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February 2010 – A Garden Design Workshop in Saint-Siffret

Eighteen members gathered at Jocelyn van Riemsdijk’s new home for the first meeting of 2010. Our objective was to learn how to measure and draw up the layout of her plot of land, then to produce a plan which would act as a basis for a garden design.

Hilary Ivey, a member who is a qualified garden designer, talked us through the process and went through a check list of things to consider.

Jocelyn explained that the house had been built on what was an old forest and that she would like to retain the feel of the oak wood and garrigue with a natural garden, low in water usage and maintenance.

Hilary provided each of us with a large plan showing an outline of the house and perimeter fencing. As the sun appeared, out we went with tape measures and drawing pads, ‘triangulating’ the trees, and imagining steps, paths and planting. By the end of the afternoon we had come up with suggestions that were, we hoped, respectful of Jocelyn’s wishes and from which she will be able to select ideas for the layout of her garden and some of the plants that she might put in it.

Thank you, Hilary, for guiding us through a thoroughly interesting and enjoyable exercise, no mean feat in one short February day. We hope, in the autumn, to meet again for another ‘hands on’ day helping Jocelyn to plant.

Text: Katharine Fedden