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So far Oli Ong has created 63 blog entries.

Updates from Holt Copse

Holt Copse Conservation Volunteers (HCCV) manage Holt Copse, a 7 acre wood in Wokingham on behalf of the town council. The group was formed in 1999 by local residents who were concerned that the wood Read more »

Join us for a coffee and support Helen & Douglas House

This week we are participating in the Jack FM Radiothon, taking place at Helen & Douglas. The aim of the event is simple, raise money for Helen & Douglas House through 'over the phone', Read more »

2017 Kenya blog: Day 5

Alarms sounded at precisely 5am on Friday morning. Outside, the sun was already starting to rise and gradually, as we all began to wake, a buzz of excitement filled the air – today was Safari Read more »

2017 Kenya blog: Day 4

Kenyan hopes and dreams… As the others cracked on with more bricklaying, I went to teach some final English lessons. ‘Future tense’ as my given topic seemed a perfect opportunity to tap into these amazingly Read more »

2017 Kenya blog: Day 3

Alarms started buzzing at 6.30am and everyone was eager and excited as today would be the day the building really started to take shape! Also the breakfasts were pretty wicked from our favourite cooks Johnson Read more »

2017 Kenya blog: Day 2

An early start today, as the nine of us were eager to make a good impression only to discover what ‘Kenyan time’ really means. No ballast, sand or builders, so the early morning plans of Read more »

2017 Kenya blog: Day 1

We left the Hotel at 7:00am after a very interesting breakfast of both Kenyan and more western foods (I think Kev is still upset that he didn’t get an omelette cooked by the hotels egg-chief). Read more »

Wild Excitement – Make-over day at Westfield School

Pupils at Westfield Special School await a ‘make-over’ day, set to transform an underused outside area into a large and exciting Forest School site. Westfield School will soon offer its pupils the opportunity to Read more »

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Anchoring an Orangery into the Garden.

Try taking a Grade II listed house in Gloucestershire and adding a beautiful David Salisbury Orangery… not only will part of a much loved, established garden need to be demolished, but the focus of the Read more »

All in the detail: Decorating your garden this Winter

It's all in the detail... When we think about winter gardening and how to make the garden look better we tend to focus on the plants and the border structure, which is clearly the most Read more »

Wildlife in the Garden

Wildlife Gardening: Winter is upon us and our gardens are being stripped back to the bare bones! It is the perfect time to consider how you can make your garden more wildlife friendly… Wildlife gardening Read more »

No Bones About it: Winter Garden Design

Is your garden lacking a back bone? Please read on….Now is the perfect time to assess your garden and see where the gaps are and how things could be improved. As we move towards Read more »

Rosara returns to Cheltenham market

After a successful visit to Cheltenham Market earlier this year, Rosara has been invited back to run another pop up shop, just in time for Christmas. Read more »

Christmas at Nicholsons

Last week we celebrated the festive season in style with our inaugural Christmas Fair. Hosted at Nicholsons, the festivities were centred around our newly built Yurt and covered walkway, which hosted local stallholders, charities and musical entertainment. Read more »

Christmas Shop Now Open

Following months of planning and hard work from both The Oxford Christmas Company and our own teams, we can safely say we are now full prepared for the festive season. Read more »

BS8596 – Surveying for Bats in Woodland

Published in October 2015, BS8596 is a comprehensive guide to surveying woodlands through to single trees for the presence of bats. This standard flows from the considered risk of tree operations on this part of Read more »

Fill your garden with colour this Autumn

Autumn is delicious. It makes me think of pumpkin soup, chilly walks, mulled cider, and the first few evenings by the log burner… I sometimes wonder if autumn colours occur purely to brighten up the Read more »

Organic Compost – also known as Black Gold

Making your own compost from the ‘brown’ and ‘green’ waste generated from your garden and kitchen produces a valuable garden resource that can be used to improve soil structure; breaking up heavy clay soils to Read more »

The Naughty Side of Garden Design

Another week and another garden plan with details bearing a striking resemblance to reproductive organs… male, female, internal and external.   Either designers’ have subconsciously fertile minds, or there’s a little bit of nudge-nudge wink-wink Read more »

Going Peat Free

The Natural Environment White Paper was published in 2011 by the coalition Government, following consultation with industry and interested parties. The top line targets were: Phase out peat by 2015 in the Government and the Read more »

The Implications of Brexit

We are often asked what effect Brexit has had and might have on our business. Like most people and companies the answer is we really don’t yet know and it may change in numerous ways Read more »

New Partnership With Oxford Christmas Company

Yes, we know it’s not yet Christmas but we are far too excited about this announcement to stay quiet ! Read more »

New Developments At Nicholsons

If you have visited Nicholsons recently you may have noticed some building work taking place ! Read more »

Extended fencing provisions from Nicholsons

The Nicholsons fencing team has recently been expanded and strengthened following the acquisition of Pete Eden Fencing. Read more »

Woodlands & Trees in the Cotswolds – preparations for 2050

If you were told that by 2050 the Cotswolds would experience average temperatures similar to the central and south of France – would you believe it? And that is what official guidance from the Forestry Read more »

Nicholsons Club 57 visits Compton Verney

Nicholsons Garden Club 57 had an evening visit to Compton Verney last week. The weather was perfect and the walk was led by the incredibly knowledgeable head gardener Gary, who gave a brief background to the Capability Brown landscape that surrounds and frames the main mansion. Read more »

Nicholsons Wins Employer Excellence Award in National BALI Awards

Following on from our success in winning the Cherwell Employer of the year award, we are delighted to announce that Nicholsons has also won a National BALI (British Association of Landscape Industries) award. Read more »

ROSARA at Moreton Show

Our recent events schedule has been keeping us busy, and no sooner had we finished Bucks County Show, we sent out our ROSARA team to The Moreton In Marsh Show. Our ROSARA manager Jess led a small team through a successful weekend and here is her story of the Show: Read more »

Successful Day For Forestry At Bucks County Show

2016 was the inaugural year for Nicholsons Forestry at the Bucks County Show. The sunshine seemed to draw out the crowds, and made for a pleasant time in catching up with existing clients, timber contractors and a few new faces. Read more »

Nicholsons at Blenheim

Whilst our ROSARA team were busy running their first stand at BBC Countryfile Live, Tim Shardlow, was invited in his role as RFS Oxon and Bucks Secretary to attend a 30-year Long Service presentation to Nick Bainbridge, who leads a team of foresters at Blenheim Palace. Read more »

Rose Hill Revisited

It seems to us only yesterday that we helped our friends at Rose Hill Primary School build a Forest School; a natural learning environment to encourage children to appreciate, learn from and care about the natural world around them. Read more »

To Stake Or Not To Stake ? A Guide On Supporting Perennials.

Early Summer is an exciting time of year; blossoms and buds have burst into life and herbaceous perennials are emerging from the soil, with their colourful, showy blooms ! With this in mind, all gardeners, whatever their level of Read more »

Inspiration From Chelsea : Tina’s Photo Journal

Despite being incredibly busy launching our lovely new brand Rosara, we still managed to pay a visit to Chelsea Flower Show. One of our garden designers and main bloggers, Tina James took some photographs of Read more »

Flowering Shrubs

There are so many flowering shrubs available, that it’s easy to find a colour or form for any situation or position. Sometimes, it’s difficult to decide between all of the options, so here are five Read more »

Kitchen Garden Design

Memories of my undergraduate agricultural lecturer teaching me about the Norfolk Four Course have never left me – the first principle of good kitchen gardening. This principle was developed in Britain by Charles Townshend in Read more »

Rosara Launch Party Goes With A Swing

After months of hard work setting up our new brand Rosara, Nicholsons was so pleased to celebrate its launch on the evening of Thursday 19th May at Rousham House, Oxfordshire to over 200 people, all of whom braved the elements to enjoy an evening of prosecco, jazz and canapes. Read more »

Trees and Shrubs with Unusual Bark

Cornus varieties: There are so many varieties of Cornus that hold their own in the winter time, regardless of being deciduous. They seem to be the best genus for vibrant colourful bark, so here are Read more »

Topiary: Thinking Outside The Box

It is widely accepted that Box and Yew are the ultimate plants for formal hedging and topiary, but are they really? Occasionally there are issues with using Box—to start with it can get Box blight, Read more »

Woodlands For Water – New Woodland Planting in the Upper Thames Tributaries

In early February, the NFU (National Farmers' Union) in conjunction with Nicholsons delivered a series of presentations looking at woodland planting to counteract water quality and flooding concerns. Across England there are significant targets to Read more »

Water In The Garden

Reflection Sound and Movement On many garden designers’ checklist, when talking to the client for the first time, will be the question of whether the client wants to have water in the garden. Natural water Read more »

Tesco ‘Bags of Help’ Initiative – A Guest Post

Our guest post today comes from Mike Saynor. Mike works for one of the community groups we support, Holt Copse Conservation Volunteers, who have heard they will be part of Tesco Bags of Help initiative, enabling local Read more »

Building A Tree Nursery In Kenya

One of our garden designers, Jon Uglow, wrote this article for the Primary Times magazine, in which he talks about our recent work in Africa: Every reader of the Primary Times knows the value of Read more »

Ash Dieback – My 2015 Observations

Media talk of Ash dieback has seemed quieter in the past twelve months, but the problem hasn’t slipped away. On the ground, Ash Dieback (now identified as the fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) is moving. It has Read more »

Beautiful Blossom

Prunus Pink Perfection: This is such a gorgeous flowering cherry. Profuse deep-pink buds opening to candyfloss-pink frilly, double flowers in drooping clusters in spring. It’s a perfect tree for a small garden and has the Read more »

Trees, Shrubs and Hedging for Screening

It seems that in nearly every garden we work in, the client needs some sort of screening somewhere in the garden. Whether it’s an urban garden needing privacy from neighbours, a country garden that needs Read more »

News from David Wilson Homes

In 2015, Nicholsons were given the opportunity to design and build the show gardens at a local David Wilson site – Adderbury Fields. Read more »

Woodland Creation Grant 2016 – Now Open For Applications

The Woodland Creation Grant application window is now open, with the deadline for submissions being the 31st of March 2016. Targeting water quality concerns, flood mitigation and biodiversity benefits, the grant is the most generous Read more »

A Day To Build A Forest School

In early November Nicholsons was approached by the staff of Rose Hill primary school to build a forest school on their grounds. Read more »

Designing for Small Gardens

Smaller garden spaces offer a greater design challenge but the owner will surely reap the rewards as the space can be maximised to give all year round colour and interest. Views are contained, detail can Read more »

Shrubs With Winter Interest

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’: This is one of my favourite shrubs. There is nothing more magical than seeing a mass of these fiery, spindly little flowers in the dead of winter, lighting up a naked, Read more »

Horses and Sycamore Seeds – Atypical Myopathy

I read a few sad cases in the press last year of horses dying following ingestion of Sycamore seeds, which led to an understandable run of enquiries from concerned clients. With a life threatening condition Read more »

Sculpture In The Garden

The use of sculpture in the garden can add exciting drama to the landscape. Placement is everything, no matter the piece and thought should be given to the following: The piece should sit well in Read more »

The Perfect Trees For Small Gardens

Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’: At the moment, my absolute favourite tree is Cercis Forest Pansy. This small tree is beautiful throughout spring, summer and autumn. It has delicate pink flowers that emerge on bare branches Read more »

Woodland Inspired Planting

If you are lucky enough to have a woodland area on your property then nature has been generous and presented you with a lovely area for a more relaxed and informal planting style than you Read more »

Designing for Large Gardens

It is many people’s dream to own a large garden. These gardens can indeed enhance a property and provide a very pleasant environment to while away the hours outdoors, either leisurely lounging on a sun-terrace Read more »

Plants for Shady Gardens

There are so many plants that brighten up a shady spot, and enough varieties to fill a border engulfed in shadow! A shady garden doesn’t need to be boring and lifeless – there are Read more »

Garden Lighting

Subtle garden lighting can be a thing of beauty as well as practicality and has so many possible applications. One of my first considerations is always the front of house and parking area, coming Read more »

Oxford Mail January 2016

Nicholson’s work to install an outdoor woodland and wildlife area at a local city primary school features in this week’s Oxford Mail. Read more »

Club 57 Events 2016

We are holding a number of inspiring and exciting events as part of our 2016 Garden Club calendar. With tours around delightful gardens and talks by well-known horticulturalists we look forward to welcoming our Club 57 members Read more »

Selecting A Gate

Choosing a gate is simple, but choosing the right gate… there’s a lot to consider. What function does it have – stopping children and pets? Increasing privacy? Providing a focal point? These practical considerations will Read more »

Country Life July 25th 2015

Potager Garden Design Appears in Country Life! This beautiful French style potager garden design was created by Liz Nicholson to complement the restoration of a village house in North Oxfordshire and appeared in the July 2015 edition of Country Life. Read more »

House and Garden 2014

Jon Uglow's design for a small London oasis is featured in this House and Garden Magazine article in 2014.

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