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Guerrilla Gardening: Cultivating Concrete

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J G Ballard wrote that the “suburbs dream of violence”, describing town and city dwellers counting down the days until the “nightmares that will wake them into a more passionate world”. While poets, artists and storytellers have long been fascinated by this dynamic of stultifying yet addictive city life, guerrilla gardeners, Lucy Purdy discovers, are turning to the soil to grapple with ecological and social disintegration.

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Avondale Nursery:Plants for city gardens

by Drucilla James

Avondale Nursery specialises in unusual perennials and grasses together with ferns and bamboos and features The Library Garden alongside its plant sale area. As you would expect with a library, the garden’s collection is meticulously labelled and catalogued, but beyond that, the colours of these living leaves are carefully mixed and graduated with a painter’s eye – unsurprising when you find that, before they created this nursery, Brian Ellis and his wife Steph worked in art and printed textiles.

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Piet Oudolf: Hauser & Wirth Somerset

by Abigail Willis

London, New York, Paris and, er, Bruton – it may not quite trip off the tongue yet but the art world’s latest destination, Hauser & Wirth Somerset, has been creating quite a stir since it opened in July.And while there’s plenty to keep art lovers happy here, the gallery’s latest acquisition, a pair of specially commissioned gardens by prairie-planting maestro Piet Oudolf, will be a major draw for those who also have an interest in cutting-edge garden design.

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Make a hypertufa or clay sculpture for the garden

by Drucilla James

Sculptures can add extra points of interest to the garden. With simple ingredients, you can easily make your own hypertufa to produce features which are lighter in weight than concrete and easily swapped around to create a change of scene.

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Community growers get Big Lottery award

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A project led by the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens has won £800,000 of Big Lottery funding to help community growers become successful and proactive money-raisers to compensate for falling grants and declining local authority financial support.

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Chelsea gardens relocated

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Two medal-winning Chelsea gardens, now relocated, had their official openings on 26th September. The ‘RBC Waterscape Garden’ by Hugo Bugg and the ‘Hope on the Horizon’ garden by Matthew Keightley will now serve the purposes originally intended by their designers.

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The Tree Council invites us to gather ye tree seeds

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At a time when our trees are being hit by pests and diseases, The Tree Council is encouraging local communities to collect and plant the ripening seed crop from our parks, hedgerows and streets to grow new trees to replace them.

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London Wildlife Trust to open new nature reserve

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Offering an opportunity to enjoy nature in the heart of north-east London, a reservoir closed to the public for nearly 200 years will open as a new nature reserve next year.

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Regency garden restoration gets go ahead

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The National Botanic Garden of Wales has been given the green light to proceed with ambitious plans for the restoration of the historic Regency landscape in which it is situated.

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Pocket wetlands installed on Regent’s Canal

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If you go down to the woods today in Camley Street Natural Park, in the rather unexpected setting of King’s Cross, then you will be able to see the floating islands newly installed on the Regent’s Canal, creating pockets of urban wetland habitat for London’s wildlife.

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Inspiring Kew

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An exhibition showing how Kew Gardens has inspired creative artists from its ‘physic’ garden beginnings in 1759 to the present day will open later this month.

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Young and old join plant charity’s community initiatives

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Plant Heritage is leading the way in involving communities both young and old in gardening through its National Plant Collection and Plant Guardian schemes designed to protect rare and threatened garden plants from disappearing.

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Young gardeners’ conference to take place

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YoungHort, set up by young horticulturalists to promote the industry to their peers, is to host a second event – The YoungHort Autumn Conference at The LANDSCAPE Show in September.

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Gardening events this week

by Drucilla James

Floral design, rare garden sculptures for auction, the cultural significance of gardens in war, deadly poison trails through killer plants versus plant remedies for common ailments and the joys of harvest and hoe downs too. It all goes to show how endlessly varied the world of gardening is.

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RHS Flower Show: Malvern.

by Drucilla James

At Malvern, we begin our valedictions to the year’s gardening events. But the array of pinks, oranges, bronzes, deep purples and reds that the nurseries have on offer, means we can all go out in a blaze of autumn colour at this fag-end of the season.

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Flowers@Oxford

by Drucilla James

For the last weekend in August Flowers@Oxford has taken over Lady Margaret Hall to promote cut flowers and everything you need to know about floral design. And to this end, everywhere in this Oxford college including the Deneke Common Room seems to have been decked out with flowers. Fantastic confections can be found both indoors and out, ranging from floral ladies languishing in punts on the river to temple huts in the Fellows’ Garden and gerbera pyramids right way up and upside down in the Front Quad.

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“Love the Plot You’ve Got”

by Drucilla James

Put off by the extravagant designs of garden shows? Never visited your local garden centre? Got a small back yard in town that’s become something of a dumping ground? Aged between 30 and 45 and lacking the inclination, money, knowledge or time to get interested in gardening? Then the gardening industry has you in its sights and is determined to show you that with a little TLC and relatively little cost you can transform your cramped, neglected back lot into a place to be proud of and perhaps become a life-long gardening enthusiast at the same time.

Hampton Court Palace Royal Kitchen Garden

Hampton Court Palace Kitchen Garden

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Where horses once thundered past, kicking up earth during the dark chivalry of a jousting contest, now sit plump pumpkins with burnt orange skins, beneath the late summer sun. They take their place alongside peas, salad crops and herbs in a spot only a stone’s throw from the banks of the River Thames. This is the Hampton Court Palace Kitchen Garden, newly restored and packed with heritage varieties – a thrill to the senses and a slice of history to boot.