Managing money matters in an economic “Downturn”.

A new model for managing resources in difficult times is to use local resourses.

Many councils are putting this to the test.

One such resource is local expertise .

There is a fund of local knowlege that Councils could use.

This can be in the form of paid or inpaid advise from local experts.

Such “Input” into solving local issues can be invaluable.

However, this requires a change of heart of the part of some council members.

NCC in its”Business Summit” welcomed the chance for a discussion with local business people who

could give their  ideas on the future of Nottingham.

Sadly,not everyone on local councils is yet conversant with this approach.

These people need to climb down from their exhauted vision of themselves as servants of the people.

The way forward is for everybody to be allowed to have their say.

Open discussion, together with the acceptance of a new model for solving local issues, should

be be put on the agenda.

open spaces: The past and the present.

Getting the balance rigth between preserving the past and making way for the future is a difficult probelm.

Here in Southwell,  many  ancient sites have been discovered.

In fact a lot of the town could be claimed as the site of some ancient remains.

What happens when there is a need to provide new houses in such towns?

In reality a long battle occurs between different factions.

This causes friction and stress.

A way to resolve such difficuties is to ascertain how important the sites are.

What needs preserving?

How much needs preserving is another question.

Life has to go on.

A compromise solution should be found.

Using sites for “Open Spaces” for all is one idea.

Another is to let developers have a small amount of land.

 Let these sites  be examples of  living compromise not ancient battle grounds!

Redesigning my garden: Part 4 ; The materials.

Choose 1 colour scheme .

Naturals– browns is an example. Keep to this.

Next choose the paving slabs to match this.

Setts are small pavers for paths etc.

   Perhaps the gravel should be able to take children on it.

2 or 3 materials is a good choice.

Don’t forget that  a good path or patio is best laid on a hardcore base .

Again a good landscaper will do the job properly.

A good idea is to use a metal edging   between the gravel and surrounding soil.

This stops movement.

The finished product should blend together.

The value of inspirational teachers.

Plant biology can be quite a hard topic.

First there is the understanding of the different classes of plants.

Next is the way inner structure relates to specific functions.

Last of all is the importance of the micro biology. This includes photosynthesis and respiration.

A teacher that is able to impart this information with confidence and enthusiasm is a rare person.

Jennifer Naisbitt of NTU was such a person.

Her dedication to her subject was always apparent.

She wanted to share her knowledge so that others could gain insight and appreciation of plant biology.

On a personal level she was friendly ,cheerful and helpful .

I will miss her.



Meeting other gardeners.

Last night I went to a talk with Fergus Garrett about Great Dixter ( hosted by Southwell Garden Club).  This garden was created by Christopher Lloyd.

Besides gaining an insight into plant design the evening was enjoyable because it provided a meeting place for gardeners.

Gardening is not a solitary occupation.

A lot can be learnt by being in contact with other people.

How else can we do this?

Allotments, garden clubs and voluntary garden schemes all fill the same niche.

Another idea is to get together and visit a well known garden.

We all need inspiration from others.

We also need a means of discussing problems .

Sometimes it may just be  an opportunity to talk about something we all enjoy.



Redesigning my garden: part 3 . employing a gardener.

Since I am doing a lot of design work I have asked a gardener to help me.

The planted area will have to be relocated to another section of the garden.

This is a good time of year to reconstuct your garden.

Motivation is high with the advent of Spring.

Plants can then be divided ,replanted and perhaps given to friends.

You need to be able to rely on the skill of your gardener.

He or she  must be able to work alone.

Enthusiasm for work comes high on my list,as does a reliable character.  

My gardener and I will work together to produce the effect that I have thought through beforehand.

The end result is important, but so the experience of working with a fellow gardener.


Easter Joy:

Earlier this week it snowed a few miles from here.

The last grip of Winter.

However, I went out into my garden  with my camera to capture the first signs of Spring.

I found a lovely collection of pink flowers, two varities of Bergenia and two of Euphobia.

The mixture of colour ,shape and texture was the reward I wanted.

Renewed, refreshed and uplifted I look forward to  another year in which I can enjoy the beauty of the garden.

Why don’t you try it!