These arrived in the post last week. I may have squealed.
John and Sim have been on site at Chelsea since last week and on Sunday morning I donned a high visibility vest and my clumpy boots and headed off to see how they were getting along. The last photo I had seen of the plot had been all mud and diggers, this is what greeted me when I arrived.
As you can see, the paving which I saw being constructed by Ed last week is now in situ, the walls are up, Dave’s tree ferns are in and that badly behaved box hedging is now all ‘look at me, I’m green and bushy’! The plan I saw all those weeks ago is coming together.
There are hiccups too of course, I missed all the swearing when the paving went in and it became obvious that there was a not-so-teeny problem. John had hidden the evidence under some astro turf until it can be dealt with, out of sight but not out of mind.
That edge…? Supposed to be in line. Oops! But as John says ‘Ed can do anything’, we may all be crossing our fingers, toes and eyes!
The garden is designed to the millimetre so mistakes like this have to be rectified. There is no Bodge It and Scarper here!
I spent a delightful few hours in the sunshine watching men working and it was fantastic to see how much work goes into a project like this. The attention to detail is impressive; John was telling me how the grooves in the wall and the fence posts are exactly the same size and that, although viewers won’t realise it, the eye will put all that together to form a well-balanced picture.
Sim, meanwhile, whizzed about with armfuls of box plants sorting out the hedging. He was a bit of a blur as he nipped nimbly around and I didn’t manage to get a photo of him without something in it moving. He looks far more relaxed here than he has any right to be when he is going for GOLD (I hear Spandau Ballet in my head every time) and with his wife due to give birth on Wednesday!
I love how Flemons Warland are prepared to go the extra mile to incorporate World Vision‘s message into the garden. I watched last week as the seal was being wiped onto the paving from top to bottom at Ed’s workshop. John and Sim have decided that it needs to be reapplied but this time following the curve of the slabs which will make it look like the grooves of a record (remember those?!) and will continue that ripple theme. Clever and well thought out stuff.
This plot hasn’t been dug so deep before and little bits of archaeology keep popping up. Here is John having a Sherlock Holmes moment with a piece of clay pipe, you can see that brain ticking over can’t you?
The tree ferns are really eye-catching as you turn the corner into Main Avenue and, while I realise I may be slightly biased, the garden really does stand out from the crowd.
This is what it looked like as I left on Sunday. It is waiting for its central water feature, its herbaceous planting and its super lupins but it is already dramatic, inviting and beautiful and I absolutely love it.
John wasn’t happy with this though and insisted that I climb a high and precarious step-ladder while he removed the protective astro turf so I could get the best possible view.
Some of the tree fern fronds are still unravelling and this is, of course, all part of the plan. ‘The unfurled fronds represent the potential for growth and hope’ said John and it is this which is at the very heart of this remarkable garden.
I’m due to visit again on Thursday when the water feature should be in, I can’t wait to see what it looks like!