Hmm that looks nice I’ll think I’ll eat it! by Paul Strugnell

Looking through recent advice on plants suitable for schools you would think that children these days were intent on stuffing their faces with any available plant imaginable. Various lists are available offering advice and guidance on plants suitable for schools, including lists of potentially harmful plants running to several pages in length.  So what is the risk?  Not much when you look into it, the top 5 poisonous plants, the ones that will put you in hospital for a while, are not common garden plants but…




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A Humanitarian Role – Landscape Architecture’s New Direction

We were lucky enough to have a recent visit from Rhys Jones, a graduate of The University of Gloucester who has been investigating the role of landscape architects in humanitarian work. His dissertation was on the role landscape architecture can play in refugee camps and slums and terra firma were delighted to be able to provide some sponsorship for his recent study trip to Nicaragua. Below is a precis of his presentation which he has kindly agreed to let us share. During the course of…




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Mind the (June….) gap (written by Gill)

‘If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.’ (Erroneously attributed to Einstein) “100 years ago there were around 1million bee hives; this had reduced to 400,000 in the 1950s and further reduced to the 274,000 today. It is estimated for the UK that the pollination services from honey bees are worth £120-200 million annually and honey production is…




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Landscape Architects -The Last Polymaths (by Niall Williams and edited by Garry Main)

I recently read an interesting article by the BBC which asked ‘Does the World Need Polymaths?’ and it got me thinking about the role that Landscape Architects play in a broader sense. Polymath is a term I was (and I imagine others are) unfamiliar with until recently so to briefly explain, a polymath is someone whom has a broad knowledge in a range of subjects. They can be experts in a several fields or someone who has a very broad but less in depth understanding…




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A clash of landscape, photography and the distant future by Davon Bree

…three things I find myself pondering regularly. This is a bit of a long one but bear with me… Let me start at the beginning…picture the scene. University…third year comes around and with it the dreaded dissertation. (Cue the big gulp from students in the room). The thought of having to write 10,000 words was daunting and what to write about? Thankfully we we’re given some suggestions of landscape projects and subjects to cover. One project on the list stood out for me….Gardens by the…




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Landscape architects: worth our weight in gold! by Alison Galbraith

Keith and I were fortunate enough to be invited to this year’s ICE South East England Engineering Excellence Awards 2017 as guests of Peter Brett Associates.  We collaborated with their Water Management Team on the diversion and restoration of a stretch of the Hermitage Stream in Havant, Hampshire, which was short-listed in the Sustainability and Resilience category.   See website for more details:  http://dunsburypark.co.uk/woodland-setting/ The project required close co-ordination between the civil engineering aspects of bank stabilisation and hydrological management, and ecological, soils and wider…




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Partly preserved: the next stage of West Pier’s story

{{unknown}}At terra firma we are pleased to have been involved at detailed design stage with the public realm scheme that flanks the BAi360 on Brighton’s seafront – the award winning and highly innovative observation tower or ‘vertical pier’ designed by Marks Barfield Architects. The plaza to the east, designed by Fiona Atkinson Landscape Architects, includes the installation of 24 columns formerly part of the structure of the now derelict and much loved West Pier, as well as a foundation for the future siting of the West…




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A new public space for London – by Alex

The end of June saw the momentous occasion of a new public space in London being opened in by the Duchess of Cambridge. The Victoria and Albert museum opened its (newly created) doors to its gleaming £55m extension. The new extension is to house one of the largest temporary exhibition spaces in the country and has created a new entrance through the previously closed off Exhibition Road. The architects for the project, AL_A (Amanda Levete) have on numerous occasions been quoted stating the importance, not…




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Book review – by Alice

New Nordic gardens, Scandinavian Landscape Design by Annika Zetterman.  Published by Thames and Hudson March 2017. ISBN 978-0-500-51945-5. This is a specialist book that I’d happily recommend to anyone – perhaps best appreciated over a cup of coffee with sockerkaka or glass of Jordgubbar Absolut. “We see beauty in the bare and the exposed, and treat materials with the utmost respect. The definition of sustainability, a word used widely today, has always been fundamental to Scandinavian identity. We have had to work hard in a…




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MAD CITY – AN INTERNATIONAL HAPPENING FOR URBAN PLANNERS

City planning is stuck in last century, at a time when start-up culture, mixed-use development and sharing is already there. New questions are now needed to look for the answers.  Troy Hayes and Lionel Fanshawe will be speaking at Mad City – an international happening for urban planners, which will be held in Riga on June 1-2, 2017. It is a new type of event, which is challenging everything we know about “the boring conference”. MAD CITY – consider this a happening, a sparkling and flavourful event for urban planners by urban planners.…




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