We waited long enough, but spring has finally sprung, bringing with it a burst of colour into the gardens we look after.
The new season’s colours are a sight for sore eyes after a winter which looked like it would go on for ever. Buds are bursting and new leaves bring a verdant freshness to the landscape. I’m not the greatest fan of ballerina pink, but this year, even I have warmed to the frilly balls of blossom that currently brighten up every street.
As planting progresses, we look forward to each new growing season bringing different colours, shapes and leaf forms.
James’ top plant picks for May:
Tulipa viridiflora ‘Spring Green.’ With the large amount of work taking place in the garden over the past year, we hope this spring will be the only one we spend without tulips! I can reel out a long list of favourites, but this one is an absolute beauty. Ivory with a green stripe running up the petal, it’s billed as a cottage garden favourite, but I think its classic good looks work just as well to bring a burst of freshness into a contemporary setting.
Allium hollandicum ‘Purple Sensation’ – Although it will probably flower later this year, this is on my ‘must’ list for every garden. Gorgeous spheres of deep purple wave on sturdy stems or around 1 metre with blue grey foliage. Even its exit is graceful, as the bulb dies down it reveals seedheads which are worth leaving for their structural form alone.
Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Tom Thumb’ – a low growing mound forming evergreen shrub with has leathery small leaves which turn a deep purple in spring and summer. This versatile shrub has a height and spread of around one metre. This versatile, unfussy, shrub can be used in a variety of settings – coastal gardens, city gardens or as an attractive low growing hedge.
Now that the dust has settled after the office move to Seaford, we are ready to spring into action for the fast approaching growing season.
As well as trimming our client’s hedges and giving the lawns a first cut, it’s also time to think about growing the business. With Greg having spent more than five years at Select Gardens as team leader and our newest staff member, Matt, coming up to speed quicker than you can cut back a Russian Vine, we have decided its now time to make the most of our Brighton base and expand our reach to the east of the county.
As well as tending to our existing contracts in Brighton, Worthing and Mid Sussex, we are now looking east to Lewes, Seaford and Eastbourne which will also help bridge the gap between our current service area and our contract in Kent, the stately parkland grounds of Hall House in Hawkhurst.
We haven’t been resting on our laurels while waiting for the green shoots of spring to poke through after the cold snap. Instead, the team has been busy planting the seeds of new business, leafleting local property management companies, Housing Associations, private estates and hotels in our new growth area. We’ll let you know here first if they bear fruit!
At Select Gardens we are committed to reducing the amount of herbicides we use.
One way of achieving this is to ensure these chemicals are targeted as precisely as possible, reducing risk of breathing in droplets by our staff, customers and passers by. Exact application onto the weed itself also helps protect wildlife and the environment by reducing herbicide drift.
For the coming 2013 season, we have invested into equipment which will vastly reduce the volume of herbicides we apply. We’ll be using the Nomix Enviro Dual Total Droplet system, which works in two ways. Firstly, as a fast working contact herbicide, it cuts down on chemical usage by precision targeting but the same application also has a residual effect, stopping seedlings from germinating for up to six months.
The premixed cartridge system also reduces the amount of chemical waste as you don’t need to mix up the formula. There’s another big plus with that – it will save more of that very precious commodity in the coming growing season… time!
Gardener needed for our busy mobile garden maintenance round. Based out of our depot in Brighton working on various gardens around Sussex.
Must have previous commercial experience, a horticultural qualification, excellent practical skills and good horticultural knowledge. A passion for the outdoors, a clean driving licence and excellent references are also required.
Email CVs to James Elton – email@example.com
Every year Select Gardens staff down their lawnmowers and hedgecutters for an all expenses paid day out. It’s our way of saying ‘thank you’ to the team for their hard work and dedication in all weathers throughout the year.
For the last two years we have donned our waterproofs for a boat fishing trip out of Littlehampton. Last year’s trip was one of those red letter days with over 60 fish caught, so it was always going to be hard to beat. Well, we didn’t catch as many as last year… but we still had a great laugh with Black Bream, Mackerel and dogfish to take home for our dinner.
Our sign-written vans are now fitted with an onboard vehicle tracking system which can produce an automatic email alert direct to the customer when arriving on site (if needed and free of charge).
Our new apprentice Richard is now into his second month and is settling in very well. Richard was formerly an army soldier and has served on tours of Iraq. Richard’s job application really stood out from the crowd – it really showed a passion for working outdoors and that gardening was a career he’s always wanted to try. He’s had no trouble swapping tanks for mowers!