Sign up for plant love and our monthly news

On the 22-23rd June the Landscape Institute hosted its annual conference at the Manchester Metropolitan University. ‘Landscape as Infrastructure’ covered an extensive range of topics exploring social, technology and environmental infrastructure. 

A motivational welcome by the Landscape Institute’s (LI) President Merrick Denton-Thompson began the conference calling for Landscape Architects to take advantage of the exciting opportunities nature-based solutions present as well as maximising landscape infrastructure as a framework for investment. Denton-Thompson’s talk really inspired confidence on the future of the industry and the direction it should take. It’s good to see the Landscape Institute embracing trends that have been emerging over the last couple of years and highlight the importance on the role of designers in our public realm.

Last month we travelled to Orvieto for the GreeninUrbs Nature Based Solutions Conference. It was great to hear about the variety of research that is being carried out into green infrastructure. Here is a short blog on the what we learnt about tree design in urban environments. 

The zeitgeist of our time is getting greener.

 

We began this month with a trip to Orvieto's Green Infrastructure Conference, and have returned home ready to implement what we have learnt into our projects and continue to create green spaces in our city. Why not have a read of our March Newsletter...

Soils are alive with thousands of tiny organisms which live in their own little ecosystem, as advanced and as complex as anything above ground.

It's been an exciting month for us so far; delivering a talk on sustainability, attending CPD events and a new member of staff joining our team! Take a read of our March newsletter...

If you’ve read our previous blogs you can probably guess that we love plants-we’d love to cover whole cities with them! However, our number one focus when we are designing is creating places for people. This blog is inspired by Nottingham’s higgledy-piggledy streets and alleys, and the intimacy and spaces that they create.

 

Amenity landscapes offer a number of health and social benefits. Outdoor spaces planted densely with trees have been shown to attract larger numbers of people compared to...

Last weekend I was lucky enough to take a short break to one of my increasingly favourite countries, Germany. This time I went to visit Hamburg, a large port city in the North of the country.

For many, Nottingham is known as a city with lots of green space. Looking back to the Victorian times, parks like the Arboretum were created to counter the industrial pollution and named the ‘green lungs’ of the city.

We made it to February! So we're celebrating the (slightly) lighter evenings, tulips, daffodils, and the knowledge that Spring isn't too far away! Here's what we've been up to... 

What an exciting year it was for Hosta Consulting! It’s amazing to look back and see what we’ve managed to cram into a year and has set us in good stead for 2017. Come reminisce with us...

Most companies practice Corporate Social Responsibility of some sort, but are we doing enough to reach the goals we set out to achieve?

Seasons Greetings! December is upon us and Christmas is almost here! Here's what we've been up to along with some of the latest industry news...

 

This Autumn I achieved a significant bucket list objective; to explore New York and visit Central Park, The High Line and as many of New York’s green spaces that I could fit in. NYC really is a feast for the senses and as a first time visitor, you really have to embrace the city and hit it head on. 

Where has this year gone?! The nights are drawing in, the trees are adorned with gorgeous autumnal colours and before we know it Christmas will be here! But even so we've still been busy greening spaces both outside and in! 

We can’t believe it’s August already! The summer has flown by and what a busy summer it’s been! Here’s what we’ve been up to… 

Ben Norris has written new pieces specifically for our Tatton Park garden, which explore the idea of the garden as a place of inherent ancestral and anthropological calm, its restorative value, and also its relationship to the city it will ultimately live within; not in opposition to the new and the urban, but in conversation with it. 

 Ben Norris is an award-winning Nottingham-born poet who now performs regularly at literary festivals and concert halls all over the UK. He has completed commissions for the Southbank Centre and IdeasTap, and his work has been published widely online and in print, as well as broadcast several times on BBC Radio 3.

Contact Ben on Twitter @bennorris7 or at www.bennorrispoet.com

After two weeks of hard work constructing with Thomas Bow City Asphalt, our first ever RHS show garden has won Best Back-to-Back Garden and has been awarded a Gold Medal! The garden, entitled “A drop of urban green” represents what can be achieved in unused and unloved pockets of space in towns and cities across the world.

We have been working with Thomas Bow City Asphalt to create an urban pocket park inspired garden at this month’s RHS Tatton Park flower show. The garden, entitled “A drop of urban green” represents what can be achieved in unused and unloved pockets of space in towns and cities across the world.

Yesterday evening it was announced that we are part of the Creative Class 2016!  

After submitting a design earlier this year, we were delighted to find out we were chosen to exhibit a garden at Tatton Park Flower Show next month. Since 1999, The RHS Flower Show has been held at Tatton Park in Cheshire. A prestigious event, it is host to 80,000 visitors each year.

 

This week's blog reveals the second part of our presentation at this month's First Tuesday- 'biophilia', our inherent need of nature. 

The theme for this month's First Tuesday Event was the environment, so we were lucky enough to be invited along as guest speakers! We chose to speak about biophillia (check out next week's blog) and Charles Montgomery's 'Happy Cities', our most recent bookclub read. So we thought for our blog this week, we'd share thoughts about what makes a happy city. 

“The happy city, the green city and the low-carbon city are all the same place and we can all help build it.”

After booking our tickets all the way back in October, the day finally came for team Hosta to take a trip down to London for this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. The show is a key event in the horticultural calendar and is a fantastic place to collect inspiration and discover an amazing selection of plants - even more important this year due to the installation of our show garden at Tatton Park, which is fast approaching!

It has been found that as high as one in four people are suffering from mental health issues at any one time (Natural England, 2016). We are firm believers that interacting with nature has restorative effects for mental health and wellbeing, particularly in the city. For Mental Health Awareness Week we explain why access to green space is vital for health and happiness. 

 

 

Since they were planted the Hostas outside our office remain gloriously unnibbled. Hostas in most gardens are relatively tricky to grow as the leaves are too often munched by snails. In a city we are ‘lucky’ - we get to plant in an environment that is predominately pest free. 

 

After more than a year of planning, this month I travelled to Buenos Aires to visit a friend and explore a new part of the world. Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city in Argentina. Host to all of the components you would expect from a capital city; culture, food, arts, as well as some beautiful architecture. The city has a very European feel, with some of the architecture mimicking cities such as Barcelona and Madrid, but with a more Latin American edge.

 

Architect Antonio Gaudi (1852-1926), is famous for designing some of the most beautiful buildings of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Gaudí’s work is an exceptional creative synthesis of several 19th-century artistic schools, such as the Arts and Crafts movement, Symbolism, Expressionism, and Rationalism, and is directly associated with the cultural heritage of Catalonia. Gaudí is credited with influencing many forms and techniques of 20th-century Modernism.   

 guellparkbarcelonablog

Imagine if a whole city were to be thought of as a garden, what would it look like? How would it feel? How would it be managed? Throughout our blogs we have considered Green Infrastructure’s role within our urban environment and for the most part they all would provide vast benefits for the city and for people living there. SuDS, Green Roofs and Urban Pocket Parks work quite well individually, but to met their true potential they need be integrated. One solution might be the creation of a City Head Gardener.

In urban areas today, four trees are lost for every one planted. Though the consequences of these disappearing trees may not be that obvious, they provide a whole host of benefits that you may have never heard. Here’s our top 10 facts;

After a few months of pitch perfecting and practising, we made it through to the final stage and presented our pitch live on Wednesday at Venturefest 2016.

 

“The natural environment sustains the life of all beings universally.” - Dalai Lama

From our previous blogs, you will now fully understand how important green spaces are to our cities. 

It is predicted that our summers will become increasingly hotter each year, a direct result of climate change. The air temperature in our cities is significantly higher than other areas due to the amount of grey infrastructure and human activity, also known as the Urban Heat Island effect. 

We are going to be exhibiting a Back-to-Back Show Garden at this year’s RHS Tatton Park Flower Show in July! 

 

Our director, Helen has been awarded a scholarship funded by the Nottingham Post to enrol onto an Executive Masters in Business Administration at Nottingham Trent University!

 

Two new staff to join our team!

 

This week bought the news that the first flower has bloomed in space!

Now that Christmas has come and gone, and all the presents unwrapped, those with kids might be astonished by the amount of toys that now surround them. Perhaps to escape this you’ve taken a walk around a local woods or to the coast?

 

In a world where the news is filled with doom and gloom, especially where our planet is concerned, we thought we’d focus on some of the great things that have happened in 2015, promoting positive change! 

 

We all love Christmas Trees, they’re great for decorating our homes in the dark winter months, and its a great place to hang lots of cute ornaments and baubles! But how did they find their way into our traditions?

 

 One of the biggest barriers to implementing Green Infrastructure (GI) within urban environments is the lack of planning policy regarding this hugely valuable approach to development. 

A report was published yesterday by the Green Infrastructure Task Force following the publication of the London Infrastructure Plan 2050 highlighting the hurdles and benefits of implementing a green infrastructure strategy in London. 

Screen Shot 2015 12 11 at 10.34.33

 

 After launching Nottingham’s very own Green-thinkers book group this year, we reflect on what we’ve learnt over the past 3 months…

In the turn of the last century, gardeners were abundant. Employed to maintain and create flower bed displays
that you can still see in some town parks, gardeners were crucial to the attractiveness of cities and towns. 
 

 P1020106.jpg

After a brilliant, whirlwind few days in Vienna, we are back on home soil feeling motivated and ready to change the world! 

IMG_4726.JPG

 This week was Global Entrepreneurship Week, and keen to be involved,
we took part in Nottingham Business School’s yearly Thinkubator Challenge. 
 
Screen_Shot_2015-11-20_at_11.16.54.png
 

One of my earliest memories is lying in bed in the morning and listening to all the birds singing in the trees just beyond our garden fence.
I used to try to count all the different types of bird songs, which must have listed dozens.
 

 pigeons-revolt.jpg

What do you think of when you think of bees? Honey? Flowers? Pollen? What kind of bee do

you see in your mind’s eye?

 Copy_of_Honeybee_on_allium_LOW_RES.jpg

 Truman Close, situated closely to Nottingham City Centre, is undergoing a landscape transformation solution.
The scheme will be long term and provide a more welcoming entrance to residents’ homes as well as the overall streetscape. 
 

Screen_Shot_2015-11-06_at_15.03.56.png

Green space in cities has a much greater role than simply decoration.

 

creativequarter.jpg

Following suggestions from local residents, who wanted a community garden, an unloved space in a residential area
in St Ann’s has been transformed in a garden to grow fruit, vegetables and ornamental plants.  Nottingham City Homes
and Hosta Consulting got together to turn this vision into a reality.

 

 P1020027.jpg

After a year in the making one of our recent landscape designs was showcased at the Pitcher & Piano
terrace bar and garden launch event last Thursday.
 

 Screen_Shot_2015-10-22_at_16.07.10.png

What would you say if I told you that drainage could be beautiful? Severe rainfall events can lead to flooding from rapid
run-off in urban environments. The rapid flow of rain water into combined sewer pipes leads to large volumes of polluted
water which overwhelm an aged drainage infrastructure.
 
 jubileee1.png
 

Tomorrow the RIBA Stirling prize will be awarded. The award is presented for the building which has made “the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture over the past year”. Included in this year’s shortlist are NEO Bankside and Maggie’s Centre in Lanarkshire, two schemes which cleverly integrate landscape design and architecture to shape public and private space.
 

 10_NEO_Bankside-COPYRIGHT-GILLESPIES.jpg

In last week’s blog we looked at the importance of placemaking, and the benefits it brings to communities in cities as well as promoting green infrastructure and biodiversity.Barcelona is an exceptional example of how placemaking can benefit a city. 
 

IMG_3936IMG_3890

Placemaking is defined by the Project for Public Spaces as ‘the art of creating public ‘places of the soul’, that uplift and help us connect to each other.’

home_slide-show22.jpg

A new law passed in March means all new buildings in commercial zones in France must have eco friendly roofs. The environmental legislation requires roofs to be partially covered with planting or with solar panels. This is a fantastic step in the right direction towards a sustainable future. 

     

Another week, and another trip down to London for an event. This time we were checking out the First European Biosolar Roof Conference in the fantastic venue that is London City Hall (some incredible views!). It was a very informative day hearing the different perspectives of people from the industry and their predictions for the future of Biosolar roofs. 

 

green-roof-solar-panels.jpg

Articulture team up with the local creative and horticulture community to host Heathcoat street festival! Articulture is an urban greening project funded by the Creative Quarter Company and was launched in 2014 as a pilot project with great success. 

7am, Tuesday morning with coffees in hand we caught the train to London to visit this year’s Landscape Show at Battersea Park. The event is held across two days and is a great opportunity to meet people from around the country who are involved in all aspects of the industry. It’s a really important event for our industry and one we enjoy going to, lots of new products to see - this will be our third trip!

 

After a fantastic city break to Berlin last weekend, I was not only left impressed by the usual shopping, nightlife and tourist attractions, but by the amount of green space the city has to offer.  

             

We have been busy in the las two weeks because the office has moved. Luckily only next door to 1C so we are still located within the lovely Cobden Chambers off Pelham Street and so will still be able to enjoy this beautiful courtyard and help keep it filled with plants.  

Pocket parks or parklets and have contributed a great deal to cities within the last few years. Pocket Parks are the name given to small areas of the urban environment or other underused public  spaces  that are transformed into Parklets.  

We are co-curating the next Creative Quarter Pecha Kucha event which has a 'green' theme. The event will take place in the Spring and a date will be announced soon.

Recently I spent some time in Northern Sweden, some 200 miles into the Arctic Circle. I was taking part in an organised trek, with over 2000 participants over four days, that would take me through the lands of the Sami, the reindeer herder tribes who live all over Scandinavia.

This week for the fourth year in a row, Team Hosta travelled down to Battersea Park in London for the 2016 Landscape Show. Tuesday was a gorgeous sunny day and the perfect setting for the event!

 If you’ve ever been wild swimming, you’ll know how great it is to swim in crystal clear, and importantly, chlorine-free water. Natural pools aim to capture this experience, by getting rid of the chemicals and instead use the power of plants to filter and clean the water. 

With a busy summer drawing to a close it's still been a great month, with a couple of trips down to London for some great conferences and exciting advances in industry... 

Placemaking is about putting people and their use of the space at the centre of the design; a design that is enjoyable and liveable as well as complementing it’s existing surroundings.