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
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.