Sunday 26 July 2015

The Instant Gardener and 1 Month to go before the garden opens for one afternoon in aid of the National Gardens Scheme

This is a bizarre week of waiting as on Friday July 31st on BBC1 at 3:45pm I will be featured on the BBC's 'Instant Gardener' Program (well I hope I haven't been cut!). I am a bit nervous about it as I have no idea how the garden or I will come across. I was very apprehensive about letting them film in April as the garden is nothing like at its best. For that COME TO OUR GARDEN OPENING ON 6th SEPTEMBER!

However, I did it as it was a bit random and I ended up having a really fun day as both Carmen and Helen were absolutely lovely. You can read the full blog I did after the filming here

I am enjoying watching the series as although in the vein of garden makeover shows it is a little different as it is more aimed at 'normal' folk who aren't gardeners but who have an outdoor space. The makeovers are all done in a day on a very low budget and so far have all been achievable for the garden owners. Helen is of course a fabulous, down to earth presenter, and Danny the main designer/gardener is different from the mold, and I am sure that we will be seeing more of him on our screens.

Anyway, I hope that it all comes across well and makes people want to come and visit the garden when we open in a months time! The NGS describes our garden as:

24 Grove Park, Camberwell, London, SE5 8LH

An exotic garden full of the exuberance of late summer inspired by travel in Southeast Asia. A jungle of big leafed plants, bold colours and shapes incl bananas, dahlias and towering Paulownias. Huge hidden garden gives unexpected size with ponds, bee hives, sunken terrace, productive area. Lawn and lots of hidden corners give spaces to sit and enjoy. Renowned for delicious cake

This year I think things will be bigger and better! and I am busy potting up plants for the plant sale. Come! put it in your diary now!
Some pictures to tempt you in....




Tatton Park: inspiring spaces and an amazing Japanese Garden

When up north t'other week we went to Tatton Park which is much more than a flower show. Overall it is a vast working estate with one of the earliest and best Japanese gardens in the UK

Created after a visit to the Anglo-Japanese Exhibition at the White City in London in 1910 Alan de Tatton was so inspired that he brought a team of Japanese workmen over to create his new garden.

I loved it as it incredibly well laid out and worked with the space with a bridge, shrine and tea room.

It also had its own Mini Mount Fuji....something I have been lusting about doing myself for years. In essence Fuji is a sacred mountain, and often a mini version is created as part of this, or for people who were unable to travel to the mountain its self. I saw a magnificent one on a holiday to Kyushu, one of Japans southern islands.

As a visitor you can only skirt the edges, which I actually like as it is that feeling of peering in and the mystery of the unknown. You can also really imagine using the garden, and having a fabulous party...

Whilst I liked Tatton park, I felt the planting of Packwood House blew it away (see previous post). But what was fabulous was the structure, and also one of the nicest ferneries I have been to in a glasshouse which was designed by Joseph Paxton (of Crystal Palace Fame)

It also had these amazing rooms...I loved the topiary and the tower

So overall a very interesting estate, certainly more than a flower show!

Saturday 18 July 2015

The amazing garden at Packwood house

Last weekend we visited Packwood House, an amazing  16th Century National Trust house and garden. Although initially attracted to the house, on getting there it was the gardens that I was really excited about. When I win the lottery I will hunt down the head gardener and beg him to come and look after my garden(s)

By a side door were a pair of Fucrea parmentier which blew me away. They were HUGE and like an amazing candelabra of flower. I WANT ONE NOW!!!

The beds were densely packed and slightly reminiscent of Dixter. Full of all the plants I liked....tropical salvias, geraniums, Helianthus salicifolia

There was a hedged sunken pool with a hot gravel garden containing lots of gems and things I wasn't familiar with

Then finally at the top was a huge yew topiary garden for which it is famous.

So overall a great place to visit if you are up near Birmingham. Really interesting history, great kitchen garden, house and fabulous gardens....

Getting bigger

England is hot at the moment and consequently the plants are rocketing. However, it is also very dry and lots of watering needs to be done. The garden opening is now getting very close! 6 weeks to Sunday 6th September ug! lots to do! including potting up lots of plants for the sale....

I have also just noticed that the 'Instant Gardener' airs on BBC1 at 15:45 on Monday, it seems to run every day. I have a feeling that they may be featuring some amazing gardens the week after next

So the garden...

Look a clean terrace and new furniture!

Paulownias shooting up, and Giant Echiums having done their thing are now just green towers...

Lobelia tupa (above) abdn Rommnea looking like giant fried eggs

Scotch thistle, and Drosera capensis