• Allergies,  Book Reviews,  Podcasts

    Suffering from Allergies?

    Ann and I were fortunate to interview Tom Ogren.

    Tom is the author of a fascinating ,very informative book about Allergies in the garden.

    This is a must read for avid gardeners everywhere. Especially if you are one of the many suffering from allergies.

    Allergy-Fighting Garden, cover

    You can hear our interview with Tom below or at www.growingtrends.org or on iTunes at Growing Trends

    We would love to hear your thoughts and comments, please spend a moment sending us your thoughts and suggestions.

    Ann & Chris

      Views: 281

    • Downloadable Help Sheets,  Landscaping,  Real Estate

      Outside Home Check List

      Outside Home Check List

      After starting my Real Estate career in England in 1971.

      I left for 25 years to development a multi award winning External Works Design & Build Company in London.

      Residential Properties

      Part of this was spent designing & building high end landscapes on residential properties in Southern England.

      We developed an initial review list of what to look for when considering the potential for properties, along with expected on going aftercare.

      Our construction teams focused on detailed hard & soft landscaping.

      Developing new ‘Designer Drives’ using a  ‘drylay’ system with block, brick and granite materials as early as 1982.

      Natural brick & granite
      Natural Engineering Brick Dive, in herring bone pattern
      Recessed manhole access covers cut into drylay brick paving

      Can you see the second manhole cover  ?

      Canted block edge that leads the eye around the design.
      Practically to let a driver know they were nearly off the driveway.

      Some larger homes benefitted from a less expensive softer appearance as below when we used a bonded ( with fibreglass resin) gravel drive with brick gulley detail.

      Triple brick drainage channel set around a bonded gravel drive
      Bonded gravel with brick gulley edge
      Bonded gravel with brick edge

       

      Whilst the list is by no means complete, I am planning on creating a section within this website to show the various techniques and ideas for homeowners.

      Porphery setts laid in a radius
      Granite paving to create a Mediterranean Style dry landscape

      I haven’t made any suggestion as to cost simply because each site is different.

      There are many factors impacting costs, not least access, planning and zoning, time of year, scope of works, current material & labor costs.

      I do hope though that this provides help in your overall assessment of the property you are reviewing.

      I will add sections each week with picture examples.

       

       

       

      Just send me an email or complete the form below with the Subject : “ Outside Forms”  adding what you are thinking about doing, I will be happy to make suggestions. 

       

         

        Views: 278

      • Book Reviews,  Face Time

        Journey to Dreamtime

        The professor takes Sophie, Dylan and their two pets Monty and Naomi on a wild adventure
        The professor takes Sophie, Dylan and their two pets Monty and Naomi on a wild adventure

        I’ve been writing this blog for a few years now, in addition with my wonderful co-host Ann we have been interviewing the fascinating people we find for our podcast www.growingtrends.org

        Last year I was asked if we might develop a learning aid for children based on how we grow food, develop sustainable approaches to agriculture and cope with modern city life. I agreed because I felt we do need to help this planet of ours every so often.

        After much thinking coupled with the odd glass of wine – I’m fairly partial to a nice burgundy. This along with late night chats with friends and my lovely wife the small light bulb ( well it has to be an LED these days) began to flicker.

        “Why not make the learning an adventure story?”

        Journey to Dreamtime was born, currently available as an eBook it will soon be available as a paperback, you can see more here…www.journeytodreamtime.com

         

        Now available in a paperback, you can order either on Amazon or from BookLocker

        Please do let me know what you think…. book two is going to be based in America.

        Thank you.

        Views: 50

      • Book Reviews,  Healthy Living,  Podcasts

        The Cancer Survivor’s Garden Companion

        Cancer Survivors Garden Companion1

        Ann and I were fortunate to interview Jenny Peterson, just after her new book was published. Jenny is an amazing, extremely positive lady who is an inspiration for us all.

        A Garden that Heals.

        Pittsburgh, Pa. (October 5, 2015): When Jenny Peterson was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, it rocked her world. Her cancer treatment was hard, emotional and often deeply depressing. But Peterson, a garden designer and Master Gardener, did not let the cancer diagnosis define her. She used her desire to garden and dig in the dirt again to pull her out of the darkness. And she discovered that gardening is good medicine –for the body, mind and spirit.

        The Cancer Survivor’s Garden Companion:

        Cultivating Hope, Healing and Joy in the Ground Beneath Your Feet
        (St. Lynn’s Press, January 2016) tells Peterson’s story and explores the therapeutic benefits of this vital “earth connection,” including inspirational profiles of other cancer survivors, both men and women, whose gardens became their partners in healing.

        With gentle empathy, beautiful photographs and easy how-to steps. Peterson shows others how to create their own backyard haven for healing – a personal restorative garden – with well-grounded guidance about diet, exercise, mental focus and spiritual renewal. Her book adds a fresh voice to the growing fields of horticultural therapy and therapeutic gardens.

        What others are saying about The Cancer Survivor’s Garden Companion:

        “Jenny’s tips for incorporating gardening into your life for mind, body, and spiritual health are ingenious!

         

        What other authors are saying.

        As a cancer coach, I will definitely be suggesting this book to my clients.” – Susan Gonzalez, BSN, CPCC, co-author of 100 Perks of Having Cancer Plus 100 Health Tips for Surviving It, and editor of The Savvy Sister blog

        “Jenny’s beautiful book reminds us all that life can be found in the healing, meditative act of gardening. By lovingly tending a garden, we can learn to nurture ourselves, restoring our mind, body and spirit in the process.” – Ray Anne Evans, Executive Director, Breast Cancer Resource Centers of Texas

        “Jenny’s connection with gardening, garden design, and simply being in nature remained strong throughout her cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. In fact, it was part of what helped her through. And now she is helping others to learn from her powerful experience.” – Naomi A. Sachs, Founding Director, Therapeutic Landscapes Network; co-author, Therapeutic Landscapes: An Evidence-Based Approach to Designing Healing Gardens and Restorative Outdoor Spaces

        The Cancer Survivor’s Garden Companion will teach readers how to use the garden to heal, find hope and feel joy.

        About the Author.

        Jenny Peterson is a landscape designer and Master Gardener specializing in xeriscaping and small urban spaces. She is a cancer survivor who found hope and healing in her garden, even during the darkest days of chemotherapy and radiation. In the process, she made deep connections with the cancer support community, including physicians, nutritionists, bodywork practitioners, psychologists and spiritual counselors.

        Peterson co-authored Indoor Plant Décor: The Design Stylebook for Houseplants (St. Lynn’s Press, 2013) with Kylee Baumle. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her fiancé, 19 chickens, two dogs, two quails and a goat.

        You can listen to the interview here :   Interviewing Jenny Peterson

        If you would like to purchase the book : The Cancer Survivors Garden Companion

        Views: 146

      • Face Time,  Garden Centers,  Podcasts

        Trends in European Garden Centers

        Ann is in Paris, France talking to Valerie Langendorff, President of a Women’s Garden Executive Club.
         
        Adjusted rose 1
         
        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

        Views: 84

      • Face Time,  Garden Centers,  Podcasts

        If I were opening a Garden center today

        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?”

        Sid Raisch

        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.

        John Stanley.

        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

        Garden Center

        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

         

         

         

        Views: 100

      • Face Time,  Gardenesque,  Podcasts

        Ann visits the Chelsea Physic garden

        It’s not often you find a garden that was founded in 1673 as The Apothecaries’ Garden

        Ann was on a trip to Europe recently and dropped in on the beautiful Chelsea Physic Garden on the side of the river Thames in London.

        The garden’s purpose was to train apprentices in identifying plants. The gardens’ location close to the river created a warmer microclimate, significantly increasing the many non-native plants that could be grown.

        chelsea physic garden

        In 1700 the garden had started an international botanical garden seed exchange system, which continues to this day.

        The gardens cover some four acres and are leased on what is known as a peppercorn rent in perpetuity.

        They are without doubt one of London’s secret ‘gems’ and thoroughly worth a visit.

        chelsea physic garden

        The garden’s mission ” Linking people with plants and nature”

        The interview starts with Ann talking for around 8 minutes to a group of school children on a field trip, the gardens have over 100 such visits a year.  Ann then talks to Michael a very knowledgeable and extremely helpful member of staff. We kept all the typical inner city sounds on the recording – the enthusiasm of the children is very heartening.

        Integrated pest management is the preferred method of bug control…

        They have a project called “Shelf Life’ it is just an incredible way to show children where their food comes from

        You can also listen to Ann’s interview on iTunes at Growing Trends

        We would love to hear your comments and suggestions for a show… just send us an email to Growing Trends

         

        Views: 88

      • Book Reviews,  Face Time,  Podcasts

        Growing Trends : How we look at Food Tourism today

        Ann and I interviewed John Stanley of John Stanley Associates  recently about his new book, he jointly wrote with his wife Linda,

         Food Tourism – A Practical Marketing Guide.

        Food tourism

        The fastest growth in tourism today is the culinary sector.

        Listen to John as he explains the overall direction of food tourism, including how he sees future development.

        A few snip bits:

        Do you grow soil?

        25% of the food we buy comes from 2% of the farmland around our cities, which is being swallowed up by development.

        Farmers used to make 38 cents on every dollar now its down to an average of just 6 cents

        Eating local seasonal food saves you around 25%, and is actually healthier for you!

        You can hear this really informative interview here (click below) or on iTunes at Growing Trends

        Views: 49

      • Book Reviews,  Face Time,  Podcasts

        Heaven is a Garden – Jan Johnsen

        A few years ago I read a paper about how grasses ‘moved’ to music, then I read about the effects of harmonious sounds on plant growth.

        Just using white summer bedding is very effective in such a large garden

        Why do I mention this?

        Well a few weeks ago we were talking about Tesla and his discoveries, which led us to talking about vibrations, sound waves, force fields etc., then a strange thing happened.

        Ann and I interviewed a wonderful lady landscape architect Jan Johnsen, about her new book “Heaven is a Garden” we talked a little about how at a very young age she discovered during a science fair competition – which against all the odds she won – the effects early morning birds singing have on plants. The sound waves, which are similar to a violin stimulate a plant to open its stomata taking in carbon-dioxide to help it grow quicker.

        Fushia

        Jan has written a book called Heaven is a Garden, it’s a really fascinating and informative read.  Jan has ‘connected’ the dots so as to speak, between the natural world and our emotions. How the Four Winds are important when laying out a space,the careful use of curves, and my favorite Golden Rectangles and the Divine Proportion. – Phi is the mathematical proportion ( 1 : 1.618) we see in every natural form. Using this proportion ensures a sense of harmony in any outdoor space that contains it. I’ve always tried to use these proportions in my designs.

        Jan then talks about Trees – natures rechargers as she puts it… The Celts  shunnache,  the Hindu tree devas, and Greek dryads are really references to light energy? The Chinese call this energy chi…the Japanese consider the health giving properties of trees the basis of a medical therapy called ‘ Forest bathing’, it helps reduce stress.

        Jan then discusses the magnetic attraction in a Zen garden – rocks in these gardens reflect a deep understanding of the geomagnetic properties of stone and its impact on a place.

        Finally the benefits of color in a garden.

        Be inspired by Jan Johnsen's Book
        You can listen to our truly fascinating interview with Jan Johnsen  or if you prefer on iTunes at Growing Trends  or just click on the arrow below to start the interview

        We would love to hear from you if you like this interview

        Ann and Chris,
         

           
           

          Views: 139

        • Face Time,  Podcasts,  World Wide WEsponsibility

          Growing Potential for Algae – Part one

          Our interview this week is with Bill Sosinsky and Joe Ravet, it’s all about the amazing properties of algae and  the work being done today that could transform many areas of our lives. This fascinating interview is in two parts, with the second part coming next week.

          algae2

           

          Algae has some fascinating uses :-

          As an Energy Source –  a 737 plane flew from Houston to Chicago on fuel derived from algae, way back in 2011

          algae for jet fuel

          As a Fertilizer – from as long ago as the 16th century, seaweed has been used a fertilizer.

          As a source of Nutrition – China has been consuming Algae for over 2000 years, they harvest over 70 species as does Japan, Ireland, Chile, Wales,Korea, California, New Zealand, Hawaii, Scotland, Greenland and Iceland to name a few. It was an ingredient in Aztec foods.

          Oils obtained from some algae  have high levels of unsaturated fatty acids,others essential omega 3 fatty acids.

          As a Pollution control –  treating sewage with algae, reducing the use of toxic chemicals that would be used. They can absorb fertilizer run off from fields. Aquariums can be filtered by algae

          As a Pigment  – alternative to chemical dyes

          As a Medicine – helping fight malnutrition, immune health, reducing cholesterol

          algae 3

          Amazingly  there could be more than 72000 algae species worldwide.

          You can hear our interview with Bill Sosinsky and Joe Ravet on iTunes at Growing Trends or here on our podcast just click below to hear 

          We would love to hear from you,

            Views: 59

          • Book Reviews,  Podcasts,  Time to Eat

            Did you know you can ‘Eat your Roses?’

            A Gardening lover’s recipe book….

            It’s that time of year again, as we move from Spring into Summer all sorts of tasty treats abound in our gardens, our interview today is with a lady who has taken this to a new dimension.

            Eat your roses

            Ann & I caught up with Denise Shreiber, recently to interview her about her fascinating book, all about edible flowers.

            Being a transplanted ‘Brit’ it was interesting to hear that her book was born after a trip to England where she sampled ‘Rose Petal Ice Cream’,

            Here I was, under the illusion that everyone visited our wonderful gardens and stately homes for the good old English “cuppa” with perhaps a scone, butter, jam and clotted cream !

            You can listen to Denise here..

            It’s that time of year again, as we move from Spring into Summer all sorts of tasty treats abound in our gardens, our interview today is with a lady who has taken this to a new dimension. Ann & I … Continue reading

             

            Views: 1

          • Podcasts,  Time to Eat,  World Wide WEsponsibility

            School Garden Projects have many positives, you can hear many of them here

            Children-eating-salad

            Is this really salad ? it tastes so good like this !

            Ann & I were fortunate to talk to three amazing ladies from Tennessee a little while ago. They wanted to start a school garden at their school, here is their story, the school garden is now in its third year.

            Raised beds

            Some of the main points we heard were:-

            It’s essential to have teacher as well as parent support.

            Take time to plan carefully

            Initially growing from seed is harder , due to the school calendar. 

            Choose plants that will fit into this schedule.

            The children want to take ownership of their plants !

            Educating children in the different choices of produce increases the varieties they will eat.

            Children really take pride in taking home to their family the produce they have grown.

            In a blind radish test, the children could tell which were home grown as opposed to store bought and much preferred home grown !

            strawberry picking

            Ann & I would love to hear from you.  info@grotrends.com

            If you would like us to put you in touch with these wonderful ladies,or if you would like more information on starting your own school garden just send us an email to Growing Trends and we will be in touch. If you would like us to interview you, send us a picture of your garden along with contact details, we will be adding a section to our web site www.grotrends.com specially on School garden projects.

            Thank you Penny, Peggy and Emily, this was a fascinating interview.

            Ann & Chris

             

             

             

             

            Views: 52