Sunday, May 1, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Saturday, April 23, 2011
We have been so fortunate these past few weeks. The weather has been absolutely fabulous. up here in Devon, the sun is shining but the wind is a bit strong, so I have not been out in my shorts just yet. I am spending the Easter at Tim's parents, and the past few days we have been trying to fill the ponds with aquatic plants and learning all about iris. I have always loved Iris, and whilst walking around Rosemoor garden for Tim's birthday (22nd April), I saw many of the irises are in bloom. That gave an idea to use irises in my pond. The problem is, it is not the season for irises to bloom. So it has been pretty frustrating to locate those that would be in flower for Malvern. The challenge is to find them in North Devon. Although this is a rather rural area, there are not many garden nurseries specialising in marginals over here. So at the moment, the idea is still just an idea...
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
This week marks the beginning of show garden constructions at Malvern for the Spring Gardening Show. Due to work, I was not able to be present on site at Malvern for this occasion, and Tim and his dad had to start the construction of the garden without me. It was very nerve-wrecking to be absent on site for the construction of my first ever show garden, but I had no choice.
We prepared and planned as much as possible, but being a complete novice, both Tim and I had no idea what to expect. Tim helped tremendously as he is more gifted in working with his hands. I tried to explain and described what I wanted as much as I could. Last Saturday, we packed up the es
tate car and he left for Devon where he will pick up his dad before making their journey to Malvern the following evening.
On the first day of the build, everything went fine according to Tim. I was very nervous at work, checking my emails and phone every now and then.
The first task was to check that all Bradstone products were delivered. Most of the stuff I ordered turned up, but to our great surprise, nothing was marked. All the products were delivered in bulk, and the contestants were expected to pick up the things that they ordered. It was quite confusing not having the materials labelled. Luckily, Tim was always present when I made decisions to order the products. So he was able to verified and checked my orders, based on a list that I provided him. All was well, except the rockery stones. There were a few crates on site, and none was labelled. I order Powys Green, but the relevant crate was already marked by Kasia (another contestant). This was confusing as the other crates bear no resemblance whatsoever to what I ordered. This got sorted by a couple of emails eventually. I was also relieved that most of the hard landscaping materials we transported two weeks ago were still there and intact.
Tim and his dad managed to get the wall up, as well as the circular display. Day 1 completed, Tim and his dad headed back to their hotel.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I would just like to bring to your attention a small news. In this month's RHS Garden magazine (April 2011), the editorial board of the magazine chose to use my show garden as a news piece to front an update about the Malvern Spring Gardening show! Please see scanned pages for the magazine. I'm chuffed to bits.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Cheesy title, I know. What do you expect when you just finish watching another episode of Glee :-) Anyway, back to business. The garden continues to progress. Over the weekend, Ian (Tim's dad) has managed to complete the circular display that will be placed at the bottom of the garden. As you can see in the picture, it looks pretty impressive. I am very impressed with the quality of work by Ian. All the components of the garden look fantastic, often better than what I was expecting. My only worry now is to how they will look like when they are all pieced together, as well as how to transport them in one piece to the show ground. Any ideas on how to transport a wall measuring 3.5x2.5m?
I have also managed to borrow some “suiseki” inspired stones from British Bonsai that will be placed on the display. I say “suiseki” inspired because they are not suiseki stones per se. They are slates that have been modified to look like mountainous mountains in China. I think they look slightly more dramatic than most suiseki stones. Real suiseki stones require a more intimate setting than an open garden. So I think the stones that I have will provide the necessary atmosphere. I have taken a few snapshots of these stones for you. In relation to this, I was also wondering if I should include a bonsai in the circular display. I initially only wanted suiseki stones in the display, but now that I have thought about it a little more, I would like to include a bonsai in the display. The trouble is, I don’t have any show quality bonsais that are of “chuhin” size (about 25cm or more tall). I have put out a request to borrow one from British Bonsai today, so let’s wait and see if Ian from British Bonsai would be interested.
Talking about transportation, I have also managed to rope in some help from Rebecca and Simon. Rebecca is Tim’s cousin and Simon, her partner, would be able to provide some help in transporting the components. Simon and his dad run a dispatch service in the West Country. This has yet to be confirmed as it depends on whether their route on the days that I need them would match. But I am hopeful.
Today I have also received a list of plants that 3 Shires would be able to provide me. It’s a slightly different from my original plan. So I will try to revise my plant list tonight, to see how to swap those I previously wanted with what is available. I have to factor in many parameters, but it is a thoroughly interesting process. I would need to consider what kind of plants they are, when do they flower, what colour flower, and how to grow them. From the list, I managed to pick one very interesting alpine. Further details will be provided in the next update as my commute is nearing its end.