A Gardeners' Life

Welcome to our Blog! Wow that was easy, now for the harder stuff. We have wanted to write a blog for a few years and have finally stuck our spade into the rich soil of social media in ernest. 

We hope to post each week with our doings, possibly imparting some garden wisdom along the way. 

First some back story. What do you do when you are in your early thirties with three children under five and a new mortgage? Why you set up your own Gardening/Landscaping business. Nutty or not that's what we did in October 1999. With a computer that nowadays the kids would consider prehistoric sat in our bedroom, dial up internet (remember that?), a battered pick up truck and bucket loads of enthusiasm. "Twigs" was sown. Since then with many highs and lows, we are still here, still paying the mortgage. We have won RHS medals at Malvern, Hampton Court and Chelsea but also designed and built lots of gardens for lovely people to enjoy.  

We will show you our projects at the moment and also our own garden, gulp! Never ask to see a gardeners garden, they are always too busy making gorgeous gardens for other people, and too shattered to do their own.

This week Autumn seems to have blown in and down here in Sussex we had a mild start but with winds picking up. The gorgeous golds and reds are still here but not for much longer.  

Pond we built in Kent. 

Pond we built in Kent. 

Projects this week include planting up a garden we have built, in a small Sussex village. Planting up is one of the best jobs, it's when you can finally call it a garden. Although at this time of year the plants are never going to look amazing but are now all ready for spring. Plants were sourced from How Green Nursery, Hever. Trade only but they do have a couple of days a year open to anyone. Paving is from London Stone, "Trendy Black Porcelain". I know what a name but it does look good! Pergola is from Garden House Design. 

Looking great even in the rain! 

Looking great even in the rain! 

Planting in a storm. 

Planting in a storm. 

Trees still to be planted. 

Trees still to be planted. 

 

We are also building an Outdoor Learning Garden at The Living Plant Centre home of WWF-UK. Many difficulties with planning and environmental issues as the land is considered contaminated from historic canal dredgings, we have had to delay start again and again. Now having to squeeze this project in with others, hence a slower build and finish date. 

 

Mud glorious mud! 

Mud glorious mud! 

Urban Apothecary Garden

Urban Apothecary Garden

Floating steps to woodland classroom. 

Floating steps to woodland classroom. 

 

As for our own garden, let's say it is in transitional mode (basically a bit of a mess!) at the moment. Ten years of keeping chickens, sadly no more, have left a corner plot empty and unloved (suggestions on a postcard please, isn't that what they used to say?), a boundary hedge to be dealt with, borders to be redesigned and planted, woodland area to be sorted, and on and on. You get the picture. However we have just completed the patio area (started in January!!). I love saying we, my contribution is telling Richard what I want him to do!  Having gathered inspiration from Pinterest (just love it!), we laid Classic Black Riven Slate from Mandarin Stone, it looks especially stunning in the rain. The central area should have been Belgian Clay Pavers but to keep costs down we used a Keswick Blend brick from Parker Building Supplies, Uckfield. This area was very very labour intensive and I will not be asking Richard to do any more in case he packs his bags!  

Before ! 

Before ! 

What a mess! 

What a mess! 

Richard working hard!

Richard working hard!

With the four beds planted with Robinia pseudoacacia (going cheap from a trade nursery and looking a bit neglected, they have until next summer to sort themselves out or out they come), under planted with box hedging and we have some bulbs to plant in there as well for the spring. Lavender in the other beds, being on clay they don't always do well, so fingers crossed. Wall and French doors painted in Farrow and Ball "Railings".  

Classic Black Riven Slate from Mandarin Stone. 

Classic Black Riven Slate from Mandarin Stone. 

Keswick Blend Brick. 

Keswick Blend Brick. 


Table and benches made by Richard with new scaffold boards, again from Parker Building Supplies and legs from wickedhairpins.com. Some sanding and wood stain, voila! All finished just in time for the winter, still we hope to sit out lots next summer.  

After ta dah! 

After ta dah! 

All ready for next summer! 

All ready for next summer! 

Anyway it seems to have taken me longer than anticipated to choose and load the photos, so hope you have liked our new blog! Now we are in the middle of storm Angus and not many leaves left on the trees and that new patio needs sweeping! Till next week, stay dry and warm.

 

Lucie and Richard