Friday, 15 August 2008

Versailles rejected

My new client is no more. We have decided to abandon our attempt to create a garden together, mainly because I shall be going to work on a large garden in Iceland for the forseeable future. And after that I'm taking up cat breeding. Here's how the last (and final) meeting went:

Me: (Handing over a couple of outline proposals) I thought you might like to take a look at these. They're only rough ideas as yet but...

Client: Well I'm glad you dropped that water idea

Me: (Stunned silence)

Client: Anyway, I've been doing a bit of research myself. You know the Mail on Sunday?

Me: I don't actually rea....

Client: Well I really like that Tim Piggot-Smith's garden.

Me: The actor?

Client: Is he? I didn't know that. You read it then?

Me: No, I just...

Client: It's very famous. I'm surprised you don't know about it

Me: I can probably...

Client: I don't want those tin bath things though

Me: Tin...

Client: Baths, no. What I was thinking was, stainless steel would be much better. See if you could do that instead

Me: Instead of what?

Client: Well, tin, obviously. Oh and he had some of these round tree things. I'd like some of those too. They were really nice, very unusual. They were crowd pruned

Me: Crowd pruned...? (Brain finally catching up, breathless and incredulous) Was this garden at Chelsea?

Client: I don't know where he lives

Me: No, I mean the flower show

Client: I'm really excited about this. When can we start?

Friday, 8 August 2008


Back in the mists of time when I first started blogging...well May actually, but who's counting...I, in my innocence, created this blog under my own name. At the time I didn't even notice that most bloggers write under pseudonyms. Up until now it hasn't bothered me, but I have a new client who is so completely off the wall that I'm convinced I could simply write up a transcript of our conversations and get it accepted for a new sit com ...or at the very least for the sometimes God-awful 6.30 comedy slot on Radio 4.

On the extremely unlikely off-chance she reads gardening blogs (she got rid of her computer because it attracted too much dust) I can't write in too much detail about the surreal meeting I had with her recently, but I'll give you this little taster.

Client: I want to do something really radical with this space

Me: Perhaps you'd like to take a look at these (hands over a file containing images of plants, buildings, garden styles, textures, shapes, blah, blah, blah)

Client: Yes, that one

Me: That's Versailles

Client: I'm not sure about the water

Me: But it's Versailles. It's in the file to inspire and give an idea of....

Client: Could it have some sort of cover over it?

Me: It covers more than 100 acres

Client: Well obviously not that big

Me: I thought you might be interested in these (points out some very nice designs of courtyard gardens). They're about the same size as...

Client: There are a lot of corners. I much prefer the open feel of this.

Me: Maybe we could...

Client: Do you topiary?

Me: Well yes, but...

Client: I'm so excited about this. When do you think we could start?

Friday, 1 August 2008

Lil's return

She's back, full of the joy of life and completely unaware of how close she came to meeting her maker. Yesterday, for the first time since the accident, my lovely Lily was allowed to run off her harness (she can't have a lead yet because of the injury to her neck) did she enjoy it! I, on the other hand, was on tenterhooks in case she jumped too high, or ran too fast, or (God forbid) picked up a stick and swallowed it.

We were out for just 30 minutes, as opposed to her usual two hours, but when we got home she crashed out as though she had been running all day.

I took her to my favourite place in the whole world, along the Greensand Ridge to a place called Boughton Monchelsea ( From the ridge you look out over an ancient deer park to the Weald of Kent below. We walk there often, and I always come away from it feeling uplifted.

Anyway, things are thankfully getting back to normal...lots of gardening and pottering about the allotment, a fair bit of design work, and rehearsing for a play I'm in in the autumn, 'Stepping Out', which involves learning to tap dance! Now I'm no Cyd Charisse but I'm really enjoying the old step ball change and cramp rolls - even though it was so hot last night that we were all begging for mercy after two hours!

One more final pic of Lil and I promise I won't bore you any more. It's just so great that she's survived it