Two projects are report-on-able. One has been twelve years in the waiting and eight in the making. And yet it was one of the simplest: the waterspout at the end of the front door axis.
Through the front door itself the spout is just noticeable, a little whitish stripe plumb centre at the foot of Alfred’s Arches. (The stained glass tree, one of a pair flanking the front door, is a Sequoia, commissioned by my father when the house was built.)
Step outside and the spout is a lot more visible; make your way down the first flight of stairs to the junipers and – voila!
You can see it in all its glory! Remember I said we would cut back Alfred’s Arches this year? Postponed! Those dark rustic old branches flanking the silver spout are just too good to loose. Like most of my garden, we will live with its imperfections… . And so the dustbin, planted eight years ago to act as a reservoir beneath the spout, is finally put to use.
May 2006. The wall on the Rosemary Terrace is not yet built, but already the Italian Pot at the far end of the vista has its third or fourth (unsatisfactory) planting, and the Abelia ‘Francis Mason’ cubes surrounding it are too big and too tall, obscuring its shape rather than enhancing it. These complaints were to surface regularly over the next five years, and satisfactory photos really do not exist. The one below, spoilt by a skew conifer, is about the best.
The puzzle of the problematic pot became more pressing once it was not only the focal point which drew the eye down the vista, but also became the first feature visitors see on arriving at the garden, entering along the Rosemary Terrace. I removed all vegetation – and was reminded that the whole structure was most wonderfully aligned to the left corner of the terrace – besides: it was simply too elaborate. Eventually I decided to fill the pot with water which ‘boiled’ from a central spout. But the pot was too tall – or mounted too high – and one fine day it dawned on me that there was no option but to rebuild its plinth, lowering and straightening it.
Freddy to the rescue – my builder who has been responsible for almost every improvement and development over the last year; a fine and skilful man. This water feature too is complete, although the four shallow pots of annuals that will stand on the arms of the cross are yet to be planted. However the frost is (touch wood) over, and next week I shall buy the plants and post a picture from both views.