My second day on site and I was joined by fellow Academy student, Adam. After leveling out the soil in the border, we sorted through all of the plants, picking off dead flowers, leaves and the odd rogue weed.
As we worked though the plants I decided to start placing a few in the border. Starting with the tall white-flowered Primulas, which needed to be positioned so the willow trees shaded them from the strong afternoon sun. After that I moved onto the low planting around the stepping-stones, trying to make the plants flow between the mosaics.
To begin with it was quite easy to place the plants, but as the border filled I had to start shuffling them around to avoid having blocks of one particular type. I knew I wanted the border to look informal with soft drifts of blue and white flowers and eventually after some experimentation I started to achieve the look I was after.
The sun shone for most of the day and by the late afternoon the plants were in place. We then walked away from the border and returned a while later to scrutinize each plant, circling the border numerous times to check the flow and composition. It was hard to know if they were in exactly the right place, especially with the plants sitting on the soil in their pots. So Adam made the decision and we began! It was great to start putting some plants in the ground and at the end of the day I was really happy with what we had achieved. I can’t believe the border is actually beginning to look like the design I had imagined.
Day three on site, the final full day of working on my Beautiful Border. Owen joined me today to help complete the planting and brought delicious, homemade edible treats to fuel our day! We continued with planting, having to work in harmony with the bees, who did not care that I needed to get the plants in the ground before judging on Wednesday. Owen and I both agreed it was lovely to spend time doing some gardening, even if in quite an unusual setting.
I was animated when the final plant was tucked into the border, only to then find another I had missed whilst watering later in the afternoon. So I got the satisfaction of planting the final plant a second time too. In fact, I then filled another gap with a cornflower, so that’s three huge sighs of relief!
I was so pleased to have the planting finished in really good time, I had been having visions of hurriedly stuffing plants into the border right up until the deadline. This meant that there was plenty of time to titivate (a word which has been thoroughly over-used the last few days), water and put down the bark mulch between the stepping-stones. My original plan had been to leave the protective plastic on the mosaics until Wednesday morning, but once the mulch was down I lost patience and had to reveal them. They need a wash, but even in their slightly muddy state I think they added another level of detail to the border.
I have loved the BBC Gardener’s World Live build. It has had a completely different atmosphere to the Chelsea build, a lot calmer and that has definitely kept any last minute stress at bay. I have obviously loved being able to create a design that I imagined and am a combination of relieved and sad that it is complete. However, I am really excited about talking to visitors once the show opens and hopefully giving them some inspiration to take home. I am really proud of what I have achieved.