Thursday 21 July 2011

Show time for Cube Lighting: A Garden By Night!

All the hard work has paid off and we are all really pleased with the finished garden.

We were especially thrilled to receive so many positive comments from show visitors, many of whom had queued for quite a while to come into the garden and we thank them for their patience. The photos below show views across the finished garden from both sides.

The intimate dining area...

We also created other areas, which added on an additional 100m2.

Along the outside length of the marquee we placed bright, colourful planting in combination with planters and illuminated spheres from Absolut Planters, ivy panels from Treeboxas a backdrop and oak trees from Nicholsons in Oxfordshire with stone raised beds from Brett Landscaping beautifully built by Paramount Paving. All this was designed to decorate the otherwise dominant marquee to draw the eye away from its height. Fencing wires are supplied by S3i (Stainless Steel Solutions) - see previous blog for more photos.

The sponsors tent, for everyone contributing to the garden.

The entrance to the marquee features stars painted by pupils at Wood Green School; an oversized glass flower by Neil Wilkin; archway by Tramway Forge planted with scented honeysuckle and Tracelospermumjasminoides from Earlswood Plants.

The stars and scented climbers continue through the 3x3m blacked out entrance tent which allows the eyes to adjust to the lower light level within the garden. A blacked out ivy screen placed in the centre blocks daylight and a dark alcove is created.

An additional 3x3m tent with illuminated cloud pruned Ilex and blacked out ivy screen, mulched with green granite near the exit helps the transition from the dark to the daylight outside.As you can see from these pictures photography is getting difficult, objects being over or under exposed.

Wednesday 6 July 2011

Day 21

Everyone is really busy getting the garden complete for the press day on Monday.

Sara Wilkin and Janet Hickman are assembling a really lovely dining table and chairs from Alexander Rose.

Ray is making woven oak panels to go on either side of the living wall from Treebox.

We are completely blacked out and working under grow lights while Cube Lighting is working hard to get the lighting set up. Here, Steve is standing among the Ilex Crenata balls connecting uplighters for the silver birches.

The quiet area for late evening contemplation and conversation is complete, but no complimentary lights are illuminated.

Stephen is clipping all the topiary and hedges in the garden.

The pool is being cleaned before the show, grape vines, Trachelospermumjasminoides and Ipomoea alba (night flowering morning glory) are being attached to the pergola and all containers are being filled.

The dining area is complete, but there is no lighting to make the chandelier sparkle and brighten up the table yet, but it’s on its way.

Day 20

Stephen is doing more planting.

Ray is working hard on breaking up the compacted soil to lay the turf, whilst Simon and Tom are setting lighting into the pergola.

Steven from Cube Lighting is doing more wiring, balancing on the pool edge behind Neil Wilkins' weeping trees.

Mary Barkham is planting up the entrance bed.

A bundle of activity on site. Janet is making the soft furnishing for the tables in the sponsor tent - tables which Ray made earlier in the day.

I am planting Night Scented Stock, grown by Wood Green School.

Armando from Treebox is watering the living wall full of herbs and some succulent strawberries, tomatoes and chillies provided by Sutton Seeds.

Chris and Ray make woven oak screens which will be used to frame the living wall.

The outside scalloped raised beds are complete. Stone, which has been sealed to bring out the colour, is from Brett Landscaping. Planters are from Absolute Planters, Ivy screens from Treebox, and Oak trees from Nicholsons in Oxfordshire.

Swan Planters.

A big thank you has to be given to John and his team from Paramount Paving for their help in building the raised beds, sealing the stone (together with Jon Mattias of Brett Landscaping and his father), giving them a wonderfully darker patina, and their generous help in placing all the containers level in all of the beds. Their help was a real blessing. THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU!

Hour glass and Curvy S.

The entrance to the garden is finished, we just need to uncover the paving.

We are getting to the end of the planting and starting to tidy away what we haven't used. These plants will be stored outside the marquee in case some are needed to refresh existing plants towards the end of the week.

This afternoon the electricity was connected. The generators could be switched off and the grow lights finally gave solid light instead of flickering. We can now start to test how the planting can be lit up.

Monday 4 July 2011

Day 19

Cube Lighting is with us every day now, sorting out the lighting with an incredible amount of wiring. Simon has needed to get his feet wet (and cold), as he has been levelling the brick pillars for specially made illuminated stepping stones. As he's used a light material he's had to resort to paint for the edges so they don't show.

Watering has become a two-man job, even with a long lance for watering. All trees and plants in containers need individual attention to ensure water gets to their roots. It takes over an hour to water the garden at this stage.

The first completed planting bed. Thanks to Chris, Mary and Stephen for their patience with me and their hard work. It's lovely to see how the planting is reflected in the oak framed sandblasted stainless steel screen behind the black bamboo.

Day 18

Acer is now in place, the garden is completely blacked out and we have the grow lights in place. S3i has been and set the fence wires in place and the garden is looking much more mature.

The bases for the illuminated stepping stones are being built. Grow lights can be seen in the ceiling.

The living wall is being started and the layered hedges are being worked on. I am worried about how this will work, as the ivy screens delivered are not yet matured and the mesh can be seen.

Day 17

More blackout blinds are going up and taking photos of people inside with high visibility vest is becoming difficult because of the low light. We still have no electricity and no grow lights.

Planting beds are being laid out but the Acer has not arrived yet.

Day 14

Silver birches from Nicholsons in Oxfordshire are looking fantastic after Ray and Stephen’s hard work.

They have all got watering tubes to make sure water gets to the rootball and to minimise stress.