|Look at me and my NBF!|
I have always loved Carol Klein, and having her come to film was a birthday wish come true. For my non UK readers who have no idea who she is, she is basically British gardening royalty, and the most famous and recognisable of lady gardening presenters. Even the young builder from upstairs recognised her ‘ey, isn’t she that bird from telly?’ he asked as he swept the front porch for the third time that day.....
Whenever you watch tv you always wonder whether off screen ‘stars’ would be like you imagined them to be, and if nice people are actually real divas. Carol was just as I had imagined (lovely and not a troublesome diva) and great fun to spend the day with, as were the whole crew as they were just genuinely nice people.
The whole operation was a lot more slimmed down than I had thought. I wondered if I would hear Carol’s arrival as I imagined the house shaking as her Winnebago pulled up, but she stayed in a Travel lodge with the others. There wasn’t even a makeup crew or catering van... I had to get over my fears of how I would look on HD with my forehead shine, and Carol had to sort herself out once she found her lippy in her tea bag box. She clearly is not getting the recognition she deserves!
I knew that TV takes a lot longer to film than you think, but I was amazed at how many takes each section took as you have to do it a few times to get it right, then remember what you said and repeat it, do shots from different angles and then if you touch a plant/do something with your hands they then want a close up of this too! This was all to a backdrop of a very noisy garden as next door to the right the builders were drilling, to the other side they were piling and digging with a JCB, then there were airplanes overhead and the railway. The poor sound guy looked a little frustrated at times. Each time they shot they also did say 'Action' which always made me giggle and feel just that little bit Hollywood!
|Carol and my big banana|
|I had a funny feeling that we were being followed|
I think the only part where my enthusiasm began to wane was digging up the banana (then replanting it twice) then wrapping it, unwrapping it, wrapping it again a couple of times. When I thought we were done we then completely unwrapped it again in order to reattach a couple of leaves to do a close up of cutting the leaf off....ah the magic of tv!
The most amusing bit was the last part of the day as it was getting a bit late and the light was going, but they hadn’t yet managed to do the introduction sequence walking up to the house...they had to keep re-filming as cars kept coming up the road with their headlights on ruining the magic.
So all in all a fabulous day...with all the repetition it could have been very dull, but I was lucky that the film crew were some of the nicest people I have met in ages. Carol was also a real hoot to spend the day with, and it was great to talk plants and have a giggle.
That evening I went for my bday dinner eating Kazakhstani food complete with bellydancing in a bit of a surreal haze, and had to remind myself what had actually happened. The next day we then went to Norfolk to spend the weekend making the pilgrimage to Will Giles garden, Amultree exotics and Urban Jungle.
I love Will Giles as his book is pretty much my gardening Bible, and seeing his garden in the flesh was a real treat. He has a lovely collection of plants, and spookily my own garden felt quite similar. He uses his spaces well with lots of different areas including a great covered passage, huts, fountains and flint walls.
|Will Giles's fabulous treehouse|
|So beautiful! I want it all starting with the Schleffera....|
Finally we went to Amultree exotics, which I didn’t have a hugely positively opinion of as last year I wasn’t that impressed with their mail order but figured I should go as we were in the area, however it was great! As we walked round and chatted to the owner I was really impressed by his diversity of plants including many things I had no idea about. They also have a 50% sale, and it was my birthday so there was a huge amount of impulse buying and the car was so full by the end. I got loads of things I’m excited about including Cyathea brownei, Musa Chini-Champa, some Musa’s I’ve never heard of, Phyllostachys Shanghai 3, Phyllostachys propinqua and lots more
|Urban Jungle garden|
|I thought I may have to ask Steven to walk, but we managed to fit it all in!|