The team from Wildroof Landscapes, based near Penrith, worked against the clock earlier this summer to rescue a flooded local garden for a TV show.
“We’d been working with Phil and Joanna Evans on their garden for just a few weeks,” explains Phil Newport of Wildroof Landscapes, “after watching their conversion of St John’s Church at Gamblesby take shape in the past year or so. The project was filmed for Channel 4’s Restoration Man programme last year and the crew was due to return to film progress and capture the changes by making another visit in July.”
Initially, Phil Newport and the team at Wildroof Landscapes had created a simple grassy area and then a wildflower meadow effect around the property, which is just a few miles outside Penrith on the way to Alston: “The aim was to keep costs down but also design something that would offset the work that’s been done on the building and look established very quickly,” says Phil, ”much like the London Olympic park landscaping”.
Unfortunately, disaster struck with the rain deluge and flash floods at the end of June, washing away a lot of the seed that was just germinating and depositing a layer of sludge.
“The rain damage meant that we only had a couple of weeks to re-design and re-plant the front garden before the TV crew arrived,” says Liz, “and there was no time for a new meadow scheme to take root and flower. We incorporated shrubs such as different coloured dogwoods (Cornus var.) in the wet corner, viburnum, philadelphus and roses for their scent and holly for its structure and berries. These were all shrubs that could be planted and look established from Day 1 and then, just a couple of weeks later, the crew filmed on Monday and Tuesday.”
The client, Phil Evans, has been impressed by the work and the approach of the Newports and their team: “As soon as I met Phil, I knew I did not need to waste my time looking at alternative companies. His knowledge and professionalism were refreshing and his whole team appears to take huge pride in its work and thoroughly enjoy what it does. They’ve been constructive and positive throughout, in spite of our tight budget, big ideas and long list of demands! Wildroof Landscapes certainly gave us something special.”
And Liz and Phil from Wildroof Landscapes have been pleased with the way their garden looks on TV too: “From what we’ve seen, the garden, as well as Joanna and Phil’s amazing house, looks stunning on screen,” says Liz. “We just hope that the shrubs, and what survived of the grass and wildflowers, will have some warmth and autumn sunshine to get established and thrive.”