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Showing posts from 2012

Interview with Naomi Slade - Punk Garden Designer*

'Never Mind The Hollyhocks' Award Winning punk-themed conceptual garden by Naomi Slade Why a punk garden? Why not?! I had never seen one and it seemed like a good idea. And was it a good idea? Yes. Very. It turned out looking exactly like the picture in my head. And, (as I believe I have mentioned) I won a Gold Medal and Best Garden In Show. And people kept going past quoting Sex Pistols lyrics, which amused me enormously. So much for a decent upbringing! You describe yourself as a career conceptualist. Will you help me with my career? No. I find I have iterated concepts, often quite abstract ones, throughout my own career. In a ‘can’t really help myself’ sort of way. I see no sign of this stopping, although it is fairly under control. Are you mad? Quite possibly, but modestly entertaining , I hope. So why The National Gardening Show? I designed the garden as a conceptual garden for RHS Hampton Court, but I didn’t submit it for 2012 because I kn

Couch Grass vs Cucurbits - the showdown

Squashes ready for battle I am annoyed. Annoyed and frustrated. Annoyed frustrated and thoroughly vexed. “By what, Best Beloved?” I hear you ask, concern in your voice, your gentle brow lightly furrowed (and having evidently recently re-read the Just-So stories). I am sick and tired of the continual battle against couch grass on my veg plot. I pull it up. It comes back. I double dig. It comes back. I cover it up. The sheet blows away in the wind. Like I said. Vexing. So I have a plan. An ambitious plan. “And what is thy scheme of redoubtable cunning regarding the aforementioned productive location, Best Beloved?” I hear you ask (being possessed of ‘satiable curiosity and having spent a bit too long in the company of a Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake with a scalesome, flailsome tail, I can only presume). Aha. It is this. For each squash or courgette I have dumped two thirds of a heaped wheelbarrow of well-rotted horse manure, unceremoniously on top of the offending weed.

A Curious Beauty

Time locked potato, after the sea witch Here we are. It is early April. The sun is shining spring is sprung and they are forecasting snow for mid week, (surely some mishtake? Ed). I have gardened myself to a standstill. Sown spinach, calendula, leeks, more leeks, tomatoes, aubergines (they never do for me but I always try), cauliflowers, mangetout, sweet peas and cosmos. I have potted up my rooted rose cuttings (well, some of them) and my penstemon cuttings. I have been to the garden centre and bought lots of compost, and herbs and some borage seed. Most things are sprouting like mad. I drove down the motorway to Bath the other day in the sunshine. By the time I drove back a couple of hours later the hedges were conspicuously greener. Looking around my own garden I’m always amazed that some plants hang on all through winter, struggling a little but basically ok. The moment the weather warms up they can’t hack it and turn their toes up, little roots not keeping up with the cha

Tree of Controversy

I also took some pictures of moss and lichen It looks like I have entered into a diabolical pact over trees and tree planting. I am designing a new section of the garden and a battle has been raging over a large native willow, which represents an important visual anchor point in the design. Now, I don’t want this particular willow. It is nothing special, there are millions like it and I have a policy of swapping trees I don’t want, eg self-set ash and sycamore, with nice, posh trees that I do*. But I had planned to leave it there for the time being until I had decided on a replacement. This is a source of contention as someone else wants it gone with all speed. Part of this plan involves using a JCB to improve drainage and create a terraced valley with access to the stream. When it comes to diggers I am very conservative. They can be something of a blunt instrument and, in my experience, ‘people’ get them in and then the entire project starts to suffer from mission creep. A