On a work front, 2020 was filled with people contacting me excited to start planning new garden projects - once we all realised we might be spending quite a lot of time in then! Pizza ovens, privacy and planting was top of peoples' wish lists.
On a home front, we spent the year learning I'm a bit too strict in my teaching method (kids have never been so keen to get back to school, haha) and also to appreciate our immediate locality more - with sunrise bike rides and walks through local lanes that we wouldn't have done otherwise.
We even managed to squeeze a few days in on Anglesey, enjoying the coastal air and sunshine on the beaches.
Here is to 2021, whatever it may bring!
Erddig National Trust, Wrexham
Well, Christmas is over and the new decade is here....now comes the longest month of year for everyone. I am so looking forward to longer and warmer days with the fresh bright colours and textures each season brings.
Sky Garden, London
Took a super-fast lift up to 'London's highest public garden'. Needless to say the views were incredible, but the planting within was also amazing. It was designed by Gillespies and aims to create a 'lush prehistoric forest'.....wonderful inspiration in terms of thinking big and unique, but I am not sure anyone in Chester will be trying this soon!
It is free to visit although you need to book in advance and be prepared to take a little while to get through airport-type security.
Super proud of my son who was involved in designing and building a garden with his primary school.
We particularly loved looking at in the fresh produce tent - massive onions, very long carrots and beautiful displays of berries. Had to keep reminding the children they couldn't eat any of the fruit - it all looked so tasty!
Beautiful and historic Gwydir Castle by Llanwrst on the edge of Snowdonia. Parts of the building date from the 1500's and recent years have seen the building and grounds suffer from extensive flooding as it lies on the edge of the Conwy's floodplain. A friendly welcome with self-service tea/coffee in the atmospheric gardens - always a winner!
Ridiculously pleased with my new site boots - very warm and comfy....I definitely put up with my old and holey ones for much too long!
My 8 year old son convinced my 7 year old daughter and I that a trip to RAF Cosford was essential for Mother's Day....fantastic museum with three main hangars full of many (many!) planes and engines. Well worth a visit - the visitor reception building is designed to look like a biplane, down to the revolving door designed to look like a propellor. Whilst the main hangar is an incredible building, with a curving, almost swooping, side and roof. I can't even imagine how the designer drew it out.
Enjoyed an excellent day at Tatton Park in Cheshire yesterday, helping to set up Planit-IE's 'Bruntwood' garden for this year's show which starts on the 19th of July.
We spent a rainy day tying fishing twine around ALOT of plants, so they were ready to be hung from the bespoke structure.
The garden's theme is all about a wild and natural landscape and how we can be fully immersed within it.
The variety of people's garden ornaments never fails to amaze me -the thread that seems to run through them all is the way they bring back memories of people, events or places - little reminders of the past that can bring about a smile.
I really like looking at how man in the past has influenced wild landscapes, and how the more ancient man-made structures can start to blend into the landscape to become an intrinsic part of the character of a place.
Here are just a few examples from day trips I've taken this summer.
From top left: Foxgloves growing by Dinas Bran castle in Llangollen, mossy dry-stone walling in Snowdonia, magnificent Scot's Pine dominates a private garden, Chirk Tunnel along the Shropshire Union canal built by Telford, stone path leading to the now abandoned historic slate quarry on Moel Siabod, Pont Fawr in Llanrwst possibly designed by Inigo Jones, and graveyard in a cemetery at a small chapel in Snowdonia