Garden Philosophy. Keeping it Local, Thinking Green & Leading the Silent revolution.

Gardens were originally a way for city dwellers with a bit of money to have a little piece of nature on their doorstep. As years went by the design and formalising of these areas turned them from wildlife friendly spaces, to the slightly sterile, manicured gardens we are familiar with today.  The vast majority of gardens these days in no way resemble any natural habitat I'm aware of.  Thankfully, trends are beginning to turn back towards wilder, less manicured spaces. Landscape design is becoming more sympathetic also.

At Wilderness Tamed the belief is in keeping life simple from the

roots up. Where do we source materials and plants for designs?

How should a Landscape design work for a client?

Can the garden be enjoyed year round?

Will the client learn anything from their garden?

Materials are sourced locally from stone to turf to plants.

Hard landscape materials such as stone, gravel, cobbles etc are brought in from quarries in the Pennines, either in Northumberland or county Durham. Cobbles and  gravel are sourced from digs in the Tyne valley. Walling stone or stone for rock features will tend to

be weathered local sandstone rather than buff Cotswold stone or

Peak District lime stone. Gravel and cobbles from the Derwent or

Tyne valley quarries and blends well with most naturally occurring

features in the local area. Rather than some of the ornamental

decorative gravels which have come from a quarry over one

hundred miles away. The colours will not blend with the natural

surroundings. Another thing to bare in mind is how these imported

stones can affect the ph of the soil which will in turn impact on the plants which will grow. Plants in most garden centers and DIY merchants are imported from Holland, Italy, Spain or Eastern Europe. This is why Wilderness Tamed prefers to source UK grown plant material. Obviously when we're involved in garden designs which incorporates wild flower meadows or woodland plantings we will buy in UK grown plug plants or harvested seeds. For shrubs and perennials of a more exotic nature we'll track down those that have spent most of their growing lives in North East nurseries, of which a few still exist.

The reason for doing this is to ensure we are impacting as little as possible on the

environment by sourcing local products. This cuts down on transportation miles

and all the ensuing pollution and road congestion problems this can contribute to.

In daily working practices we think about how much we can achieve without

constantly resorting to machinery or power tool use. The scything page hints

heavily at this. It isn't necessary to always have to cut grass with a powered

machine. The machines we do use are fuelled by Aspen Alkylate fuels rather than

two stroke petrol/oil mixed fuel. This is better for the environment as well as the

user as it means you aren't breathing in benzene, hydrocarbons and other harmful

fumes. For small pruning or felling jobs, bow saws and axes can be just as effective as a chainsaw. Certainly quieter and less hassle to use as there aren't as many items of safety clothing to change into.

So as well as being greener than most other gardeners we are also leading the silent revolution. Germans could hire us to work on a Sunday if required. (if you didn't already know, in Germany it is an offence to operate any noisy garden or building machinery on a Sunday) Bliss! Imagine that, a Sunday where you could sit out in the garden and not be bombarded with the noise from several neighbours strimming, mowing, hedge cutting, drilling, sanding or jet washing. 

When designing a planting plan we always think Winter first. If you can add interest

in colour, shape and texture during the grey months of the year then the other

seasons are a doddle. We also need to conside what the client wants from their

garden. Learning is key to our philosophy at Wilderness Tamed. We like to think

that after the work is done and we have left, our clients will want to go out every day

to see what is happening in their garden. What is growing, coming into bud or how

insects and animals are being attracted into their garden and sharing their space.

We would want families with young children to create ponds, not fill them in for fear

of a child drowning. Ponds and the wildlife they attract can keep a child entertained

for hours. And we're all children at heart which is why we can all benefit from sitting next to a pond watching nature act out its many roles at our feet. Just watch the pond video. 

Wilderness Tamed John Grundy