Designing a new garden

This week is going to be really exciting because today we start on a new garden. I always find this exhilarating. New trees, new shrubs but first of all taking out all the junk that was there before us and then going massive soil rejuvenation.Derek Welsh and his lads have already been in to do a masterly job of pruning two giant Magnolia grandiflora which had been brutalized by a gang of machine wielding thugs. The client e-mailed at the crack of dawn saying ?My family is in mourning.? We had also removed a dying apple tree as well as loads of other crap. It did look a little bald.By the time Derek and I got there to inspect, she said ?We are so happy. We have light.? So once again it?s proven if you get a good pruner to clean out the mess, you are then, and only then, going to be able to tell what you have to deal with.That?s when I can really start planning what to do with the rest of the garden. I can do a little drawing, but I?m not a landscaper, or a landscape designer, though I am an honorary Landscape Architect (strictly an honour, I?ve not been to school for 7 years but I have actually gardened for almost 40). I am a plant consultant with a lot of opinions on how you can fix your garden and turn it into paradise. I also work with people who are absolutely the best (everybody falls in love with them).Most of the time what we do changes people?s lives. So far the whole experience of re-working people?s gardens has been thrilling. Only one person has stiffed me on a cheque. A university professor with lots of money (medical, dental, pension plan as well), who said I took too long to give him a design and install it. Everyone else has been wonderful and some clients have become friends for life.Today the guys move in to take out masses of cement and junk that have been a blot on what will be a gorgeous garden. I will probably shift what we?re going to do just a little bit more because space changes so radically once it?s tabula rasa. I can?t just work from a little piece of paper. I see gardens in three dimensions and like to spend a lot of time walking through them, imagining what it will be like in three years.

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If you got the new e-letter addressed to Tara Baxendale that?s because we needed a way of sending them all out and knowing they would get there, but several came back. I dunno maybe there?s a better way of doing this and we?ll figure it out for the next one in another month.If you want to get the e-letter (it really isn?t a newsletter because it?s full of instructions on what bulbs to buy and what to do with them), just sign up. If haven?t received by now it let me know, and I?ll send it out again.

2 Comments
  • mlwriter

    August 29, 2008 at 1:01 am

    Tabula rasa must be a great feeling —but why oh why don’t we have a Plant-finder service in Canada? For us amateurs, it’s perpetually maddening not to know where to look for a desired plant. Nobody has time to run to half a dozen nurseries. Has a Plant-Finder ever been tried here that you know of?
    Michele

  • marjorieblog

    August 29, 2008 at 8:54 am

    We don’t have a Canadian plant finder service in Canada because no one can figure out how you’d make money from it; and this sort of database would be a black hole for time and money. If anyone knows where you can find stuff, let us know.

    You can subscribe to Gardening Life and we tell you where to get the plants we feature but it can even begin to be comprehensive.

    mh