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I have been lying awake thinking everything through; trying to picture the planting combinations; colours, textures and heights, working through the order of construction, thinking about the balance of hard landscaping to soft, the atmosphere I am trying to create.

I fine tuned the brief before sending in for the April 30th deadline. I decided to keep it clear and simple and with one idea: Energy and Vitality in a woodland garden.

I am now thinking a lot about the state of the plants growing on at Crocus and at Deepdale. Today I am told the specimen tree (Betula nigra) has just broken leaf and has only16 days to leaf up! I have postponed my trip to Deepdale to make a final selection until two days before delivery to Chelsea and will select back up trees, probably native Betula pendula, in case the leaves don’t appear to be mature enough. I decide to produce a ‘latest’ planting plan to send off to my planting helpers so that they will have an idea of the look and layout I am aiming for.

I have also been thinking about the sculpture and have decided to sand the tip to a high shine and the next section to a lesser degree. This, I am hoping will express the idea of the point pushing upwards, fresh and new, whilst the lower broader section looks older and rusted. I use a lacquer spray to retain the shine as the mild steel rusts almost visibly in the damp weather we are experiencing.

Bradstone have done a fantastic job of ‘bullnosing’ the seat slab of Panache paving. I am eager to see it in situ on the garden.

At home the woods look stunning! The blue bells are in full flow and the smell is divine…….
Ferns are unfurling, the fresh green beech leaves are stunning against the blue bell backdrop. The deer seem to vanish into the woods, there hind quarters with tail stripe blending perfectly into the narrow trunks of Betula pendula. Molly chases a young squirrel that hasn’t mastered climbing damp trees and I have to call her off! An owl hoots in the day time, which seems a little odd. Red kites swirl and make their distinctive cry. All is alive and well.