Well, lucky us, Garden Club members were treated to a brilliant upbeat and lively presentation of “The Story of Seven Gardens” by James Alexander Sinclair, garden designer, television presenter and writer. In his blog, he declares gardens are mostly about sex, death and deliciousness. As a teenager he had no aspiration to garden until it was suggested by his sister to stop slouching in the armchair and dig the garden which he actually enjoyed! This progressed to a pile of potted up flowerpots outside the back door and has developed to breathtaking landscaped country mansions. His first assignment was a derelict rectangular yard in Paddington which was transformed into a contemporary ornamental garden featuring a diagonal zig zag rill (just right for sailing toy boats). His philosophy is that a garden should be fun. A vista is important with a feature focal point. He suggests a gap should always be in the border so a new plant can be bought and a path should be created to lure one on……When creating a garden, consider the design of the house, how the garden is to be used and what can be seen from the garden. Most important is never be a slave to the garden. Thankfully I like gardens to look natural. One of the most attractive gardens was a courtyard, where a selection of plants was positioned at random by an odd job help before planted in gravel. The effect was of astonishing beauty until autumn when it was all cut down creating a canvas of nothing during winter… until early spring when hundreds of stunning sky blue iris planted in whorls appeared. James has recently become involved with creating a Horatio’s sensory garden in memory of a young teenager killed by a polar bear. It is attached to a hospital and gives patients with spinal injuries respite and hope as well as space for families to have privacy. James closing words of advice was “When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily……. it is a valuable plant! This was a memorable evening to end our indoor meetings. Next meeting will be Court House, Stretton on Fosse, 6.45pm on Tuesday, May 2nd.