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Sunday May 09 , 2021

Blue Daisy Blog

Blue Daisy blog written by Nicki Jackson & Jules Clark - for news, views, garden design, gardening and plant observations and thoughts.

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BBC, Chelsea and Alan Titchmarsh

Posted by on in News & Views

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012

We have heard over the last few weeks that Alan Titchmarsh will no longer be presenting the BBC RHS Chelsea programme next year and instead Monty Don and Sophie Raworth will be taking the reigns.  Some reports are suggesting that Alan has been squeezed out by being offered a lesser role so he felt there was no alternative to him other than stepping down completely.  If that's true it is a shame that after 30 years of being the face of the RHS Chelsea on the BBC that was the only option he saw open to him.

Regardless how you feel about Alan or Monty I think you do have to question the BBC's decision somewhat even though Monty is undoubtedly a well known gardener, the anchor of Gardener's World and has TV programmes, books and columns under his belt.  Monty freely admits that he is not a trained gardener but a hobbyist that has become very successful and has in turn brought his passion to gardening.  Alan on the other hand is a time served gardener, he has experience and knowledge in bucket loads, he has also designed and built a show garden so he has some understanding of what goes in to creating one, and the pressures people are under to deliver the very best they can in the time and budget allotted.  Alan is also a huge advocate of horticulture and is involved in working with the RHS to improve the modern day perception of horticultre as a career.   I do admire both of these TV horticultural personalities in different ways, I have no doubt that Monty will ooze passion but I wonder how he will fare with presenting such a flag ship programme not only for the BBC but also the RHS, they are some large shoes he must fill.

Sophie Raworth, a BBC journalist is no doubt very adept at interviewing and getting the best from people and she will be the support that Monty may need but she has admitted herself she is not a gardener or a designer.  I'm not sure that the BBC has made the best move here, there are so many other designers and horticulturalists out there that have more experience and lots of passion but I will not join the masses that are refusing to watch it; instead I will watch with bated breath and I sincerely hope they succeed and do our amazing industry proud.

 

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Great British Garden Revival- BBC2

Posted by on in News & Views

gardenrevivalA new 10 part series is due to air on BBC2 this week.  It aims to do for horticulture and plants what the Great British Bake Off has done for baking and cakes!  Can this be a good or a bad thing?  Anything that puts horticulture on the agenda can only be a good thing as far as I'm concerned and it will be interesting to see the public's reaction to it.  It's said to be trying to reverse the nation's obsession with paving, patios and decking and trying to stir up some passion for plants and all things green!  

Each episode will have two well known presenters such as Monty Don, Chris Beardshaw, Carol Klein, Charlie Dimmock, Alys Fowler and Joe Swift. They are tasked with bringing an aspect of horticulture to our screens by giving us hands-on advice, explaining the heritage aspect of whatever it is they're concentrating on and showing how, through correct care or restoration, there can indeed be a revival.

Subject areas that will be covered are topiary, herbaceous borders, roof gardens, wild flowers, kitchen gardens, cottage gardens and even house plants.   Perhaps this kind of programme would have been best placed in the New Year schedules when the people have Christmas behind them and can concentrate, or maybe even plan some changes for their garden!  

As for me, I'm looking forward to it and I'll be interested to see how they try to bring back some traditional horticultural skills however nostalgic it might be. 

 

 

 

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Floating Paradise Gardens of London

Posted by on in News & Views

NewYorkHighLineParkThe floating paradise garden of London – yes you read correctly. It seems that Joanna Lumley has been working tirelessly for over 15 years to make this concept a reality. She has recently helped launch a trust to oversee the UK's first garden bridge. Aimed at welcoming tourists and cheering commuters on their daily travels, this will be the first pedestrian bridge of its kind. It could well be our version of the New York Highline (pictured here) – a mile long park built on the lines of a former train line.

The project has recently entered its first official planning stage – public consultation, Joanna says the bridge is to "be seen as a gift to the people of London from themselves for generations to come". As such, there is a definite flavour of not wanting corporate sponsorship; all parties involved so far believe that big organisations will offer donations with strings attached. Some large organisations have already offered to plough in millions of pounds into the project and they have been rejected. Fundraising for this project will be a huge ask, by all accounts a very worthwhile scheme and an opportunity for the UK to flex its horticultural muscles once again.

If you want read the full article click here.

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Garden Design Quick Tip: Repetition

Posted by on in Garden Design

RHSWisleyA well known fact in our industry is that people often impulse buy when at garden centers and end up with one of this and one of that.   Whilst it feels frivolous and perhaps even rather extravagant ‘dot’ planting really does leave a garden feeling uneasy, busy and sometimes even restless.   Next time you’re buying get a larger quantity, even if that is 3 or 5 and plant them together to form a larger planting area of one plant.  

To really get repetition right you would need to repeat that planting again further down the border, so you could buy 9 of the same plant and plant 3 lots of 3, or if you had 3 small borders you could plant 3 in each.  If you only have one border and a few small containers you could repeat the planting from border to container.  These methods have a great effect of steadying the planting design and it helps each area relate to each other giving a calming and more harmonious effect.  

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Water Conservation course prototype... first module passed!

Posted by on in News & Views

watersprinklerI took part in the Certificate in Water Conservation prototype e-learning course last night on behalf of the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA). The first module open and available to take part in was 'Planning the Site'. After completing the course we had to give feedback so they can fix any glitches and make improvements before they role it out to other Horticulturists.

It looked at elements that can have a bearing on the site for example, average rainfall for the area and how to conserve that or manage excess. It was a great memory jog and I learnt a few things too which I will certainly use in the planning stage of garden designs going forward.

I'm happy to say I passed the first module and I'm hoping that we'll have the opportunity to take the other three in the near future.

Tagged in: HTA water conservation
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