landscape

Creating Garden Ecosystems

When we think of green space in a city, we think of trees, parks and gardens. Seldom do we think of these areas as self-sustaining ecosystems, yet they can and should be. Approaching landscape in this way brings multiple benefits but requires a subtle shift in thinking and a new way of understanding plant communities.

Read More 

Seeds of Change

The world is changing, I think we all know that now. In terms of climate and ecology, we probably don’t realise how much and how fast. Climate zones are shifting North and Southwards from the equatorial regions with the most extreme change seen near the poles (4 times the rate of elsewhere). For us in

Read More 

Focus on Garden Design

2021 has been extraordinary, for a whole range of reasons. Covid and climate have dominated our lives, each bringing flux and change. It’s been a time of personal transformation for me too, with our final shutting of our greenhouse based living wall and plant supply company, Vertology/Coastal Plants. With these changes I feel new focus

Read More 

Beach & Coastal Gardens

Coastal areas are unique environments and vary quite considerably from inland conditions (even being a few hundred metres inland can make a big difference). Wind, high salt loading and milder temperatures mean that many traditional plants we love will struggle to grow. Too often, I see coastal gardens laid out in a traditional manner, trying

Read More 

Concrete and alternatives

Concrete is a wonderfully versatile material, which has been in use since Roman times and with it we can build amazing structures that would otherwise be impossible. Unfortunately it also carries a huge environmental cost, caused mostly in the cement binding used. Whilst gravel extraction is also an issue, for that there are some alternatives

Read More 

Naturalized exotic plants in arid climates

A problem, or an opportunity for a new landscape paradigm? I was recently working on a tree project in Abu Dhabi when I came across a derelict site which intrigued me with it’s range of exotic self-seeded, non-native plants.  The site was next to the Corniche and sandwiched between the Formal Park, my hotel and

Read More 

The (near) future of urban landscapes

UPDATE September 2022:  Given the increasing urgency of climate change and the overwhelming stresses this will place on our civilisation for the near, medium and long-term future, I now doubt this scenario will ever come about.  A glimpse of what might have been, maybe, had we taken climate seriously and managed to move through that

Read More