Well March was a very strange month for us, as it was for most people! With lots of onsite work we were hoping that Spring might have arrived early, but sadly not. This time last year, we had glorious weather and we were making the most of it before the 'never ending' winter set in about May/June! We are getting much busier again now after the winter months and are working on various private gardens doing all sorts of jobs. This ranges from a 'Spring Makeover Day' which we offer to customers who have had a complete garden transformation built by us. Through to planted borders, ponds, sunken gardens and terraced patios… all sorts of different styles, which is why I love designing private gardens! Each customer wants a completely unique space that reflects them, their house and their hobbies. Some of my designs may have a similar feature or material from time to time, but each one so VERY different!
I am also designing various planting schemes for all types of areas, shaded, coastal and aquatic which again gives lots of room for researching new plants to add to my 'inbrain database'. I love designing for a bog garden, as there are so many plants can be used that many people don't think of. Also with the coastal borders, it is quite a challenge to create a beautiful scheme with lots of interest that will withstand the harsh winds!
I have also been spending a lot of time with Hazel at Allturf, Allostock as we look at renovating the 'Green Garden' at Liverpool Hope University. This large grassed area proves to be a challenge in many ways. Surrounded on all sides by the library, offices and lecture rooms. All the materials, turf and plants will need to be transported via the beautiful building with its wooden corridors into the internal quad. Yet we are confident it can be done!
As the time has been flying by, I have also been writing my schedules and course notes for the New Garden Design Diploma at The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. The course is due to start in September 2013, and so all the finishing details are going into putting the course together. I have spent my time relearning everything I was taught when I was studying - You can never be over prepared. I think the hardest part is to remember the things that you personally take for granted, that other people don't instinctively know until they have been taught. If you are interested in learning more about the Garden Design Diploma, there is an Open Evening where you can discuss the course with me and the other lectures on the 16th April. (So check out the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh website for more details)
It's hard to believe but we are also starting on site at the RHS Malvern Spring Flower Show in a weeks time!! This month has seen the completion of all risk assessments, forms and details in preparation for the show. We also took a trip down to Digby Stone to collect some samples of the gorgeous Solar Granite Paving that we will be using at the show. I think we are virtually ready to leave now, and move into our lovely cottage for a month whilst we see the show through. Although I feel prepared in one way, I am worried sick about the plants! We are including various different plants in the scheme, but the tulips are scaring me the most! Fingers crossed, they will be flowering ready for all the visitors coming round the show (oh, and the judges!) All that's left now is to collect the new uniforms and pack the van!
Although the weather has had a massive knock on effect for our work, you can't help but love the snow! I was very honoured to have a private sneak peek around Ness Gardens and I got the chance to take lots of amazing snowy photos of the gardens along with my 'Making Waves Garden'… which looked great with its white frothy peaks! Now I have a wide select of snow pictures, I have to request that we move onto Spring so that my tulips are flowering in time for Malvern. (Totally selfish, but it is very important!)
If you would like to see some pictures of my garden at RHS Tatton Park 2012, you can pick up a copy of the New Digby Stone Catalogue. It has lots of images from last years garden 'A Taste of Ness', and also the much admired Polished Sandstone Patio!
Look out for my Show Garden Blog Posts, as I am going to try and keep you all up to date with what's happening on site via Blog, Twitter and Facebook. There should be lots of photos to see to!