Guy Menendez

guyaugHello: My name is Guy, being sole proprietor and worker of Virdigris Gardening. I prefer to undertake my own tasks rather than delegate, but I am happy to advise you when to hire other specialist people. My service is personal and based on your needs, so I like take the time to get to know you.

I have been actively continuously gardening for over 20 years both in the UK and North America, although at school I was allotted my first plot to garden over 40 years ago. Although my father was a plant geneticist/breeder, it was my mother who started me gardening for good, helping out in the garden of a 16th century house in the English Cotswolds.

As for influences, I lean towards sustainable gardening practices and look to create and care for gardens full of life, and pleasure for the senses.

My own current big project is managing and “developing”  (in a subtle manner) several acres of pasture, forest and woodland meadows. The key concepts are for low water usage, creating views, and encouraging wildlife. If I had unlimited time and money, my garden would likely be a cross between Rodmarton Manor in Gloucestershire, and the Eden Project in Cornwall.

I am based on the east side of central Vancouver Island, although I do travel further afield for special garden projects.

Relevant formal Qualifications:

  • B.Sc. (with Honours) Environmental Biology from Oxford Brookes University, UK, for example including Soil Types and Their Management, The Water and Mineral Relations of Plants, Soils and Plant Growth, Soil Biology, Communities & Ecosystems, Pest Ecology and Control, etc.
  • Honours project on the integrated control of mite infestations in commercial greenhouses.
  • Ph.D. from University of Reading, UK, under a N.E.R.C. funded Scholarship, working on insect population biology.

Photography, Design and Gardening:

My photography turned commercial in the late 1990s, more recently expanding my garden activities by drawing on design and drafting skills first learnt while working as a kitchen designer some years previously. I have a separate non-commercial photography website at

Professional Experience:

Home and Garden Services – Kitchen Designer & CAD Drafting – Photographer, Publisher and Gardener – Supply Chain Executive – Bookseller – Consulting Biologist – University Graduate Instructor.

Recent Posts

Vivid Welsh Poppy: Sunshine Colour and Silk

This saffron-tinted variety of the usually yellow Welsh Poppy (Meconopsis cambrica), is so vivid that I resorted to using indirect light – rather than direct sun – to allow the silky delicate details of the petals to be captured. The same happens with some human faces, something well-known in portraiture. Although they can be difficult to get established, the Welsh Poppy will self-seed if happy in their situation. This is one of the few Meconopsis poppies that is not from Asia, where those stunning blue species can be found. A quick identification tip for Meconopsis poppies: look at the shape of the green centre that becomes the seed pod, and it will be tapered as opposed to flattened like in other orange poppy species.


  1. Wet and Stormy Spring Leave a reply
  2. Winter Garden Jobs Leave a reply
  3. Jewel Orchid (Ludisia discolor) – The Beauty of Indoor Flowers in Winter Leave a reply
  4. Purple Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’) Winter Care Leave a reply
  5. Colour in the Garden: The “Dog” Days of Summer Leave a reply
  6. Manure & Composted Additives for Soil Improvement Leave a reply
  7. The Beauty of Flowers Close-up: Looking forward to 2016. Leave a reply
  8. Ferns in the Winter Forest: The Beauty of Foliage Leave a reply
  9. Showing the Bones of the Garden Leave a reply