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Q & A with Chris Liversidge - Wadswick Green's Gardener

29/03/2020 General, Wadswick Green

We sat down for a chat with Wadswick Greens Landscape Gardener, Chris Liversidge of The Garden Business in Wiltshire, to discuss plans for 2020 and what it takes to keep Wadswick Green so beautiful throughout the year.

Have you designed the gardens in a particular way to suit the needs of over 60s?

I have found that planting a variety of different plants is the winning package (cottage style). What I call the ‘bed and breakfast’ type planting, which is easy to maintain and what you are likely to find in new builds, wouldn’t work at Wadswick Green. The majority of residents have come from homes with beautiful gardens, so a contemporary and minimalist style just wouldn’t appeal to them.  

To aid residents, we have created communal herb planters at chest height so they are easy to pick from, and residents don’t have to bend down to reach them. More benches have been introduced and at differing seating heights.

Do you vary planting according to the season?

Wadswick Green’s garden has something to offer throughout all seasons, it always looks good thanks to clever seasonal planting. We also do a lot of seasonal planting in pots, so in the depths of winter residents always have some colour to look at.

Do the residents ever get involved with gardening?

A small number of residents certainly do get involved with gardening here. We have some keen gardeners amongst the residents - some used to be volunteers at Hillier Nurseries & Garden Centre, and one worked at Kew Botanical Gardens.  

We never pressurize residents though. They can come out whenever they want to help us, it is really good exercise for them too.

Do you discuss the gardens with residents?

I regularly hold Q & A meetings with residents. I also encourage them to get in contact with me with any questions or requests they may have. 

Wadswick Green is said to be a wildlife haven. Do you plant anything in particular to help encourage this?

We are really trying our best to nurture the local ecosystem. Throughout the gardens we have introduced more seeding plants over the last few years.  We leave cutting back until January/February time rather than Autumn because the old seed heads are a great feed for birds, and we want to encourage them to find their own food, rather than be reliant from bird feeders. 

What are your future plans for Wadswick Green’s grounds?

This Spring 2020, we are introducing extra barn owl boxes following the guidelines from The Hawk and Owl Trust. We are also looking to introduce more bird and hedgehog boxes. We prepared an area for a local beekeeper, who needs to expand and is planning to bring a number of hives to Wadswick Green. This will mean thorough pollination throughout the grounds; residents will have direct access to local honey, and it will help out the bees too.

Visit the gardensofwadswickgreen instagram to see beautiful picture of the Wadswick Green Gardens.

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