Friday, 29 January 2010

Watch the birdie

A somewhat cold and freezing morning on Wednesday saw Jonathan Denby, co-designer of The Victorian Aviary Garden, Mark Richardson, landscaper of the same, and me coming face to face with the awesome sight of Waddesdon Aviary in Buckinghamshire. Amazing just doesn't even begin to describe this vision of Baroque-themed splendour! The aviary was built at Waddesdon in the late Victorian times but only renovated six years ago. It's filled with exotic birds, all having stunning colours and interesting calling sounds. If it hadn't had been so cold (there was still the remains of heaps of snow at the side of the drive) I could have stayed there all day to take in the sumptuous aviary and it's surroundings.

But we were there to work. In our Chelsea garden, the centrepiece of the design is a smaller simpler version of the Waddesdon aviary. We inspected and photographed the construction and it's finer details, pondering questions about how to re-create the trelliage work and whether the intricate decorative mouldings might be available from an ironmongers somewhere in the country. Warming up with a steak sandwich in the nearby Five Arrows hotel (very posh, great steak), discussions as to where the Chelsea garden aviary will be built ensued: Cumbria, where Jonathan lives or Suffolk, where Mark is. The jury is still out.

Sleepless nights have kicked in. Worry is not essentially the cause at this stage (it soon will be), it's more just planning things in my head which, coupled with long days, equals too much brain thinking activity! Must stock up on YSL's Touche Eclat as dark circles under the eyes looking darker by the day...

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