Seven years on:

Recently I was reminded by a client that it is seven years since I did her garden.

This is worth celebrating.

Not only has the garden developed into a super garden, but our friendship has grown likewise.

A rare thing indeed today.

This is a large garden .

It runs from the house and can be seen from the window.

Gardens as big as this are not common in our town.

The client has a great knowledge of plants and gardens for most of the year.

Every time I look at it I am amazed at the dedication it takes to produce this.

It serves many functions.

The first is a hobby.

The patio can be used for entertaining.

It provides visual stimulation and is very pleasing on the eye.

The division hides the lower garden that is used for fruit and vegetables.

Some of the lawn housed a play house. This has now become obsolete with growth of the grandchild.

The borders need special mention .

These are the main features that have grown so beautifully in the last seven years.

They now look well stocked in a great variety of colours.

I know that this client experiments with plants.

Do not be afraid to try new plant combinations.

So -why not follow suit.

Get out their in your garden.

Invite the designer back into your garden

You will both benefit from the contact.

Let your garden be an example to others!

My new gate has made me realise that we could all help others to engage in horticulture.

The idea of communial

gardens has been around for some time.

It would be a good idea if we tried to engage others in gardening.

Whole developments could be given over to this purpose.

It might set a feeling that our environment is the charge of all of us.

Summer is here — so why not try this.

My week: high summer.

This week I have started on my project of designing simple projects that can make a small garden more attractive.

The gate has arrived and will be installed next week.

We are concentrating on details.

So the fittings will be black to match the dark wood.

You can meet people in all walks of life.

I was at Patchings Art festival this week and met a person who was a designer with Wolverhampton City .

The plant growth has been immense . Most of my week has been spent cutting back flowers the t have”gone over”.

Shrubs need pruning .

The catalogues have arrived for Late Summer and Autumn.

Weeding is constant activity.

Do not forget the therapeutic power of gardening during times of extreme stress.

I hope this has given you ideas to keep you gardening.

Everyday things!

I am going to start a series about simple things to do with gardening.

These will include gates, plants and garden paths etc.

First is the joy of shopping at Morrisons plant department.

Christine is the person who runs this in Newark.

She loves her job.

She knows that ordinary people are able to enjoy good plants from her.

A few weeks ago they sold a Trellised Jasmine for £55.00 –that was originally £110.00

Often in the winter I cheer myself up by buying their special potted bulbs.

In summer Pinks are the best buy.

We need to “think out of the box” about where we purchase our plants.

Of course the special nurseries are there for the difficult plants.

But do take a look at what is available on your weekly shop.

Give yourself a little treat as you buy the weekly meat , fish and vegetables.

Pure pleasure at Chatsworth.

Recent events have left me feeling sad.

Visiting the Chatsworth Flower Show this week helped cheer me up.

I wrote my review while looking out over the amazing view.

Chatsworth never fails to fill me with pride.

The English have a great history in creating landscape gardens.

Sheffield University Department of Horticulture , headed by Nigel Dunnett, was well represented in the Beautiful Borders section.

Some took inspiration from the surrounding Peak District.

The Floral Marquee

was crammed with plants.

The Garden societies were well represented.

This is a chance to think about mixing with fellow gardeners.

Elsewhere, clothing gear was everywhere.

This is a super venue to meet people and talk about gardening.

The show continues until sunday.

Making an entrance

It is quite a while since I took a critical look at my garden.

However, a neighbour has just had bifold gates put in.

This prompted me to think about my back gate.

Research showed me a variety of gates.

Art and craft gates. Gates made from garden tools.

They come in all shapes and sizes.

PVC has become quite popular.

Iron gates are stately.

Oak is the traditional material.

I am going for Rosewood.

I am quite excited about all this.

Think how attractive my entrance will become.

Of course then plants are my main interest.

However, in a few weeks time , I will be able to say I have a proper gate at last!

A difficult problem :

How do women progress in the sphere of influence in making policies?

How does horticulture become more recognised for the very important influence it can have on the designed landscape?

How can changes in respect to how people view the role of educated people in helping make decisions.

NTU has produced many worthy graduates in horticulture and conservation.

Quite rightly they encourage experienced graduates to try to spread the good news.

My website shows that I think I can do this.

Recently I approached a national organisation for this purpose.

If I detailed the horrific reception I got on the Isle of Wight from a group of gardeners ,it would deter anybody from visiting it again.

This when I was born bred and educated on the Island!

A committee of “dyed in the wool”people vetted me and found me “Unworthy” .

To quote them — “they did not want my skills to day or ever in the future”!

Luckily I have been in the business for a long time.

How would young people be encouraged by this story.

My advice to you is :

Vet the organisation thoroughly.

Just as you would clients.

If they do not understand your worth–walk away from them .

You will never convert them.

Above all keep your sense of dignity.

The next client may well be super.

I hope this helps. \Happy Easter and Happy gardening.

Prolonged effort.

Over the last few weeks I have looked at quite a few gardens.

Some have been very disappointing.

Bulbs around a front door cannot mask the terrible neglect in the rest of a garden.

Yes gardening is more difficult as we get older.

However, there is now a great range of lightweight tools for the job.

In larger gardens areas could be put to wildflower meadows or woodland areas.

Both are low on maintenance.

Gravel gardens are another idea.

Sculpture cuts down workable areas.

So do benches, milk churns and bird baths.

So ,do not give up gardening as life presents new challenges.

Rather”Go with the flow”

A very good tip.

It is difficult to know whether you should acknowledge that you are a consultant in horticulture.

My experience this week tells me that you should.

I was going to get help in the garden.

I did not go into my level of experience in detail.

However, the trouble with this is that less qualified people try to dominate you.

You know that your knowledge is better than the other person.

In making decisions, it is better to know who has the upper hand.

Some people will ask straight away what your level of expertise is.

Just tell them.

It saves time.

Also, you are not left feeling down because the other person has used you incorrectly.

If you are good at making contacts and helping others carry on doing this.

Let those that are very competitive and just think of themselves lead a selfish life.

I hope this will help others to expand their horizons.