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October 2017



Horticulture in the city



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October 2017 | Volume 7, Issue 10


October 2017


Welcome to October 2017


Horticulture in the city LONDON DOCKLANDS

CW Studio


Welcome to the October issue of Pro Landscaper. As we start to prepare for the colder weather, the landscaping industry welcomes the start of the awards season and bustling trade shows. By the time this issue reaches our readers, ScotHort, the only landscaping trade event in Scotland, will have taken place, and preparations will be in full swing for FutureScape. With only seven weeks to go, we’re revealing the jam-packed seminar programme for the day, with speakers to be announced over the next few weeks — watch this space! September also saw BALI announce the winners of its National Landscape Awards – congratulations to all 60 members, it’s a fantastic achievement, and we look forward to seeing you collect your awards in December. In the meantime, make sure you read our interview with Peter Cunliffe of Northumbrian

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

Landscaping, who has won a BALI Award for his Harrogate show garden, A Homecoming Prayer, which we featured as a portfolio earlier in the year. In this issue, we have also taken a trip to Manchester to talk to up-and-coming landscape

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Gardens of the future

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architect Carolyn Willitts about the projects currently on the studio’s drawing board, and visited the London Docklands to find out more about Southwark Council’s maintenance of a 12ha riverside park. On pages 81-83, Dan Pearson talks about the controversy surrounding the Garden Bridge and his work on the King’s Cross Development, ahead of speaking at Palmstead Nurseries’ Soft Landscape Workshop in January. Enjoy the read and have a great month.


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

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

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Cover image © Carolyn Hughes

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October 2017 INFORM


Agenda Given the threat posed by Xylella Fastidiosa, what precautions and protocols should be implemented when procuring trees and shrubs, and who should be responsible for these?




Our monthly roundup of industry news


RHS Green Plan It The challenge that gets teenagers engaged with garden design returns for a second year


Concept to Delivery

Coming Into Play



Horticulture in the city

Pro Landscaper Business Awards All the details on the launch of our new awards for recognising excellence in business


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The seminar programme and floor plan for this year’s event

Angus Lindsay considers the rise of clean power

We speak to past victors to find out how winning has affected their careers

Let’s Hear It From

David T Binks offers advice on motivating staff throughout the winter

Marian Boswall Landscape Architects

36 Landscape Architect’s Journal CW Studio


Ground Control’s Marcus Watson on preparing for winter maintenance

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Grey Matter

43 Invest in People

34 Company Profile

Pro Landscaper / October 2017


Are we becoming too reliant on technology, wonders Andrew Wilson

Peter Cunliffe of Northumbrian Landscaping Ltd


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40 Green Machines

28 30 Under 30

View from the Top


Gardens of the future

23 FutureScape



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


Let’s Hear it From


Two local authorities tell us how they are investing in play in an era of budget cuts


October 2017


44 Breaking the Mould Mushrooms can be a valuable addition to a garden, argues Adam White

47 Tales From the Riverbank Our council series takes in the regeneration of the London Docklands


53 The Leisure Principle An ambitious retail scheme preserves its natural surroundings

56 Phoenix Rising Margaret Beale’s distinguished garden at Standen House is brought back to life

60 Take It Outside Creating an elegant entertainment space for a Kingston upon Thames home

63 Bright Future This show garden imagines the British gardens of the future

66 Feel the Heat Anji Connell explores our fascination with flames, suggesting a selection of fire features

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Into Autumn Jamie Butterworth selects four autumn perennials to brighten up your garden


Nursery Factfile Behind the scenes at Instant Hedges


Bare Root Trees UK nursery experts on their bestselling bare root options



A Fine Mess Advice from Sean Butler on specifying topsoil and recognising skip fines


Helping You Make A Profit Sam Hassall breaks down the costs involved in muck-away

101 It’s All About Placement Getting lighting placement right is crucial, says Rob Webber

103 Glendale Apprenticeships The new Trailblazer Apprenticeship and how Glendale is getting involved


106 Tree Anchors Three top products and the expert’s view

109 Remote Mowers We ask what the benefits are of remote mowers against the alternatives


69 Love Horticulture The diversity of horticulture is something to be cherished, says Ken White

70 Light House Breaking down a low-energy lighting scheme to find out why it works

72 Bespoke Fire Pits



Designer Plants Darren Hawkes creates an informal family garden from an adjoining field

Interview: Dan Pearson Dan Pearson on how horticulture is becoming a key aspect of developments


Naturally Narcissi Andy McIndoe’s roundup of great narcissus varieties for naturalising


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A roundup of news from the UK’s growing sector


Our pick of the best fire pits

Nurture News


Drama Queens The flamingo flower is great for adding a touch of the tropical, says Ian Drummond

Landmark Trading How the climbing harness has evolved to meet arborists’ needs

114 Go and See: SALTEX Our pick of the exhibitors to visit


What I’m Reading Michael John McGarr on Natural Selection: A Year in the Garden by Dan Pearson

118 Look Out For Richard Riddell

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

Pro Landscaper / October 2017


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Marcus Watson

Angus Lindsay

Anji Connell

Sam Hassall

Managing director, Ground Control

Group head of assets and fleet management, idverde

Interior architect and landscape designer

Managing director, LandPro Ltd

Winter is coming, and with the mercury starting to plummet and harsher weather predicted in the years to come, Marcus Watson explains why winter maintenance should be treated like any other business need and planned for in advance. Marcus underlines the importance of a proactive winter maintenance strategy to avoid potential costly consequences, and suggests how this can be achieved.

With reports suggesting the sale of fossil fuelled engines will be banned in the UK from 2040, Angus Lindsay contemplates their electric and hydrogen powered successors, and some of the challenges faced by manufacturers. Questioning whether we have the infrastructure in place to service this new technology, Angus looks at how the industry is likely to cope and adapt.

Fighting the autumnal chill, Anji Connell turns up the heat with her pick of the most desirable wood burning outdoor fires. Anji explains our enduring attraction to the naked flame, and how to extend the art of al fresco living by incorporating this element into your design. As spellbinding as a flickering flame, Anji’s selection of stylish yet functional products will have you captivated! @MDrWatson @anjiconnell

On any project, there is almost always an element of waste disposal involved — but how much does it really cost to remove spoil from a site, and how do you begin to calculate this? Continuing his series on the cost of landscape implementation, Sam Hassall, investigates the costs involved in muck-away. Sam explains how to calculate this for your own business, and shares his top tips for maximising profitability.

Other contributors Andrew Wilson Garden designer and lecturer

Andy McIndoe Leading horticulturist

Sean Butler Director, Cube 1994

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

Ian Drummond Creative director, Indoor Garden Design

Robert Webber Founder, Scenic Lighting

Adam White Director, Davies White Ltd

Jamie Butterworth Plant manager at Hortus Loci

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Pro Landscaper / October 2017


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Following on from Majestic Trees’ Landscape Industry Symposium on 12 September, where industry professionals debated the challenges Xylella fastidiosa presents to the UK, we are asking: what precautions and protocols should be implemented when procuring trees and shrubs, and who should be responsible for these?

unaware of the implications that Xylella poses to horticulture in general. Many nurseries and garden centres are signing up to the HTA Xylella statement and are adopting the guidelines given by APHA. The more information put out to both the industry and the public the better. This is potentially the largest threat our industry has had to face.

Nick Coslett Steve McCurdy

Marc Cade

Managing director, Majestic Trees

Operations director, Coles Nurseries

The list of potential host plants seems to be growing month by month, and includes many popular species such as lavender and rosemary. Any organisation involved in buying plant material in Europe and the UK must be aware of this and constantly monitor suppliers. Potential host plants should not be purchased from regions known to have had an outbreak of Xylella. Some nurseries, including ourselves, have taken it a step further and decided not to purchase any material from an infected region. Our main challenge moving forward is to communicate the dangers of buying Xylella host-type plants. Many involved in purchasing and trading this type of material throughout Europe are still totally 8

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Pro Landscaper / October 2017

catch violators, including active customs at airports and ferries, and a confidential hotline introduced for reporting violations. We must not forget that Xylella has the potential to put all of us out of business, and this time it is not simply by losing one variety of tree.

We need to seriously consider a complete ban on the movement of any host plants from areas of Europe that are known to, or feared to have, Xylella. We should still be allowed to bring host plants in from areas of Europe that are free of the disease, but these must have papers proving that they were grown on the nursery they were purchased from – or in the case of trees, that they have been growing on said nursery for a minimum of 12 months – and are certified free of disease. We need to consider banning any nursery that breaks these rules from exporting plants to the UK, and consider banning traders from being allowed to sell any Xylella host plants to the UK – only legitimate nurseries. Everyone in the UK should be covered by this ban; constant and regular inspections could be carried out to

Marketing manager, Palmstead Nurseries We have currently put the brakes on importing high risk plants, and have reviewed our biosecurity and procurement policies. We simply need to act responsibly in order to protect ourselves and our customers, only buying from other responsible growers that have excellent plant health controls in place. This is why we have always visited our partner growers to check out their professionalism and procedures; without these checks, we simply will not be able to maintain a trading relationship. We are now reinforcing this protocol by seeking greater validation on the provenance of plants for each delivery, ensuring there is no risk of receiving plant material that has any link to infected areas. In addition, we are looking at increasing our own production of rosemary and lavender – high risk plants – to reduce the need to import, and are looking at other viable sources too.

20/09/2017 16:46


Wayne Grills Chief executive, BALI

Where legislative regulation lags behind industry best practice, accountability for environmentally responsible procurement of trees and shrubs should be shared between the entire landscape supply chain. With a threat as serious as Xylella fastidiosa, the industry must champion a culture of proactive risk management, and work together as custodians of the landscape. Landscape design professionals should be mindful of plant selection and specification, which will drive demand for species from suppliers. Similarly, contractors and those responsible for construction activities must work collaboratively with nurseries when sourcing, ordering and planting stock. Maintenance of new and existing sites by landscape professionals also represents an opportunity to monitor sites for infestation. The nursery industry cannot be expected to fight Xylella alone, and legislative control is worthless without wider implementation of preventative actions. Trade organisations can play an important role in helping to unify the effort from all areas of the landscape industry. By gathering and sharing best practice, advising of legislative changes and working

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with other trade bodies in the wider horticultural sector, members will be supported through an increasingly challenging and changing operational landscape.

Nicola Spence Chief plant health officer, DEFRA

Xylella is not currently in the UK and it is essential that all of us with an interest in a healthy, thriving plant and horticulture industry do all we can to keep it that way, and protect our environment and businesses. The best defence against the disease is to prevent its arrival, which is why it is essential that government and industry work together to keep it out of the country. I urge you to make careful decisions on sourcing plants, particularly those from countries where Xylella is present, and review on-site measures to reduce the risk of disease introduction and spread. Many plant traders are already on the front foot – nurseries and garden centres have committed not to bring Xylella host plants into the UK from countries or regions of the EU where the disease is present, and management practices are being employed around careful sourcing, traceability and good hygiene measures, to reduce the risk of introducing the disease.

NEXT MONTH Should it be the garden designer’s responsibility or the landscape contractor’s responsibility to buy the plants for a project? Have your say: Pro Landscaper / October 2017


20/09/2017 16:47


NEWS Leading placemaking organisations join forces to tackle environmental, economic and social issues

Multi-million pound lottery bid to preserve one of the world’s most important open spaces

restoring the tree avenues which ha e been a icted by diseases The area around the General Wolfe statue will be re-landscaped, creating a setting worthy of a World Heritage Site and providing space for visitors to enjoy one of London’s iconic views. The boating lake will be fed with a new sustainable water supply, biodiversity will be enhanced and a new viewing area will make it easier to appreciate the historic deer herd. New digital technology will allow visitors to explore the park’s history. he local community ill benefit from a new learning centre and a host of new opportunities to get involved, including events and education programmes, volunteer and apprenticeship placements, and a partnership with the University of Greenwich and Lewisham & Southwark College to provide work experience opportunities for students studying tourism, leisure and event management. There will also be a mobility scheme.

© The Royal Parks

The Royal Parks charity has submitted an application for nearly £5m of lottery funding to the Parks for People scheme, jointly funded by Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund (BIG). If successful, the funding will improve Greenwich Park in east London, as part of the £7.5m project. Dating back to Roman times, it was enclosed in 1433 and was the favoured hunting ground of Henry VIII. It is not only a Grade I listed landscape, but is at the heart of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site. Park managers aim to bring its 590-year history to life, uncovering the park’s hidden gems, improving its world famous features for the 4.8m people who visit every year, and ensuring the visitors of tomorrow can continue enjoying this 183-acre site. Highlights from the submitted Greenwich Park Revealed project include reviving several key features of André Le Nôtre’s original 17th century design, from reinstating the Giant Steps to


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The Landscape Institute (LI) and Institute of Place Management (IPM) will come together in a new strategic alliance. Combining both organisations’ training resources and insight, the partnership will give place managers and landscape professionals unrivalled opportunities to develop. “By working together, we are paving the way for more professional bodies to cooperate with us on major issues and so better serve the practitioners and policy makers who make and manage places,” said Daniel Cook, chief executive of the LI. “Climate resilience, public health and wellbeing, resource security, environmental sustainability and more are all critical factors that our urban and rural environments need to address. This memorandum of understanding between our two institutions will enable us to pool resources and more e ciently equip our members.” Professor Cathy Parker, chair of the IPM, said: “Our agreement ith the represents a significant development for the whole placemaking sector. We need to collaborate and to combine the best thinking from both the urban and natural environments if we are going to have great and resilient places. We cannot continue to segregate and silo professional interests to the detriment of our towns, cities and rural areas.”

Based at Manchester Metropolitan University, IPM is a renowned research institution and provider of education and ualification members ill benefit from access s ground brea ing findings and innovative insights, while the LI will support IPM’s funding applications and contribute landscape expertise to future projects. “At present, there is no chartered credential for place managers,” Daniel said. “The LI and IPM will develop an accreditation model for these practitioners that will sit alongside our own Pathway to Chartership. This new pathway will acknowledge and mirror the extremely high standards set by our existing members, while catering for the varied skillset and knowledge base place managers must have. Professor Parker concluded: “The professions we represent will shape and safeguard the future. I look forward to continuing and strengthening the alliance between our two institutes to better serve our members jointly.”

21/09/2017 10:03


The Society of Garden Designers has announced Sarah Morgan MSGD as its new chair, replacing Philippa O’Brien MSGD who has completed her term in o ce after three years in the role. During her time as chair, Pip has led an energetic and determined council where the emphasis has been on raising the profile of the SGD and encouraging more people to engage with the society’s registration process. “Garden design is becoming more professional than ever before

and the standard of students entering from the colleges is rising fast,” said Pip. “I am very proud of the fact that all members, both registered and preregistered, are now insured, and that practice membership is now available. This demonstrates that the industry is moving forward with purpose and professionalism. I am sure that Sarah has the talent and ability to help the society achieve its ambitions in the years ahead.” Sarah Morgan, who has been a Registered Member of the

Society for 20 years and is a long-standing member of the SGD Council, was voted unanimously to continue Pip’s work. Speaking ahead of the SGD’s AGM on Tuesday, Sarah said: “I am delighted to be following Pip by undertaking the role of SGD chair. “My progression from vice chair was slightly quicker than I anticipated, but I feel privileged to have the opportunity to take on this exciting challenge and to build on some of the initiatives that Pip has facilitated for the society.”

LDA Design is helping to create the first of the Eden Project’s visitor centres in China The Eden Project is developing visitor centres in the US, China and Tasmania, with three planned for China. Grimshaw Architects and the creative consultancy LDA Design have been appointed to create the first of these a ne ecological park near the port city of Qingdao, on China’s east coast. LDA Design and its ecology team will help to create wetlands, freshwater and salt lakes, swales, reed beds, rain gardens and

beaches. The ecological park will harness Eden’s capacity to surprise and delight while providing an understanding of ater purification and ho e can go about water conservation. The new park, which is being developed by Jinmao Holdings Ltd, is situated on reclaimed land where two rivers meet. The site will draw on China’s relationship with the environment, as well as the Eden Project’s ecological principles.

Government pledges £500,000 for action group to grow future of parks Parks and green spaces minister Marcus Jones has launched a new Parks Action Group to help England’s parks and green spaces meet the needs of communities. The group will include leisure, horticulture, heritage and tourism

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© The Eden Project

Sarah Morgan announced as SGD Chair

Since its opening in 2001, more than 19m people have visited the Eden Project in Cornwall. Built on a former clay pit, the centre one of the s top isitor attractions features the orld s largest ‘rainforest in captivity’. It is estimated to have boosted the local economy by £1.7bn.

experts, and will be tasked with bringing forward proposals to address issues faced by public parks and other green spaces across England. The government is providing £500,000 to support it. The group will propose what steps can be taken in line with the government’s response to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee’s

NEWS IN BRIEF Writtle graduates celebrate

Writtle University College graduates celebrated at two ceremonies held at Chelmsford Cathedral; Jonathan Jukes, curator of Marks Hall Gardens and Arboretum, and Chris Newenham, joint managing director of Wilkin & Sons Ltd, were given honorary awards.

Bolton estate rejuvenated

Glendale has helped rejuvenate housing estates in Bolton with shrubs supplied by Glendale Horticulture. The project, commissioned by Bolton at Home, saw a team of grounds maintenance operatives cleansing and restocking shrub beds. The project is part of Bolton at Home’s investment strategy, which aims to enhance the area for local residents. boltonathome.glendale

Welsh prison wins top award HMP and YOI Parc in Bridgend is the first elsh prison to in the Windlesham Trophy for the best kept prison garden in England and Wales, judged by the RHS. HMP Hull and HMP Whatton were awarded joint second place.

report into the future of parks and green spaces. “We recognise the value of par s to local communities reducing loneliness, increasing wellbeing, and revitalising town and city centres,” said Jones. “But we need to do more to make sure future generations continue to en oy their benefits Pro Landscaper / October 2017 11

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RHS Young Designer Competition now open to entries The search is on for the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Young Designer of the Year 2018. The competition provides a platform for emerging talent, offering the chance to create a garden at an RHS Show. Held at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, the competition has e tended its shortlist of finalists from three to fi e re ious finalists and inners have gone on to design at RHS Flower Shows – including Hugo Bugg (2010) and Sam Ovens (2014), who won a Gold Medal at RHS Chatsworth this year. Finalist Kate Savill and 2015 winner Tamara Bridge designed The Jo Whiley Scent Garden at RHS Chelsea this year, while 2013 winner Tony Woods created

ondon s first oating poc et par at Merchant Square in Paddington. ach finalist ill recei e mentorship from garden designer Paul Hervey-Brookes, along with a grant of £11,500. “Year on the year the designers and gardens have been more and more accomplished, so I can’t wait to see what a new group of talented hopefuls brings,” said Paul, who has mentored the competition for the past four years. The RHS Young Designer competition 2018 is now open to those aged 28 years and under at Applications. Deadline 24 November 2017. Enquiries:

New Bromley partnership creating better green spaces A new partnership between idverde and the RSPB will help improve the role Friends of Parks groups and residents can play in looking after wildlife and plants in their neighbourhoods. A member of the RSPB team will be based in Bromley, working with idverde, Bromley Council’s greenspace management contractor, to help deliver its biodiversity strategy. The work underlines the council’s commitment to maintain, enhance and restore Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCS) and other green spaces for biodiversity. The 18-month partnership will help the community become a greener place that benefits both people and wildlife.

tudents and apprentices impress to make the A L Eight apprentices and students ha e made it through to the final at The Skills Show. his years semi final sa the event move away from RHS Flower Show Tatton Park and put more of a focus on competitors’ training and de elopment he finalists are Ryan Bell, Thomas Cartledge, Josh Dow, Jake Hackett, Adam McGarry, Daniel McGeoghegan, Samuel

orld kills finals

Taylor and Kelvin White. The victor could represent the UK at WorldSkills 2019, in Kazan, Russia. The APL WorldSkills UK sponsors are Green-tech, J. A. Jones, Makita and Marshalls. Mike Vickers of J. A. Jones said of the competition: “J. A. Jones supports the APL WorldSkills competitions to help encourage the students to become the industry leaders of



London’s largest and greenest borough, Bromley has 93 Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs), six Sites of Special cientific nterest s and fi e Local Nature Reserves (LNRs). The two organisations will be working to ensure the borough is a valuable natural habitat that supports a wide range of plants and animals, while creating opportunities for locals to discover thir local wildlife.

the future, by their education and inspiration through plants.” he finalists ill be competing at the Skills Show at the NEC in Birmingham, taking place from 16-18 November 2017. To register to come along and see the final competition for yourself, visit


Radio-controlled mowers Loxston Groundcare Ltd, New Road, Seavington St Mary TA19 0QU 01460 242562

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The upcycled chest of drawers that was part of Poison Ivy’s design (with two members of the team) ©Luke MacGregor RHS


Pro Landscaper spoke to RHS Green Plan It Challenge mentors, Lily Bakratsa and Iris Lynch, about their experiences of the competition, now in its second year The RHS Green Plan It Challenge allows year 8 and 9 students to explore their communities’ needs and local environmental issues, while designing a garden with the guidance of an industry mentor. Schools are invited to participate from various regional hubs, including Birmingham, Edinburgh, London, Manchester and Sheffield. It gives students an opportunity to develop leadership, teamwork and problem solving skills, while providing an insight into the horticulture industry and potential career paths. Schools can register up to three teams, each paired by the RHS with a local industry mentor to advise them as they design their garden.

GREEN PLAN IT GIVES STUDENTS AN OPPORTUNITY TO DEVELOP LEADERSHIP Launched last year, students compete against other schools in their regional hub’s ‘Celebration Day’ – all set to take place in December. More than 100 teams competed in 2016, with the winning group hailing from Swanlea School in Whitechapel, East London. They were mentored by Lily Bakratsa, landscape architect for Farrer Huxley Associates (FHA) and founder of It’s All Green To Me. Team Swanleaf’s Balcony garden design was showcased at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in July. “The students focused on a problem that the residents of Whitechapel were facing, that they don’t have access to a garden,” says Lily. Most of the students lived in blocks of flats and only had small balconies. Before design began, the students created a questionnaire and surveyed 70 Whitechapel flat residents. The results revealed that 100% of respondents would like

Chantry School

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GREEN PLAN IT to create a balcony garden, but were using the space as storage instead. In response, “a very tidy and very pretty balcony, where they could fit bikes, furniture and had space for storage while allowing access to green space” was designed. The benefits of participating as a mentor are clear. “I feel that I have the responsibility to inspire the next generation and make sure they understand the value of our profession,” Lily tells us. The benefits to the students are also

Lily and Team Swanleaf

significant, encouraging team building, creativity and problem solving. Swanlea’s success did not finish there; its Poison Ivy team won the Pupil’s Choice award, voted on by all the students that took part in the London area. Poison Ivy worked with Iris Lynch, owner of Iris Lynch Gardens; with 25 years of experience as a gardener and designer, she was the perfect mentor to teach the pupils the history of British horticulture, and was passionate about introducing the students to the natural world. The group found inspiration in the gardens and landscapes Iris showed them, using recycled materials that the school would have otherwise discarded – seen in the upcycled

chest of drawers, covered with a zebra print inspired by Longleat gardens. A mural of the gardens at Stowe also revealed the students’ newly acquired knowledge of Capability Brown, and the design’s containerised and trained fruit was inspired by the trained specimens at West Dean Gardens. Finally, Little Sparta garden in Scotland provided stimulus for a path leading through the middle of the design, making use of coloured bottle bottoms to create river pebbles. Both mentors saw the children developing confidence and acknowledging that a future in the industry would be entirely possible. “One of the things I found most rewarding was watching those children talking confidently about their design on awards day,” says Iris, while Lily tells us that “the challenge introduced horticulture to the children; it approaches an audience that needs to learn about the profession.”

Iris Lynch and Adam Frost © Tony Arnold

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20/09/2017 16:19


Following a report by the Association of Play Industries (API) on the extent to which local authorities are closing children’s playgrounds, we spoke to two local authorities that are going against the grain and finding ways to invest in play


udget cuts to local authorities in England are forcing them to close playgrounds, according to the Association of Play Industries (API) – despite health and wellbeing being high on the government’s agenda. API released a report earlier in the year revealing that more than 200 playgrounds were closed between 2014/15 and 2015/16, with a further 234 to be closed in the upcoming months. In ‘Nowhere to Play’, the API suggests that £100m could reverse this decline, and that while the government cannot necessarily provide this itself, it could assist in procuring the funds. However, chairman Mark Hardy admits that the timing of the report could have been better. “The report received a fantastic initial reaction, and the next phase was to gain political momentum by contacting MPs, but a general election was called,” he says. “We therefore had to shelve this phase, and will be resurrecting it within the next few weeks – nothing has changed, the statistics are still valid.” Local groups have been in touch Mark Hardy 14

Pro Landscaper / October 2017

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COMING INTO PLAY with the API following the report, saying that their councils are closing playgrounds and asking if the association can help with campaigns to prevent this. “A lot of play areas go into disrepair due to the lack of maintenance funds,” says Mark. “Local authorities end up in a situation where it becomes more cost effective to rip playgrounds out and spend money enhancing another playground that might get greater use. The reality is that if this continues, the number and availability of playgrounds will erode and people will have to travel further, or just won’t go at all.” This is not the case in Liverpool, however. The council is using Section 106 funding to deliver 20 new and improved play areas, including a maintenance programme. The £1.5m programme comes after Liverpool City Council carried out an open review of its green and open spaces, which revealed that there were not enough play areas, and that the existing ones were poor. “We looked at where there were gaps, and came up with 20 areas, though it will likely be more than this following public consultations,” says councillor Steve Munby. “We then identified that there was a significant amount of Section 106 money available and agreed that a great way to spend it was on new play areas.” The scheme builds on the success of four new skate parks in the city, and is part of the

API RELEASED A REPORT REVEALING THAT MORE THAN 200 PLAYGROUNDS WERE CLOSED BETWEEN 2014/15 AND 2015/16 Liverpool City Council’s ongoing investment in structures for young people and children. Many of the sites identified by the council will focus on natural play, using materials such as treated

21/09/2017 08:55


wood – a cheaper and safer option. In other areas, there have been requests for playground facilities that are suitable for children with disabilities, and so the council is working on designs with parents, Steve Munby residents and friend groups. Liverpool City Council also has a plan to tackle maintenance funds. “Every local authority is strapped for cash, and Liverpool has had some of the biggest cuts in the country, but although we’re revenue starved, we have more capital and can build a maintenance regime into the capital expenditure,” explains Steve. “Rather than spending our limited budget on parks and open spaces, which need upkeep, we can build a new set of playgrounds funded by Section 106 money and then build a maintenance regime into this capital money, reducing our ongoing maintenance costs for playgrounds.” Section 106 funding has been a lifesaver for local authorities, according to the API’s Mark Hardy, but he says it should be used as an additional resource. “As housebuilders develop new housing facilities, they have to provide appropriate play areas or facilities. If they do not want to provide these themselves, they can pass the money on to the local

News Extra API.indd 15

authority, who will then use it for that purpose – it has become a useful resource. My concern is that it shouldn’t be a replacement source, it should be an additional source.” This is how Sheffield City Council views its Section 106 contributions, having announced that the majority of its £1.5m parks investment over the next three years will come from the city’s Public Health budget, alongside Section 106 funding. “Having talked to the director of public health and his team, and following evidence being presented to us on how parks can help with mental health and childhood obesity, we decided that we should be using our green space,” explains Lisa Firth, head of parks and countryside at Sheffield City Council. Over the next three financial years, £500k will be invested annually, with the first year focusing on improving parks and play facilities in the communities that need it most. The council mapped Sheffield in terms of the Index of Multiple Deprivation and public health data around male life expectancy, identifying red, amber and green areas. It then looked at improving areas where Section 106 funding had been allocated to improve play or Lisa Firth

THERE IS SO MUCH EVIDENCE SHOWING THAT GREEN SPACE BENEFITS HEALTH AND WELLBEING green facilities, and those that were densely populated, with high indices of multiple deprivation and low male life expectancy. The first of these is Norfolk Park, where work to renew the park’s playgrounds began in September, in collaboration with local ward councillors and the Friends of Norfolk Heritage Park. £80k is being spent to provide new play spaces for children of all ages and abilities, following public consultations to find out what the community wanted. Improving play facilities is part of a long term plan for a healthier Sheffield, moving away from the city’s industrial heritage and rebranding it as an outdoor city. “We want to see a reduction in obesity, prescriptions, and A&E admissions, and an improvement in mental health,” says Lisa. “It’s a long term investment, but it’s a positive one, and we’re using public health money to target areas that need it most.” Commenting on the API report, Lisa recognises how fortunate Sheffield is. “The report summarises where we are as local authorities. As parks and countryside are not a statutory service, it can be less controversial to make cuts and close playgrounds – but to us and to our residents, it is counterintuitive. There is so much evidence showing that green space benefits health and wellbeing.” Though many local authorities are not in the same position as Liverpool or Sheffield, the API will be campaigning to find ways to help them fund play facilities. They have three goals, explains Mark. “The first is to get the government to realise that the closure of playgrounds is an issue,” he says. “The second is to be active in looking at alternative funding sources, such as the Big Lottery Fund or the health budget. Lastly, we want to be more inventive, and for the government to look upon play as an essential part of a child’s development and vital to their health.” We will be following the API’s campaign over the next few months, and look forward to seeing more local authorities being in a position to invest in their play facilities. Pro Landscaper / October 2017 15

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Supported by

Sponsors n n n n n n


“New cross-industry awards, rewarding consistent excellence”

Headline Sponsor – CED Commercial Landscape Company – sponsored by Green-tech Grounds Maintenance Company – National – sponsored by Bourne Amenity Garden Designer – sponsored by Global Stone Apprenticeship Scheme – sponsored by Andersplus Supplier – sponsored by Adtrak

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Categories n

n n n n n n n n n

Landscape Company <£1m turnover >£1m turnover Design and Build Commercial Landscape Company Grounds Maintenance Company • Regional • National Garden Designer Garden Design Practice Landscape Architect Practice <less than 5 employees >more than 5 employees Industry Partnership Interior Landscape Company Apprenticeship Scheme Supplier – Adding greatest value to the landscape sector

Why you should enter... The Pro Landscaper Business Awards will bring together businesses across all sectors, and aims to recognise and reward companies within the industry that consistently perform well and strive to raise the standard of UK landscaping. Bringing together over 300 professionals from the UK’s leading landscape businesses, the crossindustry awards will feature a number of categories aimed at highlighting excellence across the industry.

How to enter... To find out more about the Pro Landscaper Business Awards contact or call 01903 777 570

PL Awards.indd 17

Pro Landscaper / October 2017 17

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APL update Contestants impress at the APL WorldSkills UK semi-finals On 22-24 August in Lancashire and Merseyside, our nine APL orld ills semi finalists displayed their talent to our judges. The tasks included walling, decking, paving and planting, testing technical

ability and design skills. Visit for a full write up and to view the list of finalists, and atch #SkillLandscaping for updates! A massive thank you to all of our APL WorldSkills UK sponsors Green-Tech, J A Jones, Makita and Marshalls. APL Avenue Show Garden competition 2018 APL members are invited to participate in an exclusive competition to build a show garden on ‘APL Avenue’ at BBC Gardeners’ World Live

2018. The organiser of BBC Gardeners’ World Live, River treet ents, is offering a £10,000 contribution to each of the fi e landscapers selected to design and build gardens at the 2018 show. There will also be sponsorship of materials, and supporting benefits including PR, hospitality opportunities and show tickets. Winning a BBC Gardeners’ World Live medal provides fantastic PR opportunities, and is a great way to benchmark your build abilities against the high standard of

assessing. If you require more information, please contact APL general manager Landscape apprentice scheme The starting date for the APL landscape apprentice scheme is Monday 23 October 2017. The Apprenticeship Programme is based on a ualification called the Apprenticeship Standard for a landscape operati e o find out more, visit apprenticeships.

SGD bulletin Denmark’s leading climatefriendly landscape architects to speak at SGD conference Award-winning Danish landscape architecture studio SLA will be speaking at the SGD Autumn Conference ‘Water Ways’ on Saturday 18 November 2017. Joining a panel of speakers to explore the use of water in gardens and landscapes, CEO Mette Skjold will discuss SLA’s work, including its £15m

Association News.indd 19

nature-based adaptation of inner Copenhagen, The Soul of Nørrebro, and explain how the studio seeks to solve urban challenges through a multidisciplined approach to water. SLA places nature at the heart of its designs to help solve challenging inner-city issues, such as air pollution, noise and water-management. The Soul of Nørrebro will be a agship e ample of ho cities can deal with torrential rain to a oid ooding and create greener and more natural experiences for the community.

“It is a pleasure to be speaking at the SGD Autumn Conference in London,” says Mette. “As an international landscape architect working with nature-based solutions to today’s urban problems, it is especially meaningful to present our approach in England – the home of Capability Brown. Like Brown, we work to equate the built and the grown environment. Only when nature and city are not seen as each other’s opposite, but as each other’s prerequisite, can we hope to create sustainable, livable and social cities of nature.”

Landscape by SLA

Skjold will be joined by four other world-class speakers: international landscape designer Tom Stuart-Smith MSGD, leading water feature designer Andrew Ewing, award-winning garden designer Andrew Wilson FSGD and top sustainable landscape designer Phillip Johnson. Book tickets at

Pro Landscaper / October 2017 19

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Parks Alliance matters

hris ors

Autumn activity s the first real signs of autumn appear, the teams responsible for managing and caring for our par s mo e to ards the deli ery of their inter or programmes, ith arboricultural e uipment replacing grass cutting it and summer e ents programmes coming to their conclusions he ar s lliance is also ma ing the seasonal transition from its summer recess to a period of heightened acti ity in our outputs and

communications, in de eloping our partnerships ithin sector, and especially ith the go ernment he long a aited epartment for ommunities and ocal o ernment response to the par s in uiry should, e hope, follo hot on the heels of the recent and elcome ne s that the ill fund the reen lag a ards

for a further fi e years un on behalf of the go ernment by eep ritain idy, the scheme hich has been running for years recognises high uality par s and green spaces, allo s isitors to easily find them, and sets the standards for par managers across the country he ar s lliance is delighted to be a member of orld rban ar s, hich is running its uropean ongress in the irral as part of the irral s celebrations for the th anni ersary of the opening of ir enhead ar , in he congress runs from ctober and ill e plore ey issues around the crucial role of par s for to ns and cities,

the challenge of sustainability, and a celebration of the rich heritage that par s create ithin communities he ar s lliance ill be leading a or shop entitled hallenges acing ar s or more information, see www. inally, don t forget to ote for your fa ourite par un by ields in rust, nominations for the s est ar , as oted for by you, are no open you ha e until pm on riday ctober to get your nomination in ast year, ou en len ar in ast enfre shire as the inner o nominate, isit www.

BALI briefing BALI launching member recruitment campaign BALI will be launching its first trade campaign this o ember, designed to promote the association and its membership benefits t ill utilise digital, social, print and multimedia channels to mar et s status as a professional, reputable landscaping brand since he aim is to increase en uiry le els and recruit ne members his ill be achie ed ith digital partner dtra , oogle paid


Pro Landscaper / October 2017

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ad ertising and promoted social posts here ill also be a public campaign focused on generating leads for members ho pro ide a pri ate domestic landscaping and design ser ice, and raising a areness of the brand BALI National Landscape Award winners announced registered members ha e been a arded a ational andscape ard for , ith a ards announced in total he ad udication panel, chaired by landscape consultant reg llen, selected this year s inners o er three days of

deliberation at andscape ouse reg and his team of udges ohn elmoe, ichard arnard, ason oc , obin emplar illiams, te e oberts and ndre egg isited and assessed more than entries he a ard ceremony, in association ith orticulture ee and headline sponsor reen tech, ill ta e place at ros enor ouse, ondon on ecember National AGM hailed a success s ational sailed to ictory at the raycote ater ailing lub in ar ic shire at the start of eptember ore than

members ere in attendance embers cast their otes, ith t o ne board appointments made osemary oldstream and arian os all , both registered esigner members presentation from chief e ecuti e ayne rills follo ed, updating members on or completed to date and hat s still to come

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efig outline

Building Research Establishment (BRE) project In May we were very excited to be invited to act as a ‘disseminating partner’ for the iophilic ce pro ect At the beginning of July, our chairman Chris Jenkin attended the first meeting, where biophilic architect and designer Oliver Heath outlined the pro ect Our involvement As well as spreading the word about this pro ect through social media, we also plan

artners at the uly inaugural pro ect meeting

to offer information around it, including with a blog to which interested partners will have the chance to submit The project he pro ect to supply uantified e idence on the benefits of biophilic design on health, wellbeing and producti ity of o ce occupants is described by as ground-breaking, and starts ith an o ce refurbishment that will be used to collect the e idence li er eath ill lead

on the design element of the refurbished building, as BRE’s partner he pro ect centres on a m o ce building on the BRE campus in Watford, which will be refurbished according to biophilic design principles We spend 90% of our time inside, and our surroundings ha e an impact on health s the BRE website says: “In our typical o ce en ironments in the , of staff don t ha e su cient access to daylight iophilic design acknowledges that

Oliver Heath explaining the concept to the attending partners

we are genetically connected to nature and that a humancentred approach can improve many of the spaces where we live and work, with numerous benefits to our health, ellbeing and e ciency he scientific evidence for the positive in uence of biophilic design on the health and wellbeing of building occupants is substantial and gro ing he pro ect hopes to sho ho an o ce designed ith biophilia in mind can improve health and ellbeing of staff, reduce sickness absenteeism and impro e producti ity For more information see bregroup com ser ices research the biophilic o ce

RHS report

©Luke Macgregor

Association News.indd 21

Apple Festival, RHS Garden Rosemoor (7-8 October) This festival will see apple displays, tastings, planting and culti ation tips isitors

can bring their apples to be identified by e perts from the RHS South West Area Fruit roup n oy a tal by e in Croucher of Thornhayes Nursery, which will include

©Tim Sandall

RHS Harvest Festival Show (3-4 October) Held at the RHS Lindley Hall, the RHS Harvest Festival Show aims to inspire those wishing to grow their own produce he festi al ill be celebrated with giant pumpkin competitions and prizewinning

harvest produce from some of the s most reno ned nurseries and gro ers The event will include talks, demonstrations and advice from the RHS Garden Wisley Advisory Service, RHS Fruit Group and National Vegetable Society, and is free for RHS embers and the public For more information, please isit rhs org u sho s e ents rhs london sho s rhs harvest-festival-show

the opportunity to taste an assortment of cooked and raw apples and browse fresh food and drin stalls or more information and to purchase tic ets, please isit rhs org u gardens rosemoor

Taste of Autumn, RHS Garden Wisley (18-22 October) Experience RHS Garden Wisley awash with colour and laden with fruit at The Taste of utumn e ent ee more than 30 exhibitors, including Surrey Bees and The National egetable ociety atch demonstrations, take part in discussions with experts and be mesmerised by displays With a selection of produce to buy, this e ent offers the chance to taste the season’s finest har ests or more information and to purchase tic ets, please isit rhs org u gardens isley

Pro Landscaper / October 2017 21

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FutureScape returns this year with even more seminars, more exhibitors and more products, meaning you can get the most out of the event and your time out of the office. We’re not the UK’s leading landscaping event for nothing!

To register for your free ticket please visit or call 01903 777 570 prolandscapermagazine

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he future of our fantastic industry is a hot topic at FutureScape this year with a whole day’s worth of seminars dedicated to just that. Whether it’s the future of arboriculture, grounds maintenance, landscape architecture or interior landscaping, those who are ‘in the know’ will be sharing their predictions on where they see the industry going in the next couple of years. In addition to ‘The Future of…’ seminars, more than leading professionals ill once again be offering their invaluable knowledge on a variety of subjects. The unique and comprehensive programme includes topics such as building a better business, the latest technology available to the industry and how to improve and make the most of your web presence. As always, each seminar is free to attend, so make sure you pre-register and arrive early to guarantee a seat. Drum roll please… The Craft is in Commercial is making its debut on the Special Events lineup this year. Joining FutureScape veterans The Beauty is in the Build and The Detail is in the Design, the Craft is in Commercial will be a similar format where a panel of experts will take questions from the chair on a host of topics before opening up to the audience for their chance to pick the brains of those taking to the stage. Thousands of products, solutions, services and software can be found in the two exhibition halls at FutureScape this year. More than 200 exhibitors are eager to discuss and demonstrate their company s offerings hich ill not only leave you feeling inspired, but put you one step ahead of the competition.

Esher Hall



The Beauty is in the Build



The Passion is in the Plants

Th M


The Craft is in Commercial


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To register for your free ticket please visit or call 01903 777 570


Pro Landscaper / October 2017

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Th La prolandscapermagazine

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Seminar Programme



Room 1

Room 2

Room 3

The Future of Arboriculture

Wildflower Meadows and Naturalistic Planting

The Hidden Benefits of Houzz

The Future of Grounds Maintenance

The Love is in the Lighting

The Revolution of Decking

It’s Better When We’re Together: Hard Landscaping Meets Horticulture

Building a Better Business

The Value of Domestic Maintenance

Soil, the Important Ingredient

Growing Your Business, is it Easy?

Right Staff, Right Roles

The Future of Landscape Architecture

ng 30 Under 30 View From The Top

Visit the website for further details...

To register for your free ticket please visit or call 01903 777 570 prolandscapermagazine

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Floor Plan

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Futurescape 106 November 2017 107-108 Esher Hall


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3 Exit

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SEMINAR THEATRE Organisers Office



170 169













ESHER HALL To register for your free ticket please visit or call 01903 777 570 prolandscapermagazine

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30 under 30


It won’t be long now until we find out the names of the 30 Under 30: The Next Generation winners. We have had some great applications coming in from across the landscaping, arboriculture and landscape architecture industries, making the job of choosing the top 30 a tricky one. In the meantime, before our winners are announced, we’ve been speaking to our previous winners to ask them:

What have you gone on to achieve since winning the award?

Melissa King

Rob Dwiar

Andrew Ryder


“For future career prospects and opportunities, it is a great accolade to have. Since winning this award, I have continued to progress and have achieved promotion to head of studio at JPS, where I am able to make a real difference to the business, projects and clients.” Head of studio, Janine Pattison Studios

“At International Design Group, we are continuing our work on large overseas projects in places such as Dubai and Pakistan, while also taking on exciting projects. We also enjoy a good level of UK-based work, from new schoolgrounds to new housing developments’ masterplans and landscape design.” Landscape architect, International Design Group

“I have been focusing on the acquisition of Wright Landscapes, developing the business and celebrating winning the £1.5m contract for Manchester’s Northern Hub Central Alliance. We have worked with the RHS and secured schemes that have sparked interest from Gardener’s World.” Business development coordinator, Hultons Landscapes

Pro Landscaper / October 2017

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Paul Sellars

“Making the 30 Under 30 list made me want to improve and keep trying to work my way up. Since the ceremony I have become a team leader at idverde. The whole experience was amazing, to be around all the top landscapers and see other people that have progressed and achieved so much. That made me want to continue to achieve in my career.” Team leader, idverde

Lexi Harrison

“Following on from the success at the awards, on a personal level it has increased my confidence and resulted in achieving £1m of new sales within the grounds maintenance division. The event has been a great topic of conversation at networking events and perfect for raising my profile within the industry.” Business development executive, Hultons Landscapes

Dean Jackson

“Being part of 30 Under 30 was a great experience, and I shared it with some great people. I experienced recognition within the industry, and our customer base at Green-tech became aware of the event through me being a part of it. I have been continuing to manage my team and ensure that targets are hit!” Sales manager, Green-tech Ltd

20/09/2017 16:01

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Let’s Hear it From

PETER CUNLIFFE Peter Cunliffe, managing director of Northumbrian Landscaping Ltd, tells us about his route into horticulture, show gardens, and a new business venture

Peter, how did you start off in the landscaping industry? I followed an education path through surveying and civil engineering, and worked at a civil engineering company for three years. It was interesting, but I wanted to use my creative talent. I have a great love for the outdoors; I wanted to be outside and be creative. Did you undertake any new training? Not immediately. I’d completed five years of pen and ink draughtsmanship – it was very disciplined. In civil engineering, we were building large towers and bridges, and implementing roads and drainage. Transferring these skills to landscaping was fairly simple. When did you decide to set up your own company? In 2002, when I started to get landscaping enquiries from friends, family and neighbours. I decided to make a go of it and started the company. At the time, I was taking any work I could get. We offered a basic design service, and carried out more work as a contractor, working for other local designers. After two years, I brought all of the design work in-house. Does build work still make up most of the turnover? The build side of the business accounts for about 90% and the design side brings in the remaining 10%. Which side do you focus on more? I love the challenge of the design side – you can be awake at 4am thinking it over until you have that moment of clarity. When you finish a design, you

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want to take it to the client immediately and explain the elements and why it works. But I also love the build aspect – I haven’t worked on the build side for about five years, but I still undertake projects in my own garden, which I enjoy. Is it mainly domestic work that you undertake? Yes. We take on about five to 10 contracts annually, each somewhere between three and 12 weeks, so the amount of work I have to orchestrate on-site is reduced. I have a really good team: our foreman Nick Rudsdale has worked with me for 12 years. We try to do one show garden each year, maybe two going forward, and to get involved in a couple of community projects. On top of that, 10% of our turnover is commercial work. What is the size of the business now? We have a staff of five – four on site, and myself, usually in meetings or in our office. We also utilise a lot of local subcontractors. We considered expanding the business but decided that we could offer a better quality service with a smaller team. Are you considering any changes at present? We’re involved with developing software for the industry at the moment, which is a completely separate venture. This is a very exciting prospect, looking at an entirely new area.

all companies in the future will require BIM, so we’re trying to provide an easy in-road for the industry to be BIM-compliant. We have teamed up with the information management company Phusion, who have previously completed similar projects in the oil and gas industry. We’ve been speaking with some of the larger industry affiliates and suppliers to gain their feedback, and we’re now fine-tuning our prototype.

What type of software? The aim is to digitally mirror all the materials and plants within the landscaping industry, which we can then use as an information management tool. We’re also establishing and producing a digital maintenance package, and looking at holographic 3D design and drone surveys. It’s also about being BIM-compliant. I’m sure

You also mentioned a maintenance package? This is a template that can go on top of any software a designer is using, letting them digitally annotate the different materials and plants that are in the garden. This can then be used to alert the client or local contractors when maintenance is necessary. We’re trying to protect the client’s investment in their garden,


Pro Landscaper / October 2017

Let's Hear it From.indd 32

and to be realistic about the maintenance requirements of new designs. The digital library of materials and plants will help designers to specify these within a project. We’re going to utilise all the information we get back from the maintenance packages as part of a larger information management system, which will be useful to suppliers within the industry.

WE’RE TRYING TO PROVIDE AN EASY IN-ROAD FOR THE INDUSTRY TO BE BIM-COMPLIANT Do you charge for the initial consultation? The design phase involves a consultation fee of £80 plus VAT; if the client is serious about the project, that consultation fee is water off a duck’s back. I try

20/09/2017 10:57


to sift through the quality leads in the first phone call, shortlisting these and putting time and effort into ensuring they’re successful. The number of referrals we get from past clients has gone through the roof, so we’re doing something right. What led you to become involved with BALI? I’ve been a BALI member for over 10 years now. When I was first getting established, I felt a little alienated. I was happy with the work, but didn’t feel connected to the industry. I saw BALI as an ideal in-road to becoming more involved, and it’s been great, from being able to start down the show garden route to helping with recognition and the quality of enquiries. You have built two show gardens for BALI at the Harrogate Flower Show. Would you consider an RHS show garden? Yes. I’ve been speaking to Jenny Jenner, the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show’s show manager, as I’d love to get more involved. Nothing’s stopped me from doing an RHS show garden in the past apart from the time and financial restrictions, perhaps. I’m looking forward to Chatsworth’s development and the creative and inventive designs it will undoubtedly attract. How is Chatsworth different? The RHS wants a show that is more creative,

Let's Hear it From.indd 33

with more out-of-the-box thinking. I came up with a few ideas for the first show this year based on biomimicry. This pays respect to Joseph Paxton, the head gardener at Chatsworth, who very cleverly used inspirations from nature in his designs for a lily conservatory. He used the structural element of the lily leaf to form the basis for the roof construction, which landed him the contract to design and build Crystal Palace. This in itself makes Chatsworth a very special place for a landscaping show. I also love that you can design to any size or shape within the landscape utilising some of the fantastic grounds.

What is the long term plan for Northumbrian Landscaping Ltd? I’m hungry to prove where we are as a company. The new software enterprise is going to keep me busy, but I am looking to hire someone to help with the administration and design side of the business, to free up some of my time for the new venture. I’m not looking to change too much in the landscaping side of the business, as we’ve fine-tuned it over the last 15 years – it’s the software and the digital age of landscaping that most excites me at present, and how we can help shape the future. 1 Peter’s sanctuary

It’s great to see another show in northern England. Have you seen any evidence of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’? I can’t see that it’s changed anything. There are quality designers and landscapers in northern England, and I do feel they have to work harder to get the same recognition as some companies in the south – but it doesn’t matter where you’re from, as long as you can prove you’re good at what you do. Northern England has struggled since the end of the Industrial Revolution – it was left with the population, but no jobs. That isn’t going to change overnight because they’ve called it a ‘powerhouse’ and promised to build a tunnel through the Pennines.

2 Contemporary design via SketchUp 3 Multi award winning ‘Beach Bears’ garden 4 As seen on ITV’s Love your Garden 5 BALI at the Glenridding Hotel restoration project 6 Nick Rudsdale hard at work

CONTACT Northumbrian Landscaping Ltd Tyne Valley Garden Centre, Mickley, Northumberland NE43 7BT Tel: 0330 555 1699

Pro Landscaper / October 2017 33

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Landscape architect, garden designer and new design director on the BALI board, Marian Boswall reveals how she set up her own practice, its focus on historic landscapes, and how contractors and designers should be sharing knowledge How was the practice founded? I was a management consultant, but retrained in horticulture when I moved to the country. We had a large old garden, and I really wanted to understand the history of the design and how a garden should look to complement a house. I studied garden design and horticulture, and people started asking me to design their gardens. What became really apparent is that you need to be fully qualified to do some of the ‘scary’ elements, such as levels and drainage, so I undertook a landscape architecture degree followed by a Master’s at the University of Greenwich. I was then asked to go back to teach Historic Garden Conservation at the university, which meant I was exposed to some of the most talented people – some of whom I hired – and then I started the practice, as I was already designing gardens. There’s now five of us, plus freelancers. How has it developed since? It was a slow burner which then gathered pace. A lot of people who start out as garden designers don’t realise how much work needs to go into building a reputation, and you’re only as good as your last job. Most of our work has been through word of mouth. What services does the practice offer? Both garden design and landscape architecture. Because we have a focus on historic houses, we have been involved in a handful of developments where an old historic house within parkland is being developed, and they need a landscape that is sensitive to the history of the place. I also work for The Charleston Trust and the Watts Gallery, so we often work for private trusts and as an advisor 34

Pro Landscaper / October 2017

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in numbers

Established 2004 Employees Five, plus freelancers Breakdown All small scale landscape architecture or large scale garden design Awards Sussex Heritage Trust Award for Landscape for historic gardens such as Hole Park and St Clare, which are open to the public. What type of projects does the practice undertake? We have a strong focus on historic gardens, but we also design roof gardens in Chelsea, and undertake parkland developments – landscapes that require a sensitive touch. We’ve worked for Fenwick of Bond Street and Dolce & Gabbana, and we’re currently working on the redevelopment of Bond Street with Crossrail, so we do take on high end

Marian Boswall commercial projects as well – but it needs to be where the design input is considerable. Do you put together a maintenance proposal for each project? We always put together a maintenance plan, and we usually help in hiring a head gardener, or work closely with the existing head gardener. Caroline Jackson, who taught at Hadlow College and now teaches at Wisley, is my roving head gardener. It’s absolutely key that we never say goodbye at the end of a project; we go back, and we make sure that the client knows how to look after the garden. I used to go back myself, but I don’t have the time now, so Caroline goes back and mentors the gardeners. It’s really good for our reputation. We won the Sussex Heritage Trust Award for Landscape and Gardens last year, and they visited the garden to photograph it two years after it was completed. Do you only undertake projects in the South East? No, we currently have work in Oxfordshire, in Devon, as well as in London, so we work across a broad spectrum. I’ve worked abroad as well. Working close to home is logistically more comfortable, but my first degree was in French and Italian, so I’m happy to travel and enjoy a bit of continental hospitality. It’s also really interesting to work with different soils, temperatures and other aspects. Are you involved in the planting palettes of each project? Absolutely, it’s my favourite part. I’m very interested in biodynamic gardening. I’m on the board of the Blackthorn Trust, an amazing charity whose gardens are run completely on

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WE TRY TO KEEP A GOOD WORK-LIFE BALANCE AND TO FOCUS ON PROJECTS THAT ARE INTERESTING AND FUN biodynamic grounds. We have been asked to design a new garden for them, for which an appeal has just been launched. How do you market the business? I’m on Twitter and Facebook, but I think they’re best for just talking to other people in the industry. Instagram is a good platform, though. I use it to chat to architects and interior designers. I also market the business through being involved in, for example, Kent Gardens Trust and in Chevening, and getting involved locally. Appearing in magazines is also really useful for us, but most of our work is still through word of mouth, which is a fantastic way to get business because you’ve already ticked a lot of boxes in terms of people trusting you. Which industry associations is the practice a member of? How do these benefit the business? We’re a member of BALI, and a practice member of the SGD. One of our senior designers is CMLI, and three are members of the Landscape Institute. I have also just been elected as the new design director for BALI. Being a member of the association definitely benefits the company. After our clients, the most important people for us are contractors, nursery people and suppliers, and so it’s really important for us to work with them and to have a forum.

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Where do you see the practice in five years’ time? As a management consultant, I worked for multi-million-pound companies, and I don’t want to do that again. We try to keep a good work-life balance and to focus on projects that are interesting and fun for us, that are profitable, and where we’re working with good people. We turn down a lot of work, and we choose very carefully what we undertake. I think that’s what we want to carry on doing. What is the one thing you think the industry could, and should, do better? ‘Cross-fertilisation’, which will be my role as the new design director on the BALI board. Contractors should share their knowledge with rookie designers, and similarly, designers should share their horticultural knowledge with contractors. Understanding horticulture is really important – visiting nurseries and having nurseries come and talk to us.

When I was a management consultant, industry benchmarking was key – looking at what other people in the same industry were doing, as well as looking what people in other industries were doing, and trying to find the best practice. This is really important for us to do as a growing industry.

1 Hole Park Gardens 2 Marian’s garden in Kent 3 Sussex Heritage Trust and APL award winner in Sussex 4 Charleston Farmhouse

CONTACT Marian Boswall Landscape Architects, Bailey Farm, Staplehurst, Kent TN12 0DN Tel: 0207 305 7153 Twitter: @MarianBoswall Email: Web:

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CW Studio team ©Helena Marie Photography


Moneypenny frontage ©Tom Biddle Photography


Pro Landscaper speaks to CW Studio about flagship projects and the crossover betwen landscape architecture and garden design


ith a recent boom in construction, Manchester – known by many as the second city of the UK – is the perfect place for landscape architecture practice CW Studio to reside. The practice, based in the city centre, is currently involved in a 1.25 acre high end residential development at Ellesmere Street, Castlefield, designing the public realm and private courtyard for 232 Private Rental Sector (PRS) apartments. With the project already on site, the landscape is expected to be implemented early next year, and one of the most impressive features of the private courtyard roof terrace is the oversized pebble seating, created by Cornish sculptor Ben Barrell using fibreglass and concrete, allowing them to be lightweight and comfortable. A new public realm will be created in front of one of the three accommodation blocks designed by AEW Architects, with stone seating steps leading up to the terraces where bespoke planters will be included. CW Studio is passionate about including bespoke elements in its designs. 36

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From theatre design to landscape architecture, founder Carolyn Willitts’ route into the industry, and to setting up her own studio, has been unconventional, but it has lent an additional element to her designs – storytelling. “I originally undertook a drama degree and then trained in theatre design, which I worked in for seven years, so there is definitely a theatrical, storytelling aspect to my designs,” says Carolyn.

THERE IS DEFINITELY A THEATRICAL, STORYTELLING ASPECT TO MY DESIGNS This has been applied to Erie Basin in Salford Quays. The 16-storey residential scheme for Glenbrook Property is the last remaining plot to be developed at what has become one of the largest regeneration projects in the UK. CW Studio is designing a new public realm along the canal, as well as a residents’ garden for the 270 apartments, and is using the site’s history for inspiration, incorporating Manchester Docks’ strong trading links with Canada before being closed in 1982. “On the private terrace, as boats used to leave for Montreal right outside where the apartments are being constructed, we’re looking to etch part of a letter into the stone seating.

We’ve found a wonderful letter from a brother, who left this dock, to his sister about how much he misses her. Part of the planting scheme will also include Canadian varieties of plants.” The public realm will run alongside the canal, which was constructed for the docks at the end of the 19th century, and will tie into the existing landscape, with Alnus incana ‘Aurea’ being planted to provide year-round interest. Planning permission has been granted for the 220,000ft² development, designed by architects Shepherd Robson, with work due to be completed in 2019. For a fairly young company, founded in 2012, these are substantial schemes, but CW Studio’s flagship project is the breathtaking Moneypenny headquarters in Wrexham. The £15m development in north Wales, completed last year, provides space for up to 1,000 employees, who can enjoy an orchard, meadow and wetland. “Looking back, it was a one-in-a-million client, who wanted the very best for their staff. The client is thrilled. Since the company moved to these new headquarters, staff sickness has gone down and staff retention has increased. It’s fantastic when you visit and people are having a picnic in the meadow.” The 10-acre rural plot required a naturalistic but contemporary landscape to accompany the new headquarters, and so includes tall, swaying grasses lining the Irish limestone walkway to the

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Moneypenny meadow ©Tom Biddle Photography

Erie Basin Terrace ©CW Studio

entrance of the building. Stone benches are etched with greetings, and a timber deck leads to a wetland filled with filtered surface water, with a detention basin for any overflow. Moneypenny also wanted an orchard with fruit which could be picked and eaten, so CW Studio incorporated trees of apples, damson plums and black cherries. Throughout the landscape, 1,750 trees were planted in total, with over 1,000 ornamental grasses and wetland plants, and 500 bulbs. A year on and the planting is becoming well established, with the 12,000m² wildflower meadow being a popular place for staff to congregate. “One of the great things about the Moneypenny headquarters is that it only took two years from concept design to completion, plus a year for establishment, so it’s brilliant to have photographs of the finished scheme for our website and social media. Some of the schemes we’re working on will take years and years.” Carolyn is passionate about offering both garden design and landscape architecture, as they each complement the other. “They feed into each other. A lot of our projects seem to have a

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Ronald McDonald House Sketch view ©CW Studio

garden incorporated in them. We entered a RIBA competition with Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios to design the landscape for a bereavement centre at Alder Hey Hospital – our design included a walled garden within a woodland, which was wonderful to design.” Though CW Studio was unsuccessful in this competition, the team is creating the environment surrounding a new Ronald McDonald House at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. The building will provide a comfortable place for families whose children are in the hospital, with a safe and fun exterior for the children. “We put a story into the landscape which isn’t actually based on the history of the site – it’s a subtle seaside theme. A key part of the brief was to have sheds for storage in the garden, and so to make these attractive, we thought we’d make them into beach huts. We then looked at how we could use timber groynes, and decided these might be fun for playing on, and could be used to divide the site into areas for different age groups and needs.” A linear exploratory zone will include a paved seating area in front of the two beach

huts, which act as a buffer to the car park, and green paving with embedded shells. A timber play boat will be nearby, and colourful poles leading to a story circle. A triangular public space will also be created with two mature pin oak trees. Raised planting beds will be incorporated into the scheme, offering a place for volunteers to grow soft fruits and vegetables, but Carolyn explains they have not included these in the original planting scheme: “It’s difficult to put vegetables into a scheme, as you don’t want to be too prescriptive and cannot expect the volunteers to be able to maintain them, so we’re starting off with colourful cutting flowers and herbs, and handing it over to see what people want to do with it.” The studio is expecting this project to go on site at the end of the year. Once completed, it will be yet another flagship scheme for the studio, which Carolyn says is growing in size, with four freelance landscape architects now undertaking projects. We look forward to following their story.

Carolyn Willitts photograph ©Helena Marie Photography

Ellesmere Street ©CW Studio

CONTACT CW Studio That Space, 31-33 Princess Street, Manchester M2 4EW Tel: 07971 415162 Email: Twitter: @CW_Studio

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VIEW FROM THE TOP MARCUS WATSON With the colder months just around the corner, Marcus Watson passes on his tips for winter maintenance preparation – helping you avoid a winter of discontent As many readers will understand, winter maintenance not only has a significant impact on companies’ real estates and infrastructure, it also affects staff, customers and the surrounding communities. In the UK we always get a cold snap – in some cases severe – at some stage in the season, so it makes sense to plan ahead. Don’t wait for winter to come along before preparing for it; the impact will already be felt and it will be difficult for teams to respond quickly. Allocation of resources for winter maintenance solutions needs to be a priority – after all, it is not as straightforward as deploying salt or shifting snow. Instead, winter maintenance providers like Ground Control and LitterBoss need to plan ahead throughout the summer months to ensure everything is in place for a quick and smooth deployment process that has as minimal an impact as possible to a customer’s business. Tasks include: • Planning which sites require winter maintenance and when, incorporating an estimate of the time each job will take, how much work is involved, and what timeframe is best to complete the tasks. • Mapping out of the site(s), including the areas that require work, where things such as snow are to be moved to, and what the main routes in and out of the site are. • Optimising the route to each location, therefore ensuring the teams know where they are going and what is the most cost efficient route. • Resource planning for each site, incorporating which products will be needed for each job, the quantity, whether any – such as salt – can be deployed in advance, what equipment will need to be transported and how many personnel will be required. 38

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ALLOCATION OF RESOURCES FOR WINTER MAINTENANCE SOLUTIONS NEEDS TO BE A PRIORITY All of this planning can enable winter maintenance providers to deliver a streamlined, cost effective service to customers. Utilising organisations such as the Met Office and MetraWeather, providers of winter maintenance services can obtain good, high quality, high density weather reports, enabling forecasting of where winter maintenance will likely be required across the country. As a user of the Met Office’s OpenSiteGold service, we receive the highest density winter gritting service available in the UK. Utilising the Met Office’s high-resolution road forecasting model, we receive a forecast for every first half of a postcode. Using this in conjunction with our detailed planning process provides proactive customers with the best possible service. If a client chooses the reactive-only service, they will be in danger of losing out to those who have thought ahead. After all, winter maintenance providers will service sites that have an agreement in place first, simply because they can think ahead. Salt can be taken to locations close to customers’ sites ahead of time; conversations will have been completed around what will need clearing. In addition, a site recce can be

completed, if required, to work out in advance what needs to happen and at what time the gritting should take place to cause the least disruption. For those with a reactive service, none of this can happen, meaning these companies will be at risk of causing disruption to their own staff and customers – with potential knock-on effects to the company’s finances. In conclusion, my recommendation to any organisation is that they treat winter maintenance like any other business need: they need to plan ahead for it. The winter months are just around the corner; if they are not planned for, the risks could be at best problematic and at worst catastrophic – if customers cannot access their premises, for example. Don’t be reactive – be proactive, to avoid a winter of discontent. ABOUT MARCUS WATSON Joining Ground Control in 2011, Marcus Watson champions outstanding customer service and innovation in the grounds maintenance, arboriculture and landscaping sectors. Last year Ground Control was recognised with a Queen’s Award for Innovation, celebrating the company’s application of technology.

20/09/2017 10:49



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While welcoming the advent of cleaner power, Angus Lindsay wonders whether our infrastructure will be able to keep up According to recent reports, the sale of fossil-fuelled engines is to be banned in the UK and France from 2040, to be replaced by electric and possibly hydrogen powered alternatives. Volvo and BMW have already committed to electrifying their ranges by 2025. This is great news for the environment – by reducing pollution we will improve the air quality in our cities – but consider the upheaval of putting the infrastructure in place to service this new technology. I have spoken before about the use of alternative power sources in our industry, and the challenges faced by manufacturers. Slowly, things are changing: we now see electric powered excavators working in our cities; John Deere has developed a battery powered tractor (albeit at enormous cost, but it’s a start); specialist tractor manufacturer Aebi has built the EC130 and EC170 range of electric all-terrain tool carriers. Looking not unlike WALL-E, these

Is this the first truly electric tool carrier?

machines are powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that is mounted amidships, giving the machine a low centre of gravity and allowing it to operate on slopes – with or without an operator, thanks to a remote control function. They are emission free, versatile and safe – it sounds like the perfect package. Electric powered equipment is getting better. Strimmers, blowers, hedge cutters and both 40

Pro Landscaper / October 2017

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rotary and cylinder pedestrian mowers are becoming more commercial, with developments in battery technology meaning that a full day’s work is now a reality. Despite the government increasing pressure on vehicle users to A cleaner future for our green and pleasant land adopt cleaner technology by introducing a Toxicity Charge and bringing other day and noticed that the four electric London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone forward to vehicle charging points all had covers over them April 2019, we still have an issue with electric that said, ‘Sorry – out of order. What do you do powered commercial vehicles. The current then? Looking around the car park, there must have been 50-60 cars and around 30 HGVs; just think of the infrastructure required to charge that HOW WE APPROACH AND lot. Now think about the street you live in, or your EMBRACE THESE CHANGES IS depot and the vehicles therein, which would VERY MUCH IN THE HANDS OF require the same sort of infrastructure. THE MANUFACTURERS There’s no doubt that over the next few years PRODUCING THE VEHICLES AND we will all have to review how we operate, and EQUIPMENT WE OPERATE things will change. How we approach and embrace these changes is very much in the range of Euro 6 diesel engines are the cleanest hands of the manufacturers producing the ever produced, but even these are now seen vehicles and equipment we operate. I’m all for as dirty technology that must be replaced. But cleaner technology, but there’s something quite with what? There are a wide range of vans ironic in using an electric excavator to dig a available today, but these are somewhat trench to bury a cable for a power point so that impractical for moving topsoil, pulling triple you can charge your electric car, or in using an mowers or transporting a tree team, their electric mower to cut the grass around solar chipper and the material they produce. We panels in a field – but that’s technology for you. await the 3,500kg electric tipper! ABOUT ANGUS LINDSAY Let’s say that within the next 20 years, Angus spent several years working on arable farms in technology moves at such a rate that batteries Scotland before joining VSO in Egypt, implementing a are miniaturised, can easily hold a charge for mechanisation programme, managing field operations eight hours of non-stop work, and are able to for a commercial cotton plantation in Nigeria and working be recharged in minutes rather than hours; that as a contract instructor for Massey Ferguson in Yemen. we are all driving around in electric powered He gained an MSc in agricultural engineering and mechanisation management at Silsoe, joining Glendale vehicles; that the end of the internal as machinery manager in 1994, and then idverde UK in combustion engine is an inevitability on the 2009 as group head of assets and fleet. horizon – will we have the infrastructure to Contact: cope? I stopped at the services on the M6 the

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ANDREW WILSON As Andrew Wilson gets underway with his new crop of students, he ponders the way in which our thinking is affected by computers and their capabilities I recommend an interesting read to my students at the start of each academic year. It’s called ‘Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind’ by Guy Claxton, with the subtitle ‘Why intelligence increases when you think less’. Guy Claxton is a psychologist who has explored creative thinking in particular, and how we think in general, concerned with our thirst for quick answers and speedy results when in fact a more contemplative approach produces better solutions – hence the title. Many of my career change students initially set out to identify key procedures and formulaic answers in an attempt to hasten their learning, but design doesn’t work that way. In many ways, CAD in all its forms is the hare in this tale, producing speedy results that allow us to make progress towards a goal – say, the completion of a design project. But is that speed the real prize, or is it the best design we can produce? In my book it should obviously be the latter, but I think that all too often it is the former that wins through. My first teaching session in 1984 was surveying, which, at the time, was a manual process: slow, time consuming and not always completely accurate – but that process delivered a detailed understanding of the site being measured. Now, with surveyors able to produce a millimetre-accurate survey CAD drawing in less than a day, few designers still rely on that manual process. In accepting this computerised intervention, do they ramp up their site assessment in order to compensate? How many of us can truthfully say that we know our clients’ gardens inside out? Our own survey or fact finding, and our site analysis, should deliver us that detailed knowledge, although of course it takes up time. I once received a survey that had

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WE NEED TO SECURE TIME FOR DETAIL, REFLECTION AND FINE TUNING – TIME TO FULLY KNOW OUR SCHEMES omitted a mature Cedrus libani – I knew it was there, and so did the surveyor, but it had been left off his drawing. So what about drains or inspection chambers, the odd step or damp area, all of which are much more easily missed? When we copy and paste previous construction details from an old project to a new one, are we thoroughly checking that the detail fits and the supporting specification is correct? When we chuck all those weird graphic symbols into our planting plans, are we checking densities and suitability, or trying to make the graphics look nice? As the schedule automatically fills up and spews out a final cost total, are we reflecting at all on the design, or just happy that we might be within budget? Mistakes or omissions are much costlier to pick up or rectify when projects have proceeded onto site, compared to when they are at the design stage, with ideas still in a state of flux. Yet clients press for speedy results and

tight programmes, which ultimately squeeze the time we have to think and reflect. I am not suggesting that everything slows down to a tortoise pace, but we need to secure time for detail, reflection and fine tuning – time to fully know our schemes. For people who don’t draw, the process is seen as superfluous – the production of ‘pretty pictures’ that waste time and money. For those who do draw, the process is an analysis in three dimensions of the work we have produced, showing the scale, the spatial organisation and the fit of the new design in the available space. SketchUp can produce these perspectives in an instant once the model is complete – but who runs through that same checklist and reflects on more than the fabness of their model? Pictured: Pencil perspective sketch for proposed water garden; Wilson McWilliam Studio

ABOUT ANDREW WILSON Andrew Wilson is a landscape and garden designer and a director of Wilson McWilliam Studio. He is also a director of the London College of Garden Design, an author, writer and lecturer.

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DAVID T BINKS When it comes to staff motivation, personal fulfilment is just as important as earnings, says David T Binks As the nights start drawing in and memories of summer holidays fade, anyone who is involved in landscaping knows that for the next few months the weather is going to take a turn for the worse, and that keeping people motivated can take some doing. There is certainly no hard and fast rule on how to retain and motivate staff, but there are some well-researched models for getting people on board. Unlike the Googles of this world, who tell you to take money off the table so that it isn’t even a consideration, our margin-driven industry means that pounds, shillings and pence have got to be factored in. The offer of financial gain works well in the very short-term, but this carrot and stick motivation isn’t sustainable, as each time a task is completed, a bigger carrot must then be presented. Focusing on extrinsic factors can lead to a less focused team with a more narrow-minded approach to working together, each concerned with their own goal rather than that of the business. Ultimately, we need to work towards offering a healthy baseline, where wages, salaries and

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other benefits are reasonable and fair; once this is established and these extrinsic factors are dealt with, the most powerful driver of all, the intrinsic motivators, can be identified. An easy exercise is to ask people (an appraisal is the ideal forum), “What do you want to be famous for?” – something that most of us were probably asked when we were in primary school; beyond the realms of childhood idealism, it doesn’t get much more thought.

ALLOWING PEOPLE TO MAKE DECISIONS FOR THEMSELVES REINFORCES THEIR PURPOSE AND AFFIRMS THEIR MASTERY OF THE POSITION THEY ARE WORKING IN The responses you receive from this one telling question give you a great insight into what makes an individual tick, and helps identify the purpose behind what they do and how they do it. The next step on from this is deciding on further training opportunities that will help individuals master their chosen profession (assuming that their ultimate aim is to be a landscape professional!). Once these two factors have been tackled, the key to pulling these intrinsic motivators together is in giving individuals a sense of autonomy. Allowing people to make decisions for themselves reinforces their purpose and affirms their mastery of the position they are working in. Being

involved in ambitious and exciting projects also helps to maintain levels of interest. This isn’t to say that, when a large-scale planting or paving project needs an extra push to get it over the line on a weekend, offering a piece-rate for the work or some form of bonus is necessarily a bad thing – it serves its purpose. However, if you can get people to look beyond the short-term gains at the bigger picture of what you are trying to achieve, and see their place within that, it works on a much deeper level. So much of what we do in landscaping improves the lives of others, enhancing the environments people live in through greening grey spaces and creating habitats for wildlife to enjoy – there aren’t many other jobs out there with effects that are so tangible and rewarding. If we can get people to look beyond their day-to-day tasks and see the huge upside in what they are doing, it will make their working life so much richer. Before the clocks go back at the end of the month, it may be worth speaking with your team and discussing what would help them through the wet and windy months. Investment in good quality waterproofs and boots are essential, but outline some plans for the remainder of this year and for the year ahead, and make them feel involved in the business and the decision-making. It won’t be an overnight flick of the switch, motivationally, but it will be a step towards a more engaged and positive team.

ABOUT DAVID T BINKS David T Binks is managing director of Cheshire-based Landstruction, which was set up in 2010 and now has 30 employees. It has won Gold medals at RHS Chelsea and RHS Tatton Park. David also launched the Big Hedge Co., which supplies and installs mature hedging and topiary nationwide.,

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Having incorporated mushrooms into his Wild Garden, Adam White discusses how to put the ‘fun’ into ‘fungi’ In 2011, the RHS Gold Medal winner in the Conceptual Garden category at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show was Dan Lobb’s Landscape Obscured. On the surface, it looked like a square of grass with eight tall metal columns. In fact, these were periscopes and the garden was a mushroom garden, growing madly underneath the ground.

For technical advice, I called on Dewi Williams from Marlborough Mushrooms, who provided guidance to make sure our mushroom cave was the perfect environment for the spores to grow during show week. Nick Sneller from the Classic Pod Company built the cave, and stone sculptor Nigel Fenwick helped me ‘plant’ up the cave with spores. We then crossed our fingers that they’d grow in time for judging day – which they did – and the garden went on to win a RHS Gold Medal, RHS People’s Choice award, and the coveted RHS Best in Show.



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©Dan Lobb

Peering down the periscopes, you could see six types of fungi: shiitake, oyster, pom pom, shimeji, nameko and eryngii. As they grew, the landscape changed and evolved. For six years I have tried to incorporate a mushroom area into our projects, only to have it value-engineered out at the last minute; when we decided to return to RHS Hampton Court Flower Show with our Zoflora and Caudwell Children’s Wild Garden in 2017, I realised this was my opportunity. Like Dan, I loved the idea that something could look simple but be complex underneath. I also wanted to celebrate modest plants such as fungi, moss and liverworts. During the show, a concealed underground time-lapse camera captured images of the rapidly changing fungus landscape. Celebrity chefs The Hairy Bikers visited the garden, and we had a mushroom feast where the cave was harvested, cooked and eaten. We even included one of Dan’s periscopes, so visitors could peer into the cave.

During my research I was fascinated to discover that fungi are more closely related to animals than plants. Their main part is a complex mycelial network made up of thin branch-like hyphae that run through soil, leaf litter, wood and living plant tissue. The mushroom is the tip of a ‘fungus iceberg’ that

Davies, was another featuring mushrooms at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, and the opposite to what you might expect from a typical urban garden. It was a freeform undulating space, where part of every plant in the garden was edible – including the shiitake and oyster mushrooms growing on a log in the undergrowth. Including mushrooms in a landscape project is great fun and we will be doing it again. However, every year dozens of people in the UK have to seek medical advice after eating wild mushrooms, as some varieties are poisonous; some can even be fatal. You’ll only get it wrong once. My advice is to buy your mushroom spores from a reputable online supplier and leave the ones growing in the wild well alone. ABOUT ADAM WHITE FLI

lies buried in soil. A mushroom reproduces through spores, similar to seeds; they are spread by wind or water to start a new fungal colony. Whoever gets our plot at next year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show can expect mushrooms in their garden for sure. London Glades Garden, designed by Jon

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

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TALES FROM the riverbank Pro Landscaper travels to the London Docklands to explore one of the most fascinating examples of local authority landscaping in the UK


o far in this series, Pro Landscaper has explored the subject of publicly funded green spaces by providing an overview of individual local authority offerings, rather than focusing on any particular site. There have been many reasons for this, not least that most towns and cities in the UK boast a fabulous variety of different landscaping styles that are best examined by looking across multiple parks. More to the point, however, the maintenance of green space often reflects broader council strategy in relation to other areas of work, which can really only be explored if the offering is considered as a single entity. The City of London’s pocket parks, for instance, symbolise its history, while fighting against pollution and giving City workers somewhere to take their lunch. Likewise,

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Harrogate’s history as a tourist mecca is bound up with its green spaces – reflected in the number of RHS awards its parks have received. With that in mind, this month we’ll be taking a slightly different approach, focusing almost entirely on a single green space: Russia Dock Woodland in Rotherhithe, which is maintained by Southwark Council. As well as being a charming location in its own right, the 12-hectare riverside park symbolises the evolution and spirit of the area in question. It’s also maintained using an innovative landscaping strategy, balancing the park’s identity as a ‘wilder’ location with its use by an appreciative and protective public. Sold up the river The London Docklands has a fascinating history, most of which has been bound up with the use

of the River Thames as a shipping hub. This began in Roman times, with vessels finding a convenient dock in the heart of the city. It continued until the middle of the 20th century, when the trend towards larger container ships saw the area gradually fall into a state of disuse. While this was disastrous for the shipping industry and the area itself, the docklands got on its feet again in the Eighties and Nineties, thanks to property companies putting the land to use as part of a major reclamation project. This was facilitated by the London Docklands Development Corporation, which helped to transform what was a wasteland into the site of some of the most desirable properties in the UK. At the heart of this redevelopment was the Surrey Commercial Docks in Rotherhithe, which in its heyday was regarded as the Pro Landscaper / October 2017 47

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major timber port for the whole of the UK. This was made up of numerous harbour areas, including Quebec Pond, as well as Commercial Dock and Greenland Dock, the latter named due to its whaling history. Trade with Russia, meanwhile, was carried out via Russia Dock. Jon Best is an ecology officer for Southwark Council, responsible for overseeing maintenance strategy for the Russia Dock Woodland, which is situated along the river, just west of Greenwich. He gives an overview of the recent history of the area, and of the origins of the park. “Once it was established as an organisation, the London Docklands Development Corporation took over responsibility for the Rotherhithe Peninsula,” he says. “It completely redesigned and redeveloped it from top to bottom, including the Surrey Commercial Docks. “As part of the redevelopment, it created Russia Dock Woodland – and the Stave Hill Ecological Park, which sits alongside it – on what was a brownfield site that had contained warehouses. The idea was to give local residents a place to walk and experience nature, which is a purpose it serves very well to this day. “The Russia Dock site was originally planted up as pioneer woodland, using tree species that the landscapers knew would grow very quickly. This included things like poplars and willows, as well as species that started to appear of their own accord, such as oak and sycamore. “There’s quite a mature woodland there now – in fact, we’re increasingly having to deal with trees that are coming to the end of their time. Pioneer species tend to have quite a short lifespan.” Jon and his team also plant and maintain a variety of flowers, including violets and cuckoo flowers. This, he says, isn’t always the easiest task to carry out on a site that doesn’t see a huge amount of sunlight, due to its leafy canopy. “It’s tricky because it’s a very shady site, so it’s difficult for things to get up and running,” he says. “What’s more, as soon as flowers and plants do become established, the brambles and nettles come in and try to swamp 48

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THE IDEA WAS TO GIVE LOCAL RESIDENTS A PLACE TO WALK AND EXPERIENCE NATURE, WHICH IS A PURPOSE IT SERVES VERY WELL TO THIS DAY everything. There’s a particular problem with laurel, which is a really intrusive plant. “If we were to leave it to its own devices, the danger is that it would become a monoculture, because that’s what it wants to be. We don’t have the resources to change it at the level of the seed bank – so instead, we continue to work on it in a labour-intensive way. There are two full time staff solely dedicated to Russia Dock Woodland.” According to Jon, major areas of maintenance work, alongside an ongoing

mowing regime, revolve around coppicing the laurel, as well as opening up areas around the park’s ponds and streams via a programme of reed management. Unless they’re dead, dying or dangerous, the trees are generally left alone. Perfect vantage point Russia Dock does a great job of providing local residents and visitors with somewhere peaceful and verdant to while away a few hours. It contains a series of gorgeous ornate wrought-iron thrones and lamp columns, the latter of which are beloved by the park’s bat population. Also integral to the area’s identity is the aforementioned Stave Ecological Park, which sits adjacent to the Woodlands. According to Jon, this came into existence as a replacement for the William Curtis Ecological Park, which was situated on a derelict lorry park near Tower Bridge and closed down, ironically, when the land was redeveloped. Maintained by a charity

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called The Conservation Volunteers, Stave Hill now provides what the organisation calls “a mosaic of grassland, woodland, scrub and wetland habitats.” It complements Russia Dock Woodland perfectly, containing numerous different compounds and demonstrating the variety of flora and fauna capable of flourishing in this urban environment. It also provides an ideal vantage point from which to view the whole area via Stave Hill itself, on top of which sits a cast-bronze relief map of the city. Verdant oasis The Russia Dock Woodland and its attendant ecological park are two truly unique and compelling horticulture projects. As Jon points out, however, they are far from the central offer when it comes to Southwark Council’s parks and green spaces. “We have about 130 parks and open spaces all in all,” he says. “That includes Burgess Park, which is another brownfield site created after the Second World War, as well as Peckham Rye Park, Peckham Rye Common, Dulwich Park and Southwark Park, which was the first municipal site of its kind in London. There’s also the ancient woodland situated up in Sydenham Hill. “All our main sites have their own needs and style, and are managed differently from Russia Dock. Some, like Dulwich, are very formal. It gets three million visitors a year, and they expect it to be maintained as a traditional Victorian landscape.” With that in mind, what makes Russia Dock so special? “It’s the nature of the space, which is quite unique in its mixing of rural and urban ambience,” says Jon. “More than that, though, is the relationship the local community has with it, both as visitors and as partners in its upkeep. “Local people are very protective of Russia Dock Woodland, and if something’s not working in the way it should, they’ll go out of their way to try and get it sorted immediately. One example was the effort the community put into stopping the problems with antisocial behaviour we were having, tirelessly petitioning the local police to put a stop to it.” Having spent time enjoying Russia Dock Woodland – an oasis of green in the heart of post-industrial London – we can understand why. 1 View from Sydenham Hill 2 Boating in the docks area


3 Russia Dock woodland 4 Flower meadow (Stave Hill) 5 Russia Dock woodland pathway

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Soft Landscape Workshop

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Dan Pearson (Photo: Sir Paul Smith)

Bosco Verticale, Milan


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Hear from award winning designer Dan Pearson, Laura Gatti planting designer for Bosco Verticale and Tim O’Hare on soil issues with podium landscapes


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STRATA DESIGN ASSOCIATES Nature and retail coexist at this Northamptonshire scheme



Resurrecting Margaret Bealeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s famous Twenties garden at Standen House



A Kingston upon Thames garden gets a chic space for entertaining



WARNES MCGARR & CO This RHS Tatton Park Flower Show garden imagines the gardens of the future





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THE LEISURE PRINCIPLE STRATA DESIGN ASSOCIATES Nature meets retail at Rushden Lakes, a pioneering shopping and leisure scheme in Northamptonshire

PROJECT DETAILS Project value ÂŁ50m (phase 1) Build time Phase 1: Three years Future phases due to commence autumn 2017 Size of project 230,000ft2 (phase 1); 400,000ft2 (future phases)

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he client sought a high quality external environment that captured the history and natural beauty of this genuinely unique site, while creating a vibrant atmosphere that encouraged visitors to shop, eat and explore. Background Rushden Lakes is a shopping and leisure scheme that opened in summer 2017 (phase 1). Situated in the Nene Valley, Northamptonshire, the site combines shopping and eating with opportunities for outdoor activities, such as canoeing, birdwatching and cycling. Comprising 230,000ft2 of new retail and restaurant accommodation (phase 1), the former gravel extraction site includes a lake and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) wetland which is home to 20,000 migrating birds, a boathouse and boardwalk with al fresco waterside dining, a wet play area, a central water feature and rill. Up to 5m people are expected to flock to the scheme in the first year.

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Design A significant amount of external space and investment is devoted to public areas, to enhance the customer experience. Fluid tessellated paving provides flow and energy, while a wide timber boardwalk with precast stone furniture delivers a point for lakeside views and external dining. A brushed stainless steel balustrade wraps around the boardwalk edge, emphasising the landscape’s curves. A central boulevard connects the boardwalk to the retail frontages, including a 54m long rill that follows the site’s fall towards the boardwalk and lake, helping to connect the different spaces. For practicality, the precast rill units were derived from a single standard radiused mould, reversed to create the opposing curves. The edges of the boulevard are formed in corten planters with cantilevered seating, providing a durable, contemporary aesthetic. Additional seating planters are formed with modular precast units that double up as the base for the raised water table that feeds the rill. Precast benches also form part of the secure line to the shop fronts, reducing the number of security bollards required. A wet play area merges into the lakeside, enabling people to engage with the lake in a controlled way. Jets, fountains and misting nozzles create a playful space away from the bustle of the retail zones. Adjoining the visitor centre and boathouse is a woodland walk and sculpture trail, with viewing platforms that allow people to enjoy a stroll without disturbing the wildlife. While robust ornamentals have been installed in the car park areas, naturalistic planting is used around the lake, including native reed planting to encourage habitat creation. Nature-inspired sculptures pop up through apertures in the boardwalk, animating the space. Challenges The need to protect and encourage wildlife was at the heart of the scheme; striking a balance between providing adventurous play and protecting the sensitive lakeside location was 54

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key. Construction activity was constrained during the bird nesting season, and finding a suitable surface for the boardwalk at the right price point took some time. Achieving a suitable boardwalk structure that didn’t compromise the flood compensation requirements was also an interesting exercise for the engineers. Another challenging aspect was delivering a paving pattern that reflected the clients’ requirements for a unique treatment in an achievable way. This was overcome by employing standard concrete blocks, but placing them in a repeating tessellating pattern. Each block was set out within standard 6m x 4m panels, repeated to form the pattern. Phase 1 of this project has delivered an inviting and vibrant retail space that sensitively meshes with the surrounding environment. “Rushden Lakes sets a benchmark for sustainable and experiential retail development,” says Richard Willmott of Strata Design. “The focus has been on delivering high quality experiences and spaces that encourage people to explore the area, rather than a typical

inward-looking development. The lakeside location has also significantly enhanced public access to the nature reserves.”

1 Sinuous curved balustrade, a nod to the site’s industrial past © Martin Gardner, 2 Boardwalk aperture © Martin Gardner 3 Raised water table feeding rill © Martin Gardner 4 Trio of timber seats on boardwalk © Martin Gardner 5 Pebble seating along lakeside © Martin Gardner 6 Visitors relax in central boulevard © The Crown Estate / Rushden Lakes 7 Meandering rill © Martin Gardner 8 Corten planters with integral seating © Martin Gardner 9 Nature takes centre stage © The Crown Estate / Rushden Lakes

ABOUT STRATA DESIGN ASSOCIATES Strata Design Associates is a UK-based landscape architecture and urbanism practice delivering usable, engaging and resilient spaces based on empathy for people and places. Established by Richard Willmott following his successful implementation of phase 1 of the Rushden Lakes scheme, the company is now taking forward future phases of the scheme.

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REFERENCES Project landscape architect Richard Willmott Main contractor Winvic Tessellated paving (Charcon) Aggregate Industries Boardwalk timber Marley Eternit Boardwalk steelwork Caunton Engineering


Stainless balustrade and metal work Oakley Corten edging (to central boulevard) Kinley Bespoke pre-cast furniture

Bespoke boardwalk benches and retail frontage precast benches Marshalls Bespoke bins, benches and seating boulders Land-Mark Landscaping Systems

Wet play equipment and consultancy Ustigate Lighting Holophane Trees Barchams Wildflower Turf Wildflower Turf Boardwalk sculptures Flights of Fantasy

Bailey Streetscene

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Project value £500k Build time 2012-2017 Size of project 12 acres

1 Grandfather’s walk and lime trees ©National Trust Images/Andrew Butler 2 Lavender Lawn with mulberry tree ©National Trust Images/Roger Bloxham 3 Espalier apple tree with blossom in kitchen garden ©National Trust Images/ Andrew Butler 4 The south front and garden with restored trellis ©National Trust Images/ Andrew Butler 5 Standen restored Croquet lawn ©National Trust Images/Andrew Butler 56

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Extensive work on the garden at Standen House in West Sussex has seen it restored to its former glory

idden at the end of a quiet Sussex lane, with breathtaking views over the High Weald and Weir Wood Reservoir, Standen House was designed for James Beale and his family in the late 19th century by leading Arts and Crafts architect Philip Webb and his friend William Morris, whose designs for wallpaper and fabric can be seen throughout the impressive property. The 12-acre hillside garden was designed by Beale’s wife Margaret (1847-1936) and saw its heyday in the Twenties. Taking into account the advice of Philip Webb and local garden designer JB Simpson, Margaret Beale finalised the design, and in 1893 she began recording the

garden’s evolution in her garden notebook, with her first entry reading: “Took possession of Holly Bush Farm [Standen] in September 1890. The following spring of 1891 we planted the two upper plantations and started the kitchen garden, also the yew hedge.” An accomplished gardener and plantswoman, Margaret was inspired by a world tour taken by the family in 1906-07. Catalogues she kept from the Yoshino Garden in Tokyo, Japan, plus others from UK plant hunters, James Veitch & Sons, show her admiration for many of the new Japanese plants that were entering the UK. Margaret Beale became a Fellow of the RHS in 1894, and created a series of outdoor rooms

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at Standen, including a scented rose garden called the Rosery and a lime tree walk, along with more exotic areas including bamboo, ponds and lush foliage. Upon her death in 1936, her daughters Maggie and Helen remained at Standen and took over the running of the garden. They maintained it as best they could with a limited number of gardeners, until Helen Beale bequeathed it to the National Trust upon her death in 1972. The restoration More than 10 years ago, a group of volunteers discovered the Beale family swimming pond while clearing out some overgrown bamboo in part of the garden. Following extensive research, the garden revival project began in 2012, and is

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one of the biggest that the National Trust has ever undertaken. James Masters, head gardener at Standen, explains: “In the latter part of the 20th century, Standen’s gardens saw alterations and replanting that covered or removed some of the original features. When I was first investigating the undergrowth in areas of the gardens, I realised there was much more than met the eye. “Over the years, our discoveries have included lost walls, a rock garden, and rare and unusual plants, all overgrown by the vigorous modern planting that had masked the original beauty of Margaret Beale’s design.” Through researching Margaret Beale’s garden and weather diaries, which she kept from 1890 to 1934, the team at Standen discovered that she had experimented with various plants in different situations, and noted how the weather affected them each year. Further research of maps, old family photos, receipts and other documentary evidence enabled the team to piece together how the garden would have looked in its Twenties heyday. “We were lucky to have a wealth of archive material, which has enabled us to piece it together and bring the garden back to its best,” James tells us. The £500k funding for the five-year restoration included generous legacies to the Trust for the purpose of garden projects and properties in Sussex. Among the features that have been restored are: • The original swimming pond and rose garden, growing Margaret Beale’s coveted pink China roses. 58

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• A fine oak trellis, rebuilt to the original design by Philip Webb. • Lime trees reinstated along Grandfather’s Walk. • 10,000 tulips, including rare varieties. • The kitchen garden, and original espaliered apple trees. • New views opened from the top terrace across to the Ashdown Forest. • New Arts and Crafts-inspired planting in the house courtyard. • The medieval quarry face (which inspired the Beales to build Standen in that location) revealed alongside the drive. “I look back at photographs from before we started the restoration to remind myself of the remarkable changes the team of staff and volunteers has made since then,” says James. “We have worked so hard to do justice to this lovely lost garden and make it shine again, and I hope our visitors will enjoy discovering something new down every path and around each corner.”

ABOUT THE NATIONAL TRUST The National Trust is a charity founded in 1895 to preserve our heritage and open spaces. It looks after more than 250,000ha of countryside, 775 miles of coastline and hundreds of special places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It has 4.5m members and 62,000 volunteers, and more than 20m people visit every year.

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OF THE GARDEN Rosery The area to have seen the greatest transformation is the Rosery. It inspired the entire project, with the discovery of steps and a retaining wall around the swimming pond. With the formal rose garden, sundial, sweeping oak trellis and swimming pond all reinstated, it’s a tranquil spot to admire Margaret Beale’s roses. Kitchen Garden The reinstatement of the Kitchen Garden has seen the installation of large beds of fruits and vegetables, plus cages for soft fruits. Four Bramley apple espalier trees, planted in the 1890s, still provide a plentiful crop every autumn. Bees have also been reintroduced. Croquet lawn The summer house on the croquet lawn has been renovated, and many of the invasive laurels removed from the bank, revealing views of the house once more.


Grandfather’s Walk When James Beale became too frail to reach the upper areas of the garden, Grandfather’s Walk was cut into the slope and a shaded path was created with 13 limes; at the end, a summerhouse was built. The limes have been replanted, the stone walls repaired, and exuberant planting added around the trees’ bases. House terrace The oak trellis was rebuilt by volunteers following Philip Webb’s original design, using old photographs for reference. The design reappears in the house’s William Morris wallpaper. A planting scheme follows Margaret Beale’s philosophy of experimenting with new plants. Tulip Festival More than 10,000 tulips bloom on the terrace and around the garden in pots and borders every April-May. Quarry Garden The Quarry Garden is a tranquil corner that offers a shady retreat and an abundance of delicateplants that grow in the rock crevices. The rock from here was used to construct the house. Rock Top Walk High up above the rocks is Rock Top Walk. A meandering path through the trees takes visitors to viewing platforms, where they can look across to the Weald and down onto the chimneys and stable yard. Offering a welcome pause for visitors and a wealth of craftsmanship, the artwork ‘Bothy’ is a small folly-like space built by designer and maker Will Shannon. Sandstone rock As you drive into Standen, the outcrop of Ardingly sandstone rocks are visible again, which inspired the Beale family to build the house there. Goose Green Goose Green has been kept rural to reflect its original farmyard purpose. New planting in the cottage garden, new wall supports for the pear trees, and children’s games sets make it a charming and welcoming space.

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1 Goose Green at Standen ©National Trust Images/ Andrew Butler 2 James Masters – Standen’s head gardener ©National Trust Images/Andrew Butler 3 Rosery ©National Trust Images/Roger Bloxham 4 House from Upper Lawn with windpump, and Margaret Beale ©National Trust. Mrs Beale’s garden diary page 3 ©National Trust Images/ Roger Bloxham

REFERENCES Garden design National Trust Head Gardener James Masters and Senior Gardener Nick Delves, from original designs by Margaret Beale

Prenplants Sussex Limited

7 Lower Terrace in 2007 ©James Masters

Parker Building Supplies

Plants for the Quarry Garden

Burncoose Nurseries

11 Conservatory bed before clearing

Stone, brick, gravel, aggregates and general building materials

9 Standen before Garden Revival – view along the Top Terrace ©James Masters 10 Kitchen garden when it was previously a rose garden

Penlan Perennials

Crûg Farm Plants

D.T. Brown

8 Standen before Garden Revival – view of Kitchen Garden ©James Masters

J Parker’s

6 Contractor moving in to clear bamboo August 2004 ©James Masters

Chiltern Seeds

Will Shannon

Plants/trees General plants (from peat-free suppliers)

Peter Nyssen Ltd

Seeds for the Kitchen Garden

Folly (‘Bothy’)

5 The garden at Standen ©National Trust Images/ Andrew Butler

Bulbs for the tulip festival and general use

Stone and brick for hard landscaping and repairs Lambs

Oak trellis

Plants for Rock Top Walk

Mid-Sussex Timber Roses for the Rosery David Austin Roses

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TAKE IT OUTSIDE LIVING LANDSCAPES A complete rebuild of the back garden at Kylemore House in Kingston upon Thames creates an outdoor room that is perfect for entertaining

PROJECT DETAILS Project value £276k Build time Six months Size of project 743m2


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he owners of this striking property in Surrey had specified a complete rebuild of their rear garden, along with the creation of a new outdoor swimming pool. The existing garden wasn’t in keeping with the finish of their newly renovated property, and provided limited access to the lawn area and little space to sit and relax. With the lawn and garden positioned higher than the house and paving, the existing retaining walls created only a small space for socialising, and along the 30m rear face of the property there was only one set of steps leading up into the garden. To tie in with the gym and summer house that had recently been added to the property, the clients wanted an outdoor pool and relaxation area to be installed. They also required an outdoor living area where they could relax in some open shade during the day and enjoy barbecues with family and friends, as well as to use at night with the addition of a fire pit.


Domestic Garden Construction Over £250K

Design and build Creating additional space at the rear of the property was simple to achieve. Living Landscapes designed a seating area to be cut out of the existing garden, close to where the access doors were located. This cut-out also included additional steps, allowing better access to the upper lawn. Due to the shape of the garden and location of the gym, the swimming pool had to be located to

one side, tying in nicely with the overall design and layout of the different areas. Steps were then installed around the pool to create a woodland walk that led from the pool, through the planting and back to the newly installed patio stairs. The stunning outdoor living area was a multifaceted and complex installation. Having considered the clients’ requirements, Living Landscapes created a large wood-framed pergola, with fixed angled slats in the roof to provide shade at the hottest times of the day. Wanting to minimise the impact of the support posts, the team introduced cantilevered sections to the roof, supported mainly by the large fireplace construction; when finished, this offered a grand focal point for the garden and outdoor living area. So that the fireplace had a more modern internal feel, Living Landscapes opted for bioethanol burners with sliding glass frontage, so that the fire could be open or closed. This whole structure was constructed with a metal frame, clad in fireproof cement board and rendered in K Rend. Completing this spectacular focal point, Living Landscapes constructed custom-built seating and a bespoke outdoor kitchen area. 1 Seating area with stepped access 2 Bespoke seating 3 Rear landscaping 4 Pool with cedar fencing in background 5 Outdoor living area

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was completed with input from the bioethanol fire supplier, which advised on minimum distances and requirements for the safe use of these fireplaces.

New lawn was laid, with additional planting in the newly created beds supported by a versatile irrigation system. Garden lighting was also installed to finish the design. Materials Tumbled black sandstone, supplied by London Stone, was laid in a staggered bond to give a more modern feel to the laying pattern. This was complemented by a cladding stone from Fernhill Stone, which was incorporated into the garden and retaining walls. Living Landscapes found this reconstituted concrete stone to be an excellent product that worked particularly well with the paving. The chimney construction was completed by a metalworking company working to a selection of drawings that had been provided; the team then clad in it cement board. This construction

entertaining and barbecue area features a stone-clad curved back wall from which emanate the slats of the pergola covering the area. A very subtle planting palette has been beautifully employed. Overall, the scheme reflects excellent detailing and a consistently high standard of construction.”

Special requirements The most difficult aspect of this garden’s design and construction was the outdoor living area, which was bespoke in every way 1 Outdoor cooking space possible. While Living Landscapes understood all the techniques being used, a lot of discussion took place on-site to fully utilise the ABOUT LIVING LANDSCAPES team’s combined experience in order to Tecwyn Evans has run Living complete its construction. Shadow gaps also Landscapes for 20 years, covering had to be incorporated into all aspects of the London, Surrey, Hampshire and Sussex. construction, to allow for the undulations on It works to create beautiful outdoor the Fernhill Stone and riven sandstone. spaces for discerning clients. Its show Despite these challenges, the end result is gardens at RHS Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Show have received multiple awards. Living a striking and innovative outdoor space that is Landscapes was a winner at the BALI National both beautiful and functional, a sentiment Landscape Awards in 2016. echoed in the judges’ comments at last year’s BALI Awards: “This impressive scheme features a series of terraces around a renovated property. REFERENCES The paved areas, Timber Contractor steps and walling have Honeysuckle Bottom Sawmill Living Landscapes been very well Contact: Tecwyn Evans executed and the 0208 579 1236 / 07968 449 329

Outdoor cooking Cedar Nursery

Design Our Landscape Designs

Bioethanol fire


TR Plastering

DURING Real Flame

Metal fabrication


The Chiswick Lighting Company (Elipta)

Lawn Irrigation LWS (Rain Bird) Paving London Stone

TIW Fabrications

London Lawn Turf Plants Barchams Outdoor furniture Living Landscapes

Wall cladding Fernhill Stone Swimming pool Lagoon Pools


Pro Landscaper / October 2017

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RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 2017 • Best Construction • Best Future Spaces Garden Award

PROJECT DETAILS Project value £90k


Build time Two weeks


Size of project 225m2

Warnes McGarr & Co’s show garden for RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 2017 imagines the residential gardens of the future

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esigners Michael John McGarr and Robert Warnes won three medals at RHS Tatton this year for their stunning and unusual show garden, ‘2101’. The duo was presented with a Gold medal, as well as awards for Best Construction and Best Future Spaces Garden. With a ‘Mad Max’ element, the garden created a talking point at the show and impressed the judges. The brief As one of the Future Spaces gardens at the show, the brief was to explore the theme of how our residential gardens could look in the future. The Warnes McGarr & Co garden was set in the year 2101, in a UK that has seen predicted temperature rises of around 7°C. The conceptual garden explored how we could use our gardens, with many of our native plants no longer existing. A split-level design was included to act as a ‘rain garden’ that manages increased rainwater runoff. This collects water in the permeable higher areas, and distributes it into lower, densely planted areas that soak up excess moisture, alleviating flood risks. The plans have to be signed off by the RHS show team, with any queries coming back after application to ensure the garden design is viable within the build schedule. Materials and build The show garden site was familiar, as it was the exact same location of Warnes McGarr & Co’s Silver Medal-winning 2016 garden, From Hall to Home. On-site kicked off with some excavation work to level out the existing sloped ground. The show-stopping large specimen cacti were central to the garden’s concept and design, but proved difficult to source at the size required – 60cm across for the barrel cacti (Echinocactus grusonii) and 150cm high for the tall cacti (Polaskia chichipe). Searching found the team on a chase across the warmer parts of Europe, and eventually led them to set up a new business, Cactus Direct, which became the show garden’s lead sponsor. The structural elements of the garden – the conical relaxing area, the spherical shaded area and the battered-edged sandstone table and benches – were all designed by Robert and created at the steel fabricators. Everything was prebuilt before the team went on-site, so simply had to be put together on arrival. 64

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The corroded steel structures provided shade for plants that once required warmth and protection to be grown in the UK, such as grapevines and tomatoes. The patterned sphere shape was designed to deliver shade for homeowners and a relaxing place to sit. Casa Ceramica came on board as a show sponsor and provided the large-format, single-piece porcelain tiles, which draw the eyes up the slope of the garden and form a stepped path. The 3mm-thick wall tiles were built onto a platform that was designed by Robert, so they could be used as floor tiles. The garden included planting that could cope with extreme heat positioned on the higher level, while plants that could deal with extremes of water and drought were planted on the lower level. It used concepts that can be applied to our gardens today to manage excess rainwater and drought, while alleviating future flood risks. Trees in the garden include Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine), Alnus glutinosa (common alder) and Betula nigra (river birch), which can all flourish in a warmer climate. Tropical trees and large plants that are growing and thriving in 2101 include: Yucca filifera, Yucca rostrata, Yucca gloriosa, Trithrinax campestris, Nannorrhops ritchiana and Butia odorata.


1 A corroded steel pergola to provide shade, with a battered-edge sandstone table and bench 2 Barrel cacti in discarded oil drums among meadow planting on the lower level 3 Casa Ceramica large-format porcelain tiles, forming a stepped path up the garden


5 Creating the two-stepped landscape

Design and build

Garden structures

6 Installing the rock border, the pergola and getting the barrel cacti in place during the build

Warnes McGarr & Co Large cacti

Designed by Robert Warnes of Warnes McGarr & Co Built by MKM Creations

Cactus Direct

ABOUT WARNES MCGARR & CO Warnes McGarr & Co is an award-winning garden and landscape design consultancy based in Wigan and Cheshire. Set up by garden designer Michael John McGarr and landscape designer Robert Warnes, it creates outdoor kitchens, bespoke outdoor furniture design and naturalistic planting schemes with a focus on ecology.

Portfolio 4 Warnes McGarr.indd 65

Stone and aggregates

Tropical plants

Finch Aggregates

The Tropical Plant Company Naturalistic meadow planting Rectory Garden Plants

Casa Ceramica

Timber Brooks Bros Large format porcelain tiles Images Š Carolyn Hughes

4 A 150cm high Polaskia chichipe cactus in front of the spherical shelter Rugs and cushions BoConcept, Manchester

Pro Landscaper / October 2017 65

20/09/2017 11:43


FEEL THE HEAT As autumn draws in, it’s time to warm up those chilly nights with a fire feature. Anji Connell talks through what to consider, and suggests some attractive options Fires date back at least one million years, and while they are no longer our only source of heat, our emotional response to them endures; they transcend necessity and provide comfort and atmosphere in our spaces. The spellbinding experience of naked flame can be appreciated on a patio, in a garden, or next to a pool, extending the art of living outdoors. Wood is among the least polluting heat options, along with solar heating. It is also a cost effective option in comparison to gas, and comes with the evocative campfire smell. There are a number of considerations to take into account when choosing a fire pit. Do you want a portable or permanent installation? Portable is less expensive. Also consider rust resistance, heat retention and design – all will affect quality and enjoyment. Choose the location carefully. It’s advisable to put the fire pit in an open space, away from

structures, plants, and other combustible instructions to prolong the life of the fire. For materials, and on levelled ground. It should be maximum heat and minimum smoke, make sure at least 10ft from your house, and allow a you use dry, sustainable, seasoned firewood. six-foot diameter for guests to sit safely Architectural firm SAOTA uses fire in and comfortably around it. If there’s a its designs wherever possible. “Fire is view, arrange seating to face it, and incorporated into our design concepts set it on non-combustible gravel, to reinforce spatial, visual and brick or stone. Placing a fire pit on theatrical experience,” says company a wood deck or lawn runs the risk director Mark Bullivant. “They create of a fire being caused by drifting a convivial gathering point, as well as embers and sparks. Consider the adding a light source. They draw the general wind direction, too – eye beyond the immediate confines of smoke and embers blowing in your a building. It is a design element we face, over a dining table, or into your employ whenever we can.” building or a neighbouring one is not ideal! Dominique Imbert, founder of Focus Light your fire in the old fashioned Fires, designs and manufactures some of way with newspaper and kindling. the most stylish fires for indoor and Flammable liquids flare and may outdoor use. Focus Fires has seven give off harmful toxins. You will models available for outdoors, all need drainage if you have a with an anti-corrosion coating and Sywawa Brandy permanent fire, to keep it dry, and resistant black paint or hematite rust covers to protect it from the weather. Check the that transforms over time, making them durable building codes in your area to get the proper and weatherproof. Focus recommends that its fires specs and regulations. are installed in a sheltered place, to benefit from its Remove debris and ash, brush it down with two-year guarantee. a metal brush, soap and water on a regular Its suspended wood-burning Bathyscafocus basis, and follow any manufacturer’s and Gyrofocus models have a pivoting hearth,

Morsø Kamino


Pro Landscaper / October 2017

Anji Connell.indd 66


The Pot Company


20/09/2017 10:46

AK47 Mangiafuoco

INSPIRE while the Domofocus Outdoor vies with its older brother, the Gyrofocus, but has a more slender shape and a wider smile! The Emifocus Outdoor offers a truce between urban and bucolic charm, while the Paxfocus Outdoor is as easily at home in a contemporary open-air living area as under a canopy. The Miofocus Outdoor wall-hung model, meanwhile, is useful where space is limited. The AK47 Ercole range of wood-burning outdoor fires, designed by Ivano Losa and available from Encompass, beautifully combines corten steel and handmade concrete. There are several models available, with a choice of natural, brown or white concrete. They come with a lid to cover the fire when not in use and to prevent the escape of ashes in wind and rain, as well as an easy-empty fire chamber. The oxidised steel components also have a special chemical treatment to prevent corrosion. The AK47 Tripee fire bowl, in oxidised steel, is reminiscent of a tepee. It measures 1.2m in diameter, and has a stainless steel hanging rope and wide, circular, galvanised steel feet. The AK47 Mangiafuoco fire pit comes in a clean modern steel or texturised white powder-coat finish, while the Conmoto Fera Modern Garden Fire is available in stainless steel. The Pot Company has a superb range of corten steel wood-burning fires, ranging in size from 60-150cm and suitable for any size of space. “Gathering around the warmth and glow of an open fire allows us to unwind and free our minds of everyday worries,” says Jeff Miles of The Pot Company. “When exposed to the elements, our fires develop a rich, eye-catching finish. Corten steel has a natural fixed coating of rust, which protects against further corrosion. During the weathering process, it produces carbon runoff, which can stain adjacent materials such as stone or concrete. To reduce staining, all products have small feet to lift them from direct contact with the flooring material. After the initial reactive period, corten steel will cure and self-seal with little to no carbon runoff.” The

Woodland Direct

Conmoto Fera

Tole K60 Morsø Forno

AK47 Tripee

weathering occurs over several months, and some people find the gradual change desirable; however, The Pot Company offers a preweathering service that allows customers to avoid higher levels of carbon runoff. The Tole K60 outdoor fire has a simple, modern design, also in corten steel with a stainless steel hood and grate. It stands six feet tall and two feet wide, and has integrated log storage underneath the burning area. It doubles as a cooking source, with slots for grill, wok, teppanyaki and raclette machine accessories. Danish design is known for its style and functionality, and Morsø is exactly that. Its outdoor wood-burning fires, made from double coated cast iron, ooze comfort and heat. You can cook juicy steaks and homemade pizzas in its portable Forno, and even smoke fish. It’s superbly stylish, and has a 10-year guarantee. The Brandy, from Belgian company Sywawa, is another portable option that has a contemporary design and is durable and rust proof. For a mid-century look, the Malm is a fabulous option.

You can use one of the many coloured versions outside, but they may rust if left in inclement weather. For outdoor use, choose stainless steel. You can, of course, build a bespoke fire pit. Woodland Direct has ready made Masonry Pits and fire ring inserts, as well as ready made and customisable wood burning fire pits and bowls. It’s not a complicated process, although it is more time-consuming and labour-intensive. Concrete fireplaces and fire pits can expand and crack, and in extreme situations the moisture in the concrete can expand, causing it to explode. Lining the inside of the fire pit with fire brick and filling the bottom with lava rock helps prevent the majority of the heat being in direct contact with the concrete. In a cold climate, you need to use a Sonotube footing under each corner. Recreating a fireplace wall, as in a living room setting, is another option. However, they don’t radiate as much heat as freestanding fire bowls, and you will need a flue to direct smoke away. Fire away; it’s the best way to enjoy the winter evenings ahead. 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.

The Pot Company

Focus Fires

Pro Landscaper / October 2017 67

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20/09/2017 10:47

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18/09/2017 16:29


Why I...

#lovehorticulture KEN WHITE



ikipedia, that fountain of all knowledge, defines horticulture as ‘a branch of agriculture that deals with the art, science, technology, and business of growing plants. It also is the study of plants. It includes the cultivation of medicinal plants, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs, sprouts, mushrooms, algae, flowers, seaweeds and non-food crops such as grass and ornamental trees and plants. It also includes plant conservation, landscape restoration, landscape and garden design, construction, and maintenance, and arboriculture… Horticulture even refers to the growing THE DIVERSITY OF THE of plants in a field or garden.’ (Really!) PEOPLE IN OUR INDUSTRY Horticulture, for me, is a lifelong passion that began as a young boy IS OFTEN AS COLOURFUL growing vegetables with my grandfather AS THE FLORA – WHAT’S in the Seventies – he used to grow NOT TO LOVE? some amazing things. Cultivating plants with him gave me a real sense of accomplishment, and it was fascinating to see what would grow from the tiniest of seeds. While Wikipedia’s definition of horticulture may sound dull to some, it nails just how diverse a subject it is. I went to study at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, certain that I was going to be a nurseryman. I then sat in on one or two lectures given by plant collectors who had travelled the world collecting, naming, studying and cultivating the weird and the wonderful – from Tacca integrifolia and the beautiful Strongylodon macrobotrys, to the downright ugly Raoulia eximia — and thought to myself, I need to rethink my plans. I have worked in many countries and across many fields of horticulture in my career, always finding the same level of enthusiasm and devotion from people working within the industry. Us horticulturists love what we do, are obsessed with what we do, and want to encourage others to do what we do – and we understand the importance and relevance of horticulture in enriching all our daily lives. The diversity of the people in our industry is often as colourful as the flora – what’s not to love?

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

Love Horticulture.indd 69

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A Flexi-LED Strip was used to underlight the outdoor fireplace and feature rendered wall. This product is manufactured using high quality directional LEDs embedded in a flexible strip. It is commonly used as a feature light under benches or seats and can be cut to size (to within 167mm). Product code LDF8012

Your client will want to enjoy their garden year-round, and from the inside, so a good lighting scheme is essential. There are various types of low-energy lighting options and here we highlight some from a recent project designed by Matt Keightley and constructed by Rosebank Landscaping.

Deck lights in ground Clients will hardly feel like spending thousands of pounds on the design and construction of their garden if they canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enjoy looking at it year-round. In addition to lighting the way, a well-designed scheme allows garden features to be enjoyed and enhanced.

Step louvre lighting

If the garden is multi-levelled you will probably need to light the steps, and the ou re ight has a slot that enables reflection onto the step, to illuminate the way. This product is IP68-rated (outdoor submersible), with a 1W fitting, and is featured in stainless steel casing. Product code LGC4212

Here, non-directional deck lights have been used to illuminate the tree and hedging, plus the paved pillars. When fixing into unstable ground or resin-bound surfacing, canisters are supplied to hold the product firmly in place. If inserted into deck, wood or stone, there is no need to use a canister. Those shown are stainless steel. Product code LGC4052 70

Pro Landscaper / October 2017

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21/09/2017 09:44


The Light Symphony receiver box has a mains in and four lines out, meaning you can control four different zones if required. The mains power goes into LandscapePlusâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; fully potted (IP67) outdoor power supplies, which are key to the quick and easy installation of LED lighting. They are guaranteed for five years, and include a built-in resettable fuse to protect the low-voltage side from direct shorts and surges, preventing damage to remote controls.

LED strip lighting fire area

Large tree spotlights on spikes

Deck lights in paving

To highlight the large tree, a 3W spike spotlight (flood), which has a wider lens angle to reflect the canopy, has been used. It comes in black or silver aluminium, and is adjustable. Product code LGC1232

The smaller pines are lit by using the mini spike spotlight in stainless steel. The 1W illumination comes from an opaque lens that diffuses the light softly. It is directional, so can be placed to best highlight the feature. Product code LGC1011

Spike spotlights in small trees

All Collingwood lighting, outdoor drivers, and Light Symphony remote controls are supplied by Landscapeplus Tel: 01666 577577 Pro Landscaper / October 2017 71

LED lighting feature1.indd 71

21/09/2017 09:45



Inca he nca fire table is fully customisable – a plug and play fire table made in the imensions cm cm cm Commercial or domestic use. Price: from £1,995

Magma ach fire pit is indi idually crafted and numbered in ngland bespoke service is available to personalise the products. 92cm (D) x 55cm (H). Commercial or domestic use. Price: £1,200


Bespoke Firepit bespo e firepit made from marbled engineered stone, using a water cutter to provide sharp mitres so that it appears to be car ed from a solid piece of marble t uses rban ires outdoor gas burner, hich operates on either mains gas from the house or cylinders , mm mm mm ommercial or domestic use rban ires can also make these products in cast concrete and in arious colours, and si es, from , he glass balustrade can also be supplied Price: £4,160

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Komodo Monolithic in solid, powder-coated colours or rich and earthy in corten steel, Komodo is available in two standard sizes and can be ordered in bespoke lengths to suit your project. 2,134mm/1,524mm (D) x 610mm (H). Commercial or domestic use. Price: From £5,100


Pro Landscaper / October 2017

Fire pits.indd 72

his fire pit as designed for a customer on the sle of ye in memory of her husband t depicts a Celtic design, Celtic lovers and a Viking ship, along with other memories. 900mm (D). Commercial or domestic use. Price: £1,350

20/09/2017 16:21



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NURTURE NEWS Barcham Trees lifts quarantine on biosecure trees Although 60,000 of its young potted trees were large enough for sale over the summer, Barcham Trees deliberately did not release them until 1 September 2017, when its quarantined growing season had ended and the Cambridgeshire nursery was sure that they were pathogen and pest-free and safe to be planted into the UK landscape. “Customers have asked for them earlier,” explained managing director Mike Glover, “and although they were well rooted by July, ours is the only British tree nursery which insists on this long period of quarantine, during which time the health and vitality of our newly potted stock is regularly checked by Bartlett Tree Experts,

DEFRA and our own staff. This policy demonstrates the practical realities of implementing a true biosecurity policy, and its success

means it cannot always be ‘business as usual’, and that methods and practices have to be rethought – often with cost implications to our business.” His Barcham co-director and chairman of the Arboricultural Association Keith Sacre believes that with ‘Protect and Survive’ as its theme, the 51st Arboricultural Association National Amenity Conference, at Exeter University from 10-13 September 2017, will be the first international conference on arboricultural biosecurity. “We shall be examining the implications and effectiveness of biosecurity policy, as well as considering plant health overall,” said Sacre.

Rolawn bags another milestone Rolawn added premium quality topsoil in a bulk bag to its range approximately 15 years ago and is now celebrating the sale of its millionth bag. The Rolawn range has evolved to include task-specific topsoil

Nurture News.indd 77

mixes for turf laying, growing of vegetables and fruit, and planting schemes in beds and borders, with added benefits such as increased fertility levels and water retentive polymers. This year, sales of the company’s bulk bags of bark have been particularly strong, which has helped Rolawn to achieve this significant milestone ahead of schedule. The Travis Perkins branch in Peterborough was the lucky recipient of the ‘golden bag’. “We are really pleased to be the customer who bought the millionth bag,” said branch manager Paul Marsh. “The product and service from Rolawn

is always good, and the product sells itself. What more could you ask for?” “We are very proud of this achievement,” said Jonathan Hill, Rolawn sales and marketing director. “The sales numbers prove the high level of demand for Rolawn premium quality topsoils and barks, which are running at a 99.6% service and product success rate in this financial year. The Peterborough branch of Travis Perkins deserves this recognition, with great sales support of our products over the last few years.”

Majestic Trees holds open day

The Majestic Trees open day, held in conjunction with Pro Landscaper on 12 September, was attended by 170 landscape professionals. Peter Seabrook opened, raising concerns about the lack of horticultural knowledge at primary age; he emphasised our duty to encourage the next generation. Chief Plant Health Officer Nicola Spence presented on identifying pests and diseases at our borders, followed by a discussion on biosecurity. Before lunch, Steve and Janet McCurdy from Majestic cut a cake to celebrate 15 years of business. After lunch, Steve presented on tree specification, followed by a presentation from John Wyer on how to make a profit in landscaping. Continuing this topic was a discussion with Mark Gregory, John Wyer, Ann-Marie Powell, Jody Lidgard and Andy Sturgeon. Finally, Mark Gregory presented on planning for, handling and planting big trees, followed by a machinery demonstration.



01903 777 570

Pro Landscaper / October 2017 77

20/09/2017 16:16

Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron’


Foeniculum with Calamgrostis


Agapanthus ‘Northern Star’

Designer PLANTS Darren Hawkes turns a field into a family garden that complements and blends into the landscape beyond

In September 2015, I drove up to a hill above Penzance to meet a client for the first time. While their garden seemed reasonable in size and layout, I quickly realised everything was at the front of the house, with no garden at the rear. The clients had recently bought a field behind the house and wanted to incorporate it into the garden; it was clear from the outset that the garden had to absorb, and become part of, the landscape beyond. There was mostly sycamore and oak on the field boundaries, and below the garden woodland stretched down into the valley. The brief was to create a fun, family garden that all could enjoy. 78

Pro Landscaper / October 2017

Designer plants.indd 78

The first thing to contend with was the difficult decision to remove a mature Quercus cerris that was growing in the original Cornish hedge, 3m from the back of the house. Removing it would allow for a new glass structure that would link the house and garden, but it seemed initially quite brutal. What made the pill slightly easier to swallow was the fact that there were two more of its seedlings, maybe 14-16cm in girth, growing further along the hedge. I assured the clients we could do our best to dismantle the hedge, remove the trees and replant them within the scheme. In the end, we also used the timber from the felled oak to create a climbing frame, as well as successfully replanting the two smaller ones. These oaks were the starting point for the planting scheme. I was keen to use a mixture of typical woodland trees and more unusual

ornamentals to create a layered scheme that would offer great interest throughout the year. The list we used was Prunus spinosa, Sambucus nigra, Malus sylvestris, Corylus avellana, Parrotia persica, Rhus typhina, Sorbus aria, Robinia pseudoacacia and Acer palmatum. The plot was arranged with five new, deep sweeping borders and in order for the garden to be easier to maintain I kept the number of species on each border to a minimum. My key plants for each of these borders were: • Teucrium fruiticans – I’m using this en masse quite a lot at the moment. I love its white stems and the lightness of the foliage. It’s brilliant on horrid stony soil which is what we often have to contend with. Here, we added a lot of grit to the soil to make it free draining and it’s worked well. • Ceratostigma willmottianum – Again, en masse, next to the Teucrium. This plant has to be one of my all-time favourites; only when it’s in

20/09/2017 11:28



Thalictrum ‘Elin’

good numbers does it really sing, used as an informal hedge it works brilliantly and I love it for winter structure if you don’t do any pruning until the spring. • Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron’ – This was a grass I didn’t know too well but I’ve used it in several locations now. It’s a shy addition to a border, only packing its punch from July onwards as the foliage begins to fill out and take on a burgundy hue. • Calamagrostis × acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ with Foeniculum vulgare – I have loved watching this combination explode this summer. I needed to create a sense of enclosure, and the height from the fennel has been a huge hit. • Thalictrum ‘Elin’ – For years now I’ve tried to avoid using Verbena bonariensis as a go-to plant. It’s so good at offering light airy

Designer plants.indd 79

colour, but I’ve just become bored of seeing it in all my pictures, so I’ve been working my way through the different varieties of Thalictrum. Whilst they are not as long lived and won’t thrive on neglect in the same way as Verbena, they do offer a similar form. Elin was a key plant in my garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year and is a blatant rip off from the topiary garden at Great Dixter, so I can’t take claim for discovering its majesty — thank you, Fergus [Garrett]!

ABOUT DARREN HAWKES Darren Hawkes is an award-winning garden designer based in Cornwall, who takes inspiration from the surrounding landscape. He designs gardens throughout London and the South West of England.

Plant list • Acer palmatum • Agapanthus ‘Northern Star’ • Calamagrostis × acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ • Ceratostigma willmottianum • Corylus avellana • Foeniculum vulgare • Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron’ • Malus sylvestris • Parrotia persica • Prunus spinosa • Quercus cerris • Rhus typhina • Robinia pseudoacacia • Sambucus nigra • Sorbus aria • Teucrium fruiticans • Thalictrum ‘Elin’

Pro Landscaper / October 2017 79

20/09/2017 11:29





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DAN PEARSON Dan Pearson is at the forefront of what many believe is the garden design renaissance. No longer just an add-on, horticulture plays a key role in developments – especially in London Words by Vikki Rimmer


ondon has led the world over the last fifteen years in creating public spaces that add real value to the community and the city at large. One of the leading designers at the heart of this renaissance is Dan Pearson. He has a working relationship with some of the best-known architects in the country and has been involved in headline-grabbing projects in central London including the King’s Cross redevelopment, the Garden Museum and the Garden Bridge project. The Garden Bridge became something of a hot potato politically this year, and the decision to call time on the project has split opinion, with many in the design world sure that the bridge would have cemented London’s stance as the most innovative city in the world for garden design.

Dan Pearson was involved in the project from the beginning and remains positive about the concept: “I think it really had its place in terms of an idea; it was a real opportunity to build something of horticultural excellence in the centre of the city, and it would have become a focus for London and an inspiration for other cities. The bridge project was always about the garden and people forgot about that once it became political. If people had been allowed to be more excited about the garden then there

Dan Pearson.indd 81

©Emli Bendixen


would have been a groundswell of positive feeling. The public were gobsmacked by the planting of the Olympic Park, it was a major feel-good project and I think the bridge originally came out of that feeling. Projects like these provide ambition for London and also for other cities. An obvious example is the High Line in New York – that’s been an inspiration around the world, regenerating many areas.”

Even though the Garden Bridge will ultimately be relegated to a footnote in the history of London landscapes, Pearson is encouraged by the focus that’s been placed on green spaces in our cities and the efforts being made to integrate vegetation into the masterplan at the start of the build. He says: “I think there’s a big focus and plenty of enthusiasm in London for the importance of greenery. There’s always a battle between the infrastructure of the city and the Pro Landscaper / October 2017 81

21/09/2017 09:17


desire to make it green, but now we are seeing whole developments being sold on an image which includes vegetation. I live quite near the Elephant and Castle in South London and the advertising hoardings for the new development there provide a promise of leafy idylls.” Pearson believes it’s important to be fearless and champion new projects and green spaces: “We should do this by biting the bullet and making sure that landscape is properly integrated at the beginning of the project.” Pearson’s work on the King’s Cross Development, one of the most significant regenerations projects in central London, saw him working with the construction team led by Argent from the beginning of the project, where public realm landscape was very much a part of the brief. As the designer of Handyside Gardens, the first public garden to open on the King’s Cross site, Pearson was able to make his mark by introducing his signature palette of plants and his love of natural planting. The geometry of the park reflects the pattern of the railway sidings that once ran through the site and the planting is inspired by plants found growing beside railway embankments.

Dan Pearson won Best in Show for his recreation of a corner of Chatsworth’s garden at RHS Chelsea 2015 ©Allan Pollok-Morris

Signature perennial planting at the King’s Cross redevelopment ©Dan Pearson Studio It’s worth considering the graceful use of colours in Pearson’s perennial planting plan as they move from one colour on the east to another on the west of the site, providing a visual journey. The naturalistic planting consists of a large number of pioneer species which reference plants often found on railway embankments where wild plants mix with garden escapees. The planting provides year-round 82

Pro Landscaper / October 2017

Dan Pearson.indd 82

interest with seed heads and dried grasses being left through winter and only removed when spring comes. Underground tunnels at the site meant that there was only a shallow soil depth available, so Pearson’s team created a series of raised beds made of Corten steel which reference the industrial materials of the former railway sidings once located there.

Dan Pearson and his Best in Show garden RHS Chelsea 2015 ©Allan Pollok-Morris

21/09/2017 09:15


He says: “Public spaces for buildings have to be shared by people, you have to know there’s enough of a balance from the start so that there are places for people, places for the greenery and space for the planting. My schemes are very plant focused so slivers of terraces just aren’t enough in terms of a support to a bigger space.” Pearson’s manipulation of space is achieved effortlessly and his landscapes often resemble pieces of art; his Chatsworth garden for RHS Chelsea in 2016 was worthy of the Turner Prize. The placement of the large Derbyshire stones within his Best In Show garden had a zen-like quality and the palette of plants had more romanticism than the Brontës combined. Pearson takes his inspiration from natural landscapes: “For me it’s about keying into the place and finding inspiration. Japan is very inspirational; I’ve been visiting the country since 1997 and have learned a lot from the placement of materials and the way this creates resonance. Every single component has been considered and it’s been considered as an art form. There’s an attention to detail and spatial awareness that’s not found anywhere else. There’s a spirituality in the materials, the energy of the stone and how that stone might direct you in the space, or hold you or provide focus which is inspiring. I’ve also learned a lot from working with the exceptional nurserymen in Japan; they’re always able to expand my palette.” Pearson is revered for his innovative plant selections and his unusual choice of plant material – for Pearson it’s always right plant, right place, but there’s the essential added dimension of creating interest. He says: “The process is rather like creating a movie – you want to expand people’s experience and find different ways of communicating an idea. The plant material isn’t there for the sake of being clever though; for example, in the Sackler Garden at the Garden Museum, the plants are all there because they are of horticultural merit, they’ve been singled out because they’re a particularly good form revealing the richness of what planting can provide.” Pearson’s plant lists are notoriously difficult to source and he often chooses plants that aren’t always within commercial production. He uses a mix of both independent nurseries and larger suppliers and says: “You’ve got to know that you

Dan Pearson.indd 83

The planting at the Garden Museum has educational value ©Dan Pearson Studio

WE HAVE PROJECTS COMING OUR WAY THAT HAVE LANDSCAPE INTEGRATED IN AN INTERESTING AND INTELLIGENT FASHION can get the plant material in good condition so you have to work with someone who can grow them for you; 90% of the plant material has to be easily accessible and easily sourced, then it becomes more practical to source the 10% that gives you the ‘twist’ in the plot in smaller numbers. These plants introduce something into a scheme which might not have been used in the public arena before. We will use a contract grower for this but we have to know that the people we work with can provide the material we are asking for. It’s important to give the smaller growers the opportunity, they can often make the difference.” The role of the garden designer within the construction process has changed in the last decade as design of spaces within cityscapes becomes more structurally challenging. Greater thought is needed and is also given to plant materials so that they fit and enhance these spaces. Pearson says: “Garden design no longer feels likes an ‘add-on’, it feels much more integrated and we have projects coming our way that have landscape integrated in an interesting and intelligent fashion.”

Palmstead Nurseries has invited Pearson to be the keynote speaker at their annual soft landscape workshop in January next year. The workshop will explore the topic of landscapes created over structures and discuss how the choice and placement of plants is key to the success of these spaces. Nick Coslett says: “Dan is a true visionary; every time we work together we learn something new at the nursery. It’s regrettable that the Garden Bridge project was terminated – it was innovative and would have been a site where horticulture would have taken the spotlight. However, the story of the last few years has been an interesting and positive one with key players like Dan showing how much they contribute to landscape. The quality of his work has taken landscaping and horticulture to new heights and pushed it up the development agenda.” And while the horticultural headlines haven’t been entirely positive over the past couple of months, there is collective hope that big projects and big ideas will flourish again in London. The industry has much to thank innovators like Pearson for, who continue to inspire and lead the way helping to create a garden design renaissance in public realm spaces. To hear Dan Pearson speak at Palmstead Nurseries Soft Landscape Workshop on Wednesday 24 January, register at Pro Landscaper / October 2017 83

21/09/2017 09:16

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Andy McIndoe makes the case for a wider variety of narcissi for naturalising, and offers tips to get the best out of them


am always disappointed that so little attention is paid to the selection of daffodils and narcissi for naturalising. Even if you choose expensive varieties, they still cost more to plant than to buy, and they are long lasting garden plants, so it is important to get it right. The varieties promoted for naturalising are usually limited; yellow daffodils and mixed daffodils and narcissi are offered by the sack-load. Prices may be low, but these are rarely the right choice. The objective is to create a naturalistic effect, and few things are less natural than masses of large yellow daffodils or a gaudy mixture of mismatched varieties.

Narcissus lobularis

When naturalising in grass, think about mowing before you plant. The foliage needs to die down naturally if the bulbs are to perform well the following season, so arrange the planting to facilitate this. They look best planted in colonies or drifts; that is how they would establish in the wild. The best way to plant is to lift blocks of turf, dig out wide planting holes and position the bulbs three times their depth and with about a bulb’s width between them. Do not attempt to use a bulb planter – they are a waste of time for this type of job. I would never recommend mixing varieties within the groups or drifts, and plant plenty. Miserable rings of bulbs around the base of trees, or a few small groups, have little impact. When naturalising, think in hundreds rather than tens.

Narcissus ‘Jack Snipe’ and ‘Pencrebar’

The size of narcissus bulbs varies. Narcissus pseudonarcissus ‘Lobularis’, the British native daffodil, has tiny bulbs, not much bigger than

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I have it naturalised under birch trees; it looks best in semi-shade, because the blooms are such pure white. This is a variety that definitely lends itself to planting in groups of around seven to 10 bulbs – its delicate form is lost in mass plantings.

Andy McIndoe Narcissus ‘Thalia’

If you do want a standard sized narcissus, the old favourite Narcissus ‘Ice Follies’ takes some beating. Pale petals and that flattened primrose cup are subtle in colouring, if not in form. It lasts well, stands up to the elements and easily fits into most planting schemes. The spring garden tends to feature yellow and pink, however you try to avoid it, so at least a pale narcissus dilutes the impact.

snowdrops, and are best planted as soon as possible — whereas larger, standard-sized daffodils can be planted up to mid-winter. This is a charming little daffodil and is guaranteed to produce a totally naturalistic effect when planted under the dappled shade of trees in thin grass. Pale, primrose yellow in colour, with slender leaves and a graceful habit, it is altogether gentler than big, bold, yellow daffodils which can look dated and suburban.

Narcissus ‘Ice Folies’

Narcissi are the easiest flower bulbs to naturalise in grass, and the best value. They cope with just about any soil, including heavy clay and cold, damp conditions. They are also deer and rabbit resistant which is a huge bonus in many gardens. One last tip: if you end up planting late, maybe into the new year, still plant deep enough as short planting results in short flower stems.

Narcissus ‘Peeping Tom’

Narcissus ‘Jack Snipe’ is another charmer with creamy, slightly reflexed petals and a pale yellow trumpet. It is a semi-dwarf variety, like ‘February Gold’ and ‘Peeping Tom’, which are good choices if you do want a clear yellow. The big advantage of these smaller varieties is their weather resistance – they cope with wind and heavy rain, so the blooms last for longer, usually more than three weeks. They also have narrowed leaves which die down more quickly and are less conspicuous in the grass after flowering. Personally, I am a great fan of the delicate, pure white, multi-headed Narcissus ‘Thalia’.

Naturalised narcissi, Wakehurst

ABOUT ANDY MCINDOE Andy McIndoe is a practical horticulturist with more than 30 years’ experience in ornamental horticulture. He has designed and advised on gardens of all sizes and has been responsible for 25 Gold medal winning exhibits at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Twitter: @AndyMcIndoe

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ave you noticed how flamingos, like owls and foxes before them, have become a fashion trend in their own right? Over the course of this year, I have noticed that everything seems to have a flamingo motif – from notebooks to light fittings to the linings of suits. And while they are not to everyone’s taste, I see the appeal, because, basically, they are different and fun. Our horticultural equivalent is the Anthurium. This isn’t my personal observation: the plant in question is also known as the flamingo flower, and aside from the obvious physical characteristics it shares with the bird, it also has that same appealing oddness that invites attention.


Ian Drummond


Flamingos have a slightly ridiculous, freaky quality, with their oddly shaped bodies and implausible legs, but this is what makes them interesting. And those colours – a palette that takes you from palest shrimp all the way to flaming sunset. The whole package says, “look at me, see how unusual I am”. The same is true of the Anthurium – love it or hate it, it’s quirky and strange, with a quality all of its own. Anthuriums originate from South America, so they offer a typically flamboyant range of colours, from fiery red and hottest pink to purest white. They have names such as ‘tongues of fire’, so you can count on them to bring more than a little drama. Planted in large quantities, they form a bank of rich, intensely glossy colour that’s unusual in the 86

Pro Landscaper / October 2017

Ian Drummond.indd 86

flower world. But on closer inspection, what’s even more interesting is the waxy, rubberised quality of the blooms. They have a visual artificiality about them, not quite real, almost fake. It’s unusual and intriguing – you have to touch them to be sure. The blooms in this instance are actually bracts, thickly veined heart-shaped leaves from which arises a curious spadix of very small flowers, blooming for weeks at a time through spring and summer. The leaves below are also an attractive feature and reach 20cm in length (the plant itself reaches between 30-45cm in height) – a perfect green backdrop that’s beautifully and reassuringly normal. It’s the combination of these features – the density of the leaves, the vibrant colours, the patent leather gloss – that brightens any interior space and reflects light.

Care is as would expect from a tropical plant. They don’t like cold: it will impede growth and the leaves will become yellow. These plants need a lot of light, but not direct sunlight, with temperatures between 18-21°C. Humidity is vital, so a regular mist with a light spray of warm water is essential, and cleaning with a sponge will keep the bracts looking beautiful while benefiting the health of the plant too. A word of caution: the flamingo flower is poisonous to cats and dogs, and the sap can cause an allergic reaction in humans, so wear gloves.

This strange flamingo beauty might not be quite as trendy as its feathered namesake, but it is nonetheless an equally vivid reminder of summer’s warmth, and as we nosedive into autumn, that is something to be celebrated.

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


Ian Drummond is drawn to the eyecatching form and strange texture of the Anthurium, or flamingo flower

20/09/2017 10:52



Jamie Butterworth Miscanthus ‘Dronning Ingrid’

tall, but due to its rigid stems doesn’t tend to require much staking. Best in full sun with good drainage. Kniphofia uvaria ‘Nobilis’

So many gardens are designed to be perfect for late spring/early summer, with few perennials that tend to repeat-flower into the autumn. Gardens can easily look drab, wet and miserable as we start to approach the winter months. A few well-chosen perennials could have a huge impact on late summer-into-autumn interest. Colours are bolder, grasses really come into their own, and you can have much more fun with heights and textures. With planting space in gardens always at a premium, plants have to work hard to find a spot in planting plans – especially to steal a spot from an earlier flowering plant. Below are four of my favourites for dragging those herbaceous borders kicking and screaming into autumn. Kniphofia uvaria ‘Nobilis’ As big and as bold as they come. Who can resist these dramatic orange beacons that literally glow, especially when the late evening light sets them alight. It grows 1.5-2m

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Salvia uliginosa A special, taller Salvia with the most incredible azure blue flowers that begin to open from late August onwards. Growing up to 2m tall, this is a back-of-the-border special that will certainly add the ‘wow’ factor to any planting. Best grown in full sun, in moist but well-drained soil. These four perennials really do work hard to earn their keep. Let’s embrace the later seasons and brighten up our autumnal gardens – one last hurrah before the winter cold sets in.

Rudbeckia fulgida var. deamii One of the latest Rudbeckias, but well worth the wait. Flowering from the end of August until the first frost, this bold, bright yellow coneflower will fill the gaps left behind by the earlier season plants, seamlessly tying the seasons together. A real do-gooder that will perform well year after year, unlike some Rudbeckias.

Salvia uliginosa


Rudbeckia fulgida var. deamii

Miscanthus ‘Dronning Ingrid’ The temptation to just write about autumnal grasses in this month’s column was almost too much (perhaps next month). There are so many incredible and beautiful autumn grasses to choose from, and we should all be growing more of them. This Miscanthus is very special. It is

Graduating from RHS Garden Wisley with a distinction in summer 2015, avid plantsman Jamie now works as show plant manager at Hortus Loci, growing the plants for major ower shows such as RHS Chelsea, Hampton Court and Tatton. Jamie is a YoungHort ambassador and RHS ambassador, promoting horticulture to young people across the UK.

Pro Landscaper / October 2017 87

20/09/2017 10:54

Images ©Lorenz von ehren


he cold, crisp autumnal mornings are now upon us. Autumn is my favourite season – nothing beats the drive to work with the mist rising from the fields, seeing your breath for the first time of the year and re-falling in love with your old winter coat. A season for wellies, bonfires, long walks, and most importantly, incredible colour.

slightly taller – around 2m – with beautiful dark foliage and bold feather dusters. Not only are these brilliant for autumn interest, but they continue to look great well into winter.

Images © Lynn Keddie

Gardens aren’t just for summer, says Jamie Butterworth, and there are plenty of perennials to brighten up this time of year


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Wednesday 18th October 2017 Henley-on-Thames Join us for the third annual landscape industry soils conference and hear from respected industry speakers including Tim O’Hare on podium landscape soils, Phil Askew on the client’s perspective of project success, and Carolyn Willitts on designing successful landscapes from the soil up.

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Bare root trees:



Industry experts from top nurseries across the UK list their bestselling bare root trees and how to get the best out of them

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1. Hawthorn is a popular choice of bare root tree from Palmstead. All bare root plants from the nursery are at least two years old. 2. Field Maple is another bestseller. A key point for bare roots is to keep the roots moist – don’t allow them to dry out, keep them out of the sun and wind, and protect from frost. Do soak them before planting for a couple of hours. Control weed competition for soil moisture, irrigate in first season if dry/drought. Mulch to 50-75mm depth if you can. 3. Hornbeam completes Palmstead’s bestselling bare root plants, all three of which are used for hedging.

1. Oak – A firm favourite and one of the country’s best-loved native trees, the oak, with its distinctive leaves and acorns does well in most soils and sites. A real all-rounder and great for woodlands and parks as well as a strong specimen tree. 2. Hawthorn – Great for a quick, effective, dense and thorny natural barrier, hawthorn will grow in practically any soil – a real tough and hardy plant with interest in foliage, flower, berry and wildlife habitat. 3. Beech – Whether green or copper, beech may be planted bare root but it has fantastic impact all year round.



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1. Birch – Betula Pendula is one of the most ancient, recognised and popular trees in Britain. More interesting ornamental species are Jacquemontii, Grayswood Ghost and albosinensis Fascination which is quite special with year-round appeal. 2. Carpius betulus Fastigata – An attractive columnar species which forms a narrow upright into maturity. Ideally suited as an avenue tree and for planting areas where space is at a premium. 3. Whitebeam ‘Lutescens’ – Sorbus aria ‘Lutescens’ is a stunning compact tree that has outstanding spring interest. Ideal for urban planting or as a feature garden tree.

1. Beech (Fagus sylvatica) – A great option for a hedge or for screening as the dry leaves generally stay on all winter. It’s not keen on having damp feet so if you have wet ground replace with Hornbeam. 2. Silver Birch (Betula Pendula) – A light canopy makes this a useful native garden or woodland tree which won’t cast too much shade. 3. Rowan (Sorbus acuparia) – A small compact tree with fern-like leaves, creamy flowers in spring followed by long lasting orange/red berries. It will grow anywhere and is great for wildlife.



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Sean Butler continues his mini-series on the importance of specifying the correct, high quality materials. In this instalment, he looks at topsoil and skip fines Managing our supply chain has surely got easier with the endorsement of reclaimed materials now de rigueur? The days of MOT Type 1 crushed limestone seem to be a thing of the past. Who controls what landscapers should be using; is it down to the specifier, the designer, or the architect?

If I were a town crier, I would be shouting: “Reclaimed, reclaimed!” – that’s how it is these days. So, are you in the know, so to speak? We long-time landscapers and designers are aware of these things – they have been around for ages. But what about the new and up-andcoming landscape and design companies who may be unaware of real organic materials, and have only lived in a reclaimed world? Yes, they have been around for ages, but who actually uses the right reclaimed materials? The worst sinner here is topsoil. If beautifully screened topsoil, delivered at £6.50 per ton, sounds too good to be true — then it is! Too many designers and landscapers are still using and specifying so-called screened topsoil, but without any certification or proof of its provenance. There is only one type of topsoil to be specified or used, and that’s BS3882-certified soil. As an example, British Sugar supply BS3882 topsoil. The difference is massive, as well as the cost, which is – for too many – the main driver, and why companies like ours lose out on landscape projects where others are

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A FINE MESS happy to recommend and use reclaimed screened soil. To the laymen, it looks no different from good quality soil. Now, I know a thing or two about skip companies, as – just for the record – I happen to own one. Much to the annoyance of my wife, I even subscribe to Skip Hire monthly – but that’s another story. In 2008, the skip industry faced a massive increase in skip fines. At the time, skip fines (waste mixed soil, and rubbish


particles) cost us £2.50 per ton to send to landfill. This price was set in 1952 and had never been raised, until 2008. The government, in its wisdom, wanted to bring it in line with today and it was suggested that the per ton price be raised to £85. This would mean your average skip costing £900! Outrageous, yes. Skip businesses nationwide lobbied and managed to reduce this amount, as well as have it introduced slowly over a 10-year period. Thus skip companies are the saviours of landscapers’ waste! So in comes your lovely screened topsoil. It’s skip fines! Yes, we had to get rid of it, or skip prices would have gone through the roof. It’s rubbish – no pun intended – and inert. If you were me, brought up on building sites, you know the smell of good topsoil; it smells earthy and natural. Skip fines or recycled soil smells of petroleum gas and other horrible substances. It’s easy to see the difference – good soil has no contamination. Take a close look at a handful of skip fines. It will contain pieces of glass, brick, coal, tar, wood and plastic, all in small particles that manage to slip through the trommel machine. It compacts easily, causes water retention and bad drainage, and weeds love it! Please be aware, and do not dumb down the importance of quality at every stage, on every project.


Topsoil; surely soil is soil, right?

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

Pro Landscaper / October 2017 97

20/09/2017 11:06


In the latest instalment of his series, Sam Hassall looks at how to calculate the all-important costs involved in muck-away



The costs of muck-away

On any project, there is almost certainly a disposal element from the site, whether it is in your own vehicles or an outside service. This cost investigation examines the question:

What does it cost me to muck away from my site?

Pricing notes • Readers should take one rate from each table set below to build their cost, and then add profit and moving of material costs on-site. • This investigation examines inert/landfill muck-away only. You should adapt the m³ rates for rubbish/contaminated/green waste or other grades. • The above will generally be priced as per load, as in many cases they are bulky but light (weed green-waste etc.). • Labour is priced at £25/hour per person. • Profit is NOT included in any of the figures below. • VAT in NOT included in any of the prices below.

Units Although your desired subcontractor will price your loads in tonnes (skips excluded), the only way to price accurately when tendering is to work with volumes. There are exceptions, i.e. rubbish or green waste, which are very light but often very bulky. Please also note that the volumes below for broken out hard materials, assumes they are broken out in large pieces (non-granular) and that there are large voids between them. This reduces the in-ground volume of the capacity of the skip/vehicle. If your concrete pad or bed that you are breaking out measures 10 x 5 x 250 mm, the concrete volume is 12.5m³, but its bulked volume is 18.75m³. Your topsoil of the same size in the ground will bulk to 15.62-18.75 depending on the type of soil. Your haulier charges you by the tonne, however, and you must allow the risks of this in your tonne/m³ calculations. Haulage volumes per vehicle In ground volumes of materials m³ Topsoil/excavated material – moist (Gross/Net)

Concrete/ bricks/ tarmac

Granular material/hardcore < 100mm overall

Skip 4.6m³




Grab 13m³




Self-load 15m³




Muck-away method

Materials in the ground and materials loose When you get a specification for a m³ of excavation, the excavation is measured ‘in the ground’. Once excavated it bulks up by standard factors, which are your risk. This table below shows what 1m³ in the ground bulks up to, and hence affects your load capacity sizes. The reason for bricks, concrete and macadam having such a high bulking factor is because they are usually broken out in larger lumps and therefore have bigger air spaces between them. Please note that in the tables below, the maximum volumes may exceed the weight limit on a selected vehicle, i.e. an 8-wheeler truck can theoretically carry 20t. However, 15m³ of concrete in the ground would weigh 36.6t and bulk up to 22.5m³ loose. These are shown for reference. A grab truck can carry 18t maximum. Base information applying to all tables opposite.


Pro Landscaper / October 2017

Sam Hassall.indd 98

Cost: most > least expensive /m³

Weights of materials in-ground and loose Material

Loose t/m³

Settlement factor

Gross weight t/m³

Soil/excavated material — light or loamy




Soil/excavated material — clays
















Granular material




21/09/2017 08:37


Individual costs for mucking-away materials Skips 4.6m³. £195.00. £/m³ at max volume £42.39

8-wheel grab max weight 18t. Max volume 13m³. £310.00. £/m³ at maximum volume £23.85


Grabs max weight 18t/16m³

Soil/excavated material – clays


Soil/excavated material – light or loamy





Soil/excavated material – clays
















Granular material




Soil/excavated material – light or loamy


Max volume m³

Granular material

8-wheel self-loaded tipper max weight 20t. Max volume 15m3. £295.00. £/m³ at max volume £19.67 + £1.49/ m³ loading cost by 13t machine + operator £59.60 per hour. Costs per m3

Nett (£)

Gross (£)

Incl. loading

Soil/excavated material – light or loamy




Soil/excavated material – clays



















Granular material

Finally, once you have chosen your desired muck-away method, you should add your moving costs on-site, for moving from your excavation or demolition to the stockpile or skip.

Moving materials over distances of 25m and 100m




m³ /load





Wheelbarrow/hand loaded







3t dumpers /3t excavator







3t dumper/3t excavator







5t dumper/3t excavator







5t dumper/13t excavator







Moving method

ABOUT SAM HASSALL One final tip for maximising your profitability If possible, get your contracts manager to check the volume or weight allowances in the lorry. A canny driver will always leave a bit of space so that they can return for more loads. Climb up and see if there is any space allowance, or alternatively demand to see the weight reading and the landfill weighbridge certificate on each load.

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

Sam Hassall.indd 99

Pro Landscaper / October 2017 99

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Robert Webber reflects on why ‘being in the right place at the right time’ doesn’t just apply to people – it’s important for lighting, too Bonjour! Six years ago I was working in France, in a tiny little village called Olonzac. Out the corner of my eye, I saw a house which held a prominent position on the main road. It has always been my dream to own a home in France, and this one was for sale. I knew my wife and kids would love the house just as much as I did, but I also knew it wasn’t quite the time, so the dream went to sleep as I took off back to England. Recently, I found myself in the same village, working on a different property, and to my astonishment our dream house was still for sale. Within a day, my wife had come out, we’d met the owner, offers had been made, and we’d bought it. That is where you find me today.

‘Being in the right place at the right time’ is a phrase that gets bandied about all the time. It’s how I started my business: overnight, with luck. Most things come that way. The right placement is key in life – and also in lighting. I have spent my working life moving lights. Good lights, great lights, perfectly suited, top quality… but they have often been fitted in the wrong place at the wrong time. Placement is the key to a successful lighting solution, and makes all the difference between ‘wow’ and

Robert Webber.indd 101


PLACEMENT ‘woe’. It’s a fact that the best way to light any object is from afar; that way, you avoid the nasty harsh reflective light that stops us seeing the feature in its true glory and deflects the eye towards the light only. If a light is too close, all you see is the reflection of the light back into your eye. Correct light levels and correct placement are very important. That’s what sets the professional lighting specialist apart from the average (sometimes I wonder how much I should say, in case my competitors read this!). As a resource for designers, here’s some key advice: You have a feature you want highlighted at night, from different angles, but with the ‘wow’ factor every time. Believe it or not, you have options: you don’t just need to use a spike spot. Think about the feature first. Is it the only one? Is it natural, or imported? Is it the star of the show, or an accomplice? • If it’s a small garden, then spend the £600 budget for lighting on one feature –don’t go thin on light! • If it’s a large garden, then spend the £2k feature budget well. Think about moonlight, silhouettes, backlight and reflective light. Increasing the colour temperature will increase the reflective value you see within water or against a white wall. We return to most installations at night to set up and position the lighting for

maximum effect. It’s a fact that fittings do get knocked about by gardeners or kids, so this is something that is worth doing every couple of months for spike spots etc. In most flowerbeds, the lighting installation is positioned at the front of the bed, washing light back through the planting for the greatest impact. However, if you just want to highlight one feature in a flowerbed, then position the light right at the front of it, shining vertically; this way, the sundry planting around the feature will disappear at night. It’s a great way to light hidden sculptures or statues within a flowerbed. It is very important to make sure that each light has one or two metres of spare cable, so that you can reposition it as the seasons, and consequently the lighting requirements, change. As the planting grows and develops, you need a lighting system that is adaptable. ABOUT ROBERT WEBBER Robert Webber is the founder of Scenic Lighting, a specialist exterior lighting company based in Berkshire. He designs and installs garden lighting throughout the UK and internationally. Robert can be contacted on rob@ or via his mobile on 07766 051 000.

Pro Landscaper / October 2017 101

20/09/2017 11:14

Excellence and efficiency as standard “ ” We have around 250-300 Etesia pedestrian rotaries in our fleet, so we see them as our pedestrian mower of choice and Etesia is a key supplier. Stuart Derbyshire, Glendale’s Commercial Director

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Pro Landscaper speaks to Glendale to find out why the company has invested so much into its apprenticeship scheme, and how hiring through this method can help your business


Trailblazer Apprenticeship scheme for horticulture and landscaping was approved this year in July, setting new standards for the way apprenticeships are run. The standards have been created by an employer-led team. Apprenticeships are growing to be an increasingly popular form of education. With tuition fees rising, being able to earn while training is an attractive option. Jane Thomas, senior HR manager at Glendale, explains that there are also plenty of benefits to the employer. “We look to apprenticeships to

WE LOOK TO APPRENTICESHIPS TO ATTRACT NEW TALENT AND REFILL EXISTING STAFF attract new talent and upskill the workforce. By taking on apprentices we are better equipped to address any skills shortages. “The majority of our apprentices have been really enthusiastic and easy to train. They also free up existing staff to take on more responsibility, which is great for them and their development. It gives us the opportunity to mould individuals and develop new talent to meet our own specific needs.” Glendale is a member of what is known as the ‘5% Club’ – a scheme in the UK which encourages employers to hire apprentices and graduates into the workforce. Members of the club are asked to publicly declare that 5% of their workforce will consist of people on formal apprenticeships, with the target to be reached over a five-year period. Jane tells us why it was important for the company to become a member of this club. “It was really to demonstrate our commitment to achieving this 5% within the workforce over a five-year period. From a business point of

Glendale Apprenticeships.indd 103

GLENDALE APPRENTICESHIPS view, it ensures that we have a target, which helps to drive the numbers. We are very committed to investing in the next generation as we feel that it is such an important thing to do, and a key part of our business.” Glendale currently has 82 apprentices at the company, making up an impressive 6% of the overall staff numbers. To spread interest in the positions that are available at the company, Glendale’s managers visit schools and colleges, encouraging leavers to build a career with them. The apprenticeships are usually completed in

partnership with a college, with apprentices gaining qualifications while they are working; this means that they are still in education while getting practical experience. We ask Jane what the company looks for when hiring an apprentice. “When we are looking to recruit an apprentice we are not looking for the finished product, we are looking for somebody who has the interest, the aptitude, the ability to learn, and the desire to be in the sector.” Is the extra training needed worthwhile? “We do find that they need to be provided with


Pro Landscaper / October 2017 103

21/09/2017 09:38


GLENDALE CURRENTLY HAS 82 APPRENTICES AT THE COMPANY, MAKING UP AN IMPRESSIVE 6% OF THE OVERALL STAFF NUMBERS ongoing support,” Jane says. “Quite a bit of mentoring is key to their success. Management of apprentices is an important area, to make sure they adapt to the workplace and understand the role and their obligations within it. It is quite a different process, and there are more demands internally than there are with other employees, but it is important. “The benefit of training them ourselves means that they are immediately shown the way we work and they buy into the way we do things.” Incentives The government does offer incentives to employers to encourage the hiring of apprentices. In May of this year, the Apprenticeship Levy was introduced, which has changed the way apprenticeships are funded. The new rules mean that if you are an employer with a pay bill of over £3m each year, you must pay the Apprenticeship Levy to HMRC through the PAYE process. Non-levy paying companies are able to share the cost of training, with the government contributing up to 90% of the cost. Jane explains that there are also nonfinancial incentives on offer from the

government to support employers wanting to hire apprentices. “While there is some financial help on offer from the government, I think employers and the providers are still finding their feet with it. The Apprenticeship Levy is very new, so it will take time for everyone to get used to it. One other incentive available is the National Apprenticeship Service – part of the Skills Funding Agency, which coordinates and

WE HAVE LOTS OF SUCCESS STORIES – WE HAVE FORMER APPRENTICES WHO HAVE BEEN PROMOTED TO TEAM LEADERS supports the hiring of apprentices. Our apprentice recruitment adverts will be placed on there for free. The agency is a central recruitment resource, which is very useful as all of the training providers and colleges that we work with have direct access to it.” The length of time that an apprenticeship will last varies depending on the ability of the individual and how quickly they get through the specific training modules, but each apprenticeship framework will recommend a time period. The new Trailblazer standard states that it should be completed over a 24-month period.

104 Pro Landscaper / October 2017

Glendale Apprenticeships.indd 104

If you are devoting this period of time to, and spending resources on, training new staff, it makes sense that you would like to see that investment pay off. With this in mind, we ask Jane how many of the apprentices at Glendale remain with the company once their training is complete. “We work hard to identify roles and pathways for their continued development. There seems to be a sense of loyalty from the majority of apprentices at Glendale. It is within our best interest to keep our trained staff in the business, that is key to our success model. “We have lots of success stories – we have former apprentices who have been promoted to team leaders, we have recently appointed a contract manager who has been with the business for about seven years but started as an apprentice, and I know of at least one general manager and two regional directors who also started as apprentices. It proves that the apprentice process works, and that it is worth the investment.” For more information on the financial incentives available to employers, head to the Apprenticeships section on the website. CONTACT 01257 460 461

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The new low-profile AnchorPlate provides high strength anchoring coupled with easy installation, eliminating the need for further excavation and drive-in components. This system features three high strength steel anchor wires and a single ratchet strap ensuring fast and simple installation. A key component of the ArborSystem, this anchor solution is a discreet and effective means of guying, suitable for all rootballed trees. AnchorPlate is a complete package with no additional parts required.

The Arbofix is easy to install, takes less time to install compared to other tree securing systems, and is maintenance free after the rootballed tree has been planted. The Arbofix substitutes the cut off tap root with an artificial one, saving time and money. Made from biocompatible iron, Arbofix is selfdissolving and will actually feed the tree. A few taps with a mallet is all it takes to secure the double skewer into the centre of the rootball. Nothing to adjust, no aftercare and no vandalism.

Supplied in ready-to-use kits with a strap tensioning system and three or four anchor points to speed up installation, Gripple Root Ball kits are for trees from 4.5-12m tall and of 25-75cm girth. Long-lasting to allow trees to establish naturally, the kits remain underground, reducing trip hazard and deterring vandals.Offering the benefits of the Root Ball Kit, the Premium Root Ball Kit includes the Gripple Dynamic range to provide increased strength, flexibility and adjustment during installation.

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This method of securing a tree is also cost effective

Platipus Ground Anchors for many years now.

in most circumstances – the exception being for small

Underground tree anchors are particularly popular

trees where a simple stake and tie would suffice.

because aside from doing an excellent job securing a

Generally, trees are pinned into the ground with the

newly planted tree, they do not detract from the tree’s

underground anchors, but where services are present or

appearance in any way. The finish is certainly cleaner,

if the tree is in a planter, then a Deadman system would

regardless of how well the alternative of stakes and

be used instead. We would certainly

crossbars etc are installed.

recommend tree anchors to a client.

106 Pro Landscaper / October 2017

Tree Anchors.indd 106

Practicality Brown has been using a variety of

21/09/2017 14:00

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Deltrak 2.5 remote controlled tool carrier/mower Tracked remote tool carrier • 38hp Kubota turbo diesel engine • Low weight with pivoting engine, giving superior slope performance • Clear and simple radio unit • Choice of track type and implements • Available with side shift option Price: POA

AS 940 Sherpa RC remote controlled ride-on mower • 27hp • 300m remote range • Adjustment of the cutting height o er dec on off s itch a imum incline transverse to the slope in remote control operation 39° (ride-on operation 23°) • Emergency stop Price: £16,875





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is often required to increase productivity where the use of

in remote controlled mowers, driven by a need to

the remote machine is not stipulated.

cut slopes that risk assessments consider too dangerous



PSD we have launched two dual operation products with

cases there has been reluctance from the customer to

both remote and manual controls, designed to help the

purchase remote controlled equipment, for reasons such

customer justify their purchase and overcome the above

as productivity; remote controlled mowers are much

issues. These machines give the customer all the health

slower than conventional non-remote machines, meaning

and safety benefits of a remote controlled machine, but

that the cost to the client is greatly increased. Also, there

allow them to switch to conventional use when

is the issue of duplication – due to remote controlled

conditions are suitable – improving

mower’s lack of versatility, another conventional machine

productivity and the cost of ownership.

Remote mowers.indd 109

Companies have begun to address these issues; at

for walk-behind or ride-on mowers. However, in many

Pro Landscaper / October 2017 109

21/09/2017 09:42

FOUR LEADING WORLD BRANDS See us in Hall 6 at Saltex:

Ferris, Wright and Spider on Stand H190, Jensen woodchippers on Stand H202

American-built FERRIS zero-turn mowers with patented independent suspension have a reputation for supreme comfort. The new Ferris 61in diesel-powered ISÂŽ2600Z will feature on Stand 190 at Saltex, alongside the famous WRIGHT Stander and Sport models. For challenging terrain we have SPIDER remote-controlled slope mowers which can operate with a winch on slopes up to 55 degrees. In the spotlight will be the new Spider 3RIDER, an innovative combination of ride-on and remote controlled mower, while across the aisle on Stand H202 the story is completed with JENSEN woodchippers which represent German engineering at its best.


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Paul George, managing director of Landmark Trading, discusses how and why climbing harnesses have developed so rapidly in recent years The roots of modern arboriculture in Britain can be traced back to 1854, when the Arboricultural Society of Scotland was established. While an understanding of trees as living organisms is still central, the practical aspects have progressed exponentially. The industry has developed to reflect wider societal advancements in technology, safety standards and services, investing in the comfort and safety of its workers more than ever. Now, equipment is not only being tailored to suit the safety risks, but also to better facilitate the role of the user, allowing you to work harder and more efficiently. Harnesses are some of the most rapidly developing instruments in an arborist’s arsenal. Within the space of 20 years, there’s been a dramatic shift from gear that gets the job done, to specialist, feature focused harnesses that excel on an ergonomic and functional level. The driving force behind these advancements has largely come from practicing arborists inside the industry. Whether it is to meet the needs of new climbing techniques, or simply to ease the strains of the job, the user has catalysed the accelerated progression of climbing harnesses. If you talk to any arborist who has been in the business for more than a decade, you’ll find that their starter harnesses could have been anything

Arb kit feature.indd 111

The evolution of...

CLIMBING HARNESSES from actual parachute harnesses without leg loops to simple waist harnesses with two lanyards. These same arborists, who have grown with the industry, are now moving into product development and manufacturing. They are putting years of on-the-job insight into high performing products that work with the arborist, mitigating the short and long term risks of the job – allowing greater range of movement and lessening the deterioration of the body from physical exertion. This, coupled with the more positive aspects of globalisation, which enables arborists from across the globe to connect, collaborate and export their products to international markets, has given us the most exciting age of equipment to date. Products from manufacturers such as Teufelberger and Petal are now readily available in the UK, allowing us to access some of the most hi-tech gear on the market. When I started out almost 20 years ago, the Willans was pretty much the only harness cut out for the job; while it is still inherently useful today – the core functions of arborism have remained the same – the features included in modern harnesses far outshine its simple utility. The variation on the market now affords arborists the ability to fully customise their harness to their working requirements – whether it’s the flexibility of a floating bridge saddle, a harness that aligns specifically with Double Rope Technique, the Petzl Sequoia, or the first

harness that is specifically designed for women, the Simarghu Gemini. The rate of development is phenomenal, yet expected. The physical demands of the job,and the time spent in equipment, like harnesses, can have a detrimental effect on the body. It is natural that external technological developments have facilitated a movement towards deeper investment in the science and people of the arboriculture industry. If the current trend of growth is anything to go by, the future of the arborist climbing harness is one to keep a close eye on. CONTACT Paul George is the managing director of Landmark Trading Ltd, and has worked in the arboricultural industry for over 15 years. Landmark Trading is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of arborist equipment.

01780 482231

Pro Landscaper / October 2017 111

21/09/2017 12:46





H5540VZ hedge trimmer 55cm double sided blade • 28mm tooth spacing • 40V Li-ion battery • Run time of up to 85 minutes • Charge time of approximately 90 minutes • Weight 4.4kg. Price: £99.99 (not including battery and charger)

DUH551Z Twin 18V hedge trimmer Max output 320W • No load speed: 1000-1800SPM • Blade length 550mm • Max branch 18mm • Net weight 5.1kg Price: £274.80


HSA 94 R hedge trimmer Three electronically adjustable blade speeds • Designed to cut thicker hedges • 36V Li-ion pro technology • Rotating multi-function handle • Diamond-ground cutting blades • Run time up to 11.5 hours. Price: From £445





T536Li XP chainsaw cellent po er to eight ratio cient brushless motor 36V Li-ion battery pack • 2 hrs 10 mins working time on a single charge asy to use eypad ne battery fits all Husqvarna’s handheld machines of the same voltage Price: £380.00



charged by wind or solar power – possible if you have a

when deciding whether to go for electric power

big roof on which to mount solar panels or wind turbines.

tools; safety, storage, flexibility and susceptibility to theft



where practical to do so, and educate people that

improving, battery-powered machines are finding their

revving and noise doesn’t always get the job done.

place within city parks, cemeteries and sites where high

A ‘little and often’ approach gives a better finish, though

footfall dictates less intrusive machinery be used.

this is difficult with ever reducing frequencies, and

With no fuel storage or spillage issues and lower

education is required on all sides in this respect. Smart

emissions, vibrations, weight and noise, there are several

application of technology has got to be the way forward,

environmental and safety benefits, but what of the

but it requires that all parties understand

charging? To be truly green, they would need to be

what can and can’t be achieved.”

112 Pro Landscaper / October 2017

Arb Kit.indd 112

Electric power is here to stay; we should embrace it

should all be taken into account. With technology

21/09/2017 09:47

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A leader in green maintenance technology for more than 100 years, Bomford Turner is recognised around the world for its high performance hedge cutters, boom mo ers, remote controlled ail mo ers and cultivation machinery. Bomford Turner prides itself on quality and innovation, delivering durable and producti e machines that are a firm fa ourite ith farmers, contractors and governmental departments. Products featuring at SALTEX will be the Flailbot and Robin compact hedge cutter.




Green-tech is a leading, award-winning landscaping supplier. n its stand in the illage it ill be profiling its range of award-winning Green-tree soils, which are distributed nationally. Its green alternative to fencing, gt Green Screens, will also be on display. There is also the opportunity to view its range of nati e ohn hambers ild o er seed, a uality hand prepared seed that can be supplied as part of a mix or as a single species.

114 Pro Landscaper / October 2017

EverEdge will again be at SALTEX exhibiting its range of steel edging products for use in domestic and commercial landscaping projects. This range includes edging for hard and soft landscaping as ell as a product specifically designed for use ith artificial grass hey ill also be displaying some of their steel planters which can be custom made to virtually any specification in a range of finishes




Saltex.indd 114


TOPSOIL is a business of British Sugar plc, a name synonymous with quality and professionalism in all its operations. It is the UK’s largest supplier of quality topsoil products to the landscape and amenity industries. Exhibiting on Stand No K190c, TOPSOIL will be showcasing its Sports & Turf top dressing, ideal for soil-based winter sports pitches, golf approaches and lawns and a highly cost effecti e ay of carrying out regular turf management all year round.






Boningale Nurseries, one of the leading suppliers to the British landscaping industry, will be exhibiting at SALTEX alongside experts from the company’s award-winning green roof department Boningale GreenSky. It will be exhibiting on stand K190i (located in the BALI Pavilion). Together, they will be demonstrating how they have been successfully supplying both traditional nursery stock and green roof planting stock to contractors and architects, and how customers are benefiting from this single source of e pertise

Hayter and Toro are proud to be exhibiting at stand K111 this year at SALTEX. There will be an interesting assortment of products from both brands, so be sure to visit. Hayter will be displaying its entire professional rear roller line up, including the brand new Harrier 41 Pro. Toro will be showcasing a vast array of landscape contractor equipment including walk-behind and ride-on mowers, ails, stump grinders and more


21/09/2017 09:53

Makita will be on stand K190d within the BALI Zone, which features and promotes leading BALI Registered liate and ontractor members he a ita stand will showcase its ever-growing garden machinery range, suitable for professional landscaping contractors, groundsmen and forestry or ers he a ita cordless range will be taking centre stage, but visitors will be able to learn about the entire range, including petrol and electric models




hite achinery mports, the distributor of erris, right and pider mo ers and ensen ood chippers, is acti ely see ing ne dealer partners across the isit stands and to find out more about or ing ith hite and see its range of ne and e clusi e models, including the ne erris and the pider , hich offers both ride on and remote controlled functionality






Saltex.indd 115

imber olf specialises in the manufacture of professional ood chippers, ith its first chipper introduced more than years ago er , machines later, imber olf has succeeded in becoming the largest seller of commercial ood chippers in urope, and continues to gro globally imber olf is e tending its lo emission petrol product family, further developing its range of ood chippers ith an e citing ne range launched at stand imber olf also has a press launch at pm on the first day of at the oncourse uites





Velvit is a new range of fertilisers, wetting agents and biostimulants designed to offer a complete solution to the turf care specialist el it products are manufactured in the and a ailable through specialist distributors nation ide GreenBest Ltd has created Velvit by combining its considerable manufacturing e perience and the collecti e isdom of its customers he result is a range of products dedicated to achie ing top uality turf

eesin urfcare is the sole distributor for oro s innovative and professional turfcare machinery and e uipment, s ersatile range of compact tractors, and the e cient tterbine la e and pond aerators and aerating fountains eesin ill ha e t o stands ill be entirely dedicated to ractors, hile a ne oro rotary mo er ill be re ealed on stand ith a fuel tan and 810L capacity hopper, plus the ability to change the height of cut ithout stopping, eesin urfcare says that producti ity is at an all time high ith this machine

ioneers and mar et leaders in the creation of ild o er meado s, ild o er urf produce a ide range of inno ati e turf products and ill be e hibiting at on tand s ell as li e samples of ild o er urf and ild o er arth, the team ill also be debuting their ne ly released ati e nriched product ild o er urf has recently e panded its operations, ith a ne site in or shire offering northern customers increased uantities of turf and a dedicated base for accredited ild o er training


Pro Landscaper / October 2017 115

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WHAT I’M READING Michael John McGarr, Warnes McGarr & Co


Title Natural Selection: A Year in the Garden Author Dan Pearson Publisher Guardian Books I’ve always enjoyed Dan Pearson’s horticultural writing for the Observer over the past 10 years, so I bought this newly-released collection of his columns to read on holiday. I wouldn’t usually have time to linger over horticulture writing, when I spend my entire days actually working on designing gardens. Usually in the week, I listen to audiobooks


equal number of columns from the city garden in London, and then after the move to the country, giving a variety and a kind of plotline to the seasonal writings. Dan’s writing is poetic and highly observant, making this book a very mindful read. Most people working in the design and landscape industry don’t have time to simply sit and just absorb what is happening in the garden around them. The amount of detail within the writing is amazing, and the way he’s made a garden diary read like a novel is fantastic. His depth of experience is revealed through his columns, woven in with memories from childhood gardening experiences. THE FOUR SEASONS

about growing a business and working efficiently while I walk the dog, so a holiday is the perfect time to flick through books that aren’t normally on my schedule. This is actually the perfect holiday reading because you can dip in and out of the book, choosing a column from a different month at random. Dan is an expert in naturalistic perennial planting, which we favour at my consultancy Warnes McGarr & Co, so we’ve been familiar with his work for some time. MOVE TO THE COUNTRY During the 10 years of writing for the Observer, Dan moved from a place in Peckham, London with a long, narrow city garden, to an eight acre smallholding in Somerset. There’s an

What I'm reading.indd 117

The book is split into months, following his columns through the year, with around 10 columns per month. The short articles mean it’s perfect to pick up and dip into — ideal when you’re holidaying with small children. I felt myself drawn to the autumn writing, mainly because autumn is of course on the horizon, but also because so much happens during this season. The writing about winter was also fascinating to read — I particularly liked the quote: “Winter is never one to fear”, for many of our clients think we can’t work during the winter, and that everything grinds to a halt. Of course, that is not the case at all and we work all year round – we actually prefer to do so when a garden is in the dormant phase.


ABOUT THE BOOK Natural Selection: A Year in the Garden is a collection of Observer columns by writer and horticulturist Dan Pearson. During the last 10 years of columns he has moved from a long, narrow city garden in London to a smallholding in the Cotswolds and his columns cover writings from both gardens, split into the four seasons.

Pro Landscaper / October 2017 117

20/09/2017 11:04



RICHARD RIDDELL Richard Riddell, winner of the 2016 SGD Student Design Award, talks to us about switching careers and how it feels to have been recognised by the SGD

What first encouraged you to pursue a career in garden design? From a very early age I’ve loved being outdoors; many of my best memories are of adventures spent in the countryside, extreme camping on the Welsh coast and on trips into wild Yorkshire with the Woodcraft Folk. I have a real appreciation for being outside. What has been your route into the industry since then? Before retraining in garden design, I worked in construction. It is quite often the case that when a new house is built or a whole property is developed, very little thought goes into the design of the surrounding garden or landscape. For me, that’s the most interesting place to be. I retrained to start a career in something I feel passionate about.


Can you tell us about the Eden Project Learning Garden Design course that you were a part of? I enrolled on a part-time HND Garden and Landscape Design course at Duchy College Rosewarne, which merged with Eden Project Learning in my final year. The design course is run by Matt James and Richard Sneesby, and other lecturers specialising in different fields. It is great teaching in a fantastic environment; I would have stayed longer if I could. While at college, I volunteered to work on Darren Hawkes’ Chelsea Garden in 2015; the buzz and excitement of building a show garden is great to be part of. Since then, I’ve spent a couple of days a week working for Darren Hawkes Landscapes. I was lucky to be able to put what I’d learned at college into practice. You won the 2016 SGD Student Design Award. Can you tell us about the process? Entering the SGD awards became a target soon after starting the design course; a few of the previous winners came from the same college and found their starting point here in the South West. Learning the software so I could communicate my ideas was really important, as

I had no previous computer training. I entered my final college project into the awards. The Royal William Yard Gardens was a design for a new public space that responded to the history and architecture of the site, and included a series of intimate gardens for a growing residential community. How does it feel to have won that award, and how has your career developed since? It feels amazing to get recognition for all the hard work that went into the project. The award

ceremony was a special evening and it was fantastic to be among so many great designers. Earlier this year my partner and I had another lovely addition to our family, and we are almost finished renovating a house and garden for us to move into, so everything is hectic at the moment! Would you recommend a similar route into the industry to young garden designers? Absolutely. Enrol on a good design course and volunteer when possible – any part time design work during your studies is beneficial. Spend hours learning the software – it’s time well spent! What are your future career ambitions? I have a few ideas for my own show gardens for the coming years that I’m hoping will promote what I can do. Cornwall is a beautiful place to live, but makes it so important for me to get my name out there.

118 Pro Landscaper / October 2017

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Thorburn Landscapes is recruiting a horticulturist. We are a small but expanding landscape and garden company that designs, builds, plants and maintains a range of gardens. Ideally you will have at least two years’ experience working in a similar position in a city environment, with van driving experience. You must have good plant knowledge and a proactive approach to plant care and garden maintenance, be able to deliver a high level of customer service, and be comfortable leading a team. The work will be maintenance visits, soft landscaping and planting projects.

An established company with decades of experience specialising in interior plant displays is looking for an experienced interior landscape technician. The person appointed will be responsible for visiting multiple clients each day checking the installation of existing plant displays, as well as installing new displays.The displays are varied in both size and content, and include schemes for many luxury clients, including blue-chip companies and household names.

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We are looking for a Camden contract manager, reporting to the operations manager. You will be an experienced manager and confident communicator with strong leadership skills, familiar with working in a multi-site environment. You must have good financial awareness and be experienced using Microsoft packages. You will have responsibility for the area within the contract, with duties including: being main point of contact for client officers; managing relationships; operational delivery according to contract specification; obtaining and delivering additional project works; health and safety compliance.

Longacres is looking to recruit someone to help the build team produce gardens. Responsibilities would include but not be limited to: producing gardens to plans and instructions; carrying out physical implementation (including slab laying, moving materials and aggregate, brick laying, planting, turf laying, fencing etc.); ensuring sites and vehicles are kept clean and tidy. You must have experience within the industry, and be able to work as part of a team and use initiative. You will also need a positive attitude and strong communication skills. Attention to detail, line and level is essential.

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THORBURN LANDSCAPES LTD Location: South West London

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We are looking for someone to join our landscape division, to support and increase export sales in the Middle East and Asia Pacfic markets. You must be proactive and able to demonstrate a proven track record in a similar role. You will be enthusiastic and focused, organised, willing to travel, flexible, and able to adapt to different cultures and clients. You must have drive, commitment, excellent communication skills and excellent IT skills. For more details please go to


Claphams Landscape Services is a successful and rapidly expanding grounds maintenance company with its head office in Stockport, Cheshire. The right candidate will be fulfilling a key role within Claphams, with the prospect of further promotion within the company. The successful candidate will be expected to lead a team carrying out grounds maintenance tasks and be responsible for delegating tasks within the team and ensuring work is carried out to the high standards we expect, within agreed time scales. For more details please go to

120 Pro Landscaper / October 2017

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LONGACRES LANDSCAPES Location: Bagshot, Surrey


We are seeking an experienced maintenance team leader to join our gardening team. ou must have experience managing teams and a good knowledge of working in gardens that require attention to detail. The role involves: liaising with clients and suppliers; replanting window displays and borders; lawn care; plant feeding; staking and weeding herbaceous borders; hedge cutting by hand and machine; watering and managing irrigation systems; spraying (pest control, feeding and stone cleaning); managing water features; managing planting and soft landscaping schemes; implementing company health and safety. For more details please go to


GARDEN CLUB LONDON LTD Location: London We are seeking an experienced contracts manager to support the managing director in the management and implementation of landscape construction projects. Working alongside the operations manager and landscape architects, this role will involve influencing the final stages of landscape design to meet CDM, budget and timeframe requirements. You will have experience in producing clear QS information and labour requirements while taking into account practical limitations of the site, and work with the operations manager to ensure the efficient, safe and profitable running of sites. For more details please go to

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Ride-On Mowers Next Sale/ Tractor Days: Compact, lightweight mobile shredder John goes Deerewherever X740, 54” deck, Low-Tip choice of 2 Saturday 21st March: The SaleCollector Field, it’sSDneeded John Deere X748, 48” SD deck, Hi-Tip Coll. 24hp, 4WD, HST - 1188hrs Blakes Road, Wembdon, Bridgwater, easy work branches, EtesiaMakes Attila Bank Mowerof(Ex Demo) – low hours TA6 7RS wet green-waste and mixed leafage Ride-On Cylinder Mowers Saturday 25th April:forThe Oak Tree 4 Season year JD 2653A, 26” shredder 8 blade units, spiral rollers, scrapers choice of 2 from Arena, Edithmead, M5 J22, Somerset, JD 2500 (A)effectiveness (E), 22” 11 blade, groomers, brushes, boxe choice 3 from round TA9 4HA Hayter LT324, 6 blade units with 10” fixed heads choice of 8 from Produces easily- compostable Hayter T424,to 5 gang, 6 blade –56 30”High units. Deluxe Cab – 2659 hrs Enquiries Tamlyns, Street, BioTech™ chips Ransome Highway 3 – 1308 hrs Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 3BN Ride-On Front Rotary Mowers Call: 08450 773 773 T John 01278 458241 Deere F1145, 62” RD deck, 28hp, 4WD, HST, turf tyres – 2887 hrs Classifi ed EJohn Deere 1445, various deck sizes and hours choice of 7 from John Deere 1445 with Cab, 60” SD1deck, Serviced – 2126 hrs Page 1 PROFESSIONAL WPlantoil 59x91mm_Layout 16/09/2011 15:56

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Ride-On Mowers Compact,Tractor lightweight mobileSince shredder 1936 John GT235, SD deck, 18hp petrol, 2WD, HST – 355 hrs goesDeere wherever it’s48” needed John Providers Deere X320, 48” SD deck, 22hp petrol, 2WD, HST – 195 hrs of English Handcrafted Planters and Outdoor Furniture Makes easy work of branches, • Suppliers top quality container grown shrubs, Deere GX355D, 48” SD deck, 16hp diesel, 2WD, HST –E choice of A 2 NTS inofOak, Iroko or Accoya. IJohn N N O V A T O R S I N L A N D S C A PJUST PL grasses, herbaceous, climbers & specimens wet green-waste and mixed leafage Piranha® Chain to fit Stihl MS201T John Deere X495, 48” SD deck, 24hp diesel, 2WD, HST – 1922 hrs £5.50* Other services include a bespoke joinery forlitre interior • Suppliers ofof top quality grown •year Good range in service 3container and 10 pots 4Complete Season shredder for Deere X740, 54” SD deck, Low-Tip –allchoice of & 2 exterior •John range HNS Great performance for aCollector fraction ofshrubs, the price design. herbaceous, climbers & specimens John Deere X748, grasses, 48” of RD deck, 24hp diesel, 4WD, HST – 1380 hrs round effectiveness • 140 hectares production • Cash and carry service For more information email or call 01608 683022 Save upRD todeck on the top10 brand Bahia, 32” & collector, •66% Good range in 2WD 3 and litre potschains •Etesia B&D bred low maintenance varieties Produces easilycompostable Etesia H124DS, 48” RD deck, Hi-Tip Collector, 25hp diesel –contact 828 hrsMartin Monthly operation cost cut dramatically For all horticultural and Garden design enquiries please • BioTech™ Quick response to enquiries • Cash and carry service chips Etesia Attilaon Bank Mower (Ex Demo) low hours 07765 188725 or email–

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£1’500 easily- compostable 3Produces download the free app Compact Tractors round effectiveness BioTech™ chips • 01473 328272 £6’500 choose andcompostable download your John4Deere 855 easily& front loader, diesel, 4WD, HST,issue PTO, turf tyres Produces £7’750 John Deere 4300 & front loader, 32hp diesel, 4WD, HST, turf tyres BioTech™ chips British built, robust equipment Call: 08450 773 773 John Deere 4300, 32hp diesel, 4WD, HST, turf tyres, roll bar 0808 129£8’500 3773 Classifi ed Bespoke orders taken – we can build to your specifications £10’500 John Deere 4500 & front loader, with Cab 39hp diesel, gearboxCLASSIFIED - 1709hrs £13’750 Call: 08450 7734WD, 773 Kioti DK551C with Cab, 54hp, Gear Box – 612 hrs CLASSIFIED

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TOM BANNISTER Design and construction manager, Landstruction Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Absolutely – to watch such mastery in construction, planting and design always inspires me to be better. Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? Singapore. It feels like you are walking through a big city built inside a rather large greenhouse. Magical place.

Best piece of trivia you know? Penguins don’t need to pack goggles because they have clear eyelids that protect their eyes when underwater. Role model as a child? Mum and dad always taught me right from wrong and to always have respect for elders, so I guess they would be my best role models. Couldn’t get through the week without... I have a 10-week old baby, so I would have to say coffee.

What would you blow your budget on? Good design, big trees and big hedges. The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? I have been very lucky, meeting many wonderful people in the industry, but I would like to have a cup of tea with Piet Oudolf. One thing that you think would make the industry better? Somebody like a Jamie Oliver character breaking the industry down into simple methods and inspiring people of all ages to get involved.

Your favourite joke? I used to keep racing snails. I took the shell off one of them to make it more aerodynamic. If anything, though, it became more sluggish.

Best invention in recent years? Anything that Tesla has invented. Its electric car is light years ahead. Its solar powered roof tiles are not bad either.

122 Pro Landscaper / October 2017

Little Interview.indd 122

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


DAVID HEDGES-GOWER Owner, Modern Lawn Care

Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? For lawn care, sadly not. They don’t really feature enough (yet), in my opinion.

One thing that you think would make the industry better? A Lawn Association. Sports turf and gardening don’t share the same passion for lawns.

Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? I like the topography of Tuscany and much of France.

Best piece of trivia you know? Polar bears are always left-handed.

What would you blow your budget on? Another me, so I can take it easier!

Couldn’t get through the week without... My family and pets.

The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Haven’t got anyone I’d be desperate to meet – I believe anyone in the industry has stories and ideas to share.

Role model as a child? My parents.

Your favourite joke? Too many to choose. It’s the way someone delivers it. Best invention in recent years? The flask tie.

21/09/2017 09:19


DAVID KEEGAN Garden designer, David Keegan Garden Design & Landscaping Consultancy

Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? The Wild Atlantic Way.

Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Got a bit bored with show gardens over the last couple of years – although the new Chatsworth Show installation section shows some promise. I have recently starting watching Monty Don on Gardener’s World again.

What would you blow your budget on? Plants, plants, plants! The one person in the industry you’d love to meet?

Roy Lancaster, for his sheer depth of plant knowledge.

Role model as a child? Dervla Murphy, traveller and travel writer extraordinaire.

One thing that you think would make the industry better? I would like to see its profile raised on TV.

Couldn’t get through the week without... Strong coffee.

Best piece of trivia you know? Bananas are berries, not fruits.

Best invention in recent years? The World Wide Web.



Marketing coordinator, Hultons Landscapes

Director and partner, Warwick Taylor Landscapes Ltd Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Absolutely! Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? The tulip fields of Keukenhof Park, Holland. What would you blow your budget on? A hot tub with a pergola, and fairy lights all around. The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Charlie Dimmock. Ground Force was a favourite watch growing up!

Little Interview.indd 123 Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Yes, most definitely! Inspiration can be found all around us.

One thing that you think would make the industry better? A greater awareness, investment and use of outdoor spaces

Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? New Zealand – stunning.

Best piece of trivia you know? The collective noun for a group of butterflies is a `kaleidoscope’.

Couldn’t get through the week without... Chocolate!

What would you blow your budget on? Plants – easy.

Best invention in recent years? Drone technology.

The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Alan Titchmarsh – I have a photo of him on my desk!

Your favourite joke? A friend of mine went out for dinner the other night. He had badger soup to start, badger steak for main and a nice badger ice cream to finish – apparently it was a cete menu!

One thing that you think would make the industry better? Industry professionalism. Best piece of trivia you know? Honeybees visit 2m flowers to make 1lb of honey. Role model as a child? My dad.

Pro Landscaper / October 2017 123

21/09/2017 09:19





Lifetime Deck Warranty† on cast aluminium deck. Aluminium ensures


corrosion resistance and durability – lasts longer than steel deck alternatives.

Deck automatically adjusts to increase airflow when set to cut longer grass.

Consumer models only - T&Cs apply – see Operator’s Manual



Roller counter-rotates for easy turning

Attach your garden hose for

with no turf marking.

instant under deck cleaning.

With 2 YEAR Commercial Warranty Designed for maximum collection performance, the all new Harrier 41 Pro features a new one-piece aluminium deck, developed using aerospace airflow technology and new 60 litre grassbag that fills right to the brim. With a Honda engine, heavy duty wheels and Vari-Pitch™ cutting technology*, it’s made to withstand the rigours of small commercial jobs, day in, day out. Classic stripes are easily achieved with a new two-piece, ribbed rear roller and our trim side allows you to cut right to the edge of the lawn. Visit Tel: 0800 781 8593 or more information *Patent pending

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20/09/2017 15:56

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Pro Landscaper October 2017  

Pro Landscaper October 2017  

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