A year ago we asked Carolyn Grohmann* of Secret Gardens to design a new garden for us. This was a big step, and a not inexpensive one, but a year on we can say it has been a good decision. Interpreting the brief with sensitivity and an instinctive understanding of what would suit the house and its owners, Carolyn came up with plans for both front and rear gardens which thanks to Robin Torrie and his team from Water Gems have now been made flesh.
Work has been going on over the last few months, and while the building of the garden is now complete, the planting is at the very early stages and will continue well into next year (and beyond, of course), but in terms of the 'bones', we are utterly delighted with what Carolyn and Robin have created for us, and as to their attention to detail, the standard of their work, and the considerate way in which the job has been done, we couldn't be more impressed and appreciative.
The picture above shows the rear garden in the drizzle this morning, the markers indicating some of the 1400 bulbs we planted over the weekend. The four parterre beds will contain mixed planting with the less formal, more shady areas towards the far end being given over to woodland plants (the picture gives a slighty skewed perspective - the whole thing is much bigger than it looks), and on the south-facing wall to the right we have espaliered apple trees, a raised bed for vegetables, and a greenhouse. We couldn't be happier with it.
Along the way, we have given much entertainment to passers-by who have stopped to watch the work going on at the front of the house, where amongst other things we moved the entrance (a digger and other heavy machinery were involved), and to neighbours who have commented most favourably on the transformation. I, too, have found the process extremely interesting as the Water Gems men, ably led on site by Luke, coped with logistical challenges and the very hard work involved in the build with unfailing good humour and dedication. It was a pleasure to have them here, and after so many weeks in their company, I miss them now that they've gone!
If you've noticed a lack of Friday flowers posts this year, it's because once the preparatory work started there were virtually no flowers left to feature, but now that that fallow period is over we are looking forward to plenty in future, and I hope to record the garden's progress on these pages.
*Just by the way, Carolyn numbers novelist Kate Atkinson among her clients, and you can see her lovely Edinburgh garden here.