Our latest interview is with Kerry Mendez who has a passion for gardening, in her latest book “The right-sized Flower Garden” she discusses how to develop a garden that you can manage, often this will reduce the amount of work involved. As she explains it’s all about making the right choices, whilst at the same time making simple design changes. Here is a practical book with sensible tips, lists, time and energy saving suggestions that will help the beginner and the experienced.
Come take a listen, I’m sure you will learn something new.
We will have two parts to this interview with Kerry you can listen to the first part here….Growing Trends
We would love to hear from you with ideas or suggestions on programs, just send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
We have some great interviews planned for the next few months.
Our first is with Bill Sosinsky , CEO of Energime University. Bill has recently returned from a trip to China. He talks to us about how the Chinese are adapting, planning and coping with the enormous growth the country has seen over the past few years.
Cities of 5 – 10 million people built in under 10 years !
This type of growth brings staggering infrastructure issues or as Bill says " This is a big deal !"
The interview is one of those must listen to events… we all have seen or heard of the Great Wall of China, a quite amazing feat of building, as seen here.
I wonder how many of us can comprehend the current building program?
100 million homes in the next 5- 10 years…!
That's almost one third of the total housing in the USA
Truly a monumental task of ingenuity, engineering and collaboration, Ann and I were just amazed talking to Bill about the growing issues they are trying to solve.
We will have two parts to this fascinating interview you can listen to the first part here….Growing Trends
We would love to hear from you with ideas or suggestions on programs, either fill in the form below or just send us an email to email@example.com
It's not often you find a garden that was founded in 1673, as the Apothecaries' Garden. Ann was on a trip to Europe recently and dropped in on the beautiful Chelsea Physic Garden on the side of the River Thames in London. The gardens purpose was to train apprentices in identifying plants. The gardens location close to the river created a warmer microclimate, significantly increasing the many non-native plants that could be grown.
In 1700 the garden had started an international botanic garden seed exchange system, which continues to this day.
The gardens cover some four acres and are leased on what is known as a peppercorn rent in perpetuity.
They are with out doubt one of London's secret 'gems' and thoroughly worth a visit.
The gardens mission " Linking people with plants and nature"
The interview starts with Ann talking for around 8 minutes to a group of school children on a field trip, the gardens have over 100 such visits a year. Ann then talks to Michael a very knowledgeable and extremely helpful member of staff. We kept all the typical inner city sounds on the recording – the enthusiasm of the children is very heartening.
Integrated pest management is the preferred method of bug control…
They have a project called "Shelf Life' it is just an incredible way to show children where their food comes from
What one item or feature would you add to your or your clients garden today?
When we started out with our then new company back in 1984 we identified designer drives, especially with ‘In & Out’ drives as the most important – sure enough within 6 months our order book stretched out into the following year, other firms descended on us for information and our advertising showed sporty cars sitting on interlocking concrete block and brick paving..Soon even the manufacturers were calling wanting to take pictures of our drives. Here we used stock brick paving. Although fairly soft, with somewhat irregular shapes, it kept it’s color very well
Here a much harder engineering quality natural brick is used to good effect.
The next was concrete block paving, these were very hard, initially with limited colors, and the color did fade quite quickly. They were also quite slippery in the ice.
As our order book enlarged we started offering more expensive solutions, such as granite setts – something the Romans introduced.
These drives were very hard wearing, color fast, strong and again a little slippery in ice. it wasn’t long before we included ‘Fish scale’ versions, these took quite a long time to set out, but looked absolutely amazing when completed.
Then these circular natural sett patterns became popular, with their sense of movement – just look at them long enough and they seem to ‘move’
What new trend, item or feature do you think will be the favorite for 2015? We will interview the top three on our radio show Growing Trends during the year.
I was reading an interesting article the other day, it was discussing what today’s children know about plants.
The part that caused me to sit up and wonder was this line.. “Today’s children can identify about 1000 company logos but only identify 10 plants outside”
I wonder how accurate this statement is?
So a quick test – could you identify the plant below?
or perhaps this one.?
Thinking a little about it, brings to mind the simple realization that many children do not really understand where much of our food comes from.
We really need to change this for many reasons, perhaps our internet radio show, can help?
We want to engage ‘Granny Growers’ and introduce them to the ‘Growing Uppers’ , to start this rolling we’re heading off to interview a few senior citizens in our retirement community, to ask them what they learned and how they think we can help our grand children.
if you have some ideas , we would love to hear from you to… just drop us a line
As autumn and winter move in, with leaves changing into many hues of red and gold before falling to the ground.
The weather starts to turn chilly, the growing season is coming to an end or is it? Some plants will head towards dormancy, others being more frost resistant will provide the last gasps of color, before winter sets in.
For the luckier ones living in warmer climates, not so much changes
and for some others the climate has changed enough to wonder if it’s time to convert the ubiquitous lawns
into something more akin to a dessert landscape or perhaps a Mediterranean or Xeriscape landscape.
Now is a great time to start planning any changes as you can follow some simple guidelines.
First establish a budget, then look at the existing and consider what you might want to change and why. Write down a wish list of likes and dislikes, add if I could I would do this, etc,.
Now it’s time to decide if you want to do the work your self, find a contractor to start gathering information on materials and costs etc or engage a designer who can work with you to produce a plan and a program?
Each method has it’s pros and cons, and is often decided by available budget and or available time to allocate to the project.
My experience has been that most busy people are also quite successful and can therefore afford to engage a designer, they also tend to like to know what they are getting into before they start , so a design works great for them, they also like detail.
Practical people can often gain most from actually working on the project themselves, they tend to be natural problem solvers and enjoy the discovery of ‘how to achieve something’
The best advice I learned was to consider what you would like in say 5 years time, as this is often the time when any changes are going to look their best, it is also a time to consider where you may be in your own life cycle, for example age of children, type of free time available etc.
There is a “Growing Trend’ towards sustainability, and growing one’s own food, now is a great time to look at all the methods available and how much time should be allocated to such endeavours.
Many years ago, we often introduced new ideas and products into our designs on a fairly regular basis. Some were because we developed our own ideas, products and subsequently ‘different’ offerings, we then ‘sold’ them to our customers.
When we started offering irrigation systems, we had to find a way to sell them to our more affluent customers, without making the costs too high, but most importantly by not disrupting or destroying the landscapes we had put in only a few years earlier.
We achieved this by finding a rather interesting hydraulic mole from Germany that used compressed air, it worked really well at a depth of 900mm and was pumped a distance of around 5m , which when reversed pulled the water pipe back through the drilled hole. This simple tool saved huge amounts of time and reinstatement costs – more importantly it amazed our clients who were thrilled that we could install such sophisticated systems without a huge amount of disruption.
Next came low voltage lighting systems, which made landscape lighting safe and easy to instal, the picture below isn’t our work it’s a Park in Paris, but it serves it’s purpose quite well.
Today we seem to have slowed down on major changes or have we?
Commercially vertical walled gardens are becoming quite popular and are definitely a recent development.
Whilst in Gardens we have built for over 30 years eco friendly ‘Green Retaining Walls’ such as this one
Roof Gardens have been around for years, we were designing and building them back in the distant 1980’s
Home owners are developing a taste for their own food production.
Herb & Vegetable gardening is becoming very popular today.
I’m seeing a huge demand for food production, but currently the solutions are traditional cold frames, cloches or greenhouses, all very time consuming and with varying degrees of cost.
Today with all the concerns over GMO crops, with apparent excessive use of pesticides, more and more people are either buying from local organic farmers or starting out on the incredibly satisfying journey of producing their own fruit and vegetables.
We’ve been developing an easy to use kit that makes selection, planting and growing much easier and for a much longer time frame.
We call it ‘Hort Cuisine’ our way of saying it’s fun, friendly and offers tasty treats when you gather your crops.
The patented system enables almost limitless combinations of plants to be selected, enabling designs for any climate region.
Creating those beautiful ‘Knot’ gardens just became a simple process.
So here are a few questions……
What new ideas have you seen recently?
What would you like to see developed?
In the last 5 years what is the best landscape invention you’ve seen?
What would your customers like to add to their garden landscape?
Drop us a line with your replies we will have a follow up blog shortly.