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Designers

We know our plants on The Beechgrove Garden, and can create a vibrant border, but to take an entire community and create a space to please them takes a particular talent. That's why we call on the professionals. Meet our garden designers:



Lynn Harris
Passionate About Gardens
Fortheringay Road
Pollockshields
Glasgow
G41 4LZ
Tel: 0141 424 0476
Fax: 0141 422 1141
Mobile: 07887 950636
Email: lynnharris@btinternet.com

Q: What is your role on Beechgrove?
A: I'm one of the garden designers who works on the Community Gardens

Q: What do you like best about working on Beechgrove?
A: Well, I get to meet loads of new people every year as well as working on really interesting and diverse projects which challenge me as a designer. Quite often I'm asked to design things which I'd never get a chance to do in my domestic work, so every year I learn new skills and stretch myself as a designer. I think these things help keep me fresh in my day-to-day work. Oh, and I get fun times on location with the BG crew!

Oh and by the way, I'm also the resident dancing queen! (closely followed by Ms G Hardy)

Q: If you were a plant, what would you be and why?
A: I'd be lavender. Sweetly fragrant, at my best in summer, but a good stalwart in the garden all year round, not too keen on getting my feet wet for long periods or frozen under snow. I also transport well indoors to mix with others and I can be dried out (not dried up - so no jokes about old prunes, please) and will provide enjoyment for years!

Q: Has Beechgrove ever inspired you to something in your own garden?
A: I'm afraid it's a case of cobblers children...... I have to say I have learnt an awful lot about plants from Jim et al, so I've definitely added to my collection from recommendations made by the presenters.

Q: Any words of wisdom about Beechgrove or gardening in general?
A: On Beechgrove - simply that BG is the most entertaining and practical gardening show on TV - anywhere. There's something in it for everyone - from 9 - 90 and from novice to expert. Why would you go anywhere else!

On gardening in general - it's the best therapy I know. If I'm cross I find pulling up weeds or whacking off the heads of dandelions goes some way to relieving the tension.

Q: What is the most unusual place you've had to film for Beechgrove?
A: Well where do I start when there are so many memorable BG experiences? Creating a garden on a cliff top in Kyle of Lochalsh was fun - no doubt some of you will remember the large digger perched a couple of inches from the edge of a 50ft drop? I was also asked to make sure the cliff edge planting was very thorny and spiky, to discourage visitors from taking the shortcut home.


Kirsty McLean
The Garden Design Company Scotland
9 Culter House Road
Milltimber
Aberdeenshire AB13 0EN
Tel: 01224 739184
Email: kirsty@gardendesignscotland.com
Web: www.gardendesignscotland.com

Q: What is your role on Beechgrove?
A: My role on BG is as a guest designer working with Community Gardens and anything else that requires design. I am responsible for working closely with the community to create an achievable design including a planting plan and supporting them through the life of the project, from conception through to completion within a schedule, ready for filming on specific dates, over a three day period – no mean feat!

As a part of this role, I am also required to participate in media coverage leading up to filming and to appear on camera during the programme to present the design and planting with the presenters.

Q: What do you like best about working on Beechgrove or how did you come to work on Beechgrove?
A: I like the team spirit and the fact that everyone expects and accepts that each of us is capable and competent to be left to do our jobs but be supported when things are difficult, a bit like a family who don’t take each other for granted too much.

The lovely 'Dr. E' found me on the front pages of the Your Home supplement in 2001 where the topic was a garden that I had designed was built. She contacted me, we met with Gwyneth and I jumped into the unknown and have been swimming around in the BG pool of designers ever since.

Q: If you were a plant, what would you be and why?
A: This is really hard! If I’m in a bad mood I’m a thistle and if I’m in a good mood I’m a daffodil!!

Q: Has Beechgrove ever inspired you to something in your own garden?
A: Sedum matting and so far it has been a success! It’s just a fantastic way of naturalising things like shed roofs. I haven’t tried growing it vertically yet but would like to see if that works. I’m afraid my veg growing is a bit hit or miss though and usually the wildlife get to it long before I do!

Q: Any words of wisdom about Beechgrove or gardening in general?
A: I was in my early twenties when I first became aware of BG and it has been a part of all of our lives for a very long time now. Latterly it has been a part of my life in a very personal way. It’s like a very dependable old friend that always delivers. I love the gentle humour and the easy ‘couthy’ way it conveys valuable and well researched/tried out information. But most of all I feel it represents Scotland and everything Scottish in gardening and more – you get a pretty clear picture of just how our diverse and fascinating our culture is, through its eyes. There aren’t many parts of Scotland and its isles that BG hasn’t covered - it is a treasured Scottish institution!

Q: What is the most unusual place you've had to film for Beechgrove?
A: I don’t know what counts as particularly unusual – they all look impossible to begin with! A disused railway line 72 mtrs long that flooded like a river and they wanted to make it into a garden within 6 weeks????


Karen LaingKaren Laing
Laing Landscape Studio
Newington
Edinburgh
M: 07757 235528
Email: karen@laing-landscape-studio.co.uk
Web: www.laing-landscape-studio.co.uk

Q: What is your role on Beechgrove?
A: Having started ‘on the ground’ as part of the gardening team at Beechgrove, where the foundations of my horticultural understanding were firmly set, I am delighted to have been invited back to work with them in my capacity as a Landscape Architect and Garden Designer.

Q: What do you like best about working on Beechgrove or how did you come to work on Beechgrove?
A: My interests in gardening lead me to work at the Beechgrove where I have learned so much. Working there gave me the confidence to develop my talents as a garden designer and go on to qualify with a post graduate masters of landscape architecture.

Q: If you were a plant, what would you be and why?
A: A larch because it looks like one thing (an evergreen) and is something quite different (a sculptural deciduous tree with amazing colour and beautiful verdant spring colour)

Q: Has Beechgrove ever inspired you to do something in your own garden? 
A: Absolutely!  When you spend your time there it's a constant voyage of (re)discovery. The gardening year is all about change and renewal which as a garden designer is an important factor in keeping your designs alive and exciting.  I've promised myself that I am going to apply what I have learned about growing fruit and veg into practice at home.

Q: Words of wisdom about Beechgrove or gardening in general?
A: That old adage about "think thrice, measure twice, cut once" comes to mind - i.e. good planning and preparation are vital to good gardening and good garden design.

Q: What is the most unusual place you've had to film for Beechgrove/most unusual request?
A: The filming that I have been involved in in the past has been to do with the show garden I have built - when I've been tired and mucky. That’s nothing too unusual given our glorious Scottish weather.  It’s so nice to finally look ok on camera, not the usual soggy doggy.


Jeremy Needham
48 Main Road, Fenwick
Kilmarnock
KA3 6AL

Phone:  01292 525 376
Mobile:  07792 631 371
Email: jngardendesigns@gmail.com
Web: http://www.jngardendesigns.co.uk/

Q: What is your role on Beechgrove?
A: I'm one of the designers.  My job is to help the community gardens realise their aims.This involves helping shape their ideas into a workable plan and organising an achievable schedule

Q: What do you like best about working on Beechgrove or how did you come to work on Beechgrove?
A: Meeting new groups of people and working on larger projects - great fun.

Q: If you were a plant, what would you be and why?
A: Sorbus cashmiriana for no other reason than I like this species a lot and have to resist the temptation to put at least one in every garden I enter.

Q: Words of wisdom about Beechgrove or gardening in general?
A:Yes. Sit, relax, enjoy.  Experiment and don't be afraid to plant in large numbers.