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Wadswick's Green Fingers - a chat with Wadswick Green Head Gardener, Chris Liversidge

31/03/2023 General, Wadswick Green, Case Study

Boasting 25 acres of beautiful landscaped grounds, the gardens of Wadswick Green are a stunning sight to behold, especially as we come into the season of Spring. We sat down for a chat with Wadswick Green's Landscape Gardener, Chris Liversidge of The Garden Business in Wiltshire, to discuss plans for 2023 and what it takes to keep Wadswick Green looking so beautiful throughout the year.

What’s your favourite feature this spring in the grounds of Wadswick Green?

Apart from all the returning growth, there is a new flowering border we created over the autumn/winter outside the Restaurant. We planted a Japanese Cherry, mature shrubs, 150 cottage perennials and over a thousand spring and summer flowering bulbs and rhizomes, its going to be quite something. 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.

The Greenhouse Restaurant prides itself on designing its menu around home-grown, seasonal ingredients – how do you consider sustainability when choosing what to plant?

Space is limited in our kitchen garden so we always choose smaller and quicker maturing varieties along with produce that is expensive to buy. We will be supplying The Greenhouse with all the normal veg box contents plus prestigious items like Heritage Tomatoes, Strawberries, Aubergines, New Potatoes and we will soon be picking our first season of Asparagus. We pride ourselves on sustainability in the kitchen garden as we have a no dig policy on the raised beds, we grow in peat free compost provided by our friends at Melcourt and we use the Autopot system in the polytunnel which delivers organic nutrient solutions directly to the plants without any waste.

What are the plans for the grounds of Wadswick Green this summer?

Irrigation improvements, including rainwater harvesting, extensions of the Allotments and the Putting Green. Fitness Studio Green dedicated to the village daily fitness classes during good weather. Further planting from our home grown Nursery including more drought tolerant.

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. 

Wadswick Green has an active gardening club, what have they been working on recently?

Residents are happy to help us out especially in strong growing times, plus they have their allotments, which produce a considerable amount of flowers, fruit and vegetables. These are being extended this year as there is more interest.

How do you ensure Wadswick Green’s gardens appeal to the over 60s?

I always want the gardens to give back. They offer leisure, entertainment, calmness, exercise, products and a potentially award winning display, my fundamentals for a Rangeford Garden. 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. 

What advice would you give to those looking to improve their gardens at home? Any tips and tricks of the trade?

Do your work in the winter to reap your reward and make sure you plant/seed to your garden location and climate. Please garden sustainably.

What has been a highlight moment of working on Wadswick Green gardens?

Sharing and enjoying the garden's display with the residents.

Visit the gardensofwadswickgreen instagram for some beautiful pictures of the Wadswick Green Gardens.

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