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Archives for January 12, 2017

Portland scores coup with 2017 International Master Gardener Conference

Master Gardeners from across the country and Canada will gather in Portland for the International Master Gardener Conference in July 2017.

The conference signifies a coup for the state’s organization, according to Gail Langellotto, Oregon State University Extension Service master gardener coordinator.

“This is a big deal for Oregon,” she said. “We’re looking at it as a chance to show our colleagues and others how fantastic Oregon is and what Oregon has to offer in terms of gardening.”

Registration is open for the event, which will be held July 10-14 at the Oregon Convention Center. Anyone interested in gardening is invited. About 1,000 people are expected to attend.

More than 45 classes will be given in concurrent sessions, according to Amy Jo Detweiler, a horticulturist for Extension and coordinator of the speakers. Classes embrace a broad range of topics, including garden design, edibles, bee health, disease and pest management, pruning, soils and history.

Three keynote speakers are on the agenda – Dan Hinkley, plant explorer and former owner of Heronswood Nursery; Renee Shepherd, founder and owner of Renee’s Garden; and John Marzluff, professor of environmental and forest sciences at the University of Washington.

Lucy Hardiman 

Other well-known presenters are Lee Reich, horticulturist and author; Sean Hogan, owner of Cistus Nursery in Sauvie Island; Lucy Hardiman, Portland garden designer and author; Ramesh Sagili, assistant professor and bee expert at OSU; and Thomas Rainer, landscape architect, teacher and author.

“We are so excited,” said Langellotto, coordinator of the conference. “We’ve got an amazing speaker lineup. We were able to bring in experts from far afield we normally wouldn’t be able to afford. This is going to be so much fun.”

A garden-themed movie festival, trade show and 16 full- or half-day tours are also planned.

The event is sponsored by the Oregon State University Extension Master Gardener Program and the Oregon Master Gardener Association. Other major supporters include Ball Horticultural and the Clackamas County Master Gardener Association. Several of the speakers were underwritten by Timber Press, a Portland publishing company that specializes in gardening books.

— Kym Pokorny, 541-737-3380,, on Twitter @OregonStateExt

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Mecanoo Unveils Design for Experimental Garden and Palace Restoration in The Netherlands

Mecanoo Unveils Design for Experimental Garden and Palace Restoration in The Netherlands,  Omega Render

© Omega Render

Mecanoo has unveiled its design to transform The Soestdijk Estate into Eden Soestdijk, “an experimental garden for a sustainable society and a paradise destination for all” in The Netherlands. In an effort to become an educational tool for environmental awareness, the project aims to make a significant contribution to meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“The world is facing pressure from increasingly larger and more complex problems when it comes to water, food, climate and energy,” said Anton Valk, chairman of the Eden Soestdijk foundation. “Eden Soestdijk wants to tackle these problems and contribute to a more sustainable society by stimulating and inspiring visitors to change their behaviour in a positive way.”

An architectural greenhouse behind the palace gardens will be the centerpiece of the project, and will house an interactive exhibition focusing on topics like circularity, ecological balance, and social aspects of sustainability.


 Mecanoo architecten

© Mecanoo architecten

 Mecanoo architecten

© Mecanoo architecten

The existing palace and gardens will be restored to their original character. Chambers within the palace will showcase the estate’s history and residents, and will serve as cultural and business event space, as well as an incubator space for entrepreneurial sustainability efforts. Moreover, the wing chambers of the palace will house multimedia, interactive exhibitions.

 Mecanoo architecten

© Mecanoo architecten


© Rijksvastgoedbedrijf

“The palace gardens will be restored in full glory. Exciting, educative and fairytale-like gardens and landscapes strengthen the experience of nature. They will each connect with the central theme of sustainability while showcasing a unique individual atmosphere.”

 Mecanoo architecten

© Mecanoo architecten

A pedestrian and cycling tunnel beneath the Amsterdamse Straatweg will provide public access to the front square, which connects the palace and restaurant in the conservatory.

“The Palace Soestdijk Estate is one of the most fairytale like surroundings of the Netherlands: the ideal canvas for Eden Soestdijk,” noted Francine Houben, Creative Director at Mecanoo. “The royal family has always cherished the relationship with the surrounding landscape. The plan for Eden Soestdijk responds to this in a beautiful manner.”

 Mecanoo architecten

© Mecanoo architecten

 Mecanoo architecten

© Mecanoo architecten

From 2020 onwards, more than half a million visitors are expected to come to Eden Soestdijk annually, which is projected to feed 57 million euros back into the regional economy each year.

As a response to the redevelopment competition for the Palace organized by the Dutch government, the proposal is a collaboration between the Eden Soestdijk foundation, Mecanoo architecten, Kossmann.dejong and Royal HaskoningDHV. Development of the project additionally is in dialogue with residents, entrepreneurs, and organizations from the region.

Learn more about the project here.

News via Mecanoo.

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Clippings: Historic Dunn Gardens hires a Seattle native to replace longtime curators

INFLUENTIAL DESIGNERS Glenn Withey and Charles Price have served as curators for the E.B. Dunn Gardens in North Seattle for the past 20 years. Now they are stepping down from the historic Olmsted-designed garden to concentrate on their garden-design business.

“I’ll miss Glenn and Charles’ flair and style very much, plus they’re immense fun to be around,” says Beth Weir, executive director of Dunn Gardens.

Withey and Price, both Seattle natives, will be followed in the job by another local: Quill Teal-Sullivan, who grew up on Capitol Hill, has been appointed director of historic preservation. Teal-Sullivan has worked at a number of public gardens, including Dunn Gardens in 2010-11. She holds a degree in biology, and a graduate degree in public horticulture from Longwood Gardens.

She’s leaving her position as garden manager at Meadowburn Farm, a historic estate in New Jersey, to return to the Northwest.

Rain gardens and frogs

“An ecosystem is a complex set of processes and living and nonliving factors … from air, soil and water quality, to the happiness of the residents … ” write Zsofia Pasztor and Keri DeTore in their new and timely book. “Design Build Your Own Rain Gardens for the Pacific Northwest” (Skipstone Press, 2017, $24.95) offers practical ideas on working with nature to protect our waterways. Case studies include rain gardens as good-looking as they are functional, and there’s a list of top plants for Northwest rain gardens as well as plenty of drawings, photos and charts.

The book’s big accomplishment is grounding all the details of construction, plants and aesthetics within the bigger picture of environmental concerns. If you want to learn how water percolates through roots and soils, there’s a graphic for that. Yet from climate concerns to amphibians, the authors keep the bigger ecological picture in mind. “Frogs sing if they have suitable habitat. But when no frogs sing, the environment is overdeveloped and too toxic for them … A healthy frog literally symbolizes a healthy ecosystem.”

‘Encyclopedia Botanica’

The vegetable virtuosos at Seattle Urban Farm Company have launched a podcast full of detailed, common-sense advice on how to grow food in our climate. The episodes of “Encyclopedia Botanica” are full of the joy of planting, cultivating, harvesting and cooking your own produce.

Novice and experienced gardeners will benefit from the wide range of seasonal topics, from cover cropping to growing microgreens. Hosted by designer and edible gardening expert Hilary Dahl, “Encyclopedia Botanica” can be accessed through iTunes or at the Seattle Urban Farm Company’s website.

Color chameleons

Conifers that change color through the seasons are one of the trends noted in Monrovia Nursery’s recent 2017 report on what’s new and what’s happening in the nursery trade.

These new, smaller conifers are selling out because they’re easy-care, year-round plants well-suited to smaller Northwest gardens. Consider Ember Waves Western Arborvitae (Thuja standishii x T. plicata ‘MonPin’). Its new spring growth comes on sunny yellow, mellows to vivid green in summer and deepens to orange-tipped-in-russet during winter.

The Sea of Gold Juniper (Juniperus x pfitzeriana ‘MonSan’) grows only 3 feet tall, but packs a visual punch with lacy yellow foliage that turns a rich gold in winter.

Plant next to a spreading Icee Blue Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis ‘Monber’), which morphs from cool blue to plum purple in winter, and all that conifer color will get you through until the daffodils bloom in March.

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Ripon artist opens up art, ideas downtown at RC’s 314

Not everyone fully embraces who they are and what drives them.

Ripon’s Daniel Volkmann does, and he puts his whole self into creating art and anything that aesthetically pleases him.

“Whether it’s in my landscaping business or if I’ve got free time and I’m maybe building up a bike or a motorcycle … I am naturally drawn to try to make things look good to me, to make things look beautiful, to make things look as good as they can be,” he said. “That’s what I do.”

He’s been able to share that passion with the public through his drawings and paintings on display at 314 Watson St., Ripon College’s project space that has hosted art, music, poetry, open mic and educational events.

But, for Volkmann, as much as he likes for people to see his art, it’s not the main reason he draws or paints pieces — or might assemble one from a small tree knot, an old box of rat poison and a piece of roofing tar paper he found in his attic.

It’s simply because he feels compelled to make things.

“I think often about this quote: ‘We’re called to be co-creators of this earth of God.’ God created it all, God created us, now we’re also making this earth while we’re here,” he said. “There’s no argument about this. We remake the world all the time, so I like to embrace that.”

Read the full story, including dates and times 314: Ripon College Project Space is open this semester, in the Jan. 12, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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For Main Street Properties: Panel Reviews Resident’s Ideas

Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 6:00 am

For Main Street Properties: Panel Reviews Resident’s Ideas

by Mike Preato


WOODBURY — The AIA/SDAT Committee reviewed suggestions from Ray Manzi for visibly improving Main Street properties during its meeting on Thursday, January 5.

Mr. Manzi, a resident with property on Main Street, provided two proposals to the SDAT committee for improving Main Street that would rely heavily on community involvement.

While committee members acknowledged that they liked the general ideas provided to them, it would be on Mr. Manzi to pursue them further.

The most they could do, is review his ideas and provide him with suggestions on how to pursue them.

The first idea, dubbed “Duel of the Landscapers” is a proposal to improve some of the poorly maintained properties on Main Street by creating a contest between local landscaping companies.

With the consent of the property owners, landscapers would be assigned a property and have two days to make it look visually appealing.

The work and materials would need to be donated by each landscaper; however, the company would benefit from free advertising via special signage, recognition on the town’s website and bragging rights.

Mr. Manzi noted that if landscapers aren’t interested in participating in that kind of competition, they could do a similar competition among local community service groups.

The committee considered what group or groups in town could coordinate something like this and determined that the only group they could think of that might implement it would be the Business and Economic Development Committee.

Committee members further recognized that while the BEDC might be able to manage it, the group doesn’t have any authority to create these kinds of events.

Instead, they decided to send the idea back to Mr. Manzi and tell him that while they believe it’s a good idea, it would be up to him to find a way to implement it.

The second idea Mr. Manzi had was to create a committee to look into creating a non-profit organization under the town to seek grants or donations “for the express purpose of providing no or low-interest short-term loans to Main Street property owners for exterior repairs/beautification to the portions of their properties that face Main Street.”

The idea, Mr. Manzi explained in the letter, is to create an incentive for property owners both with and without financial hardships, to address issues with their property’s upkeep.

Board members noted there are also several historic trusts, such as the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, which might be able to provide grants for houses along Main Street’s historic district.

Dorothy West said setting up an entirely new non-profit group for this type of venture would be complicated.

SDAT Committee members said that existing local non-profits might be able to take on the task, with Bob Clarke pointing out that the Community Services Council or local churches could get involved in something like Mr. Manzi’s idea.

The committee decided to have Mr. Clarke speak with Mr. Manzi about their recommendations.

More about Woodbury, Connecticut

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More about American Institute Of Architects

  • ARTICLE: Woodbury Sidewalks and Town Greens SDAT/AIS Panel’s Topic
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More about Sustainable Design Assessment Team Committee

  • ARTICLE: Says Town Mortgaged Its Future
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  • ARTICLE: Selectmen Learn: Cost Study to Bury Lines Exorbitant


Wednesday, January 11, 2017 6:00 am.

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Work could start by spring on downtown streetscaping project

The Bradenton City Council, acting as the Community Redevelopment Agency, released a request for qualifications on Wednesday that moves a downtown streetscaping project forward.

Conversations about upgrading the appearance of the Old Main Street corridor, which also includes 11th and 13th streets west, began last summer. Bradenton Downtown Development Authority board member Mike Carter said then that maintenance of Old Main Street had fallen off in recent years.

Carter pointed out Old Main was looking “old and tired,” and that the city did something similar years ago that had “a huge impact.”

The DDA is upping the stakes this time around with not only proposing new landscaping, but it could eliminate street parking in favor of wider sidewalks. Such a move, board members believe, would increase downtown walkability while providing more room and space for business owners.

Improved lighting also is a primary consideration. The RFQ will allow interested companies to create a vision of downtown improvements, taking into account what the city wants. The RFQ does not take into account cost considerations and there are no cost estimates at this time.

Companies have until Feb. 27 to submit the RFQ. The DDA will act as the selection committee and choose three of the best submissions to forward to the city council for final consideration.

“The DDA will help with the design by providing the essentials of what we want,” said Carl Callahan, city administrator.

The project could go into design and planning by spring, but officials hope to coordinate this latest project with several others getting ready to start in the first half of 2017. Included is a project to install new water and sewer lines in downtown.

The city also wants the infrastructure project to take place first as there will be significant construction on Old Main Street. Other projects include the new $17 million Spring Hill Suites hotel across from city hall, a new parking garage on the southwest corner of the city hall parking lot, the $4.5 million renovation of Twin Dolphin Marina and the $12 million expansion of the South Florida Museum.

All of these major projects will change the look of downtown and officials are feeling a sense of urgency to get the city hall building officially on the market. Officials want to sell city hall and move to a new location, making the current site available for development in order to continue a push for downtown waterfront redevelopment.

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Grant to help beautify park

WESTCLIFFE — A $3,000 Colorado Garden Foundation grant will help San Isabel Land Protection Trust officials beautify the Bluff Park at the west end of Main Street.

The grant will be used to help install deer-resistant and drought-tolerant gardens featuring native landscaping, develop educational programs for local students and create a community group to support the park, which is the centerpiece of downtown Westcliffe.

San Isabel trust officials plan to use the park as an outdoor classroom to connect young people to the park and the outdoors.

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All signs pointing to Atherton ‘Town Center’

When all is said and done, and the signs go up, it will be called Atherton Town Center, not Civic Center, if the Civic Center Advisory Committee has its way.

That was one of several issues considered at the Monday meeting of the panel in what will be called the “Historic Town Hall,” while the new building housing the administration offices, council chambers and police department will be called the “Town Hall.”

Signage was a big part of the discussion, which was about the landscaping of what will be a public courtyard and gardens. Where to put the rhododendrons was also an issue.

Rene Bihan of SWA Group explains landscaping options to the Atherton Civic Center Advisory Committee on Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, at the Atherton City Council Chambers. (John Orr / Daily News)
Ren Bihan of SWA Group explains landscaping options to the Atherton Civic Center Advisory Committee on Monday. (John Orr / Daily News) 

After looking at several options for the main sign for the “Town Center,” which will be in front of the administration/police building, a fairly simple, steel-framed wooden sign received the most agreement. The sign might be made of wood milled from one of the trees that is scheduled to be removed in the remodeling of the current town complex.

It might carry the round Atherton logo, much like the one that hangs on the wall behind the city council dais.

The committee asked WRNS Studio, which is overseeing design of the project, and SWA Group, the landscape architects, to design sturdy pillars for the other access points to the area. Something like the intersection signs elsewhere in Atherton, but more attractive.

Public Works Director Steve Tyler was cited for telling the story of why Atherton needs something like concrete for such signs, instead of wood, like the original sign pillars used in the town in the 1920s and 1930s.

It all has to do with “The Big Game,” the annual meeting between Stanford and Cal on the football field, Tyler explained on Wednesday.

“At one time, right around when the town incorporated in 1923, all the sign pillars were made of wood,” he said. “But in the early ’30s, there was a big theft of them, and the town had to replace them. It turned out the theft of the pillars coincided with the Big Game, the Stanford-Cal game.

“They were just the right size to build a bonfire. Get 15 of them, stack them up, light a match, and it’s ‘Boola Boola.’”

The placement of flags also drew some discussion. One flag, or three? U.S., state and Atherton, or just the U.S. flag? In front of main building, or in the courtyard?

After some discussion, the panel agreed to recommend placing two flag poles in the complex, one in front of the administration building and one in the courtyard, both carrying the U.S. flag only.

The committee is to hear back from WRNS and SWA at its Feb. 6 meeting, which Chairman Steve Dostart said he hoped would wrap up the panel’s work.

After that, a report will be made to the city council, which will get to add its own tweaks and changes as needed.

Fundraising remains behind schedule. After the meeting, committee member Didi Fisher said that the Atherton Now fundraising committee, which she co-chairs, had not fulfilled the $1 million matching grant it was promised. “We will have to ask for an extension for that,” said Fisher, who said she is hopeful the grant will be fulfilled.

Atherton Civic Center Advisory Committee members Elizabeth Lewis, Steve Dostart, Didi Fisher and Clive Merredew, from left, listen to a presentation on landscaping at a meeting on Jan. 9, 2017, in the city council chambers. (John Orr / Daily News)
Atherton Civic Center Advisory Committee members Elizabeth Lewis, Steve Dostart, Didi Fisher and Clive Merredew, from left, listen to a presentation on landscaping at a meeting on Monday in the city council chambers. (John Orr / Daily News) 

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Gardening Glimpses

What a great choice. The National Garden Bureau has declared 2017 the Year of the Pansy.

This happy-faced flower, in all its permutations and combinations, brightens gardens, container displays, and public landscaping projects with unparalleled elegance and color throughout all the coolest months.

But nowhere loves the pansy, appreciates it, and uses it effectively as do we Southerners, when it is the staple of our winter landscaping.

Until the middle of the 19th century, this friendly little plant was considered nothing much better than a weed. But some gardeners, especially in England, had the time, and the staff of gardeners, to work at making it even better than it was.

One heroine in this endeavor, Lady Mary Elizabeth Bennett, daughter of the Earl of Tankerville, and her gardener embarked on an ambitious project. They cross-bred a wide variety of Viola tricolor, which they called “hearts’ ease” and which we know and grow even today as Johnny Jump-ups. These were known through Great Britain as early as 1813.

In the late 1830s, the classic pansy “face” was discovered in a chance sport that showed a broad dark blotch on the petals. James, Lord Gambier, released it to the public under the name ‘Medora.’

The serious-minded hybridizers of the time used Viola tricolor, Viola lutea, and a blue-flowered species of Russian origin, Viola altacia, and the multiplicity of “faces” and colors was on a fast progressive run.


Today, modern pansies are classified by the American Violet Society as having large flowers with two slightly overlapping upper petals, two side petals, and a single bottom petal with a slight beard in its center.

Now they come in a rainbow of colors, from crisp white to almost black, and almost all colors in-between. My preferences now are to the ones with blues in variety; but when I was first a gardener on my own, I loved the clear reds.

They are the basic top bedding plant for outdoor decoration in the winter, and can also be grown in empty spaces in the fall and spring vegetable gardens, filling in as winter food crops are harvested. If you are so minded, they can even be candied and used to decorate cakes and other baked goods.

Always needing to categorize, the pansy retailers divide the current most popular pansy hybrids into large (three to four-inch flowers), medium (two to three-inch blooms), multiflora, one to two inches, and the newest category, trailing, which offers plants ideal for hanging baskets and tall containers.

The large-flowered series includes the Majestic Giant, Delta, and Matrix. Medium-sized groups are best exemplified by the Crown and the Imperial series. Cool Wave is the hottest item among the trailers.

I doubt if you can find a good selection of pansies in garden centers now, if you, like me, have waited too late to get ambitious. But you may be lucky. Mostly there will be large pots, with other flowers added for special effects.

You can grow your own pansies from seed, given the time and space and inclination. But my memories of growing pansies in my own garden go back to the mid-1960s, when we lived on Birchwood Drive.

My mother and father would come up from Natchez for a visit, and we’d make a run for the old David Feed and Seed Store on the west side of South State Street.

What my mother preferred, and of course I did what she said, was the bunches of small pansy seedlings, divided by colors (they had some fine red ones, I remember), a size ready for transplanting easily. What I would like, now (or last October had I been more alert) would have been the small six-packs, by color.


If you aren’t just planting in containers, but in open ground, these pansies would like morning sun. They need fertilizer in the ground when planting. I discovered rather by accident that the best way to have great bedding pansies for a long season was to sprinkle half a cup full of slow release fertilizer (Osmocote, I think, was my choice), and they need moisture.

The difficult thing about pansies is that they, along with daylilies, are aptly nicknamed “deer candy.” Even 15 years ago, out here in south Madison County, it was not much problem. But if you are willing to buy or concoct your own “deer spray,” and apply it as soon as you set the plants in – don’t take time for a cup of coffee, because the deer mysteriously know new unprotected plants are in place. Then, about every two weeks, spray again.

So now I have been reminded of how much I do like having pansies in bloom, I’ve made a note in my very new pocket-sized two-year reminder book to start looking for good pansy plants at least by Columbus Day of 2017.

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Ex BBC gardening presenter ‘accused of spying on tenants for sexual pleasure’

An former BBC gardening expert secretly filmed female tenants showering and using the toilet using a camera hidden in an AIR FRESHENER.

Stephen Brookes, 55, set up the motion-activated device to capture the footage which could be downloaded to an app on his iPhone.

The celebrity gardener, who has broadcast live from the Chelsea Flower Show, now faces jail after admitting spying on a total of seven women between November 2015 and September last year.

Brookes hid a camera inside an air freshener which was placed on top of a cupboard in the bathroom at his home in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warks.

Steve Brookes 55, former BBC gardening presenter, arrives at the Warwickshire Justice Centre charged with 7 counts of voyeurism

Steve Brookes arriving at the Warwickshire Justice Centre

Brookes’ filmed seven different women who included lodgers living at his property and other people who had been invited to dinner.

Yesterday, Brookes pleaded guilty to seven charges of observing a person doing a private act knowing that the person did not consent to being observed for your sexual gratification at Leamington Spa Magistrates Court.

But magistrates committed the presenter to Warwick Crown Court for sentencing after deciding their powers of sentencing were insufficient.

Chairman of the bench Paul Tasker said: “We have taken into account all of these matters and the severity of the charges you face and we have come to the decision that we do not have enough powers to sentence you appropriately.

“You are therefore committed to Warwick Crown Court on February 8 for a 10am start.”

The court heard Brookes, who is a father and grandfather, was arrested in September last year after one of his female tenants spotted the hidden camera in the bathroom.

Steve Brookes 55, former BBC gardening presenter, arrives at the Warwickshire Justice Centre charged with 7 counts of voyeurism

He was charged with 7 counts of voyeurism

Police discovered 300 files, including videos taken near a shower and toilet, after seizing a memory card, an iPhone and an iPad belonging to the gardener.

Prosecutor Baldev Atwal said: “All of these offences take place at Mr Brookes’ address which is described as a three-bedroom residential address.

“During the commission of these offences the bedrooms upstairs were rented it and it’s clear from enquiries made by police officers that the rooms were solely rented out to female tenants.

Mr. Rotavator, Steve Brookes

The disgraced celebrity gardener

“These matters came to light when one of the victims was in the shower and noticed an air freshener on top of one of the cupboards.

“She picked it up, it didn’t emit any sort of fragrance and her suspicions were aroused and on closer examination she noticed some electric wires and a battery had been placed within that air freshener.

“She liaised with her friend and other tenants and it’s clear that all three ladies quickly formed the opinion there was indeed a small hidden camera within that air freshener.

“Matters were reported to the police that evening.

“It appears that the device was on a constant recording loop. The camera was motion activated.

“Mr Brookes iPhone had an application whereby he would become aware of the activation of that camera and could watch the recordings as they were reviewed and unfolded.”

Chelsea Flower Show

The Sentebale – Hope in Vulnerability show garden, designed by Matt Keighley and sponsored by The David Brownlow Charitable Foundation
(Photo: Getty)

The court heard Brookes’ seven female victims had expressed their “horror” and “shock” after the camera was uncovered.

Mr Atwal added: “What will clearly trouble this court is that Mr Brookes has gone to some extent and some length as far as planning and setting up the camera is concerned.

“The offences cover a substantial period of time.

“The victims express their horror, their shock, their disgust and indeed some of the recordings clearly show ladies having used the toilet, (and) changing personal items.”

Michael Jervis, defending, told the court Brookes appreciated that he was facing a custodial sentence and regarded his own behaviour as “disgraceful and disgusting”.

Urging JPs to sentence the celeb gardener at the magistrates court, he added: “He is full of remorse and if there’s anything he could do to turn back his actions then he would have done.

The Telegraph Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show

The Telegraph Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show
(Photo: PA)

“Not because of the fear of going to prison but because of the impact these acts had on the victims.

“He considers his behaviour to be disgraceful, he considers his behaviour to be disgusting.

“Mr Brookes himself has a reputation locally of great repute, he has become a very well known character in the local community.

“Not only that but also because of his employment.

“You see what he does. He writes books, he has been on television, he has created a certain character encouraging youngsters to become interested in horticulture.

“If you look at his behaviour throughout the last few years then he is a man of quite impeccable character.

“He is in many ways a ruined man, his income certainly is going to suffer.

“His life has been ruined simply because of these very stupid acts, acts which will never be repeated.”

Brookes was granted conditional bail until his sentencing on February 8.

Brookes became known as “Mr Rotavator” in the 1990s for his work on educational Channel 4 shows and visiting schools to encourage horticulture.

According to his website he has broadcast live “for many years from Chelsea Flower Show and BBC Gardeners’ World Live”.

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