Award winning garden and landscape designer, writer and photographer. Award winner "Residential Landscape Designer of The Year 2016" Northern Design Awards . Award winner "International Landscape Design 2012", "APLD" USA. Award winner "Garden Designer of the Year 2010, 2011, and 2013 Northern Design Awards. Currently working on garden design projects in Cheshire, Manchester, Derbyshire, Lancashire, Wales and France.
I am and have been far to busy to keep this up to date.
Community garden in Salford now nearing completion.
6 page feature in this months Derbyshire Life magazine.
Busy working on designs for new projects.
Thats it for now.
I know most people write updates on their blogs most days so i am not a very proficient blogger compared!! Oh well!! Chelsea last month very disappointing only two gardens worth seeing Laurent Perrier by the Italian and one by Leeds council which i thought was fantastic. Otherwise it was full of trinket sellers and that ridiculous plasticine thing by James May useless gimmick. One attendee i do feel worth mentioning is water feature specialist David Harber. This guy creates amazing water features and i look forward to the day when i can use his skills on one of my projects. Check out his website at: www.davidharbersundials.co.uk definitely worth a visit. I have now cancelled my membership of the RHS due to their covert support for the introduction of GM into this country. Anyway that's it for now back when i can.
Hello and I’d love to say that this month I am going to be more upbeat and positive but then I get to Humans, Yes Humans, the most advanced stupid beings on earth. Do you like seafood? I love seafood, or at the least I did until very recently but not for much longer. As a race that started out as hunter-gatherers and progressed through innovation and evolution to rule this little place in space we also in the process seem to have become detached from the source and sustenance of all our innovation.
The open seas are one of the last places left on the planet where we still to some extent act out these hunter gathers instincts. Indeed we have celebrated this relationship over the years in books and film such as the iconic novel, The Old Man And The Sea by Earnest Hemmingway. A celebration of mans determination to master and conquer against the odds. And who could forget Moby Dick the attempt of man to triumph over a whale whatever the cost? And that’s us; lets take it all whatever the cost. Unfortunately poor old Moby Dick went down with the deluded Captain Ahab.
As a result of our folly the seas are now in a perilous state for which we will all potentially pay a heavy price. We poison it with fertiliser run offs into our rivers and estuaries and the excess carbon dioxide of global warming. All of this now means the surface of the sea is more acidic which is quite literally choking the life out of it.
With melting glaciers, ice caps and ice sheets there is the very real possibility that sea levels could raise by anything up to seven metres in the not too distant future. Currently some 630 million people live within six miles of the sea. This would lead to low-level countries such as Bangladesh disappearing under the waves forever. Some deluded fools, companies (or perhaps captain Ahab’s would be more apt) see this melting as a boon opening up new harvests from the seabeds such as metal nuggets of manganese, containing cobalt, copper and nickel. Never mind the further destruction caused to already fragile eco systems.
Meanwhile fish stocks are in a dreadful state with many species on the verge of extinction. Years of mismanagement and political ineptitude mean this situation has been allowed to escalate and continue without any sincere or meaningful effort to curb it. Think of this: over three quarters of all marine life are below, or on the brink of falling below sustainable levels. Oh and while I am on the subject that tin of tuna with the dolphin friendly line caught symbol, well it forgets to mention that the poor old tuna is virtually disappearing along with the dolphin.
Everything from the concrete block, to cosmetics, to cars, to steel, to the pavements we walk on has at some time and in some shape or form, been derived from an ingredient harvested from the earth. But for all our smartness we have not created anything new merely having learned to very cleverly manipulate these resources into useful tools. A more sophisticated form of the wooden club or the flint axe. In fact earlier tribes of we humans and a very few existing tribes, (ones that we would most likely consider primitive) were and are far more in tune with the natural balance and sustainability of these very resources. We on the other hand have lost and squandered that valuable link between our modern selves and our more enlightened predecessors. Our towns and cities allow us to abstract ourselves from the interconnectivity of all strata’s of organism and life on this planet. The connection seems lost along with any understanding of the very finely balanced nature of interdependence.
Politicians are probably the worst placed to be in control of this vital resource as they are more prone to self-interest and lobbying. It is now essential that as a matter of urgency an independent group, possibly under the auspicious of the UN be set up to oversee the future management of all international waters. What will it really take for us to take action? Perhaps the disappearance of a city like London under a tidal wave or a few more Katrina’s? End
Wholesome, good for you, bursting with freshness, eat well, just some of the superlatives used to describe food. Times are tough and as a consequence, the value and own brand label food lines in supermarkets are seeing a huge resurgence in popularity. The funny thing is that outside breathing air and having a decent water supply food is the main element of our lives. Yet, it is the first we accept as fluid and tangible in terms of quality and price. The goodness and quality factor seem easily launched out the window of budgetary expediency. Just how good I wonder is the food we buy? All value ranges on offer by the supermarkets have been proven to have very little of the main ingredient. For instance, a fish pie with 9% fish or chicken and vegetable pies with 9% chicken and 2% vegetable. The rest is just a tummy muck of emulsifiers, fats, sugars, and colours. So, whilst we are saving money we are gloop festing without any good nutritional content. Who protects us from this or is it our own fault for not reading the label? Then again, would you really want to read the label? The vast majority of people I will bet do not read the label because they already have a good idea, that it’s a bad idea, with little of the benefits required from the food we eat. Food is one of the most underrated and messed around with things in our lives. Before it even gets to our stores, it will have been sprayed with any number of toxic chemicals. Our daily bread made from grain crops, probably being one of the most sprayed or treated sets of staples around. Whilst the EU has banned many pesticides in the last number of years, most were those for use in the domestic market. In the meantime, large chemical companies seeing the writing on the wall started to consolidate their industries by buying up smaller companies and further diversified by also buying up seed producers. Not only does this afford them a firmer grip on food production but it also makes them a very powerful lobby group with politicians and lawmakers. We are now in a situation where five companies have managed to create a global cartel controlling 70% of food chemical production. Even more worrying is that these same companies will now control nearly all of the world’s research and development into new and innovative ways to use food manipulation both chemical and pharmaceutical And, if you haven’t guessed by now these same companies are at the forefront of GM herbicide and seed production. The reality of all of this is that food production will be moved out of countries with stringent controls to poorer countries in the developing world where the health of the environment and farm labour is of little or no consequence to these global corporations. In the process, large swathes of agricultural land will be given over to monoculture thereby making the communities more reliant for their own food on the controlling companies. This is not to mention the health affects on these people from prolonged exposure to a dizzying cocktail of poisons. Even more worrying for the UK in all of this is that the newly appointed Science minister Dr Paul Drayson is a supporter and advocate for the introduction of GM into the UK. I do not know if like Lord Sainsbury, he is a shareholder in any of the GM companies but regardless his support does not bode well for the environment of this country. In much the same way that large corporations such as Nestle, Kellogg’s, and Coca Cola have expanded their reach through diversification and consolidation. With this, the end supplier has now consolidated with the ever-increasing march of supermarkets. This use of chemicals, bad enough as it is in our foodstuffs is also present in large quantities in virtually every item we purchase, from deodorants to household cleaners and sprays. To give a very simple example, look at the ingredients label on virtually any deodorant and you will see that aluminium has been added. This it is claimed can add to the risk of certain types of cancer. It is only one small example. Ultimately we have a responsibility to both ourselves and the environment to care about the food we eat and the products we buy. And if we are in a large part to buy into cheaper food and own brands, which barely qualify as food at all, will it be any wonder when the nations health is seriously affected as a consequence. For it is not so much that, there is no such thing as a free lunch but more there is no such thing as a cheap lunch. End