Weekly Photo Challenge – Partners

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It’s quite impressive how four old boats can look appealing. I love how smooth and flat the water is, almost as if they are resting on a sheet of glass. This was taken on a gloomy afternoon in Mevagissy, Cornwall and the comforting smell of chips and pasties was heavy in the air. Most of Cornwall smells of chips and pasties.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Curve

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As well as being the first response to the weekly photo challenge, this is also the first post I have written on my phone. How interesting is that?

Our garden is a constant source of beautiful images and it’s changing on a daily basis. Today it’s mostly fallen roses petals thanks to the enormous amounts of rain we have had. Photos don’t have to be dramatic and earth shattering. Look around you, it’s all there in the detail.

Our Big Dream Just Got Bigger

IMG_4881I am not sure how we managed to keep ourselves busy on the day in February our episode went out but we lasted until the evening. A week earlier we had received an email saying that our episode would be the first in the new series and then it occurred to us that we might be in the Radio Times. THE RADIO TIMES! The actual Radio Times, bible of the TV watcher. For us that was enough, we found ourselves in print. It snowballed from there. We had an email from Lion TV asking for photos for a Daily Mail article. Glenn’s mum rang us to say she had seen our photo in The Times and before we knew it we were standing in our local Co-op rummaging through every newspaper, laughing at all our photos and reviews.

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Our worst fear was that we would be pilloried but thankfully we weren’t. No sarcastic comments, nothing. This filled us with relief as it meant the programme must be ok. If the preview copy had passed the critics’  judgement then we were possibly safe.

So to while away the hours and hours and hours we read the papers and did some light gardening, what else? I sorted out a mass of seeds I had collected back in the Autumn. I had no idea what they were but my intention was to set up a small seed lab on the kitchen window and see what grew. The way they had been collected was something between a jumble sale frenzy and a trolly dash. Most ended up in the bottom of my handbag but after a while all order was restored.

We needed food and drink so this also took up some time. I seem to remember we had IMG_4879drunk all the wine before kick off so we just had all the food to feverishly nibble on as we watched ourselves moving and HEARD ourselves speaking. Oh my lord, if this ever happens to you prepare yourselves for the fact that the people you are looking at and hearing are not the same as the people you think you are – at all.

We were inundated with phone calls, emails, texts, tweets and amongst it all there we were slightly dazed and pretty smiley. Phew! Rather wonderfully we had made contact with some of the other gardeners on the series and some serious messaging was taking place. Up until now we had only a few comments from the film crew to go by. It seemed really odd that there were many other people out there who had had the same experience as us as yet we knew nothing about them. It was so lovely to be finally able to freely discuss all that had happened. Solidarity in horticulture.

WoodblocX got rather excited by the coverage as you can see below and all of a sudden we found ourselves the inadvertent advocates of their products. Happy to oblige, we were overwhelmed by a beautiful (and very alcoholic) package that arrived from Scotland courtesy of Woodblocx. We could get used to this.

So there you have it, full circle. We had been booked to give some talks and had the spring to look forward to. We had so much positivity to keep us going and so much growing in the garden to look forward to. Our garden was just starting to come back to life and we had loads to be getting on with.

Next time on Sowing, Growing and Cups of Tea; Actual, Proper, Real Gardening

A Marriage Made in Salisbury

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The dust had settled on our garden after the frenzy of filming and all the excitement of working to a tight schedule. Of course, we had another deadline to meet, October 24, our wedding day. It had started out as a rather cavalier claim by Glenn that it would be nice to have something from the garden on the table at our reception but we now found ourselves in an unexpected position. It was September and the garden was looking incredible. Neither of us had ever experienced this before and we realised that not only would we have our own flowers on the table but I would be able to make bouquets for myself and my daughters and Glenn and his children would have buttonholes. Timing was tight but we fed, watered and dead headed often and things were looking very, very healthy.

In a way it was a shame that our reveal day hadn’t been a month later as the garden really settled into itself. The rudbeckia went mad as did the nasturtiums. Roses bloomed, asters finally did their thing. The calendula took hold and the euphorbia and pelargonium from Sarah Raven did us proud. There were some surprises too, sweet peas in October and thankfully the very late sown cerinthe came into flower the week before the wedding.

My plan was to cut all the flowers we needed two days before, in the evening. I had to condition everything and then plunge the lot into water to have a long, cool drink. There were buckets and vases everywhere. The table decorations were made two days before as they were delivered to our venue in advance, crossing my fingers that it didn’t all wilt. The bouquets were tied the night before and given their final ribbon hand holds on the morning whilst I stuffed a croissant down me, waiting for my rollers to take hold.

The crazy thing was that despite us cutting all the flowers for our big day, the garden looked untouched. As if it had happily yielded as much as we needed and then filled in all the gaps. We wandered around every night after work, in the dark sometimes, just breathing it all in. It grew and wouldn’t give up. All the digging, weeding, soil improving, feeding, dead heading, staking, caterpillar ‘removal’, snail ‘cleansing’ was paying off and mercifully, no frosts. This was the best bit. This was better than anything we had ever done.

October 24 was here. Glenn had spent the night before away from home with his family, my family had arrived and we had eaten, drunk, laughed and danced. And now the hairdresser was here and I was fiddling with flowers in the kitchen and getting ready to get married. Glenn had taken the buttonholes with him with instructions to keep them in water and before we knew it, it was time.

Ever since Glenn had proposed to me in Salisbury cathedral, in the chapel of St Edmund, with a ring he bought from the gift shop, we had been looking forward to this day. We had planned a very quiet, very personal day and as exciting as it was, I for one was super calm. No nerves, just huge joy and certainty that I was marrying one heck of a man. Oh and that we had some pretty damn beautiful flowers too. So sit back and enjoy some floral highlights.

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So there we are, married and off on honeymoon to a surprise location which turned out to be the Lake District, staying at The Belsfield Hotel which is code for WOW. We did of course manage to buy a car load of bulbs which strictly speaking were a little late for going into the ground but what the heck, everything we had planted this year had been late and yet had turned out fine in the end.

Next time on Sowing, Growing and Cups of Tea;  Our Big Dream Just Got Bigger