Archive for August, 2015

Greening Grey Britain

Since Easter this year, the RHS have been campaigning to Green Greying Britain and recently, more and more people are joining the crusade to transform our front gardens into sustainable spaces instead of just plain old paving. With over a third of London’s gardens now being completely paved over and many other parts of the country losing their green spaces to concrete, it’s more important than ever to do your bit to get Britain green again.

Earlier in the year, Sean Murray, winner of the Great Chelsea Garden Challenge, had the chance to showcase his idea for a sustainable garden at Chelsea and more recently, Simon Fagg, revealed his Spiralling into Control show garden at RHS Tatton Park. Both garden designers managed to incorporate the objectives of the Greening Grey Britain campaign to create gardens that were both sustainable and functional, without forfeiting aesthetics.

Spiralling into Control show garden

Why Greening Grey Britain is important

Often people forget the part that their own garden plays in the larger environment and so don’t consider the damage that paving over their space can cause. Gardens host a huge range of benefits for the environment, local wildlife and our physical and mental well-being, and as our climate continues to change, we need to do everything we can to protect Britain against the negative impacts of losing our green spaces, particularly in urban areas.

Not only does paving take away all the ornamental value of your front garden but it can contribute to increased temperatures and the risk of flooding. The rise in urban temperatures is triggered by hard surfaces, such as paving and concrete, absorbing heat during the day and releasing it at night, resulting in ‘the heat island effect’ which not only makes it difficult to sleep but also results in poorer air quality – gardens are able to regulate temperatures much more easily. And, whilst turf, soil and plants can all absorb rainwater, paving does not and can cause up to a 50% run off increase into street drains, which often cannot handle this volume of water, resulting in floods.

How you can help in Greening Grey Britain

Many people pave over their gardens simply for practical reasons without realising that there are plenty of options that allow a parking space as well as room for plants, shrubs and turf. Here’s a few simple things you can do to join the campaign to get Britain’s green spaces back:

– Choose space saving plants

Climbers and wall shrubs are the perfect solution to add some greenery to small spaces, and Ivy screens and Pleached trees can provide both ornamental and environmental value, when the need to create a parking space may mean compromising your garden.

– Garden for wildlife

In short, the more plants you have, the more value your garden will hold for wildlife. However, it’s understandable that often space is limited in front gardens, which is why planting a hedge is a great way to encourage wildlife without taking up too much room. Wildlife friendly hedges can provide food and shelter for a variety of different species, including birds, insects and hedgehogs.

– Choose permeable paving

This type of paving, as seen in the Spiralling into Control show garden, reduces the risk of flooding as the permeable materials absorb rainfall, reducing the impact of run off.

By making these small changes to your front garden and incorporating the objectives of the Greening Grey Britain campaign into any plans you have to alter your front garden, we can work together to make sure we don’t lose the green Britain we all love.

Love Your Wild Garden 2015

If you caught last night’s special episode of ITV’s Love Your Garden, aptly named Love Your Wild Garden, you will have seen Alan and the team visit Keech Hospice in Luton to create a stunning wildlife garden for the patients to enjoy.

With a 500m plot to transform, Alan and the team certainly had a challenge on their hands, but not one to shy away from hard work, Alan immersed himself in everything wildlife friendly, including a huge pond and insect hotels, to create a garden alive with the sound of buzzing bees and twittering birds.

Using a variety of bee friendly plants from our sister company, Bee Friendly Garden plants, Alan created huge circular gabions that would be a thriving hub of insect activity for both the adults and the children at the hospice to enjoy.

Bee friendly garden plantsBee friendly garden plants on LYG

Alan then used our instant mixed native hedging to create a boundary along the garden to give shelter from the wind. Instant hedging is a great way to achieve an established hedge unit without waiting for the plants to mature and native hedging is home to a huge variety of Britain’s wildlife species, providing both shelter and food year round.

instant mixed native hedginginstant hedging on ove your garden

Many people believe that a wildlife friendly garden has to be filled with brambles, weeds and nettles, however Alan proves that a garden bursting with colour, fragrance and ornamental value is just as attractive to wildlife as it is to us.

The Love Your Garden team designed this garden with nature in mind and managed to create an outdoor space for the patients of Keech Hospice to enjoy, finding tranquillity as they immerse themselves in the presence of nature.

If you’re thinking of undertaking your own garden makeover, enter our #‎HDGetTheLook competition for the chance to win vouchers to help you on your way.

Watch the full wildlife special and catch up on any other episodes from this series of Love Your Garden that you may have missed on ITV player.

Collaboration success for Hedges Direct and Chic Teak

The 2015 RHS Hampton Court Flower Show saw the first alliance between Hedges Direct and Chic Teak, a top designer and manufacturer of quality teak outdoor and garden furniture. This was then followed by a second collaboration for the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park.

Chic Teak put together a trade stand for the two RHS shows to display their premium garden furniture and, with the help of our Instant Hornbeam hedging and Box Topiary shapes, managed to create a life-like garden. Several other BALI members were involved in supplying Chic Teak with materials, and specialist florist, Robie Flowers, added a touch of beauty with their striking centre pieces for the outdoor tables.

Collaboration success for Hedges Direct and Chic Teak (1)

The Chic Teak trade stand received a Tradestand Award at both RHS Shows; a 3 Star Tradestand Award at RHS Hampton Court, and after taking on feedback from the judges, more Hornbeam instant screens were added to the display, resulting in a 4 Star Tradestand Award at RHS Tatton Park.

June Pearce, Director of Hedges Direct, said: “We’re always keen to work with other BALI members and industry experts, especially for events as prestigious as the RHS Shows. Coming together to create exhibitions as marvellous as the Chic Teak stand just proves how the right collaboration can have fantastic results for all parties involved.”

“After visiting the stand and seeing our hedging and topiary first-hand at the exhibition, we’d be delighted to work with Chic Teak again in the future, as the hedging plants and furniture seem to wonderfully complement each other, allowing visitors to really envisage the products in their own garden.”

Collaboration success for Hedges Direct and Chic Teak (2)

Instant hedging and topiary were a big trend at this year’s Tatton Park event, with numerous designers using instant hedging to create a canvas for their show garden, and Topiary shapes decorating a variety of different stands.

Hedges Direct are thrilled to have contributed to an award winning stand and look forward to future collaborations.

Hedges Direct supply Ivy screens to ITV’s Love Your Garden

Following the successful relationship between Hedges Direct and Love Your Garden over the last three years, we were asked to supply more plants for another episode in the current series of the popular ITV show.

Earlier in the series, we supplied Yew instant hedging to transform a tired family garden into a futuristic, modern space and have since provided four Ivy screens for another garden transformation. The Ivy screens, also known as living fences, are used to cover an unsightly oil tank, providing a more aesthetically pleasing solution than a fence.

The Ivy screens are made from a non-invasive species of Ivy that has dense foliage giving good coverage. Thirteen Ivy plants, each with five stems, are grown on light-weight galvanised steel frames which are easy to install and provide immediate impact. The many benefits of Ivy screens not only make them a great choice for domestic gardens but also businesses and public spaces too. The narrow screens are ideal for small spaces where a bushier hedge may take up too much room and they make an attractive alternative to fences and walls, providing both security and privacy with added wildlife value.Ivy Screens

Last month we celebrated the return of Love Your Garden to ITV with a Facebook competition in which three winners each won a Fruit Tree and planting kit. Following the success of this competition, we are now giving away £150 worth of vouchers to three lucky winners so they can recreate the look from their favourite Love Your Garden episodes in their own garden. To be in with the chance of winning, enter our #HDGetTheLook competition here. The winners will be announced on Monday 24th August.

Next week Alan and the team will be returning to a garden from last year’s series in which Hedges Direct supplied mixed native instant hedging and Lavender plants to transform a hospice in Luton. Catch the wildlife special on 18th August at the usual time of 8pm.

If you’ve missed any episodes from this series, you can catch up on ITV player.