Confessions of a landscape gardener with Alan Sargent

Landscape industry veteran of 53 years, there is little Alan Sargent has not seen when it comes to landscape and garden projects. And now he's decided to write some of the more curious, humourous and even scandalous ones in his latest book, "Confessions of a Landscape Gardener".

With a career spanning 5 decades, he reflects on how his stories take readers back to a time pre-internet, pre mobiles, even pre-telephone. So part of the challenge of relating the stories was "trying to describe to somebody how different world was, 50 years ago, in the world of landscaping".

Although the industry is making strides towards being more environmentally friendly, with electric vehicle fleets and sustainably-sourced landscape materials, Alan says he sees a new "butter mountain" on the horizon in the form of ceramic paving as it is not recyclable.

He says: "I probably condemns about 800m a year" of artificial turf, thereby consigning vast amounts of plastic to landfill because of poor installation practices.

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Legal hot spots include peat-free alternatives as growers sue growing media producers as their products fail to perform as promised and "wipe out whole batches of plants". He forecasts that it will become "quite an issue".

A prolific self-publisher of books, Alan's next opus, due just in time for Christmas 2023, will be the "A-to-Z of Paving" which will cover all aspects of paving projects.

Alan is of course a HortWeek man through and through having written more than 100 articles for the title over his tenure. Find his impressive and essential catalogue of advice for landscapers and gardeners, his Sargents' Solutions, at

Presenter: HortWeek editor Matthew Appleby
Producer: HortWeek digital content manager Christina Taylor

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