Wednesday, 6 August 2008
- We got the garden finished by the skin of our teeth: I was still tarting up the accessories when the judges came and did their stuff and asked me, politely, to clear off
- BBC filmed us a few times: did the opening of the TV coverage from the roof garden with Rachel De Thame and Joe Swift
- Press loved the garden, so did the photographers!
- Gala night was very wet in true Hampton Court Show style, but the fireworks looked great from the roof garden
- We got a Silver-Gilt Medal! A bit disappointed it wasn't the Gold but the hedge and couple of other bits and pieces let us down
- Visitors loved the garden!
- I spent a bit of time catching the sun on the roof terrace and dodging the rain in the garden room
The garden is all gone now. Going there on breakdown was quite sad and I felt a bit emotional seeing the building reduced to a pile of rubble. All that work and you are left with a flattened building site!
Still, who knows what will happen at next year's show. Watch this space!
Saturday, 5 July 2008
I've got a live radio interview on site with Geoff Hodge for BBC Radio Cambridgeshire in the morning and previously to that, a two minute slot with the RHS assessors, a sort of advance party for the judges, to tell them about the garden. They have a written Client's Brief to refer to as well so it's more of a quick blurt about the key points/features and any plant changes. There haven't been any radical ones although some of my perennials I wanted to use are swapped (see earlier blogs!) with others. Essentially, I've created the effect I was aiming for with a slightly different palette of plants but I'm happy with that.
Wednesday, 2 July 2008
Sunday, 29 June 2008
I did a quick radio interview today for BBC Radio Cambridgeshire on Sue Dougan's show and I was asked if the site restrictions, such as wearing dayglo high-vis vests caused any restrictions. 'The main restriction,' I said, 'is that my sun-tan isn't very even in a high-vis vest.' Well, a girl has to get her priorities right...
The building looks so fantastic! The timber cladding started to go on today, even though I'm getting used to the sexy black exterior it's had for a few days (this is just for the spaces between the timbers). Trees are being planted and whoopee, plants are arriving in their droves tomorrow from Crocus and BWP. My wonderful planter-uppers arrived today, itching to get on with things: Janet from Offord Darcy, Nick from Kempston and Siobhan from Welwyn Garden City. A whole host of lovely Homebase people turn up tomorrow as well, it's going to be mayhem, but have written a long list of 'things to do' for them. I live by my lists.
I took Steve Cope, Deputy Show Manager, up to the roof garden today. He was gobsmacked and enjoyed the chance to see the show site on a different level and from a different perspective. 'The media are going to love this' he said.
Thursday, 26 June 2008
Wednesday, 25 June 2008
Afterward, onto Crocus for the final plant selection there with Mark Straver. I felt like a judge at a beauty parade: 'not tall enough', 'don't like the colour', 'a bit thin, not meaty enough'. Mark and I de-selected then re-selected only the promising hopefuls for the 'big day' and over lunch Mark made a short list of people to call that afternoon for more plants. After all, only the best plants make it onto the Homebase garden.
Arriving on site late afternoon and wow, the stairs are teetering into position at the side of the building! Phew, at least I won't have to climb that ladder again (I hate heights). Sam is happy as ever and he and the other guys are looking quite sun-tanned. I made a few frantic phone calls about my hedge. It's a long story, with many a sleepless night to accompany it. I haven't actually seen my hedge (have rejected one along the way) but have been assured that I will love it, and it will be perfect. Friday is supposed to be the day when it arrives on the nursery. Watch this space!
As I un-coiled my Sanguisorba from out of the car, someone from an opposite stand came up to me: 'What are those plants?'
Saturday, 21 June 2008
Thursday, 19 June 2008
Wednesday, 18 June 2008
Tuesday, 17 June 2008
Ah, if only everything in life was that simple! The Acer davidii for the Maple Glade looked great (I did some swapping last time) as did my Crataegus and the Tilia x euchlora (although I had been having doubts beforehand): the Betula 'Swiss Glory' which forms part of the landing on the building, was debated and compared with every other of it's namesake in the row. My original choice fared a possible de-selection well and remained. It's cousin, Betula nigra, has not done so well. Two were perfect but I need three the same size and shape. This seemed an easy task in February looking at the silhouette of the trees before they went into leaf after winter. The problem is that these trees are a bit temperamental, and not all of them decided to show any foliage. Mark Godden from Deepdale raced back to the office for an extra long measuring stick and we duly walked to and fro' amongst a couple of rows of B.n, trying to find the third match. Impossible! Too short, too wide, not enough peeling bark.....
These three trees are pretty key to the year round plant interest in the garden and feature in their own picture window at the back of the garden building. I had my heart set on the seductive peeling bark of the Black River Birch, but it was not to be as I can't have three trees that don't match. I looked at Mark: 'Prunus serrula?' I said, looking hopeful and clutching at straws as we looked and discounted a few other alternatives. I breathed deeply and calmly as we approached the Prunus row. Were their canopies going to be too wide, was the bark going to be second best to my peeling birch? Three gorgeous Prunus s. smiled languishingly at me as I approached them. Sold!
Today is also the first day on site at Hampton Court show ground. Scotscape, the landscaping contractors, have been there getting things ready and tomorrow I'm up at the crack of dawn to see the site marked out.