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Dawn Isaac

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Over-sized sunhats, cake and catching the light

Posted by Dawn Isaac on 02 Jun 2012 at 11:17 PM

It’s been nearly eight years since I dragged my husband and baby daughter away from the dubious delights of Shepherd’s Bush into what we might loosely call "The Country”. (I like to pretend it’s properly "The Country" but we’re only two miles from a Waitrose and two minutes from the A1 so let's face it, we’re hardly talking rural isolation.)

Why? Because I wanted a bigger garden (and there was that drugs incident which I won’t go into here…)

The plan was always to create a family garden that still looked like a garden (so I could flounce along with a trug, cutting flowers in an over-sized sunhat and muttering things like “It’s really has been a wonderful year for Echinops!”) but that still functioned as a great place for the children when I remembered I wasn’t an extra in a Miss Marple episode and resumed screaming “If you kids don’t get out of my sight RIGHT NOW, I’m moving filicide up my to do list”.

Well, its nearly there. OK, that’s a lie. The yew hedges are still at embryo stage in some parts of the garden, I tower over most of the so-called apple ‘trees’ and my boundaries aren’t exactly clothed in climbers as I planned, but…

…it’s not bad.

Which is why I spent most of Sunday weeding and tweaking like a woman possessed and most of Monday and Tuesday worrying about “the light”. Yes, we were honoured with a visit from Rachel Warne – the award winning garden photographer and all-round top bird.

I have learnt a few things about photography during her visit.

Firstly, I’m really not very good at it. All those "shots” I was so proud of look spectacularly amateur next to the real thing.

Secondly, it’s all about the light. Well, OK, not everything, but considering even my six-year-old started screaming “Quick! We’re losing the light” with panic in his voice, you can see it was something of a theme.

Thirdly, garden photographers are slightly crazy and do things like set their alarms for 4.45am so they can "Catch the light” (see! I told you it was important).

You'll be able to see some of the results in the Guardian next month illustrating a piece I’ve written on children’s play equipment in the garden (the shot above is mine - as though you needed telling...). Until then, you’ll just have to take my word for it that they look rather lovely.

Luckily, the effort I put into garden tweaking means I’m nearly, nearly, ready for my NGS opening. This is lucky as it’s a week today. Thankfully, this is less about the light and more about the cake.

Wish me luck.



The Enduring Gardener said:

Good luck Dawn ! I look forward to reading your article in the Guardian.

on 04 Jun 2012 at 09:17 AM

Dawn Isaac said:

Thank you!

on 12 Jun 2012 at 02:43 PM