Saturday, 23 January 2010

Fleeing the nest

My foster charges have flown the nest. I have been looking after a nice selection of plants for a client's garden that I was due to plant up before Christmas after the landscaping was done but ice, snow and heavy frost meant they were going nowhere. The recent thaw has meant trowels can once more be plunged into frost-free, if rather soggy, soil so my charges were dutifully tucked up in their nice new garden on Thursday. I think I've managed to convince the client that I haven't planted a load of dead sticks and plant labels! There was indeed plenty of signs of life emerging from the pots of soil: thick leafy buds waiting to reach up to the light and then unfurl into splendid greenery. A wonderful moment fleetingly made me pause during the planting - my face felt the warm rays of the sun, what delight! I've always associated that cheek-warming event with February and not the cold dark days of January. Maybe spring will come earlier this year?

Preps for the Chelsea garden are gathering a pace. More discussion on stone walls (I feel like I'm becoming quite knowledgeable on the subject) and slate is now likely to be championed rather than a mix of limestone and slate. We need to visit the quarry in Cumbria, look at various walls (I will definitely be an expert by the end of that visit) and sort out one or two other things. That's a couple of weeks away but next week we are meeting at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire to see the magnificent aviary there. This is the centre-piece of our Chelsea garden and the point of inspiration for the whole design. Think opulent, lavish and a bit of kitsch thrown in for good measure. All we have to do now is create our own version of the aviary!

Plans for the Girlguiding UK Centenary garden for Hampton Court are also going well. Details of what we're up to are still top secret, though...

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