‘Can you meet me in London to look at this project’

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Aug 042017
 

We have worked with Bas Smets Bureau – http://www.bassmets.be/ on a couple of projects and they have been small but very interesting. So, ‘of course, let me know when and where’. Down the rabbit hole it was.

We became involved in creating a Babylonian garden in central London for the 34 bedroomed ultra luxury boutique hotel in central London The Mandrake – http://www.themandrake.com/. In time we will write a full project report but for now see some pictures below of how the gardens are now 1 month before opening.

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Video of Yelford Manor

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Jan 152017
 

Because we are so proud of our what we do we had this video commissioned of our landscaping work at Yelford Manor in the Cotswolds. Enjoy the summer breeze blowing through the site.

There are some beautiful shots of peak flowering through out this video and wonderful cameos from the insects. Be sure to watch it all!

 

Halfway post – 2016

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Jun 132016
 

Now just 12 days off of the solstice and i thought it was about time to update this blog as everyone is sleeping in, a rarity with two children under two.

As ever, we have been engaged in a range of projects from contemporary to the very traditional, everywhere in between and even a private playground. It has also been nice to see some of our bigger commissions from the last few years filling out and looking really lush this year. I offer some pictures of where we have been and what we have been doing.

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Cornus kousa, atop of the wildflower meadow atop the best garden playground in Cheltenham.

Our party trick. Burying trampolines. We have done it a couple of times. It is always much more work than you appreciate but so effective.

Our party trick – burying trampolines. We have done it a couple of times. It is always much more work than you appreciate but so effective.

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Work continues at Yelford Manor. Here the patio is starting to settle in.

A close up of our attention to detail stone work.

A close up of our attention to detail stone work.

This is a transition area in a garden in Cheltenham between the edible and the ornamental garden. Deliberately loose. Forest garden style.

This is a transition area in a garden in Cheltenham between the edible and the ornamental garden. Deliberately loose. Forest garden style, you can see Rhubarb, mixing with Chives and Rosemary. Valeriana officinalis used here as an ornamental.

Wrapping up 2015

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Dec 142015
 

I sit in the office reflecting on the year. We are two employees stronger, 5 in total and i have another heir with Floyd John Jones being born in a rush on the night of 19/9/15. We are in a good place. The order book is full until April with a series of diverse, challenging and interesting projects. While we are in the process of finishing off some of our best work to date.

Below are some pictures of works over the last few months and i thank you for taking the time to look at this blog while wishing you the festive best and an enjoyable 2016.

 

A stone wall built to match recent extension. Lewis installing some lights for us

A stone wall built to match recent extension. Lewis installing some lights for us before adding to the existing paving.

Recomendation landscaping, Cheltenham

This un-prompted compliment was most welcome

A mixed selection of York stone cut by hand on site to minimise the jointing gap. Limestone cobbles sourced on site

A mixed selection of York stone cut by hand on site to minimise the jointing gap. Limestone cobbles sourced on site.

Yorkstone paving oxfordshire garden

Looks so shiny after cleaning

There was a bank of grass. The designer had the idea to make stone risers and grass treads. We found these cills from an old Mill House in Halifax which seem to have done the job perfectly. I think this is one of the best things we have ever built.

There was a bank of grass. The designer had the idea to make stone risers and grass treads. We found these cills from an old Mill House in Halifax which seem to have done the job perfectly. I think this is one of the best and most interesting things we have ever built.

'5 men went to lay, went to lay a meadow'. Not a true wildflower meadow but a pictorial meadow as seen at the Olympic Park.

‘5 men went to lay, went to lay a meadow’. Not a true wildflower meadow but a pictorial meadow as seen at the Olympic Park.

Laid and the grass seed starting to emerge.

Laid and the grass seed starting to germinate.

Specimen tree planting – Lower Slaughter, Cotswolds

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Oct 302015
 

We recently cleared an over grown border in Lower Slaughter for planting in the spring. While this was much needed it was apparent afterwards that the removal of some of the larger shrubs opened up views of the bin store from the neighbouring hotel. A big evergreen tree required.

The problem was the only access into the garden was a through a 95cm wide gate which meant we couldn’t get any machinery in. Cue a few tricks learnt over the years for moving things you can’t lift or drag.

 

Walk like an Egyptian

Walk like an Egyptian

Day release

Day release

Arbutus unedo - bins screened.

Arbutus unedo – bins gone.

Apr 062015
 

Part of my extraordinary enjoyment in this work is the wonderful places it takes me. I have been lucky enough to see some not many do and that many would like to. A recent project has made a new entry into my top ten work places. We are implementing the first phase in what i hope will become a multi layered garden landscape built considerately over a few years.

 

Chris loves his job nearly as much as me

Chris loves his job nearly as much as me

Moody morning in the garden

Moody morning in the garden

Unloading some native specimen trees

Unloading some native specimen trees

Top right; a solar eclipse. These don't expose too well on a phone

Top right; a solar eclipse. These don’t expose too well on a phone

 

Apr 062015
 

It felt like time for an update of the fun we have been having through the winter. We seem to have been fortunate with the weather which has allowed us to get on with some really good work and the diary is slowly filling up with bigger and better projects for the spring and early summer.

 

Our newest member, Callum, was very happy with his first garden in Cheltenham

Our newest member, Callum, was very happy with his first garden in Cheltenham

A simple design which shall reveal itself once the summer comes

A simple design which shall reveal itself once the summer comes

A surprising scene plant buying in the West Midlands

A surprising scene plant buying in the West Midlands

Garden design cotswolds

The little one auditions for a Terry Gilliam film

 

Part way through a recent large Yorkstone patio

Part way through a recent large Yorkstone patio

An example of a recent proposal

An example of a recent proposal

The garden design for our next project

The garden design for our next project

 

Dove cottage nurseries

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Aug 162014
 

After finishing my training at RHS Wisley nearly 5 years ago, gulp, I spent some time working in rural Holland as described in other places on this site. One afternoon while busy working in the Nursery  a lovely but out of place Yorkshire lilt was audible across the beds. I said hello and spent a delightful few hours speaking with Stephen and Kim of Dove Cottage Nurseries. In short, they run a beautiful garden and nursery near Huddersfield in the naturalised style popularised by Oudolf and were travelling around Holland and west Germany to see the concentration of gardens and nurseries who work in this style. Anyway, I was invited along to see their garden and nursery should i ever be travelling nearby.

Last week a visit to a quarry took me just down the road and 4 and half years later i made the visit. The wait was worth every day and i would have waited longer. A beautiful garden run by beautiful people and a very interesting selection of plants of which some filled the hire car on the way home. Some so interesting there are probably less than 20 pots in the uk and will see their way into wider cultivation over the next few years. Hopefully we can propagate and be able to offer them to our clients.

I shall let the pictures speak for themselves, although the light was a bit problematic so some are a bit flat. if you ever get the chance make the trip. You won’t be disappointed.

Cheltenham gardeners

Nice loose borders

Landscape gardeners Stroud

Part of the garden’s effectiveness is its relation to its setting. I don’t think another form of garden would sit against the hills so well.

Garden design Cheltenham

This is the new patrina aff. punctiflora in the Molinia meadow. The Molinia meadow was the highlight of the garden but none of the photographs of this have done it justice, so i shall plant one in my new garden and show it off properly in a few years….

Dove Cottages own selection of Echinacea 'Autumn Joy' Much earlier flowering, fuller in body and of better habit than a lot of Echinacea. Tried and tested here over 5-6 years.

Dove Cottages own selection of Echinacea ‘Pink Glow’. Much earlier flowering, fuller in body and of better habit than a lot of Echinacea. Tried and tested here over 5-6 years.

Jun 222014
 

WHOOOWHAAA…….this feels like sound i should have been making over the last few months as i have been riding the busiest rollacoaster of work i have yet known! I think, although it has been a blur, that it has been 3 months since i have stopped to think, eat a proper meal and not been looking at this computer screen until late at night.

It was last night walking around my own garden when i stopped at the first Echinacea flower emerging to think – ‘Already, that’s early for the beginning of June’,…..err, nope, June 21st has come, been celebrated and gone! Wow that came round quick and the best thing, i have got to share it for the first time with our little daughter! What a joy.

So enough of this…i thought a few pictures to share of what and where we have been doing it over the last few months.

 

31 st luke rd areas final shadows

This is a concept presented this week to a client after our first consultation. We have been commissioned to go ahead with it and shall be looking forward to building it in the autumn.

Cheltenham plants and landscaping

Now in its second full year of growth I just had to stop and grab a picture of this planting in central Cheltenham we did a few years ago the other day

Original Carl Linnaeus

As part of the Young Horticulturalist of the Year competition, we were shown around the John Innes library and got to see these original copies of Carl Linnaeus’ Sspecies Plantarum

Cheltenham garden Alliums

We plant a lot of Alliums. They are a cheap and effective way to add a bit of colour before the season and rest of the garden has got fully going.

Wild spring flowers, Gloucestershire

On a family day out we went to visit the rather eccentrically built Broadway tower. You can see 16 counties from the top. These Buttercups and Hawthorns were spectacular.

Broadway tower

The family

Gifts while working in a garden

Bank holiday treats – While working on one of the May bank holidays these wonderful clients brought me out a treat….

Large Cheltenham Patio

We also had fun building this large patio.

Young Horticulturalist of The Year – West Midlands and South Wales 2014

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Mar 202014
 

Winner!

Last week I took part in the final of the regional Young Horticulturalist and WON! So now i get to take part in the Grand Final; in Norwich against the other finalists from all over Great Britain. The competition is open to anyone over under the age of 30 on July 31st of this year. There were 2000 applicants nationwide and 8, including me, are in the Grand final.

The regional final took place at Pershore college and took form of a question directed or open, buzzer controlled, on a general range of horticultural subjects. There were also a couple of identification rounds, one plant identification and one pest and disease. There were two points on offer per question. The grand final is much the same format however, the winner receives  a £2000 travel bursary to study plants where every they may choose. Here are some pictures from the evening.

Scoreboard

YHOY Winner Cheltenham reduced

In height order

The competition Cheltenham garden

The finalists

YHOY Cheltenham garden design

Identification round