I know that weddings are certainly not what this blog is meant to be about but I have been dropping so many hints over the last few weeks on the garden pages that I could not resist spilling all.
The wedding was our son’s and started by being a relatively modest affair that would take place in his fiancé’s mum’s garden up the road (the wedding ceremony) and then in ours (dinner). However, the second part of the operation seems to have escalated somewhat….. Mainly thanks to the discovery of the Stretchy Tent company.
They ‘stretched’ a tent roof from tree to tree across our garden, hung fairy lights around the edge and Chinese lanterns on fishing wire from the roof and covered the floor with coir matting – and in the process appear to treble the size of the garden!
Next up in terms escalation was the realisation that having 110 people traipsing up and down the house to get to the loo was not an appealing prospect. Queue the booking of a Kestrel Classical VIP 2 + 1 which turned out not only to be VIP, but by Royal Appointment!! (‘I’m telling you, lady, it’s a hell of a lot easier to get it into the inner courtyard in Windsor Castle than to back it down your ramp…..’)
But then, how to get from the front of the house to the garden?….. We have no side passage to the garden so the only logical way was down past the royal loos and through the small flat at the side of the house.
It’s occupant kindly agreed to vacate it for the weekend and we created (with some ingenuity and a good deal of bad language and the help of the fabric stalls in the Nag’s Head Market) a floating muslin passageway through the flat out into the garden. Mind you our efforts were all but undone by the weather gods who not only decreed that last Saturday would be the only wet day in a totally dry August but threw in a high wind for good luck. Of course, with all doors open, we had managed to create an extremely effective wind tunnel with muslin billowing with a will and threatening to bring down the whole somewhat rickety structure. However, Velcro to the rescue and thanks to the application of around 6 metres of the stuff to our flapping ‘walls’ we manage to bring the whole thing under control.
At this point you may well be expecting full frontal of the stretchy tent all laid up for dinner – which I am afraid you will not be getting. The assorted photographers were so busy snapping massive groups of cousins, ushers and bridesmaids after the wedding ceremony in garden one that, by the time they had decamped down to garden two for the second part of the operation, the MCs were already in full voice and the evening was well and truly underway.
However, since this is really meant to be about the garden, not the wonders of the stretchy tent….. This is left hand side of the garden as it looked when the guests arrived at around 6.3o.
We had been to Covent Garden flower market at 6am on Friday and bought up prodigious quantities of white gypsophila, a pretty lime green leaf and a box of 32 magnificent white hydrangea heads each of whose stems was securely wrapped in a mini plastic bag of water. As you can see, we ‘added’ bunches of gypsophila to roses and anything else that seemed suitable and although you cannot really see them, we just pushed stems of hydrangeas into the ivy. You can see it rather better on this little video, provided my shaky hand on the iPhone does not make you feel too seasick.
However, I must admit that my major investment in white begonias, bizzie lizzies, New Guineas and fairy lights really came into their own once it got dark.
Not that our Covent Garden purchases just got pushed in amongst the flowers. One of our wedding guest visitors created lovely little decorations for the tables from them – here they are lined up the garden steps the following morning.
She also create some beautiful larger arrangements which, amazingly, are still just about going a week later!
Indeed, the gypsophila even got pressed into service for the really lovely wedding cake made by one of the bridesmaids!
And just in case you are thinking that the bride and groom seem to have got completely lost in all of this…. Here they are cutting that very cake:
And here they are somewhat later in the evening – and somewhat less decorously – running their own disco!!
And here they are, both aged about three, guarding the sweetie table…..
…all of which sweeties, I might say, had been consumed by the time the party finally broke up at 4.30am. Out of respect for our neighbours they had decamped into the basement just after midnight!
And then, all too soon, it was all over. The bride and groom were off to Portugal and the clear up was underway. Here is the in-house crew the following morning taking a well earned coffee break after disentangling the muslin tunnel from its velcro….
…leaving an empty stretchy tent just awaiting the arrival of the dismantling crew….