Actually, this is just two days work from the build of the ‘A Day at the Seaside’ show garden at RHS Tatton 2013. The timelapse shows the arrival of the plants and myself, Peter Castle and my dad (in the orange!) starting to position them. Note the Green Charter lads doing a sterling job filling and sanding the boardwalk on what was the hottest day of the build.
For the second year running, myself and Peter Castle have won a silver medal at the RHS Tatton Flower Show for New Charter’s show garden ‘A Day at the Seaside’. We also went one step better this year with the garden featured on the BBC2 programme about RHS Tatton. Joe Swift commented that though the design was simple ‘it really worked’ – yes!!!
This year’s build has had it’s own challenges with the non-stop heat and little shade but I think I prefer it to sideways rain! I’m really pleased with the overall effect and think the planting has worked really well. Thanks to Brentwood Moss Nurseries for the plants – incredibly helpful and fantastic quality. Thanks also to all the volunteers and helpers who did a brilliant job, especially my sister and my Dad!
Here’s a few screen shots from the BBC programme – they have the advantage of a camera on a crane so there are some good overhead shots! And one of Joe Swift admiring the plants and mosaic fish…
Here’s the design for the 2013 show garden for New Charter Housing’s Dreamscheme. Inspired by young people’s ideas of the seaside, the garden aims to depict both the water and the beach with a boardwalk separating the two. For the second year Peter Castle and myself worked together to create the final design, planting plan and plant list, whilst I created the drawing shown here.
I’m also working on an axonometric drawing of the garden, which is a new thing for me – I’ll post it once finished!
Following last year’s show garden success at RHS Tatton, planning is well under way for 2013’s garden. With a theme of ‘Beside the seaside’, I’m thinking of digging out my bucket and spade for a trip to the beach. Working with New Charter’s ‘Dreamscheme’ youth group, the design is inspired by a traditional english seaside holiday and will feature elements and inspiration from the seaside.
I’ve been working on the planting plan with Peter Castle and I’ll be putting together a design for the RHS Programme and publicity using my newly learnt garden design and rendering skills! In the meantime, last year’s garden has been used to promote the show in the RHS Magazine…
As part of my garden design course (which finishes in 3 weeks), we have to include an elevation of the garden we have designed. On Friday, I finally forced myself to attempt one and here it is. It’s not the final version as there are a few errors but definitely good to practice. Check out my ‘colour rendering’ techniques too (yes, that is design speak for colouring in!).
Also, note the sudden appearance of trees in the background on the colour version. The garden (and surrounding gardens) have a backdrop of mature woodland and I think the inclusion of these in the elevation just adds a bit more depth.
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.
Following two weeks of hard slog in the rain at the RHS Tatton Flower Show, we have been awarded a silver medal for our show garden ‘A Year in the Life of the DreamScheme’. The culmination of 12 months of work and preparation, the garden shows the young peoples’ journey through Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter using colour, texture, planting and artwork to recreate the seasons.
Myself and Peter Castle worked with young people from New Charter estates to interpret their ideas and designs and turn them into a show garden. Using a circular format as the starting point, we designed each section to represent one season looking at overall effect, impact, the relationship between the seasons and plant associations. Our final plant list included over 100 different types of plants totalling almost 1000 individual specimens.
Once on site, the hard physicial work began, with the hard landscaping and building happening first, followed by laying out and lots (trust me – lots) of digging, then planting. The finishing touches included placing all the artwork made by the young people (mosaic slabs, withy sculptures, Colin the mosaic corgi etc), checking over plants and trees and dressing the garden.
Achieving a silver medal for a first attempt at a show garden is a massive achievement, so we are all incredibly pleased. New Charter received a bronze medal for their first show garden in 2010, so the pressure was on to gain an equivalent or better rating!
Next year, we thought we’d give the silver gilt medal a miss and just go straight for gold..!