Several factors were helping us through July; the WoodBlocx were giving our garden structure and we could finally see our plans becoming a reality; the advice from Sarah Raven meant we could push on with sowing seeds and buying plants; Lion TV who kept in close contact and were now pushing for a finish date and our friends and family who were all good listeners as we rambled on and on about what we had done so far.
The weather was also on our side. I am pretty sure we only lost three days due to rain which was a huge bonus. With the ground so exposed, all would have become a bit Amazonian had we had a downpour. Glenn was a complete devotee of all things wood and every angle and level was checked and double checked. The WoodBlocx were turning out far better than we had imagined. We had designed the layout and it had all been delivered with very clear instructions. We did have to make a few adjustments which took into account the gradient and the height we had estimated. We hadn’t considered just how much soil we would need to remove in order to build our terraces and at one point it was easier to adjust the WoodBlocx than dig down yet further.
This meant we had something I adore, leftovers. Glenn is a creative type with an engineering background and one morning he announced he was making steps and making them out of WoodBlocx and not only that we had enough leftovers to make an entire run the length of the garden. Hip hoorah! It is possible that this next part was harder than building the terraces but it happened and they work and they are as sturdy as anything.
The best part for me was that each WoodBlocx section has predrilled holes. They needed filling. We considered lights but time was against us. What luck, more leftovers to the rescue in the form of small blue glass containers which my sister had given me. They happened to fit exactly into the holes. More cheering! We were able to reuse some cobbles from another part of the garden to fill in one side of the steps. Things were coming together nicely.
Now all we needed were plants, lots and lots of plants. Our plan was to have a colour theme in each bed, hot colours at the top in the sunshine. Cooler colours half way down in the dappled shade and a woodland area at the bottom which would naturalise over time and run wild (ish). Monty had suggested limiting the number of varieties we used and we could see the sense in this but it is the hardest thing to do when faced with oceans of beautiful plants to choose from. I am not sure we limited ourselves that much in the end.
We shopped every garden centre and nursery in the area but our top favourites are
- Wilton Garden Centre
- Haskins Garden Centre
- Wyevale Garden Centre
- Stewarts Garden Centre
- New Forest Lavender Farm
- Courtens Garden Centre
- Longstock Nursery
- Gilberts Nursery
Also great for unexpected purchases were Tesco, Lidl, B&Q and Waitrose which yielded fabulous end of season bargains. The last week in July saw us prowling these places with a plant hungry look in our eye and a serious shopping list.
Longstock Nursery, probably the poshest plant place in the world.
New Forest Lavender Farm, meadow and a lavender cream tea
Then all of a sudden it was August and we had two weeks left until the film crew were coming back with Monty for the big reveal. Could we assemble a group of friends please, some refreshments and could I make a wedding cake?
Next time on Sowing, Growing and Cups of Tea; The Big Push