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Sally Court

Sally Court

  • Date Joined: 30 May 2008

Hampton Court courtyard garden preparations

Posted by Sally Court on 12 Jun 2008 at 04:14 PM

Well I am very glad that this is a new week. By the end of last I was tearing my hair out wondering what else could go wrong with the garden planning.  Les, my contractor, and I had a good and productive meeting earlier in the week but he was having mega worries about the straw bale wall construction and the timing for getting all the walls rendered.  Apparently with in his trial runs with all his experimenting the bales were becoming unstable over a certain height.  Not good.  This was quickly sorted when I realised that he was making the walls too high! Stability was achieved especially when returns were built into the corners.  The problem of getting the render to stay on the bales has also been solved.  Les is briefing his blacksmith this week to make the special ironwork that is to be set into the pool and as this is precision work, a definitive working drawing has been supplied. So I think construction-wise we are ok. A huge sigh of relief, we are back on track.

Confirmation with Waterwell that all is ok with the irrigation and lighting.  Yes, fine.  They will be on site on June 20th to do the first fix.  Great.  Gaze Burvill, a really delightful company, have agreed to lend us the garden furniture.  Fabulous, I have my loving seat.  Only problem, can we collect?  That's fine, it's local.

And then at the end of the week my plans started falling to pieces.  Mike King contacted me to say that his carnivorous plants had suffered badly in the poor weather conditions and wouldn't reach the quality required for a show garden.  Luckily he has a good friend who would be able to help out.  Unfortunately he is so tied up in RHS shows at the moment the earliest he can put his head round this problem is next Monday and could I spare time to go to Glastonbury to choose the plants.......No.  I am needed at Hampton Court to watch over the build as well as go to Moscow for a few days to oversee the on-going work on a major project during the build-up period.

Next problem, the sedum mat that I require for the banks, my supplier in Norfolk has been flooded out with the torrential rains and disaster has hit in a big way.  His mats have rotted off and he won't be supplying any more until later in the year.  Noelle, my assistant, has been contacting all the mat and blanket suppliers to check their availability.  Yet again very variable and I will have to check to see if they are sufficiently well grown to serve this purpose otherwise I think we will have to plant up the banks with individual plants.  Very time consuming but do-able.

Just before packing up on Friday I get a call from Bob Sherman of Garden Organic.  Mike Thurlow who is responsible for growing on is worried that the salad leaf lawn is not doing as well as expected.  Do I have a plan B just in case the seedlings fail?  This is plan B.  My original supplier let me down which is why I turned to Bob for help.  No Bob and it's too late to look to plan C!  Last time Bob and I spoke, I had been told that all was going swimmingly, what had gone wrong?  The weather, of course. My spirits sank to an all time low.   But I am optimistic - we still have three weeks to get the leaves to grow.  And if we end up with a bald patch perhaps I will blame it on "the very hungry caterpillar".   This was such a blow, especially as we had spent days last week sourcing the hire of Danish trolleys and a van and man to collect the trays.  This had been agreed by Thursday afternoon, so we had been on a real up.  It's amazing what one day can do to upset the whole apple cart.

As I said at the beginning of the blog, this is another week so I am sure that all will start to fall in place.  Tomorrow I head off to Essex to Premier Plants to earmark all the tree ferns and many of the other plants needed to make this garden look tremendous.  So not all is bad and if the sun keeps on shining like today, then it will make a change to leave the welly boots in the car!

And I have just had a call about a sedum things are looking up.


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