APRIL 2019 | ISSUE 235
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COVER STORY: STIHL POWERS UP RHS CHIEF SUE BIGGS SHARES HER PASSION FOR HORTICULTURE CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW PREVIEW MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS THE UKâ€™S NUMBER 1 LANDSCAPING INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
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Editor’s letter Spring is in the air. While gardens are blossoming across the country, the Royal Horticulture Society (RHS) shows begin to welcome visitors across the UK, kick starting with the Cardiff Show mid April. One of the gardening highlights of the year is Chelsea Flower show. Held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea since 1913 (apart from gaps during the two world wars), it is the place to see cutting-edge garden design, new plants and find ideas to take back to the drawing board. Of the firms that exhibited at the first Show in 1913, three can still be seen at the Show today: McBean’s Orchids, Blackmore & Langdon and Kelways Plants - a fitting testament to the show’s place in the heart of landscapers and horticulturists to this day. This month we take a look at some of the garden designs featuring this year, as a star studded line-up of UK’s top designers set to impress on Main Avenue. The theme across the gardens this year will be natural habitats inspiring design to promote the need to reconnect with nature. With our mental and physical health very much in the news, the benefits of gardening on our health and the environment will be celebrated across all categories. This theme will run through one of the main feature gardens RHS Back To Nature Garden which is co-designed by HRH Duchess of Cambridge. Also for the first time this year, the main pavilion will house a judged walk-through Show Garden by internationally renowned British Designer Tom Dixon and home furnishings retailer IKEA. Staying with the RHS, Sue Biggs, Director General of the historic gardening society, kindly took time out of her hectic schedule to chat with me about her love of gardening, and to talk about the challenges we continue to face in the world of gardening and landscaping, and how the RHS are trying to address some of these issues.
We also take a look at strategies for marketing your business. Whether just starting out or managing a small business that has been running for many years, it is often easy to get too distracted in the day to day running of the business, to consider how and whether you are reaching out to potential new clients. Effective marketing strategies can be the difference between success and failure for any business. As Ffion Llwyd-Jones discovers on page 25, with so many different ways to communicate your brand to a target audience, the process can be bewildering. A good starting point is networking and research at shows such as the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show. It is also worth taking time to visit trade shows such as SALTEX and BTME. Here you will meet people who are always willing to offer helpful advice, trade organisations such as British Association of Landscaping Industries and the Association of Professional Landscapers as well at training bodies. What Ffion’s report did reveal is that many of our industry success stories still consider print advertising a relevant and necessary part of their marketing campaigns. This tied in with social media and digital marketing combine to create a successful means to reach out to the ever changing demographic of end users. Finally, our cover story takes us back to a rather blustery March day, when I joined fellow journalists at Westonbirt Arboretum in Tetbury and the STIHL team to test drive the power tool company’s latest products. See page 28 for full report. I hope you enjoy the read - and please do keep in touch via our social media.
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The Landscaper | Issue 235 | April 2019
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CONTENTS editor Maggie Walsh 07787 555 798 firstname.lastname@example.org features Ffion Llwyd-Jones sales manager Jason Studd 0208 939 5600 email@example.com group sales manager Stewart Turner 0208 939 5600 firstname.lastname@example.org design and production Lucas-studio.co.uk
circulation and subscriptions Maggie Walsh email@example.com
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Q&A with Sue Biggs of RHS ............... 14 Chelsea preview...................................... 18 Marketing your business .................... 25 Power Tools .............................................. 28
Building a Show Garden ..................... 34 Arborist ..................................................... 35
managing director Alex Whitney
Seeds and turf ........................................ 36 Groundscare ............................................ 38
publisher Con Crowley
Nothing in this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the publishers. Readers intending to purchase goods or services from advertisers should make their own enquiries if in any doubt. Every endeavour has been made to ensure that all the information published in this magazine is as accurate as possible. Neither the publishers nor their agents can be held responsible for any errors or omissions; nor shall they be liable for any loss or damage to any person acting on the information contained in the magazine.
Horticulture ............................................. 32
Hardscaper ............................................... 41 Mowers ...................................................... 42 Lighting ..................................................... 47 Classifieds ................................................. 50
Copyright ÂŠ 2019
Next Month in The Landscaper Women in Landscaping Weed and Pest Control RHS Hampton Court and RHS Chelsea Updates
plus regular columns: Arborist, Horticulture, Hardscaper and Mowers
Editorial and advert copy deadline: 19 April
The Landscaper | Issue 235 | April 2019
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Entries open for GIMA Awards 2019 Recognising excellence and innovation, the Garden Industry Manufacturer’s Association (GIMA) Awards will be returning for its 39th year this summer. Taking place at Celtic Manor, Newport, Wales on 4th July the awards have grown into the largest industry gathering, welcoming both retailers and suppliers from the UK garden retail sector.
Guests enjoy the GIMA awards last year.
GIMA, formed in 1999 to help promote the commercial, trading and industrial interests of UK and EU based companies supplying the UK garden industry, promises a night of glittering celebrations. There will be nine dedicated product awards, three awards celebrating the best marketing campaigns, plus the Special Achievement,
Supplier of the Year, and Export Achievement awards. Entry for the 2019 awards is now open. The overall product winner award – the Sword of Excellence – awarded to Neudorff in 2018, completes the awards roster. Previous winners have included Gardena, Fallen Fruits, Willow Wand, Primeur, Burgon & Ball, Deco-Pak, Smart Garden Products, Apta, Vitax and Evergreen Garden Care (previously The Scotts Miracle Gro Company). Each company has benefitted from the wealth of exposure that comes from being named a GIMA Award winner. Vicky Nuttall, GIMA Director says, “The GIMA Awards have gone from strength to strength in recent years. The calibre of entries continues to raise the bar, reflecting the innovation that is driving our industry forward season after season. I’ve no doubt that this year our judging panel – made up of top UK garden retailers and consumer and trade journalists, reflective of the omni-channel nature of our industry – will have their work cut out for them as the scale and quality of entries will continue to rise.” To enter the 2019 GIMA Awards, visit http://gima.org.uk/gima-awards/. Closing date for entries is Friday 17 May, with the dedicated judging day confirmed for 18th /19th June. Visit the same web page to book your place at the 2019 awards ceremony.
Rigby Taylor appoints Irrigation product manager Rigby Taylor has expanded its product management team of industry product specialists with the appointment of Peter Robin as UK Irrigation Product Manager. From its incorporation in 1919, Rigby Taylor has been at the forefront of providing products and services to the sports and amenity turf industry. Employing more than 50 field-based technical personnel, supported by agronomy specialists in grass seed selection, plant nutrition, water management, plant protection, line marking, irrigation and drainage, the
company is well prepared for future growth plans. And as part of these plans Peter role is to spearhead the company’s expansion into the irrigation market as the UK distributor of Rain Bird’s golf, sports pitch and landscape products. Peter, a New Zealander by birth, has a Bachelor of Horticultural Science degree and more than 20 years’ experience across a wide range of irrigation market sectors and installations, 10 years of which have been spent in the UK. Peter can be contacted on 07741 665679.
The Landscaper | Issue 235 | April 2019
Reesink Turfcare invests for growth
Reesink Turfcare, the UK distributor for top turfcare brands including Toro, TYM Tractors and Otterbine lake and pond aeration, has invested in six new service vehicles for its mobile technicians. With the up-to-date and extended fleet, Reesink is now more equipped than ever to provide customers with an effective and dependable service, says Reesink’s operations manager David Jackman. “By investing in this new fleet of vans, we have more reliable and efficient equipment, which means we can provide an improved service to our customers,” says David. “We take maintenance of our products seriously and this fleet of vans is essential to deliver back up if and when it’s needed. We pride ourselves on providing excellence and that doesn’t just begin and end with the sale of the product.” Three of the vans will be at Reesink’s Sheffield Park service
branch in East Sussex, one at the branch in Livingston, Scotland and two at the East Anglian service branch based at the company’s headquarters in St Neots. David continued: “We have a particular focus on customer service, ensuring it expands in line with the company’s growth and we want to build on our relationship with our customers within our direct areas. This investment is the next step in strengthening that relationship.” The six vans all come fully racked which includes a work bench and shelving kit solution, and can easily transport all the tools and parts needed for on-site service visits and breakdowns. David concludes: “We’re completely committed to delivering exceptional service and these vehicles guarantee we have the right equipment for the job. We’re looking forward to seeing the new fleet in action and supporting our customers.”
Garden retail show invests in show app Glee, the UK’s leading garden retail show, joins the digital revolution with the launch of its new exhibition smartphone app, designed to provide an unrivalled matchmaking solution to help suppliers and retailers to get the most out of their time at the show. The AI-powered event ‘matchmaking’ solution - from market-leading experts, Grip - will offer benefits for both exhibitors and retailers, utilising a platform that has already proved its worth at many leading events across the globe. Visiting retailers will be able to better measure – and even increase - their ‘Return on Time’ spent at the show, through personalised exhibitor recommendations, and an easy to use meeting scheduling function. The Glee app will also include an overview of all of the exhibition’s wider educational content and seminar programmes, helping retailers to plan their trip around Glee.
Glee exhibitors can also optimise their time via the app, as it provides a way to generate more leads, and manage meetings with new, potential and existing customers. Popular exhibitor focussed features of the app include the ability to filter and refine visitor recommendations via Smart Recommendations, as well as Meeting Delegation which enables management of meetings across the sales force. There’s also the Smart Meeting Link which makes it easy to invite existing clients to meetings, and an Inbound Leads section that highlights all the retailers that are interested in your company. The app is also fully integrated with Outlook, Google Calendar and Apple iCal, making it even easier for all parties to stay up-to-date on appointments. The Glee app will be available on Apple and Android from early June 2019.
Search for Green-keepers 2019 The search for the UK’s brightest emerging talent in the golf greenkeeping industry is now on. The British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA), American manufacturer of turf maintenance equipment, Toro and Reesink Turfcare, Toro’s UK distributor, has joined forces to launch their annual competition. The Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awardsare a nationwide competition to uncover the best student greenkeepers from among the ranks of BIGGA members. Application forms are available on the BIGGA website and the deadline for applications is 24 May 2019. Regional interviews will take place from 1 - 12 July 2019 and the national final will take place at BIGGA’s HQ in York from 9 -10 September 2019. Two awards are up for grabs, with the Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Award entering its 31styear and open to all greenkeeping students studying for eligible qualifications. The other award is the Toro Young Student Greenkeeper of the Year, available to greenkeeping students aged 20 and under. US scholarship up for grabs The winner of the main award will head to the University of Massachusetts for a six-week scholarship to study winter turf management, while the winner of the Young Student award will earn a two-week work experience placement at the exclusive Vidaubin Club in the South of France, in addition to a Continue to Learn package at BIGGA’s annual turf management exhibition each January. Prizes are also up for grabs for the runners-up in each category, while those who nominate or endorse the applications of the winning students– who can be course managers, head greenkeepers or college tutors – also receive a major prize. Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year, 2018 Daniel Ashelby of The Mere Golf Resort says: “Right up until the announcement, I just felt very calm, but then when they read my name, my heart just started going crazy! “I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived for the final and I thought I’d be walking into a room with six Master Greenkeepers. But you meet people who are at the same level as you and they are just very passionate, dedicated people. Its a fantastic experience and Id recommend it to anyone!”
2018 winners Daniel Patten and Daniel Ashelby. Credit: Jonathan Powfirstname.lastname@example.org
Career boost Winner of the won the Young award, 2018 Danny Patten says: “I applied for the competition through the BIGGA website and was nominated by my course manager, Jon McMullen. The reason I applied for the awards was to see where I was, compared to other greenkeepers of a similar age and qualifications. “If I had one bit of advice for any young greenkeepers who are looking to give their career a big boost or to get recognised for their work, I would say you won’t get a better chance than the Toro Young Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards.” David Cole, Managing Director of awards sponsor Reesink Turfcare, adds: “The Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Award has stood the test of time and is as relevant today, over 30 years since its inception, in a world now filled with sponsored awards. “The introduction of the ‘Young’ category, entering its fourth year, helped reinvigorate the original intentions of this pioneering programme. Whichever award they enter, this is the start of an exciting journey for our 2019 nominees.” For more information about Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year or to enter the awards, visit https://www.bigga.org. uk/education/toro-student-greenkeeper-of-the-year.html
The Landscaper | Issue 235 | April 2019
Paving a way to train landscapers Realising the value of landscaping training, the Talasey Group, suppliers of hardscaping materials, recently opened a training academy. Here they explain the benefits of the new facility According to a recent landscaping sector forecast the industry has grown by 18%, in just over 8 years, contributing a staggering £1 billion to the UK economy. Many UK homeowners are also taking this opportunity to transform their outdoor living spaces, fuelling a rise in the need for more professional landscapers. However, despite this, reports suggest that there is a lack of training facilities and courses available to landscaping professionals, from which to build their skills and knowledge. Many of which have also highlighted the need to encourage more people to explore a career in landscaping, and support entry-level professionals. Training Academy With this in mind and recognising a gap in the market for training facilities, one of the UK’s leading landscaping suppliers, Talasey Group, has taken matters into their own hands, opening a purpose built facility – Talasey Training Academy (TTA). Based at their Doncaster head quarters, the TTA offers a range of City & Guilds accredited courses, which support the growth of industry professionals. Committed to the landscaping industry, the TTA offers a
range of courses targeted at everyone in the landscaping industry. From landscape professionals and merchants to apprentices and students, delegates can build their skills, knowledge and confidence. Led by expert trainers, each course enables delegates to get to grips with the latest materials on offer, and get hands-on, practical training – something that is vital in the landscaping industry. As well as giving industry professionals a safe environment to train, the TTA is this year’s official training provider for the WorldSkills UK Landscape Gardening Team. The team are being put through their paces with hands-on training at the TTA facilities, to give them the best chance of being victorious at the 2019 WorldSkills finals in Kazan. Furthermore, the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) recently launched the TTA as another one of their Regional Centres of Excellence. The academy, which has an abundance of facilities, will serve as a convenient base to BMF members in Yorkshire and surrounding areas who can attend events, workshops and training. For more information about Talasey Training Academy and the available City & Guilds accredited courses visit www.talaseytrainingacademy.co.uk call 0330 353 0208 or email email@example.com
Makita UK holds back water at Chelsea Recognised globally for their manufacture of power tools and accessories, Makita is again turning its attention to assisting award-winning garden designer Mark Gregory on his Welcome to Yorkshire Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show this year. The design features an authentically built canal with flowing water and genuine canal lock gates. The massive volume of water will be circulated by several Makita submersible water pumps that will ensure the towpath, lock keepers lodge and, importantly, RHS Chelsea’s Main Avenue remains safe, dry and disaster-free. This garden is inspired by Yorkshire’s proud history of industry, manufacturing and innovation and the county’s natural environment and green spaces. The working canal has two gates and a bypass
sluice system that runs alongside a perennial meadow. No less than ten Makita PF1110 submersible pumps will push the flow of water in the garden. Each pump will deliver a minimum of 250 litres of water per minute from a submersion depth of 5m, to a max head height of 10m. These pumps have a stainless steel body making them suitable for draining muddy water, wells and tanks and are also ideal for lifting water for irrigation. “Submersible pumps are among the most efficient options available when it is necessary to pump liquid from a large body of water,” says Mark Earles, Business Development Manager OPE, Makita UK. “Whereas most water pumps are positioned outside a body of water and pull water to the surface, submersible pumps are submerged within the water and push water to the surface.”
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The Landscaper | Issue 235 | April 2019
RHS FLOWER SHOWS
Tending a floral heritage Sue Biggs CBE credits her love of gardening to a seventh birthday present of a trowel and packet seeds given to her by her mother. Maggie Walsh catches up with the Director General of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) ahead of the flower show season
What challenges did you face when taking on the role? When I joined in 2010 it was a turbulent time as the previous year had seen a big redundancy programme. Since then we have built outstanding teams and together we have planned for some ambitious yet inspirational projects. In late 2014 we announced a £160 million Investment Programme and are currently fundraising for £40m (with £13.5m left to raise) to help transform and increase the power of horticulture in our country. Through investing
in our gardens, our outreach and education facilities, we want to create a more sustainable and better society for generations to come. There are seven projects in place, one of which is our fifth garden at RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford. Bridgewater is the biggest gardening project in Europe and the Society’s first new garden in 17 years. It is a big undertaking and we still need to raise £4.9m to create this inspiring horticultural haven for the North West. But it will be a place of great beauty as we welcome a wider audience and thousands of local schoolchildren to reconnect with nature and learn how to garden.
The RHS is the world’s leading gardening charity, driven by a love of plants and the genuine belief that gardeners make the world a better place
What appealed to you about working for the RHS when your corporate background was travel? The Royal Horticultural Society has always been an amazing organisation. When the RHS position came up, I had already been an RHS member for years, and even though I wasn’t actively looking to leave the travel industry, it was quite simply my dream job and it only took me a couple of days to pluck up the courage to apply. The RHS is the world’s leading gardening charity, driven by a love of plants and the genuine belief that gardeners make the world a better place. They were looking for someone with commercial experience and who could bring teams together, but also for someone who loved gardening. I’ve always recognised and appreciated the benefits green spaces and horticulture can provide, and it’s now more important than ever that people recognise the role plants play in reducing the impact of some of the biggest challenges facing us today. This makes this role so much more worthwhile for me, and far more rewarding than delivering shareholder value. I feel so lucky to work in an organisation with such wonderful people, promoting something I care about passionately, and I hope making a positive difference to as many lives as possible.
What’s your biggest achievement is to date? I was extremely proud to receive the award of the Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in recognition for services to the environment and horticulture on behalf of everyone at the RHS who works so hard to help us deliver our charitable work. I was also over the moon to see our membership pass the 500,000 mark. But I think that when we finish delivering all seven Investment projects, then I will be very proud of what we will have achieved at the RHS for the growth of gardening in this country and delivering on our mission to enrich everyone’s lives through plants.
RHS FLOWER SHOWS
RHS Director General Sue Biggs at Wisley outside of the Laboratory, March 2018. Credit RHS and Paul Debois
What issues do you see facing the horticulture industry in the future and in what ways can they be addressed? Apart from the obvious concerns that surround Brexit, plant health and the threat of pest and diseases is at the top of our concerns that we take very seriously. Last year we launched our new Plant Health Policy to help mitigate against the increased threat of pests and diseases. We’re continuing to work closely with the Animal and Plant Health Agency to ensure our practices are as robust as possible, implementing changes where necessary. We continue to invest in our science, which will ultimately help gardeners to be better equipped to identify and manage pests in their gardens, cope with gardening in a changing climate and ensure greater knowledge of cultivated plant diversity in the UK, aiding conservation. Recently we’ve introduced a environmental horticulture team to bolster our climate change related research. This team, along with many other RHS researchers and scientists will, in 2020, move to our new National Centre for Horticultural Science and Learning which is being built at
RHS Garden Wisley and will be surrounded by three new gardens that will act as ‘living laboratories’ designed by Ann-Marie Powell and Matt Keightley. The horticultural industry also continues to experience problems in recruiting the next generation of gardeners, designers and landscapers. We’re committed to getting as many people gardening as possible because of the immense positive affects plants and gardens have on our health and the environment. The RHS works hard to support and champion our profession with our Horticulture Matters Campaign. Along with fellow colleagues, we want to improve the perception of a career in horticulture and landscaping to encourage more people to consider entering one of its many varied professional careers. We are also committed to doing more and more to support UK growers. As the heart of the horticultural industry, we will continue to support this sector. In the new plant centre at RHS Garden Wisley opening in June, we are creating a high profile platform to promote these special and unique businesses. Our Master Grower scheme runs across
The Landscaper | Issue 235 | April 2019
RHS FLOWER SHOWS
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018, Press Day, London
all RHS Shows and also celebrates those that have gone above and beyond to highlight their highly specialist skills. Tell us about new projects the RHS have planned for the forthcoming year We are honoured to have for the first time HRH The Duchess of Cambridge co-designing the RHS Back to Nature Garden for the Chelsea Flower Show 2019. Working with landscape architects Davies White, the garden will see a woodland setting for families and communities inspired by the natural world, encouraging all generations to reconnect with nature. We’re also delighted that Her Royal Highness and Davies White will also be co-designing at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival in July and RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey, which will open in the Autumn later this year. I’m also excited that our four RHS Gardens are very soon going to become five! Ahead of the official opening of RHS Garden Bridgewater in 2020, a phenomenal amount of work is going into restoring the 11-acre ‘Weston Walled Garden’. The Garfield Weston Foundation generously provided a
grant of £5 million towards restoring the walled garden which at 11 acres is one of the largest of its kind in this country. We are also redeveloping our flagship RHS Garden Wisley, where we will be opening a spectacular new visitor entrance with a Welcome building and avenue of cherry blossom trees leading visitors into the garden. Work has also started on the three new gardens around the planned new National Centre for Horticultural Science and Learning on the Hilltop. RHS launched the Greening Grey Britain in 2015 - how much interaction does the RHS have with public bodies such as local councils, public open space organisations and housing developers in extending such RHS initiatives beyond the garden fence? Our Greening Grey Britain campaign was launched following an RHS survey that found 7 million UK front gardens contained concrete and cars rather than flowers, trees and grass. Since its launch, the Greening Grey Britain Report has
RHS FLOWER SHOWS
Are there opportunities where these organisations could get more involved with RHS activities? The RHS vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. Just some of the ways we do this include our community gardening campaigns such as Britain in Bloom and It’s Your Neighbourhood – there are over 2,500 groups across the UK which anyone can get involved in! Through the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and Green Plan It initiatives, we help improve the lives of 6 million children at more than 38,000 UK schools and groups and train more than 1,000 teachers every year. More help from our landscaping and design colleagues would always be much appreciated. We also have a number of other national initiatives in place such as National Gardening Week (29 April – 5 May). This year we’re calling on gardeners across the country to share their home-grown produce with this year’s RHS theme, Edible Britain. We encourage individuals and organisations to put on events to get the public gardening. Wild About Gardens is another example, a joint initiative by the RHS and The Wildlife Trusts to get more people growing for wildlife. The flower show season kicks off with RHS Cardiff this April, with the renown Chelsea Flower Show in May. How do these flower shows benefit the landscaping industry as a whole? Our Shows provide a great platform to highlight the landscaping profession as we reach out to many more people across the UK to share the love of gardening and help engage gardeners of all levels and attract people new to the industry. The high level of skill of our British landscapers are a vital element of our shows and we demonstrate this through exciting garden designs and engaging content. We hope that our shows promote
the breadth of skills within the sector and the many opportunities in this multifaceted industry. We work with organisations such as British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) and Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) to provide opportunities for students and apprentices to create gardens at the show. The RHS Flower Show Tatton Park has become synonymous with budding new talent with its Young Designer of the Year Competition. In 2016 and 2017, the show ran its RHS Young Landscape Contractor (supported by BALI) and RHS Young Planting Designer 2017 seeking to encourage emerging talent within the sector.
We are honoured to have for the first time HRH The Duchess of Cambridge co-designing the RHS Back to Nature Garden for the Chelsea Flower Show 2019
been raised in The London Assembly. We held a Front Garden Summit in 2016 where policymakers, developers, planners and landscapers discussed solutions to start making a difference and 128 grants have been given to communities to turn grey spaces green. The RHS hosted a conference at Tatton Park Flower Show in 2018 to highlight the importance of greening urban spaces and its last three gardens from RHS Chelsea Flower Show have all transformed grey spaces to green after the show. Later this month we will be announcing some exciting news about our Greening Grey Britain campaign, so watch this space!
Last year at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival, we welcomed landscaping students from BALI as they created a garden under mentorship. It showcased how newcomers can get involved in creating rewarding and inspiring gardens, from the earliest stages of their career as it inspired new talent while celebrating the skills of Landscape Contractors. We’re also delighted to see APL return for 2019’s Festival. Being involved in the construction of a garden, including laying paving and planting, RHS Shows provide Landscape designers with a fantastic platform from which to demonstrate their skills in front of the wider landscape industry and the hundreds of thousands of visitors. Putting you on the spot, which is your favourite RHS flower show in the UK and why? I couldn’t possibly say! Each of the shows really do have their own personality so it’s so difficult to choose between them. I think Cardiff for its vibrant variety of plants and flowers, it always feels as though spring has truly arrived. Chelsea for cutting edge design that never fails to take my breath away. Chatsworth for innovation in an absolutely beautiful location. Hampton Court for its relaxed summer feel and everything I could ever want for my garden, especially as it’s close to home for me. And Tatton Park for new faces, talent and exciting designs I’ve never seen before.
The Landscaper | Issue 235 | April 2019
Chelsea blossoms for the world famous garden show World renown and quintessentially British, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show returns this spring to The Royal Hospital, Chelsea. Running from 21-25 May, the key theme this year is to encourage people to reconnect with nature Undoubtedly the show stopper this year will be The RHS Back to Nature Garden, a feature garden at this year’s event co-designed by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge and Landscape Architects Andree Davies and Adam White. This garden is key to the RHS’s partnership with NHS England, promoting the physical and emotional well-being that access to green spaces and gardening provides. After RHS Chelsea, much of the planting and some of the landscaping will go to an NHS Mental Health Trust, as part of a national competition run by the RHS.
Show Gardens Other highlights to look out for is the garden of seven-time gold medal winning designer Andy Sturgeon, who is back creating a show garden for head sponsor M&G Investments. Drawing inspiration for his garden from nature’s power to regenerate, the woodland landscape will be colonised by young trees, ferns and jewel-like flowers, interspersed with stone platforms and huge burnt timber sculptures representing natural rock formations. Multi RHS gold medal winning designer, Sarah Eberle returns to Main Avenue with a garden celebrating 100 years of forestry with The Forestry Commission. The Resilience Garden looks ahead to the biggest challenges facing our forests in the future, exploring how they can withstand a changing climate and the increasing threats of pests and diseases. A celebration of the environmental benefits of trees, this time within an urban space has influenced the design of The Savills and David Harber Garden by Andrew Duff. The garden seeks to create a beautiful, sustainable woodland clearing within a city, featuring bio diverse trees and greenery known to remove harmful pollutants from the atmosphere.
Artist impression of HRH Back To Nature Garden (Credit RHS and Richard Carman) and and HRH Duchess of Cambridge
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M & G Garden by award wining Andy Sturgeon)
Three gardens on Main Avenue this year represent striking natural landscapes. Last year’s People’s Choice winner Mark Gregory is designing once again for Welcome to Yorkshire, inspired by the canals and waterways found in the West of the county. Jon Snow for Trailfinders is sourcing inspiration from further afield bringing the temperate rainforests of South America to Central London complete with lush planting and dramatic waterfalls. In contrast the The Dubai Majlis Garden designed by Thomas Hoblyn evokes a Middle Eastern feel inspired by the sculptural beauty found in arid landscapes. The importance of having access to nature and green spaces for all ages and abilities has inspired the brief for The Greenfingers Charity Garden designed by Kate Gould.
Welcome To Yorkshire by Mark Gregory
Intended for a hospice to provide a fun, interactive and uplifting space where seriously ill children, their families and friends can come together and embrace the benefits of being in the fresh air and engaging with the natural environment. The Warner’s Distillery Garden by Helen Elks-Smith incorporates water in a playful and imaginative way as it appears and disappears throughout the garden like the natural springs at the distillery’s home of Falls Farms. The design takes inspiration from architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece ‘Fallingwater’. Chris Beardshaw, winner of Best in Show 2018 and multi gold medal winning designer Jo Thompson complete the talented line up designing Show Gardens in 2019. Space to Grow Highlights For the second year Royal Hospital Way will be populated by inspiring gardens offering new ideas and inspiration in the Space to Grow Category. Joe Perkins is taking on his first solo garden for social media giant Facebook. The theme of the garden is connectivity, celebrating the positive benefits of social media as a powerful tool for engaging in real world issues, connecting people and driving positive social change. The Facebook Garden: Beyond The Screen takes on a coastal theme to reinforce this message as coastal habitats are
CHELSEA 2019 Artisan Gardens Small is beautiful when it comes to the Artisan Gardens and this year’s line-up promise to inspire and excite as traditional materials and methods are revitalised through new design approaches. A garden celebrating 70 years of land-based education at Kingston Maurward College embodies the artisan approach as the college’s blacksmith, engineering, countryside management and horticultural students will all contribute towards the final design.
The Manchester Garden
constantly changing and evolving and are rich and diverse environments where many species can thrive. Vibrant colours and exotic leaves bring rural Africa to central London promoting the importance of Giving Girls in Africa a Space to Grow. Women produce much of Africa’s food, the garden designed by Jilayne Rickards highlights the work CAMFED does to educate and empower those reliant on agriculture in communities hardest hit by climate change to use climate-smart, sustainable agricultural techniques to provide for themselves and their families. Education also underpins the message of The Montessori Centenary Children’s Garden designed by Jody Lidgard, an engaging space to nurture children, teaching them about the natural world and future of horticulture with new technology including hydroponics, aeroponics and vertical planting techniques. Water features prominently in a number of the gardens planned for Chelsea 2019 and lies at the heart of Paul Hervey-Brooks The Viking Cruises Garden, a space created from a water meadow with multi-stem river birch and winding streams running through to a pool and concrete terrace. Meanwhile the Manchester Garden, aims to showcase a city reinvented and one that can truly blow away assumptions and pre-conceptions, as well as inspire and start conversations about the potential of green space within UK cities. The garden explores the themes of resilience and adaptability in urban green infrastructure in the face of climate change, rising temperatures and more frequent weather extremes. Connected to this the garden will explore the use of productive planting within our urban environments to offset the effects of industrial scale farming and rising food miles.
Annie Prebensen and Christina Williams were last at Chelsea in 2010 when they won gold and best Artisan Garden, the pair return with a garden celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Donkey Sanctuary, highlighting the vital role donkeys play in improving the lives for some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the world. Walkers’ Forgotten Quarry Garden designed by Graham Bodle takes inspiration from a quarry at the bottom of the garden at Walkers Nurseries, featuring reclaimed items and materials from the quarry. The Great Pavilion British horticulture remains at the heart of RHS Chelsea as the UK’s top nurseries fill the Great Pavilion with thousands of immaculate plant varieties on display. For the first time the Great Pavilion will also house a judged walk-through Show Garden by internationally renowned British Designer Tom Dixon and home furnishings retailer IKEA. The immersive garden hopes to raise awareness that it is both possible, affordable and rewarding to grow your own food in the city using sustainable urban growing techniques. Upon first impression, the garden looks like a natural hillside landscape, on closer inspection, the viewer can see a subterranean, and futuristic high-tech garden with edibles and plants growing in an immersive horticultural laboratory.
Walkers’ Forgotten Quarry
The Landscaper | Issue 235 | April 2019
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Inside the Great Pavilion
Eight nurseries making their Chelsea debut and adding to the horticultural excellence on display this year include Andy’s Air Plants, Exotic Blooms, Lime Cross Nurseries, New Forest Hostas and Hemerocallis, William’s Cactus, Summerdale Garden Nursery, Newlands Herbs and for the first time a National Allium Collection will be on display demonstrating the diverse size, colour and shape of these popular plants. Iconic multi RHS Gold medal winning rose breeder, David Austin Roses will be celebrating their 50th Anniversary at the show with a sensual display of award winning roses along with some exciting new introductions. Perennial is celebrating its 180th year of supporting those in the horticultural industry with a walk through feature ‘The
Perennial Lifeline Garden’ designed by London College of Garden Design Graduates taking inspiration The Laskett Gardens in Herefordshire bequeathed to the charity by Sir Roy Strong. RHS Chelsea Flower Show (21 – 25 May 2019) Venue: Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London SW3 4SL 21 – 22 May – RHS members only 23 – 25 May – RHS members and non-members 25 May – 8am – 5.30pm (sell off starts at 4pm) To book tickets 0844 995 9664 / rhs.org.uk/shows (Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge)
STOP PRESS: Hampton Court Flower Show Look out for our May issue to find out more on the show gardens exhibiting at this years’ Hampton Court Flower Show, but for now put the date in your diary. Event: RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2019 Venue: Hampton Court Palace, Surrey KT8 9AU | Date: 1-7 July 2019 Opening times: Monday 1 July, Preview Evening: 5pm – 10.30pm Tuesday 2 to Saturday 6: 10am – 7.30pm Sunday 7: 10am – 5.30pm
The Landscaper | Issue 235 | April 2019
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Marketing for success Whether a start-up or planning the next phase of expansion, effective marketing strategies can be the difference between success and failure for any business. But with so many different ways to communicate your brand to a target audience, managing this vital part of your business can be bewildering. Ffion Llwyd-Jones talks to industry professionals for some pointers and they reveal what they find works best in delivering results While ‘sales’ is fairly straightforward – customers pay for your product – ‘marketing’ can seem confusing. In reality, it’s the process where a business creates a demand for its products, thereby fulfilling a customer’s needs, which then leads to sales. While there are many routes to promoting a business effectively, industry professionals say the best way to communicate your business brand to customers still depends on just one thing – a marketing plan. Marketing Channels The first step in creating that marketing plan is determining the marketing budget, says Tony Hawkins, a Public Relations consultant who offers media support across a diversity of markets. “The next step is dividing that budget between the various channels, depending on what is to be achieved, such as greater brand awareness, or specific Return on Investment (ROI),” he adds. Channels (also called platforms) may include email, social media, organic searches (unpaid, natural rankings on a search engine page) or paid for searches (where search engines will display a business at the top of the page rankings for a fee) on a website. From this, it is important to focus on the most effect channel that will reach your company’s particular audience. A sentiment echoed by Christopher Bassett, MD of Fusion Media, a creative agency using targeted campaigns in print and digital media for brands supplying equipment to the groundscare industry. “It’s essential to see what platforms work, because some platforms don’t work for everybody,’’ he suggests. For Lee Burkhill, an award-winning garden designer and panellist on BBC Radio Manchester’s Gardener’s Question Time, it’s important to first decide what your unique selling point is. Using his Garden Ninja blog to market his services and in turn help troubleshoot garden design problems, he knows
there is no point being everything to everyone. “I know my strong point is small and awkward urban gardens, so I don’t try to appeal to country-estate type gardens or large landscape clients. I focus on my niche and my content reflects that,” he explains. Mixing it up Interestingly, while technology is increasing the ways to reach potential customers, successful marketing plans continue to include print, in-person networking and events. Louise Challiss, Client Services Director at Pan Publicity, a results-driven B2B agency, certainly supports using targeted magazines to reach out to landscapers. “Print media still forms a key part of the strategy of all of our clients,” affirms Louise, explaining that conversations with landscapers, groundsmen and green keepers reveal they continue to source part of their information on new products or services from printed media. She believes maximizing the efficiency of a marketing campaign means using multiple channels, including advice-based articles, testimonials, case studies, interviews and stories that work hand-to-hand in print, and then appear online. Celebrating 25 years this year, Green-tech, the Yorkshire based landscaping supplier, also agrees. Lesley Spence, Communications Manager at the award-winning company, suggests that while demand to use technology to get instant response drives marketing decisions and activity, the company continually researches other methods of communicating with customers. “Print advertising, exhibitions and meeting with customers at events continues to be an important part of our marketing strategy,” she explains. Christopher Bassett, who incidentally manages the marketing of the SALTEX trade exhibition at NEC Birmingham each year, agrees that in-person events are part of a successful marketing plan:
The Landscaper | Issue 235 | April 2019
MARKETING channel, which vicariously acts as a really strong marketing channel. It’s become incredibly popular.” It is useful however, to have a plan on how you are posting this content, be it blogs, videos, social media or custom content that will cross between print and digital media. Helen Dearing, Content and Digital Marketing Manager at AriensCo, a recognised leader in the outdoor power equipment industry, thinks that successful marketing is also having a content management strategy, planning things out, thinking about what is it that you want to achieve and how Green-tech team
“We get involved in breakfast meetings seminars and shows, which are all good for networking.” Lesley adds: “We are starting to use video and feel this will be the way forward – videos on our websites and social media get significantly more interaction that text and image only posts.” Lee Burkhill consistently uses using online blog and vlog content: “People want to see more live footage of my work, so I’ve been creating more video content on my You Tube
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to do it. “Content needs to be written first, and then looked at to see how it can be altered to suit the various channels, so social media, advertising, PR etc,” says Helen. “It’s important to know what it is you want from the upcoming year, such as marketing a particular brush cutter set, or a chainsaw, or the battery range, then work out how to get videos and photography, and schedule the content calendar,” she adds. Lee comments that online content helps target the demographic you want to appeal to. “So you’re not just firing off 3,000 leaflets to win a couple of customers. With online search, via blog content and website posts you can appeal to your exact customer and save all that paper,” he explains. And as we know, we are only ever one click away from the next new technological advance. “Voice search [rather than keyboard search] could be a big growth area in the next 24 months or so,” suggests Christopher Bassett, adding it’s critical to keep websites updated and easily searchable.
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Measuring success Lee Burkill is fully booked for the next year, a testament to the strength of his approach. He markets entirely online and through his social media accounts: “I blog and vlog about my work. While it is time-consuming, I find it better in terms of ROI, and more successful than adverts and traditional mailshots.
Target your business using print and social media…
Green-tech wild place project – JC Wildflower Matting
Social media screenshot
“My advice to people wanting to improve their marketing strategy would be to start showing more of their work rather than just pushing keywords for search online. People are more savvy with wanting to see reviews and detailed visuals of your work. So if you can, keep your websites up to date with your work and write summaries on how and why of your achievements. It’s far more engaging for readers and will act as your best form of advertising.” For Helen Dearing, the key to success is to involve the business team, combining communications and the creative, and creating multiple content from a planned event such as a video shoot. “For example, a video interview with a chainsaw carver could be channeled on social media, tips can be written as a blog post on your website, then link it back to product pages on the website. And communicate that again via social media. And you have still photography, too. So you could have six months worth of content just from planning one day, and I think that’s where it needs to be.” Louise Challis believes trade shows also play a part in a marketing plan because people remember seeing something on a stand, or use the mug picked up at the stand: “It’s just being in the right place at the right time. Embracing new methods, and using them in conjunction
with tried and tested methods of getting the message to the market. It’s a bit of a balancing act, and sometimes it’s a case of trying various things,” she says. Lesley Spence thinks that ultimately it’s down to brand awareness and sales. “All leads and sales are recorded, and we monitor and drill down to understand the original source. We use analytics and back-end software to monitor website activity and success, and social media analytics to measure interaction and see the pull-through to the website. We also listen to our 30-strong sales team who speak or meet customers every day – they tell us what’s working and what isn’t.” As Tony Hawkins concludes, marketing begins with a plan: “Determine the best channels to get the information out there. There’s still a place for using direct mail, flyers or inserts; just don’t put all your eggs in one social media basket.”
Lee Barkhill, Garden Ninja – video screenshot
Networking at the SALTEX Trade Show at NEC Birmingham
The Landscaper | Issue 235 | April 2019
State of the art technology for Landscape Professionals Maggie Walsh and fellow trade journalists gathered on a windy March day at Westonbirt Arboretum, near Tetbury Gloucestershire, to test run some of STIHL’s latest products The STIHL team were keen to show off their latest range of battery powered cordless tools, reveal the latest in technological developments in their petrol range and tease us with snippets of what more is to come out from the German manufactures for the end of the year. First off we took hold of the company’s latest offering in performance blowers. The BR 800 C-E, designed with professional landscapers and local authorities in mind, produces a blowing force of 41N. The 80cc STIHL 4-MIX® engine runs on a fuel-oil mix just like a 2-stroke model and offers the benefits without the compromises of 4-stroke power. It provides fast acceleration, more power, added torque, and lower noise during operation to complete jobs quickly and more easily. In addition, the engine offers reduced emissions and increased fuel efficiency. Furthermore the blower can be started while wearing it, with the handy starting system on the side of the machine, and it also benefits from an automatic choke reset and a switch position on the control handle that is always ‘On’, ensuring that the professional user can start the BR 800 C-E with ease. The intuitive design, also has an ergonomic backpack carrying system including S-shaped shoulder straps for maximum comfort when wearing. Additionally, the BR 800 C-E incorporates STIHL’s anti vibration technology that reduces feedback from the machine’s engine, allowing professionals to comfortably use the tool for extended periods of time.
Chainsaw for the future For forestry professionals, STIHL’s latest offering is the MS 500i. Available from May 2019, this is the world’s first chainsaw with electronically controlled fuel injection and a never-before achieved power-to-weight ratio. Weighing only 6.2kg, the STIHL injection technology provides the chainsaw with incredible torque, but also ensures rapid acceleration of the saw chain from 0 to 100 km/h in just 0.25 seconds. Although light in weight, its performance is class leading, with 5.0 kW/ 6.8 hp, meaning this this chainsaw is suited to felling large stands and timber harvesting. Together with the many additional design optimisations, there is a substantial increase in operator comfort. Low vibration and the reduction of gyroscopic forces provides the 80 cm³-class high-performance professional saw with dynamic manoeuvrability, which is a particular advantage during limbing. This makes the professional big timber harvester easy to handle in all disciplines - from felling to cutting timber to length. The MS 500i has exceptional starting behaviour and provides optimum engine power right from startup. The 80 cc 2-Mix engine does not need a carburettor, since the fuel metering is done using a sensor, and automatically adapts to the different operating conditions, no matter what the altitude and ambient temperature. The MS 500i is available with a choice of 20” or 25” ES
The new STIHL MS 500i is the worldâ€™s first chainsaw with electronic fuel injection and never-before achieved power-to-weight ratio
light bar, keeping the overall weight of the saw to a minimum and optimising its balance. Fine Cut And for professionals who take pride in producing the finest of cuts, STIHL has expanded its range of high-performance mowers. The RM 655 RS is a rear roller mower, which has a single speed, split, driven rear metal roller for a great quality striping effect, as well as making manoeuvring around borders easier. The mono-comfort handlebar is adjustable to three different heights allowing users to find the most suitable setting and to access the grass catcher box more easily. Offering full flexibility, the desired cutting height can be precisely adjusted thanks to a single, sprungloaded lever on the left-hand side of the housing, whilst the Blade Brake Clutch stops the blade when the mower is stationary, meaning users can empty
STIHL RM 655 RS lawn mower)
The Landscaper | Issue 235 | April 2019
POWER TOOLS the grass catcher box whilst leaving the engine running, or move the mower from area to area without the blade running, but utilising the single speed drive. Designed with a foldable handlebar, the STIHL RM 655 RS lawn mower is easy for landscapers to transport and convenient to store. The new petrol mower utilises large wheels with high quality ball bearings for easy running, while the tread pattern provides better traction, as well as allowing for easy cleaning. Additionally, the bumper strips offer additional protection when mowing next to walls and edges, and can be easily exchanged or replaced if they become marked or damaged to maintain a professional appearance at all times. If the job in hand requires a large areas of mulching, then look to the RM 4 RTP, a self-propelled mower which features a powerful Kohler XT800 Series OHV SC engine that makes light work of mulching tasks, with single speed drive for simplicity ensuring the mower sets itself in motion with the simple pull of a lever.
Self-propelled mulching mower
With front wheel drive, the new mower is easy to operate and its 53cm deck can cover large areas of up to 2,500m2. The RM 4 RTP comes with hard-wearing aluminium rims with rubber tyres and double sealed ball bearings as standard, and also offers professional users gearbox and crankshaft protection to further increase service life. In addition, the axle bracket and axle bolts are reinforced, whilst super soft grips provide for comfortable handling characteristics. Owing to the low vibration values, professionals are able to cut grass for many hours without interruption and front and rear carrying handles are utilised to aid transportation. Smart Technology And finally, youâ€™ve replenished your fleet of power tools for your day to day labours. All that is needed now are the tools to keep your team and equipment in full working order. Enter STIHL Connected, a new smart technology that will give professional users a detailed overview of key power tool data via a portal in order to enhance maintenance programmes and fleet management efficiencies. Launching in August 2019, STIHL Connected comprises of three central system components; STIHL Smart Connector, STIHL app, and STIHL connect pro portal. When used in conjunction, STIHL Connected enables professional users to easily analyse key machinery performance data that can be used to not only improve daily work processes, but also help achieve optimum task scheduling for an even more efficient team. STIHL Smart Connector is easy to install and transmits the most important power tool data via Bluetooth to a smartphone or tablet, giving users universal transparency about where power tools are being operated and their current status. With the STIHL app, professional users are given a detailed overview of their power tool run time, as well as being able to schedule and document work tasks. The STIHL connect pro portal enables the digital management of an entire machinery fleet, meaning users can add or remove power tools, schedule work to best effect and view pending maintenance appointments. Whatâ€™s more, users can see the last position of an active power tool, giving them complete visibility of the whereabouts of any tool, as long as location services on the connected phone are enabled.
Plant Pyramid returns to BBC Gardeners’ World Live The Plant Pyramid, supported by Peter Seabrook, returns to the Floral Marquee at BBC Gardeners’ World Live 2019 at Birmingham’s NEC this June, with four new satellite pyramids. The Pyramids play host to a monumental display of up to 4000 plants, all new introductions for either 2018 or 2019. Following their support of the first Plant Pyramid at BBC Gardeners’ World Live in 2018, Dutch breeders Florist return with a brand-new clutch of Garvinea, the Garden Gerbera. The impressive flowers, both in look and number, as well as the ability of this Gerbera to grow outside and in colder climates, makes Garvinea a flowering sensation. Joining them, HilverdaKooij present a new Echinacea, a Dianthus, a pot Alstroemeria and a garden Alstroemeria. Visitors to the show will see these as well as many more new varieties, including Petunia x callibrachoa ‘Beautical’ (tipped to be one of the biggest sellers for 2019) and Nemesia ‘Lady Penelope’ which was awarded the HTA new plant award in 2017, and becoming available in Garden Centres from Spring 2019.
British Breeders British breeders will be well represented on the pyramid with Whetmans presenting four new Pinks, (Red Carpet, Bridal Star, Flutterby and Pink Ruffles); Frank P Matthews showcasing two new Malus (Malus toringo‘Aros’ and Eating apple Malus ‘Eden’) as well as Laburnum ‘Yellow Rocket’, and Thompson & Morgan displaying the new Helianthus ‘Sunbelievable Brown Eyed Girl’. Peter Seabrook says “The support from plant breeders at home and around the world, supplying thousands of plants to clad our five pyramids, is quite remarkable. Garden
centres, nurseries and the trade, especially co- sponsors Westland Horticulture, have and are giving generous support. It is the 50th Anniversary for The Sunnewspaper and our pyramids should make a worthy celebration.”
Pyramid Stage Set alongside this celebration of new plants, the all-new Pyramid Stage hosts informative talks and demos from breeders who are contributing to the Plant Pyramid. In addition, experts from stage sponsors, Westland Horticulture, will share top tips for indoor gardening from the stage daily, and the British Florist Association will demonstrate how to create stunning floral displays for the home. Local Garden Centre staff including Fresh at Burcot will also be in attendance. You’ll find the Plant Pyramid, the Pyramid Stage, and a show-load of garden inspiration including Show Gardens and the Gardeners’ World TV presenters, all at BBC Gardeners’ World Live at Birmingham’s NEC from 13 to 16 June 2019. For tickets and Show information visit www.bbcgardenersworldlive.com
Show Time With the Royal Horticultural Society’s Flower Shows now in motion, seasoned designer Dan Riddleston takes time out to reveal the trials and tribulations landscapers face in the design and build of a show Garden I have been building show gardens, in one guise or another, for more than 25 years. It is a fantastic way to raise your company profile, add value to your business, learn new skills and network with Dan Riddleston colleagues old and new. Building a show garden requires a different approach compared to working on a domestic garden. Although there may be some flexibility with the planting, the whole team has to stick to the brief that the designer submitted to the RHS. There is little room for major changes on an RHS site. To ignore these stipulations could impact how the garden is judged and ultimately the medal the garden receives. Budgets are another differential. Priced by the square metre, a residential garden is generally a fraction of the cost of a show garden, which can sometime be as much as four times the price. The costs escalate because show gardens often use high specification materials, and plants have to be more mature in planting. Additionally the density of planting to create a “finished garden” means more plants are required. And don’t forget labour costs increase as you need to cover the long hours and weekend work required to complete the build in time. A successful landscaping team will be those who thrive under pressure. The working days leading up to the show opening can be intense, but it is thrilling and exciting to be part of a show garden build. There is always a friendly and convivial atmosphere at shows like RHS Chelsea and a real sense of camaraderie. People are genuinely interested in what you are doing and are always ready to support you. The standard of construction and the levels of professionalism at RHS Shows have increased hugely over the years, which is great for our industry. Everybody knows that the quality of build is paramount, so the application process is very thorough. The RHS need contractors to demonstrate that they have the experience to deliver a professional garden and the ability to plan work schedules,
handle logistics and manage the site safely. They don’t want anyone to fail. You will find the Show Manager monitoring the build process and the progress being made on each garden. There could be harsh words for those who look as if they won’t deliver on time. Team Work There are often many specialists from different disciplines involved in building show gardens. Some teams may have as many as 45 members of staff working together on a project. Obviously, they are not all on site at once - generally, there are 10 people working together at any given time. Numbers fluctuate from the time the foundations go in through to the planting teams arriving, which could involve as many as eight people. Being a good team player is essential and maintaining a good relationship with your designer is crucial, long before you get to site. It is the designer that leads the project, but the buck always stops with the contractor. Planning Typically, designers start planning a show garden project about eight months before arriving on site. Deciding which specialists to work with, how to build certain elements and selecting the right materials are all key parts of this process. The task of building a garden from scratch, in a set period of time, is very challenging. Like most contractors, we will build some of the more complex elements off-site where we can build and test them accurately with specialists to ensure the
Bowles & Wyer on site - RHS Chelsea 2012
The Landscaper | Issue 235 | April 2019
HORTICULTURE best quality of build. Our ambition is always to shorten the time we spend building the hard landscape elements on site, so that the planting can be completed ahead of time and can have a chance to settle and establish before the garden is judged. Some parts of the planning are beyond your control, such as the weather! For example, when rain stops play, as it inevitably will, you need to be ready to re-jig your carefully planned schedule to get the programme back on track. Trying to plough through in difficult weather conditions may be detrimental in the long run, as you may end up spending more time rectifying the damage. I’ve found having a good contact book is helpful – to have people to call on when you need the additional help or in rectifying any issues you come across. Being able to pull in a favour from friends and colleagues on site has at times been my salvation. My advice to any first-time landscape contractors building a show garden is to ‘start small but aim high’. I would recommend starting with a smaller garden (such as the Artisan gardens at RHS Chelsea) to give yourself a chance to understand the unique environment of a showground before you progress to a larger garden.
On a practical note I would also recommend planning and arranging accommodation for your team near the show venue well in advance. The working day is long – normally 7am-7pm – so it is essential to have it sorted ahead of Onsite - The Homebase Garden Thomas time and to keep Hoblyn RHS Chelsea Garden 2011 - built by Bowles & Wyer your team happy. And finally, my best piece of advice is to simply enjoy the build and soak up the atmosphere. Dan Riddleston is the Managing Director of Bowles & Wyer. The company is building The Warner’s Distillery Garden, designed by Helen Elks-Smith, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019. www.bowleswyer.co.uk
GreenMech unveils latest products at this year’s ARB show Suppliers to the global market of quality wood chippers and shredders for the professional user, GreenMech announces a new product launch at this year’s Arboriculture Association Show (ARB). The British based manufacturer will be showcasing their latest machine on Stands C8/9 and D8/9 at the show, which takes place at Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire on 17th and 18th May, 2019. Alongside this, other highlights will include the recently introduced SURE-Trak 19-28, now available as a stand-alone model, and the petrol-powered Arb 150p chipper. For occasions where operators encounter either challenging ground undulations, or where levels differ significantly between the two tracks, GreenMech’s new SURE-Trak 19-28 model safely overcomes both challenges. The independent pivoting track assemblies allow each track to maintain contact with the ground while following the contours, to provide a surer footprint and improved stability. The patent-pending pivoting track system allows safe traversing and climbing of
slopes in excess of 35 degrees. Its assistance in keeping the body of the machine level also protects the engine by keeping it within its approved manufacturer tilt levels. GreenMech’s Arborist 150p, fitted with a 37hp Briggs & Straton Petrol engine, offers comparable performance to the higher horse-powered diesel engine of the existing Arborist 150, but at a much-reduced cost. It features a generous 970 x 790mm in-feed chute to accommodate a 150mm chipping capacity, while the 150mm x 230mm letterbox-style in-feed throat opening makes light work of brash and heavily forked branches. The Arb 150p also comfortably meets the sub750kg towing restrictions. All of GreenMech’s hydraulic machines are fitted with their patented disc-blade system, providing up to 150 hours of chipping before re-sharpening is required. They also come with a three year warranty, the support of GreenMech’s well-established UK dealer network and a variety of flexible GreenMech Finance options.
KING FEEDERS UK SPECIALIST SHREDDING & COMPOSTING EQUIPMENT
www.ecogreencomposting.co.uk Tel: 01260 223273 The Landscaper | Issue 235 | April 2019
SEEDS AND TURF
Hever Castle receives laudable comments The “fantastic” success of Hever Castle’s use of Rigby Taylor’s Euroflor urban meadow flower seed mixes has spurred the Kent-based stately home to not only increase the number of areas that will be planted this year and existing plots enlarged, but it has also led to additional, similar projects off-site. Sitting on an estate covering more than 400 acres, including an adjoining golf course, the 2018 project initiated by Hever Castle Golf Club head greenkeeper Rob Peers to “encourage visitors to both the golf course and the estate to fully enjoy and be immersed by and engaged with the complete site” has, he says, “been an overwhelming success” with the varied displays attracting: A social media frenzy of visitor photos, plus local and national press coverage; An endless stream of praiseworthy comments from visitors, as well as from Hever Castle staff and proprietors; and Numerous requests (from visitors) asking how they can achieve similar displays of the eyecatching colours and wonderful scents. After carefully choosing a number of strategic areas for meadow flower seeding, some by the golf course and others between the course and the estate, a variety of Euroflor
Inset: Hever Castle lakeside seedbed preparation May 2018 Hever Castle lakeside setting displaying Euroflor urban flowers
mixes from Rigby Taylor were selected; mixes identified as ‘best fit’ options in terms of colour and height, as well as in texture and form. The chosen mixes were: Flora Britannica; Rainbow annuals; Sarah Bouquet; Peace; Honey and Souvenir (100% Red Poppy mix). “After clearing the unused, mainly overgrown plots – which largely entailed the removal of grass, brambles and weeds – the areas were prepared for seeding and there is no doubt that the key to flowering success was in the preparation of the beds, says Rob. “We sowed on May 21-23 and within just five days saw the first seeds germinate and enjoyed a fantastic display beginning at the end of July, continuing well into late autumn.” He also adds: “I’ve never seen so many pollinators on the estate – a wonderful sight” – an aspect that is in tune with his enthusiasm for biodiversity and environmental issues. For 2019, a number of the areas will be left ‘to do their own thing’ in terms of re-seeding, while other patches will be expanded and new areas added. In addition, the success of the meadow flower seed mixes has also generated plans for plantings on other properties.…..the success story continues! www.euroflor.co.uk
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Kubota UK unveils its new RTV-X1110 vehicle Kubota UK, the leading manufacturer of agricultural, groundcare and construction equipment, has announced its new RTV-X1110 vehicle.
Kubota's RTV-X1110 boasts power steering
The importance of a reliable machine with the power to deliver, is paramount for the demanding tasks in the ground keeping industry. For demanding everyday tasks in the turf care sector, machines need to be both reliable and hardworking in all conditions. Kubota prides itself on manufacturing machinery that is exceptionally efficient, comfortable and with features such as power steering as standard, keeping up with the ever changing demands and needs of the industry. Built for almost any terrain or task, the RTV-X1110 boasts power steering, an advanced suspension system, deluxe split-bench seats, full ROPS protection and an easily
accessible high capacity, hydraulic cargo tipping bed. A totally enclosed heated cab is also available and all models are fully homologated and road legal. Featuring a powerful and economical 24.2 HP Kubota 3-cylinder liquid cooled OHV diesel engine with selectable 2/4WD, the RTV-X1110 offers exceptional performance both off and on-road. With its unique drive train arrangement, Kubota’s innovative 3-range VHT-X variable hydrostatic transmission and dynamic engine braking, the RTV X1110 is one of the most controllable and versatile utility vehicles on the market. The model can stop and resume climbing without the need for braking, with its rapid acceleration and improved traction. In addition, it boasts low emissions and excellent fuel economy. With more versatility, the RTV-X1110 features an advanced adjustable front and rear independent suspension system, class leading ground clearance and the ability to tow up to 590kg, or carry 540kg in its hydraulic-lift cargo bed. Adrian Langmead, business development manager, tractor and groundcare, Kubota UK, says: “We are delighted to unveil our RTV-X1110 vehicle, which having recently launched at this year’s SIMA Paris International Agribusiness Show, is really making its mark on the groundcare industry. Kubota UK continues to be a leading force within the groundcare industry and we will continue to build on this heritage and expertise to create first class machinery for years to come.”
Synthetic Maintenance with Verti-Clean To clean an artificial surface, many turf managers have found the little and often approach to be the most effective. Most material that will end up on the surface is natural debris and detritus, which if left will invariably get trodden on and broken down into the surface. Removing this as and when it occurs is the most effective way to prevent this material reaching the bottom of the carpet, which can ultimately cause issues with compaction and drainage. The Verti-Clean from Charterhouse Turf Machinery will pick up surface debris with a rotating brush, powered by
ground wheels, and throw it onto a vibrating sieve. The sieve filters any infill material back on to the playing surface, whilst retaining the debris and collecting it in a lightweight hopper, that can easily be removed for emptying. The finish is a revitalised surface with clean infill. A Verti-Clean 1500 has been used as part of the synthetic maintenance programme at Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow since September 2017. Head Groundsman there, Paddy Ferrie was recently rewarded for his work as he was crowned the winner of the ‘Best Maintained Artificial Surface’ category at the IOG Awards.
GROUNDSCARE “On the synthetic surface, I conduct regular brushing to stand the fibres up, redistribute the crumb and improve the appearance of the pitch prior to matches” explains Paddy, who has been at Scotstoun for two years. “Because of the pitch’s surroundings, at certain times of year we get a lot of leaf-fall and debris on the surface, for which I needed something that would conduct a more thorough clean. With this machine I can work at a nice steady pace, collecting any leaves or debris before they become embedded into the pile.”
Top marks as Green-tech deliver on time to new school A newly built secondary school in the North East of England has had its sports pitch constructed and grounds landscaped by Brambledown Landscape Services, one of the UK’s leading Landscaping, Sports Pitch and Groundwork operations. Brambledown Landscape Services turned to Green-tech to supply premium grade Green-tree topsoil, specifically manufactured for high quality sports pitch application. Green-tree advisers met with Brambledown Landscape Services and a soil consultant early in the supply chain process as the material needed to meet stringent requirements for agronomic make up and drainage. It was agreed that the end product would be manufactured using Green Pas100 compost and selected sands. The requirement was for more than 2000 tonnes of Greentree topsoil to be supplied in a very narrow time frame.
Delivery on time
The Green-tech team pulled together a comprehensive schedule to ensure that the topsoil was manufactured and stockpiled in a quarantined area; ready for the pre-validation testing that was required before input could commence. Once the data came back as suitable and the soil was signed off, Green-tech organised haulage to fulfil the challenging schedule. The Green-tech team worked closely with Brambledown to ensure that the deliveries were timely and kept pace with the gang placing and spreading the topsoil; ready for the drainage and turfing to be laid. Commenting on the project Paul Curry, Director of Brambledown Landscape Services says, “We were really pleased with the high level of service we received from Green-tech. They were able to meet the rigorous demands of the design specification and supply parameters whilst maintaining the product quality and consistency that we needed for a high-quality sports pitch. We worked closely with them, and all stakeholders involved, to manage the supply chain requirements from start to finish. We were delighted with the quality of the product and the advice and service we received. Our client is thrilled with the finished multi sports pitch.” Business Development Director Mark Wood from Greentech adds, “Early in the contract discussions it became apparent that the contractor’s priority was to source the right material for the proposed end use. This showed us that their desire was to deliver the best solution for their client as opposed to being driven purely by cost. This refreshing approach meant we could work collaboratively with all parties to ensure the highest quality product was supplied into this project.”
The Landscaper | Issue 234 | March 2019
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Italian paving range for all budgets The Talasey Group, an independent landscaping suppliers of hardstanding products and artificial grass, has introduced a plethora of new landscaping materials, colours, styles and size which are now featured in the company’s 2019 brochure. The company, which was recently launched as a Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) Regional Centre of Excellence, has spent the past year further diversifying its product portfolio while also launching its bespoke training facility, Talasey Training Academy (TTA) (see page 12). The Italian porcelain paving range, Vitripiazza has seen the most change, due to the recent demand for the material with the addition of 12 new offerings within the range. The versatile range spans from entry-level products for modest budgets such as Almare, Bellezza and Anno, through to high-end luxury products with the likes of Guidare and Colosso. Wall cladding has also been introduced by Talasey, with three ranges - Nerali, Rok and Mattoni, providing customers with a fantastic accessory to complement paved areas. In addition, a Made to Order Service has been introduced, so customers can ask for bespoke edgings, etchings and other special requests. The landscaping supplier has also added 11 ‘special order’ colours to their resin bound aggregates range, Resiscape, as well as crushed glass, which can be used during installation to provide extra anti-slip to the surface. In addition, Pavetuf Risers, a unique elevated system which
can be installed underneath paving or decking surfaces to promote good airflow has been added to the Pavetuf range. Malcolm Gough, Group Sales and Marketing Director says, “As a company, we strive to serve as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all landscaping requirements, expanding our product portfolio and services to satisfy changing customer demands and needs. “This year, we have really pushed the boat out, introducing more new additions to our annual brochure than ever before, with our Vitripiazza range undergoing a significant expansion. We can’t wait to see our new products used in landscaping projects across the UK.” www.talasey.co.uk
Take a seat Leading commercial seating manufacturer, GeoMet, has added six new innovative designs to its colourful range of contemporary seats, planters and water features. The company is renowned for its bright and statementstyle designs, which have taken centre stage at RHS Royal Chelsea Flower Show and Wembley Park, London. The collection includes ‘Urban’ an uber-contemporary, clean-lined composite base seat topped with solid oak slats to give a softer natural edge. The chunky Urban seat is available in 1m or 2m sizes and can be positioned as a standalone seat or in linear pairs or group arrangements. The composite base can be manufactured in any colour and the oak slat-top Composite seat by GeoMet
can also be produced in GRP and can be made in a variety of colours. A fun addition to the GeoMet range is ‘Arc’ a colourful modular seating design which fits together to create circular designs and is ideal for child-friendly environments, such as schools, and playground facilities. Arc benefits from bright mix and match colours, smooth curved edges and a sturdy wide base. Each Arc segment is modular and lightweight in design and can be picked up and placed to make a 4m circle. Sean Milbank, Chairman, is really pleased about the new designs. He says: “These fresh and exciting new seats really complement our stylish and contemporary range. Architects and space planners can create bold statements with our stand-out designs to transform large open interior and exterior spaces.” www.geometseating.co.uk
The Landscaper | Issue 235 | April 2019
Thumbs up for Cub Cadet in Sweden Cub Cadet INFINICUT® mowers, used by sporting venue groundsman across the world, have been specifically designed to offer the operator the ability to alter geometry and working parameters to ensure sward consistency is retained regardless of the time of year or conditions encountered on. This attention to detail by the US manufactures has recently impressed Robert Adamsson, grounds manager of Sweden’s Rimnersvallen Stadium (home to Ik Oddevold and Rössö IF football clubs), who recently purchased a Cub Cadet INFINICUT® 34” mower. The multi-use stadium, which played host to Pele’s first World Cup match in 1958, is currently under redevelopment with the changes including taking delivery of the new mower. Robert, who is supported by three grounds staff, explains his choice of new machine.
“The first, and perhaps the most important thing for us, is that it runs on battery power making the mower very quiet, which means we can get out and mow early in the morning. “The whole team use the INFINICUT® and have been impressed with how easy it is to use, and how simple it is to adjust the cutting position. The quality of the cut it produces has dramatically improved the appearance of the pitch, which hasn’t gone unnoticed by the players and the fans.” Plant health can only be augmented by choosing the correct equipment set-up for the circumstances that prevail at any given time. Setting the mower with an attitude angle that is too aggressive can weaken the plant during times of plant stress allowing pathogens to more easily ‘take hold’. Frequency of clip (FOC) is important in ensuring the correct quality is achieved for the specific height of cut as an incorrect FOC can mulch the plant leading to an unclean cut and an increase risk of disease.
INFINICUT® 34” impresses the grounds team at Sweden’s Rimnersvallen Football Stadium
Stress free mowing Take the stress out of mowing the lawn using Honda’s robotic lawn mower, Miimo. The Milimo has three machines in the range, the HRM 310, 520 and 3000, designed to maintain lawns, ranging in size up to an acre, in optimum condition and offer a choice of cuttings heights from 20 to 60 mm. Changing the height of cut is essential to help damaged lawns recover quickly - in dry weather they should be at the higher end of the spectrum and lower as growth increases with rain. The finely micro-shredded cuttings remain on the grass, acting as a mulch and providing the grass with essential nutrients and retaining moisture – two key factors in securing recovery of the grass. Meaning it’s good for the grass and there are no cuttings to be disposed of either. Miimo is quiet, allowing it to operate at night without disturbing anyone and it automatically detects obstacles, including pets and children and will operate on slopes and uneven ground. Being waterproof it will continue to cut the grass in all weathers and, when it detects that the long-lasting lithium-ion battery needs an additional boost of energy, it
puts itself away in its docking station for a recharge. For larger lawns the 3000 is best suited for larger lawns up to an acre in size and height of cut is done remotely via a smartphone app. The Miimo 310 will continually cut up to 1500 m2 and the larger 520 up to 3000 m2 and height of cut is a simple manual adjustment. All operate within a boundary wire which can be installed by a Honda dealer. Visit www.honda.co.uk/lawn-and-garden/products/ miimo/overview.html
Miimo mower by Honda
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The Landscaper | Issue 235 | April 2019
Garden Tractor Countax C40 arrives in style Effortless mowing of large areas of lawn are all in a dayâ€™s work for the new Countax C40 ride on mower. Designed and manufactured in Britain, the tough and durable C40 uses the latest technology. Its 97cm (38â€?) reinforced cutter deck is ideal size for those one-acre lawns, and places where there may be access limitations. Fitted with the optional 300 litre Powered Grass Collector it provides a superb cut and collection of the grass, even in wet conditions, with the integrated roller leaving behind a neat striped finish. The single cylinder Ariens 546cc engine provides for smooth running, high torque, economy and durability. The tractor also has a low noise operation, a result of a cleverly designed double skin bonnet and the cut and collect system, which minimises air disturbance from the blades, reducing unwanted sound. The garden tractor is ergonomically designed with easy-
Countax C40 mower
to-use controls including a geared deck-lift system that allows the operator to change the cutting height with ease. The pedals and levers are all positioned within easy reach and are engineered to be lightweight in use. The dashboard display with running hours, cutter deck and Powered Grass Collector status indicators is visible at all times. Access on and off the tractor is made easy with a shaped steering wheel and adjustable seat position. The heavy duty cast axle helps the machine to withstand the stresses of uneven terrain, while the strong, durable, single pressed steel body is built for longevity. When it comes to maintenance nothing could be easier with easy access to the engine area and the translucent seven litre fuel tank for checking fuel levels. Above all the C40 is a Countax with a long British heritage, offering premium performance at an entry-point price. Visit www.countax.co.uk to find local dealers.
STRIKING LANDSCAPES Synonymous with quality, the Collingwood Lighting ground light range is available with marine grade stainless steel, IP68 rating, patented moisture ingress protection technology and up to 7-year extended warranty. Compliment your carefully selected materials with the right colour temperature, and reveal your landscape beautifully. Baffled I Frosted I Spot I Flood I Drive over I Walk over I Round I Square I Stainless steel I Brass Check out our full landscape range at collingwoodlighting.com or contact us at 01604 495 151
Mastering light together collingwoodlighting.com
Enjoy warmer nights outside Collingwood’s new Landscape Lighting range of 2700 Kelvin products makes it possible to experience the cosy warm feeling you get indoors, outside, for the first time. Collingwood Landscape Lighting is all about creating inviting spaces, and by using the warm white colour temperature of 2700 Kelvin, those warmer nights can begin on cool Spring evenings and continue long after summer has gone. A bit about colour temperature…. The colour temperature of LED lighting can have a dramatic impact on the atmosphere and function of any living or work space and it’s something the Collingwood technical experts have been developing and perfecting for some time. Most of the Collingwood Lighting range, for example, comes in a choice of 2700K, 3000K and 4000K as standard. At the lower end of the
scale, 2700K is our warmest white colour temperature, and thanks to the Landscape Lighting range, this indoor cosiness can now easily be brought outside. Landscape range: 2700K additions The Landscape Lighting range is all about making exteriors feel inviting and interesting, and can now feel even cosier with 2700K warm white light. This colour temperature is available for a variety of different products to easily illuminate any outdoor area, and a combination of these light fittings will help to create a layered lighting design which achieves the same warmth and depth of an interior space. Products include step lights, spike lights, wall lights, strip lights and ground lights, rotatable pond lights, marker lights and bollards. For more information about the 2700 Kelvin Landscaping range, visit www.collingwoodlighting.com.
IP65 STAINLESS STEEL SPIKE LIGHT
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When creating stunning gardens it can be difficult knowing where to locate the right products to suit the ideas. With summer on its way, many look at their gardens to determine whether they should be enhanced slightly or landscaped differently. Following research, the Aurora Lighting Group know that outdoor lighting essentials are fixture performance and quality. This is due to harsh conditions, so clients want lighting that lasts more than one summer. They also sometimes want something different. Therefore, when looking for lighting, itâ€™s not just lumens per watt that should be considered but the material, its durability and coatings, look and feel, smart features and installation design. Stunning solutions Enlite Lighting offers a range of ground lights that create stunning pathways, gardens and decking. There
are a variety of install options, including pre-wired or loop in loop out terminals and either integrated LED or GU10 lamp options. Mounting accessories are included as standard and there are 316 stainless steel options for added corrosion resistance. S-Lite and S-LitePRO are decorative fittings with surface mount or spike options and are IP65 rated. Our WallE range comprises ideal accent decorative LED wall lights that create a soft appearance on properties after sunset. Make it Smart To create different scenes, garden lighting can be made smart with the AOne, Auroraâ€™s smart lighting solution. The RGBW GU10s could be used to create a beautiful range of different moods and with the AOne app these could all be scheduled to appear at different times of the day or week. auroralighting.com
The Landscaper | Issue 235 | April 2019
An Environmental Initiative Rigby Taylor, in its 100th anniversary year, is heading a major initiative to assist in reversing the national decline in pollinating insects. Itâ€™s called Project Pollin-8.
Project Pollin-8 is a range of 10 specially developed Euroflor flower seed mixtures which has been introduced to supply longer seasonal sources of nectar and pollen, whilst at the same time providing incredible flower displays. In particular, a new mixture Euroflor Banquet contains the best species for pollinators, whilst delivering a high performance display. Banquet is the result of information obtained from independent research data published by the Urban Pollinators Group* (UPG). Sown from March through to June, flowers appear 50-55 days after seeding and will provide a riot of colour until the first frosts in late Autumn.
For a comprehensive Euroflor brochure ask your Rigby Taylor contact or Freefone 0800 424 919.
Also as part of this initiative, Rigby Taylor has launched a new website that details more about Project Pollin-8 and showcases all the Euroflor mixtures currently available.
Rigby Taylor Limited www.rigbytaylor.com e-mail: email@example.com
â€˜*The Urban Pollinators Group (UPG) is a national research programme on urban pollinators run by Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds, & Reading universities (2010-2013).
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April issue of The Landscaper Magazine featuring interview with the the Director General of the Royal Horticultural Society Sue Biggs, previ...
Published on Apr 1, 2019
April issue of The Landscaper Magazine featuring interview with the the Director General of the Royal Horticultural Society Sue Biggs, previ...