Personal Matters

A different – and somewhat more personal – blog post from me this month. Read on for news of an ALDA wedding, my front drive, a dustbin tree and a big thank you from John…

Congratulations Jim & Caron!

Firstly, we are delighted to announce that our senior soft landscaper, Jim Cartmell has tied the knot (about time some would say!). Jim married his long term partner, Caron Webb at a wonderfully relaxed, intimate and personal ceremony at Fawley Hill on Saturday 5th August. It was a truly happy and joyful occasion at a truly unique venue. Jim is extremely well liked by both his colleagues and his regular blitz maintenance clients, and I am sure we all wish Jim and Caron many years of wedded bliss.

My front drive & almost 200 square metres of paving!

Secondly, I have to confess that I have commandeered the ALDA team again in my own home – but this time in my front garden. Anyone who has ever visited the ALDA office at my home in Ruscombe will know what an awkward windy, long drive we always had – not the easiest to reverse out of – and also covered in old and failing tarmac. This has now been replaced with a wider, yet still curvy drive, which is easier to manoeuvre, and also has a gravel parking / turning area.

As ever, I gave the guys plenty of challenges – the levels and curves were tricky in terms of drainage, and I wanted to lift the paving to give a courtyard space by the front door, which would make access easier for my less mobile in-laws, but which also meant damp proofing the house. And as you will see, we chose a different type of material for the main drive – a natural sandstone block paving rather than concrete, with a black limestone edge. My husband, Dave blanched a bit at the price (there is almost 200 square meters of paving), but we are both delighted with the end result, especially now John has sealed it for us.

It is still a work in progress, as the guys are returning soon to do the soft landscaping including new lawn and the renovation of a huge Portugal Laurel screen, which is almost 4 meters wide in places – I think the screen will look more like a row of totem poles for a while after they have finished! And then I can get cracking with the new planting…

But for now, I have included a sneak preview of progress to date.

Showing off my dustbin tree

Next, I just couldn’t resist showing off my Albizia julibrissin ‘Rosea’. I bought this plant ages ago, but took so long to get the back garden landscaped that I ended up keeping it going in a dustbin for many years – much to the amusement of friends and family. But it finally got planted out in the new back garden (with help from Jim) 18 months ago – and is absolutely thriving. The pink bottle brush flowers have a delightful light scent, which they never seemed to have in the old dustbin days!

And John is back on his digger…

Finally, a big thank you from John – for the many kind wishes he has been sent from clients following his major leg operation in April (having your leg sawn in half so that the docs can straighten it is pretty mega!). Typical of John, he has worked really hard to get himself fit again, and is ahead of schedule in terms of recovery – and back on his beloved digger. You try getting him off it!

Until next month……

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