January 31, 2015

The legacy of Beth Chatto: Ecology and Aesthetics: a powerful association

At a Society of Garden Designers ceremony in London to celebrate the best of garden design and garden designers last night, the well known plants woman Beth Chatto was awarded the John Brookes Lifetime achievement award!- Hip hip hurrah for such a fitting tribute to a lady that has given so much to the profession and our approach…

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July 28, 2013

Tatton Flower Show 2013: Ideas to take away!

Following my visit to the RHS Tatton Flower show 2013 on 25th July in glorious sunshine,  I have captured some of my thoughts on the gardens in an article for Cheshire Life (September edition, available in a few weeks time).  Show gardens are great for inspiration and ideas.  Here are a selection of initial thoughts…

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July 11, 2013

Wildlife needs your help! -Create a home for nature in your garden

The recent news that our wildlife is struggling, revealed following a study of UK wildlife which suggested that 60% of all species are in decline is worrying.  This comes at a time when the EU have recently voted to ban the use of neonicotinoids on crops that are pollinated by bees following concerns over the decline…

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June 24, 2013

Why the grass isn’t always greener- Alternatives to lawn

Perfect green lawns are an English obsession and have been so for centuries- the sweeping green lawns of Capability Brown in the 17th Century are iconic statements and without the lawnmower, cricket, football, ruby & tennis would not have become the games they are today.  But are traditional lawns always appropriate in our gardens? Will…

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June 17, 2013

Our Boutique Allotment-Support and protection

Its that time of year when many of our crops, or even our ornamental planting, need stakes and supports if they are to stay upright or climb & clamber.  It is also that time where our crops need protection from a variety of garden pests if they are to survive birds; slugs; insects etc. and…

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May 25, 2013

Chelsea flower show 2013-My impressions mark 2: My top themes from Chelsea

  As ever with remarkable RHS shows such as Chelsea, there is a huge amount to see and take in: its rather like being in a favourite perfume or clothes shop!.  Despite the mass of things to experience, from show gardens to stalls to plant displays in the Great Pavilion, there were a number of…

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May 24, 2013

Chelsea flower show 2013-My impressions mark 1: Favourite gardens

  This week I was fortunate enough to attend the 100th anniversary of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea flower show and not surprisingly, much has changed in that 100 years.  Moreover, I have not visited the show for 10 years and in that time I have seen a marked shift in focus; whilst good…

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May 18, 2013

Our boutique allotment: Sustainable approaches to growing food

“We have not inherited the land from our ancestors; we have borrowed it from our children …”
   by Dennis J. Hall
 Office of Land Use   To me, this statement helps to define the very essence of why we need to ensure that we preserve and effectively manage the environment in which we live.…

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April 30, 2013

Bee Cool or Buzz off….

I have never been actively drawn to our crawling and buzzing friends but, as an organic allotmenter & gardener with hives but a stone’s throw from our plot, an avid watcher of the likes of Countryfile, and a ‘Greenie’ at heart, I have been following with sadness, the story related to the plight of our…

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April 26, 2013

Outside-Inside – Judge a book by its cover!

Why is it that stunning properties may often be surrounded by gardens that are mediocre at best and completely uninspired at worst?   It can’t be that we aren’t interested in gardens, because we are a nation of gardeners; we have the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the National Gardens Scheme and the Chelsea flower show is…

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