The KMGD practice encourage respect of natural habitats and wildlife within the wider world, our first step is to carry out a “garden edit” for each individual project to identify existing plants and trees that we can re-purpose or rejuvenate.
Education: We are working hard at educating ourselves, our families and our team on how we can do our bit to combat the climate crisis that is occurring, we frequently attend CPD sessions and trade events such as Futurescape and The Landscape Show and get involved in the seminars and panel discussions that help to broaden our knowledge and how we can apply that to our work. We all need to begin somewhere and we do that through understanding the impact that different materials have on the Earth’s ecosystems.
Playing our part/Material choices: We can all play our part and that can start with the smallest step, (no matter how teeny that may seem). We have the option of making positive choices and decisions that have an effect on the world as a result of our design and material choices. To beautify a space is one thing, however we must be aware of the impact from the material or product source, such as carbon emissions, geographical source, environmental impact & conditions, transportation, energy input and scarcity. For example, timber is always sourced where possible, from sustainable sources, using timber certified under the FSC scheme (Forestry Standards Council certification). Sourcing of certified natural materials mitigates negative effects to woodland habitats and the environmental impacts this can have on Biodiversity and the Biophysical Environment.
Carbon Footprint: Where possible, building materials are always sourced from local venders within the UK to reduce carbon emissions and global transit distances. Sustainably sourced Materials are used on projects that helps support ongoing UK government policies to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint. Strangely our new world of remote working during the Covid situation has led to a huge decrease in pollution from travelling and we will continue to do more working from home, and more zoom calls to avoid unnecessary trips
Where practical, soft landscaping sundries and plant materials are sourced locally, or selected based upon region of growth within proximity of the site, to reduce overall transit impact and packaging used in long distance transit.
Water Conservation: Integration of Rain Water Harvesting for drip feed irrigation systems are beneficial to our projects. These help reduce the amount of water usage on site. This helps to keep plants watered without excessive/wasteful watering taking place. We often use drought resistant or indigenous species of planting where possible, which require less additional supplementary water.
Plants/Planting: Rootballl trees are used wherever possible to encourage healthy establishment and survival of transported specimen root stock. Plant pots are reused/recycled after planting wherever possible.
We source our plants from local Kent nurseries to ensure the varieties are readily available, grown on site and display similar environmental conditions to ensure plant hardiness.
Where suitable, we reuse existing soil and follow horticultural hygiene procedures to ensure no cross contamination of site soils, pest or disease.
Our team enjoy and have a hands-on practical approach, we are frequently working with landscapes where the priority is to consider and respect listed buildings, sensitive locations and planning conditions & sensitivities such as TPO’s, bats, deer and other wildlife. We love the use of lighting within a garden and as well as creating the right ambient lighting layout in a garden, we also help limit the effect on wildlife by using discreet non-invasive solutions. We ensure that baffles and glare guards are fitted to limit light pollution.
It is important that our landscapes reflect the history of the site, carefully linking what is already there from the past to the current time. We have developed a strong relationship with our local planning department who are a good sounding board and resource for advice. Regardless of whether we are working on a traditional or more contemporary scheme, we like to soften and blend reference points from the history of the site, using natural materials and careful detailing, we work hard at listening to our clients to capture their style requirements, whatever the character and historical references of the site.
KMGD goal: One of our team goals for 2021 is to have even more emphasis on biodiversity and to conserve habitats wherever possible and ensure that our planting plans are informed by the naturally occurring plant families of the local area, to put less structure/hard scape into a garden, and more areas of soil and planting to minimise any possible impact. We are already working on projects where we can recycle or use reclaimed materials or accessories.