embraced

surrounded by yew. 

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It was my first project in the UK. 

When I was contacted about this garden, the soil had just been levelled, the rabbit-proof fence had been set up and a local nursery had been already alerted in regard to a possible extensive planting…

During my research I came across the work of Piet Oudolf for the first time. The way in which the plants were grouped in large clusters, the rhythm, the superb combinations of colours and textures... I was inspired. It perhaps reflected my innate passion for plants better than what I had seen until then.

Viv Kemp from the renowned local nursery ‘Woottens of Wenhaston’ helped with the planting plan. It was not exactly what I had in mind, yet it was crucial to order the plants on time, and it gave me confidence.  I have changed it and adjusted the plants following my instinct. I will always remember the smile on Viv’s face when she came to see the garden after it was planted. It worked. 

     “I was standing with my eyes shut trying to imagine what the plants would look like when fully grown… they were barely visible at the time. Loreena McKennith’s music helped focus. It was almost unreal. It was magical.”

Some 2,500 plants were used. A few did not make it and had to be replaced. Others, proved to be invasive and had to be controlled. The weeds coming from the neighbouring fields were ceaselessly growing back. The soil was hard and surprisingly changeable. Hands and knees hurt for the long, tiring days. The heat. The rain. The cold. 

But it was all worth it.