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Archives for February 10, 2015

How To Start Making More Money

It’s pretty safe to say that anyone in business would like to make more money. The question is: How? The short answer is: Charge more and/or spend less. Easier said than done. Many contractors are indeed able to charge more for their services these days, but still not enough to compensate for the 2009 pricing collapse and continually rising cost of doing business. For most contractors, more needs to be done to begin making more money.

We asked members of the Pro Panel what they’ve found to be the best ways to do just that.

1. Manage labor “to the minute”

“You must ensure that you’re properly managing your largest expense, which is labor,” reminds Jon Ewing, a former contractor who is now a business consultant. “Avoid unnecessary overtime and staff, and organize your crews correctly and make sure they are well-guided.”

One other financial consideration with respect to your field labor, Ewing points out, is safety. It’s important to create a safety culture in your organization, which will help keep claims to a minimum.

For Linda Rae Nelson of Greenscapes of Southwest Florida in Naples, FL, she strives to create a productivity-minded culture. “The key to making more money isn’t in your financials, it’s in your production,” Nelson says. “Your financials simply tell you what’s going on with your production. Financials are like your report card, showing you the end result of what you’ve done.”

That said, if your report card gives you a poor grade—perhaps because your crews are going over hours—you can start to investigate why. It’s not really about the hours, though, Nelson points out. It’s about the minutes.

“Every minute counts and every minute that’s lost is lost forever,” Nelson says. “We look at travel time, traffic flow in our yard, tasks for the day and whether they need a two- or three-man crew, etc. Then we break things down into even smaller pieces. We look at how we set up at night, which includes having materials delivered beforehand. A crew going to a supply house will typically spend 20 minutes in idle time. The list of things like this goes on and on. Your goal should be to eliminate as many stops as possible.”

Unbillable idle time is definitely a profit killer. But beyond that, Nelson says, it’s also important to search for process improvements that can also save time. “Sometimes the way you lay out your day can save 10 minutes on a trip,” Nelson points out. “Think about that. If you could save 10 minutes a day, that’s 50 minutes per employee every week. That can add up really fast.”

Sometimes contractors want to look for that “big idea” to make them more profitable. “But it’s the slightest things that help us go from losing to making money,” Nelson says. “Those things are likely happening right there in our businesses, we just have to look for them.”

2. Study, measure each job

Going hand in hand with managing labor is understanding job scope and, more specifically, client expectations. “Not only are you selling minutes,” Nelson says, “you’re basing those minutes on the customer’s expectations. I know my people, my culture, and what we’re capable of producing.” Once you get that in alignment with what the customer expects, you can start estimating and managing better, which sets you on the path toward making more money.

Town center study to focus on costs, benefits of improvements

The results of a $30,000 engineering study authorized last month by the Downtown Development Authority could determine whether Shelby Township proceeds with plans to create a mixed-use, walkable town center area on 24 Mile Road, east and west of Van Dyke.

What (Fazal Khan and Associates) will do is perform an engineering study to see exactly what improvements are going to be required and what the cost of those improvements would be, said Township Planning and Zoning Director Glenn Wynn.

While the engineering study will focus primarily on improvements to 24 Mile Road, the concept of the Shelby Town Center dates back to 1999, when a plan was adopted with the intention of creating a focal point for future development and community activities in Shelby Township.

It was supposed to be a unique place thats a little different in Shelby Township with some of the elements of a downtown center, a place to have mixed-use developments in a walkable environment, said Brad Strader of LSL Planning. So there were a lot of good concepts, and the DDA brought us in to see how we can refresh the plan and how we can make it happen.

According to Strader, the initial planning phase included putting together a revised concept to show the types of uses the market would bear today and in the future; the arrangement of buildings, streets and parking; and landscaping ideas.

A couple things that we came up with in our plan that are consistent with the previous plan that was done by the DDA was to make the town center more walkable and to slow vehicles down, Strader said.

While LSL Planning initially looked at different concepts on Van Dyke, it was later determined that improvements to 24 Mile Road would be a better investment for the township.

The traffic volume is lower, and it has more potential for being a walkable area, Strader said. So we came up with some concepts for 24 Mile Road, such as the addition of on-street parking, putting medians in the center of the road to slow vehicles down so its a little easier for pedestrians to cross the street, and beautifying the area so when people are driving through they realize theres something different here.

While the concept was well-received, it wasnt much more than a proposal until the reconstruction of 24 Mile Road was brought up.

Theyre going to be ripping up the pavement on 24 Mile Road, and by putting our plans into that project we really get a cost savings because instead of doing it separately in three or five years, we get a lot of efficiencies by integrating our design into the work that the county is doing, Strader said. So its been sort of a rapid process to work on revising our plans.

According to Shelby Township Supervisor Richard Stathakis, initial plans called for parallel parking along 24 Mile Road on the east and west side, but the Planning Commission nixed the idea, which brought down costs considerably.

But its still a lot of money, so before we do anything there are some steps we needed to take, Stathakis said. The first step was to have a discussion, which we had a few weeks ago. The second step was for them to come in and ask the board, which happened during a work session, if the township would be interested in having this study done. The board said yes, and we would be interested. It doesnt mean were going to do anything, but we are interested. It really depends on the costs and what the benefits are.

Wynn has encouraged township officials to keep an open mind about the proposal, which, if approved, would coincide with the work already being performed on 24 Mile Road as a result of a water main replacement project.

So if we decide to do this there will be some obvious cost savings, he said. For example, we wont have to pave it twice, because its already being paved. I think its a wise use of funds because youre basically piggybacking on someone elses investment. It would be silly if we didnt try to take advantage of that.

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Teacher from Southold honored with exclusive national award

Roanoke Avenue Elementary School teacher Samantha Heidtmann wiped away tears of joy after being handed her award. (Credit: Barbaraellen Kock)

Roanoke Avenue Elementary School teacher Samantha Heidtmann wiped away tears of joy after being handed her award. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

“Overwhelmed, excited and honored” were the words Riverhead teacher Samantha Heidtmann used to describe being named a Project Fit America’s 2014 National All Star Teacher of the Year.

Ms. Heidtmann, who has been teaching physical education at Roanoke Avenue Elementary School for 13 years, is one of just six teachers across the country to earn the honor this year.

In a ceremony attended by her co-workers, school administrators and her husband, Jeff, Roanoke Avenue’s fourth-grade student council surprised Ms. Heidtmann with the award Monday afternoon.

“I had no idea this was happening,” Ms. Heidtmann told the room. “All I can say is ‘thank you.’ ”

Project Fit America’s National All Star Teacher of the Year Award recognizes educators that go above and beyond instituting the program aimed at fighting childhood obesity by keeping them active. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the child obesity rate in America has more than doubled since 1980, with a third of all children and adolescents now considered overweight.

Project Fit couples exercise with an understanding of math, nutrition, anatomy and physiology, said Bill Groth, the district’s athletic director.

“She makes it really fun,” said 10-year-old student Emelin Boch. “I get excited for every single gym day.”

Ms. Heidtmann, of Southold, was nominated for the award by a Project Fit trainer, who helped kick-start the program at Roanoke.

“Samantha stands out as head of the class,” a press release from Project Fit America states.  “She has the spirit, energy, dedication and commitment that earns her the status of All Star. She is an outstanding role model for her peers and the physical education profession.”

Fellow physical education teacher Michelle Santoro said Ms. Heidtmann has had a passion for Project Fit America program since it was introduced Riverhead’s five elementary schools in 2013.

“When Project Fit came, she jumped right in,” Ms. Santoro said. “She has made [the program] her own. She deserves this.”

Ms. Heidtmann said her own three children —ages 3, 4 and 6 — help her come up with engaging fitness ideas to bring into the classroom.

“With my kids at home, if they don’t like something, they are not going to do it,” she said.

Rising to the top to help out the people around them isn’t exactly news to the Heidtmann family, however. In 2014, The Suffolk Times named Mr. Heidtmann its “Person of the Year” after he saved the life of his 85-year-old neighbor, Robert Frey.

Her husbanded joked that Ms. Heidtmann treats their children like “guinea pigs” for program ideas.

“She is very open and works hard at what she does,” Mr. Heidtmann said.

Mr. Groth added that Ms. Heidtmann has a reputation for “planting positive seeds” to help children reach their full potential.

“[Ms. Heidtmann] has a natural ability to relate to the kids,” he said. “She recognizes each student for their own uniqueness.”

The Project Fit Program, which is being conducted in 45 states nationwide, is made possible here through grants from PBMC Health, the Suffolk County Lions Diabetes Education Foundation and Brickman Group landscaping and turf maintenance.

“We are so excited to be a part of Project Fit,” Riverhead School District superintendent Nancy Carney said. “[Ms. Heidtmann] has excelled in bringing the program to the kids at Roanoke. We are proud of her.”



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Overworked plants may recover slowly

Landscaping and growing houseplants really is no way to bring nature closer to home. If it were up to nature, most of our gardens would be relatively bare. Most of the few native trees are less than ideal for home gardens. The few native annuals and perennials with colorful flowers bloom only briefly. Almost all native shrubbery is scrubby and not conducive to pruning. After all, most of us live in what would naturally be coastal chaparral.

This is why home gardens contain so many exotic plants from so many different climates and regions all over the world. These plants get pruned, shorn and mown in all sorts of unnatural ways. Most do better if watered unnaturally through naturally dry summer weather. Many crave unnatural fertilizer. Houseplants and a few others are confined to pots so that roots can not disperse like they want to.

Potted plants that are forced into bloom to decorate home interiors are the most unnatural of all. They are among the most extensively bred of plants. They are grown in contrived environments that coerce them to bloom whenever their blooms are needed. Poinsettias, lilies, azaleas, hydrangeas, kalanchoes, callas, miniature roses, chrysanthemums and some orchids are the more familiar of these sorts of plants.

They are certainly colorful by the time they leave the greenhouses they were grown in. By the time they come home, they are in the middle of full bloom. There is no work to get them to bloom. The work is in keeping blooms as healthy and as colorful as possible, for as long as possible. Most of these plants only want to be watered regularly, and are happy to keep their color for quite a while.

By the time they want fertilizer, blooming potted plants will have finished blooming. Sadly, at that time, most get discarded instead. Realistically though, such systematically abused plants can be rather ugly as they replace their greenhouse foliage with foliage that is better adapted to the garden. The process of forcing them into bloom is just too unnatural and difficult to recover from easily.

Yet, with enough patience and pampering, most blooming potted plants should eventually recover and adapt to a garden lifestyle. Lilies, callas and other bulb-like plants should be put aside in the garden while their foliage fades and eventually separates from the bulbs. The dormant bulbs can then be planted and allowed to grow into their new environments.

After their faded flowers get pruned away, hydrangeas and miniature roses will slowly replace their unusually lush foliage with more typical foliage. This process is easier for those that happen to get moved outside in autumn or winter. They can simply defoliate naturally, and then refoliate with typical foliage in spring.

Chrysanthemums and kalanchoes can get cut back as new growth appears near the roots, although there is not much to cut back on kalanchoes.

Poinsettias want a sheltered spot in the garden, and may need to be cut back after they bloom next year.

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Business briefs: Alico net income $5.8 million – The News

Alico net income $5.8 million

Alico Inc., a Fort Myers-based agribusiness and land management company, had $5.8 million in net income — 78 cents a share — in the first quarter that ended Dec. 31.

The first quarter results were impacted by the acquisition of Orange-Co on Dec. 3, and the sale of approximately 36,000 acres located in Hendry County, in November formerly used for sugar cane production.

Alico’s total operating revenue was $16.2 million for the quarter as compared to $15 million for the first quarter of fiscal year 2014, an increase of 7.8 percent.

The increase in operating revenue was due to an increase of $7.3 million in Citrus Groves revenues related primarily to the Orange-Co acquisition offset by a decrease in improved farm land revenues of $5.4 million as the company exited the sugar cane farming operation and sold the related farmland in the first quarter of fiscal year 2015.

Gross profit for the first quarter of fiscal year 2015 was $3.1 million compared to $2.6 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2014, an increase of $0.6 million, or 22.3 percent.

The company paid a first-quarter cash dividend of six cents per share on its outstanding common stock Jan. 14 to shareholders of record at Dec. 31.

Cape Chamber president resigns position

Mike Quaintance will step down as president of the Chamber of Commerce of Cape Coral effective April 15. He will be leaving his post to become a full-time professor at Keiser University. He has served as the president for almost 18 years.

Quaintance stated, “being the Chamber president has been a wonderful opportunity for both my family and myself. However, my passion for postsecondary education has grown since graduating from Keiser University with an MBA, and teaching as an adjunct professor at Florida SouthWestern State College for the past three years.”

Ed Ramos, 2015 chairman of board, will be leading a team of chamber volunteers who will be performing a national search for Quaintance’s replacement. Ramos expects the search to take three to six months. Interested applicants can email

Insurance agent loses license, ordered to pay fine

Fort Myers insurance agent Gregory Sample’s license has been revoked after an investigation revealed that Sample engaged in unethical and illegal business practices that ultimately duped several of his clients, most of whom are seniors, to lose money from their annuity contracts.

The action will also render Sample permanently barred from both direct and indirect participation of any kind in the insurance industry and he has been ordered to pay a $140,000 fine.

The investigation, conducted by the Division of Agent Agency Services, addressed allegations that Sample made false statements on annuity documents and during the negotiation of annuity sales, and recommended unsuitable annuity exchange transactions to clients of his Fort Myers financial services business.

The Division of Administrative Hearings determined that he made willful misrepresentations and is not trustworthy. Sample has appealed the ruling.

Any consumer who feels they have been misled or deceived by an agent’s action is urged to call the Consumer Insurance Helpline at 877-693-5236.

Stevens begins expansion of Joint Implant Surgeons

Stevens Construction has started the expansion of Joint Implant Surgeons of Florida in Fort Myers. The expansion will add a 2,289-square-foot physical and occupational therapy suite to the office, which is located at 7331 College Parkway.

The addition, which is slated for completion in April, will be equipped with 11 treatment beds, treadmills, stationary bicycles and gym equipment. In addition, the physical therapy suite will also house reception, an office and an employee lounge.

The Stevens Construction team includes superintendent Jamie Butdorf and project administrator Kathryn Gomez. The project was designed by Gora McGahey Architects.


English promoted at The Terraces

The Terraces at Bonita Springs recently promoted Amy English to the position of director of sales and marketing for the community. English had been a sales counselor there over the last three years.

English is responsible for leading all sales and marketing efforts on behalf of The Terraces, and ensuring active seniors in Southwest Florida learn more about the continuing care retirement community.

She previously has held sales and marketing positions within the field of senior living elsewhere in Florida.

English earned her bachelor’s degree in human services from Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers.

Robert Mulhere chairs planning council

Robert Mulhere, director of the planning division at Hole Montes, was elected chairman of the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council. Mulhere, who was appointed to the SWFRPC by Gov. Rick Scott, served as the vice chairman last year. He follows Naples Councilwoman Teresa Heitmann as chairman.

The SWFRPC was created by an interlocal agreement between Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee and Sarasota counties. It reviews and provides input on Developments of Regional Impact and local growth management plan amendments. It also works to enable local jurisdictions to make the most efficient use of their powers to cooperate for mutual advantages in providing services and facilities, and to promote economic development and diversification with full consideration of the region’s natural resources, and any social, land use, transportation and public health, safety and welfare impacts.

R.S. Walsh adds landscape designer

R.S. Walsh Landscaping, a full-service landscape design-build company, announced that Caleb Melchior has joined the company as landscape designer.

Melchior graduated from Kansas State University with a master of landscape architecture degree. During his five-year training, Melchior’s work focused on planting design and public gardens. His research is founded in practical landscape architecture and retail horticultural experience.

AIM Engineering appoints leaders

AIM Engineering Surveying, a provider of engineering professional services, announced the appointment of Jerron K. Hull as president and chief executive officer. For the last several years, Hull has served as chief operating officer and has led the growth and daily operations of the firm. As CEO, he will lead the execution of AIM’s strategic plan to meet the firm’s long-term vision. He joined AIM full time in 1998 and has hands-on experience in each of the company’s service sectors.

James D. Hull will continue in his leadership role as chairman of the board of directors. He is one of the original partners and owner of the firm he founded in 1980.

Michael R. Adams will step in as AIM’s chief operating officer. Adams has served as the transportation manager since joining the firm in 2005.

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Organic nursery in Boise’s North End opens with big plans in a new, larger …

Local News

Witness in Boise hate crime trial says defendants never showed racial animosity

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Midday Fix: Winter gardening tips from Chalet Nursery’s Tony Fulmer – WGN

Tony Fulmer

Orchids – Understanding Flowering Houseplants
Friday, February 13 and Saturday, February 14
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Chalet Landscape, Nursery and Garden Center
3132 Lake Avenue

Tony’s Tips:

Protect indoor houseplants by checking them now for insects, to prevent damage.

Wait until mid-March to re-pot indoor plants.

If you’re storing summer flowing bulb plants like begonias or gladiolas in your basement or attic, do a mid-winter check on them to ensure they are still firm.

Get a jump on spring by shopping for seeds, now available in garden centers.

If it’s nice enough to be outside, you can actually start dormant pruning of deciduous plants.

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Lush planting, grand fountains and an inspiring retreat grown out of tragedy …

  • Winners of this year’s Society of Garden Designers awards
  • Outdoor sanctum at a spinal treatment centre in Salisbury, was awarded
  • The Grand Award went to Ian Smith for a private garden in Surrey

Naomi Greenaway for MailOnline



Whether you like a perfectly preened hedge, lush wild flowers or slick modern landscaping, these gardens are sure to get your green fingers twitching.

The breathtaking spaces are all winners of this year’s Society of Garden Designers awards.

Amongst the winners was designer Cleve West who created Horation’s Garden, a peaceful outdoor sanctum at a spinal treatment centre in Salisbury inspired by the tragic death of a teenage volunteer.

Scroll down for video 

Wimbledon Garden by  Charlotte Rowe, in south London, won the Medium Residential Award

Wimbledon Garden by Charlotte Rowe, in south London, won the Medium Residential Award

The judges said Charlotte Rowe's design had 'good proportions, beautiful site lines and an amazing finish'

The judges said Charlotte Rowe’s design had ‘good proportions, beautiful site lines and an amazing finish’

The inspiring garden, packed with wild flowers, was awarded the Public or Commercial Outdoor Space award and also honoured with the People’s Choice Award. 

The designer used herbaceous planting to accentuate the seasons and attract insects, keeping it full of life.

It was named after Horatio Chapple, who volunteered at the centre in his school holidays, and had come up with the idea for the garden.

He was tragically killed at the age of 17 by a polar bear but the outpouring of love, goodwill and donations enabled the garden to be created. 

Designer Cleve West listened to patients, nurses, therapist, doctors and managers to help him inform the design of the garden, which opened in September 2012.

Speaking on behalf of the judging panel, Richard Sneesby explained: ‘This is what healing gardens should be like. It has beautiful planting that works with the scale of the building and helps to reconnect people to nature.’

Millwater Garden in Surrey by Ian Smith at Acres Wild won The Grand Award

Millwater Garden in Surrey by Ian Smith at Acres Wild won The Grand Award

The judges called Ian Smith's Acres Wild in Surrey 'a transformational project'

The judges called Ian Smith’s Acres Wild in Surrey ‘a transformational project’

The Grand Award, the most celebrated award, went to Ian Smith of Acres Wild for this private garden

The Grand Award, the most celebrated award, went to Ian Smith of Acres Wild for this private garden

The accolades were presented at a ceremony in London where 19 awards were announced including recognition for community garden projects, international schemes, excellence in public and commercial outdoor space and a special lifetime achievement award. 

The Grand Award, the most celebrated award, went to Ian Smith of Acres Wild for a private garden in Surrey that the judges called ‘a transformational project’. 

‘This garden achieves one of the most difficult goals in garden design; it feels as if it has been in situ for several decades,’ explained Sneesby. 

Devised as a journey through interlinking spaces, Sneesby said the garden ‘feels composed and perfectly linked and has a period ambiance, exhibiting confidence of scale’.

The River Garden by Rosemary Coldstream, which won the Pocket Garden Award, features plants including the moorgrass molinia ‘heidebraut’, bverbena bonariensis and asters

The River Garden by Rosemary Coldstream, which won the Pocket Garden Award, features plants including the moorgrass molinia ‘heidebraut’, bverbena bonariensis and asters

Tall astilbe bumalda plants lead down to native irises on the river’s edge in Rosemary Coldstream's design

Tall astilbe bumalda plants lead down to native irises on the river’s edge in Rosemary Coldstream’s design

‘It’s a well-executed, integrated design with sharp edges softened by sophisticated planting,’ he added.

The garden was also named best Large Residential Garden.

A contemporary garden in Wimbledon designed by Charlotte Rowe won three awards for best Medium Residential Garden, Hardscape and Lighting Design.

The garden features ‘green architecture’ formed from clipped hornbeam, yew hedging and and box balls interspersed. 

Another award-winning transformation was by Dan Pearson, who won the the award for Historic Garden Restoration for a space that was originally designed by influential British horticulturist Gertrude Jekyll.

Sneesby described the design as ‘a sensitive, beautiful and intelligent response to the client’s brief’.

Bold architectural plants and splashes of colour feature in the Curved Contemporary Courtyard by Sue Townsend, winner of the Small Residential Award. 

Horatio's Garden by Cleve West at a spinal treatment centre in Salisbury  earned the People's Choice Award

Horatio’s Garden by Cleve West at a spinal treatment centre in Salisbury earned the People’s Choice Award

Horatio's Garden by Cleve West was described as 'inspiring garden'

Horatio’s Garden by Cleve West was described as ‘inspiring garden’

The River Garden by Rosemary Coldstream in Hertfordshire, which won the Pocket Garden Award, features plants including molinia ‘heidebraut’, verbena bonariensis and aster frikartii ‘monch’.

Astilbe ‘bumalda’ leads down to native iris pseudocorus on the river’s edge. 

Describing her Suffolk Manor, which won the Planting Design Award, designer Sue said: ‘Olive trees, box cubes, lavender, paeonias, irises, yew hedges and pleached hornbeam create intimacy in the courtyard garden whilst Dahlia David Howard and Kniphofia uvaria Noblis pack a punch in the hot borders.’

Sue Townsend's Curved Courtyard, winner of the Small Residential Garden award, looks chic and urban

Sue Townsend’s Curved Courtyard, winner of the Small Residential Garden award, looks chic and urban

Outdoor rattan tables, chairs and recliners  on black limestone patio in Sue Townsend's Curved Courtyard

Outdoor rattan tables, chairs and recliners on black limestone patio in Sue Townsend’s Curved Courtyard

College Crescent by John Davies uses slate, bamboo and box to create a  contemporary look

College Crescent by John Davies uses slate, bamboo and box to create a contemporary look

Commenting on the SGD Awards, Philippa O’Brien, chair of the SGD said: ‘One of the joys of superb garden design is that it looks effortless.

‘These gardens are however the result of years of training and experience, immense skill and razor-sharp attention to detail. 

‘I am immensely proud that the SGD is the professional body representing such finely honed talents and we are able to recognise and celebrate these talents at The SGD Awards ceremony.’ 

The Old Bakery design with geometric beds by Rebecca Smith won the Small Budget Garden award

The Old Bakery design with geometric beds by Rebecca Smith won the Small Budget Garden award

The Old Bakery by Rebecca Smith uses pale stone flags, pebbles, a patio and flower beds native plants

The Old Bakery by Rebecca Smith uses pale stone flags, pebbles, a patio and flower beds native plants


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Garden designers prepare for sixth year at the Chelsea Flower Show

A gardening duo will be exhibiting at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show for the sixth year running.

Designers Patricia Thirion, from Berkhmasted, and Janet Honour, who hails from Paris, are creating a garden inspired by the Magna Carta 800th anniversary.

The pair set up their garden design business – A Touch of France – after meeting while studying their craft at London’s Capel Manor College.

Their latest garden exhibition is being sponsored by Surrey County Council and the Runnymede-on-Thames hotel.

Patricia said: “It is remarkable that a document drawn up as a peace treaty between King John and the Anglo-Norman barons went on to influence important legislation such as the American Bill of Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“Successive generations have interpreted and used clauses within Magna Carta, which has come to symbolize liberty and democracy for many. It is a fascinating story to tell at Chelsea.”

Typical medieval features are used in their garden design, including a formal layout, wattle

obelisks, raised beds and a fountain.

The garden’s symmetry aims to symbolised the new law and order of the time.

A slice of a yew tree trunk, inscribed to relate to Magna Carta, is featured towards the front of the garden in a meadow planted bed, evocative of Runnymede. This is symbolic of the ancient Ankerwycke Yew, said to be about 2,000 years old, and growing close to the site where Magna Carta is thought to have been sealed.

Following this year’s show – running form May 19 to 23 – the garden will be moved to the Runnymede-on-Thames hotel in Egham, which is set on the banks of the River Thames opposite the historic Runnymede meadows and just a short walk from the Magna Carta Memorial.

The business pair created their first garden at Chelsea shortly after graduating in 2006 when they received a silver gilt medal.

In 2013, they were awarded a gold medal for their Herbert Smith Freehills garden for WaterAid, which was supported by Ringo Starr.

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Top garden designs revealed

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