Andrew Staib

/Andrew Staib

About Andrew Staib

In 2006 I formed Glorious Gardens, gathering together skilled practitioners to offer not just design but implementation of these designs and maintenance packages where we could look after the gardens once we had created them. Throughout my career I have designed gardens to inspire people with the heart aching beauty of nature, with shapes, colours, moods and proportions to pleasure the body and calm and delight the mind. I am also an artist who works with colour and abstract shapes and I bring this sensitivity to the 4 dimensions of a garden. I am very good at listening to clients and I’m able to draw out the essence of what a client wants for their outdoor space.

The fascinating world of UK Migratory birds

I have written before about how to attract birds into your garden. I am always inspired by migration. Hopefully you will be inspired to buy bird friendly plants and keep topping up your bird feeder!   There are over 4,000 species of birds that are regular migrants to the UK, which is 40% of the world's total. These travellers cross vast distances to find suitable breeding and feeding grounds, navigating through inherited instincts and learned behaviours. The UK is situated at a crossroads of diverse migration routes, and therefore we constantly witness migratory birds’ arrival and departure. But how do [...]

By |2024-05-10T09:42:36+01:00May 10th, 2024|Articles|Comments Off on The fascinating world of UK Migratory birds

The Rainforest under our Pillows

When you go to bed tonight you might wonder what that noise is.   Beneath your pillow, beneath your bed, beneath your house, lives a vast rainforest teeming with life.   For in just a square metre of your garden soil live over one million, million soil microbes. In a gram of this soil, up to a million different species exist, and in a table spoon of your soil, there travels 50km of fungal threads, weaving their way about.   The richness of this world is only just coming to light. Ninety percent of all the world’s fungi live in [...]

By |2024-04-01T12:05:27+01:00April 1st, 2024|Articles|Comments Off on The Rainforest under our Pillows

Where have all the oak forests gone?

 A review of oak timber imports into the UK and whether oak timber should be classified as a sustainable resource.   Compiled my Director of Glorious Gardens Sussex and Undergraduate Students Consultancy Programme.   This review examines: 1)How much oak is imported into the UK per year   2)  The sustainability of using oak products.   3)  The complicated supply chain of oak products   4) Can certifying bodies be trusted   5)  The policies of UK companies that import and sell oak products     ___________________________________________   Introduction   The research presented in this review finds that far from [...]

By |2024-03-29T14:56:28+00:00March 29th, 2024|Uncategorised|Comments Off on Where have all the oak forests gone?

What is the ethical impact of mining Indian Sandstone?

A review of the literature on the environmental and human cost of mining Indian sandstone and the transportation of the stone to the United Kingdom.   Compiled by the Director of Glorious Gardens Sussex and University of Sussex students for the Student Consultancy Programme.   This review examines:   How much Indian Sandstone is Imported into the UK?   What is the environmental impact of the mining problem in India?   What is the human impact of the mining and refining process?   How can the product be made sustainable?     Introduction  The research presented in this review finds [...]

By |2024-05-10T09:32:36+01:00March 29th, 2024|Uncategorised|Comments Off on What is the ethical impact of mining Indian Sandstone?

The Power of Small Trees

Creating a canopy atmosphere in your small garden Some people are frightened of trees, fearing they will grow too big, involve annual costly pruning and block out precious light to the house. One of my weekly jobs as a garden designer is to get on my knees and beg people to take the plunge. I have seen so many trees outgrowing their spot in a garden that I am hereby willing to share my secrets! A small tree can give a sense of height to the smallest of gardens without necessarily dominating the space. This height allows the garden to [...]

By |2024-02-16T16:31:23+00:00February 16th, 2024|Articles, Blog, Trees|Comments Off on The Power of Small Trees

Designing a Dry Garden

A dry garden doesn't rely on rainwater, irrigation or feeding to survive. Instead, plants are chosen for their drought-tolerance. If you have a busy life and don’t have much spare time to spend maintaining your garden a dry garden is one for you. Also it conserves water for the nation and gives you a powerful taste of the Mediterranean. The first thing that you need to consider if whether your plot of land is suitable.. The space should be open and have access to lots of sunshine. The poorer the soil the better as your dry tolerant plants will need [...]

By |2024-02-06T15:25:39+00:00February 6th, 2024|Articles, Blog|Comments Off on Designing a Dry Garden

Rewilding a Walled Garden

The Knepp Estate in West Sussex is now world famous for its rewilding experiment, with two farmers giving over their 3,500 acre farm to natural forces, with the resulting explosion in rare wildlife making its home in the scrub and long grasses of the once grazed fields. Isabella Tree and Charlie Burrell have now turned their gaze to the house’s walled garden, which was preserved mainly as a croquet lawn. Learning from their observations from over 20 years of the rewilding project, they were keen to experiment, and see if one could ‘rewild’ a large domestic garden. She enlisted the [...]

By |2024-02-06T15:22:13+00:00February 6th, 2024|Articles, Blog|Comments Off on Rewilding a Walled Garden

West Dean- Creative Spaces

Like all Head Gardeners, Tom Brown can’t speak without stooping to pull out the odd weed as we make our way around West Dean Gardens. With 100 acres of garden including an Arboretum , College grounds, 13 Victorian greenhouses, orchards, walled gardens and plenty of other interesting spaces, he has a lot to do in a day. Made into an educational trust by Edward James in 1964, the college, which is situated in the heart of the gardens,  fulfilled Edwards desire to nurture music, traditional crafts and the fine arts, which he feared would go into decline after the Second [...]

By |2024-01-27T13:58:59+00:00January 27th, 2024|Articles, Blog|Comments Off on West Dean- Creative Spaces

Getting to know Shelley the Snail

Shelley, better know as Cornu aspersum, haunts our dreams with their savage leaf destruction. So rather than be terrified of them I set out to know them a little better. There are over 200,000 species of land and seas snails and they first appeared on the planet 550 million years ago, equally at home in the tropics, dessert or deep water. The largest is the African snail with a record of 38cm long and the smallest is .8 of a millimetre. Shelley has up to 14,000 little teeth that rasp bits of leaf off. They can take about a week [...]

By |2024-01-27T13:57:33+00:00January 27th, 2024|Articles, Blog, Insects|Comments Off on Getting to know Shelley the Snail

High Beeches- An unsung Sussex Jewel

When I left Sarah and Jeremy Bray, owners of The High Beeches Woodland and Watergardens, I had the feeling I was waving goodbye to two Ents, trees from Lord of the Rings that can talk and move about. Such is their dedication to the spirit of the land they inherited from Sarah’s parents in the early 90’s. They showed me around the grounds and their enthusiasm was childlike and fresh. Given that Sarah has spent most of her life here, its impressive that her intense enthusiasm for High Beeches hasn’t waned. “My parents, Anne and Edward Boscawen, met Colonel Giles [...]

By |2024-01-27T13:54:54+00:00January 27th, 2024|Articles, Blog|Comments Off on High Beeches- An unsung Sussex Jewel