Friday, 31 December 2010

Christmas in Scotland

We've just spent a week in Scotland over Christmas, -10 when we arrived and it didn't get much warmer for a few days.  We think we had it bad down here!  There were huge piles of ice that will take weeks to thaw but it looked good though!  I took a laptop to do some work, spent a lot of time thinking about doing work, but didn't do any.  So here I am on New Year's Eve wondering where the last 2 weeks have gone and with a list of things to be done in just about 9 days.  Remind me, why am I doing this again?

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Greenwich Park Final Presentation

On Thursday we had our final hand-in and presentation of our Greenwich Park Historic Garden Conservation project.  We had to do a 5 minute presentation and were supposed to have a model showing one of our proposals, one of mine being the building of a new cascade down the slope near the General Woolfe statue.  I decided to go all Blue Peter and create a working cascade and seeing as I didn't have a statue of General Woolfe handy, I decided to go with something even better...General Morph.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Square Peg in a Round Hole

Yesterday was decision day.  We had to present our three A1 sketch designs for Calverley Grounds in Tunbridge Wells to Jamie, Julia and Paula.  Nerve-racking doesn't even come close to describing it!  I had spent most of the weekend preparing my work, which I was satisfied with, but when they are put on the wall there are always someone else with a design when you think "ah yes, I could have done mine like that..." (Alick, Adele, Sue...).  
So Jamie wanted someone to go first, so I volunteered, better to get it out of the way I thought, did anyone hear the quivering in my voice?  The tutors are lined up, front row centre, along with over twenty other pairs of eyes all wanting you to explain why you did it this way, why you didn't do it that way!  So I picked the design I wanted to go for much to Julia and everyone else's surprise, square pegs in round holes are the best way to describe it. 
So now I am stuck with it, too late to change.  Have I picked the right one?  Probably not, but we shall see.  Tune in next June to see if I managed to hammer my square peg into the round hole, or if it just becomes one big mess.  I will put the sketch designs on here if I ever learn to work an A1 scanner.  
We shall become intimately acquainted, my design and I, over the next six months, too late to bail out but it feels like I am standing at the bottom of Everest, all I can see is a huge mountain in front of me but I guess a journey starts with one small step...

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The French know how to do a water feature

 Parc Diderot, La Defense, Paris
 Parc Diderot, La Defense, Paris
Is that Paula on holiday in Albi?
Parc de Bercy, Paris
Parc de Bercy, Paris
Parc de Bercy, Paris

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Base Map

I've been trying to create a base plan for Calverley Grounds for Monday at A1 with contours and spot heights.  I've come up with the above from Digimap then taken into Photoshop.  It was set at 1:500 at A1 in Digimap but for some reason it is too short and too narrow.  I saved it as an A1 in Powerpoint and it shows this clearly, help...

Back to it!

After the fun...
Back to the reason we are all here.  As a group of about 25 split into 3 groups, we had to write out our thoughts as to what the 3 words connective, educational and alternative mean to us.  From now, this is it, masterplanning.
We now have to come up with 3 masterplan idea using these 3 words, so we need to have a vision and a brief for all 3,than do a sketch design for each and we will choose one to take on as our final design.  Couldn't I just go sledging... 


Uni work can wait when there's sledging to be done!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Calverley Grounds Document

After weeks of doing and redoing maps and text we finally sent all our pages to Alick to put together as a final document to hand in on Monday.   We did a group presentation last week which I feel didn't go as well as it could have, as the stage we were presenting on didn't have easy access so we all had to wander around a desk to get on and off the stage which didn't look very professional.  Also I was the first speaker and was expecting to have the slides set up for me and when presented with an unfamiliar computer panicked and forgot what I was supposed to say.  Its all a learning process I guess and another presentation tomorrow, this time in Tom Turner's lesson, this time on the Bauhaus and their influence on garden design; they did have an influence, honest...

Friday, 19 November 2010

School Trip to the Red House Bexleyheath

 I thought you'd gone to Paris...
On Thursday we went to the Red House in Bexleyheath as part of our Historic Garden Conservation course.  It was the home of William Morris and has been owned by the National Trust since 2003.  They've obviously been spending the money on the house and not the garden as they only have 1 part-time gardener and volunteers. I think they could do with spending some money on getting to grips with the garden because for £6.90 its not really value for money.  If you didn't take the guided tour, which was very good, you might feel a tad disappointed. 

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Landform Model

Yesterday (all my troubles seemed so far away...) I made this model of the topography of Calverley Grounds in Tunbridge Wells which we are studying for our masterplanning part of the course.  I have been studying Geology and Soils, and Topography for our group presentation and booklet.  The model was made at the offices of Willmott Ford, Garden Designers of Distinction, and each contour is scaled to a height of 5m or about 16'.  Its difficult to get a decent photo of it as the height of the model is only about 25mm (or 1", for those of you who are unsure of metric measurements).  I've tried to get a photo at eye level to try and show the relative differences of the contours, and to try and show how contoured the park is.