Saturday 28 July 2012

Jamica meets Clapham

The fabulous Wayne looking quite the garden gent!
Last weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Waynes garden, someone I know through work and who has been on that rollercoaster ride of opening for NGS for the first time. Seeing his  journey was very reminiscent of last year with a very familiar panic of ‘will anyone come, will they hate it’

He had also spoken a lot about how all his friends hated it, however I began to wonder how ‘terrible’ his garden was when he said a few weeks ago how ‘some person’ had been to write a story for the Independent on Saturday. This person turned out to be Anna Pavord (the famous garden journalist and author) and he ended up getting quite a write up! See his story.
So we went, and his garden was absolutely fabulous and not at all what I was expecting. The aspect was special as it was on quite a hill with a big height difference between him and his neighbour. I have also never seen a garden so full of plants..... the ground was all planted, however between plants were a lot of pots, with stands nearer the fence to have even more pots. It really shows how much you can fit into a small garden. Fabulous tropical plants with a grove of bananas and a stately tree fern, and tall cylindrical trees.
Design wise, although the garden was a typical long and thin London garden it also headed towards a circular lawn at the back which acted like a kind of amphitheatre, making the garden feel very open and airy.
Watering wise I don’t envy the article is says how he gets up at 4:30 every day to do the watering before going to the gym for an hour...well dedication is what you need if you want to be a record breaker!

After some fabulous cake (we couldn’t decide what was best so had one of each ) I headed to East Street to look at the fabled plant man who everyone seems to rave about ‘oooh I got these 10 trays of geraniums for £1.50 and he delivered’ Getting there at 2 there was only the dregs (and apparently the ‘good  person’ wasnt there. However it is a great place for cheap plants as I picked up trays of New Guinea Busy Lizzies (£2 for 6 plants) clematis for £2.50 and other fillers for the empty front garden. Do visit if you are local....
We then headed over to Janine’s open garden...... Janine is the fabulous lady who is our volunteer NGS coordinator and who has the difficult job of making sure we all behave whilst finding new people who want to open.
Last year hers was the most organised garden opening I went to (how could it not be) with the end of the garden filled with beautiful arty types, and the house end a well oiled machine of refreshments...she even had someone making sushi all night. However, the gods weren’t smiling and it rained all afternoon... this was ok as I was ensconced under an umbrella with some lovely ladies eating a lot of cake (again couldn’t decide what to have so had one of each).
This year all was sun and wonder and it was great to see things how they should be...Janines garden is a joy to see as it has a great structure with things like regular balls of clipped Pittisporums. I also always like a bit of bunting, bravo!

The sun has of course been shining on us this week after months of rain and cold misery.... I have even worn some shorts, twice! The plants have responded by getting a bit bigger and things are actually looking nice. There is also not loads of work to do and yesterday I came home thinking mmm I will not do any heavy work, but tie up a few things and sit in my hammock admiring the view. Well.....they say its the thought that counts, and although I could do nice potterying things I didn’t quite yet find to sit and enjoy it. Even when I do you notice things...I was sitting by the pond and I slowly noticed a 3ft flowering nettle stem (how did I miss that?!) then next to it was a 4ft sow thistle?! Ug!
Anyway, lots to do, and its almost only a month till my 2nd September opening  (deep breaths). Some other quick things I wanted to talk about
Hops: ug, after tying them up over an arch it looks like I have been self harming as my arms are so scratched/reacting to their evilness. Long sleeves in the hot weather isn’t fun
Guerrilla gardening: I had the great pleasure to properly meet one of Camberwell’s Guerrilla gardeners, one of my new local heroes, although I was disappointed by the lack of hair/gorilla suit
Garden History: I have been entranced by this blog covering historical garden stuff...I especially liked the blogs about giant cabbages.
Fossil Plants: I also love this one too....great primordial looking garden tour
Giant squirrel head feeder..... to be seen to be believed!

1 comment:

  1. Both Wayne and Janine's garden looks lovely! And not long now for your opening, I'm sure eveything will be fine. Crossing our fingers for you that the weather cooperates too :)