When was the work done?
Anne has been doing work for me going on three years. It started in the summer of 2009, continued in 2010 and she's coming in again to get things ready for the summer of 2011.
What is involved?
Often it's maintenance work. Anne pops in and keeps things looking fresh. I have a regular gardener that comes in and does the rougher stuff while Anne handles the planting or any seasonal changes I want to make.
Sometimes it's taking stuff out and putting something else in its place. For instance, in one area we removed sleepers and installed a sitting area for the kids when they BBQ. I can bring Anne in to do anything that needs maintenance, cutting back or planting. It's never a huge amount of work but its always nicely done.
How did you choose Anne Hamilton Fox Gardens?
It was by pure chance that I met Anne. I was in Hosfords, the garden centre outside Bandon in Cork, and I needed to ask a few questions about some stuff I was picking up. I couldn't find my regular person but I saw someone who looked like they were working there. It turned out to be Anne.
Hosfords had asked Anne to come in and do some planting for them. She answered my questions and I asked her if she would be willing to come to my house and give me some advice on my garden. I wanted it looking better than it was and I didn't want to figure it out on my own. Anne said that she would be delighted. She came to the house, advised me on the garden and I just found her to be fantastic. I've used her ever since.
Had you definite ideas in mind before you talked to Anne Hamilton?
I have a small garden and I wanted a style that was a cross between "cottage" and "modern". Close to the house I wanted to get rid of the pretty stuff and bring in something more architectural. Away from the house I wanted the more traditional cottage type garden. The style wouldn't be an easy one to create but that's what I wanted.
I didn't want anything too fussy or minimalist. Anne got it perfect. Now looking in the direction of the house it appears more modern, while looking in the other direction you get the soft, cottage look. It was exactly what I wanted and Anne was able to mesh the two contrasting styles beautifully.
Did Anne introduce new ideas?
She did, yes and this is where Anne is wonderful. Anne knows exactly what she's talking about, she has a lovely eye for a garden's potential and knows what plants to bring in and when. Anne makes lots of suggestions but what I like about her is that she doesn't push her ideas onto you. She's very careful that way. Anne listens to what you want and keeps a very close eye on the budget. She doesn't start creating additional work for herself like some people do.
How did the project run?
Anne has taken away the hassle of garden work for me. She goes through a planting plan with me, orders the plants, picks them up, delivers them and does the planting. She does it all and she does what I want done, not what she wants and it's always perfection. Sometimes I feel so bad for her because she's out in the rain working, but she's really in her element when she's giving the garden a fresher look.
What was the biggest benefit to you of using Anne Hamilton Fox Gardens?
I couldn't be more pleased with Anne and the work she has done for me, she's the loveliest person and I value her opinion so much. She's a wonderful person to have in your life.
What's your favourite part now?
To be honest, all of it. Anne has a great way of achieving a look that's natural without overcrowding. That's her forte. Season by season Anne keeps the garden looking beautiful.
Would you recommend Anne Hamilton Fox Gardens to others?
I've recommended Anne to several people already. My son has recently purchased a house in West Cork and Anne will be overseeing that garden as well.
Any tips for other people?
Get Anne out and she'll achieve whatever look you want for your garden. Like I said, she has a great eye and I couldn't think of anyone better to bring in for your garden.