Newsletter No.17: September 2011

We’ve got so much going on it’s difficult to know where to start. All our current projects have a single theme though – to reach a wider audience. It seems to me we’re doing OK with those folk who have an active interest in nature conservation, for whom – after all – we’re pushing all the right buttons. Where we’ll be putting most of our efforts in 2012, however, is to try to bring what we do into the commercial mainstream. That’s not to say we’re changing any of our values, but we have to broaden the appeal of what we’re promoting to improve the scale and impact of what we’re doing. I’m constantly surprised by how little most of my friends know about what is happening outside their own back doors. When they find out I’m equally startled by how quickly and enthusiastically they get switched on to what we’re trying to promote. Our new marketing push starts in October, where you’ll be able to see me at the Creating Landscapes Show.

Chelsea 2012

We’re very excited to announce that we’ve been invited by the RHS to take a stand in their “Lifelong Learning” area at Chelsea next year, where the theme will be urban greening. We will be using it to show how native plants can be used in contemporary design for urban gardens. The subtext will be the creation of different micro-habitats within the design, but the whole point of it is that it won’t be an overtly “wildlife garden”. We’ll also be using it to promote key messages from our partner charities.

Hookgate Cottage

The planning application for our building project has gone in, so we now wait with bated breath. You can see the proposed plans and initial landscape design at www.hookgatecottage.com
I’ll be writing a monthly column on the project for Build It magazine, which will also include commentary on the landscaping, as it’s such an important part of the project. As with our Chelsea stand, the theme of it is very much to bring habitat creation into the core philosophy of garden design.

Biodiversity Services

The recent White Paper on Biodiversity has probably passed most of you by, but it caused some excitement in our office. Among other things it calls for government departments to increase their efforts at helping biodiversity, as we fall further and further behind the targets set in Nagoya. Habitat Aid is putting together a new product which helps government and corporates to improve the biodiversity in their sites. More next month…

New Products

We continue to add new products and suppliers to the website. This month we welcome Cornish Apple Trees, and will be adding more apple varieties from
different regions to our ever expanding list over the next couple of weeks as well. Orders for bare root trees are beginning to pick up and I’m already beginning to fret about the availablity of some of our more obscure fruit tree varieties. We’ve also recently expanded our native aquatic plant section and native bulbs.