It’s not often you find a garden that was founded in 1673.
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 gardens purpose was to train apprentices in identifying plants. Located close to the river Thames created a warmer microclimate, significantly increasing the many non-native plants that could be grown.
In 1700 the garden had started an international botanic garden seed exchange system, which continues to this day.
The gardens cover some four acres. They are leased on what is known as a peppercorn rent in perpetuity.
They are with out doubt one of London’s secret ‘gems’ and thoroughly worth a visit.
The gardens 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
“A rare moment of peace in the perfect haven of a garden brings us renewed harmony with nature”
A Growing Trend – is coming on a plant safari with us, to find those plants you need for our ideas…. it’s fun, it’s friendly and it’s great exercise….
First another in our series of before and after garden pictures –
or maybe like this…
Today’s pictures highlight the benefit of having a good designer when it comes to making changes…. You can see the ‘Before’ and then the ‘After’ in the pictures.
then the terrace and walls are constructed, finally the lawn and landscape.
We’ve started to take a ‘Hands On’ approach and show clients how to buy plants, how to place them and then how to plant them for maximum effect… it’s fun, it’s friendly and it’s good exercise now its time to enjoy …..
“A rare moment of peace in the perfect haven of a garden brings us renewed harmony with nature”
It’s time to start growing vegetables and herbs at home, it’s even more important this year here in the USA with the terrible drought in California that has cut water usage by 25%.
The most effective is the Square Foot Garden method invented by Mel Bartholomew. We will be interviewing Mel on our podcast very soon. You can find his book Square Foot gardening – A new way to garden in less space with less work at any good book store.
For those who do not have a garden space, our latest interview on our podcast at www.growingtrends.org is for you.
Ann and I were privileged to interview Nellie, she is a young mother who is passionate about eating fresh produce on a low budget.
Our interview is inspiring for those who want to find the best way to eat local fresh food. Nellie will explain how to balance your budget and yet find good healthy fresh food.
This is one very astute lady, who is passionate about food – she happens to be a good cook too.
Some of you may know that Ann & I have a new podcast as well as this blog.
Many years ago, whilst at school.I learned to write ‘joined up’ or ‘cursive’ style with a quill pen , you can imagine in my ripe old age, it takes me a little time to catch on to new methods of communicating.
That said Ann & I have made a quantum leap forward by using Internet Radio and Podcasting, we call the show Growing Trends.
Our latest podcast is all about Fracking.
This newish method of extracting oil and natural gas has caused quite a stir around the world.
Prices at the pumps have more than halved, there are stories of polluting and even earthquakes caused by this method. Then there are the stories of the huge drop in carbon emissions by countries using this oil production method.
We thought it would make a great interview for Growing Trends so we found, with the help of Bill Sosinsky, an expert, Rich Sapienza to talk to us about this oil extraction method, come and listen to the interview.. Growing Trends Podcast
We have all rather taken water for granted over the years. Today for some it is becoming a topic of conversation, for others it is a topic of concern, and for yet others they are not sure if or when they will see enough potable water again.
Many European countries have developed system to recapture and reuse water more than once, others have quite simple systems of returning water as quickly as possible back to the aquifer ( it’s still a long process).
North America is waking up to the idea that extended droughts mean much more serious water conservation, something South American countries have been struggling with for quite some time.
As homeowners there are a number of ways to help preserve our dwindling water supplies, some are very effective others not so, but as they say every little helps.
The simplest is, I suppose the rainwater barrel, it will collect up to 40 gallons of water ( which means it just needs about 1/3rd of inch of rainfall for each downpipes to fill one). It’s best to keep out of full sun as in hot areas the water could become rather too hot for use on plants.
A slightly improved version of this would be a cistern, as seen below, they were often circular for strength. – this particular one would be quite costly.
Today a much more interesting wrapped interlocking framing system has been devised – the ground is excavated and a waterproof membrane is laid on the sub base then filled with rectangular ‘Versitanks’. – These tanks can be from very small single units to many hundreds as seen here.
These can be almost any size or shape.
To get the surface water to these storage vessels requires a few more modifications to the current surface water run off arrangements.
The first is a simple slot drain to divert the water from a surface, such as this car parking area.
They can also be used at home to collect water from a driveway, here the downpipes will also be connected to the slot drain and probably then run to a soakaway.
So what’s a soakaway? well most folks in England will know this, however my colleagues in the USA are just not as familiar with these simple victorian solutions to collecting water for returning to the aquifer.
In it’s simplest form all that is required is a hole filled with porous material – such as the brick version above. Drainage pipes run to this and water then is able to slowly seep back into the sub strata. ( Not a good idea in heavy clay soils as it will take way too long)
This much larger version is able to hold a huge amount of water, which can be reused for irrigation or just returned to the aquifer.
The collection method from say a down pipe is quite simple, involving a gulley pot .
A simple gulley pot is used to ‘grab’ the water before directing it to the drainage pipe. Below the gulley pot has a downpipe collector, and a slot drain collector and localized surface drain all in one unit.
Once the water has been collected it’s a simple matter to design a recycling system.
In it’s simplest form, often used by early Egyptians a localized storage vessel often made of clay was used right next to say a fruit tree.
Next came a slightly larger arrangement, although if you try this remember water can heat up, this might not be healthy for plants…
Finally a rather more sophisticated system that addresses many issues and is virtually hidden from view.
This next system requires , quite a lot of time, planning and expense, but in warmer climates it is probably the future solution. Perhaps the lawn will need to be re thought as, it would seem to me that growing more fresh produce is a much wiser use of the space.
We started the year with the aim of adding some improvements to our website, blog and internet radio show..
One of the things we did was to add a podcast which you can now find on iTunes and our podcast site www.growingtrends.org
Our main website is still at www.grotrends.com the new format is taking shape and we would love to hear from you with ideas & suggestions.
Growing Trends internet radio is all about fascinating people. People who are passionate about our natural environment, sustainability, their gardens, their landscapes along with the experts that help them. Our talks with these amazing people are, informative, educational, fun often anecdotal. You can listen to them at anytime here “Listen Here” or on our podcast at “www.growingtrends.org”
Our new show format starting in January will have five segments:
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 help our planet.
Face Time : – Interviews with experts on topics of interest.
Book Reviews : – We are delighted to announce that we have started to interview authors of books linked to :-
Vegetable Gardens & Landscape Design
Current and past book reviews are displayed in our Book Review sector, along with details of the Authors, Publishers and most importantly, how to obtain these gems..
Ann & Chris invite you to write to them with ideas, suggestions and comments to email@example.com
Interesting, Serious, Informative, Entertaining & often Fun.
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 →
What one item or feature would you add to your or your clients garden today?
When we started out with our then new company back in 1984 we identified designer drives, especially with ‘In & Out’ drives as the most important – sure enough within 6 months our order book stretched out into the following year, other firms descended on us for information and our advertising showed sporty cars sitting on interlocking concrete block and brick paving..Soon even the manufacturers were calling wanting to take pictures of our drives. Here we used stock brick paving. Although fairly soft, with somewhat irregular shapes, it kept it’s color very well
Here a much harder engineering quality natural brick is used to good effect.
The next was concrete block paving, these were very hard, initially with limited colors, and the color did fade quite quickly. They were also quite slippery in the ice.
As our order book enlarged we started offering more expensive solutions, such as granite setts – something the Romans introduced.
These drives were very hard wearing, color fast, strong and again a little slippery in ice. it wasn’t long before we included ‘Fish scale’ versions, these took quite a long time to set out, but looked absolutely amazing when completed.
Then these circular natural sett patterns became popular, with their sense of movement – just look at them long enough and they seem to ‘move’
What new trend, item or feature do you think will be the favorite for 2015? We will interview the top three on our radio show Growing Trends during the year.
Just drop us a line with your suggestions..
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