The right-sized Flower Garden

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.

 

 

The right-sized flower garden

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 info@grotrends.com

Ann & Chris

 

Growing Trends interview with BIll Sosinsky after a recent trip to China

Growing trends logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello everyone, we hope you like our new logo ?

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.

Great_Wall

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

Kin_Ming_Estate

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 info@grotrends.com

Ann & Chris

 


 

Garden Centers are changing…….

  Ann is in Paris, France talking to Valerie Langendorff, President of a Women's Garden Executive Club.

 

Adjusted rose 1

Valerie looks at Garden Centers from the ladies perspective in France, her executive ladies group have identified a number of interesting trends..

Women make 70% of the purchase decisions.

Currently 90% of Garden Centers are managed by men.

They have developed an annual awards program judged by women.

Ladies nights are arranged in the Garden Center

They have an award for the most women friendly Garden Center.

They have discovered that women like innovation more than men..

You can listen to this fascinating interview here or on iTunes

 

The Chelsea Physic Garden – Linking people with plants and nature

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.

chelsea physic garden

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.

chelsea physic garden

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

You can listen to Ann's interview on www.growingtrends.org or on iTunes at Growing Trends

 

 

Growing Trends is listened to in 48 countries, our new program is all about people like you, from all over the world.

An opportunity from Ann and Chris, but first we wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.

We would like to hear from you with ideas, comments and suggestions for our shows drop us a line at info@grotrends.com

We have been making changes to Growing Trends our internet based radio show.

Listen at www.grotrends.com
Listen at www.grotrends.com

Our new daily show starts in January 2015, we will have five segments:

Time to Eat – All about growing Herbs & Vegetables

Gardenesque – Everything to do with Gardens & Landscapes

World Wide Wesponsibility – A more serious look at sustainability and how we might all help our planet.

Face Time – Interviews with experts on topics of interest

Book Reviews – Interviews with authors of books relating to the environment, nature and garden landscaping.

Perhaps we could interview you for our Face Time segment? …. just drop us a line and we will contact you.

What one item/ feature is the most important in a garden landscape today ?

So a question for you all.

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

45 degree herringbone
45 degree herringbone

Here a much harder engineering quality natural brick is used to good effect.

Dri-lay natural brick drive
Dri-lay natural brick drive

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.

Brindle colour drive

As our order book enlarged we started offering more expensive solutions, such as granite setts – something the Romans introduced.

This granite sett pathway is extremely hard wearing  and yet very rustic looking.
This granite sett pathway is extremely hard wearing and yet very rustic looking.

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.

Laying small unit sett paving of almost random size in a radiating pattern requires skill and patience....
Laying small unit sett paving of almost random size in a radiating pattern requires skill and patience….

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.

Just drop us a line with your suggestions..

 

What do our kids really know about plants?

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?

IMGP1106

or perhaps this one.?

Herb

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?

Listen at www.grotrends.com
Listen at www.grotrends.com

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

Are you planning to add to your landscape?

As autumn and winter move in, with leaves changing into many hues of red and gold before falling to the ground.

Fall Colours

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.

mums

For the luckier ones living in warmer climates, not so much changes

If only we could all enjoy everyday scenes like this !
If only we could all enjoy everyday scenes like this !

and for some others the climate has changed enough to wonder if it’s time to convert the ubiquitous lawns

Sometimes I would call in and cut the clients grass to get away from the office.
Are we going to have to change this view?

into something more akin to a dessert landscape or perhaps a Mediterranean or Xeriscape landscape.

Very low maintenance, Mediterranean style
Very low maintenance, Mediterranean style

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?

Laying natural dri-lay bricks

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.

Landscape Plan
Landscape Plan

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.

It's fun here...
It’s fun here…

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.

An example from a Chelsea Flower Show exhibit
An example from a Chelsea Flower Show exhibit

Listen to ideas from experts at Growing Trends

How do you see garden landscapes evolving ?

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.

Natural brisk drive hand pointed

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.

Hydraulically installed irrigation
Hydraulically installed irrigation

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.

Park  in Paris
Park in Paris

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.

A Green Wall

Whilst in Gardens we have built for over 30 years eco friendly  ‘Green Retaining Walls’ such as this one

Treated Structural Green Wall
Treated Structural Green Wall

Roof Gardens have been around for years, we were designing and building them back in the distant 1980’s

Wooden pathway on Roof Garden
Wooden pathway on Roof Garden

Home owners are developing a taste for their own food production.

An example from a Chelsea Flower Show exhibit
An example from a Chelsea Flower Show exhibit

Herb & Vegetable gardening is becoming very popular today.

Weekend Garden Kit from Picagardi

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.

Hort Cuisine Grid
Hort Cuisine Grid

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.

Potager 1

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.

or follow our internet radio show at www.grotrends.com