Winter Gardens, Milton Keynes
The Interior Landscaping scheme is on a tiered Cotswold walled curved bed system with interconnecting paths and stairs. There is a large top pond area (containing numerous large Koi carp) with a small water cascade leading into a stream like water feature, with cobbles and boundary planting and then into a second pond.
The landscape has evolved over the past twenty-five years with large palms outgrowing their position having to be removed and replaced with new planting, but the general tenet of the original planting scheme can still be seen today.
All required tasks are carried out on a rota basis with the Atrium being visited 3 days a week during the winter months and then 4 days a week during the summertime.
The atrium has its own microclimate and its own selection of common pests such as scale, mealy bug, aphids and red spider mite that are controlled through employment of a palette of controls and natural predators.
Another challenge is the absence of heating in the Atrium (the heating broke down in 2012 and was never replaced/repaired by the client). In the winter, temperatures can drop below 4 degrees on some nights. To mitigate the effects of this the smaller more tender species are protected from the harsh winter temperatures by the use of frost blankets. We have also replaced certain tender species with plants that will withstand the cooler temperatures.