Archive for January, 2010

Waddesdon Manor Aviary

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010


Wow. This is something else. Philippa is completely dwarfed by the magnificent grandeur of the Aviary at Waddesdon Manor. The House and Grounds of Waddesdon Manor are closed at this time of year but Lord Rothschild has kindly let us visit so that we can look at the finer details of the construction and design of the aviary in preparation for building our own (slightly more modest) building for our Victorian Aviary Garden at Chelsea. We are given a warm welcome on an icily cold day by Vicky Darby, who helps to run the garden on behalf of the National Trust and Paul, their Head Gardener. Paul tells us that the Aviary was restored six years ago following a visit by Lord Rothschild to St. Petersburg where he got the idea for the stunning colour scheme of gold and blue. We will be using the same colours at Chelsea.

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Philippa’s London Office

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

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We are in Philippa’s London “office”, which is the South Bank Centre in the Festival Hall, for a meeting with Mark Richardson who has taken on the role of contractor for our Chelsea garden- in other words Mark will build the garden for us. This may seem an unlikely venue for a business meeting but in fact it fits the bill very well- it’s spacious, airy and comfortable- people come here to read, to sleep, to chat and because there’s so much space the noise levels are low so that it’s a congenial place even for an intense two hours of discussion. Mark has built gardens at Chelsea before, so he knows that the time which we put in now in planning every detail can save a great deal of wailing and gnashing of teeth later on. And so we meticulously went through Philippa’s 24 point agenda, at the end of which I felt we’d done a good morning’s work. We have arranged to get together again next week- this time at Waddesdon manor, when we will all get to see their famed Aviary for the first time

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Maggy Haworth’s Workshop

Friday, January 15th, 2010


Maggy Haworth is simply marvellous. This picture shows Maggy in her workshop with her assistant Mark showing Philippa the astonishingly intricate process involved in making her beautiful mosaics out of pebbles. Her pebble mosaics are to be found in some of the world’s grandest gardens, from Lady Arabella Lennox Boyd’s at Gresgarth to Lord Heseltine’s at Thenford. Now, she has agreed to make one for us for our Chelsea garden. Maggy’s workshop is in a barn next to her home on the top of a hill near Kirkby Lonsdale, with wonderful 360 degree views all round.
Maggy has done Chelsea before. She knows the ropes, she understands the psyche of the judges. She gave us some sage advice and after two hours of lively discussion and a lovely lunch we settled on a design. Now we will wait while Maggy performs her magic.

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