Lloyd on gemma.lloyd@eljays44.com or call on 01903 777 594. Please note that all statistics are based on those surveyed and compare August 2021 to August 2020.

NATIONAL TURNOVER

PERCENTAGE OF RESPONDENTS MORE CONFIDENT COMPARED TO LAST MONTH 100% 90%

18%

Higher

9%

Equal 73%

Lower

80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30%

ENQUIRIES

20% 10%

26%

Higher 53%

0%

Nov20

Equal

Dec20

Jan21

Feb21

Mar21

Apr21

May21

STAFF

Jun21

Jul21

Aug21

Sep21

Oct20

CONVERSION

Lower

21%

16%

PROJECTS 16%

37%

Equal Lower

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UK Landscape Barometer (3).indd 45

Equal Lower

Higher 47%

Higher 32%

5%

47%

41% 59%

Higher Equal

No response

The percentage of those reporting increases is dominant. However, a significant number of respondents have stated that they remained static in projects (37%) and conversion rates (59%) Nonetheless, it is positive to see that 73% are experiencing higher turnovers. The largest decrease (26%) was under enquiries, and this may come as no surprise due to the time of year. One respondent noted: “We are starting to see consumer nervousness about the cost of living going up”.

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CONFIDENCE

TURNOVER

ENQUIRIES

THE SOUTH

THE SOUTH

THE SOUTH

THE MIDLANDS

THE MIDLANDS

THE MIDLANDS

SCOTLAND AND THE NORTH

SCOTLAND AND THE NORTH

SCOTLAND AND THE NORTH

GARDEN DESIGN

GARDEN DESIGN

GARDEN DESIGN

DESIGN AND BUILD

DESIGN AND BUILD

DESIGN AND BUILD

COMMERCIAL LANDSCAPING

COMMERCIAL LANDSCAPING

COMMERCIAL LANDSCAPING

DOMESTIC LANDSCAPING

DOMESTIC LANDSCAPING

DOMESTIC LANDSCAPING

0%

20%

40%

More

60%

80% 100%

Equal

0%

40%

Higher

Less

PROJECTS

20%

60%

Equal

80% 100% Lower

0%

20% Higher

40%

60%

Equal

80% 100% Lower

STAFF

THE SOUTH

THE SOUTH

THE MIDLANDS

THE MIDLANDS

SCOTLAND AND THE NORTH

SCOTLAND AND THE NORTH

GARDEN DESIGN

DESIGN AND BUILD

Turnover across the majority of regions and industry types was higher, with a range of between 60% and 80% reporting an increase, though garden designers saw 100% of participants experience an increase. Design and build companies, along with domestic landscapers, each displayed the largest percentage (50%) of those feeling less confident. For design and build companies, this could be due to 50% of respondents seeing a drop in enquiries.

DESIGN AND BUILD COMMERCIAL LANDSCAPING COMMERCIAL LANDSCAPING

DOMESTIC LANDSCAPING

0%

20% More

40%

60%

Equal

80% 100% Less

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UK Landscape Barometer (3).indd 46

DOMESTIC LANDSCAPING

0%

20%

40%

60%

Interested to see an in-depth analysis or find out what the conversion statistics look like? Please email gemma.lloyd@eljays44.com or visit the Pro Landscaper website to download the full report.

80% 100%

Higher

Equal

Lower

No response

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NURSERIES

ON AVERAGE

Given the month-on-month confidence result this month, it’s certainly interesting to see that confidence is high all round for nursery respondents. Although turnover could be the more concerning figure, as only a third (33%) saw increases, quotes are still on the rise, with a strong 67% of respondents reporting increases. This could be due to demand still being relatively high in the industry. The material shortage is continuing to cause trouble, which could possibly be why many have seen a decrease (67%) in turnover. One participant stated: “The cost of packaging and haulage is increasing constantly. There is going to be a lot more onus on getting packaging back from customers, or charges being passed on for lack of returns.”

CONFIDENCE

TURNOVER 33%

More 67%

Higher Lower

100%

QUOTES 33%

Lower

SOIL Soil suppliers experienced a very positive month, with 100% of participants reporting increases across all areas of measurement. The last time the UK Landscape Barometer reported a result as strong as this for soil suppliers was for the trading month of April 2021 – an early point in lockdown restrictions lifting. Given how difficult the ongoing supply chain problem is for many in the industry at the moment, this result is certainly positive and encouraging to see – highlighting significant improvement on the year before, it is clear that the market is remaining busy.

CONFIDENCE

VOLUME SOLD

More 100%

Higher 100%

QUOTES

Higher 100%

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UK Landscape Barometer (3).indd 47

32% 24%

Nationally, conversion rates increased by

Enquiries rose by

DECREASED feeling MORE CONFIDENT Enquiries in Scotland and the North decreased by

25%

Projects in the South increased by

in turnover

Enquires for design and build companies decreased by

12% in quotes was seen by nurseries

Turnover in Scotland and the North saw a rise of

29%

15%

Turnover for nurseries decreased by

16% 21% An increase of

22%

Confidence significantly , with 6%

National projects increased by

Soil suppliers saw an increase of

Higher 67%

National turnover increased by

4%

The greatest increase in turnover was seen by garden designers, at

71% 13%

Domestic landscapers Turnover in saw an average the Midlands increase of rose by

72% 35% in turnover

LOWEST INCREASE DESIGN AND BUILD 18% Quotes INCREASED BY 7% for

The in turnover was seen by companies, increasing by

soil suppliers

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CARRY ON REGARDLESS FRESH OUT OF NATIONAL LOCKDOWN, MIRED IN A MATERIALS SHORTAGE, AND BLIGHTED BY A SKILLS SHORTAGE THAT JUST REFUSES TO DIE, THE UK CONSTRUCTION SECTOR HAS NOW HAD TO CONTEND WITH MASSIVE FUEL AVAILABILITY ISSUES. DID IT IMPACT POSITIVITY? NEIL EDWARDS LOOKS OVER A MONTH IN WHICH THE INDUSTRY SHRUGGED OFF YET ANOTHER CHALLENGE BEYOND ITS CONTROL

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uring the past two years, the UK construction sector has laughed off the economic threat of Brexit, thumbed its nose at a global pandemic, and maintained unprecedented workloads despite a worsening shortage of both materials and workers. So, when the ongoing lack of HGV tanker drivers brought petrol forecourts and the nation’s roads grinding to a halt, the industry yet again rolled up its sleeves and delivered another astonishing month of new contract awards. The industry may have paused for breath in August when the BCLive league table recorded £4.71bn in new contract awards, but it was back to business as usual in September, which closed the month with an impressive £7.42bn tally. Given that it generally takes around eight to 10 weeks to move from contract award to boots on the ground, the start of 2022 looks set fair. And even though that £7.42bn monthly total contains a £2.2bn single HS2 contract anomaly, it would have been an above average month even without it. That anomalous new contract award was won by the Align joint venture comprising Bouygues, VolkerFitzpatrick and Sir Robert McAlpine. The Align team has won the contract to build the Colne Valley Viaduct

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that will carry the high-speed rail line across a series of lakes and waterways on the North West outskirts of London. Despite the massive HS2 contract award that boosted the railways sector, housing was the biggest sector once again, contributing 165 new contracts worth a combined £2.475bn. Offices (£560m), roads (£499m) and entertainment and leisure (£410m) also enjoyed positive months.

THAT MAMMOTH HS2 CONTRACT WAS NOT ENOUGH TO DISPLACE HOUSING ON THE SECTOR COUNTDOWN, BUT IT DID KNOCK LONDON OFF ITS REGIONAL PERCH Among the most notable housing projects secured this month is a £290m new build project won by Morgan Sindall’s Lovell Partnership division that will see the construction of 766 new dwellings at a site at the former Morris Walk Estate in London’s Woolwich. Elsewhere, Bouygues picked up a £250m new build at Ebury Bridge Estate in Westminster that will see the creation of a large number of new homes.

That mammoth HS2 contract was not enough to displace housing on the sector countdown, but it did knock London off its regional perch with Hertfordshire topping the tree with eight new contract awards worth a combined £2.21bn, just ahead of the capital’s £2.14bn. Despite this, those in the landscaping sector will be eyeing a £188m new contract award won by McAteer & Rushe in London’s Wandsworth. That project will see the demolition of a former B&Q depot at Smuggler’s Way ahead of the creation of 13 residential blocks of eight to 15 storeys in height. It is expected to comprise extensive landscaping works as an industrial area close to a former gas holder is converted into much-needed housing. Traditionally, October signals the beginning of a slow and inexorable slide into the quieter winter months. But having blasted past Brexit, COVID-19 and shortages of workers, materials and now fuel, it would surely come as no surprise if the UK construction sector treated the annual festivities with equal disdain.

A B O U T N E I L E DWA R D S Neil Edwards is CEO of Builder’s Conference, the construction industry’s leading trade body. It provides its members to sales leads and market intelligence, as well as statistical data and networking opportunities. BCLive is a real-time league table of construction contract award activity. Operated by the Builders’ Conference, the BCLive league table monitors more than 6,000 new contract awards each year with a combined value of over £80bn. www.buildersconference.co.uk

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INSPIRE

PORTFOLIO 2 BOND LANDSCAPE DESIGN

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I N S I D E I N S P I R E T H I S M O N T H PAG E 5 3 P O RT FO L I O 1 : H G L A N D S CA P ES WO B U R N LT D, PAG E 5 6 P O RT FO L I O 2 : B O N D L A N D S CA P E D ES I G N , PAG E 6 0 P O RT FO L I O 3 : TO N Y B E N G E R L A N D S CA P I N G , PAG E 6 5 L A N D S C A P E A R C H I T EC T ’ S J O U R N A L : A S A L A N D S C A P E A R C H I T EC TS , PAG E 69 A N J I C O N N E L L , PAG E 74 L I F E /ST Y L E : P I P P R O B E RT, PAG E 76 P L BA W I N N E R P R O F I L E : C O N N I C K T R E E CA R E , PAG E 7 7 P L BA W I N N E R P R O F I L E : G L E N DA L E M A N AG E D S E RV I C ES , PAG E 8 0 O U T D O O R K I TC H E N S , PA G E 8 3 D E C K A D E N T Inspire Cover.indd 51

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INSPIRE

PROJECT D E TA I L S Project value £45- £55k Build time 3½ months Size of project 450m2 Awards • APL Awards 2021 – Silver • Marshalls National Awards Nomination 2018

NEXT LEVEL T ST E E P S LO P E S O LU T I O N S H G L A N DSCA P ES WO B U R N LT D L O C AT E D I N A S P L E Y G U I S E , B A C K I N G O N T O A W O O D L A N D , T H I S S T E E P LY S L O P I N G D AT E D G A R D E N R E Q U I R E D A C R E AT I V E T R A N S F O R M AT I O N T O M O D E R N I S E A N D A L L O W T H E FA M I LY T O M A K E B E S T U S E O F T H E W H O L E S I T E

his project had been in the works for some time, with the clients fully recognising the challenges and scale of all involved. Wanting a team they could trust to not only interpret their ideas but to inspire, the clients chose HG Landscapes Woburn for its specific skills in working with domestic landscape construction. The team worked creatively to ensure all aspects of the difficult construction were incorporated sensitively, enhancing the natural slope whilst linking the indoor and external spaces. The clients wanted unique areas each with their own feel and function where the end result was low maintenance and focused on sociability. The garden needed to rise away from the house making the most of the sun at various points of the day with little design features allowing the eye to pause and take in details. Design and build The four-metre drop from the rear of the garden to the house required the retaining walls to be an integral part of the design whilst providing functional structure. Blockwork and deep foundations were disguised behind striking feature walls. Material choice was crucial when creating such a vertical landscape. The selection of crisp red brick, dry stack and painted softwood sleepers created visual excitement. Vertical structures were linked back to the paving using a Smeed Dean handmade yellow stock brick on edge by Fendfine. Stoneface Drystack in Copper Slate by Marshalls was chosen to bring together all the structural colour elements and thus bringing harmony to the scheme. The main focal point of a curved slate lined terrace wall incorporated an intimate dining area for the family positioned to capture evening sun, while in the sunniest part of the garden a composite Millboard bench created extra seating for the spacious

1 Intimate dining area with the lighting adds evening ambience 2 Planting zones looking back towards the house 3 Planting softens the hard edges of the structural walls

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INSPIRE

ground level terrace. This allows for a more open and flexible entertaining area where soft furnishings would be used to link internal details with the outside space. Finishing touches of Scottish pebble accents cleverly hide drainage channels and feature lighting from LMP Electrical of Leighton Buzzard ensured the space was accessible at all times.

Materials The client chose a combination of materials that complemented the woodland whilst linking tones from the house with the garden. Each level was drawn together using Indian sandstone paving by Marshalls in Antique Alverno to reflect both the natural and feature lighting on to each terrace.

Planting The team was asked to retain some favoured plants while incorporating new specimens. They presented differing options to the client reaching a decision to soften the structural impact of the design using new planting areas of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and Hebe whilst cleverly rejuvenated shrubs from the original garden. Box topiary balls added additional visual drop points for eyes to rest upon as they ascend up the garden incline. Challenges The original extreme slope combined with the unique greensand soil made for some engineering challenges that HG Landscapes Woburn was well equipped to undertake. Foundations were planned to go deeper than normal for stability. Large amounts of new organic matter were brought in to rejuvenate the tired soil and drainage planned throughout to ensure longevity in the structure. The limited access posed an additional challenge that was worked into the plan ensuring the project ran smoothly and to time.

4 Lighting brings the space back to life in the evenings and at night 5 Rich colours of the slate drystack 6 Six intriguing levels nestle into the landscape 7 The garden lit up ready for evening entertaining 8 Composite bench – a place to sit and socialise

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ABOUT HG LANDSCAPES WOBURN HG Landscapes Woburn is an APL and Marshalls award-winning domestic landscape company. Starting 19 years ago, it gained a reputation for the quality of its project finishes and genuine customer regard. Becoming a firm favourite with designers who trust them to interpret their vision whilst managing the construction and finish, it creates spaces that showcase the passion and thoughtfulness this boutique company brings.

www.hglandscapes.co.uk

REFERENCES Designer Jayne Anthony Garden Design www.jayneanthonygardendesign.co.uk Contractor HG Landscapes Woburn Ltd Indian sandstone Marshalls www.marshalls.co.uk Turf George Davies www.georgedaviesturf.co.uk Railway sleepers Gardoo www.gardoo.co.uk Scottish pebbles Bletchley Turf www.bletchleyturf.co.uk

THE GARDEN BEFORE

Planting Acorn (MK) Nurseries www.acorn-mk-nurseries.co.uk Smeed Dean bricks Fendfine Composite bench Millboard www.millboard.co.uk

PREVIOUS STEPS

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PREVIOUS VIEW OF THE TOP OF THE GARDEN

Lighting LMP Electrical Services www.lmpelectrical.co.uk

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PROJECT D E TA I L S Project value £75k Build time 11 weeks Size of project 350m2

MEDITERRANEAN

ESCAPE A SLICE OF THE MEDITERRANEAN BOND LANDSCAPE DESIGN

BOND LANDSCAPE DESIGN BROUGHT A PIECE OF THE M E D I T E R R A N E A N T O E S S E X W I T H T H I S R U S T I C H AV E N

T

his client’s house, a hybrid between a typical large Essex home and a classic Mediterranean villa, stood out against the original garden which was mainly laid to lawn and surrounded by woodland. This, together with the poor-quality clay soil, buried builders’ rubble and waste, meant there was a large amount of remediation work that needed to be completed before the ground was suitable for use. The site was prepared using vast amounts of aggregate, horticultural grit and high-quality topsoil. The lawn and patio area were bordered by tall laurel hedges and made the garden feel bleak and claustrophobic.

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In addition to desiring a functional space that he could use when relaxing with his family and for entertaining, the client needed Bond Landscape Design to create his own private “slice of the Mediterranean” with this project. Client brief The design brief was to create a space which captured the essence of the Mediterranean whilst blending visually with the vernacular of the Essex landscape. Bond Landscape Design’s client grew up in the Mediterranean and wanted to replicate the plants, trees and aroma. Oliver Bond (MALA MSGD) of Bond Landscape Design designed the garden, planted the project, installed a wood-fired oven and closely projectmanaged the hard landscape installation. Design The design utilises a mature Mediterranean planting style which has been tailored to meet and alter the microclimate and geology of the site along with its changing weather conditions. The design included the planting of 20 mature Olea europaea trees of varying varieties (‘Arbequina’, ‘Picual’ and ‘Valencia’) that created an instant impact for the garden and a sense that it has be there for decades. The mature olive trees aided the blending of the space with the established woodland that borders much of the property.

1 Mature Ficus soften the impact of the kitchen 2 Verbena, cypress and rosemary provide a screen 3 Olea europaea, Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’, Salvia ‘Hot Lips’, Salvia rosmarnius and Verbena bonariensis 4 Clay paver path with the bespoke handmade tiles 5 Self-binding gold path with planting established 6 Clay paver path leads you to the feature patio

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The design includes a bespoke wood-fired pizza oven which takes pride of place beside the 50-year-old Ficus carica tree that was planted. These elements along with the mature Olea europaea (most exceeding 50 years old and one beyond 150) provide focal points and interspersed screening, which add to the storytelling and journey of the garden. The design incorporates a variety of elements that provide a genuine feel of the Mediterranean. For example, the hard landscaping, which has been designed to provide multiple spaces and link the house to the garden, both visually and physically. Also incorporated are two medium-sized seating areas and a large dining space along with whimsical paths that allows the garden

to tell a story. The clay paver paths are punctuated with bespoke decorative tiles. These interspersed decorative tiles provide a subtle link to the gardens and courtyards of Seville and those throughout the Mediterranean. Oliver designed these bespoke tiles to replicate a tile which the client got in Seville on a recent holiday which also inspired him to commission this project. Planting The design utilises a mature Mediterranean planting style which has been tailored to meet and alter the microclimate and geology of the site along with its changing weather conditions. The design included the planting of 20 mature Olea europaea trees of the varying varieties mentioned previously. The planting palette also includes trees and plants such as Cupressus sempervirens, Echinacea angustifolia, Ficus carica, Lavandula latifolia, Lavandula stoechas, Lavandula x intermedia, Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’, Stipa tenuissima, and Verbena bonariensis. The varying density and height of the planting conceals and reveals the areas when passing the winding paths, whilst framing views across the garden and landscape beyond. This framing provides vignettes of the garden as windows to the Mediterranean.

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THE GARDEN BEFORE

7 Created from cottage garden clay pavers, the bistro patio is enveloped by the designed Mediterranean planting scheme 8 Wispy forms of the Verbena, Salvia and Lavandula provide delicate views through the planting beds towards the bespoke artisan pizza oven 9 Rudbeckia standing proud against the mature Olea europaea, Ficus carica and Verbena to connect the Mediterranean villa feel 10 Traditional terracotta pots with citrus trees 11 The Mediterranean planting scheme conceals and reveals the stepping-stone path

ABOUT BOND LANDSCAP E DESIGN Led by landscape architect Oliver Bond MALA MSGD, Bond Landscape Design creates unique and inspiring spaces that allow the user to connect with their garden. It prides itself on its knowledge of design, construction and plants, which complements its passion to create wonderful gardens. It is known for its innovative schemes, which push the boundaries of design whilst allowing the garden to sit harmoniously within its context.

TREE PLANTING

www.bondlandscapedesign.com

REFERENCES

Materials The material selection blends with both the house and the Mediterranean style, as the terracotta red of the clay pavers blend with the red bricks of the Essex vernacular. Whilst the rich Sandstone paving and drystone walling replicates the golden sand and landscape elements of the Mediterranean as it replicates the render colour of the recently renovated house.

Design and soft landscaping Bond Landscape Design www.bondlandscapedesign.com Smooth sawn sandstone Royale Stones www.royalestones.co.uk WALL CONSTRUCTION

Cotswold buff aggregate Silvertons Aggregates www.silvertonaggregates.co.uk Olive trees and fig tree Olive Grove Oundle www.olivegroveoundle.co.uk Plants Grenville Nurseries www.grenvillenurseries.co.uk

PIZZA OVEN INSTALLATION

Cottage garden clay pavers Chelmer Valley www.chelmervalley.co.uk Tiles Designed by Oliver Bond Supplied by Tile Fire www.tilefire.co.uk Pizza oven Fuego Wood Fired Ovens www.fuegowoodfiredovens.com

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THE PLACE

TO B E E

S A XO N B R O O K H O U S I N G D E V E L O P M E N T, REDROW HOMES TONY BENGER LANDSCAPING TONY BENGER LANDSCAPING WAS BROUGHT ON BOARD TO HELP REALISE THE UK’S FIRST EVER BEE-FRIENDLY DEVELOPMENT

S

ituated to the north east of historic Exeter, the village of Pinhoe has a long history dating back over 1,000 years to the days of the famous Battle of Pinhoe between the Saxons and Vikings. Redrow’s housing development site ‘Saxon Brook’ is positioned close to what is believed to be the location of this battle. Brief Redrow became the first major housebuilder to partner with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT) in 2014. Since then, the home builder has worked to introduce nectar-rich plants to its developments across the country and educate customers and local communities on how they too can help boost the UK’s bumblebee populations. Located on the southern edge of Pinhoe, near Exeter, Saxon Brook was selected in 2015 for a pilot project to create the UK’s first ever bee-friendly development.

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The primary focus of this build was the protection and enhancement of the existing natural features at Saxon Brook. This not only helps to prevent disturbance to wildlife but also helps this new development ‘bed-in’ to its local surroundings, while providing opportunities for the community to enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits of nature on their doorstep.

PROJECT D E TA I L S Project value >£500k Build time Started in 2016, still running now on Phase 4 of the project Size of project Over 250 houses with large open space areas surrounding the houses Designer ACD Landscape Architects Contractor Redrow Homes Awards Shortlisted for BALI Awards 2021

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Design and build Tony Benger Landscaping’s involvement with the project started in February 2016 at the site clearance stage. To facilitate the infrastructure of the site a number of trees and hedgerows had to be removed. The company then installed the public open space landscape and plot landscaping for newly built houses. Initially only contracted on Phase 1, it has since been involved in all aspects of the landscape installation, recently starting work on Phase 4. As areas of public open space were completed, Tony Benger Landscaping was asked to carry out the grounds maintenance as well, which over the years has evolved into a large ongoing contract. Tony Benger Landscaping needed to provide a high-quality area of landscaped open space for residents to enjoy and that also connects the development to other green spaces in the wider area. It has been working closely with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust throughout the project, from ensuring the best seed mixes are used and allowing the best maintenance practice to be put in place for bumblebees and ecological purposes. The Bumblebee Conservation Trust played a large part in the specification of the wildflower mixes surrounding the large natural pond. The design provides strong and valuable habitat to bees and other pollinating species. Many of the trees planted in Phase 1 of the development are tied using natural hessian material. This was completed to reduce the amount of rubber and plastic used and to help fit in the with the eco-friendly nature of the landscaping.

1 2 3 4 5 6

Open Space landscaping. Phase 1 Saxon Brook, Exeter Banded white-tailed bumblebee on lavender © BBCT Wildflower verge across the public path New ponds beginning to mature Aquatic plants change with seasons Saxon Brook homes overlooking wildflower meadows

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INSPIRE Challenges One of the more unique challenges of the site’s landscaping was the requirement to plant trees on the small island in the centre of the attenuation pond. This became more of an issue once the specification for these trees was received; 14-16cm girth root balls normally weighing around 50-80kg. These can be a little cumbersome to move around at the best of times, but getting them onto an island was something new for Tony Benger Landscaping. The logistics of the tree planting was solved by using a small rowing boat to transport the trees one by one over to the island. Saxon Brook has a prominent feature of many large and sweeping areas of public open space, the majority of which was specified as either grass seed or bee friendly wildflower mix seed. Saxon Brook was the perfect project to show off how quick and effective the transformation of large areas can be using our newest kit of ride-on seeders and small tractors for soil preparation works. Gill Perkins, chief executive of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, said: “Working together to create bee-friendly housing developments and encouraging new home owners to do the same in their gardens; Redrow, Tony Benger Landscaping and the Trust have been able to achieve several key objectives that couldn’t have been realised alone. “Local bumblebee populations will have additional high-quality forage, which will enable them to flourish in what could otherwise be a site of closely mown grass. The landscaping has been designed to ensure the optimum habitat in which bumblebees can thrive, featuring large areas of colourful wildflower planting around the ponds, an orchard and bee-friendly planting throughout the development.”

GROUNDS MAINTENANCE

A B OU T TO N Y B E N G E R L A N D S CA P I N G Tony Benger Landscaping is an established multiple BALI and Pro Landscaper magazine award-winning company operating across the whole South West region. With 30 years of horticultural experience and employing around 100 dedicated employees, it is perfectly placed to manage a number of diversified projects with the elements of design, construction and maintenance.

www.tonybenger.com

REFERENCES Specialist wildflower mixes John Chambers Wildflowers www.johnchamberswildflowers.co.uk

TRANSPORTING TREES TO ISLAND BY BOAT

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Trees Boningale www.boningale.co.uk

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Galvanised steel floor access covers for exterior hard landscaping projects Our solid floor access covers are suitable for all types of exterior hard landscaping projects where permanent, safe access to under floor services is required. FACTA rated and manufactured in the UK to bespoke shapes and sizes, these floor access covers deliver first class performance with attractive affordability. Given the choice, why would you specify anything less?

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INSPIRE MAPLEWOOD, CHINEHAM PARK, BASINGSTOKE

LANDSCAPE A R C H I T EC T ’S JOURNAL A S A L A N D S C A P E A R C H I T EC TS

WINNERSH TRIANGLE 200 SERIES POCKET PARK, WOKINGHAM

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PRO LANDSCAPER BUSINESS AWARD WINNER ASA LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS MAY HAVE A BROAD RANGE OF PROJECTS, BUT ITS SKILLSET HAS BEEN HONED OVER THE YEARS. WE HEAR FROM DIRECTOR ANTHONY STIFF ABOUT SOME OF ITS MOST CHALLENGING PROJECTS, AS WELL AS HOW THE SEARCH FOR AN OFFICE SPACE LED TO NEW WORK AND NEW CLIENTS

I

f you were to see the entrance to ASA Landscape Architects’ office on Milton Park, you could easily forget you’ve just pulled into a business park. It’s the UK’s largest single ownership business community and boasts 2,653 trees, urban gardens (tenant allotments) and its very own sustainable travel advisor. For ASA Landscape Architects, it was not only the ideal place to set up an office space but offered the company consistent projects and sparked a new remit. Today, it is the park’s landscape architects, leading the landscape maintenance team and undertaking new projects on its grounds. The client, MEPC, has since extended this work to more of its sites and in turn, ASA Landscape Architects has built up a client base within this realm of work. Appointed by Frasers Property, ASA Landscape Architects was brought in to transform the landscape at Winnersh Business Park, for the benefits of tenant’s physical and mental health. “The budget was quite significant, so we knew we could do something really special with the space,” explains director Anthony Stiff. One feature which helped immensely with this were the existing mature trees. This also threw up some constraints though, with the entire design needing to work around these. It’s something ASA Landscape Architects took in its stride, incorporating a detailed planting design which included species-rich grassland. Way before COVID-19 made outdoor living a necessity, Winnersh Triangle 200 Series Pocket Park wanted to

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INSPIRE

encourage outdoor working as much as possible, achieved through a variety of seating opportunities with WiFi connection and an outdoor meeting space. “We’re now selling this premise to companies wanting their spaces to work harder, with more opportunities for outdoor working,” explains Anthony, “We’re able to show them a project on the ground that’s succeeding, that people are enjoying, and that’s making a significant difference.” This work began at Milton Park and MEPC, and the projects here are constantly evolving. One thing remains though, and that’s the company’s commitment to sustainability and environmentally friendly practices. Areas of wildflower planting sweep the business park and ASA Landscape Architects has plans to add bioretention swales throughout as part of new projects coming forwards. For now, they’re being implemented in just one location where they will take the run-off from the roof and attenuate this flow through a series of biodiverse swales, established within a deep gravel mulch which helps to reduce weed growth. “We’re hoping this is going to be the model going forward for the park – with the aim to be more sustainable and biodiverse, taking on board aspects of biodiversity net gain,” notes Anthony. “But there’s still an aspect of education, getting tenants and the client to sign up to the fact that some areas aren’t going to look great all year round, but the benefits outweigh the negatives. It’s incumbent upon us as landscape architects to explain the biodiverse benefits of things like wildflowers and swales.” Despite its expertise in these types of projects, ASA Landscape Architects hasn’t pigeonholed itself. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. “Over the years we have worked in every single sector and dealt with all scales of projects, from someone’s back garden to 20 miles of motorway planning,” explains Anthony. “Of late, we have

tended to choose larger projects – larger value, larger scale and larger timescales.” One such project includes Bicester Technical Site, formerly RAF Bicester airfield, where ASA Landscape Architects is repurposing the former RAF airfield to include facilities and spaces for a new hotel, and for areas to be developed as part of a centre of excellence for automotive companies rolling out new technologies, restoring heritage vehicles and providing driver experiences. This sensitive work is often commonplace in the practice’s projects.

IF YOU CAN FIGURE OUT YOUR USP AND SELL THAT TO A SECTOR THEN THAT HAS VALUE Perhaps no site was more sensitive than California Country Park – the multimillion-pound upgrade saw a new covered area outside the café, enhanced car parking to accommodate 300 cars, and a widened access road, designed with an overrun strip to accommodate tree roots. Not only did ASA Landscape Architects and P.T. Contractors need to work while the site remained open, but they needed to sensitively interpret their work, including the removal of some trees. “Inevitably with a site like this, people treat it as their own and they become very precious about how its affected, but as it was, it was proving to be unsustainable” shares Anthony. “We went through all the due processes – planning application to borough council, a tree survey and an ecology survey and everything else was surveyed to make sure we were ticking the right boxes.” Visitor’s sensitivity to change

WINNERSH TRIANGLE 200 SERIES POCKET PARK, WOKINGHAM

was no doubt comforted by the installation of 84 semi-mature trees, 1,420 hedgerow plants and EV charge points. It’s this sort of approach to work which led to ASA Landscape Architects scooping up a Pro Landscaper Business Award. But it was also its approach to business which caught the judge’s attention. For some practices, growing as a business might mean expanding the services you offer. But for ASA Landscape Architects, it’s the opposite. Though it used to offer ecology and arboriculture services, it actively stopped undertaking this work. “It proved to be a distraction,” explains Anthony. “Lots of landscape architects are jacks of all trades and that’s great, but if you can figure out your USP and sell that to a sector then that has value.” But the most important element of ASA Landscape’s three-year plan is resilience. And with material shortages, lack of HGV drivers and panic buyers, you can see why a company would want to home in on that. But ASA Landscape Architects’ need to be resilient has other motives too. “We’ve had a business coach for the past eight years, and his premise is to make the business as robust as possible,” shares Anthony. “If you work with this mindset, you can strive towards increasing the efficiency and profitability of the business.” This goal has seen ASA Landscape Architects introduce new accounting and project management software, making everything more efficient. The future looks bright, but certainly not complacent.

C O N TA C T ASA Landscape Architects 68i Milton Park, Innovation Drive, Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX14 4RQ Tel 01235 832 800 Email veronica@asalandscapearchitects.co.uk CALIFORNIA COUNTRY PARK, WOKINGHAM

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LUMACAST CONCRETE FIREPITS

INSPIRE

B

eing outdoors in nature has never been more important to us than over the last year and a half. However, with cooler weather on its way, the urge to hide indoors is tempting. Let’s encourage clients to stay outside longer by getting cosy by an outdoor fire. Outdoor heating solutions extend the outdoor season and there are myriad options for designing our projects with warmth and style as the sun goes down. Outdoor heaters come in all shapes, styles, materials, and fuel options – including electric, gas, propane, bioethanol, and wood-fired. Of course, it’s only with wood burners that you get the evocative smokey smell and crackling firewood reminiscent of childhood campfires. Whereas a larger area allows for a fire friends and family can fully gather around, there is no need for anyone to feel left out in the cold! There are many options for spaces of all sizes, including free-standing, back to wall, ceiling, and wallmounted, floor-standing, and tabletop heaters.

W H AT ’ S O U T T H E R E ?

FEEL THE BURN AS THE EVENINGS DRAW IN, ANJI CONNELL EXPLORES SOME OF THE BEST OUTDOOR HEATERS

a lifetime warranty! They come in eight natural colors, made from proprietary cement, an aggregate mix, and pigment obtained from earth oxides. The latest model, the Cintra, is a limited edition of 100 and is available in white and inkwell.

Smokeless fire pits Smokeless fire pits produce a highly efficient cleaner burn using less fuel to make more heat without irritating smoke or messy ash. Check out this BREEO Double Flame smokeless outdoor fire pit.

The Travelmate Mobile Fireplace Take your heat with you; travelmate is a smokeless fire contained within a transparent suitcase with a weather-resistant powder coating.

Focus Fires The Gyrofocus suspended pivoting fire is a design classic that remains as iconic today as it was in 1968.

BOO FIRE BASKET

BREEO

Propane The Lava Heat Italia CAPRI-A-LINE-6MPB propane heater is a two-metre high pyramidstyle option with an attractive bronze rustproof finish with 36 sq ft of heat coverage.

LAVA HEAT ITALIA

Lumacast fires Add a bit of California Modern with LUMACAST architectural concrete fires handcrafted in San Diego, California. They have tall, bright flames, are highly fuel-efficient, corrosion-resistant, look fantastic, and have

Boo Fire Basket Designed by Martin Kallin for Skargaarden, the Boo fire basket is just the thing for cosy moments on the terrace or in the garden. Boo doubles as a candle holder, if you turn it upside down. The American Heater Company Add a pop of colour with the portable propane heaters available from the American Heater Company.

TRAVELMATE MOBILE FIREPLACE

Zero by AK-47 Not new, but a goodie, the Zero by AK-47’s round shape with integral seating is ZERO BY AK-47 perfect for gatherings. Plus, the seating unit doubles up as a firewood store. Frederik Roijé’s Smokestack Dutch designer Frederik Roijé fire has an imaginative, architectural yet whimsical collection of furniture, lighting, and accessories. Inspired by the iconic smokestacks, he observed in his youth in Holland. The Corten steel has a protective oxide film that yields strength and weathers to a pleasing coppery hue with the elements. It has the wow factor, too, standing at almost two metres high.

Bioethanol fires Danish lifestyle brand Le Feu’s bioethanol flue-less fires are elegant and stylish, available in ceiling hung and floor standing models in black and white and chrome finish, and a choice of three wood finishes – Smoked Oak, Soaped Oak, and Black Oak. LE FEU BIOETHANOL

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SMOKESTACK

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B E S P O K E I N S P I R AT I O N ©Jesse Dittmar

INSPIRE

Yō no Ie, Japan Muji’s prefabricated home (named Yō no Ie) is designed with a large outdoor deck with sunken seating and a fire pit that encourages indooroutdoor living – the boundaries between are ambiguous, creating a flexible indoor/outdoor living space.

BROMIC ECLIPSE PORTABLE OUTDOOR HEATER

Bromic Platinum Smart Heat™ heaters Bromic has outdoor heaters for all commercial and residential settings in a range of electric, gas, tungsten gas, and electric, in fixed and portable models. It is a recipient of the Good Design Award (AUS) – Red Dot Design Award (DR). Its Eclipse Smart-Heat Electric series is a stylish new collection in seven striking designs, with dimmable integrated lighting. The advanced Smart Heat™ technology ensures radiant heat

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Ensure you have a level surface that can hold the weight of the fire. Check the clearances to combustibles such as low-hanging branches, plants and thatch roofs. Adhere to the correct wall clearances offered by the manufacturers and avoid locating them in exposed windy environments. For semi-covered outdoor areas, ensure there is sufficient ventilation.

is spread evenly across areas of up to 13m2 per heater. Bromic’s wide range of flexible mounting options and minimal vertical clearance requirements allows them to be placed virtually anywhere. Swan Al Fresco The Swan Al Fresco SH16310N Column Heater is an electric patio heater with 2000W of power, with a choice of two warmth levels. It’s 80cm tall with a 360-degree tip-over switch for safety purposes, so if it does get knocked over, it will automatically shut itself off. SWAN AL FRESCO

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

Metropolis, South Africa South African studio Metropolis has created a bold concrete pavilion on the grounds of a Cape Town house with sheltered seating and dining areas and stunning views of Table Mountain and the coastline. A fire pit and suspended chimney sit in a covered space at one end with benches incorporated into the structure. Butterfly House, USA Surface Design landscape and architecture studio has created a series of planted terraces for a house in San Francisco. A raised concrete hearth hosts an ethanol fire in the ground floor courtyard, with benches and gorgeous planting. Alternatives – Heated Furniture Dan Francisco’s Galanter & Jones heated outdoor chairs in cast-stone warms the sitter’s core – instead of emitting heat into the air, making the sitter feel like being in a hot tub without getting wet.

©Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp.

STUDIO PIET BOON

Considerations ©Kentauros Yasunagamar

Studio Piet Boon Disc Studio Piet Boon strives to craft a perfect balance between functionality, aesthetics, and individuality. For Disc, it collaborated with the technical innovators at Belgian design company Heatsail, who have redefined outdoor luxury lighting, heating, and cooling. Disc was awarded the 2020 Archiproducts Design Award and is longlisted in the product design category of Dezeen Awards 2021. It is rust-free and weatherproof; due to the use of aluminum and stainless steel, it is low maintenance, has a low energy usage and a zero CO2 emission thanks to the use of ceramic heating, and a heat reach of up to five metres.

Equinox Hotel, New York Take inspiration from New York’s fabulous outdoor area at the Equinox Hotel, Hudson Yards. A stunning ethanol fire sits alongside a magnificent Jaume Plensa sculpture perched on the terrace’s infinity-edge water feature, designed by the Rockwell Group, Joyce Wang Studio, and SOM architecture.

www.anjiconnellinteriordesign.com

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NO FUSS, JUST A PERFECT LAWN Without the need for seed, weed or feed.

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compacted aggregate has settled.

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VertEdge is a new revolutionary artificial grass edging system. VertEdge addresses these problems providing a neat adhered perimeter which is safer neater and stronger than any other product or method on the mar et today. VertEdge offers paying customers a system that is purpose designed easy to A r understand t i f i c i a l L and a w nvalue E d gfor i n money. g

VertEdge is a new revolutionary artificial grass edging system

or many people the tric iest piece of the igsaw when laying artificial is the n an age of ovid and loc downs where we are spending more time atgrass home edging. n particular finding a than ever before artificial grass has never been so popular. t s easy seelong why. reliableto and term Available at: method of securing the grass t s low maintenance long lasting and durable. • Jewson • ArtificialGrass.com to the perimeter. ho wouldn t want to wave goodbye to the lawnmower nd weeds • • • •

ArtificialGrassDirect LazyLawn he good news is there s a simple way to put these artificial lawn laying headaches out to pasture. NoMow.co.uk Amazon.com nd yet although artificial grass is hassle free installing it can be uite the opposite

VertEdge the new industry standard.

i ing the perimeter of an artificial lawn is one of the most important parts of an artificial lawn ® are dated flawed installation. raditional methods and improvised. lawn perimeter is nailed A r t i f i c i a l L a w n hen E d g i nthe g screwed or stapled every cm ust of the lawn is fi ed leaving unfi ed. ot to mention leaving visible fi ing mar s on the lawn surface. hen the lawn perimeter is glued on to a cement haunch ghosting lines are visible through the lawn almost immediately or certainly once the compacted aggregate has settled.

’’VertEdge, a revolutionary new artificial grass edging system.’’

Fixing the perimeter of an artificial lawn is one of the most important parts of an artificial lawn installation. Traditional methods are dated, flawed, and improvised. When the lawn perimeter is nailed, screwed or stapled, just 10% of the lawn edge is fixed. This has the potential to lift and become dangerous, leaving 6 inch nails in the ground to secure the lawn is clearly dangerous and should be avoided.

When the lawn perimeter is glued on to VertEdge, using the VertEdge adhesive, adheredthese perimeter is achieved. VertEdge is a new revolutionary artificial grass edging system. VertEdgea 100% addresses problems With no need for nails or screws, VertEdge providing a neat adhered perimeter which is safer neater and stronger than any other product or creates a safe, child and pet friendly method on the mar et today. VertEdge offers paying customers a system that is purpose designed environment for your garden. easy

understand and value for money. • 100% adhesion to the artificial grass, providing an enhanced natural finish to the perimeter • 100 % no nails • 100 % safe for children and pets • 100% Recyclable ♻

to

VertEdge offers customers a system that is effective, easy to install and value for money. or many people the tric iest VertEdge is neater, stronger and safer than any piece the product igsaw when other artificial lawnof edging or method on the artificial market today. laying grass is the

n particular finding a 01992 804edging. 459 hello@vertedge.com

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ADVERTORIAL

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EDGE YOUR BETS VertEdge’s purpose-designed product is a great solution for providing a strong, safe and slick finish to your artificial grass THE BENEFITS OF VERTEDGE

Current artificial lawn perimeter fixing methods are generally improvised using standard off the shelf building materials – i.e. wood, cement, plastic, nails, screws – with each contractor claiming their method is ‘the way to go’ and better than others. This creates confusion for the paying client/customer as there is no widely recognised industry standard for contractors to adhere to. VertEdge addresses this issue with a purpose-designed product that provides consistency and uniform across the industry, which in turn would vastly improve the safety and quality of artificial grass installations for the end user. We believe that VertEdge is the solution to this recognised problem, and will become the industry standard.

Images ©VertEdge

WHAT IS MAKING VERTEDGE STAND OUT?

and smarter perimeter finish to an artificial lawn installation – there is nothing else in production worldwide that is similar to VertEdge in its design or application.

ANY NEW INTRODUCTIONS IN THE LAST YEAR?

VertEdge has only been on the market for one year, so we have been busy taking VertEdge to market. However, we are always thinking of new ideas – watch this space.

WHAT PRODUCTS DO VERTEDGE HAVE ON OFFER?

VertEdge is a simple, highly-effective product. All that is required is our VertEdge artificial lawn edging and our specialised adhesive.

DO YOU OFFER YOUR OWN INSTALLATION SERVICE?

Yes, we offer an installation service in and around London and Essex. We occasionally use our installations as on-site training for contractors looking to improve their installations by using the VertEdge system.

PRICE RANGE

VertEdge is comparable in price to timber battens for an artificial lawn installation, with none of the downsides associated with using timber battens – such as decay and visible fixings. Enjoy all the positives of using VertEdge, such as its long-lasting quality and simplicity to install. www.vertedge.com

VertEdge has been designed and thought out from over 35 years of knowledge in the flooring and artificial grass industry. It has been designed to provide a safer, stronger

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WORK

INSPIRE

Colleagues We have a good team around us, some that work with us on every project and others that come in as specialist trades. My business partner, Wez Salthouse, is the one of the most important members of the team; he takes a lot of the additional pressure away from me on a daily basis. Some of our colleagues do not live in our area, but we are always thrilled to bring them on board when we are working on a larger scheme, show gardens or when working on projects further afield. Mentors Firstly Leigh Morris; Leigh was head of horticulture and looked after our year group at university, and he is one of those amazing people that can inspire and excite anyone he meets. The second is Sam Youd, the retired head gardener of Tatton Park Gardens, now horticultural guru to Cheshire. I met Sam whilst building my very first show garden back in 2005. Sam took me under his wing and has looked out for me ever since.

Best learning curve Before graduating, I managed to be selected for my first show garden. The bright lights of RHS Flower Show Tatton Park were calling me and I was not going to turn down the opportunity. Once there I was totally absorbed by the whole experience. Iron-on logos and a few thousand homemade leaflets later, the rest is history. It was a massive learning curve. I managed to build up a great network of friends in all areas of the industry, which I put down to my involvement in the various shows and events around the country and abroad. Low points of career Although I love what I do, there have been times when I have thought it might be best to move onto something different. These thoughts have sometimes lasted a while, but they were never truly strong enough to put me off. I think that working for yourself can be a massive challenge. Sometimes people can drag you down, and I have occasionally worked with clients that don’t appreciate your expertise and general knowledge of the industry. With age comes wisdom and also a tendency for not hanging on every bad comment – learning to take a step back from things a little can help a lot.

High points of career Being involved in projects where people allow you, as a designer, the freedom to create something truly special. My show gardens are always favourites, as I feel there is more freedom from the client. They are looking for something that stands out and makes a statement, but mostly I feel that they are more open to something ‘different’; whereas with some of my private gardens, clients are more cautious. Working on the BBC programme Your Garden Made Perfect has definitely been a high point. The clients are so excited to work with each of the designers, and they want something they could not have dreamt of themselves. I’m also proud that it is realistic with figures, explains costs and demonstrates the build process as well. Leadership style I want the team to enjoy coming to work and to feel proud of the gardens that we produce, that is so important. As a team, we are flexible, accommodating the needs of the clients and also each other. I do get a little stressed from time to time, as we all do, but generally that is when Wez steps in and gives me a reality check. I do expect hard work and dedication, but in return there is flexibility and support given to everyone.

LIFE/STYLE P I P P R O B E R T, G A R D E N D E S I G N E R AT O U T E R S PAC E S L A N D S C A P I N G A N D D E S I G N , S H A R E S H E R E X P E R I E N C E S I N T H E I N D U ST R Y, I N S P I R AT I O N S A N D S O M E P E R S O N A L I N T E R E STS

INSPIRATION People Gertrude Jekyll always stood out to me whilst I was studying. I love to see her use of colour within her planting schemes I have all of the John Brookes publications and I used him as an inspiration whilst learning my craft. In recent years. I like a range of designers;

some I have even been lucky enough to work with. Inspirational designers include Diarmuid Gavin, Andy Sturgeon, Sarah Eberle, Andrew Fisher Tomlin and Kate Gould. Gardens I love a garden visit, but it is very rare that I get the chance to go. Locally,

I regularly visit Arley Hall (Cheshire); always lots of colour and a great place to wander round and relax (plus Nancy can come too). I always enjoy a trip to Cambo (in Fife), with its stunning planting displays. It is well worth a visit late summer.

©Richard Oldroyd/Shutterstock.com

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PERSONAL

INSPIRE

Hobbies I love to do anything creative. Drawing, painting, making things – it could literally be anything. I have done everything from painting on shop windows to tattoo designs for friends, creating wedding flowers to Christmas displays in award-winning wine bars. Design tastes I think I am more contemporary in my design taste. I like things to be clean and not too fussy. Patterns are good, but I use them mostly in isolation. Things should stand out in their own right, with each design feeling simplistic, yet effortlessly detailed, and always with impact. Planting plays such an important role – I like this to take centre stage where possible. Most treasured possession(s) Nancy is my most treasured possession. My beautiful Golden Retriever is very important to me, and I love to take her with me when possible. Favoured dress style Being an outdoor person, I tend to live in jeans and vest tops and always avoid white. I’m always absorbed into something ‘work’ related when I am out, so even if the high heels are on, there always needs to be a pair of trainers handy in my bag. I love to get dressed up and wear something smart, and so when the rare opportunity arises, I want to make the most of it! Food There is very little I don’t like. Fish is a favourite and tends to be what I choose if I’m going for a meal out. I also definitely have a sweet tooth.

TRAVEL Places you’ve been The last place I visited abroad was Beijing in 2019. This was a show garden project, but what an experience; to be able to visit China with my work is such an exciting and wonderful opportunity. Being positioned at the Horticultural Expo, it had many landscaped areas demonstrating local styles and methods. But also, there were gardens created by every nation, exhibiting a range of styles and trends in each country. How you like to travel In the past I have been on cruise ships, and this is an amazing way to explore the world. Being able to visit a different destination each day is wonderful, soaking up the culture and enjoying local attractions, scenery and cuisine. How you like to stay when you’re on holiday? I like to be somewhere with a place to sit outdoors. I love to be outside and to make the most of this into the evening, so somewhere with a view would be perfect.

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INSPIRE DEDICATION TO STAFF, LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND THE ARBORICULTURE INDUSTRY MADE CONNICK TREE CARE A CLEAR WINNER

O

ver more than 35 years, the strapline of Connick Tree Care has remained the same – ‘specialists in the preservation and maintenance of trees.’ It’s as true as the day it was founded, though the company goes above and beyond what you’d expect from this strapline. It takes its corporate social responsibility seriously, engaging with local communities when it can to make a difference. Take its work with Brighton-based group Save the Elms. When there was a threat identified of elm disease spreading in Brighton and the surrounding area, an action day was held for volunteers to help reduce the beetle population, and Connick Tree Care put itself forward to assist. In fact, all staff are entitled to take ‘volunteer days’ to support local initiatives, which has led to employees helping with volunteer woodland management and planting schemes, for example, and teaching the importance of trees in schools.

As well as an impressive commitment to the community, Surrey-based Connick Tree Care is dedicated to the development of its employees, saying they are its “most valuable resource”. On top of induction training and initial appraisals to identify skills gaps and training requirements, Connick Tree Care also provides customer care training for its 60-strong team.

Training on a more individual basis is offered too. Suitable candidates are enrolled on an arboriculture course at a local college, at the expense of the company. Students are

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ARBORICULTURE COMPANY SPONSORED BY PRO ARB

considered employees, though, and offered a full-time wage (DOE) and provided with all the necessary equipment. Four arborists have been trained and employed permanently over the last three years as a result of the scheme, including

AS WELL AS AN IMPRESSIVE COMMITMENT TO THE COMMUNITY, SURREY-BASED CONNICK TREE CARE IS DEDICATED TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF ITS EMPLOYEES one member of staff who has already reached the position of team leader at the age of 21. Connick Tree Care also strives for as many employees as possible to achieve the Professional Tree Inspector (PTI) qualification. Ensuring its staff stand out from the crowd is paying off, too; throughout 2020, its average customer feedback score was 9.54 out of 10, and its Checkatrade average is 9.8 out of 10, showing impressive standards of work and client engagement. Managing director Mike Connick has always sought to showcase arboriculture at its best and to improve the standard throughout the

industry. He has lectured at Merrist Wood College and his company has been an active member of the Arboriculture Association for nearly four decades, with Mike regularly attending the annual conference. He also participates in the London Tree Officers Association and National Tree Officers Conference. For the Tree Research and Education Endowment Fund (TREE Fund) in Illinois, Mike has raised $18,000 and engaged in its environmental education programme. Mike has conducted extensive research into

biomass heating systems too, including three feasibility projects for heating East Surrey Hospital with biomass. Connick Tree Care has an Environmental Management System, certified in accordance with ISO 14001, which was recently updated to include efficient journey planning. Linking to Google Maps, the company can plan the optimum route and plan its appointments more efficiently. Judges for the Pro Landscaper Business Awards called Connick Tree Care “a great example of a company completed dedicated to the arboriculture sector”, and its easy to see why.

REGISTER YOUR INTEREST FOR THE PRO LANDSCAPER BUSINESS AWARDS 2022 AT: WWW.PROLANDSCAPERBUSINESSAWARDS.COM

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www.prolandscapermagazine.com

20/10/2021 16:06


INSPIRE GLENDALE MANAGED SERVICES WON GROUNDS MAINTENANCE COMPANY OF THE YEAR FOR ITS COMMITMENT AND DEDICATION TO THE INDUSTRY, ITS STAFF, ITS COMMUNITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

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lendale Managed Services is fully committed to its staff’s development, ensuring that a minimum threshold of 0.5% of total turnover is dedicated to this. From 2017-2019, this amounted to an annual average of £235,768 spend and 2,786 training days. And the company offers 121 training and qualification courses and 20 innovative RoSPAaccredited H&S e-Learning modules via Human Focus. “This company-wide ethos of opportunity and upskilling individuals creates an environment where our workforce, the unsung heroes, are inspired to deliver high-quality arboricultural works with the utmost precision and pride,” James Robinson tells us. “Furthermore, our arborists value the importance we place on H&S, with continual strides made towards a ‘Zero Harm Culture’ (1 RIDDOR, 2020) through ISO-45001-accredited systems and company-wide behavioural safety campaigns.” This is evidenced in its retention rate of 93.5% for full-time permanent staff. A number of initiatives contribute to this, which include mental health training, free access to wider Parkwood Groups facilities – its 96 gyms, swimming pools, outdoor activity centres and six golf courses – its Fair Working Policies, as well as being an Equal Opportunities Employer. Offering apprenticeship schemes is also a vital component of the company and a key

T HE P RO L A N DSCA PER BUSINESS AWARDS 2021 WINNER PROFILE

Glendale Managed Services

GROUNDS MAINTENANCE COMPANY SPONSORED BY CORE LANDSCAPE PRODUCTS

GLENDALE MANAGED SERVICES IS FULLY COMMITTED TO ITS STAFF’S DEVELOPMENT, ENSURING THAT A MINIMUM THRESHOLD OF 0.5% OF TOTAL TURNOVER IS DEDICATED TO THIS USP for Glendale Managed Services. It is a member of The 5% Club, committing to a minimum of 5% of its staff in apprenticeship positions. In fact, in February 2021 apprentices made up 8% of its workforce. This helps to deliver against the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitment to ensure investment and both

societal and economic development within the geographic areas in which it operates. This commitment to its community is a common theme throughout Glendale Managed Services. Across its portfolio, it provides 52,271 hours of social value initiatives, annually, worth £1,576,005. These include school career talks and CV workshops, garden makeovers, community clear ups, outdoor volunteering classes and biodiversity projects, and funding client CSR activities and grants to local charities. Glendale aims to drive forward excellence within the horticultural industry when it comes to the environment, as well. Glendale has committed to achieving net carbon neutrality by 2025 and switching its fleet over to electric will be a key component. It has introduced an electric-only car policy, but by 2024, 45% of its field assets will be electric. “Throughout the many communities we serve and wider arboricultural sector, we are

at the forefront of delivering environmentally friendly solutions, underpinned by our 2025 carbon-neutral commitment. “All acquisitions and growth during our history has been to cement this philosophy rather than diversify and lead us into other tertiary sectors, thus diluting our primary objective and commitment to the industry.” Glendale Managed Services’ dedication to its staff, community, environment and the industry is clear to see. Its commitment to a greener future, underpinned by its five-star pledge, encompasses the environment, research, social value, and governance.

REGISTER YOUR INTEREST FOR THE PRO LANDSCAPER BUSINESS AWARDS 2022 AT: WWW.PROLANDSCAPERBUSINESSAWARDS.COM

www.prolandscapermagazine.com

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GRILLO SHARES THE LATEST TRENDS IN OUTDOOR KITCHENS AND ITS RECENT LAUNCHES TO ACHIEVE THE LOOK

utdoor Kitchens have been gaining momentum in the UK for a few years, but lockdown has really fuelled the outdoor socialising and entertaining fire. For many garden designers and landscapers, outdoor living spaces are now the norm – indeed the whole garden design vision is now starting with outdoor socialising in mind. Burning a few sausages on a stand-alone barbecue that is tucked away around the corner of the house? Those days are over. People are using outdoor kitchens as so much more than a place to cook outdoors – it is now about wowing guests and giving people memorable occasions. The latest trends have seen outdoor kitchens become an extension of the home and, in many cases, the focal point for socialising. The industry has progressed massively, with the release of many new and exciting products. Outdoor kitchens now incorporate garden bars, built-in ice wells, different seating options, and of course a plethora of BBQs and pizza ovens, allowing

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people to transform their outdoor space into an area where they can spend quality time with family and friends. “One of the newest and most exciting outdoor kitchen trends to feature in gardens across the UK is the addition of a garden bar,” says Dougal Donald from Grillo. A garden bar is a perfect companion to an outdoor kitchen, and it comes as no surprise that this is precisely what many people are looking for. The ideal design is where the garden bar and outdoor kitchen become one. Combining the two concepts creates a stunning centrepiece for any garden, a place that brings friends and family together around food and drinks. Outdoor kitchens and outdoor living are extremely popular, with many people wanting to spend as much time as possible outdoors. This has led to the increasing demand for fire pits and comfortable seating spaces. With the latest trends, you can host until your heart’s content, whilst loved ones sit back and relax – all in close proximity to where the food is cooked alfresco, and drinks are served in style. www.grilloliving.com

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www.prolandscapermagazine.com

20/10/2021 15:58


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EDUCATE

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WE EXPLORE ALL THINGS BESPOKE, AS MILLBOARD AND ECODECK EXPLORE ONE OF THEIR BESPOKE DECKING PROJECTS AND KARL HARRISON OFFERS UP SOME TIPS ON HOW TO CREATE BESPOKE DESIGNS

MILLBOARD Project: Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) Slimbridge Products used: Millboard Enhanced Grain Golden Oak, Millboard Plas-Pro subframe The Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust used Millboard Enhanced Grain Golden Oak decking boards to create a beautifully curved 360 seat open air living wetland theatre for visitors to sit and discover more about their conservation work whilst being able to watch the birds flying overhead. Installed in early 2020, the project benefited from the traditional tones of golden oak, the natural look finish perfectly suiting the wetland environment. The boards are supported by a subframe constructed from Millboard’s Plas-Pro material and meets the brief for a durable yet comfortable seating arrangement. The wetland location meant the non-rot properties of Millboard decking were vital, whilst the excellent slip-resistant qualities are ideal for the visitor area. www.millboard.co.uk

ECODEK

Project: Private residential garden Products used: AT composite decking in Pebble Grey

David Whittaker was looking to replace a timber deck that had been down for seventeen years, with a solid composite deck that was durable and low maintenance. David strengthened the existing support structure he had in place, changed the

BESPOKE DESIGN

KARL HARRISON GIVES HIS TOP TIPS ON HOW TO CREATE BESPOKE DECKING DESIGNS

Pushing the boundaries in decking design is more complex than first meets the eye. The devil is really in the detail and most of this detail is under the surface of the decking. Once you have the desired shape of your platform you really must consider the substructure. Make sure you follow the APL decking installation guidelines, and you can be sure you’ll have a decking terrace to last as far as the investment is expected too. I always say that one of the key failures in most decking structures is when the contractor doesn’t follow the manufacturer’s instructions. This is vital to all decking installations and even more so for a complex designer deck.

www.prolandscapermagazine.com

Decking.indd 83

shape and layout of the deck to come over his drive area and then went onto fit the signature AT composite decking in Pebble Grey. Ecodek’s eco-friendly solid composite decking is the perfect choice to revamp an existing garden to an outdoor space that they can thoroughly enjoy, and this recent project is a prime example of this. www.ecodek.co.uk

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR IN YOUR DESIGNER DECKING: YOUR 10-POINT GUIDE • Correct post support spacing and use plastic posts, so they don’t rot • Don’t let your beams or joists touch the ground • If you can, you should use UC4 treated timbers • Protect the sides from touching soil, lawn, or planting beds • Consider correct spacing for your beams and joists • Use appropriate fixings to connect your framework • Use a ground cover membrane to prevent weeds • Always use stainless decking screws if you can • Apply decking tape to ensure the maximum from your joists • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter

Pro Landscaper / November 2021 83

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21/10/2021 23/02/2021 10:49 11:51 20/10/2021 09:43


30 UNDER 30

WELCOME

FROM THE SPONSOR ...

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e say it every year, but it’s true every time – the quality of entries continues to astound us. Narrowing them down has become increasingly difficult since the initiative first began in 2015. So, congratulations to this year’s winners. It is an incredible achievement, and we feel a huge sense of pride in showcasing your careers thus far. Winners from previous years have shared how the award has helped to gain recognition and confidence, and we have high hopes for this year’s 30 – you’ll no doubt see their names in more places than the following pages. Many aspire towards RHS medals, others prolific projects, some even towards impacting government policies. As well as admirable ambitions, there was a resilience to this year’s entries that perhaps we’ve only seen in the last couple of years, since the first lockdown began. Redundancies or discontent have led to complete career changes, role revamps or taking bigger and bolder chances to create successful businesses, whether it’s their own or led by someone who has provided a path for progression. One aspect which really struck a chord this year is our winners’ reasons for young people to join horticulture (and you can read some of these for yourself on page 97). An overwhelming amount spoke about the diversity of the industry, with a range of roles for all skill levels and character types, from the handy to the creative. There was also a common theme around the industry’s contribution to sustainability and the impact those joining horticulture could have on tackling climate change and building a greener future. It’s inspiring to read how passionate our next generation of horticulturists are about their roles and the difference they can make to the lives of others. Better yet, though, is their eagerness to continue improving the industry, whether that be through encouraging more diversity and inclusivity – such as attracting more women to the industry or appealing to those with dyslexia – or raising its profile and perception to the wider public. This commitment and determination is celebrated through these awards, and will continue to be celebrated and encouraged even after the award ceremony has taken place. Speaking of a commitment to the industry, we are thrilled to once again have Green-tech sponsoring Pro Landscaper’s 30 Under 30: The Next Generation this year. The supplier invests heavily in its staff, with many of its own employees winning this award over the years. Its support of our initiative and the rising stars within the industry is greatly appreciated. Well done to the class of 2021!

NINA www.prolandscapermagazine.com

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We are delighted to sponsor Pro Landscaper’s 30 Under 30: The Next Generation. It is one of the most valuable industry initiatives that recognises, encourages and celebrates the remarkable talent of the younger generation. Turning the spotlight on this group and raising the profile as a career choice is critical to the future success and growth of the landscaping, horticulture, and forestry industries. It provides a great springboard for winners, and we take great interest in watching their careers develop.

RICHARD KAY CHAIRMAN, GREEN-TECH

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21/10/2021 10:50


30 UNDER 30

ADAM STEWART

MANAGING DIRECTOR, UTOPIA LANDSCAPES

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aving freedom to be creative and explore ideas sparks real joy for Adam at work. Collaboration is key at Utopia, and Adam has carefully selected his team to ensure trust, value and development is at the heart of the job. Adam enjoys working closely with his clients, and aims to go above and beyond in ensuring all avenues are explored so that customers can truly be left with their dream garden. Recently, Adam has been looking into giving talks in schools to help encourage young people to enter into the landscaping industry as he believes “it’s one of the best professions out there.”

AMY HOPKINSON

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ALEX PETTITT MANAGING DIRECTOR/ LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT, TOPOFORMA LANDSCAPE LTD

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lex Pettitt has been on a journey through the horticultural industry ever since his passion for plants was sparked during nursery work experience in his secondary school days. Now running his own company, Alex believes his understanding of design and the nature of landscaping can help to have a profound impact on people. After a great achievement this year – Alex built a Silver medal-winning garden at the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park – Alex hopes to continue designing beautiful spaces and inspiring the next generation of landscape professionals to aim high and achieve wonderful things. Creating a positive legacy that stretches far beyond awards and income is his goal.

OWNER AND PRINCIPAL DESIGNER, AMY HOPKINSON GARDEN DESIGN LTD

ALEX ROCKETT SITE SUPERVISOR, TONY BENGER LANDSCAPING LTD

etting up your own practice during the first lockdown was a bold move, but Amy took a chance, and it appears to have paid off. “Despite the challenges of operating during the pandemic, I have enjoyed setting up a new business and the projects I have had the opportunity to work on.” She retrained as a garden designer in 2019 having spent the past two years working as an assistant show manager at the RHS, helping to organise two of its biggest shows – Chelsea and Hampton Court. The London-based designer continues to freelance for the RHS and recently designed and planted a series of planters for this year’s Chelsea. Prior to the RHS, Amy worked in Westminster and hopes to use this experience to raise the profile of the industry.

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ALEXANDER SHIPP DESIGNER, MERISTEM DESIGN LTD

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s site supervisor, Alex is responsible for ensuring over 150 sites across England are at an award-winning standard. He was involved in Tony Benger Landscaping becoming Supreme Winner at the Pro Landscaper Business Awards. Alex is studying plant health and management which enables him to observe pests and diseases. His passions extend to biodiversity and biosecurity and one of his goals is to become an ambassador in his company so he can further educate clients and residents. He also wants to achieve an NVQ in sports pitch management, and introduce this as a new department.

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nspired by his grandfather – an avid gardener with an extensive collection of exotic plants – Alexander developed a passion for horticulture from a young age. He started as a self-employed gardener before going to Loughborough University to study industrial design and technology. In his placement year, Alexander designed commercial spaces at Area, where he gained an interest in interior greening and a better understanding of living wall systems, going on to write his mini dissertation on biophilia. He has worked across 20 of the 32 London boroughs and plans to leave his mark in the remaining 12, helping to green even the most deprived areas of the capital. He has been in his role at Meristem Design for the past two years, building a design department, having started as the sole designer.

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www.prolandscapermagazine.com

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30 UNDER 30

BLAIR PARKER

BEN MCILWAINE

J U N I O R FO R E M A N , G A R D E N C LU B LO N D O N

PROJECT MANAGER, GAIA GARDENERS

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lair joined Garden Club London as a skilled landscaper at the start of 2020. After just one year with the company, he’d been promoted to junior foreman and now oversees a small team on site and helps to train junior operatives. He plays a key role in delivering high quality landscapes within the required timeframe, currently heading up a £400K project in Knightsbridge, and has a particular passion for carpentry, hoping to build his skillset in this area. Blair believes young people should join horticulture for the industry’s diverse offering. “Landscaping offers so many great opportunities for young people, often with entry level jobs that allow great chances for further education and career advancement through skills learned.”

BEN POULTER PROJECT LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT, IRONSIDE FARRAR

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AFTERCARE AND PL ANTING MANAGER, GARDEN CLUB LONDON tarting out in fashion was a huge benefit for Christina, when it came to design skills and the use of drawing software as well as confidence with clients. Since 2016, she had the goal of working for Garden Club London and now she’s ready to work her way up to larger residential and commercial projects. Before, Christina worked for Belderbos Landscapes managing 16 gardeners and 400 clients. Currently, Christina runs the maintenance team, but a growing aspect is design and project management. She has already implemented new systems for communication, introduced more efficient quoting systems, and has expanded the department.

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en’s strong background knowledge in horticulture, combined with his deep interest in ecology and the natural environment, has led him to his role of project landscape architect today. For Ben, it is important that his work helps inspire people to lead more sustainable lives; thus, he is currently experimenting with planting combinations that support diversity and provide unique sensorial experiences in his design. So far, there have been a number of key highlights in his five years of professional working; from becoming a chartered member of the Landscape Institute, to winning an RHS Gold medal and Young Planting Designer award, Ben continues to demonstrate his development and passion for the industry.

CHRISTINA COBB

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nspired by Tony Brophy who grew GAIA Gardeners up from a two-man band with his brother Patrick, Ben has been encouraged to follow his dreams of helping to employ dyslexic people in the industry, understanding from personal experience that this can sometimes make it hard to come by opportunities. He is now project manager on a garden in Harrogate which hopes to be a northern showcase for GAIA Gardeners’ sustainability techniques, which include water sustainability grass species selection.

CHARLOTTE WILLIAMS SENIOR LANDSCAPE A R C H I T EC T, A EC O M

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fter studying geography at university, Charlotte stumbled across the landscape profession by chance. She completed a couple of weeks' work experience at Influence, and quickly knew working in landscaping was perfect for her. Today, Charlotte works as a senior landscape architect at AECOM, and is passionate about developing relationships, principles, and landscape planning. Charlotte believes there are a number of beneficial impacts landscape architects can have on the world and feels excited to continue contributing and engaging with the profession technically and interpersonally.

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30 UNDER 30

ELEANOR EDKINS

CONNOR HEALY M A N AG I N G D I R EC TO R , HEALY FENCING & LANDSCAPING LTD

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ith his family working in the landscaping industry, Connor grew up dipping in and out of the profession whilst he pursued other work. Inspired by the wide range of benefits a landscape profession has to offer, Connor crammed all his maintenance tools in his van and decided to start up his own business, just under three years ago. He has worked hard on the design, network and marketing of the business, and now the company has grown successfully in size, profit, and project work.

CHRISTOPHER LEEMING S E N I O R L A N D S C A P E A R C H I T EC T, A M E Y C O N S U LT I N G

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rom starting out as a graduate landscape architect at Mouchel, Christopher is now a senior landscape architect at Amey Consulting, where he is working on the Stage 3 Assessment for the dualling of the A96 and a public realm strategy in Wolverhampton. He has had chartership status for the past three years and is mentoring a junior member of staff to achieve their chartership too. He is keen to become an expert in his field and aims to take on a leadership position within Amey. As Christopher puts it: “The government is wanting to ‘Build Back Better’. I think this should be ‘Build Back Greener’. This is how we can have a real impact on climate change which I think can be achieved through our profession.”

DIANA-CATALINA CATRINOI-CORNEA

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espite being fairly new to the industry, Eleanor has hit the ground running. After being furloughed at the start of the first lockdown, having spent five years designing commercial interiors, Eleanor used the change of pace to reach out to garden designers and offer her CAD skills in exchange for mentorship. She enrolled on a Level 2 Practical Horticulture Course to boost her plant knowledge and is now working for Brett Hardy Landscapes. Eleanor was a finalist in this year’s RHS Young Designer of the Year competition and even had her first garden at Chelsea in the new category, Container Gardens. She hopes to create a show garden for Main Avenue in the future and run her own successful garden design practice.

NURSERY MANAGER, CARRIER L ANDSCAPES

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ith a background in human resources, Diana-Catalina joined London Stone as a marketing administration assistant. A desire to learn and grow meant she moved up the ladder quickly and today is directly involved in decisions around London Stone’s products, e-commerce website, environmental credentials and support for landscapers and garden designers. She is an elected member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing at associate level and has completed the CIM Level 6 Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing. She aims to continuously impact the landscaping industry with innovative ways of purchasing and using materials with goals of joining the board of directors at London Stone.

92 Pro Landscaper / November 2021

GARDEN DESIGNER, B R E T T H A R DY L A N D S C A P E S LT D

EVA CARRIER

M A R K E T I N G M A N AG E R , LO N D O N STO N E LT D

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rowing up on a nursery within a landscaping business, Eva has always taken an interest in horticulture. She studied Business Management and Marketing at Harper Adams University, during which time she undertook a placement at Barcham Trees. Eva now heads up the two nurseries at Carrier Landscapes – the second of which she helped to design and construct. Her primary focus is producing plants for the company's own projects, and she works alongside the landscape team on site to ensure the 23,000 plants supplied each month are of the best quality. Eva also opened a retail plant shop; an aspect of the business she’s keen to develop further. Ultimately, she hopes to take over and continue to grow the family business, which boasts around 120 employees.

www.prolandscapermagazine.com

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30 UNDER 30

GHEORGHE FLORIN CHIRIC S E N I O R E N G I N E E R , M AY L I M LT D

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or the past six years, Florin has been working his way up through Maylim. He started as a labourer, progressing to his latest promotion to senior engineer. Within this role, his main responsibilities now include overseeing the design, maintaining and interpreting project drawings and ensuring work is carried out as per the contract drawings and specifications, as well as on time and within budget. He aims to become an expert in his field by increasing his professional knowledge and training, as well as to inspire other people to follow his example. He says young people should enter horticulture because “there is a wide variety of roles that you can choose within the industry; this means there is a job for everyone and your career aspirations can be sky high.”

HOANG QUOC MY VO

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L A N D S C A P E A R C H I T EC T, H L M A R C H I T EC TS LT D

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JACK THOMPSON DIRECTOR, THOMPSON TREE SERVICES (MIDLANDS) LTD

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S A L E S D I R EC TO R , C O R E L A N D S C A P E P R O D U C TS

ithin his role, Hoang Quoc My’s passion is the design of connected communities and sustainable environments. He believes landscape planning and urban design can play a significant role in social reform in the modern lifestyle. Hoang Quoc My takes an active interest in evolving the construction industry and regularly attends CPD sessions. He believes our industry should share knowledge on materials, planting and biodiversity to further lead the construction industry.

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HARVEY KEATES

tarting his own business up in 2009, Jack has successfully grown an arboriculture company that has continued to strive higher every single year. Reaching his goal of a £1m turnover, Jack is feeling incredibly proud of the company’s development and the retainment of his strong arboriculture team. He aims to continue to drive intelligence growth through innovation and investment, ensuring he is consistently meeting his staff and customers’ needs.

t just 13 years old, Harvey was helping out at his dad’s company, taking on any task that was offered to him. Now, at the age of 23, Harvey has worked his way up to sales director and the turnover has grown along with his role to nearly £5m this year. The team has also expanded; in 2014, it was just Harvey on the phone selling the company’s products. He now oversees a team of 10 and the range of products is considerably larger too. Harvey gained a Level 3 NVQ in Business and hopes to continue to grow CORE Landscape Products, both its turnover and product range. He has various sustainability goals in sight, such as increasing the number of products which are recycled and expanding its range of electric vehicles.

K ATE BL ACKBURNE D E S I G N A S S O C I AT E , E X T E R I O R A R C H I T EC T U R E

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rowing up in rural New Zealand, Kate was surrounded by true landscape beauty. Kate moved to England in 2016 for career opportunities, and now works as a design associate. Kate is passionate about the environment, innovation, and the potential landscape has to develop. It is crucial that her designs prompt joy, excitement, community connection, and a safe feeling. As Kate continues searching to deepen her understanding of the needs and perspectives of the people she designs for, she hopes to contribute in the future to design for built innovative, functional and sustainable place-based landscapes.

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30 UNDER 30

KEVIN MAHONY S I T E MAN AGE R, M AY L IM

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evin began his career at Maylim as a junior engineer and has worked his way up to site manager. Most recently he gained an Appointed Persons Accreditation which allows him to write as well as coordinate crane/excavator and telehandler lifting plans. Kevin was also able to train to become a mental health first aider and he believes there should be more initiatives, campaigns and resources to boost awareness. Kevin also believes the industry could attract more young talent if it made computer programmes such as CAD and ASTA more readily available, so they were able to explore the industry more.

LAURA MOORE

CREATIVE DIRECTOR, MOORE LANDSCAPE DESIGN

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t school, art was Laura’s favourite subject, so she went on to study this at university. When deciding a career path, though, her mum – who Laura says has a “real talent” for plants – suggested garden design which turned out to be the perfect fit. She gained a qualification from Inchbald School of Design, where she has since been asked back as a guest lecturer, and later undertook a Masters in Landscape Architecture at the University of Greenwich. Before setting up on her own in April 2020, Laura worked with some of the industry’s most well-known designers, including Arabella Lennox-Boyd and Matt Keightley. She now has eight projects on the drawing board, including a large commercial project on Park Lane.

LUKE NEWSOME

NATHAN WEBSTER

L A N D S C A P E A R C H I T EC T, W R I G H T L A N D S C A P E S LT D

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oining Wright Landscapes in 2015, Nathan worked as a site labourer for three years before heading off to university to study landscape architecture. This led Nathan to his current role of graduate landscape architect, where he shares his passion for creating unique and meaningful environments, not to be forgotten. Some of Nathan’s proudest achievements involve designing and planning NHS tranquillity gardens, and also his contribution to an RHS Bronze medal-winning garden. Nathan plans to dedicate his life to landscaping and aspires to become a well-respected landscape architect known for unique design concepts and interesting themes. It’s important to him that his work cares for the individuals a project is designed for and has a positive impact on the environment.

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C O N T R AC TS S U P E RV I S O R , N U RT U R E L A N D S C A P E S LT D

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rom senior gardener at Kirklees Council, to assistant site manager at Invasive Weed Management, to contracts supervisor at Nurture Landscapes, Luke has always been keen to pass on his knowledge to younger generations and change their perspective on gardening. He believes one thing that would make the industry better would be more of this, with marketing aimed specifically at them. As contracts supervisor, he is a line manager of four teams and is responsible for pricing and winning various works.

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PHIL DALY S I T E M A N AG E R , M AY L I M

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assionate about the work he undertakes, Phil’s commitment comes from helping to improve the communities where the projects are located. One such project was Greenwich Peninsula where Phil led a community volunteer scheme to help upgrade gardens and welfare amenities. At Maylim, Phil is site supervisor but over the years he has also gained a BEng in Mechanical Engineering, BSc in Facilities and Management, an NVQ 6 in Construction Management, and full training to become a mental health first aider. His ultimate goal is to become a contracts manager, leading the pre-construction side of newly awarded projects, shaping the role to put sustainability and environmental issues at the forefront.

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30 UNDER 30

RHIANNON PIERCE S E N I O R C O N S U LTA N T L A N D S C A P E A R C H I T EC T, RAMBOLL

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hiannon believes her field of work has never been operating at a more vital moment, and one of her biggest goals is to play a vital role in delivering high-quality climate resilient designs. She hopes to one day undertake a secondment to one of Ramboll’s international teams to better understand their climate resilient designs. Rhiannon has several wins under her belt including the Ellerslie Flower Show Supreme Award and Best Project Above £15m for Wolverhampton University’s School of Architecture. She is committed to seeking out ways to become a more well-rounded landscape architect and is on a waiting list to undertake a level 4 arboriculture certificate.

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omain Bardin, remains strongly committed to producing high standard landscape and garden design. Through his work, Romain combines his creativity and passion for the environment to create spaces that benefit people and change things. Romain went on to manage the detail and implementation of a silver-gilt medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2019, marking a milestone in his career. He is keen on focusing on innovation and the future of the industry, and is determined to leave his mark on the sector.

L A N D S C A P E D E S I G N A S S I STA N T, H O L L A N D G R E E N LT D

L A N D S C A P E R , G A R D E N T LC LT D

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L A N D S C A P E A R C H I T EC T, T H O M A S H O B LY N G A R D E N D E S I G N LT D

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SAM TAYLOR am already has a string of awards wins under his belt including WorldSkill Champion with medals in the UK, Europe and China classifications. He’s also worked on several RHS Chelsea Flower Show gardens with Conquest Creative Spaces, and this year ran the build of a trade stand on behalf of the company. Ross Conquest said of Sam: “At 21, not many in his position are achieving what he is. These are the people in our industry we should be shouting about.” Sam is currently working full-time in a father-son team at Garden TLC. He has hopes of one day taking over the business and expanding it. He’s well on his way to achieving this, as he assists with most of the hard landscaping department and is beginning to get involved with the design side more.

ROMAIN BARDIN

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rom a young age, Sean was fascinated by outdoor spaces. Feeling intrigued by the endless possibilities for creative potential, Ben’s enthusiasm for design is driven by his interest in connecting his clients to nature, and finding innovative ways to help people develop a relationship with their surrounding environment. Sean works as a landscape design assistant, undertaking projects and supporting colleagues with drawings and 3D models. He plans to pursue a Masters in Landscape Architecture, broaden his opportunites in the industry to become an associate member of the Landscape Institute, and eventually launch his own company.

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SOPHIE CHILDS

RELATIONSHIP MANAGER, GROUND CONTROL LTD

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fter working as a key account manager at Ground Control for seven years, Sophie helped to create and develop her latest role as relationship manager for the company’s housing sector clients. Sophie seeks to understand their networks, ‘pain points’ and opportunities for growth. She joined Ground Control after graduating from the University of Brighton, where she gained a degree in Environmental Science. Since then, Sophie has passed her CMI Level 3 and is working towards the Level 5 qualification. She is also mentoring one of the key account managers. Sophie plans to use her role to help improve customer satisfaction rates and contribute to the growth of Ground Control, as well as learn more about biodiversity and share this with clients.

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J AC K T H O M P S O N

A DA M ST E WA R T “Landscaping has such diversity; no two days are the same…I cannot think of another role that offers so many different opportunities to learn this many skills.”

C H A R LOT T E W I L L I A M S “Now more than ever we are valuing the natural and built environment in ways we never have before and our profession is perfectly placed to tackle some of largest issues at present, including global warming and access to green space.”

“The work is often challenging, mostly interesting and always rewarding.”

30 UNDER 30 R O M A I N BA R D I N “We are the industry of the future, and the future is now!”

B E N P O U LT E R “Our industry is so broad and is always evolving that it allows for a variety of opportunities.”

ALEX PETTITT “Landscape and horticulture is a sector that covers a huge number of different careers where a multitude of different things can be learnt and achieved.”

SEAN DUGGAN

K AT E B L AC K B U R N E “If they are inquisitive, keen to better understand a place when they visit it, imaginative and creative, they will certainly find a home within the landscape industry.”

E VA CA R R I E R “Working in landscaping and horticulture provides immense job satisfaction, as there is so much variety, learning and achievement. The ability of knowing so many different trades as a successful landscaper should really attract young people, as you are always learning new skills.”

P H I L DA LY “Development is a priority within the industry, and this provides an opportunity to expand on your learning. It is not a linear job role as the industry is constantly evolving.”

ELEANOR EDKINS “There are many opportunities within this industry to improve our environment and ecology, and influence others to do so too, which is a great honour.”

“We need young people [who] are innovators and problem-solvers in order to make conscious decisions, develop new ideas and improve our industry.”

“Equal opportunities; variety of development options; happy and friendly industry; wide variety of skills to be learn…It’s all of [these] and the endless amount of knowledge you can acquire over experience and training courses.”

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“The industry is growing at its fastest ever rate and there is nothing quite like seeing your vision become actuality.”

B E N M C I L WA I N E

30 UNDER 30

“Working with nature is a beautiful thing to be doing and helping other people to see the beauty in a garden is a worthwhile occupation.”

AGENDA

WHY SHOULD YOUNG PEOPLE JOIN HORTICULTURE? SAM TAYLOR “There is such a positive atmosphere which has helped me push myself to be the best I can be.”

H A RV E Y K E AT E S

ALEX ROCKETT

C O N N O R H E A LY

“It is a dynamic and fast-moving industry to work in. I personally love the experiences and opportunities available to the younger generation – the training that is available is second to none.”

L AU R A M O O R E “It is truly the friendliest, most rewarding industry to work in. Everyone is so welcoming and happy to help.”

C H R I ST I N A C O B B “You are creating beautiful spaces which you know will be used and enjoyed and can learn from so many skilled people in the process.”

G H EO R G H E F LO R I N C H I R I C “You can make a big difference in local communities by delivering green spaces that are beneficial to the local community and the environment.”

C H R I STO P H E R L E E M I N G “Any young person who is passionate about the environment should consider the industry; whether they are creative or more technical, there are ways in which you can apply both of these skills.”

ALEXANDER SHIPP “Landscaping can have an incredible impact on both the person doing the landscaping and the end client, and this feel good factor alone should be enough to get any young person inspired.”

RHIANNON PIERCE “The current climate and biodiversity crisis calls for landscape professionals more than ever.”

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NURTURE

F E AT U R E GARDEN TRESCO ABBEY GARDEN

LOCATED OFF THE COAST OF CORNWALL, TRESCO ABBEY GARDEN IS ITS OWN MICROCLIMATE. WE SPEAK TO GARDEN CURATOR MIKE NELHAMS ABOUT THE GARDEN’S VAST ARRAY OF PLANTS AND HOW THEY’VE BEEN SELECTED OVER THE YEARS.

S

ome 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall, at the heart of the Isles of Scilly, lies the family owned Tresco Island. Alongside deserted bays, beachfront dining and clear blue waters is a subtropical garden which claims to be “a perennial Kew without the glass”. Tresco Abbey Garden is home to 20,000 plants from more than 80 countries, all flourishing in its climate. When Augustus Smith settled on the island in 1834 and decided to create a garden in the old, ruined priory, he knew the small windswept garden would need shelter. It may have been trial by error, but he stumbled upon success in two trees from the Monterey Peninsula – the Monterey pine (Pinus radiata) and the Monterey cypress (Hesperocyparis macrocarpa). Having planted these, he was able to introduce more tender planting. Over five generations, plants were built up from connections with Kew gardens, New Zealand and its associated islands, and South Africa. As with so many gardens throughout the UK, a storm saw Tresco Abbey Garden obliterated. In 1987, snow and ice coated the island, shortly followed in 1990 by a hurricane which blew down the important shelter belts. It took

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five years to clear the woodland alone. “Within the garden we cut back the dead plants and watched what regenerated, searching for what had survived,” Mike Nelhams, garden curator at Tresco Abbey Gardens tells us of the rebuilding of the site. “We knew our brief. People may have expected us to use hardy plants in case we were struck by another storm, but that’s not what we do here.” Instead, the garden has a sharp focus on the Mediterranean climate zones of the world. Coastal California, coastal Chile, South Africa, Southwest Australia, New Zealand and the Mediterranean itself. “These plants take up 2% of the world’s land mass, but they have a hugely wide range of plants that are incredibly garden worthy,” notes Mike. Alongside these, Tresco Abbey Garden is able to grow plants from the Canary Islands and Mexico. “We don’t have a hot climate, but the one key factor is that it rarely gets to anywhere near freezing conditions. This allows many of our tender plants to flourish and reach full maturity,” Mike explains. “The garden also benefits from the gulf stream, lovely sea fogs and enough rain to help them flourish – though the plants can cope with drought conditions.”

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NURTURE In fact, they flourish so well in these conditions that it grows all year. “The maintenance of the garden is incredibly high, because it grows constantly. We cut hedges and grass throughout the winter, and we can plant at any time of year – as long as it’s wet enough,” Mike tells us. A team of eight is responsible for the upkeep of the garden, with one dedicated solely to the large productive garden. This element of the garden, growing flowers, vegetables and fruit, supplies the island’s restaurants. Elsewhere, there’s even more to take care of. Tresco Abbey Garden is in an unusual and fortunate position. Its collection of plants is so interesting, it is able to collect seed and send them to the botanic gardens and, in return, Mike is able to receive theirs. “We’re not a botanic garden, but we’re ranked like one,” Mike says. “In return for our seed lists, we get seed lists from botanic gardens all over the world. It’s a great way of expanding our own collections.” Of these plants, Mike has a few favourites, as do the garden’s 35,000 yearly visitors. From South African Cape, the Leucadendron argenteum’s silver foliage attracts a lot of attention. “If I had to name one plant that we're most asked about it would be the Leucadendron argenteum. It's silver because it's covered in fine, tiny hairs that repel the wind to stop it drying up. The hairs are so fine that it gives the plant a silvery appearance,” explains Mike. “It's extremely tender to frost but it's an extraordinary plant.” That’s not the only extraordinary tree the garden holds. The Araucaria heterophylla is

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related to the monkey puzzle and grows on Norfolk Island off the coast of Australia. “It’s an iconic tree, very symmetrical. They can eventually get to 35m here – the size they were before the hurricane. At the moment ours are at least 20m and growing well. As far as I know, there’s nowhere else in Britain growing them outside to that size,” Mike tells us.

WE’RE INCREDIBLY LUCKY THAT THE GARDEN WAS BUILT ON A SOUTH FACING HILL, SO WE’RE ABLE TO CREATE DIFFERENT MICROCLIMATES FOR DIFFERENT PLANTS The garden’s New Zealand Christmas tree, Metrosideros excelsa – named in, as all New Zealand’s trees are, Maori, pōhutukawa – has adapted to the UK summer, blooming its bright red flowers in the summer months. Its tight root system and origins from a coastal environment means this tree is perfectly suited to the salt spray and coastal winds on Tresco Abbey Garden. With the garden growing continuously, there’s plenty to see in the winter months as well. And because the garden plays host to numerous

plants from the Southern Hemisphere, a lot of its flowers emerge in December and January. From the Canary Islands the garden holds Aeonium which seeds itself all over the island. Elsewhere, South African Agapanthus, aloes, Anemones, Agaves from Mexico and California and Chilean Puya thrive. Flowers of the Protea cynaroides, Heliconia rostrata, great blue spires of Echium, Furcraea, Strelitzia and shocking-pink drifts of Pelargonium decorate the garden. “Tresco is known horticulturally around the world. People come from all over to see it,” says Mike. “We’re incredibly lucky that the garden was built on a south facing hill, so we’re able to create different microclimates for different plants.” At the top, with poor soil, South African and Australian plants thrive; the lower part of the garden protects the middle with large trees from New Zealand, the Mediterranean and Chile doing well in its shadier climate; the middle, protected from the wind and basking in sunshine, can grow more tender planting. “Visually, the garden is stunning, and there are plants here you might not see elsewhere. You don’t have to be a gardener to enjoy Tresco though. From the top terrace, as you look out through these exotic plants, you can see vast views of the sea. It’s a special garden, in a special place.” With such a different array of plants, it’s important to Mike that it hosts scholarship students to pass on knowledge, who are in turn crucial to the success of the garden. In fact, Mike is now an Associate of Honour of the Royal Horticultural Society in recognition of the high

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NURTURE

standard of scholarship training at Tresco Abbey Gardens. The Elizabeth Hess Scholarship, sponsored by Studley College Trust, offers a year’s practical training in the gardens. Mike selects scholarship students from across the UK from all different levels, with past students from Oxford Botanic Garden, the Scottish National Trust and a garden in Cornwall. Alongside these, Tresco Abbey Garden has a plethora of volunteers who undertake work a few weeks at a time. Another offering, the Thistledown Horticultural Bursary, provides financial support for a wide range of horticultural projects all over the world. And the more hands, the better, at Tresco Abbey Garden. As well as its rolling plan to preserve the garden, a large part of its future goals relate to futureproofing its shelterbelt. “Our windbreaks are routinely worked on. We have to plant trees of different ages in different places throughout,” explains Mike. “We’re removing trees 30 years old and replacing them with newer ones, so if we did have a hurricane again, the trees wouldn’t fall over in the same way. We should have created a matrix well enough so that we still have a windbreak.” Though the garden is naturally biodiverse, its future involves becoming more sustainable. The productive garden is already organic; something the rest of the garden could see in coming years. The team is in the transition of changing its equipment to electric too. Mostly, though, Mike plans to work with the bursting borders, uncontrived lines and natural seedlings. 1 2 3 4 5 6

Neptune Steps The Old Abbey Tresco island from above Protea cynaroides 'King Protea' Cupressus macrocarpa from Monterey, California The Robinson Crusoe Cabbage Tree, Dendroseris litoralis from the Juan Fernandez 7 Puya chilensis

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L A NDSCA PIN G IN A

CHANGING CLIMATE WITH COP26 TAKING PLACE THIS MONTH, NICK COSLETT EXPLORES HOW LANDSCAPERS CAN HELP TO TACKLE CLIMATE CHANGE

SPRING AND SUMMER DROUGHTS WILL THREATEN PLANT ESTABLISHMENT AND HEALTH, SO MULCH, MULCH, MULCH! REMEMBER, SOILS ARE AT THE HEART OF ALL GOOD PLANTINGS Firstly, we must look at soils; for them to be sustainable for the future they have to be open and available to receive the heavy downpours of rainfall that we expect with climate change. Landscapers will have to use SuDS in all projects and rain gardens will need to be a common occurrence. The technology for

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Those which use suckers and a vegetative reproductive process may be less adaptable. There are differences of opinion in regard to trees. Some, including the Woodland Trust, say there is sufficient diversity within the genotypes currently in our native trees and shrubs to allow their progeny to adapt to changing climates. The ‘but’ is that their life cycles are too long. Others including the Forestry Commission are recommending assisted migration of trees (seed) from more southerly latitudes, which already have our future climate, for our future forests. For example, the HS2 project has trees of midlands provenance as well as Southern England and also maritime France, so provenance sourced from 0°, 2° and 5° further south than the main track route. So, landscapers need to ask their plant suppliers where the stock is coming from and for the provenance. Also, they need healthy stock with the best biosecurity and the Plant Healthy Certification Scheme helps to give buyers confidence on this. fapre

rain gardens has already been well publicised and is easily accessible. If we look at modern housebuilders, their disregard for good soil handling practises gives new residents compacted subsoils and minimal topsoil, which usually become waterlogged or drain poorly. You can guess and see the success that plants have attempting to thrive and establish in these conditions. We need trees to establish and grow well as we will be desperate for their shade. Landscapers must be put in charge of preparing the subsoils, decompaction and opening up the soils so they do drain before placing topsoil that will remain open to rainfall absorption with good moisture retention. Spring and summer droughts will threaten plant establishment and health, so mulch, mulch, mulch! Remember, soils are at the heart of all good plantings. Secondly, the choice of plants to grow is only really important for trees as they have the longest lifespan and will have to endure the changing climate – possibly up to over 4°C if COP26 doesn't make an impact. Shrubs and perennials have a shorter lifespan and are likely to be replanted after 10-20 years. Also, they may come from warmer climates and less likely to be affected in the long term by climate change. Our native plants may be limited in adaptability and more vulnerable to climate change. The annual, biannual and perennial herbaceous plants have the benefit of producing seed regularly which should give them genetic diversity and 'survival of the fittest' capability.

© ra

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t’s November and our global leaders will soon be meeting at COP26. Will they really be able to make a difference, and will the burning of fossil fuels decline sufficiently to keep our temperature global temperature rise below two degrees? How do we landscape in a changing climate? What things are important for landscapers to understand and perform to ensure that we have good landscapes for the future? I make no apologies if each month I bang on about climate change and how we're going to adapt to it. I've just become a grandfather and I am concerned for the landscape and the life that he will enjoy in the future when I'm gone.

ABOUT NICK COSLETT Nick is now retired but has worked in landscape offices, parks management and horticultural nurseries. For the past 20 years, he has also run soft landscape workshops at Coblands and Palmstead. He has been involved in BALI at a regional and national level, and is a trustee of the BALI Chalk Fund, as well as an awards judge.

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20/10/2021 15:12


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NURTURE

GI V E G LY PH OSAT E A CHANCE? F

or many years, landscape professionals have used herbicides based on glyphosate, such as Roundup®. As a response to campaigning by environmental groups, the use of glyphosate containing chemicals is being gradually restricted. The public disapproval of the chemical is now so widespread that many who do use it in their work do not like to admit it to friends and neighbours, or even to fellow professionals. I think this situation is absolutely unjustified. Glyphosate-based herbicides are extraordinarily useful for the entire garden, landscape and agricultural industries. They have been around a long time (since 1974), one reason for which has been their excellent safety record. The reasons for the anti-Roundup movement are complex, but I believe should be seen as part of the hostility to science recently and so dramatically manifested by the anti-vaccination movement, as well a reflection of the difficulty we all have in evaluating levels of risk. Hostility to science has unfortunately, and arguably disastrously, underpinned much of the environmental movement. Environmentalists may say to climate change deniers “look at the science”, but so often do not apply the same demand to all their concerns. There have many independent studies over the years which have shown that glyphosate has very low toxicity for animals and degrades rapidly in soil. It is an irony that it has come in for so much criticism. The reason for which lies somewhere else, which is the near-hysterical opposition to the company

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which initially developed it – Monsanto. The company has indeed not been honest about the negative health impacts of the chemical that have been reported, but their main sin has been the promotion of genetically modified crops, which around the turn of the century aroused extraordinary opposition, despite a remarkable absence of evidence of harm. Glyphosate use has therefore been the victim of a bundle of concerns. It is political pressure rather than scientific evidence that has driven much of the legislation against it, in Britain and particularly in the European Union.

ANY REALLY USEFUL CHEMICAL

GETS OVER-USED, ABUSED AND, IN THE END, CONDEMNED Any really useful chemical gets over-used, abused and, in the end, condemned. Think of Prozac®, a brilliant anti-depressant; transforms many lives, gets massively over-prescribed by lazy doctors, over-promoted by the company that developed it, so not surprisingly there are negative effects amongst people who should never have been prescribed it, and the media, followed by everyone else, turns against it. Glyphosate suffers also from being almost too useful, and consequently often does get used inappropriately. I would really stress the difference between three uses of glyphosate (or any herbicide): as a one-off treatment to clear a site, as a ‘last option’ for problematic weed incursion in established plantings, and as a routine management tool.

Weedkilling road verges around installations is the classic example of the latter, instead of strimming, or plant-proof detailing; such widespread use also conveys the impression to the general public that the stuff is everywhere and is going to maybe “end up in the water supply”. The one-off use is often almost essential before new planting, particularly of dense ecologically-based ones like wildflower meadows. Any other method is either very time-consuming or involves much larger sustainability costs (like geotextiles). Garden and landscape managers might also consider it as a weapon of last resort against, for example, Japanese knotweed incursion. What we need are clear protocols on herbicide use, so that the public can see that we are responsible, and are concerned with limiting use to clearly defined situations where other methods of unwanted plant removal are not practicable. And we must stand firm, and be clear that the creation and management of biodiverse and attractive designed habitats needs us to listen to the science rather than ill-informed campaigners.

©Pixavril / Shutterstock .com

IS GLYPHOSATE AS DANGEROUS AS WE’RE LED TO BELIEVE? NOEL KINGSBURY ISN’T CONVINCED IT SHOULD BE BANNED

ABOUT NOEL KINGSBURY Noel Kingsbury is a freelance designer, writer and researcher who has long promoted naturalistic planting design. He also teaches at Boston Architectural College.

www.noelkingsbury.com

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TEMPERATE HOUSE, KEW GARDENS

NURTURE

BOTANICAL BRILLIANCE STRIVING FOR A BOTANICAL GARDEN IN CENTRAL SCOTLAND, LEWIS NORMAND SEES THESE PLANT COLLECTIONS AS VITAL FOR THE FUTURE would be a large part of the theme for plant collections and planted spaces. Whether we like it or not, plant populations are under threat. It is a worldwide problem and while seed collections are doing a vital job to preserve seed so that it can be introduced in the event of an extinction, they don’t necessarily look to the future of where plant species may be better grown following significant climate change. We might well expect that many plants native to the UK will struggle to survive even a 2 to 4°C rise. Plants common today across the country may soon become the preserve of northern Scotland, or pocket communities on islands. This kind of change has happened many times in the past, though not in the human era. If we look back to the end of the last Ice Age, we can see that our native green beech (Fagus sylvatica) only just appeared in southern England before the great flooding of the English Channel closed the land bridge that we had with central Europe. This species then took thousands of years to establish itself through the UK. So, while old enough to be considered a native, it too was the product of ancient travel, moving north in a warming world. Sycamore trees (Acer pseudoplatanus) are tremendously common throughout the UK but

are more recent imports being brought to the UK by the Romans, though it was possibly as late as the 1500s making it a Tudor import. Each species has a story to tell and the reality of plant movement to suit climate and human need are all the more real when we consider these examples. I’m not proposing that we start looking exclusively for those non-native plants that will become our future naturalising trees and shrubs, but it is something we have to face up to. In fact, I think we need to plant more natives in the UK, to try and find more tolerant clonal selections. Countries further north than ourselves may become the new homes of plants that can no longer tolerate our changed climate of extremes. Botanical collections will become a barometer for this change, not just observing and recording it, but also responding to it with research to anticipate future plant success and human needs. It is equally terrifying and challenging to consider what might be ahead of us in terms of change. In 2020, RBG Kew published a report entitled ‘State of the World’s Plants and Fungi’, where they identified a shade under 40% of the plant life on the planet is at risk of extinction. Regardless of the reason for the increasingly likely loss of so many species, this hideous figure is significantly worsened when you compare it to the 21% identified in 2016. In just five years, the percentage has almost doubled. We need to start planning the future, while trying to mitigate problems in the present. We need to plant, and we need a strategy for what to plant and where.

©Davi Costa/Shutterstock.com

ABOUT LEWIS NORMAND

THE NATIONAL BOTANIC GARDENS IN DUBLIN, IRELAND

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Lewis has worked in a wide variety of roles within horticulture over a 20-year career. He has lectured on garden design and horticulture, and designed gardens in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. Since 2011, Lewis has focused on nursery sales, now working as sales manager at Bernhard’s Nurseries, and has helped to launch a number of new plants into the UK plant market. He is a specialist supplier to show gardens, supplying more than 100 gardens at major shows.

Header image: ©Alexey Fedorenko/Shutterstock.com

I

have been working up an idea I had some months ago to try and establish a botanical garden for central Scotland. It is still an idea in its infancy, but one that I would like to see come to fruition. It comes from an increasing concern over plant diversity threats, specifically with native plants set against climate change, but also in a wider sense, where we have issues of availability due to changing trading relationships. It would bring educational, cultural and aesthetic value and can be used to explore sustainability, plant cultivation techniques and look to approach the coming decades with a forward-thinking approach rather than one that is reactive. I have no expectation on timescales and imagine that sourcing land, funding and support will be both a long process and significant labour: if it can lead to a finished success though, it would be well worth it. Central Scotland is my aim, partly because it is where I live, but also as it would provide a botanical resource not yet present in the area and it is of a different climate type to other gardens of this nature in Scotland. Perth is my target area and a collection for a changing world

www.prolandscapermagazine.com

20/10/2021 15:27


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ADVERTORIAL

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he concept of Flourish was formed in 2019 out of an initial idea from Dean Bailey. Dean approached Phil Goodman, who had just sold his advertising business and is a passionate gardener, and between them the concept of Flourish was born. Together with Alex Bayman, the three of them created Flourish. The four-acre nursery site in Surrey was found in early 2020, and the lease signed almost exactly as COVID-19 struck. The founding principle of Flourish was to be different from existing wholesale nurseries. The two biggest areas of opportunity that the team identified were the lack of brilliant customer service and the lack of inspiration in how the plants are selected and displayed. Flourish might not be entirely unique, but it has remained true to these principles and genuinely feels like a breath of fresh air.

Overcoming obstacles The easy decision would have been to put the whole thing on ice and see how COVID-19 played out, but the three of them decided to plough on, regardless of the impending lockdown. Indeed, the first plant delivery was an unexpected opportunity. An Essex retail garden centre had rejected the delivery as it arrived, as they were locking down, so Flourish’s Italian supplier offered the plants to Flourish if

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FINDING OUT ABOUT

FLOUR I SH D E S P I T E B E I N G FO U N D E D J U ST B E FO R E A G LO B A L PA N D E M I C P U T T H E C O U N T R Y I N LO C K D OW N , F L O U R I S H N U R S E RY H A S , W E L L , F LO U R I S H E D

they would take it. Whilst unforeseen, this delivery provided the catalyst to crack on with the nursery refurbishment. Phil Goodman said: “Perhaps without that opportunity, we wouldn’t have seized the initiative so quickly and moved on with things. With hindsight, it was a blessing.” Phil went on to say: “Most of our friends and contacts thought we were crazy starting a business as lockdown was starting to take effect; but in reality, it provided us with the time to fully refurbish the site and stock up. It soon became clear that even during the national

PEOPLE WERE PAYING MORE ATTENTION THAN EVER IN THEIR GARDENS AND OUTSIDE SPACES, AND THE LANDSCAPE TRADES WERE ABLE TO CONTINUE TO WORK, SO STARTING FLOURISH AT THIS TIME HAS PROVED TO BE AN INSPIRED DECISION lockdown, people were paying more attention than ever in their gardens and outside spaces, and the landscape trades were able to continue to work, so starting Flourish at this time has proved to be an inspired decision.”

THE TEAM

Location, location, location Flourish is located just off Junction 11 of the M25 in Surrey. It is a four-acre site on what was historically the huge Van den Broek nursery site that thrived in the 70s and 80s but was in an awful state of repair when the founders took it on. It required six months of hard graft, and a substantial investment in groundworks to get the site up to scratch. The nursery now has seven large polytunnels, numerous tree runs, and is fully stocked. One of the founding beliefs was to offer something slightly different to what the market is used to, and this is reflected in the plants. The layout is designed to provide inspiration and context. There is a 20m diameter circular ‘ballroom’ which features more than 20 varieties of spherical plants, all beautifully clipped into perfect balls. The Olive Grove has more than 100 stunning olive trees, from an ancient £5,000 beauty, an unusual flat-head specimen, numerous cloud-pruned olives and a multitude of other shapes and sizes. There is an area dedicated to plants from China and the East

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20/10/2021 16:48


ADVERTORIAL including mature acers, juniper, pinus and cornus, and there is an avenue of yew, featuring a magnificent 150-year-old giant bonsai Taxus. All in all, Flourish really feels different to most other trade nurseries. It is now in its second year of its own production, only growing at 10L, and everything in recyclable taupe pots. Key home-grown products include a multitude of varieties of grasses, pittosporum, and hydrangea. Whilst its heartland is Surrey, London and the southeast, Flourish delivers nationally, and in year one has delivered significant orders as far west as St Agnes in Cornwall and as far north as Glasgow. Flourish was also proud to have its plants featured in medal-winning gardens at both the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival this year. Tailored to trade “The key customer groups are landscapers, designers, and developers,” says Phil. “We operate a simple code-based price system with trade and retail pricing displayed. We want to help our trade customers use plants as a healthy profit centre in their businesses and encourage our trade customers to use our retail pricing to sell on to their customers. This system also enables us to quote retail prices to the clients of our trade customers when they are shown around our nursery.

“It’s been an amazing first year. To transform a derelict site into a beautiful, fully stocked nursery during a global pandemic has been no mean feat; but doing this in a time of adversity has given us the confidence that Flourish really will continue to flourish, and that our business model fills a gap in the specimen nursery market. Forthcoming plans include increasing our own production of 10L stock, extending the nursery into a further acre of available land, and keeping our eyes open for a possible second nursery site.” Please contact sales manager Adam Wolczynski at adam@flourishplants.co.uk, or on 07885 779 771 or 01932 640 166.

www.prolandscapermagazine.com

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NURTURE

N U R S E RY

FO C U S

I

t’s no secret that trees are one of the biggest contributors to reducing CO2. So, it’s applaudable that a tree planting initiative has been chosen to celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee next year, with people across the UK being invited to plant trees for the Queen’s Green Canopy. “Any campaign that promotes trees – for the climate, for mental health, and for the Queen’s platinum jubilee – is good for everybody,” says Simon Johnson, managing director of English Woodlands, which is supporting the initiative, providing individual specimens and packs of trees to be planted in honour of Her Majesty’s 70-year reign. Founded more than 30 years ago, English Woodlands has three main arms: supplying native trees and shrubs of local provenance, specimen trees and container shrubs, and supplying tree planting products and sundries. Having achieved Plant Healthy status at the end of last year and continuing to promote the importance of planting the right tree in the right place, English Woodlands’ values and ethos are much aligned with the Queen’s Green Canopy. “We supply quality trees, shrubs and products, with expert knowledge and advice from experienced staff, offering a reliable service of delivery to site – those are our three main objectives,” says sales director Joanne Carter.

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ENGLISH WOODLANDS IS SUPPLYING TREES FOR MANY QUEEN’S GREEN CANOPY PROJECTS TO ENHANCE THE ENVIRONMENT English Woodlands’ customer base is also aligned with the Queen’s Green Canopy, with the initiative aimed at individuals, schools, councils and communities. “Not many people can do what we do,” says Simon. “Our clients are wanting individual trees/packs, and it’s not a question of just sending out large quantities of trees to people; it’s about individually wrapping, packing and sending out trees on certain dates. There’s a lot of labour and organisation involved.”

THE QUEEN’S GREEN CANOPY IS NOT JUST ABOUT PLANTING AS MANY TREES AS POSSIBLE; IT’S ABOUT QUALITY AND LOOKING AFTER THE TREES. THEY’RE NOT FOR TODAY; THEY’RE FOR THE FUTURE Importantly, English Woodlands supports this with expert advice to ensure the trees are successful, with its tree packages tailored to their end destination. “The Queen’s Green Canopy is not just about planting as many trees as possible; it’s about quality and looking after the trees. They’re not for today; they’re for the future,” explains Simon. The Queen’s Green Canopy will run until the end of 2022, in which time English Woodlands expects more partnerships with local authorities and

businesses looking to take part in the scheme. “It’s becoming very popular,” says Jo. “We’re also putting together tree JOANNE CARTER packages and sending them out on behalf of trade organisations and charities.” It’s not just demand for tree planting packages for the Queen’s Green Canopy which Jo expects to increase. The market is growing and whilst stock is available in the short term, there may be issues with availability of both stock and skilled staff in the long term, and the government needs to address this, says Jo. In the meantime, English Woodlands is

putting plans in place to cope with growing demand and will be showcasing its quality range of trees and shrubs at FutureScape this year. Visit the team on stand B53 to find out more about English Woodland’s offering, its involvement in the Queen’s Green Canopy, and its biosecurity measures which saw it become one of the first nurseries to receive Plant Healthy certification. Tel: 01435 862 992 www.ewburrownursery.co.uk

www.prolandscapermagazine.com

21/10/2021 11:21


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TURF CHOICES Inturf

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What seed mix is used? Dwarf perennial ryegrass, slender creeping red fescue and chewings fescue. For which projects it is suitable? Commercial landscaping, ornamental lawns, parks and golf courses. What are the mowing recommendations? Between 25 and 40mm mowing height. Is delivery available locally or nationwide? Nationwide delivery is available. What is the price per m2? £2.05/m2 plus VAT for trade. www.inturf.com

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ROLAWN R O L AW N M E DA L L I O N ® T U R F What seed mix is used? Rolawn Medallion® Turf is a blend of premium fescue and ryegrass cultivars, a technically superior product that roots aggressively to quickly establish a lush lawn that will be resilient and visually appealing. For which projects it is suitable? It is ideally suited to domestic and commercial sites. All turf treated with ProFresh® to extend shelf-life.

What are the mowing recommendations? Mow as soon as the turf is securely rooted. Height of cut can be adapted to suit the site. Avoid removing any more than one third of the grass height at any one time. Is delivery available locally or nationwide? Delivery is available across the UK mainland. What is the price per m2? Retail £4.68 to £6.78 (inc. VAT). Trade from £1.50 per 1m2 roll. www.rolawn.co.uk

TRIDENT TURF What seed mix is used? Trident is made from a mixture of ryegrass and fescues – typically 25% rye and 75% fescues. For which projects it is suitable? It is suited to a broad spectrum of work. It will finish a domestic garden makeover, enhance a commercial development, or look at home on a golf course. What are the mowing recommendations? Newly laid turf should be cut no sooner than 12 to 14 days after laying; after that, the time of year is important on when and how you mow. During spring and summer, we recommend once a week but taking no more than a third of the length off. In autumn, you may find you will mow two or three times and then completely stop during the winter; however,

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during the colder months, note that mowing becomes a preference and not a necessity.

Lindum TURF

Is delivery available locally or nationwide? Deliveries go from two depots in St Albans and Olney, Milton Keynes. This gives us the perfect platform to reach Corby in the North and North London in the South, Bishops Stortford in the East and Oxford to the West and all areas in between. All deliveries are performed using our eight-wheeled vehicles fitted with forklifts for easy offload and precise drop offs.

What seed mix is used? Lindum Wildflower is a balanced mixture of wildflowers, herbs and perennials designed to produce a biodiverse and colourful visual spectacle. The mix contains 27 varieties of wildflowers and herbs. The result is a vibrant and dynamic display, grown in a 100% plastic-free biodegradable mat, to provide an instant wildflower area.

What is the price per m2? To offer value for money and remain competitive, we encourage customers to call and speak to our sales team. www.georgedaviesturf.co.uk

For which projects it is suitable? Lindum Wildflower provides ideal pre-grown solution for general landscaping, specialist landscaping and green roofs.

L I N D U M W I L D F L OW E R What are the mowing recommendations? Once established, they need little maintenance. After flowering season and the plants have shed their seed, cut them back to 50–75mm. Is delivery available locally or nationwide? Lindum Wildflower can be delivered to most UK postcodes and for any quantities required. What is the price per m2? Sold by the square metre. Contact directly for a quotation. www.turf.co.uk

Pro Landscaper / November 2021 115

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EDUCATE

GET A FIRM GRIP ON THE

S

o, what do I mean by ‘knowing your numbers’? This is a key problem. I would imagine your training didn’t cover how to read a profit and loss account, how to manage cash flow and identify problems? And it’s something very few accountants would go through with their clients. So, it is hardly surprising really that businesses are not making as much money as they could be. Here are my six tips to how to get to grips with the figures: Calculate your cost of sales as a percentage of sales Run a profit and loss report from your accounting software and calculate your materials and labour as a percentage of sales. For example if materials are 32% and labour is 32% (good targets to aim for), then you would have a total cost of sales of 64%, which would mean that your gross profit is 36% (100 - 64). Calculate your overheads as a percentage of sales Staying with the same example, if your overheads amount to 20% of sales, then you would be making 16% net profit (36% gross profit minus 20% overheads = 16% net profit). These are also good targets to aim for in a smaller business (between £100k to approx. £3m turnover).

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Check your material costs With rising material costs, it is so important that you are aware of your margins and are charging a sufficient amount. Your material costs should not be higher than 35%. It could be that you also have a wastage problem and too many materials are being ordered and are sitting on the vans unused. Knowing this key metric can help you to ask the right questions.

WITH RISING MATERIAL COSTS, IT IS SO IMPORTANT THAT YOU ARE AWARE OF YOUR MARGINS AND ARE CHARGING A SUFFICIENT AMOUNT Keep an eye on your labour costs Again, these should not be more than 35%. If higher, your prices may be too low, or jobs could be taking longer than they should, pushing up labour costs. Again, just knowing this metric will help you investigate further and identify the root cause.

Reduce your overheads Go through line by line and ask: "Does the business absolutely need this? And could I find a cheaper alternative which won’t be detrimental?" This is a good exercise to do every three months anyway, regardless. Think of it as a quarterly spring clean. It is too easy for lots of small expenses to add up, and before you know it a chunk of profit has been eroded. Maximise quick wins to increase sales It’s common to think about how to get new customers when we want to increase our turnover, but this is actually the hardest way to increase profit. Instead, think about how you can increase the amount your existing customers spend with you, what items you could upsell and additional services you could offer. To measure the health of your business, take our free BUILD system scorecard, available on our website: www.evolveandgrowcoaching.com

A B O U T A L I S O N WA R N E R Alison Warner is the founder of Evolve and Grow, a business coaching firm that specialises in the trades and construction industry. She is also the author of bestselling book ‘How to go from Tradesperson to Managing Director in the Construction and Trade Industries’ https://amzn.to/2QIb467. www.evolveandgrowcoaching.com

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©Towfiqu Barbhuiya/Unsplash

FIGURES

WITH MATERIAL COSTS ESCAL ATING AND L ABOUR SHORTAGES WIDESPRE AD, THE TRADES’ COACH ALISON WARNER E XPL AINS WHY IT’S CRITICAL TO KNOW YOUR NUMBERS

20/10/2021 14:12


EDUCATE

“BACK OF THE BUBBLE” IT’S WORTHWHILE INVESTING TIME AND MONEY INTO KEEPING UP TO DATE WITH BEST INDUSTRY PRACTICES, SAYS GARETH WILSON

I

t’s been a hectic month or so, having finished my last ever show garden build at RHS Chelsea Flower Show and expert witness enquiries going off the scale. I’m just managing to keep up. Now, I’ve got to say that virtually all my expert witness commissions over the last few months have been issues based on porcelain paving. There are a heck of a lot of landscapers getting porcelain paving very, very wrong. I could talk all day about porcelain paving and only scratch the surface of the product itself – sub-starts excavation, subbases flexible or rigid, bedding mortars, laying techniques, fall rates and understanding the surface of the slabs themselves (concave, convex, edge lips or rolling edges), grouting. I could go on and on. Recently, I posted on Facebook groups requiring a landscaper who was competent in laying porcelain paving in the Cheshire area. This was for an expert witness client who had asked me if I knew of anyone who could do the job correctly. My contacts in the area were already booked 12 to 18 months in advance. I vetted 14 landscapers over the

Paving lip laid out of the 2mm tolerance for porcelain phone whose work all looked good on Facebook. However, once I’d spoken to them and asked a list of relevant questions regarding laying porcelain, all but two failed the big question: What fall rate do you use? Twelve of the 14 replied ‘back of the bubble’ or ‘just over the line of the level’. The correct answer is to follow

120 Pro Landscaper / November 2021

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manufacturers’ recommended fall rate or, if the manufacturers don’t provide a fall rate, a 1-60 is the required fall rate as industry guidelines. No paving these days goes off the back of the bubble or an imaginary part of the bubble over the line of your level. Fall rates are most accurately set using a laser level or zip level and datum pegs knocked into the ground. I have always found insulation tape a good marker with string lines for reference. Now I’m going to say one thing which may upset some landscapers out there: I hear many of you don’t like taking advice and especially on social media, many of you telling me that you’ve

TIMES ARE CHANGING RAPIDLY, AND INDUSTRY BEST PRACTICE METHODS ARE CHANGING RAPIDLY TOO. YOU NEED TO KEEP UP, OR IT MAY COST YOU A LOT OF MONEY been doing this job 15, 20 or 25 years. Well, I’m sorry to inform you times are changing rapidly, and industry best practice methods are changing rapidly too. You need to keep up, or it may cost you a lot of money through the Small Claims Court or, even worse, the Magistrates Court. There is also the small detail that porcelain paving has only become popular in the last five years and manufacturers are finding new things out themselves and developing new products for sealing and cleaning for example all the time. Now, how can you learn more about porcelain paving? The Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) and British Association Landscaping Industries (BALI) will have all the information you require if you are a member. However, not all of you are. Now, it’s no secret that I am also the head trainer at The Landscape Academy near Chester where we run Lantra-certified courses. Whichever way you choose to go, I guarantee that your fees for joining the above associations or doing the

No slurry primer porcelain courses at the academy are Paving laid a drop in the ocean on a sleeper compared to going through litigation or having to re-lay a patio at your own cost. This, incidentally, I had to do once and that was a costly mistake I don’t want you to make.

Wedges to hold up paving

ABOUT GARETH WILSON Leaving college at 17, Gareth has worked in the landscape industry since 1989. Progressing onto highend projects over the years, he has picked up 30 RHS medals, including Gold at Chelsea. Now a retained consultant to The Landscape Academy, Gareth is a member of multiple professional bodies. He provides technical and product advice to companies, mentors and trains landscapers across the UK, and provides arbitration and mediation services.

www.gkwilsonlandscaping.co.uk

www.prolandscapermagazine.com

20/10/2021 14:51


WONDERING ABOUT

EDUCATE

WORKING FROM HOME? R EQ U ESTS FO R F L E X I B L E WO R K I N G A R E L I K E LY TO S P I K E FO L LOW I N G T H E PA N D E M I C, S O J AS O N M C K E N Z I E A N D R A N D I P R A I O F O R AC L E S O L I C I TO R S E X P L A I N W H E R E E M P LOY E R S STA N D

T

he ever-changing landscape of the pandemic, along with the Government’s plans to combat it, continues to impact the employment sector with many employees questioning whether they are required to return to the workplace, rather than working from home. The current position for employees asked to return to work Government restrictions were relaxed on 19 July 2021 and since then employees are no longer asked to work from home. The furlough scheme also ended on 30 September 2021. Many employees have been working from home or been on furlough for many months and employers are seeing (or anticipating) a sharp rise in requests for working from home going forward.

IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT EMPLOYERS CONSIDER REQUESTS CAREFULLY AND FOLLOW THE ACAS CODE OF PRACTICE PRINCIPLES Unless their employment contract states otherwise, employees are not usually entitled to flexible working. However, this does not mean that an employer should refuse or not reasonably consider such a request; by law, employees have a statutory right (under Sections 80F to 80I of Employment Rights Act 1996 and the Flexible Working Regulations 2014) to make a flexible working request if: • they have worked for their employer for at least 26 weeks (and are legally classed as an employee); and • They have not made any other flexible working request in the last 12 months.

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If an employee makes such a request, an employer must: • Consider the request fairly following the above legislation and the ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) Code of Practice on flexible working requests; and • Make a decision within a maximum of three months. If an employer needs more time to make a decision, they can extend the time limit if their employee agrees. ACAS provides that the following are additional factors to take into account if an employee has the right to make a flexible working request: • ask for the request in writing. • discuss it with your employee. • look at other options if the request is not possible or desirable from a business perspective. • make a decision based on facts and not personal opinion. • only turn down the request if there’s a valid business reason. If an employer approves an employee’s request, this will usually change the terms of the employment contract. If an employee has concerns about returning to work in the office Generally, the employer should ensure they adhere to the current COVID-19 workplace guidelines to protect the health and safety of their employees. Employers should also consider current public health advice, whether it could be considered discriminatory to refuse working from home and the reason why the employee wishes to work from home. If, after the employer reasonably addresses these factors, an employee still refuses to work in the office, the employer

may consider disciplinary action or withholding pay in light of such a refusal. If an employee refuses to attend the workplace due to living with those who are in a vulnerable category Although updated Government guidance provides that the shielding programme has now ended, the specific circumstances put forward for working from home would still need to be examined and the points mentioned above also considered. Overall So, there is no obligation on an employer to accept a flexible working request; there are many valid reasons an employer may give for a refusal or a counter proposal (e.g. related to supervision, interaction with others, etc.). There can also be good reasons as to why working from home may be beneficial to the employer (e.g. related to staff retention, reduction in costs etc.). It really boils down to the needs of the particular business. The key point is that it is imperative that employers consider requests carefully and follow the ACAS code of practice principles.

A B O U T O R AC L E S O L I C I TO R S Oracle Solicitors is an award-winning law firm with a deep understanding of the landscape industry and expertise in employment, commercial, litigation, property and contract law. Oracle Solicitors, founded in 2002 has since grown to include offices in London, Belfast, Birmingham, Manchester, Frankfurt, and Addis Ababa – please visit:

www.oraclesolicitors.co.uk

Pro Landscaper / November 2021 121

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21/10/2021 15:52


EDUCATE

H OW WO U L D YO U R AT E YO U R

PERFORMANCE

APPRAISALS? B

usiness success is directly related to employee performance. Love them or loathe them, most employers use appraisals to review staff performance and set objectives – appraisals are now one of the most widely used management tools in industry. However, based on research among almost 1,000 UK managers, a new report from the authoritative Institute for Employment Studies claims that many performance appraisals systems are failing both employees and organisations, and having limited impact on business performance. A matter of balance Most employers aspire to use performance appraisal and review as a ‘strategic lever’ over not only individual performance, but over the performance of the business as a whole. In addition, the report details how performance review is becoming an overburdened management tool, with line managers additionally expected to identify staff training needs, provide career counselling, spot highflyers of the future and manage poor performers. While each of these is a legitimate part of managing, in seeking to do so many things at once, it is hardly surprising to find that many appraisal schemes fail to deliver any of them effectively.

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A changing role for review Many performance review systems were conceived when organisations were more hierarchical, and despite modification still drive pay and promotion decisions. This has questionable relevance in today’s flatter organisations, where career progression is limited and rewards may be more flexible. Systems now need to be designed to deliver in the context of the individual organisation, for which textbook models may not exist, and remain adaptable to shifts in business strategy and structure. Transforming performance review ‘from a beast of burden into a thoroughbred’ starts with the business strategy, followed by clarity about the roles, skills and behaviours required to deliver it. Here are some simple rules: • Have clear aims and measurable success criteria. • Involve employees in the system design and implementation. • Keep it simple to understand and operate. • Make its effective use one of managers’ core performance goals. • Make sure employees can always see the link between their performance goals and those of the organisation. • Use it to keep roles clear and focus on performance improvement. • Back it up with adequate training and development. • Review it regularly and openly to make sure it’s working. If Human Resources functions can deliver this, you will be making a real and visible strategic contribution to your organisation.

I S I T T I M E TO S W I TC H U P STA F F APPRAISALS? NICK RUDDLE EXPLAINS H OW YO U R A N N U A L R E V I E WS C A N P R OV I D E A B E T T E R P U R P O S E

MANY PERFORMANCE REVIEW SYSTEMS WERE CONCEIVED WHEN ORGANISATIONS WERE MORE HIERARCHICAL, AND DESPITE MODIFICATION STILL DRIVE PAY AND PROMOTION DECISIONS ABOUT NICK RUDDLE Since 2007, Nick Ruddle has coached many landscape contractors, horticulturists, nurseries, garden centres and garden designers to success and works closely with the main industry associations, suppliers and leaders. With more than 5,000 hours of one-to-one coaching and delivering hundreds of workshops and seminars over the years, Nick can help implement specific strategies, methods, processes and systems that will produce exceptional results for your landscape business. www.nickruddle.com

Pro Landscaper / November 2021 123

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EDUCATE

ALL CHANGE!

T RAILER TESTS MIGHT NO LONGER BE MANDATORY, BUT THAT DOESN’ T ME AN TRAINING ISN’ T A NECESSIT Y, SAYS ANGUS LINDSAY

T

he recent decision by the DVSA to scrap the mandatory trailer test for post-January 1997 driving licence holders has understandably been met with mixed reactions. On the plus side, it means it will be easier to move machinery and equipment with trailers towed behind pick-ups and LCVs for drivers holding a basic car licence. On the downside, there are a generation of new drivers who may never have towed anything heavier than 750kg before and who are now legally able to load a 2.5t excavator onto a trailer and tow it behind a 4x4 pick-up at 60mph on the motorway. With enforced staycations over the last 18 months there has been a surge in people buying caravans and motorhomes; now, without the need to undertake further training, we could see inexperienced drivers towing 20’ caravans along the M5 with potentially catastrophic results.

Whilst I understand why the DVSA has taken this decision – in order to get more LGV drivers trained and get the haulage industry back on

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the road – I think businesses utilising trailers should look carefully at their drivers and continue to implement training for those inexperienced with towing. It’s not just the size of a trailer; it’s weight, manoeuvring both forward and backwards; it’s the variables such as how to load it safely and secure the load; and what of moving liquid? A half-full water bowser can be more unpredictable and dangerous to tow than a full one.

BUSINESSES UTILISING TRAILERS SHOULD LOOK CAREFULLY AT THEIR DRIVERS AND CONTINUE TO IMPLEMENT TRAINING FOR THOSE INEXPERIENCED WITH TOWING Back in 2015 I wrote an article for Pro Landscaper entitled ‘Towing Your Limits’. This was as a result of two incidents, the first being a delay on the M1 following an accident in which a driver had lost control of a pick-up towing a mini excavator and ended up in the central reservation (fortunately, nobody was hurt). The second incident, which I read about the same evening, resulted in the death of a child who was hit by a portable cabin which detached itself from the towing vehicle. Both these incidents could have been avoided if the drivers involved had understood the towing limits of the vehicles they were driving, had secured their load properly, ensured that the trailers were roadworthy, and fitted with the correct safety equipment. I do worry that going forward we may well see a repeat of these types of incidents as more

inexperienced drivers take to the roads, especially whilst the haulage industry considers short-term options to HGV use for deliveries both locally and nationally. What of machinery and vehicle manufacturers and suppliers? The need for a 750kg wood-chipper has disappeared overnight. Beavertail trucks will not be in such demand, but the trailer manufacturers will be happy. Not so the training providers, who stand to lose a lot of business, but still have a role to play as, whilst the licence may not be mandatory, I think the training should be, as there is still a vicarious liability on the employer and driver to ensure that they are competent to use a vehicle towing a trailer. Looking forward, I would like to think that operators would see the benefit of continuing to train their staff and shouldering the responsibility they have to other road users as well as their own employees. With the increasing demand for low emission vehicles and the move to electric, the long-term future of the trailer could be numbered as electric vehicles and trailers don’t make for happy companions. That said, I read that one caravan manufacturer is building lightweight models specifically for towing behind EVs – a bit of a worry on a windy motorway.

A B O U T A N G U S L I N D S AY Angus spent several years working on arable farms in Scotland before joining VSO in Egypt, implementing a mechanisation programme, managing field operations for a commercial cotton plantation in Nigeria and working as a contract instructor for Massey Ferguson in Yemen. He has an Agricultural Engineering and Mechanisation Management MSc from Silsoe, and joined Glendale as machinery manager in 1994, then idverde UK in 2009.

angus.lindsay@idverde.co.uk

www.prolandscapermagazine.com

20/10/2021 14:41


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21/10/2021 11:02


EDUCATE

GREEN UP CAMPAIGN

P R O L A N D S C A P E R R E C E N T LY L A U N C H E D T H E G R E E N U P C A M PA I G N , C O M M I T T E D TO S E E I N G M O R E G R E E N A N D L E S S G R E Y I N S U P E R M A R K E T C A R PA R K S . W E E X P LO R E W H Y W E L A U N C H E D T H E C A M PA I G N A N D W H Y S U P E R M A R K E TS S H O U L D R E- E VA LU AT E T H E I R L A N D S C A P E

T

he climate change movement is an unstoppable force – and so it should be. The global temperature is rising, ice sheets are shrinking, glaciers are retreating, sea levels are rising. Time’s up. Here at Pro Landscaper, we constantly strive to showcase people, projects and initiatives which put the environment at the forefront in this ambitious but wholly necessary fight against climate change. We’re not passive in this fight, though, and recently we decided it was time for some real action. That’s why we launched the Green Up

becoming a Principal Supermarket Partner of COP26, there doesn’t seem to be the same regard for what’s on their doorstep – and it’s pretty significant. According to Frank’s Geospatial Team on behalf of Ministry of Housing, there are 103,000 public and private surface car parks across the country which comprise of a land area of 20,000ha. Of this, some 12,445 are owned by the private sector. What’s more, according to USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, by 2023, the total value of the UK grocery sector is projected to grow 14.8% to £213bn. Imagine the benefits to biodiversity if supermarkets across the country utilised their car parks and their profits and made them just a little bit greener.

It seems there’s a way to go, though. Dr Duncan Slater has witnessed an overwhelming number of poor landscaping work in supermarket car parks, mostly when it comes to trees. “These areas are often highly underinvested in and often poorly installed – especially the provision of good quality soil volumes in which trees and shrubs can flourish.” Hillier, one of the campaign’s sponsors, also hasn’t had the greatest experience with supermarkets. “There needs to be a cultural change where the landscaping of car parks is not at the bottom of the budget sheet with one of the smaller figures attached to it,” Adam Dunnett argues. “A change of practice which doesn’t involve planting the smallest tree ‘which will hopefully survive vandalism’, and a very boring plant pallet which should have been left in the 80s.”

MORRISONS' CAR PARK TREES ©DR DUNCAN SLATER

Campaign, committed to seeing more green and less grey in supermarket car parks – after all, green is the new grey. I’m sure we can all agree that a greener planet is a better one. But why supermarkets? Despite Tesco’s partnership with WWF, Aldi and M&S’ carbon neutrality – achieved in 2019 and 2012, respectively – and Sainsbury’s

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M&S CHESHIRE OAKS ©GREENBLUE URBAN

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EDUCATE

With experience working on over 400 superstores, John Melmoe has insight into the sites with a minimum spend of £100,000 all the way up to million-pound schemes. He puts issues down to funding. “They do invest in sizeable funds, it’s the maintenance that’s the issue and revisiting the scheme. What was good from 1985-1990 is not good now,” he explains. “The likes of Tesco

THERE NEEDS TO BE A CULTURAL CHANGE WHERE THE LANDSCAPING OF CAR PARKS IS NOT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BUDGET SHEET ADAM DUNNETT, HILLIER TREES

have a term contractor for doing most of its stores and the volume of the business drives down the cost. But unfortunately, it is maintained to a price and not a standard, and that’s the downfall of most the supermarkets.” It certainly isn’t all bad. Another of the campaign’s sponsors, idverde, has a long history of collaborating successfully with these types of clients. “We carry out sustainability reporting to monitor developments of species within the area, working closely with the client at the start of the contract to provide sustainability guidance on how to improve outdoor areas, together. Colleagues in the industry are really committed to understanding how best to utilise outdoor spaces.” Over the past few months, we’ve been sharing poor examples of supermarket car parks alongside good ones, experiences and tips from key industry figures and suppliers, launched a petition, and have been reaching out to the largest supermarkets in the UK with little to no response. But there are some very good reasons as to why they should be responding. Climate change may be an obvious reason, but it’s also

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a substantial one. “What we’re seeing is potentially the start of the sixth mass extinction event, and it’s the first that has been driven by human activity,” Marcus Watson tells us. “The last time there was a peak in carbon dioxide levels to this extent was 350,000 years ago when modern humans didn’t exist. Increase in carbon dioxide, increase in temperature, increase in species dying – all those exponential increases have happened as a result of the exponential increase in the number of humans.” If these considerable figures aren’t enough, supermarkets should pay attention to how it may affect their customers, and in turn profit. In a recent study undertaken by CABE (titled 'Supermarket-led development: asset or liability?') it discovered that most communities in which supermarkets are built don’t think much of their design. “What local communities tell us is that a lot of supermarket-led development amounts to a large plain rectangular building and car park in the middle of town. This can actually undermine regeneration, local character and sense of place, and compound traffic problems.” This could become an issue as the online grocery market is estimated to grow by 51% by 2023 and account for 7.9% of the total UK grocery market, The Online Store of the Future report by IGD found. Simon Wainwright, director of global insight at IGD, added: “Shopper confidence will remain very fragile for the foreseeable future so retailers and suppliers will need to focus on building loyalty by supporting their customers’ needs by offering value for money.” Though the report outlines how supermarkets should embrace technology to overcome this,

it could be argued that creating an engaging landscape could also save in-person shopping and add value to a customer’s experience. GreenBlue Urban, another of the campaign’s sponsors, found that: • Visual preference ratings were higher for shopping areas with trees and much lower when trees were not present. • People are willing to travel further and more frequently to visit retail environments with mature tree cover. • Shoppers surveyed were willing to pay 9% to 12% more for goods and services in shopping areas with large, well-cared for, mature trees. SOME EXAMPLES BELOW OF POOR TREE PLANTING IN SUPERMARKET CAR PARKS ©DR DUNCAN SLATER

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21/10/2021 15:35


EDUCATE

Indeed, whether they see it or not, a supermarket's external environment has an impact on what happens in store. Biotecture has a long history of transforming urban landscapes for both people and the planet. It understands that people have an innate connection to nature, biophilia, and there’s more than enough scientific evidence to prove integrating nature into our urban spaces has huge benefits. Kirsten Monk explains: “Characterless, sterile

THE LAST TIME THERE WAS A PEAK IN CARBON DIOXIDE LEVELS TO THIS EXTENT WAS 350,000 YEARS AGO WHEN MODERN HUMANS DIDN’T EXIST MARCUS WATSON

environments leave us feeling exhausted and disengaged, whereas people in attractive spaces increase their dwell time and are likely to be motivated to return. The intelligent placement of greening can transform car parks into softer, more welcoming spaces and offer a return on investment.” John agrees, arguing that supermarkets need to think of ways to keep customers interested. “How many supermarkets have a picnic area or coffee kiosk for families, to actually encourage them in and hold them in the stores? Now is the time for change, but change shouldn’t just be replacing like for like, they have to revaluate the whole space.” Part of this revaluation could come as many supermarkets begin to install EV charging points. As Marcus explains: “Whilst they’re taking up the car park to put in charging points, it’s a really good opportunity to consider how they can change the landscaping too. Customers would know, from the very beginning, this retailer is taking their sustainability responsibilities seriously.” It's clear supermarkets should put more time, money and thought into their landscapes, and that there’s a good opportunity to do so, but what are the changes they can make? Of course, when thinking about how to green-up a space, it’s easy to first think of

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Green up campaign.indd 129

what’s above the ground. GreenBlue Urban urges us to dig a little deeper, though. “In our experience, the best results come where below-ground constraints are considered first. Consider linked tree pits a best practice method for shared rooting volume, design for multi-functional SuDS, integrated permeable paving or rain gardens.” Dr Duncan Slater also believes good design begins below ground: “There has been considerable research into viable ‘tree soils’ that can be compacted to put a car park surface on top of them, but still allow for tree roots to develop in them. There are some really good examples of such installations in Copenhagen, Denmark.” Some solutions don’t need much maintenance, either, as Marcus explains: “You can create biodiverse areas where you don’t necessarily strike lawns, just have the edge neat. Green roofs are also great, because you don’t have to look after them.” idverde has also created solutions for supermarkets short on space in the past: “Our specialist planting brand Plantscape has installed seven-day watering planters with a wildflower mix in to attract pollinators and improve the visual appearance of ‘grey’ areas.”

INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR LIVING WALLS CAN BE DESIGNED TO INTEGRATE SIGNAGE, LIGHTING, INFORMATION BOARDS AND LOGOS, TO SEAMLESSLY INTEGRATE WITH EXISTING BRANDING BIOTECTURE

Biotecture challenges supermarkets to think vertically: “Interior and exterior living walls can be designed to integrate signage, lighting, information boards and logos, to seamlessly integrate with existing branding. We have even designed walls around sculptures, such as Bell Court Shopping Centre in Stratford-Upon-Avon.” There are challenges, of course, to making these changes. Budget is probably

the largest – especially when it comes to maintenance – alongside the fact that supermarkets often aren’t the leaseholder. As John responds to that, though, “they’re still the customer, and if they shout loud enough, leaseholders will have to listen.” It’s not a 'nice-to-have' any more, it’s a necessity. We’ll be continuing to shine the green spotlight on

TREES NEAR WAITROSE ©GREENBLUE URBAN

supermarkets and their car parks, and we’ll continue to showcase the good, the bad and the ugly, challenging and championing supermarkets to make a change. Ultimately, it’s a win for the supermarket and Follow the campaign its customers, @ProLandscaperUK a win for the industry and, The Green Up tab on www.prolandscaper.com most importantly,

FOLLOW THE CAMPAIGN

a win for the environment.

#Greenisthenewgrey

H OW CA N YO U H E L P ? Sign our petition: www.chng.it/F6HCpdrKMN Share you own pictures or experiences with rachael.forsyth@eljays44.com or by using #greenisthenewgrey and tagging @ProLandscaperUK Share the campaign with a colleague, friend or even a family member

Pro Landscaper / November 2021 129

21/10/2021 15:35


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Can you tell us a bit about VertEdge? VertEdge is a new revolutionary artificial grass edging system, designed to provide a neat 100% adhered, secure perimeter finish, outperforming any other product or method on the market today. Founder Dean Anderson spent 35 years working in flooring and 12 years in the artificial grass sector, where he recognised a need for a new product. He felt that other products to secure down the artificial grass were lagging behind other industries, such as flooring.

IT IS A COMPLETELY UNIQUE PRODUCT TO THE INDUSTRY RIGHT NOW WITH NO COMPETITION FILLING THE NEED Other methods for grass were outdated and improvised by individual installers. Unlike flooring, there were no industry standards to adhere to or give a consistent standard, leaving the standard below par. So, Dean invented VertEdge in 2019. VertEdge is setting a new industry standard, providing a stronger perimeter edge for artificial

STANDARD V E R T E D G E E X P L A I N S W H Y I TS P R O D U C T H A S B E E N S P EC I A L LY C R E AT E D FO R A R T I F I C I A L G R A S S I N STA L L AT I O N S

grass which is more resistant to dogs and wild animals whilst being safe for children and pets. The tucked down edge prevents the artificial grass from lifting and becoming a trip hazard. How does it differ from other edging products on the market? VertEdge is a specially designed product giving a uniform finish to all installations, but it is a completely unique product to the industry right now with no competition filling the need. What makes it especially suited for artificial grass edging? Specifically designed for securing the perimeter of artificial grass, it is a purpose made and designed product to solve a problem, helping the artificial grass to last longer with no perimeter failures. It is suitable for all artificial grass surfaces and can form to any curve or radius. How is VertEdge produced? It is injection moulded using fully recyclable polymers.

What are its green credentials? VertEdge is fully recyclable, and hopefully there are grasses coming onto the market soon which will follow suit. Is there an installation guide available? Yes, all the guides and ‘how to’ videos are on the website and brochures can be downloaded. VertEdge is lightweight, making it easy to handle, and is simple to install with no nails or pegs which could come loose or cause injury, Where can VertEdge be purchased? It is available at LazyLawn, Nomow, ArtificialGrass.com, iGRASS, Amazon, and our own website, vertedge.com. VertEdge is available in 750mm lengths. Are there other products available? Yes, we supply the adhesive and are currently working on a maintenance package for artificial lawns including grass cleaner and grass brushing systems.

C O N TA C T VertEdge, Unit 5, Weald Hall Lane, Thornwood, Essex, CM16 6NR Tel 01992 804 459 Email hello@vertedge.com www.vertedge.com

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DAILY UPDATES FROM THE LANDSCAPING INDUSTRY

SELF BINDING Perfect for footpaths, cycle and walkways and garden paths UK DELIVERIES Loose • Bulk Bags • Pallets Full product list, sample service and UK delivery details on our website

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21/10/2021 13:03


EDUCATE

PROVENDER NURSERIES

Provender Nurseries will be showcasing a range of the larger choice of quality plant stock held on its 18-acre nursery in Kent. Seasonal hedging stock and large specimen trees to complement any planting scheme will be on view alongside related horticultural sundries including Rosedale professional grade fertilisers exclusive to Provender Nurseries and a selection of tools and bulk bags of blended composts will represent some of the sundries held in stock. Provender Nurseries has all sundry and plant materials on site to build a great garden from design to plot bringing your designs to life. Provender Nurseries is proud to have achieved Plant Healthy Certification in 2021. WWW.PROVENDERNURSERIES.CO.UK

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GRIPPLE

Gripple is a market-leading manufacturer, delivering time-saving simplicity and problem-solving innovation in landscaping applications. A globally recognised brand, Gripple offers a comprehensive solution for tree anchoring and trellising applications, designed to deliver significant benefits when compared to traditional solutions – characterised by products designed and manufactured in-house, alongside on-site training and support delivered by a team of technical experts. Members of its UK sales team will be on the stand to answer any questions, so if you’d like to learn more, come and visit stand D84. WWW.GRIPPLE.COM

GO & SEE AT FUTURESCAPE FIVE COMPANIES WITH EXCITING SHOWCASES NOT TO BE MISSED AT FUTURESCAPE THIS YEAR

KEBUR

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Are you looking for exceptional natural stone Egyptian limestone Sinai Pearl and porcelain steps (photo ©RE Landscapes) products that make your project stand out? See Kebur’s carefully curated collection of high-quality porcelain and natural stone paving and accessories. Designed to suit projects of any style and budget, the Kebur collection on display includes large format porcelain paving, Styleclad and porcelain setts. Natural stone options range from classic English sawn Yorkstone to Asian blue limestone setts, Brazilian black slate coping stones, and black granite bullnose steps. Meet the team at Stand I52 and find out about Kebur Trade Pro’s trade discounts, priority deliveries, dedicated support and loyalty rewards. WWW.KEBUR.CO.UK

STAND

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Asian blue limestone setts as shown at APL’s A Place to Meet Again Garden (RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2021 and winner of People’s Choice for Best Lifestyle Garden)

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CROWDERS Crowders Nurseries is a seventh generation family-owned nationally renowned wholesale grower supplying hardy wholesale nursery stock to commercial landscape professionals, landowners, and public sector organisations. After more than 200 years of business, Crowders prides itself on having access to the very best equipment and expertise within the horticulture industry. The Crowders team is thrilled to be attending FutureScape in November, a chance for some valuable face-to-face networking and customer interactions. The stall will provide an insight into the growing process at Crowders, the vast stock on offer and the services available. The tradeshow will provide any existing customers with an opportunity to catch-up with members of the team and create the perfect scenario for the introduction of new customers.

PLANTBOX Visit stand K82 and find out why vertical greening is one of the hottest trends in landscaping. Growing Revolution will be showcasing its stackable, modular living wall system called PlantBox, which is made in the UK from 100% recycled materials and was a finalist of the RHS Chelsea Sustainable Garden Product of the Year 2021 award. If you’re looking for a more elegant finish, perhaps for courtyards or atriums, its new freestanding Flourish living wall system will also be on display. Based on the PlantBox system, it also features a smart aluminium powder-coated surround, water tank and pump. Growing Revolution will be on hand to answer any questions on living walls and its partner benefits, and it will be offering free trade samples to try PlantBox for yourself.

STAND

K82

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ADVERTORIAL

STAND OUT ON

SKETCHUP A

s any garden designer or landscaper will know, time is money. So, spending hours – or sometimes even days or weeks – on YouTube trying to learn how to use a certain computer program is not ideal. Fortunately, when it comes to design software SketchUp, John Brooks has done this for you. The SketchUp expert has developed a series of courses, which condense hours of learning into short, user-friendly training sessions, with all teaching tailored towards the work of garden designers and andscape professionals. SketchUp for Garden Design was founded in 2017 after John spotted a gap in the market to teach the software skills he’d picked up as a garden designer. He’d started attending SGD cluster meetings and, after showcasing his design work, was inundated with questions about his use of SketchUp. After running a couple of informal teaching sessions, he decided to create what is now the Foundation Course at SketchUp

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S K E T C H U P F O R G A R D E N D E S I G N C A N H E L P YO U TO M A K E T H E M O ST O F T H E D E S I G N S O F T WA R E , T E AC H I N G YO U T H E T I P S A N D T R I C K S TO B EC O M E M O R E E F F I C I E N T

for Garden Design. “The Foundation course teaches the nuts and bolts of SketchUp,” explains John. “It teaches students all of the basic tools and techniques that they will use on a day-to-day basis. The morning session is spent getting to grips with SketchUp with the afternoon session used to put this into practice by modelling a basic garden, step-by-step.” For more detailed learning, students can take the Intermediate Course, on which they’ll be taught, amongst other subjects, how to deal with site surveys, and how to use these to create

IT’S ADAPTABLE, SO STUDENTS CAN DEVELOP THEIR OWN WAY OF WORKING ONCE THEY LEARN THE BASICS accurate terrain within their models. It also explores the creation of planting plans, which John explains are easily produced thanks to the creation of a library of plants inside Sketchup, a process similar to that seen in other CAD programs which John has developed. The third course looks at SketchUp’s sister program, LayOut, which comes with SketchUp Pro and allows users to create presentation documents using the model they have created and imported from SketchUp. Students can choose to complete the courses either individually or take all three as a package, studying one-to-one, either in person or online via Zoom. Sketchup for Garden Design’s group study sessions, popular prior to lockdown, will hopefully make a welcome return in 2022 thanks to the ongoing support of London Stone who’s

North London and Farnham showrooms have played host prior to the pandemic. “SketchUp is particularly useful for those who are new to the industry and working on their own. It’s a really intuitive program and easy to

pick up once you’re shown how to use it; I can take people from being complete beginners to competent in using the programme in their day-to-day work. It’s adaptable, so students can develop their own way of working once they learn the basics, and making adjustments to designs is quick and simple. The program is less expensive than some competitors and enables you to produce professional documents, which contractors and clients love.” Landscapers too can benefit from learning the software, such as understanding how much of a certain material is required in order to avoid waste, or figuring out paving patterns, for example. “Some see SketchUp as being limited, but it’s an extremely versatile piece of software.” John is now working his way towards CPD accreditation for the courses and is looking to partner with companies and colleges to widen the reach of SketchUp for Garden Design and improve the skillset of those using the software. If you’re interested in a course, contact John at enquiries@sketchupforgardendesign.com or call 07903 654 279. For more details, visit www.sketchupforgardendesign.com, or follow @sketchupforgardendesign on Instagram.

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20/10/2021 15:42


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21/10/2021 11:04


GRAVEL GRIDS ARE IDEAL TO PREVENT GRAVEL MIGRATION

EDUCATE

COMPANY PROFILE

THE TEAM AT CORE LANDSCAPE PRODUCTS

How was the company formed? Manni: Our dad started his landscaping company up in the early 1980s and I actually went off and completed a law degree. However, the industry was too ingrained in me and I could not stay away long. Dad used to complain about the lack of decent products available – or how badly designed the existing products in the marketplace were. I saw the opportunity to work with factories to redesign products with the installer in mind – making small changes to improve install time, save on packaging or provide a longer lasting product and so forth. As a family business, do you find it difficult in separating work and family life? Harvey: Not really. We both moved out from home quite a while back now but, having grown up together, we know how to press each other’s buttons, to wind each other up in typical brotherly fashion! However, the flip side is we know how each other thinks – so we often come to the same conclusion when we have to make a decision and are quite good at listening to each other’s point of view and understand each other’s thought processes.

AT FUTURESCAPE 2019

How has the business changed and evolved over the last 10 years? Manni: Initially, we set out with a basic website and selling from our mum and dad’s garage – most of the designers and landscapers we still work with today remember the early days of sitting in our parent’s kitchen having a cup of

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CORE LANDSCAPE PRODUCTS A F T E R T R A D I N G FO R M O R E T H A N A D ECA D E , C O R E L A N D S CA P E P R O D U CTS ’ M A N AG I N G D I R ECTO R M A N N I K E AT E S A N D SA L E S D I R ECTO R H A RV E Y K E AT E S T E L L US A B O U T T H E FA M I LY B US I N ES S tea while we ran around picking and packing their order for them! We now have a dedicated 30,000 sq ft warehouse with a separate office and 11 staff. Harvey: The business has evolved in keeping with being more conscious about our own environment – hence looking to offer as many products as we can from recycled materials, reduce our packaging where possible and use recyclable packaging. With recently taking on new sales staff we also made a company-wide decision to only purchase electric vehicles going forward.

WE ARE WIDELY KNOWN FOR OUR EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE AND PRODUCT KNOWLEDGE What would you say is the company’s ethos? Harvey: To supply the very best products we can, which are designed with the installer in mind, and deliver them on time, every time. We are widely known for our excellent customer service and product knowledge and with both of us coming from a landscaping background it enables us to give installation advice – so it’s a full end-to-end service. What unexpected challenges did you find along the way? Manni: The main challenge is balancing staffing numbers and we learnt early on to have multi-

trained staff, so if we are busy any of us can jump into the warehouse to despatch orders or hop on the forklift to offload containers. We also grew so fast that we needed extra warehouse space early on. Luckily, the site we are on had several other units become available so we could expand into extra space easily as we grew and keep everything on one site. If we had ended up with separate warehouses all over the country it would have been a nightmare! How has the company marketing and literature changed over the years? Harvey: Early on it was just Manni who would put the brochure together (and usually complain about my photography skills!) and now we have one full time marketing executive who works solely on all our literature. We now have a dedicated trade brochure for designers, landscapers, architects, contractors and specifiers – and an additional full range of specific literature for the equine industry, housebuilders, golf courses, hotel sectors and so forth. The B2B side of our business has taken off along the B2C revenue stream – so it’s a juggling act ensuring we cover both bases in terms of literature and information. Is there any advice you would give to other young people considering starting up a landscape products company? Manni: Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. When we started out, I asked not only my dad but all his contemporaries in the industry. Also, get a really good accountant who explains everything; this is critical as it put us on a good financial footing from the start. And finally, don’t be too rash to make decisions – often

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21/10/2021 10:46


EDUCATE

sleeping on a problem overnight really does give you a clearer perspective in the morning.

WE ARE ALWAYS LOOKING OUT FOR PRODUCTS THAT CAN BE IMPROVED IN TERMS OF DESIGN AND SUSTAINABILITY How did the company cope in the recent pandemic and post-Brexit period? Manni: Luckily, we had just increased our warehouse capacity and stock holding as the pandemic hit, so we did not have any issues with stock and we were able to then hold our prices when the Brexit issues with shipping and containers hit. Now things have levelled out at a bit we, like nearly everyone, have had to increase our prices a little due to raw materials and manufacturing costs going up. We have grown dramatically during the past 18 months and had to take on two new sales staff to cope with the increased levels of interest and orders across the board, from merchants and wholesalers to designers and landscapers.

products and projects alongside who is using our products and why. Instagram is the most successful for us, as it is such a visual way for our all our clients to interact with us. We recently supplied products to one of the RHS Young Designer of the Year finalists for her garden at RHS Tatton and the exposure was phenomenal. What does the future hold for CORE Landscape Products? Manni: To continue to grow organically and listen to our customers and their needs. We are always looking out for products that can be improved in terms of design and sustainability. Harvey: To grow on our strengths and become the ‘go to’ supplier for sustainable landscape products.

CORE’S STEEL EDGING WAS SPECIFIED BY RHS YOUNG DESIGNER OF THE YEAR FINALIST 2021 ELLIE EDKINS FOR HER GARDEN AT RHS TATTON

A RECENT PROJECT FOR STEEL EDGING AND GRAVEL STABILITY GRIDS IN SUFFOLK

How important are social media platforms to the business? Harvey: Our social media platforms are just as critical as the industry shows (both trade and public) and our brochure. Social media gives such a fast-paced flow of information on both

A GRAVEL DRIVE USING CORE’S DRIVEWAY GRIDS

ABOUT CORE LANDSCAPE PRODUCTS CORE Landscape Products is a family run business with more than 30 years’ experience in the design, manufacture and supply of high quality, eco-friendly products that are built to last and require minimal maintenance. With a range of products including UK manufactured steel edging and gravel stability grids to a variety of drainage solutions, it is the one stop shop for all landscaping supplies. All its products are manufactured in strict accordance with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards and these standards are implemented from raw material acquisition to delivery of the finished article. Each and every product is specifically designed to provide a long-term solution and minimise the impact of construction on the environment. Where possible, it sources recycled materials to reduce every products carbon footprint. GRAVEL GRIDS CAN BE USED ON BOTH STRAIGHT OR CURVED PATHS

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www.corelp.co.uk

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SUPPLIERS AND GROWERS OF SEMI-MATURE & MATURE, ROOTBALL & CONTAINERISED TREES, SHRUBS AND INSTANT HEDGING

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Creating Inspiring Streetscenes CIS Street Furniture offer a diverse range of street furniture which will complement any location. As a result of the built environment compaction can inhibit or prevent natural root growth of trees. CIS SUDs compliant resin bound tree grilles are a great way of enhancing the sustainability of your project for future generations. Find out more at our website below.

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21/10/2021 11:07


ADVERTORIAL

QUICK-TO-FIT

STABLE GRAVEL DRIVEWAYS B E A U X F O R T ’ S V E R N O N E L S E Y E X P L A I N S H O W T H E C O M PA N Y ’ S G R AV E L R I N G S A R E C H A N G I N G T H E I N S TA L L AT I O N O F G R AV E L D R I V E W AY S F O R T H E B E T T E R

A

gravel driveway enhances the kerb appeal of any property and thanks to an innovative gravel retention system an elegant gravel driveway has never been easier to install. Gravel’s ability to soften designs, its versatility and colour options make it a popular option with both landscaping professionals and homeowners. Laying a gravel driveway is now more efficient than ever with Beauxfort’s Gravelrings gravel grids and offers a permanent solution to the problem of gravel migration. Easy installation, superior performance Gravelrings is a grid system that provides strength and longevity to gravel driveways. There are also clear cost benefits too, thanks to a shallow excavation requirement of just 25mm, meaning less preparation before laying the grids, plus less muck-away. Such a low-profile grid also requires less gravel than installations without Gravelrings. The 500mm2 gravel grids are supplied in pre-connected 1m2, are easy to cut and quickly clip into place, and to secure with fixing pins in pre-drilled holes. The benefits go beyond easy installation. The mesh backing is permeable, SuDS compliant and resists weed growth. The circular cells hold

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the stones in place, even on slopes and the grids stay hidden beneath the surface, reliably providing strength (up to 350t per m2) and stability year on year.

THE BENEFITS OF INSTALLING

GRAVELRINGS

Michael Alderton, director of contractor Canning Ericsson Construction, is another advocate of the system having laid it at the site of his own home in West Sussex. He chose gravel for its free draining qualities and softening effect to complement the new-build property and was impressed with the results. “Gravelrings provided a firm base that 20t lorries could drive over without sinking or moving the 10mm gravel it retains”.

• Shallow excavation of 25mm • Less labour required • Less muck-away • Less gravel needed • Flexible and easy to cut • Quick to fit with a firm clipping mechanism • Low maintenance And disproving the common misconception that gravel driveways are not suited to slopes, homeowner Jim Greaves laid the system at his property in the north Wales hills with superb results: “This driveway has been absolutely brilliant. I would recommend this system to anybody.” Utilising its 20+ years of experience in the industry, Beauxfort’s products enable the creation of distinctive approaches and outdoor areas while preserving the beauty of the natural environment. Gravelrings in situ With Beauxfort Gravelrings, it’s simpler than ever to get a smooth and stable finish on a gravel driveway. Contractor Barry Ransom addressed the thinning and rutting driveway at a property in Burgess Hill, West Sussex, by refitting it with Gravelrings. Impressed with the quality and results, along with the labour cost savings thanks to the shallower excavation requirement and the quick-to-fit design, Ransom now recommends Gravelrings to all its clients looking to install gravel surfaces.

ABOUT VERNON ELSEY Vernon Elsey is co-director of Beauxfort, a company specialising in landscaping systems. With 20+ years in the industry, Beauxfort designs products that meet the needs of landscaping professionals, resolve groundwork challenges and help create beautiful, hassle-free landscape designs that fulfil its customers’ dreams.

www.beauxfort.com

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EDUCATE

WHAT’S

YOUR

ROLE? COUNTRYWIDE GROUNDS MAINTENANCE PHIL ROGERS RECENTLY JOINED COUNTRY WIDE GROUNDS MAINTENANCE AS ITS BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER FOR NORTHERN ENGL AND AND SCOTL AND WITH MORE THAN 25 YE ARS OF E XPERIENCE IN THE GROUNDS MAINTENANCE INDUSTRY

Before joining Countrywide, what had your experience been in the grounds maintenance sector? When I left school, I joined my family’s grounds maintenance business, so it’s always been in my blood. My dad worked at Cambridge Botanic Garden in the 60s too; we’ve always been involved in the industry, one way or another. I worked at the family business for a couple of years then moved on to Carillion Amey on its MoD contracts, working on the facilities management side. After that, I worked for five years at Ground Control, then found myself at Countrywide Grounds Maintenance. So, I started off on the tools and worked my way up from a groundsman to contractor management to operations management – it’s been quite varied.

How did you come to join Countrywide? The company contacted me regarding the direction it wanted to take, so growing the business and its ambition as one of the best, if not the best, grounds maintenance providers in the country. It felt like the right time to join the company, and the role is an ideal fit for me. There is a great sense of togetherness, and I was eager to join the team. What drew you towards the company? Having been in the industry since I was a boy, I was fully aware of Countrywide as a brand. I worked in Manchester from an early age and that’s where Countrywide started. It’s now got national coverage, but that national coverage is run by local businesses and local people. We’re living in difficult times at the moment, not just for the industry but right across the board, so by employing local people and taking more of an interest in our local environment is something we have a duty of care to do. This is something that Countrywide is looking into. So, will you be focusing on environmentally friendly practices? Climate change is going to be a big part of our lives and we have a responsibility as we look after the living environment. I’m twinning that with an ethos that we want to grow the business by doing things the right way; we want to make sure we have people who want

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to look after the environment, who take pride in what they do. Why is it important to you to focus on the north? We’re looking to grow the business nationally, so there are two other business development directors who look after the Midlands and the South. I cover Scotland, where I’ve worked before, and the North of England – I have a real passion for pushing what the North can do, and that includes Scotland. It’s important, though, to see the country as one and not a north/south divide. Now that you’ve been in the role for a few months, what are you focused on? I’m looking after 15 depots so we’re putting together a strategy of where we can meet with and help out with not only new business but also retaining our existing business. Countrywide has an excellent reputation for retaining business, so it’s a case of looking to keep the clients we have whilst looking to grow and certainly going down the educational route in schools too. It’s very important to me that we introduce our industry to the next generation of groundskeepers, grounds operatives and contract managers. Are there anticipated challenges? Competition is a factor – there are a lot of good companies out there. The perception of Countrywide is already very good, but I think the challenge is making sure that we are thought of

as number one, by our staff too. We carry out excellent work, but we perhaps don’t publicise it enough. One of the things which convinced me to join Countrywide is that we have places to shout about our achievements and that we’re going to be challenging some of the bigger companies.

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20/10/2021 15:01


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Tel: 01903 777583 21/10/2021 22/07/2021 11:08 15:35


EDUCATE

I

RO Timber is manufactured using a seven-step process that includes two stages of kiln drying, heat enhancement (charring), high-pressure treatment (external products), and the application of a protective wood cream ensures that IRO is a vibrant product with a long-lasting, water-repellent surface. Every piece of IRO architectural decking and cladding is created by combining the ancient Japanese process Yakisugi with the latest timber technology. The result is a beautiful and uniquely coloured timber that will add charm and character to a range of outdoor and indoor spaces.

EVERY PIECE OF IRO ARCHITECTURAL DECKING AND CLADDING IS CREATED BY COMBINING THE ANCIENT JAPANESE PROCESS YAKISUGI WITH THE LATEST TIMBER TECHNOLOGY Yakisugi is an ancient Japanese process of wood preservation. It involves an intricate process using heat to ‘char’ the wood, helping to make it more weatherproof and better protected against insects and ageing. This type of treatment can be dated back to the 1700s and is found on the exterior of many traditional buildings in Japan.

M AT E R I A L S F O C U S

CHARRED TIMBER

CHARRED TIMBER IS PRODUCED VIA AN INTRICATE PROCESS, AS IRO TIMBER EXPLAINS The term charred timber might seem odd at first glance, and the thought of using it for decking or cladding might seem even odder; but this type of timber is becoming

KEY FACTS ABOUT CHARRED TIMBER • Created using Yakisugi, an ancient Japanese process of wood preservation. • Yakisugi (焼杉) can be translated as “burned cedar”. • Traditionally used Japanese houses when there was still no means of chemical wood protection. • Process dates back to the 1700s. • Involves an intricate process using heat to ‘char’ the wood. • The resulting timber has a dark, charcoal appearance.

more and more popular in both commercial and residential properties. IRO Timber provides the perfect opportunity to give an organic look to the facade of a huge range of buildings, add depth and range to decking or bring imaginative appeal to internal spaces. When used in garden spaces, IRO’s hugely popular charcoal shade gives a dramatic backdrop from which plant and foliage colours can ‘pop’. As we are all using our gardens to act as another room to our house in current times, charcoal also acts as a vivid contrast to bright soft furnishings and accessories. In addition to being a low-maintenance but long-lasting alternative to traditional decking, IRO architectural timber is UV stable, 100% HVOC-free, meaning the product is both child friendly and pet friendly. Vibrant colours, which are exclusive to the range, such as lagoon blue and sunset orange, allow the creation of bolder aesthetics too. IRO’s range will stay vibrant from season to season, in comparison to traditional cladding products which are likely to begin losing intensity within the first year. Guaranteed to last, IRO is also easy to look after – the perfect alternative to traditional oak or cedar products.

ABOUT IRO TIMBER IRO Timber is an exciting range of internal cladding, external cladding, and decking developed by BSW Timber. The range is available in 10 exclusive colours, from mountain grey to sunset orange. Inspired by yakisugi, each and every piece of IRO is crafted using an intricate seven-step process that uses the most innovative timber technology. www.irotimber.co.uk

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MAIN BENEFITS OF CHARRED TIMBER

EDUCATE

• Environmentally friendly • Low carbon footprint • Versatile product that can be used in different settings • Every individual piece is completely different • More durable compared to non-charred products • Protects against insects and rot

CAS E ST U DY

Residential garden in Sheffield

FLOATING DECKS USING IRO CHARRED TIMBER DECKING

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Phil Brooks wanted to create a multi-functional garden for his children to play in and a space for him and his partner to relax in too. Not content with the idea of a straightforward, flat decking area, Phil imagined something much more creative and contemporary to renovate his garden plot. He set about researching different timber options and was intrigued to find charred timber on the market, especially since he is a fireman by trade. “My current job as a fireman means I am more used to putting out fires than trying to burn wood! But I came across charred timber decking during my research and before long a sample pack was in the post,” said Phil. With consideration, Phil realised when it came to budget and product quality, IRO’s wide product range came out on top compared to other suppliers in the marketplace. He chose to create decking in the ‘charcoal’ tone for its modern, contemporary look – plus his existing surrounding greenery and foliage stood out in contrast to the dark wood. Phil created a striking and practical outdoor space for everyone to enjoy. Floating decks at different heights created texture and dimension against the backdrop of the garden and acted as different zones and layers in addition to the flat lawn. Phil found the timber incredibly easy to install and its malleability meant he could be a lot more creative with the installation. The touch-up cream was used to match the charcoal colour to disguise edging and cuts, giving the decking a perfect, refined finish.

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JOBS

For full details on all jobs, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk Call 01903 777 570 or email daniel.riley@eljays44.com with your vacancy.

CONTRACTS MANAGER

SKILLED LANDSCAPER

Gavin Jones is looking for a contracts manager to join its landscape construction team with soft and/or hard landscape skills. As a contracts manager within its landscaping division, you will be responsible for delivering a high-quality soft and hard landscaping contracting service for its clients. Already an experienced contracts manager within the land-based sector, you’ll have a wealth of experience in delivering high quality projects and principal contractor project management, in a timely and efficient manner. Applicants need a professional qualification in landscaping, horticulture, or other land-based industry, and a full driving licence.

Andrews Landscaping is a Guildford based design and build company specialising in domestic and commercial projects throughout Surrey and the South East. It has been established for more than 20 years and has built up a team of dedicated landscapers who produce stunning results within a professional and fun environment. It is looking for a passionate skilled landscaper to join its team. Ideally, you should have a minimum of five years’ experience within the industry, have a passion about creating beautiful gardens, be skilled at the main aspects of landscaping, be able to speak knowledgably to clients and manage a team of landscapers.

For more details, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk

For more details, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk

GROUNDS MAINTENANCE OPERATIVES

HARD LANDSCAPER

Turney Landscapes is a family-run business providing quality services across an array of industries for more than 35 years. It is looking to recruit within its grounds maintenance department. It carries out a wide range of landscaping operations, including tree surgery, grass cutting, hedge cutting, fencing and traffic management schemes. Duties will include vegetation clearance, grounds maintenance, weed control and gritting and show control. Applicants need to have experience in grounds maintenance and horticulture, be highly motivated and able to work to an extremely high standard of both safety and quality. A driving licence is also essential.

This is a hands-on role and is site based. Rune Landscape Design & Construction is looking for an experienced and motivated landscaper that is capable of carrying out all aspects of hard and soft landscaping to an exceptionally high standard within the Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire areas. Applicants should have a confident and positive outlook and a ‘can-do’ attitude. They must be a self-starter who is equally comfortable working alone as well as part of an effective team, and they must have a proven track record in landscaping and build of gardens. An ability to manage physical tasks throughout all seasons is required.

For more details, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk

For more details, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk

TEAM LEADER (OFF TRACK INSPECTION)

GROUNDS MAINTENANCE MANAGER

Network Rail will look to you to direct, organise and motivate a high performing team. From inspection and faulting through to maintenance and renewal, you’ll play a hands-on role. You’ll make sure everything is done efficiently and to the highest standards. Safety will be a priority. You’ll establish appropriate safety arrangements and make sure Network Rail staff and contractors alike follow safe systems of work. Proactively controlling and checking the quality of work and the competence of your people, you’ll see to it that assets are fully compliant, and all vehicles, plant, tools, equipment and materials are fit for purpose.

The candidate would be responsible for the day to day running of grounds maintenance operations for the company. This would include managing service delivery, pricing, expanding the service and client base and helping with the management of its health and safety compliance. The candidate would report to the managing director and be accountable for grounds maintenance supervisors and operatives. Applicants should have experience in leading a team, managing multiple teams in multiple locations. They should also have a strong attention to detail and strong organisational and planning skills. A full, clean driving licence is necessary.

For more details, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk

For more details, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk

LANDSCAPE PROJECT MANAGER

GROUNDSMAN

An opportunity exists for an ambitious manager who is passionate and wants a full-time direct employment career with a commercial landscape contractor. Gerald Davies Limited is a contracting company based in Port Talbot, South Wales and operating across Wales and England. Its scope of works is diverse and encompasses all works external to the built environment. It is looking for a motivated, experienced project manager to deliver commercial hard and soft landscape contracts. Although no qualifications are essential for the role, any relevant qualifications would be of advantage.

Exclusive Household Staff’s client, with a large residence in Suffolk, requires a groundsman to start ASAP. Duties include, but are not limited to: maintaining the grounds, building and equipment; lawn maintenance and woodland work; trimming and weeding; clearance of all leaves and other autumn/winter debris; cleaning gutters and pipework; maintaining the swimming pool and tennis court; and DIY and basic repairs. Candidates should be at ease in a family environment and have a solid background in private households. Candidates must be flexible and prepared to take on any tasks relating to the employer and family. A clean driving license in required.

For more details, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk

For more details, please go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk

GAVIN JONES LTD Location: Yorkshire

TURNEY LANDSCAPES LTD Location: Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire

NETWORK RAIL Location: London

GERALD DAVIES LTD Location: Nationwide

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ANDREWS LANDSCAPING LTD Location: Surrey

RUNE LANDSCAPE DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION Location: Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire

S&D LANDSCAPES LTD Location: Yorkshire

EXCLUSIVE HOUSEHOLD STAFF Location: Suffolk

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20/10/2021 17:25


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21/10/2021 11:11


EDUCATE

T H E L I T T L E I N T E RV I E W

PRO LANDSCAPER ASKS QUICK-FIRE QUESTIONS TO GAIN A SMALL INSIGHT INTO THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE UP OUR INDUSTRY. TO TAKE PART, EMAIL CONTENT@ EL JAYS44.COM

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CARL BAKER

JODIE FEDORKO

Business account manager, Kebur

Horticulturist/soft landscape designer, The Garden Design Company

www.kebur.co.uk

www.thegardendesign.co.uk

If you weren’t in the horticulture industry, what would you be doing? Cycling around the world.

If you weren’t in the horticulture industry, what would you be doing? Working with animals!

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

Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Having done a show garden myself, absolutely; there’s always something to be taken away from them.

The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Alan Titchmarsh. One thing that you think would make the industry better? More young people getting involved. Newest gardening trend in your opinion. Kebur range of natural stone products – had to get that in somewhere. Role model as a child? My dad. Couldn’t get through the week without... Proper coffee. Best invention in recent years? Smartphones, especially Apple. Your most used saying or cliché? One for the road! Favourite tipple? SwiftOne from Bowman ales. Who would play you in a movie of your life? Alan Rickman. What three things would you take to a desert island? The wife, bike and beer.

Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? The Netherlands – it’s the tulip fields and espalier trees. The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Rachel de Thame. She seems just the loveliest person! Best piece of trivia you know? Tulip bulbs used to be used as a form of currency during tulip mania. (Can you tell I love tulips?) Role model as a child? My grandad, growing potatoes in his front garden. Best invention in recent years? Tough one – not very recent but wireless internet. I remember dial up and only being allowed an hour on it as it blocked the phone line! Who would play you in a movie of your life? Ellie Goulding, only because I’ve been told we look similar. Karaoke song of choice? ‘Angels’ by Robbie Williams.

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EDUCATE

KARL HARRISON

WENDY RICHARDS

PETER HUGHES

Managing director, Karl Harrison Landscapes Ltd

Associate director, Atkins

Production manager, EverEdge

www.karlharrison.design

careers.snclavalin.com

www.everedge.co.uk

If you weren’t in the horticulture industry, what would you be doing? Working as an aircraft engineer.

If you weren’t in the horticulture industry, what would you be doing? I wish something in music – radio presenter, shop owner, band member...

If you weren’t in the horticulture industry, what would you be doing? Something in politics.

Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Of course, they are the public flagship gardens and a massive inspiration. Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? Mexico or Japan, but not modern Japan. The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Zenjiro Hashimoto and Terunobu Fujimori. One thing that you think would make the industry better? Real gardens on TV – no more lies.

Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? Namibia – breath-taking desert and never-ending big views, dunes or rugged. Think Mad Max Fury Road. The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? The late, great Dame Sylvia Crowe, sadly no longer with us. One thing that you think would make the industry better? Less of an obsession with a ‘neat’ maintenance expectation, embracing biodiversity and wildness.

Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Inspirational. The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Can I go for someone dead? Gertrude Jekyll would be fascinating. One thing that you think would make the industry better? Same as any industry – those who have made it need to spend the time and effort helping those starting out. Newest gardening trend in your opinion? Outdoor pizza ovens – everyone suddenly has one.

Newest gardening trend in your opinion? I created charred timber; that worked well. I am thinking of another, I’ll let you know.

Newest gardening trend in your opinion? Not really a trend follower – rather go my own way.

Role model as a child? My father, he ran Rainbow Landscapes in North Wales.

Best piece of trivia you know? Google says: Only female mosquitoes will bite you.

Couldn’t get through the week without... Friends (real people, not the TV show).

Role model as a child? Sister.

Favourite tipple? A nice rum.

Best invention in recent years? Bluetooth.

Who would play you in a movie of your life? Brian Baumgartner.

What three things would you take to a desert island? Hunting knife, fishing rod and a blanket.

Who would play you in a movie of your life? Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

What three things would you take to a desert island? Netflix, wine and a hammock.

Karaoke song of choice? ‘She’s Royal’ by Tarrus Riley.

Karaoke song of choice? ‘Wonderwall’ by Oasis.

Karaoke song of choice? ‘Wonderwall’ by Oasis.

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Best piece of trivia you know? The ancient Greeks would compete in the early Olympics naked and, in running races, would tie the penis up with string to keep it out of the way. Role model as a child? My dad.

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