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Sally Court

Sally Court

  • Date Joined: 30 May 2008
  • Hampton Court courtyard garden preparations

    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


  • Hampton Court - courtyard garden build soon to start

    Sally Court on 06 Jun 2008 at 04:09 PM

    I have a meeting this morning with Les Hewett of The English Garden Company who is my contractor for constructing the show garden for the National Year of Reading.  The two of us have not met for a few weeks, not since before my holiday so it is essential for us to review the build and work out a suitable timetable for each an every component part to arrive on site for the smooth running of the build up which starts in, goodness, one week!  Help this is all too soon.

    I am confident that the build will go well.  Les and his teams are old hands at constructing show gardens both at Chelsea and Hampton Court and they are well able to cope with the pressures and foibles of designers, clients and organisers alike.  So I am happy that this side will be in extremely capable hands.  No its not the build that is keeping me awake at night, it's the plants. And the weather, of course


  • National Year of Reading and holiday thoughts

    Sally Court on 30 May 2008 at 11:28 AM

    I have just come back from a long awaited holiday, a journey that I have wanted to experience for many years.  A trip down the Nile stopping off at all the temples and tombs set along the river bank. It was all a bit overwhelming to begin with, a mass of humanity from the 350+ cruise boats all with the same agenda packed into the tiny areas of shade listening to their guides.  My mind became muddled.  Were we talking about Gods or Pharaohs or Pharaohs that were also Gods? 

    The facts were coming out thick and fast and hardly sinking in and it was becoming tedious. And then at the Temple of Horus our guide, Amin, decided on a different approach.  Factual overload had glazed our eyes under the intense sun so he decided to illustrate the very complex dynastic history by telling a story instead.  We were riveted. Yes now we were enthralled with the God Family of two brothers, one good, one evil, and two sisters, intermarried (oh yes sex and marriage between brothers and sisters was condoned and encouraged!) and the son of the good brother. Jealousy, revenge, sex, blood and gore, war and peace. It was all there in the telling. Suddenly it all slotted into place and it was so much more interesting than a dry boring list of facts.  I now know why Osiris (the good brother) became the God of the underworld and his magnificent wife, Isis, represents motherhood and fertility.  The evil brother Set, the God of disorder and his wife, the good Nephtees who joined ranks with Isis, her sister, to bring down her wicked husband.  And Horus the son of Osiris and Isis with his fascinating conception, a bit too complex and grisly to go into here.  Oh yes I could really get into this.   Stories to make you sit on the edge of your seat offset with wonderful humour. 


  • National Year of Reading courtyard garden

    Sally Court on 30 May 2008 at 10:21 AM

    As a designer who has had a long association with creating show gardens at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, imagine my delight when I was appointed by the National Year of Reading in February to create their garden at this year's show.  Although I am used to creating gardens for shows in a relatively short time this one was a real challenge as our garden plan had to be submitted to the RHS panel by the end of February.  The garden, with only a couple of small modifications, was accepted (see the garden design below) and we have been allocated a wonderful site with the Palace set behind us.  You can't beat this setting.

    Click on the design to view a larger picture