PROJECT NEWS: Screening, first impression and visual impact with large trees
Earlier this year (May 2020), Peter visited this private homeowner at their riverside property in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. With views across the River Lea, the property’s rear garden enjoyed an open aspect – but a little too “open” for the owner’s preference.
Natural screening from pleached trees
Discussing a variety of options with the homeowner, Peter looked at the best solution for a natural partial screening that shielded incoming views from river traffic and the canal path without impeding an external view of the river. Pleached trees offer clear stem height and a space-saving slimline panel of foliage, and the European Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) lent itself perfectly to the surrounding landscape. This striking alternative to beech, with more distinctly veined and serrated leaves creates an instant partial screening with its 1.2m x 3.0m panel of foliage. Supplied in containers, the resulting screen met the brief entirely and will provide a semi-evergreen cover through the seasons, turning to an attractive copper in the Autumn and adding a flourish of green catkins in late spring.
Established trees for instant foliage impact
Next issue to resolve? A low level hedge. Creating a straightforward instant box hedge with established Buxus Sempervirens in 7.5 litre pots, Peter then returned to the garden to evaluate the best option for the front of the property. The new development lacked height and structure, issues easily overcome with sourcing and supplying large established trees. The choice of birch was an easy one; with silvery trunks and feathery foliage, the heavy standard trees, supplied direct from the allgrowth Bedfordshire nursery, were lifted, delivered, and – with the ground prepared – the 5 metre high trees were planted along the frontage and driveway. The birches give the instant height of an established tree with a softening effect on the surrounding landscape.
5 metre 20-25cm girth Betula utilis jacquemontii; established trees in an instant:
Beautiful specimens and bonsai talking points
To accompany the new rear and front landscaping additions, the third phase of this home’s planted journey took its path towards topiary and bonsai. Four cloud clipped Ilex crenata Japanese Hollies accompany two wow-factor statement trees: A multi-trunk Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria j. Globosa Nana) and a Japanese maple (Acer palmatum Inaba-Shidare). These container-grown specimens form umbrellas amongst the cloud formations in the beds around the development.
Screen, structure and visual beauty:
The end result
From the modest screening to the rear to the Japanese themed beauty of the peripheral planting, this private landscape has taken on a whole new identity of its own. The owner is delighted with the transformation, and praised Peter, not only on his support and interpretation of their needs and wishes, but on its translation into a beautiful landscape:
“What Peter has done at my new house is magnificent. It really is the icing on the cake for us. The decorative feel of the front garden and approach and the more functional screening at the rear has helped no end and we look forward to discussing our additional planting plans to create a lower level shrub and ground cover layer amongst the treelines.”
Listen to Peter
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – it’s worth listening to Peter. If you’re ready to bend his ear, and are looking to discuss the trees and shrubs you need for your next landscaping project, contact us today.
Call Peter on 07525 652042 or
email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
PROJECT NEWS: Private Estate Planting in Bedfordshire
Most tree growers and nurseries will happily take your order, select your stock, deliver and go. The minimum handling and hassle their end and they will be on to the next delivery. Well, let’s just say – that’s not allgrowth’s take on how to best serve your planting plans. This latest planting project at a client’s new home in the heart of the Bedfordshire countryside is testimony to that.
Setting the scene
A private homeowner recently moved into their new home in Bedfordshire. The beautiful homescape is set in just under four acres of land with surrounding areas formerly used as paddocks and dressage arenas. These open spaces had been left untended for some time and the owner was looking to re-purpose these for family, entertaining and outdoor living. With a healthy expanse of land at their disposal, the homeowner also wanted to create natural wildlife corridors and habitats with meadows, hedging, a copse and an orchard. This informal nature-friendly space would separate the more formal planting around the gardens and screen off the more functional, operational areas used for compost, refuse and mulching.
One of the key elements within the landscape was the planting of mature birches to extend the existing wooded vista. Both trees were approaching 13 metres in height and their safe delivery and establishment was integral to the completion of this first phase.
13 metre high birch trees: Delivered, planted and standing proud as if they had always been here:
An altogether alternative approach from allgrowth
With services very much sought after locally and across the South East, allgrowth’s figurehead and plant specialist Peter Middlicott was contacted by the homeowner in light of the multi-faceted nature of his landscape plans. The allgrowth team have a vast array of large trees, topiary and specimen statement shrubs available on their own nursery in Bedfordshire and have a long-standing reputable network of partner nurseries they work with to source the more unusual or hard-to-come by varieties.
From nursery to landscape
The complicated part of sourcing the right trees and plants is where allgrowth excel; the simple part is making the call and talking through what you’re looking to achieve in your garden or landscape. The rest is painless straight-talking and straightforward proposals and options.
“You know where you stand from the offset”
The client shares his thoughts on how his allgrowth journey developed. He continues:
“Peter was clearly considering what was best for me and my garden and not what he could “sell” me – that’s really refreshing these days. He’s honest and knows his business and this clearly comes across in every conversation we’ve had, from our initial nursery visit to view stock to his visits to our home for his professional assessment of what would work best for us.”
In essence, it’s worth listening to Peter.
The right trees and plants for you
Though it might not be rocket science, it’s definitely not child’s play. Choosing the right plants for purpose, location, soil type, end goal and maintenance options might mean a lengthier deliberation than just “tag and go”. The time spent at the business end of the process pays dividends in the endgame. Clients are encouraged to ask questions and expect honest answers – if a tree just won’t fit the bill, it won’t make the cut on your planting palette.
Access to the site, as is often the case, was not the simplest. A single-track lane with a 90-degree turn through a gate at the end doesn’t necessary lend itself to the safe delivery of trees over 13 metres in height. The site threw in inconveniently placed overhead cabling too – but allgrowth rose to the challenge.
Delivering large birch trees
The key here is the foresight and planning afforded by reconnaissance visits from Peter. The trees themselves also needed to be prepped on the nursery to allow for the best delivery methods. Planting holes and irrigation was prepared on the planting site well in advance to ensure the minimum delay between lifting and planting. These are all regular manoeuvres in the allgrowth armoury.
The end result
One orchard with a new lease of life, planted with cherry, pear and apples for future bumper harvests. One new copse of birches and maples as a wildlife haven and natural margin. Smaller trees to replace the tired and overgrown ivy fencing and to give visual continuity.
One stunning Magnolia Galaxy statement tree near to the house. Oaks working in unison with the native hedging. And some stunning trees for visual impact and statements, including the birch trees, planted with irrigation for healthy establishment and longevity.
One new instantly-dense native hedge line for healthy all-year-round foliage, meandering across the garden in an “S” shape. This was a design option suggested by Peter to create a natural screen in a sweeping flourish, with oaks integrated in the line for added height and interest. This planting formation allows for easy vehicle access, easy maintenance and is the perfect natural distraction from the operational side of the estate beyond.
And one very happy customer.
The S shaped native hedge screen
The outlying landscape is not quite complete (as landscapes rarely are!). The client has more ideas and plans afoot and Peter’s already on the case. Watch this space – there’s much more to come.
Find out more
Ready to discuss the trees and shrubs you need for your next landscaping project? Contact us today.
Sourcing your own trees and shrubs – is it a level playing field?
It’s a regular scenario for us at allgrowth. We offer support and advice from the get-go when clients come to us to source their trees and shrubs for their gardens and landscapes. You want the right plant for the right aspect, purpose and location – but at the right price. So we’ll guide you as to what we have growing on the nursery that would suit, ask the right questions about what you’re looking for, where the plants will be planted, your budget, your timescales and your endgame. And if we don’t have it on the nursery, we’ll know where we can source it from our comprehensive professional network of nurseries and growers, UK and Europe-wide.
So off you’ll go, after our initial consultation. We all do it. “Let’s see if I can find this on the internet” – particularly at the moment when many of us are blessed with extra time on our hands. An online search – so much to choose from, we know – but you’re also being SOLD TO and this might take you in a different direction from your original specification. You search. You find. You enquire. And you get responses. And, guess what? BINGO. This nursery has just what allgrowth offered you – AND it’s a lot cheaper for what they say is the same plant…
But is it really what you’ve asked for? You’ll come back on to allgrowth (because you’re loyal, thank you!), tell us you’ve found it cheaper and give us the option to match the price. And you know what? Chances are, we won’t budge. Not because we’re stubborn (ok, maybe a little), but because our knowledge of the availability and suitability of stock across the spectrum is second to none. Chances are, you’re not getting the full story from your newly-found alternative supplier. Could be a smaller specimen, could be a speculative price, could be a lesser quality tree, could be other factors in the mix that haven’t yet surfaced. It could be an entirely different specification…
Just like a recent landscaper enquiry we received… went something like this.
LANDSCAPER LARRY: Peter, we’re after a couple of Photinia Red Robin – big specimens.
allgrowth: Right, let’s have a look. Aha. We’ve got just that on the nursery right now – I can do these for £X each. What say you?
LANDSCAPER LARRY: Hmmm. Thanks Peter. Leave it with me.
allgrowth: Sure – you know where we are if this doesn’t come off, OK?
[TIME PASSES. INTERNET SEARCH COMPLETE. NEW CALL TO allgrowth]
LANDSCAPER LARRY: Peter. Let me level with you. I’ve had a little look around and I reckon I can get these for 60% of the price you’ve offered. Can you match that?
allgrowth: …. afraid not. We’ll have to pass this time. Speak soon, right?
[TIME PASSES. LANDSCAPER CALLS allgrowth. HE HAS SOME NEWS]
LANDSCAPER LARRY: Peter. I’m in a bit of a pickle. Yes, the photinias were available – but they don’t have them on site. It’s going to be 10 days before they can deliver and I need to complete this garden this week!
allgrowth: Oh I see [knowing smile]. We can help – ours are still available. Can get them to you by this Thursday, if that’s any good?
LANDSCAPER LARRY: Phew. Much appreciated, as ever, Peter! Thank you.
A little tongue-in-cheek, granted. But this scenario happens on a regular basis. It simply wasn’t a level playing field. This time it was unforeseen delivery circumstances, another time it will be additional charges for delivery, a different pot size, a different height, girth or form – or the “alternative” just isn’t available.
Don’t be a Landscaper Larry. Ask yourself:
- Have I checked the specification of what I’m being offered against what I’m asking for?
- Am I comparing like-for-like?
- Is it deliverable in the time frame I need?
- Are there hidden costs or surprises I’ve not considered?
- Is this alternative really available, or will I get fobbed off with something that doesn’t fit my brief?
“Right from the initial enquiry, we want to get this right. That means the right plants, at the right price, for the right purpose, delivered at the right time. The support and guidance you get from us at the early stages pays dividends in the long run. Of course you’re welcome to do your own research – but please be sure that you’re comparing “apples with apples” – it’ll only come back to bite you later. “Peter Middlicott, allgrowth
Find out more
Ready to discuss the trees and shrubs you need for your next landscaping project? Contact us today.
Using trees to mask and separate
When considering property development on outlying land, one element that often not given enough consideration is the impact adjacent building works will have on the existing views from your own property. Of course, you may have considered the loss of distant views, but when the works are complete, the impact of overlooking buildings is, well…overlooked.
Selecting the best trees for purpose
All is not lost, however. An immediate solution is to plant large trees. Not only will their foliage and form ultimately screen and mask but you will gain a natural backdrop that will absorb sound and act as a natural windbreak – as well as looking pleasing from all aspects. Choose varieties with foliage and crown shape that suits height and aspect, or select pleached trees for maximum visual impact, coverage and the most effective use of aerial space above a wall or existing fenceline.
Tree screening options
All options are covered at allgrowth, and we’ll not only help to select and source the right trees to suit, we’ll supply, deliver and manage the project until the trees are planted and taking on their screening duties.
“We’ll visit your site to assess the issue, soil conditions and end goals then discuss options. Pleached or otherwise, allgrowth have stocks of large trees on their Bedfordshire nursery, ready to lift, swift and direct from the UK – maximum screening impact, minimum carbon footprint. Nothing overlooked here!” – Peter Middlicott, allgrowth
Find out more
allgrowth are collaborating with the South Cambridgeshire District Council in their new campaign to encourage the planting of trees across the region. The Three Free Trees Campaign offers every parish in the district a £60 voucher to cover the cost of purchasing three trees for subsequent planting on parish land. With five regional garden centres also participating, allgrowth offers the option for those with vouchers to put this towards a larger tree. This opens up potential for a bigger community tree statement; to dedicate the tree to a local community member or to choose a more impressive specimen for instant impact, right from the offset.
Promoting tree planting
Peter Middlicott, allgrowth’s Managing Director, liaised with Councillor Bridget Smith who is promoting the campaign to 103 parish councils in the District. He said of the company’s involvement:
“Of course, we’re wholeheartedly behind any campaign that promotes tree planting in the region and the more that the community gets involved, the wider the impact and the better the understanding of the role that tree planting projects have in improving our natural environment.”
Contacting allgrowth and presenting their voucher towards the purchase of trees from the Cambridgeshire-based 40-acre nursery, parish representatives can choose from an impressive array of large trees and conifers grown right here in the region. The nursery also grows and supplies topiary, specimen shrubs and hedging material for commercial, residential and private planting and landscaping schemes across the UK.
The Council, allgrowth and the tree partners are supporting the transition to zero carbon by 2050 and the “doubling” of nature in the region. Assisted by the publicity from the campaign, the Council hope to identify opportunities for tree-planting and habitat creation.
Cllr Smith stated at the first tree planting of the campaign in Fulbourn earlier this month:
“We hope that every village takes up our offer as it will mean hundreds of new trees are planted across South Cambridgeshire. I am hopeful that this modest project will be a trigger for much more extensive tree planting by parish councils, businesses, farmers and residents throughout our district, which has far fewer trees than most of the rest of the country. It would be great if people were inspired to make a new year’s resolution to plant more. I certainly intend to.”
Claim your Three Free Trees
There are full details of who can apply, how to apply at https://www.scambs.gov.uk/three-free-trees and further tree planting guidance at https://www.scambs.gov.uk/climate-and-environment/action-on-climate-change/guidance-for-three-free-trees/
The team at allgrowth have recently moved to a new larger premises in Sandy. Just around the corner from the previous base, the new offices at St Marys House are set in 8.5 acres of glorious Bedfordshire countryside. Operating the sales and administrative side of the business from this beautiful setting is just one of a number of expansions enjoyed by Peter and the team over the last 18 months. The 40 hectare nursery, home to over 1000 semi-mature trees, topiary, shrubs and hedging options, production, operations and logistics, remains within easy access of the new Head Office.
Growth and expansion
The office move rides on the back of two years’ exciting growth and expansion in the business and further solidifies the company’s reputation for technical and planting support, sourcing and supply services, provided by the allgrowth team to their private estate, commercial and residential landscaping clientele across the UK.
New allgrowth Office Address
Peter Middlicott and the allgrowth team can be reached at:
St. Marys House
Everton Road, The Heath
Sandy, Bedfordshire SG19 2YQ
Tel: 01767 650236
We worked with Horton Commercials just like that. We looked for commercially-available vehicles for our nursery needs: the right size and spec for us, not just the standard. Richard Hall at Horton got the gig because he got “us”. Our new vans – on the road since earlier this Summer – allow us to deliver quickly, to your site, when and where you need plants. Small drops of top notch plants and trees for top notch planting projects.
Like Hortons, buying from allgrowth is different. Buying plants in bulk isn’t always the cheapest option in the long run – double-handling, double-labour, double-downtime, double-hassle.
Imagine a different scenario….
A nursery that understands what you’re asking for. One that appreciates the constraints under which you are working. One that won’t just sell you what they’ve got but will work with you to supply you with the right plants for the job, the client, the location, the purpose. One who delivers when you want. In “manageable chunks” – smaller deliveries where and when you need the plants. In vehicles that give you flexibility of delivery and on-site access. That’s allgrowth. Has been for 10 years. Will be forever.
Why pay for plants AND hassle? Don’t. Read on..
Buy in bulk for the cheapest plants, right?
We always say the nursery trade, growing plants, trees and hedging for others, is a peculiar one. Yes, it is in some ways – who else still works by fax machine?! – but it has lots of the same bugbears we all experience in everyday life and trading.
It’s competitive. Yes, that’s a given. But are we competing on the same page?
Large nurseries can supply your plants cheaper
There, I’ve said it. BUT. Say you’re a landscaper awaiting a plant delivery to a private roof garden in Chiswick. You’ve bagged a bargain, the best price you could get – buxus for a low-growing hedge to fix up a parterre – and it’s on it’s way from the wholesale nursery. In fact, it’s just around the corner…only that’s just where it’s staying. The property’s access is down a narrow, alley with limited access and you’ve got to get the plants to the roof space. Never mind, you can offload the plants yourself and manoeuvre them to the point of planting, right?
So that’s Hassle 1 – how much will this cost you?
Pile em high, keep em keen?
The plants are rammed into pallets – you sure got a lot of plants for your buck – well done you. But “pile-em high, keep ‘em keen” means there’s quite a few damaged plants, and they’re not looking great, truth be known. Still, you can grade them as you go, right?
Hassle 2 – hmmm – factored this in at the outset?
Oh, and Hassle 3 – keep a note of the damages, you’ll sort those later with the wholesaler, yeah?
Woah, that’s a LOT OF PLANTS
You’ve actually only prepared one phase of the roof garden so far as the client can’t provide access to the remainder until further notice. Damn. You’ve offloaded 1200 buxus but only need 300 right now. Where the hell are you going to keep these till you’re ready?
Hassle 4 – you see where we’re going?! More time, more labour, more hassle, more COST.
Double-handling, double-labour, double-downtime, double-hassle
The buxus WERE cheaper. The exercise of having them delivered in bulk from a wholesale nursery in an artic load, in pallets…wasn’t. Not by the time you’ve added in your double-handling of the plants, your grading of the plants, your setting out of part of the delivery but storing the rest safely until a later date when you’re ready, your liaison with the wholesaler about the damaged plants and their replacements.
Imagine a different scenario….
A nursery that understands what you’re asking for. One that appreciates the constraints under which you are working. One that won’t just sell you what they’ve got but will work with you to supply you with the right plants for the job, the client, the location, the purpose. One who delivers when you want. In “manageable chunks” – smaller deliveries where and when you need the plants. In vehicles that give you flexibility of delivery and on-site access.
Pay a little more – get LOADS more (and then some).
Oh guess what? ***we’ve got new vans***
We worked with Horton Commercials just like that. We looked for commercially-available vehicles for our nursery needs: the right size and spec for us, not just the standard. Richard Hall at Horton got the gig because he got “us”.
We get “you” (and we have done for over 10 years – wish us Happy Birthday)
Great trees, great clients, great landscapes: 10 years on
Ten years since we pulled on our allgrowth boots and one thing remains the same – our aim to support, advise and offer the best options to our clients when they are considering plant selection for their gardens, estates and landscapes.
A heart in horticulture
We started our allgrowth journey in 2008. First and foremost, we wanted to put our own stamp on the world of plant supply. Too long we had seen growers and suppliers offload the stock they wanted to sell, clearing fields they continued to replant with the same species, forms and sizes they had planted since time began. Peter Middlicott, the helmsman at allgrowth, “retired” from the nursery business in 2007, leaving with a heavy heart and a head of disenchantment. But people very rarely leave horticulture for long and the news that the lease on an established nursery plot was up for renewal was an offer too good to miss – particularly when it was a plot that Peter himself had worked on in his previous tree life 25 years’ prior.
Finely-tuned array of trees
Fast forward a few years and the allgrowth tree hub in Sandy on the Cambridgeshire/Bedfordshire border – for it is less of a nursery and more of a “tree hub”, filled with a finely-tuned array of tree stock selected and specifically sought after by clients – has been consolidated, refined and refocused to house stock across 60 acres from its original 120 acre base. Semi-mature trees and topiary, in Airpots and field-grown, flanked by trees growing under contract for prestigious planting schemes on home soil and further afield; allgrowth is a truly unique tree company.
2018, ten years on and we await the arrival of three new delivery vehicles to replenish and expand our existing fleet. We are collating daily orders full of our own large trees and topiary, complemented by shrubs sourced from our tried-and-tested network of suppliers across the UK and Europe. Contract growing, sourcing, holding specimens at our partner site in Bedford, it’s a great opportunity to stand back…..take a deep breath…and marvel at how far we’ve come. And where we’re headed, bolstered by our specialist tree team and supported by our administration back at base, is a new phase of development with new clients, new prospects and an exciting avenue of private, commercial and estate landscapes in our scope of vision.
Who’s with us for the next 10?!
PROJECT NEWS: Screening, first impression and visual impact with large trees Earlier this year (May 2020), Peter visited this private homeowner at their riverside property in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. With views across the River Lea, the property's rear garden...
PROJECT NEWS: Private Estate Planting in Bedfordshire Most tree growers and nurseries will happily take your order, select your stock, deliver and go. The minimum handling and hassle their end and they will be on to the next delivery. Well, let’s just say – that’s...
Sourcing your own trees and shrubs - is it a level playing field? It's a regular scenario for us at allgrowth. We offer support and advice from the get-go when clients come to us to source their trees and shrubs for their gardens and landscapes. You want the right...
Using trees to mask and separate When considering property development on outlying land, one element that often not given enough consideration is the impact adjacent building works will have on the existing views from your own property. Of course, you may have...
allgrowth are collaborating with the South Cambridgeshire District Council in their new campaign to encourage the planting of trees across the region. The Three Free Trees Campaign offers every parish in the district a £60 voucher to cover the cost of purchasing three...
The team at allgrowth have recently moved to a new larger premises in Sandy. Just around the corner from the previous base, the new offices at St Marys House are set in 8.5 acres of glorious Bedfordshire countryside. Operating the sales and administrative side of...
We worked with Horton Commercials just like that. We looked for commercially-available vehicles for our nursery needs: the right size and spec for us, not just the standard. Richard Hall at Horton got the gig because he got “us”. Our new vans - on the road since...
Buy in bulk for the cheapest plants, right? We always say the nursery trade, growing plants, trees and hedging for others, is a peculiar one. Yes, it is in some ways – who else still works by fax machine?! - but it has lots of the same bugbears we all experience in...
Great trees, great clients, great landscapes: 10 years on Ten years since we pulled on our allgrowth boots and one thing remains the same - our aim to support, advise and offer the best options to our clients when they are considering plant selection for their...
All too often, we hear of nurseries and plant suppliers simply offering the varieties and plants they have readily available in production rather than the RIGHT PLANT FOR WHAT THE CUSTOMER WANTS. At allgrowth, we apply plant logic from the offset. We look at the...