Employing a Garden Designer – How Much & What To Look For

Employing a garden designer isn’t as straight forward as it may first appear.  The level of competence and professionalism, varies hugely, depending on their qualification and how long they have been practicing.  In a nut shell, a qualified garden designer should be able to offer an almost identical service to that of a building architect. In reality, less than half the garden designers currently practicing can do so.   And many are little more than enthusiastic amateurs. Employing a garden designer isn’t just about getting a pretty garden plan and some planting suggestion.  After [...]

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Wholesale Plants: A Buyers Guide

How and where to buy wholesale plants in the UK There is an enormous choice of wholesale plants in the UK.  From small independents like Orchard Dene and Babylon Plants in Oxfordshire, to large wholesale/retail nurseries like Hillier or Evergreen.  For trade only consider nurseries like Coblands, Palmstead or North Hill.  You may have to pre order, as some nurseries are only open by appointment.  While some like Hillier, Coblands, and  W Godfrey & Sons offer a select & collect service, allowing you to hand-pick your wholesale plants. Types of Plant Nurseries If [...]

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Timber Specification for Garden Design

Timber Specification: Understanding  Quality and Strength  The proper timber specification is very important as it's a natural material and therefore its quality varies considerably.  Defects can include knots and shakes (splits down the grain), twist, etc.  Softwood joinery is classified into 3 qualities in British Standard EN 942.  Class 1 is the best quality down to Class 3, the poorest. The highest class will have no splits or shakes, etc., and any knots will be small. This classification is for its visual quality only and not its strength. For garden designers, some timber specification [...]

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How to Best Use Stone In The Garden

Some thoughts to consider about the use of stone in the garden as ornament or feature.  Many of us are so used to living with brick and concrete all around us that we rarely have the opportunity, or the time to think about, study and appreciate natural stone in the garden. Nothing beats its beauty, in all its variations of form, texture, striation, weathering, colouring, weight and durability. Marble, granite, limestone, slate – all have their own special characteristics and uses in specific settings. Past civilizations have used the extraordinary natural beauty and gravitas of stone to [...]

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Inspiration Overload

At the end of May, the wondrous, bizarre, inspirational and manic theatre of The Chelsea Flower Show again unveiled garden design inspiration for the delight of millions, worldwide. Probably the most influential horticultural show on the planet, Chelsea is an event on a par with and maybe surpassing the international fame and popularity of other British events such as Wimbledon, Royal Ascot and Henley. It is the garden professionals' equivalent of The Grand National. For an emerging designer and even long-experienced practitioners it is oh, oh, oh so easy to fall in love with the astonishing [...]

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