THE LANDSCAPING SOLUTIONS BLOG


Welcome to our Blog. Inspiration, updates and industry trends from the team at Landscaping Solutions.

BALI NATIONAL LANDSCAPE AWARDS 2018

BALI Landscaping Award 2018

It’s that time of year again, with the nights drawing in, December fast approaching and the anticipation mounting it can mean only one thing...no not Christmas, the BALI National Landscape Awards 2018.

Recognised throughout the industry as one of the biggest landscaping events of the year the 42nd BALI National Landscape Awards will pay tribute to BALI members who have demonstrated exceptionally high standards of professionalism and skill within the landscaping and design sector.

As BALI members and winners of this years Domestic Garden Construction Between £100k - £250k category the Landscaping Solutions team will of course be in attendance.

This will be our fifth BALI award to date and, as always, it stands as a great testament to the hard work, craftsmanship and enthusiasm of all our staff. Two of those five award have been of ‘Principal’ status which is awarded to the best garden in its respective category. We are hoping that this year will be three out of five. Fingers crossed.

Situated in the London Borough of Barnet our award winning garden was designed by Jilayne Rickards Garden Design. Jilayne’s commitment and attention to details is of the highest order and we look forward to bringing more of her contemporary garden designs to life in coming years.

As part of the initial brief for this particular design the client had requested a usable family space with a unifying architectural theme and colour scheme. In addition they wanted year round interest in the planting, to hear the sound of running water and to have interesting textures, shapes and heights be incorporated in to the planting.

Modern hard landscaping features, privacy screens, overhead patio shades, a built-in barbecue and fireplace and a bespoke water feature are just some of the many features we installed to meet the clients needs.

In the early stages of the design process the client had also expressed the importance of ensuring the finished garden had a ‘unique’ and personal feel, requesting personalised elements be included in the scheme.

With this in mind a number of bespoke Cor-Ten features were commissioned and installed through the rear garden. A bespoke mounting method had to be devised to allow for their installation.

From these bespoke installations, through to restricted site access and unfavourable ground conditions it is fair to say the project was not without its challenges. Luckily we don’t shy away from challenges at Landscaping Solutions and so with good communication, meticulous planning and hard work we were able to transform the garden in to a clean and clear functional space that satisfied all of the clients requirements.

With the hard work done, We are certainly looking forward to celebrating with fellow BALI members at the awards ceremony in December and as always, it is an honour to have our achievements recognised by the industry's number one trade association and our peers.

The competition in each category is fierce so we would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the other category winners on a job well done.

GARDENING GETS A YOUTH TAKEOVER

Gardening Gets A Youth Takeover

Traditionally, most people see gardening as dominated by the older generation. The digital age however, has seen a new younger generation of gardeners emerge. These gardeners are learning from an entirely untraditional source; the internet and social media.

Social media and the internet are key players when it comes to kick starting trends, with sites like Instagram, Pintrest, Twitter and YouTube offering us inspiration at our finger tips. As a result, a huge network of young horticulturists are using these social media platforms to share the latest gardening tips and tricks or simply to find inspiration.

According to a survey commissioned by the Royal Horticultural Society, 89 per cent of 16 to 24 year olds said they had either a garden or an allotment and grew their own plants and vegetables.

Growing your own food and watching what you eat is a popular trend at the moment, most notably amongst young professionals. Organic food is on the rise and people are more aware than ever that growing your own fruit and vegetables can dramatically reduce our food’s carbon footprint.

In short, attitudes are changing rapidly with many under 35’s now heavily engaged in a range of gardening activities. The last few years have also seen a sharp increase in the number of 16 to 18 year olds wanting to enroll on horticultural courses at college.

The stereotype that gardening can only be enjoyed by the older generation is quickly disappearing and one such person helping to dispel that stereotype is 19 year old YouTuber Huw Richards.

Huw’s YouTube channel HuwsNursery currently has over 20 million views with upwards of 80 thousand subscribers, making it the most successful gardening vlog in the UK.

As a result of his YouTube successes Huw has also appeared on numerous TV gardening programmes and secured a number of sponsorship deals with prominent landscape and gardening related companies.

Another young British YouTuber, 22 year old Jack Shilley features similar content on his Youtube channel. One of his most successful videos entitled “planting raspberries in containers” has racked up more than 95,000 views.

When you look at statistics like this it’s clear the younger generation are getting into gardening in a big way and thankfully there are a growing number of initiatives designed to encourage and nurture this surge of interest.

BALI are a prime example of this, their hugely successful GoLandscape initiative (of which Landscaping Solutions company director Ben West is an ambassador) aims to bring more young people in to the landscaping industry by promoting and developing real life careers.

In addition The Royal Horticultural Society also run several groups and award schemes all aimed at the younger generation.

Increasingly a number of schools and colleges across the UK are also creating gardening spaces and clubs within their grounds, in an effort to embrace the enthusiasm of this new generation of gardeners.

HTA LAUNCHES NATIONWIDE PLASTIC PLANT POT RECYCLING SCHEME

Plant Pot Recycling Scheme

This spring will finally see the introduction of a nationwide plant pot recycling scheme. Launched by the Horticultural Trade Association (HTA) in partnership with renewable energy specialist Ecogen, the scheme will provide the infrastructure for garden centres nationwide to recycle pots and other various plastic plant carrying trays.

Garden centres across the country have found it increasingly difficult to find recyclers for their used plastic pots, with some big chain garden centres stopping their pot recycling services all together.

Cheap to produce and convenient for their purpose, the plastic plant pot is unfortunately the gardener's equivalent to the shopper's plastic carrier bag.

With approximately 500 million pots used each year in the UK alone, just like it’s carrier bag counter part, the plastic plant pot has become a huge waste issue. Aside from cluttering our garden sheds, the majority of plastic plant pots are sent directly to landfill, adding to the 6.3 billion metric tons of plastic waste already in existence.

Our oceans are becoming heavily littered with plastic which is killing all manner of sea creatures, fish and birds. Only last week new evidence emerged suggesting that much of our bottled water is also contaminated with microplastics.

With headlines like these every week, campaigns such as the plant pot recycling scheme are more important then ever.

Thankfully in last weeks Spring Statement, Chancellor Philip Hammond outlined the Government's plans to cut the use of single-use plastics vowing to tackle the “threat to our oceans”.

In his statement the Chancellor called for a consultation, to examine the potential for a charge on numerous plastic items such as takeaway boxes, plastic plates and polystyrene packaging, building on the success of the recent plastic carrier bag charge.

A proposed nine-week consultation will look carefully at the entire supply chain for single-use plastics and examine ways to deliver renewable alternatives or improve recycling opportunities.

Hammond has also set aside £20 million for an innovation fund that will aim to help businesses and universities discover new solutions for tackling plastic waste.

Whilst none of these government proposals are necessarily the answer to what is clearly a huge global issue, they are undoubtedly a step in the right direction. Moving forward, we all need to do our bit to find the best solution, including the landscaping and gardening industry. Now, thanks to HTA plant pot recycling scheme, we are that little bit closer.

​DOES A GARDEN ADD TO THE VALUE OF YOUR HOME?

adding-value-to-your-home

As you would expect, the majority of people go to great lengths when sprucing up their homes in the hope of making a sale. In the past gardens would foolishly be overlooked in this process, their potential undervalued by homeowners and prospective buyers alike.

But times have changed. Almost 40% of Brits now spend more time in their gardens compared to five years ago.

Over the years homeowners have begun to take more and more pride in the layout and landscaping of their gardens, with buyers also following suit, putting the same emphasis on the garden as they do other rooms when viewing a property. The garden is becoming an integral consideration in the house buying process.

A huge part of selling a house is standing out from the crowd. Large or small, the condition and appearance of a property’s garden is going to play a part in successfully achieving that.

First impressions count and in many cases the garden is the first thing a person sees when arriving at your property. A badly maintained garden could be enough to put off a potential buyer before they even set foot inside.

Research recently conducted by property buying website “Sell House Fast” surveyed estate agents, garden designers, landscape gardeners, property professionals and consultants. The results found that a well-maintained garden can add up to 20% to the value of your property. Based on the current UK average for property prices that’s £60,000, and up to £90,000 for properties in London.

We’re not necessarily talking about acres of land either. The majority of the estate agents surveyed agreed that even a small garden or courtyard, if well crafted, would certainly be worth more than a similar property on the same street where nothing had been done.

In a separate survey conducted by estate agent Foxtons it was also found that 72% of their clients said they would pay more for a home with a garden.

What is certain from all this is that a well-maintained outdoor space is more in demand then ever before and if you are thinking of selling up in the near future, your garden could easily be the deal breaker.

If you have found this article interesting you may also enjoy one of our previous articles; The Importance Of Good Garden Design And Landscaping.

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