Meet Phil

I’ve many years of gardening experience, in my own time at first, following in my Grandad's footsteps. Then 9 years working for various landscaping and arboculturalist companies before going self employed just over 5 years ago. Read more...

Happy Customers

Phil is a hard-working, skilled professional who always quotes competitively, turns up as agreed and carries out all work to exceptional standards. Read more...


Frequently Asked Question's

When is the best time to start grass cutting?

As late as possible, generally April time, as soon as you cut the grass it stimulates growth so once you start you will have to keep up with the grass cutting until the end of the growing season around the end of November.

I need to lay lawn seed when is the best time to do this?

April or September or when daytime temperatures are stable at around 10-12 degrees

How much do you charge?

This really does depend on the job itself and how many people / how much time is required. I usually like to see the garden before hand to give an accurate quote.

Do you do weeding?

 I must admit I do avoid weeding at all costs, with my background in Permaculture there is always a better way such as weed suppressing and ground cover but I can never avoid it entirely of course, but if it is regular weeding you are after I have a couple of contacts that I can pass on that can help and are more affordable than me if this is all you are after.

Do you take away the waste?

I can remove the green waste if you don't have any compost area or green bin space and I generally charge extra for this

Does my tree have a Tree Preservation Order?

You can check here


Seed Sowing & Somerset House

My #Project60 portrait by Brock Elbank

Winter's nearly over! Will this be the year I manage to grow more vegetables in my garden? Not if my kids and the Green Party involvement have anything to do with it.

However seed sowings speed up from this month on - what will you sow? If you were only to try one plant, how about a chilli? Easy to grow, generally very productive, and if you keep it inside it isn't going to get eaten by those pesky slugs and snails.

We still have two months to go before Spring springs into action so anything you've left to do before next year needs to be done now. For example compost areas, hedge/shrub trimming, lawn care, cutting back any dead branches or material that may still be present, power washing the decking, repairing/replacing fencing, etc.

Any hard landscaping is also easier to sort out while the garden is in its bare stage, so that you can see what is what. 

In other news, I've been shot for a series of 80 portraits of people sporting impressive and interesting facial hair that will go on display at Somerset House, central London, next month.

The photographs were taken by award-winning photographer Brock Elbank, with a dozen of the works commissioned by Somerset House for the show exhibited for the first time. Subjects vary from actor John Hurt and model Ricki Hall, to an Italian called Angelo Gallamini who Brock described as owning “the Zeus of beards” and of course humble moi.

I'm really looking forward to seeing my portrait on those hallowed walls!



How To Attract More Wildlife Into Your Garden

Hedgehog snuffling leavesHedgehog snuffling leaves

You are probably already aware that wildlife is on the decline in the UK and everywhere really. So if you are a conscientious gardener, why not make a little effort to attract a little more of it into your garden?
Having a garden full of life is a pleasure anyway, and you also get the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing your bit for mother-nature.
Making your garden more nature friendly isn’t difficult. As soon as you get the ball rolling by attracting a few insects, the birds and small mammals will soon follow. Ok, so are you ready to get started?

Walls And Rocky Gaps

Personally I just love to see old man-made stuff crumbling and being reclaimed by nature. As a nature gardener you should make it your mission to look out for old rocks and resist the temptation to remove crumbling walls.

These are all the sorts of things which can provide nooks and crannies in which insects can build their home. In particular you may find they provide shelter for bees, which in turn pollinate your plants.

Leaf Piles And Old Logs

Having a nicely kept lawn is nice enough, but try to also leave some space for nature to do its thing. Leave out a pile of leaves or an old log or two and see what happens.

Natural waste is full of things that can be recycled and giving nature the opportunity to do what it does best will naturally attract bugs and amphibians, which will once again attract birds.

Oh and those bugs will also attract hedgehogs which make a cute addition to any garden!

Getting The Right Plants

Plants are pretty, which is reason enough to have plenty of them, but the type of plant that you get has an impact on what wildlife you can expect to see.

Start with some nice and tall wild flowers which are a favourite of bees and other insects. Some long grass will also pull in some butterflies.

Beautiful ButterflyBeautiful Butterfly 
And if you can use hedges for your garden perimeter you will provide valuable habitat for birds, who will enjoy eating those insects that are buzzing around your flowers.

Wild Flowers

As I mentioned above, wild flowers are great for bees and insects (and even dragon flies) so if you want plenty of bio-diversity then you want lots of them.

Some of the best types of flower to grow in order to attract bumble bees include:

•    Cowslip
•    Foxglove
•    Harebell
•    Marjoram

And if you want lots of pretty butterflies, try growing a few of these:

•    Yarrow
•    Hawkbit
•    Valerian

Build A Pond

Ponds are fantastic if you want to provide a habit for frogs and toads, they also attract different types of insects which will be eaten by the frogs and also attract more birds.

The great thing about ponds is that you will see different varieties of animals coming and going as the seasons change.

Frog hiding in a garden pond 
More About Birds

If you follow all of the tips above you can guarantee that you will have plenty of birds coming and going. Those bushes will give them shelter and they will have hours of fun controlling your insects for you.

If you want to encourage birds, give them a food source by keeping your plants healthy and your pond full of life. Introducing a fountain or a pond pump can be a good way to keep things healthy.

You can also leave out a few manmade snacks in the form of a bird feeder. Nuts and seeds are great during the winter months when the insects are less plentiful.


Don’t let your garden be a danger for birds; if you have a cat, give it a collar with a bell so that the birds have a fair warning.

About The Author

This post was written by Ricky from Swallow Aquatics who sell pond supplies. Ricky loves his garden and his garden pond. He likes to spend time outdoors and loves any type of wildlife.


The Grass Is Always Greener...

As a gardener in Bath I feel very lucky to be surrounded by such beautiful gardens and landscapes. This year has been especially good in my opinion, as winter seemed to last until the start of summer which led to many plants being in bloom at the same time that usually come one after the other. The long cold snap seems to have had an effect on the slug and snail population, as I’ve seen far fewer than in recent years.

Although self-employment can be scary at times wondering where the next job might come from, it has been liberating as well. Fencing, lawn care, hedge cutting/topping/trimming, tree surgery, decking, garden clearances, garden design, as well as the usual garden/grounds maintenance involving grass cutting and border upkeep has helped to improve my skills over the past 18 months. I’ve even built a dry stone wall which I never expected to be on the job list but was very satisfying especially as the customer was so pleased with the end result.

As the good old British summer seems to have finally arrived (not so hot, sun and rain and wind) lawns and weeds are in full swing. Moss seems to have thrived following such a wet 2012 and a few tips to help bring it under control are given below.

Scarifying – generally near the start or end of growing season is best, helps to remove a lot of moss but never seems to get rid of it all. This can be done with a rake or machine but obviously the latter option costs more (but is much quicker). It makes a lawn look horrible for a while but is good in the long run.

Spreading sharp sand/grit over mossy areas can help to kill off moss. Once the moss turns black it can then be raked off a lot easier and is a great addition to the compost.

Mowing to short will help encourage moss to take hold and if we ever had a heat wave/drought longer grass will be more resilient.

Mowing in different directions each time you cut, especially when using a rotary mower is advisable. Ideally a cylinder mower should be used but requires more regular cutting.

Aeration to get oxygen to the roots is also helpful and can improve drainage in really wet spells. Using a regular garden fork is sufficient at regular intervals (1ft) to as deep as you can get the fork in. A little wiggle helps get the fork out again.

Recently laid turf and seed will require plenty of water to help get it established/germinate.

Hope this has helped those of you out there who want to improve your lawn. Until next time....... or if you have any questions feel free to get in touch.


Plight of the Bumble Bee

EchiumBees are of such fundamental importance to our food production! But recently colony numbers have declined (up to 85% ) in Europe and North America. These major pollenators of crops such as wheat, barley, fruit and animal feed are in some danger.

Recently in the news has been the published results of research by Stirling University to find why this is happening to our bee populations. Led by Professor Dave Goulson, this research has identified an insecticide with active ingredient ‘Neonicotinoid’ as a strong contender.

A derivative of nicotine, this agent has been found to affect the nervous system of bees, even at low exposure levels. Neonicotinoid has been increasingly used for crop protection since the 1990s. But many companies that make this agent were quick to defend its continued manufacture and use. When representatives were up before the Environmental Audit Committee they would rather blame viral and habitat loss as the main cause of colony loss. The government also confirmed that Neonocotinoid still complies with “legal restrictions”. (DEFRA)

Could this be yet another example of the league of commerce lording it over common sense? Can we afford to be complacent of this potentially serious issue?

As gardeners, however, we can and do take positive action.  Bee populations are now healthiest in suburbia. There are more flowers and less pesticides in our towns and cities. Most of us are aware of bee friendly plants.

The Echium is another one you might like to try! This bi/triennial plant, a native of the Canary Islands, can be grown from seed. I got mine from Plant World Seeds. Echium pininana is the one shown (I grew this one in Warminster). From that one plant I have self set seedlings popping up everywhere.
Echiums are in the Borage family that is why bees love them so much. As long as they are kept dry, they are frost tolerant. A truly amazing plant!

As part of a planting plan some have been planted in a Batheaston garden. We'll keep you informed of their progress!