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Celebrity garden designer Joe Swift arrives at day 2 of Gloucester Quays Home & Garden Festival

By citizenmike  |  Posted: April 19, 2014

By Mike Wilkinson

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Garden designer Joe Swift

Comments (9)

CELEBRITY garden designer Joe Swift has planted some top tips with Gloucester’s keen gardeners.

The 48-year-old star of the BBC’s Gardener’s World dropped into the increasingly popular Gloucester Quays Home and Garden Festival on Saturday.

Gardeners from far and wide travelled to listen to one of his talks.

Gardening expert Carol Klein will also be hot-footing it to the festival on Sunday to speak with some of the 70,000-plus visitors.

Mr Swift, who will shortly present the Chelsea Flower Show for the BBC, said: “The most common question I get asked at events like this is ‘why has my plant died?’ and I usually say ‘because you’ve killed it’.”

He added: “A lot of people stick with the same garden for years. They look at the same thing year after year. I can help them change that.”

VIDEO: Cinderford Band entertain the crowds

Stallholders at the major event say they have been busier than ever.

Tony Davis, from Hillside Brewery, the new name for May Hill Brewery, said: “This is always a great place to come to show off what we do. It is ideal for us.”

Cathrine Zielinski, from Simply Seedz, said: “It has been really good and very busy. I enjoy what I do. I used to work in financial services for American Express until I was made redundant. So I decided to set up this business three years ago and it has been well received.

“Everything is prepared at home in my kitchen and people really like the fact that there is no sugar in the products. That was a big thing in the headlines in the past few months and a lot of people are choosing to be healthier.”

Event manager Andrew Mitchell-Stead, from Gloucester Quays, said: “Previously we’ve run the event over three days, but this year we are doing all four days and it has been much busier.

“The number of people were are getting now is close to what we get for the food festival, which is fantastic.

“Gloucester Quays and the Docks are becoming well-known for being a great place to put on events like this now.”

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9 comments

  • jas37  |  April 23 2014, 11:12PM

    Sandra, you appear to again to be attempting to manipulate matters to suit your own personal agenda. If you read my original comments I stated "(if) I drove past the car boot site at Hempsted Meadows, on a decent day it would have been very busy (it was heaving on Wednesday morning when I drove past in the sunshine), but very few people were there" (on the wet and windy Sunday in question). A School as part of the Longford Lane development would no-doubt have been viable and sustainable if the neighbouring Twigworth housing development was still going to take place. But as this has been ruled out where would where would they find the Children to fill the School and how much would each House have to cost to pay for it?. Your objection appears to be a blatant case of Nimbism , throwing up any fictitious objection possible. (the false flooding claims, the non- inclusion of a School for which there is no need, etc ) .I have no idea if Crest are paying Business rates in the Merchant's Quay unit (when I have a free few minutes I will carry out a bit of research), as you describe the units as- "They aren't very big anyway with very few options" ,what configuration of Glazing and where would you suggest the doors are situated and how many? The units have a reasonably wide range of potential uses,(and division of the space and number of tenants) how would you decide which configuration to gamble on? Clearly Crest could make much more of an effort to improve the appearance of these units, some decent graphics alone would make a world of difference.The City Council should be "encouraging" them to do so but as I previously stated the Council display a total lack of vision and ambition as far as the Docks is concerned. A site for their Offices and bi-annual Tall Ships festival appears to be the limit of their ambitions. Phillpots Warehouse is an ideal location for visitor attraction, The City Council purely see it as a "spare room" in which to store their box files, presumably until they decide to use it as Office space. This is surely much more of a concern than the boarded up Merchant's Quay units?

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  • SandraPee  |  April 23 2014, 11:23AM

    Jas37. So, you're now agreeing with me that the Wednesday car boot's are bigger then the Sunday ones then ! Re the planned school on the development off Longford Lane , you're saying how can they be expected to afford to build a school on such a small development . Well, there is a school on the planning application ! Re Crest development in The Docks , you seem so knowledgeable , please answer my question ...... are they paying business rates or not ?

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  • jas37  |  April 22 2014, 9:43PM

    Sandra, Last Wednesday's car boot was the busiest that I have seen on the site, many who attended put it down to the glorious Weather and hoped for more of the same on Sunday, especially as all of the Large Supermarkets and Garden Centres were closed. The Weather (and forecast) seemed to persuade most to stay at Home. The contrast in numbers (at the Docks and Quays) between rainy and windy Sunday and Sunny Monday was enormous. The David Wilson site (270 Homes) that is taking place right now didn't flood, even the neighbours campaigning against it had to publicly admit this-"but it may do one day" was the best comment they could manage. As for the School, I don't see have a development as small as this could be expected to fund a School building. Cooper's Edge (2000 Homes) = one new Primary, Kingsway (3300 Homes) plus early parts of Hunt's grove = two new Primary's. The development(s) in Longford Lane are tiny in comparison. I can only conclude that you have not looked closely at the Merchant's Quay building (or the plans) Very few options- there are at least 12 possible options, the glazing for these units is hugely expensive. Which option do you suggest Crest pay out 10s of thousands £ (if not more) gamble on? It seems to me your comments are based on your own personal emotions and agenda rather than the actual facts of the matter(s). Please answer the question on the proposed glazing door options - would you glaze for 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 or 2 divisions/Tenants.

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  • SandraPee  |  April 22 2014, 8:16AM

    jas37 You might go past the car boot site every day , but, I attend the car boot , and can say with confidence that the Wednesday one is by far the busiest . Are you confusing those vast amounts of vehicles who have been going to the Rowing Club on a Sunday ....... which over the last month has at least doubled the number of vehicles and people down at Hempsted Meadows ? Without those there on those Sundays the car boot has struggled to even be half full of late ! Re the houses being built off Longford Lane . How are builders being allowed to submit plans which included a new school yet it looks like one will now not be built ? The land DID flood and is this the reason why the plans have had to be amended because of the risk of contamination to part of the land ? Your comment re Crest and the windows down at the Docks Basin seem very naive .They aren't very big anyway with very few options . Are they avoiding business rates by having them boarded over ?

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  • jas37  |  April 21 2014, 9:52PM

    Sandrapee, I drive past the Car boot site on the majority of days, I can assure you that there are usually far more vehicles there on a Sunday than on a Wednesday. Last Wednesday was the busiest that I recall, most seemed the think it was due to the Weather and Easter Holidays. Easter Sunday was expected to be even busier, all large Supermarkets and Garden Centres were closed and people were expected to be looking for somewhere to go - but the Weather put paid to that. Your comment stating that the Docks has been sacrificed for the sake of the Quays makes no sense at all. Would the Waterways Museum (and possibly the Regiments of Glos Museum) still be open if the Quays didn't exist? Would Caffe Corretto, Caffe Tucci, On Toast and The Barge be trading if the Quays wasn't there to bring in the Customers? I agree that the relocation of the Antiques Centre had a detrimental affect on the main Dock Basin area but this was surely down to the owners plans to make as much profit out of Lock Warehouse as possible - some would describe it as short sighted greed but this seems to have backfired on them. The Retail Units are there at the Merchant's Quay, how long it will take Crest Nicholson to find suitable tenants is the question. Is there any option to having the units boarded up until Tenants are found? How would Crest know what Window and door arrangements the prospective Tenants will require when they don't know whether they will have two or ten Businesses moving in? I have not read the full detail of the Longford Lane planning application but I am aware that the site that construction has started on did not flood during the recent epic Weather (although many try to give the impression it did). If I remember rightly the County Council use a figure of 25 Primary School places per 100 Homes. The entire development (570 Homes if both sites go ahead) would equate to 142 Children on completion of the sites or 58 based on the 270 Homes on the initial site. It appears doubtful that there will be enough Homes built to justify a new School. Back to the subject of the Docks, how many of the thousands that were in the Docks today (its amazing how much difference a bit of Sunshine makes) would have been in the area (or ever in Gloucester at all) if the Quays didn't exist, a tiny fraction I'm sure! It appears that you are blaming the Quays for the City Councils lack of vision and ambition. It's a good job we have some (smaller) traders who are trying to make the most of the visitors that the Quays attracts, it's a pity the Council seem incapable of matching their ambition.

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  • SandraPee  |  April 21 2014, 6:43PM

    jas37 . Car boot at Hempsted is always heaving on a Wednesday but not very well attended on a Sunday of late , especially on a Holiday Sunday . It seems as though The Docks has been ruined and sacrificed for the sake of The Quays and big businesses . Where are the retail shops which were part of the planning approval for demolishing the Edinburgh Mill shops etc and building more apartments ? Boarded up unit fronts ? Is this to avoid paying business tax ? Can anybody shine a light on this ? And whilst we are on the subject re planning approval , is it true that the new school which was part of the plans for approving the new houses being built off of Longford Lane , on the floodplain, is no longer going to be built ? If so, WHY NOT ? Where will a new development's children go to school ?

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  • jas37  |  April 21 2014, 10:14AM

    Sandra, The poor weather was clearly going to affect the turn out on Sunday. I drove past the car boot site at Hempsted Meadows, on a decent day it would have been very busy (it was heaving on Wednesday morning when I drove past in the sunshine), but very few people were there. The Docks was full of Yachts on Saturday, I understand that many departed prematurely on Sunday morning due to the poor weather forecast. I did have some sympathy for the Musician/Singer on the Music stage, clearly the majority of people were more interested in sheltering from the wind and rain.( I still managed to spend far more than I intended on the Gardening Stalls) -- I agree totally about the Council's lack of effort as far as the Docks is concerned. They appear to see it purely as the place that their Offices are situated. The Council consistently display a lack of ambition and vision regarding the Docks. They seem to consider putting on the Tall Ships festival every other year as a satisfactory use of this area.

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  • SandraPee  |  April 20 2014, 9:09PM

    70,000 PLUS EXPECTED VISITORS EH ? MOST DIDN'T TURN UP THEN ! THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF VERY ANGRY STALL HOLDERS DOWN THERE THIS WEEKEND . VERY FEW PEOPLE THERE TODAY , AND AS GLOSRES SAID, HARDLY ANY GARDENING RELATED STALLS , MOSTLY FOOD ONES. VERY FEW PEOPLE INDEED WERE EVEN AWARE THERE WERE ALSO STALLS IN THE DOCKS END BY NORTH WAREHOUSE .......... EVEN THE PEOPLE GIVING OUT THE PROMOTIONAL LEAFLETS WEREN'T AWARE OF THEM UNTIL TODAY ! IT LOOKS LIKE WE HAVE A DIVIDED DOCKS/QUAYS WITH JUST THE MULTI NATIONAL SHOPS GAINING ANY MONEY SPENT AND THEREFORE IT GOING OUT OF THE AREA AND NOT INTO THE COFFERS OF LOCAL BUSINESSES . GLOUCESTER CITY COUNCIL SHOULD HAVE MADE MORE OF AN EFFORT TO PROMOTE THE DOCKS THIS WEEKEND .

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  • glosres  |  April 19 2014, 6:41PM

    Didn't see many stalls specialising in Gardening. Mainly food stalls and crafts. Disappointed with event today. Thought it would be more gardening focused.

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