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Who is Joe Swift? Chelsea Flower Show co-host, garden designer and Gardeners’ World presenter

JOE Swift is back on our screens to present the RHS Chelsea Flower show on BBC One.

But what do we know about the author and designer who regularly presents Gardeners’ World?

Joe Swift (pictured) will be heading up the coverage of the Chelsea Flower show, alongside Sophie Raworth (pictured) and Monty Don

Joe Swift (pictured) will be heading up the coverage of the Chelsea Flower show, alongside Sophie Raworth (pictured) and Monty Don

Who is Joe Swift?

Joe Swift is an English garden designer, TV presenter and journalist.

He was born on May 25, 1965 to father Clive Swift, who is an actor in Keeping Up Appearances, and mum Margaret Drabble who is a novelist.

His brother Adam is an academic, and his sister Rebecca is a poet and founder of the Literary Consultancy.

Joe is the co-founder and design director of Modular Garden, which is a garden design and build company

Joe is the co-founder and design director of Modular Garden, which is a garden design and build company

How did Joe Swift get into garden designing?

After leaving school, Joe went to Art College, before travelling and working abroad.

He started landscaping in North London, before taking his skills to Sydney and Melbourne.

He then studied garden design at The English Gardening School and launched his own landscaping company at the same time.

Joe Swift (far right) has presented Gardeners World since 1998, with hosts Rachel De Thame (left), Monty Don (centre left) and Carol Klein (centre right)

Joe Swift (far right) has presented Gardeners’ World since 1998, with hosts Rachel De Thame (left), Monty Don (centre left) and Carol Klein (centre right)

What TV shows does Joe Swift present?

Joe is famous for presenting Gardeners’ World on BBC2 alongside lead host Monty Don since 1998.

He has also presented coverage of RHS Tatton Park Flower Show, BBC’s Small Town Gardens and Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

On Monday May 22, Joe and Sophie Raworth will host a live show of Chelsea Flower Show on BBC One showing a preview of the highlight of the horticultural calendar.

In addition to this, Joe is also co-founder and design director of Modular Garden, which is a garden design and build company.

What has Joe Swift had published?

As well as being a regular face on TV screens in the UK, Joe has also had several books published.

These are called The Plant Room, Joe’s Urban Garden Handbook, and Joe’s Allotment.

He has also written several newspaper columns and has featured in Gardeners’ World Magazine on the subject of home gardening and landscaping.

The Sun triumphs at The Centenary Chelsea Flower Show


 

Article source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/3621891/joe-swift-chelsea-flower-show-co-host-garden-designer-gardeners-world-presenter/

GREEN THUMBS UP: Designing a Perennial Garden

Soaking springtime showers have provided beneficial moisture for our bountiful May flowers. Despite the chill in the air during the past week, nurseries were bustling with activity as eager homeowners filled their carts with flowering trees and shrubs, hanging baskets, perennials, herbs, and vegetables in anticipation of Mother’s Day and Memorial Day weekend.

Nearly all gardeners are guilty of impulse buying at this time of year, however this haphazard approach often leads to gardens that lack structure and organization requiring hours of valuable time as we move plants from place to place, year after year, trying to make the layout “look right”.

Like any artistic endeavor, creating a successful garden design requires research, practice, and experimentation to develop an understanding of design concepts and their practical application to successfully combining plants. The elements of design, including mass, form, line, texture, and color, and the way these elements are blended with respect to scale, balance, and rhythm, apply to any artistic composition, including interior design, painting a picture, choosing our wardrobe, or designing a landscape. Most of us have years of experience without even realizing the many practical applications of design principles we employ in our everyday life.

Perhaps no other work of art, however, poses a greater challenge than a garden design, for so many factors that we cannot control influence its outcome including weather conditions, changing light patterns through the day and the seasons, plant growth, and intermittent bloom periods. While interior designs retain their basic composition unless we choose to alter their appearance, a garden is constantly changing over time and is always a work in progress.

The key to successful garden designs is to analyze your site and match plants to the light, soil type, and exposure your growing conditions offer. Make observations several times a day, once trees have fully leafed out, to determine how much light is available in various areas of your landscape. If a site is shaded during the morning but sunny from midday throughout the afternoon, select plants for sunny sites. Locations that receive early morning sun or filtered light throughout the day are all usually well-suited for shade-tolerant plants. Remember that the light changes with the seasons, and shade-loving plants will struggle given hot afternoon sun during the summer months.

Garden designs should also be a reflection of a gardener’s personal style and taste, blending with the style of your home and the contours of the property. For some gardeners, formal borders with straight lines or geometric shapes are appealing while others prefer a naturalistic, informal approach with curved lines or irregular shapes. No matter what your personal preference, seek plants that offer multiple seasons of interest, especially outstanding foliage. Most trees, shrubs, and perennials have a limited bloom season but their foliage persists for six months or more.

The greatest challenge when designing a garden is to create the illusion that the entire border is in bloom throughout the growing season. It is often helpful to draw a simple base plan of a new or existing garden on graph paper. Depending on the size of the garden, it may be helpful to divide the garden into thirds and strategically space grouping of plants that bloom simultaneously in each third along the borders, creating the illusion of continuous bloom even though only a few plants are blooming at the same time. A few small ornamental trees or shrubs including dwarf conifers will give the garden structure, winter interest, and serve as the anchors of your garden. Spring-flowering bulbs offer early color in addition to May-blooming perennials such as ground phlox for sunny sites and native wildflowers in the shade.

Using a sheet of tracing paper, overlay the early spring base plan and mark this second sheet with June and July flowers to fill in some of the underlying blank spaces in each section. Superimpose annuals over the proposed bulb plantings. Add another layer of tracing paper to signify late summer and fall bloomers to fill in remaining spaces in each section. If plants that bloom in each season are distributed throughout the garden, the illusion of continuous bloom is possible, especially if plants with colorfully-tinted foliages are included. Repetition of color, form, and texture will help to draw the eye, creating rhythm; contrasts in these elements of design will make the garden more interesting to view.

 

— Suzanne Mahler is an avid gardener, photographer and lecturer. She is a member of a local garden club, past president of the New England Daylily Society, an overseer for the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and is employed at a garden center.

Article source: http://plymouth.wickedlocal.com/news/20170520/green-thumbs-up-designing-perennial-garden

‘It’s not supposed to be pretty’: the Chelsea Flower Show garden modelled on a Maltese quarry

On the quarry’s walls grow lacy white sea carrot (Daucus), wild caper, shrubby St John’s wort and the endemic Maltese forms of sea lavender (Limonium) and everlasting (Helichrysum), with silver leaves and mustard-yellow flowers. In the disturbed ground of pathways opportunistic annuals and perennials pop up, such as poppies, borage, castor oil plant, glaucous purple cerinthe and yellow tobacco flower.

In the impoverished conditions of the quarry floor, where there is little soil, airy fennels, asphodels and Ampelodesmos mauritanicus grasses rise up above white daisy-flowered corn chamomile, squat yellow carlina thistles and red clover-like hedysarum.

Many of the garden’s 300 different plant species will be familiar to British gardeners and are perfectly growable here. Others would be a challenge.

This is a garden that puts Malta and its environment in the spotlight but, for James, Malta is a microcosm of our planet. His garden, he says, is about “man and nature reacting together over the course of time” and about how important it is “to preserve the fragile balance and celebrate the wonder”.

Article source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/chelsea-flower-show/not-supposed-pretty-chelsea-flower-show-garden-modelled-maltese/

In the Garden: Reflect your personality with a telling landscape design – The Spokesman

A well-planned home landscape – whether designed professionally or by the gardener-in-residence – does a beautiful job of reflecting those who live there.

Landscape architect Barb Safranek has a clear vision of what it takes to create stunning gardens that speak both to the homeowners and those who visit. Having designed hundreds of residential landscapes, she understands the steps of the design process.

“The most natural place to start is with your own lifestyle, what you’d like to have and what you’re able to keep up with,” she said. “People come with ideas from their past that they think they’d like, while others don’t have much time to devote to a garden due to their jobs.”

She recommends looking at your site and taking into consideration the soil and how the terrain speaks to you. Then look at the views you have, including any eyesores you want to screen out.

“You’ve got to go with what you have, rather than imposing something that will fight with the site,” Safranek suggested. “There will be some compromising.”

Another consideration is the effect of time on a landscape.

“I always ask my clients how long they are planning to be in their home,” she said. “Depending on whether they will be selling it soon, or if it’s their starter home or their dream home, it affects how densely I plant things.”

Well-designed landscapes use focal points to draw the eye to them. One of Safranek’s favorite elements is containers.

“If they’re large enough, they add structure to the landscape,” she said. “The glazes on them add color and a smooth, geometrical form that stands out. They add winter interest even when there aren’t any plants in them.”

This region’s winters are hard on regular ceramic pots, but there are freeze-resistant types that can be left outside year-round because they are fired at very high temperatures during the manufacturing process.

In Safranek’s own garden, she has a tall pot filled with water that adds a stunning element. She will often recommend them to clients.

“I always pitch the container water features because they add so much to the landscape,” she related. “They provide a welcome bit of movement with water shimmering down the sides of the pots.”

Other focal points include sitting areas, container groupings, specimen trees and carefully-placed rocks.

“In my own landscape, one of my goals was to have something interesting to look at all year long,” she said. “Rocks, pots and trees provide me with the feel of a garden no matter what time of year it is.”

Safranek suggests getting away from straight lines and creating curved paths and lines instead – always keeping in mind the flow of moving through the garden. Curving lines lead the eye around a corner, maybe to an interesting design element or an attractive vista.

She feels trees add scale to the landscape, drawing the eyes up to the sky. It’s important to select a tree that is the appropriate size for the garden it will be planted in. Those with small gardens should steer clear of trees that will become huge and choose a more modest specimen.

An admitted plant-lover, Safranek is always visiting nurseries to see which new plants are available and then tries to figure out where she can squeeze some into her garden. She enjoys playing with colors and textures.

“I think a lot about contrasting foliage,” she said. “It adds so much richness to the garden, long after any flowers have bloomed.”

When choosing plants, especially trees and shrubs, pay close attention to the mature size listed on the plant labels. With proper spacing, they won’t become troublesome later.

If a homeowner feels their landscape is lacking in appeal, Safranek has two straightforward solutions to add some pizzazz.

“It’s good to focus on the entry to your home because that’s something everyone sees and it says a lot about you,” she said. “If you can get your entry looking really good, the rest of your landscape is going to be OK.

“Another idea is to choose the place you spend the most time, or the window you look out the most, and devote some effort to that. Rather than getting overwhelmed with the whole garden, choose one perspective instead.”

Safranek has been a landscape architect for about 25 years and still finds the work very fulfilling.

“I enjoy all of the places I get to see and the people I get to meet,” she said. “I enjoy designing and the process of helping people communicate what they are visualizing.”

To view this week’s “Everyone Can Grow A Garden” video, go to on my YouTube channel, youtube.com/c/susansinthegarden. Susan Mulvihill is co-author, with Pat Munts, of “Northwest Gardener’s Handbook.” Contact her at Susan@susansinthegarden.com.

Article source: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/may/20/in-the-garden-reflect-your-personality-with-a-tell/

GREEN THUMBS UP: Designing a perennial garden – News – The …

Soaking springtime showers have provided beneficial moisture for our bountiful May flowers. Despite the chill in the air during the past week, nurseries were bustling with activity as eager homeowners filled their carts with flowering trees and shrubs, hanging baskets, perennials, herbs, and vegetables in anticipation of Mother’s Day and Memorial Day weekend.
Nearly all gardeners are guilty of impulse buying at this time of year, however this haphazard approach often leads to gardens that lack structure and organization requiring hours of valuable time as we move plants from place to place, year after year, trying to make the layout “look right”.
Like any artistic endeavor, creating a successful garden design requires research, practice, and experimentation to develop an understanding of design concepts and their practical application to successfully combining plants. The elements of design, including mass, form, line, texture, and color, and the way these elements are blended with respect to scale, balance, and rhythm, apply to any artistic composition, including interior design, painting a picture, choosing our wardrobe, or designing a landscape. Most of us have years of experience without even realizing the many practical applications of design principles we employ in our everyday life.
Perhaps no other work of art, however, poses a greater challenge than a garden design, for so many factors that we cannot control influence its outcome including weather conditions, changing light patterns through the day and the seasons, plant growth, and intermittent bloom periods. While interior designs retain their basic composition unless we choose to alter their appearance, a garden is constantly changing over time and is always a work in progress.
The key to successful garden designs is to analyze your site and match plants to the light, soil type, and exposure your growing conditions offer. Make observations several times a day, once trees have fully leafed out, to determine how much light is available in various areas of your landscape. If a site is shaded during the morning but sunny from midday throughout the afternoon, select plants for sunny sites. Locations that receive early morning sun or filtered light throughout the day are all usually well-suited for shade-tolerant plants. Remember that the light changes with the seasons, and shade-loving plants will struggle given hot afternoon sun during the summer months.
Garden designs should also be a reflection of a gardener’s personal style and taste, blending with the style of your home and the contours of the property. For some gardeners, formal borders with straight lines or geometric shapes are appealing while others prefer a naturalistic, informal approach with curved lines or irregular shapes. No matter what your personal preference, seek plants that offer multiple seasons of interest, especially outstanding foliage. Most trees, shrubs, and perennials have a limited bloom season but their foliage persists for six months or more.
The greatest challenge when designing a garden is to create the illusion that the entire border is in bloom throughout the growing season. It is often helpful to draw a simple base plan of a new or existing garden on graph paper. Depending on the size of the garden, it may be helpful to divide the garden into thirds and strategically space grouping of plants that bloom simultaneously in each third along the borders, creating the illusion of continuous bloom even though only a few plants are blooming at the same time. A few small ornamental trees or shrubs including dwarf conifers will give the garden structure, winter interest, and serve as the anchors of your garden. Spring-flowering bulbs offer early color in addition to May-blooming perennials such as ground phlox for sunny sites and native wildflowers in the shade.
Using a sheet of tracing paper, overlay the early spring base plan and mark this second sheet with June and July flowers to fill in some of the underlying blank spaces in each section. Superimpose annuals over the proposed bulb plantings. Add another layer of tracing paper to signify late summer and fall bloomers to fill in remaining spaces in each section. If plants that bloom in each season are distributed throughout the garden, the illusion of continuous bloom is possible, especially if plants with colorfully-tinted foliages are included. Repetition of color, form, and texture will help to draw the eye, creating rhythm; contrasts in these elements of design will make the garden more interesting to view.
—Suzanne Mahler is an avid gardener, photographer and lecturer. She is a member of a local garden club, past president of the New England Daylily Society, an overseer for the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and is employed at a garden center.

Article source: http://hingham.wickedlocal.com/news/20170520/green-thumbs-up-designing-perennial-garden/1

Winter Garden considering framework designs for East Plant Street Corridor

WINTER GARDEN –– While Ocoee and Apopka seek to create pedestrian-friendly areas modeling Winter Garden’s downtown, Winter Garden seeks to expand its own. During the May 11 City Commission meeting, leaders introduced design plans detailing the framework that, if adopted, would guide development fronting East Plant Street and surrounding areas.

The framework will establish building standards for any future growth in the corridor situated between South Dillard Street and State Road 429, essentially expanding its downtown and creating a gradual transition that reflects downtown’s character.

The city’s Character Area Plans were drafted to ensure future developers and property managers understand the overall vision targeted for the corridor.

Some goals for the character area according to the proposed ordinance — for which a vote was postponed during the meeting — are to create a more pedestrian-friendly transportation network, a stronger sense of place and a front-door gateway to Winter Garden and Ocoee’s downtown areas; and to encourage high-quality and high-value economic development. 

The character area establishes three overlay zoning districts: the East Plant District, Gateway District and Packing Plant District, each of which have its own development standards that align with a desired character. 

There are eight building types permitted within the character area. Each has a maximum story limitation, schematic example, regulations and required standards. However, the city may grant exceptions via allowable waivers, according to the plan documents. The ordinance also states the city recognizes the constraints of meeting some standards for certain projects and may approve required deviations.

–––

Contact Gabby Baquero at [email protected]

 

 

Article source: http://www.orangeobserver.com/article/winter-garden-considering-framework-designs-for-east-plant-street-corridor

Chelsea Flower Show: Alan Titchmarsh on the greatest show on Earth

The experience of standing right next to a speaker at a concert might not be the first thing you associate with gardening, but DJ Zoe Ball has used the sensation to inspire her Listening Garden. Working with writer, broadcaster and designer James Alexander Sinclair, the garden will feature three water troughs containing large steel trays full of gravel.

As a deep bass sound plays beneath the ground, patterns will emerge on the surface of the water and the gravel will dance to the vibrations. The garden will also feature lush green planting, including three trees and a high perimeter hedge. Zoe says: 

“I appreciate time out from busy days by escaping into the garden or the countryside, amongst the flowers and the wildlife, the smells and sounds. So what an absolute treat to work with James on the listening garden.”

When the boat comes in 

Another unusual garden that’s well worth a visit is the The IBTC Lowestoft Broadland Boatbuilder’s Garden. Hoping for a medal in the Artisan Garden category, the garden is inspired by the discovery of an 900-year-old oak boat on the Norfolk Broads in 2013.

Gold medal-winning designer Gary Breeze has designed the garden that aims to draw attention to the need to preserve the fragile environment and the boat-building skills that help to shape the Norfolk and Suffolk wetlands. The boat stands on a small jetty surrounded by plants and trees native to the dykes that crisscross the grazing marshes.

The garden features some edible plants including peas, garlic, kale, chives and plain cole. Half of this lovely garden is aquatic and semi-aquatic to attract wildlife. 

Article source: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/garden/805715/Chelsea-Flower-Show-Alan-Titchmarsh-garden-flower-plans

Cornwall Library’s Books & Blooms benefit features author Ellen Ecker Ogden

Cornwall Cornwall Library presents Books Blooms 2017: The Art of the Kitchen Garden, to benefit the library’s programs.

The weekend begins on Friday, June 9, 6 p.m. with “Kitchen Garden Design: the Art of Growing Food” a talk and book signing by Ellen Ecker Ogden, acclaimed garden designer and author. A cocktail reception with selections from Ogden’s cookbooks and a silent auction are capped with one hour of garden design consultation by Ogden

On Saturday, June 10, from 10 am to 4 pm you may tour unique kitchen, farm and flower gardens throughout the day. Book sale of new and out-of-print gardening books will also be available at the Cornwall Library.

Ellen Ecker Ogden is a food and garden writer who co-founded “The Cook’s Garden” seed catalog in 1984. This introduced home gardens to European and American heirloom lettuces and salad greens. She has written five books and teaches and lectures on farm-to-table cooking and kitchen garden design.

Her newest book, “The Complete Kitchen Garden,”, features her own designs to inspire gardeners to create works of art. Based on the seasonal cycles of the garden, each chapter provides a new way to look at planting stages with themes and designs. Ellen contributes to numerous national magazines, and has been a guest on PBS and HGTV.

For more information, call 860-672-6874, or visit www.CornwallLibrary.org or email CornwallLibrary@biblio.org.

Article source: http://www.countytimes.com/community/cornwall-library-s-books-blooms-benefit-features-author-ellen-ecker/article_8f637b5f-bb79-561a-8b71-332fef10d81c.html

Westfield Girl Scouts earn award for garden design and planting

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Girl Scout Cadettes from Holy Trinity School’s Troop #40302, Margot Motyczka, Isabela Allen and Martha Byrne, have earned their Girl Scout Silver Award, the highest award a Cadette can earn.  Their project, Planting the Seeds of History, was to research, design, and plant a Perennial Victorian Garden on the grounds of the Westfield Historical Society’s Reeve History and Cultural Center.  Each girl devoted over 50 hours of service to the enhancement of this community treasure.  They will receive their awards at the town-wide ceremony later in May.

This item was submitted by Gretchen Byrne.

Article source: http://www.nj.com/suburbannews/index.ssf/2017/05/westfield_girl_scouts_earn_awa.html

Treasure Valley gardening events include plants that attract butterflies

Wednesday, May 17

Succulent Wreath: 6 p.m. at FarWest Garden Center, 5728 W. State St., Boise. Choose from a wide variety of succulent cuttings to create this living piece of art that is perfect to display outside on a fence or your front door. $40. RSVP to 853-4000. farwestgardencenter.net.

Thursday, May 18

Four-Season Beauty: 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise. Terry Sims, The Garden Artist LLC, will walk you through the design process and plant selections to achieving four-season interest in your garden. Handouts will be provided. $17 general, $12 IBG members. Register: 343-8649. idahobotanicalgarden.org.

Saturday, May 20

Smart Pots or Bring Your Own Container: 10 a.m. at FarWest Garden Center, 5728 W. State St., Boise. Container Garden Party — materials available for purchase and you can plant during the class with your friends. There will be a demo by Tina Canham of Smart Pots, a reusable fabric aeration container that allows you to grow more plants in less space. Free. RSVP to 853-4000. farwestgardencenter.net.

Design with Idaho in Mind: 11 a.m. at Madeline George Garden Design Nursery, 10550 W. Hill Road Parkway, Boise. Learn about the best native, waterwise and regionally adaptable plants for the urban environment. Free. RSVP to 995-2815 or email info@madelinegeorge.com.

Organic Gardening Workshop: 1 to 3 p.m. at Nampa Public Library, 215 12th Ave. S. Interactive workshop will provide you with techniques and strategies on how to grow food in a chemical-free environment. Adult gardeners are invited to attend this class with master gardener Sarah Fulkes, as she demonstrates the benefits of organic gardening. Free. Contact Sherrie at priens@cityofnampa.us; 468-4474.

Wednesday, May 24

Butterflies and Pollinators: 6 p.m. at FarWest Garden Center, 5728 W. State St., Boise. Learn which plants are the most attractive to migrating and native butterflies. Free. RSVP to 853-4000. farwestgardencenter.net.

Saturday, May 27

Garden Editing: 11 a.m. at Madeline George Garden Design Nursery, 10550 W. Hill Road Parkway, Boise. Learn the tips and techniques for editing your garden. Free. RSVP to 995-2815 or email info@madelinegeorge.com.

Sunday, June 11

Private Gardens Tour: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Boise Bench area. Fundraiser for the Idaho Botanical Garden, its plants and programs, and the Lunaria Grant. $25 general, $20 IBG members in advance; $35 and $30 day of event. 343-8649. idahobotanicalgarden.org.

Tuesday, June 13

A Passion for Penstemons: 6:30 p.m. at the Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise. Spend a little time indoors to be introduced to this group of plants before going outside to see them in spectacular bloom. $20 general, $15 IBG members. Register: 343-8649. idahobotanicalgarden.org.

Wednesday, June 14

Home Composting 101: 6:30 p.m. at the Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise. Sierra Laverty, IBG gardener and educator, will teach you how to create a hot three-bin system, manage a cold and slow compost pile, how to use a compost tumbler, and many other methods. $20 general, $15 IBG members. Register: 343-8649. idahobotanicalgarden.org.

Saturday, June 17

Idaho Rose Show: Noon to 5 p.m. in the Aspen Room, The Riverside Hotel, 2900 Chinden Blvd., Boise. Presented by Idaho Rose Society. Free. 440-7826.

Article source: http://www.idahostatesman.com/living/home-garden/article151116782.html