Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A little media interest

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

The circle of life

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.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Great wall

Finally an update! Some or none of you might be wondering what Keni has been up to these past few weeks of complete silence on his blog. Well among other things, there is my day job that has been draining all my energy leaving me none whatsoever to do anything during the evenings and the usual house chores. The day job also brought me to a couple of places for business meetings. Frankfurt 3 weeks ago and very recently a 5 days meeting in Singapore. It was so hectic and stressful, not fun at all. Oh well.

I have also been busy trying to swap my 4x4 Suzuki Jimny with a more practical car for my near future frequent commute to Malvern. I have finally found a diesel estate and last weekend, we finally swapped them. So now I am averaging 50pmg on the motorways compared to about 33mpg with my Jimny. So, some savings there in these austere times.

All my spare times have been spent travelling up to North Devon to Tim's parents. His dad is helping me with the construction of all the hard-landscaping materials for the show garden. Previous weekend, we managed to get good deals with Build Center Ilfracombe for the timber products. So we got almost everything we need to build any wooden objects in my garden (see pics).

Using these timber, we managed to knocked up a frame of the moon gate and the wall in a matter of hours! Thanks to Tim's dad, Ian. It was magical to see the construction of the moon gate:

It took us two weekends to complete the moongate. It was exhausting, sawing, sanding and nailing and all other stuff. But I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was so much more fun than sitting in an office typing away. I learnt so much about carpentry, mitre joints etc.

Last weekend, we also started with the circular display. But we ran out of timber, so it will have to wait until the coming weekend. We are now worried on how to transport the huge wall from North Devon to Malvern?! ANy ideas?

Next updates will see the complete wall and also all the raised bed. Stay tuned!