Recently we had a very exciting experience – the garden was interviewed for Amateur Gardening magazine.  Each week, the magazine features a different Yellow Book garden, and our local organiser had nominated mine.  After a few emails and details of the garden’s website and this blog being provided, an appointment was made for the magazine to come and see the garden.

Being Interviewed

The journalist and photographer arrived at 10 am on a beautifully sunny day and immediately got to work.  Initially I had the dogs out of the way so that we could chat.  It turned out that the journalist had a seven month old English Springer, so we definitely had a lot to talk about.  We started with a tour round the garden (which was pretty hard as she was taping it and I had to describe what we were discussing, rather than just say “this plant”).  Then we just conversed about the garden.  She asked all sorts of questions from the amount of watering I do (very little given our clay soil) to how much we lost last winter (again, very little).  We obviously talked a lot about the impact of the dogs on the garden and how this had affected the design.  I also explained how to protect the garden from the dogs.  Thinking back, I know we never stopped chatting (apart from to sip our tea), but I really can’t believe how quickly the time went.


Photographer hard at work

While the journalist and I were talking, the photographer wandered around taking photos.  To get a better perspective on the garden, he borrowed some ladders and Brian even took him upstairs to get some “arial shots”.  By the end of the day, he had taken 350 photos!  Very kindly, he has offered to let me have the ones not used by the magazine, so I will have a wonderful record of the garden.

Before I knew it, two hours had gone by and the photographer wanted to check that he had photos of all the areas that the journalist wanted to feature, so we left them to it for a few minutes.  Then the next thing to do was to discuss the area of the garden to feature.  They always select an area of the garden and then highlight a number of specifics in that area.  We looked at a few possibilities, and settled on an area by the pond.  Then photos were needed of the elements of interest.  The only plant that the dogs eat in my garden is the grass (well, miscanthus), so they decided that this might be an interesting thing to feature.  Of course, the dogs  wouldn’t eat it on command!  So we tried smearing it with a molasses canine food supplement that I always keep in stock.  But that didn’t work either.  We had given up and moved on to other things, when they decided to start eating the miscathus again.

After that, we had to do the shot that featured the owners.  These included the dogs as the garden is just as much about them as it is about us.  Then after almost three hours with us, they left.  I had asked if the garden would definitely be in the magazine and was told that it would be, but the journalist had no idea when.  If it is published in winter, the article will be four pages and if it is summer then it will be six pages (there is more advertising revenue in summer and so the magazine is bigger).  The last bit of homework to do is to get them the measurements of the garden.   I promise I will let you know when the article is published!