Alistair and I headed to Preston today to look at possible suppliers for the Lawson Park interiors, this included a long anticipated visit to the second hand commercial kitchen warehouse and a 'giant' antiques emporium.
Unfortunately my documention of our research trip was cut short by the owner of the antiques warehouse as I was told “people take photos and sell our stuff on ebay then they come back and buy it from us” I wanted to ask why they didn’t just sell it on ebay themselves but he didn’t really seem like he wanted to chat.
Here are my highlights from each, we’ll have to wait and see if the nautical themed bar makes it into the Lawson Park collection..
It's safe to say theres no shortage of water in the Lake District but we have recently been informed that our plan to install an additional borehole, to provide the new water supply for Lawson Park, has been scuppered.
The subcontractors for this part of the project are now saying the prospects of drilling a successful borehole are low, probably less than 10%. If this is the case we will need to revert back to using a nearby stream, though this should be less primitive than it sounds.
Meanwhile we have appointed engineers (yup more engineers) Burgess Roughton, to resolve the drainage issues at Lawson Park. With large volumes of rainwater passing through the site, over rocky ground on a steep incline, we are extremely conscious of the potential for flooding. Hopefully the new drainage plan they produce will deal with this. At the moment there is much talk of french drains which sound very sophisticated but appears to be simply a ditch filled with stones.
Lawson Park is joining the UK's NGS coveted Yellow Book, opening for the first time on Sunday 24th August from 12 - 7pm. Start praying for good weather and no midges now!
You cansee our entry by typing in 'Lawson Park' on the NGS website here.
James is back!
What our ex-gardener George called 'the second cup of the grass bra' is being constructed - a drystone wall superflat platform at the highest point of the Farmhouse Garden. This echoes the only 'proper lawn' in the garden, opposite on the other side of the stream (in the Moorland Garden) and also constructed by James last summer. It's almost eyelid shaped, and - uniquely for this garden - totally level. The idea is to also echo the planting on both sides - but instead of English lawn we'll have a swathe of stipa arundinacea which I grew from seed when we started the garden in 2001/2 and a low pine I have been 'niwaki' ing in a Japanese style.
To think of the transitions this always tricky part of the garden has been through - I once, ludicrously, planted it with the most unhappy asparagus you've ever seen. I hope this its last transformation for a while....
So its 6 weeks on and although we appear to be in exactly the same place ie poised ready for the roof to come off (with snow forecast at the weekend) we are in fact in a very different place.
After an extended period of discussion, consultation and much staring at walls, a revised sequence of work has been agreed this involves; ongoing excavations and demolitions, completing the new foundations and floor slab, making new openings and rebuilding internal walls and finally taking the roof off, at which point the building should stay standing without it...work continues very tentatively.