I first came across Anne Wareham on Twitter around six months ago. Initially I found her rather formidable but there was also great humour, a questioning nature of perceived garden wisdom and a passion for well-designed gardens that kept me following her tweets and sent me a-clicking to her website
Her garden was a revelation! Up to then I have to admit to having been shamefully unaware of Veddw House Garden and was extremely disappointed that it had never been mentioned on my garden design course; an unforgivable oversight in my opinion! I have since made my ex-tutor aware, suggesting that garden design students would benefit hugely from a trip to Veddw. Not to mention the tutors!
Anyway, that’s how I came across Anne’s tweet asking if anyone fancied ‘sexing up’ the plan of her garden. I was intrigued and rather impetuously I told her I’d be happy to give it a go. Impetuous as in I’d only drawn two garden designs, having just learnt technical drawing on my garden design course! I thought Anne only wanted the plan for a visitor leaflet which was partly true but, when we spoke on the phone, I was shocked to lean that she also wanted it to go in the front of her forthcoming book, ‘The Bad Tempered Gardener’ and on her new, soon to be launched website. To say I felt deeply inadequate at this point is a vast understatement! I remember asking Anne if she wouldn’t prefer someone to do a CAD drawing. I think she replied; ‘What’s CAD?’ But she felt and I agree, that a hand-drawn plan has more character and soul. It was a delight to talk to Anne who seemed genuinely excited at the prospect of having a plan drawn for her. I, on the other hand, was shaking in my size 5½ boots!
As Veddw garden is so large and by no means flat, it would have been almost impossible to survey it and draw the plan to exact scale, so Anne sent me a copy of a basic plan she had done, an aerial photograph taken in 2005 and a disc full of wonderful photos taken by her garden photographer husband, Charles Hawes I also managed to obtain a decent Google Earth image that I got enlarged.
With these resources available, I used the Google image as my basis, tracing over as much of the garden as I could see. But the problem was that not all of the garden was visible due to the surrounding tree canopy and shadows cast and Anne had also made some changes to the garden since 2005. The garden layout is complex and we concluded that I would have to see it ‘in the flesh’ in order to make sense of it all on paper, so Anne & Charles invited us to visit. Hurrah!
On a scorching weekend last June, armed with my basic plan taped to a clipboard and plenty of bottles of wine, Beloved and I set off on the 150 mile journey to the Veddw.
Coming soon, Part 2 in which lots of wine is consumed and a plan begins to emerge.