Playing In Victoria's Backyard

Right, that's Chelsea done and dusted, apart from a couple of snippets to follow shortly. Of course what most of you have been waiting for is how I got on at Victoria's. I have teased you rather haven't I? I've been selfishly hugging my delicious visit to myself just to make everything last that little bit longer, but now it's time to tell you all about it.

It never ceases to amaze me how generous people are in the blogosphere and how they're not complete strangers when you meet them for the first time. Victoria and I were nattering away from the word go and we hardly paused for breath until Emmat arrived for breakfast on Tuesday morning. Of course the first thing we did when I arrived was to have a long look at the garden. The view I'm showing you is from one of the two huge sets of patio doors across the back of the house. This is a garden which can't be ignored from there and rightly so.

Of course I was already familiar with it, but in the form of little cameos. As we walked round, I kept on saying to myself, oh so that's where that pot is or here's the pond - with fully working pump Petoskystone will be glad to hear. Victoria has cleverly created lots of nooks and crannies in her garden, so everything still comes as a surprise as you wander around no matter how closely you've been paying attention on her blog.

However, she hasn't told you all about the sounds. I always associate London with traffic noise and the constant droning of planes overhead. Victoria's Backyard is a haven from all of this owing to the vast number of birds in and around her garden. It's simply a lovely place to be.

Dinner with Victoria's family was great and then I had a real treat: settling down to watch Monday's Chelsea coverage with someone who enjoys watching it too. I'm always left to my own devices at home and it's just not the same as sharing it with someone, especially as Victoria was chipping in with juicy snippets from her Press Day visit.

Of course no visit can be made without mentioning the delightful Pushkin. He made an early appearance in proceedings and seemed to warm to his unusual visitor. He came into my room for a cuddle at 5am - I was awake already as the unfamiliar sound of parakeets in the dawn chorus had woken me up! We snuggled down for a snooze together until it was time to get up and get ready to go to Chelsea.

Thanks Victoria for doing so much to make my first visit to Chelsea such a special one :D


  1. yeah pond pump :)! glad that you have pushkin's approval. we get parrakeets colonies here. sometimes the nests are so big the electric company has to take them down & destroy them to discourage the colonies from disrupting service.

  2. VP, It's good to meet bloggers face to face and always fun. (I do wish you all were able to be at Spring Fling Chicago with us!) Thanks for the long view of Victoria's garden. Btw, I love when photos are enlargeable. Does Victoria's garden have an exotic feel to it? In my imagining it's like a conservatory outdoors! It looks wonderful and beautifully designed. Gail

  3. VP, I've spent the last 20 minutes reading all your posts about your visit to Chelsea--what a spectacular show! I don't think we have anything here across the pond that can even compare. Seeing Victoria's garden would have been excitement enough for me:) How enjoyable, too, to visit the show with a friend and to meet a blogging friend as well. I've been busy getting things in order here so that I can leave for Chicago on Thursday to meet some blogging friends for the first time, including Gail. Wish you could join us!

  4. Jealousy!

    And now Chippenham makes the national news because someone has been thrown off their allotment because he isn't growing enough vegetables.

    What a place!


  5. Met Victoria and Emma and can concur they are both wonderful ladies.

    I shall have to work on getting to meet Pushkin - I think I interact better with cats than people!

    Sounds like the perfect end to a perfect day.

  6. Sounds like a great visit. Sweet kitty

  7. So jealous, talk about rubbing someones face in it! Glad you had a great time, it was through your blog I got closest to it. Darn RHS doesn't do anything in Northern Ireland!

  8. Victoria's 'Backyard' looks most exotic and big enough to get lost in. How great to have a fellow gardener to watch the Chelsea coverage with. I am most envious :)

  9. Hi, VP, what a wonderful post! Your picture makes my garden look much more mysterious than it really is. Funnily enough, I had a green parakeet on one of the bird feeders for the first time just the other day.
    It was such a pleasure having you to stay and your present is still looking good. I've been away for a couple of days, so I'm a bit behind - I must post a picture of it. (Zoe, if you want to meet Pushkin, come round any time.)

  10. Hi VP, what a nice wrap up to the big show. I am sure Victoria was the most wonderful and gracious hostess, as she is on her blog. Pushkin thought you were his lovey toy! HA The sounds of parakeets must have been delightful, if early. :-)

  11. Petoskystone - parakeets are becoming quite a problem over here too because they drive out the native birds.

    Gail - I wish we were at the Spring Fling too. Perhaps you could raise a glass to your British pals when you're there? Have a great time! And yes, Victoria's garden does have a lush, tropical feel to it :)

    Rose - have a fantastic time at the Fling. It hurts knowing that so many of my American blogging buddies will be there and I'm not!

    Esther - it could easily be Chippenham and not Cheltenham! There was that guy in Somerset just before Christmas who was being chucked off for growing Christmas trees for all his mates.

    Zoe - they are both lovely indeed and I'm sure you'll meet Pushkin very soon :)

    Deb - it was fantastic and Pushkin's adorable

    Carrie - I made that point about the lack of stuff for NI and other areas nowhere near a major garden or event at the RHS online forum in January.

    Anna - watching gardening TV's going to be a tad lonely from now on!

    Victoria - I'm looking forward to seeing where my present ends up. And I simply posted the view from your patio door i.e. the first view you see every day!

    Frances - I came away with a far different (and nicer) view of London than I usually reserve for it. A lot of that's due to Victoria herself of course.

  12. Aw, Pushkin is indeed sweet, I love grey cats! (OK, I love all cats, but who's counting?) I once stayed with a friend of my m-i-l in Isleworth, directly in the flight line and a stone's throw away from Heathrow, and was amazed how peaceful her back garden was--you'd never know you were in a huge, densely populated city.

  13. Monica - I thought you'd like Pushkin and you're right - even a city has its quiet havens.


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