It is a fantastic privilege to be able to do this, as I get to share my garden with like-minded enthusiasts, with the added benefit of being able to raise a significant sum of money for the NGS’ very worthy beneficiaries. Last year alone, we managed to raise nearly £7000 for the NGS, of which over 80% was passed on to beneficiaries such as Marie Curie, Macmillan, The Queen’s Nursing Institute, Mind, KIDS and many more.
Given the unprecedented times we find ourselves in, the NGS is currently unable to open any of its gardens, so I decided to record a virtual tour of my garden for people to enjoy from the comfort of their own homes. The timing could not have been more perfect. Tired with reporting solely on the latest Covid-19 news, ITV Meridian had started reporting from gardens around the region. Their viewers, they decided, needed some relief from the daily briefings on the country’s economy and the devastating impact this insidious disease has had on its people. A much-welcomed tonic and reminder of the beauty of our natural landscape!
As you can imagine, I was intrigued to receive an email in my Inbox from Meridian asking whether they could film the garden for their 6pm News slot. Their brief, to report on beautiful gardens which would ordinarily have opened to the general public this summer under the NGS.
Within two days, Tony (Meridian Reporter) and Siobhan (Camera Operator) arrived with their camera, sound equipment and drone. Risk assessments completed and 2 metre social distancing rules acknowledged and respected.
Tony conducted the interview on the lawn next to the long borders, which house the Mediterranean Terraces and the Prairie Border. Ordinarily I would have been interviewed walking around the garden with a radio microphone, but this could not be fitted without contravening the protocols for social distancing. Hence, the 2-metre-long boom extension to the microphone, so that the three of us could create a 2-metre triangle.
While we waited for Siobhan to get the equipment set up, both Tony and I discussed the garden design elements in the garden, the garden influences and inspiration and how garden design ideas in a large garden can be rationalised for a smaller one.
Once Siobhan was ready, Tony asked several questions about the garden, the garden design ethos behind it, the design inspiration and the NGS. Over the years I have become practised at answering these questions, so we rattled through them reasonably quickly. Tony and Siobhan then proceeded to film the garden as Tony wandered through it. Aerial shots were achieved using the drone.
Both were impressed with the garden and its design, commenting on the planning and attention to detail, plus the diversity of plants we manage to grow within our microclimate here at Old Camps. All in all, they were here for about three hours to produce a three-minute article for the News slot. There is no firm date as to when it will air, but I anticipate it will be June 2020.
As they left, Tony’s parting comment was – ‘of the five we have visited, Old Camps is the best!’
It is always humbling when you receive such compliments, knowing that your ‘little slice of paradise’ has touched others in some way.