Following the two weeks of slog at the RHS Tatton Flower Show this year, I’ve decided to sign up for more! I think it must be a bit like childbirth (I don’t know) – it’s awful at the time but you’re quite happy to do it again. Anyway as I’ve had two garden projects this year (The Hideaway Garden is still ongoing) I’ve signed up to do a Garden Design course at Reaseheath College in Nantwich.
We’re only four weeks in but I’ve already learnt about lots of garden designy type things including unity, focalisation and progressive realisation. We’re moving onto garden design history next (which we have to write an assignment on – gulp) and then we start the design part where we go to a real (yes – REAL) garden, do a proper site survey and create a design for it. We’ll do this using proper old-school drawing techniques (not a computer or graphics tablet in sight) with technical pens, compasses and drawing boards.
I’ve also made a sneaky start on learning the fancy writing you see on hand-drawn plans. Pete (Castle) did some on the design for The Hideaway Garden – have a look at it here. It’s often called architectural lettering and there are quite a few instruction books you can get on it – pretty cheaply as most of them were published before computers were invented!
Here’s my progress…(ignore the words – I’m writing nonsense)
It’s been a long time coming but we’ve finally got planning permission to turn a small parcel of land into a community garden in Farnworth, Bolton.
Initial clearing and digging of pathways was done by a group of fabulous Prince’s Trust lads. We then got Ambec Fencing to come along and install a new fence along the front and back borders of the property. The right hand-side faces onto a cricket club and on the left is Bolton at Home residential housing.
The project has been funded by Symphony Housing and is going to create a garden filled with lots of things including a playhouse, raised beds for growing vegetables, composting area, sitting areas, flower beds and fruit trees. However there’s lots of digging and landscaping to be done first made much harder by the fact that a rubbish tip and half a housing estate seems to be buried under the ground! Digging goes something like this… put your spade in an inch, hit something, dig around the two bricks you’ve struck, remove them, try putting your spade in again, hit something different this time, discover a black bin bag of rubbish, dig it out, try again and hey presto – you finally get to something resembling soil!
We’ll also be creating some art with local communities to put in the garden – this is likely to include mosaics and withy sculptures. Alongside this, we’ll be creating a film about the process which will include some timelapse. some animation and also some interviews with our willing volunteers and other local people.