Archive for June, 2010

On the Friday of the show I was featured in the televised programme of Gardener’s World Live which was great (to watch the programme click here) – I have been incredibly lucky with this show with such positive publicity. Joe Swift seemed to genuinely like the garden and the design details which was a great confidence boost.

To add to this, the public voted my garden as their overall favourite between the NS&I sponsored gardens which I am sure had something to do with the fact that a lot of the people coming had seen the programme on Friday night. Carol Klein presented me with the award and a much appreciated bottle of Champagne.

Amazing what a few minutes of TV can do – I even had one comment saying “You were just like us yesterday and now you’re all famous”…not quite but maybe one day! Some of the best comments were that people (especially mums) had been inspired by my decision to re-train and set up my own business, and others said that they had come to the show to see my garden after seeing it on TV.
The garden was used as a set for numerous photo shoots for publicity and promotions by both the BBC and Haymarket, which again was great – although a fair few of the ‘models’ kept sitting on my raised bed and squashing the plants which was less than great. The celebrity chef, James Martin, came and sat on my coriander and I was advised to try and auction it off to his adoring fans…instead I asked him to sign my blackboard wall and he said he liked the garden – so all was forgiven.

So all is now done and the show garden is sitting in pieces in my garden ready and waiting to be installed there. I brought all the plants home with me as I couldn’t throw them but have started harvesting and last night we had a box load of fresh peas straight form the pods (never seen my kids eat peas with such enthusiasm) and delicious strawberries. Having learnt very quickly how to grow some fruit and veg I can’t imagine not doing so – it’s such a cliche, but there is so much satisfaction to be had from picking and eating straight from the garden.

The whole process of putting on a show garden is both exhilerating and exhausting and I am glad to be back home and less an absent mother and wife….but design ideas are already floating around my head for either Hampton Court or Chelsea…one of the judges did ask if he’d be seeing me at Chelsea…and I wouldn’t want to dissapoint!
To see more photographs of the garden please visit my website.


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Woke up at 4.30am this morning….very annoying

Cleaned up the site and then cleared off for a much needed shower and coffee whilst the judges were on site…


Earlier on in the week I received the very prestigious Golden Gnome award for wearing a short skirt on site….(and making Hi-Vis site wear look glam) I am very proud! Hope Health and Safety don’t get wind of this – had had enough of steel toe caps this morning…;{

Post shower/ coffee/ make up and after receiving Silver medal from the RHS…(Gold next time….did I say there wouldn’t be a next time???)

Thank you for reading this – look forward to seeing people at the show over the rest of the week, lots of Pimms and Champagne to be drunk.

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Ok – so that was bloody hard work…I’d like to say never again will I do a show garden but….who knows?

Tomorrow is judgment day when the RHS judges come and give us (or not) a medal for our gardens prior to the show opening on Wednesday. I’m trying not to mind what they think (but obviously I do), as the garden has turned out how I wanted and I like it…hopefully Charlie (my husband) will like it too as it going in our garden after the show.
After a bit of a dodgy week last week, losing a whole load of my plants, I am done – apart from leaf polishing (really???) and scrubbing the paving first thing tomorrow morning before we get kicked off site while the judges titivate.

Better photographs to come tomorrow when I’ve removed the delightful rabbit proofing orange fencing…but here’s how it looks now.

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The show garden build is going well so far and the extensive planning has definitely paid off. The contractors did an exemplary job and their handywork has been much admired. The weather has been changing daily between 27 degrees and torrential rain but so far has not caused any delays.
However, I am due to take my plants up tomorrow and finally get them in the ground but disaster struck this evening. After a busy day up in Birmingham I went home to check the plants. I had thought my chard were suffering from leaf scald (which was strange anyway as I have been pretty meticulous about not watering them in the sun shine) – but today I got back and noticed that the leaves on ALL the chard, beetroot and (what had been stunning) red veined sorrel had all gone a delightful yellowy-brown colour. Closer inspection of the leaves revealed that each had a tiny maggot in – I knew it had all been going to smoothly and something like this was bound to happen.
After a few phone calls and a search on the internet, I deduce that they have all been attacked by leafminers. I’ve thrown the lot of them and am gutted as they were all very decorative plants…but the show must go on, as they say and I’m hoping I have enough other plants to get by…blinking (holding my tongue on strong language)..blinking………very cross.

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Today was the first morning up at the NEC. The NEC is huge and I felt pretty pleased just to find my site.
The team from Simply Green Landscapes arrived and we set to work getting the site marked out and excavated. To be honest, with 4 strapping guys on site I felt like a bit of a spare part so aside from lifting a load of turf, I spent most of the day running errands – back and forth to the builder’s merchants, whom, I am sure, will get quite used to me asking for obscure things.

I’m currently searching for some handles to go on my glass cold frame doors – the type you can slide on to the glass – sort of sprung loaded with a handle bit sticking out….as you can tell I have no idea what they are called and describing them has got me nowhere so far. If anyone reading this has any idea what I’m on about -please let me know.

Today was actually the most stress free day that I’ve had in the last month or so. The sun was shining and although there were a few issues that cropped up, nothing was insurmountable and at least I felt useful in being the decision maker.
So far so good – and looking forward to day 2……

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