How it all started, my first job.
It’s been very many moons since starting out early one morning to work ‘in the woods’ near
my home in Caversham, Reading.
Leaving the house at 6.30am, with a hoar frost on the ground, piling into the back an Austin van, joining three others who were much more able than 14 year old me.
My mum would pack a lunch for me and added a thermos flask of hot soup.
Matt, the foreman greeted me, introducing the rest of the crew, Wilf an older gentleman
with a very gruff appearance, Aleric a much younger, very well educated fellow, David, who was my age
and the son of the boss. he was also my friend.
We were only driving about 15 miles to a small village called Checkendon where the boss owned a small woodland – around 20 acres of mixed hardwood planting.
We arrived at the five bar entrance gate, the area looked like an over grown field. Then driving down a small track, that stopped at an old rectangular concrete building with just a door, no windows. Everyone piled out, and headed for the building, inside were a selection of ‘v’ shaped planting spades, a bunch of ranging poles and a large pile of plastic bags with various bare root tree species inside.
The plan this day was to complete a mixed hardwood woodland planting. The planting distances were 5ft row separations with 5 ft planting gaps.
Kerry Mendez 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 … Continue reading
- Ann is in Paris, France talking to Valerie Langendorff, President of a Women’s Garden Executive Club.Valerie looks at Garden Centers from the ladies perspective in France, her 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
Garden Centers have evolved over the years, there are Independent Garden Centers often in a local neighborhood, there are larger groups with multiple locations.
Many of the big box ‘Do it Yourself stores’ have larger and larger ‘Garden Center’ sections.
The question recently has been where are they all heading.
So Ann asked Sid & John – “If I were to open a Garden Center today what would be your recommendations?”
CEO of Horticultural Advantage (www.AdvantageDevelopmentSystem.com) , providing business expertise and extensive leadership training to small to medium horticultural businesses, primarily retail garden centers and selected wholesale suppliers.
International retail guru is what people call me. Specialising in helping retail businesses to grow their bottom line and expand their market base. I work in 26 countries with retailers of all sizes. My expertise ranges from conference speaking to hands on management consultancy. My specialist retail areas are in perishable retailing – anything that will not last long without loving care on the shelf
Sid and John discuss future trends for gardens, garden centers, and our urban environment.
This fascinating , very informative interview is going to have you thinking.
Send us your thoughts to Growing Trends
Ann and Chris interview Rich Sapienza and Bill Sosinsky we talk about sustainable solutions for the world today. It's fascinating, interesting and very enlightening. Sustainability must work on its own, grow on its own, support itself with the built-in ability … Continue reading
World Wide WEsponsibility Bill Sosinsky, Founder, Co-Owner, and CEO of The Energime Family of Companies including Energime Sustainable Technologies, Energime Power, Energime Energy Efficiency and is the Chairman of the Board for The Energime Foundation. Bill is also the Founder … Continue reading
Patti is one of those rare ladies, an expert bee keeper and a fascinating speaker. Listen to her explain the intricate lifestyle of the honey bee, it's truly fascinating and very educational. We visited Patti at her lovely country home … Continue reading
We called in to the farm early one morning, just as the sun was rising, to talk to Steve before his busy day had got into full swing. A trip to the Weston Red Barn Farm is like visiting a … Continue reading
We would like to hear from you with ideas, comments and suggestions for our shows drop us a line at email@example.com
We have been making changes to Growing Trends our internet based radio show, which we started back in 2015
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.
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?
or perhaps this one.?
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?
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
Our internet radio show Growing Trends has attracted listeners from across the globe, we’ve been really amazed how many people comment and listen – thank you all so much, it really is a lot of fun to produce.
We would love to hear from you with your ideas & suggestions on the shows content.
We’ve interviewed some amazing people, from many different walks of life, with many differing interests in our outside environment – from a keen homeowner gardener, to a commercial grower, to an environmentalist to an estate gardener, to a very knowledgeable bee keeper, to an expert consultant. All have fascinating insights into the hugely diverse world of horticulture and our environment.
We are making some programming adjustments to our fall schedule to better reflect this diverse interest.
You can still listen daily at 1pm & 7pm on www.cravingtalkradio.com, or download direct from the site as a podcast, or just visit www.grotrends.com our own web site and click on the ‘listen here’ page.
Our new segments.
Time to Eat – Everything about growing your own food
.Gardenesque – All about gardens & landscapes.
World Wide Wesponsibility – A little more serious about sustainability and how we can be good custodians of our planet.
Face Time – Interviews with experts on topics of interest.
Have an idea for an interview ? send us an email and we will be in touch.. firstname.lastname@example.org
Drop us a line with your comments & suggestions, or even a request for an interview.. you can complete the form below or just email us Ann & Chris at email@example.com
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.
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.
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.
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.
Whilst in Gardens we have built for over 30 years eco friendly ‘Green Retaining Walls’ such as this one
Roof Gardens have been around for years, we were designing and building them back in the distant 1980’s
Home owners are developing a taste for their own food production.
Herb & Vegetable gardening is becoming very popular today.
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.
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.
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