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Broken hearted


i haven’t been here for such a long time.. a case of one step forward and ten steps back in the “happiness” department… glancing briefly through photos etc makes me realise how much i have missed sharing everyone’s gardens…
it’s rather sad reason that brings me here today… something that perhaps you are the very people who will understand…
my day started with a healthy measure of irony… i received a message this morning to say that a couple of packs of cicely seeds that i purchased through ebay have been dispatched….

it’s a long story but i love my little … very little … courtyard type garden and for the last 9 years i have been trying to soften stone gabbions by planting soooo many climbers and ivy and creepers and ferns etc… then a while ago an elderly gentleman drove into me while i was stationary at a junction and, although it was a really minor bump, nothing too bad physically, i can only say i fell into the doldrums..a bit reclusive…i put on loads of weight …my garden became over grown because i couldn’t manage it… seems to be a pattern here…

anyway..2012 was a brilliant year for me .. i kicked myself up the bum… lost nearly 7 stone, trained to be a McKenzie Friend and i had a bit of good luck too, which was very welcome… i won a garden makeover ! perfect to get it back to it’s former glory… nothing like a couple of hunky men to do the hard work….with the plans i had discussed with the manager of the company i thought i would plant a lovely little herb garden… it would be the finishing touch… this is where the cicely comes in…

after him cancelling many times, today was the day… i had to go out this morning but i waited for the fellas to come so i could have a chat with them and i waited … but had to go so i texted the boss to double check his guys knew what i wanted i.e. ivy isn’t a mistake and had planted them to cover rocks etc… and the climbers looked dead but are about to spring into life… my favourite time of the year…

can u guess where this going yet?.. i came back an hour and a half later to find 6 men in my little garden… EVERYTHING GONE !!9 years of planting, training, feeding etc £100’s worth of wisterias, clematis, jasmine, honeysuckle, ferns, baby’s tears, climbing hydrangeas to name but a few, ripped out and on the back of a truck..

i am heartbroken… and inconsolable, but at least i will have some sweet cicely on the way eh?… how ironic is that?

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How awful, did you see the reg number of the truck? Were they fraudsters or was there some mistake? Can you not contact the people you won the " makeover " from? Is there any recompense? Have you informed the police? I am so sorry for you. Try not to let this drag you down. Have you heard of freecycle? You can ask for plants etc . I m sure if you publicised your plight by way of a warning to local gardeners in your local paper you would be inundated with a response. Sorry for so many questions. X

23 Jan, 2013


Blimey, I would have gone crazy and walloped them with whatever came to hand, I recognized your name and checked, its a long time since you first showed us your courtyard, I`m so sorry this has happened and agree with all Lisal has advised for you to do, keep your spirits up and let us know how you get on..

23 Jan, 2013


hi and thank u everso much...please don't apologise for the questions.. it is the local branch of a large, national company.. when i saw the devastation.. and i mean, devastation i told them to stop immediately while i phoned the manager... but i couldn't bring myself to speak.. i texted him and emailed him but had no reply.. i went out to the van where the chaps were waiting and they could see how upset i was... i couldn't even speak properly.. they felt awful and kept apologising, but i don't see it as their fault... they were only following instructions...
about 15 mins later the boss came to my door and said: hi, how are you? just a sort of polite greeting...i replied: really not good.. i can't even talk about it right now... he mumbled a bit and said not to worry ... nothing we can't put right ! and i just stared at him and asked how? 9 years etc.. and he waffled about hanging baskets and said we can cover that in no time... sufinias will cover it etc..he just didn't seem to grasp what it meant to me .. planting surfinia's is like putting a plaster on a shark bite..
i kept saying: i just can't talk at the moment... but couldn't get rid of him... he was going to come in the morning himself and then get the guys in again... and that's how it was left, but after a while i emailed him again and said fine to come and discuss but no more workmen ... no one sets foot in this garden again until he has given me an acceptable plan in writing... and i can't even begin to think what can be done?? where to start ?? i am back to bare rocks, stripped arch, stark chain link fencing.. no trailing montanas over the straight top of the wooden fence... i notice something worse every time i go out to look...
so he'll be back in the morning... i'll let you know what happens... and thank you

23 Jan, 2013


I think he needs to replace the plants like for like ! If they are a national company ...the publicity if you went to the papers would soon have them on the hop...if no joy from local manager go higher! If you had large mature plants he needs to replace them ...not give you little plug plants. Stand your ground. Show him pics of what it looked like and discuss how he is going to return it to its former glory.. Xx

23 Jan, 2013


It is in their own interests to make amends, the last thing they want is bad publicity.

23 Jan, 2013


I agree, give them a plan of what went where.

23 Jan, 2013


Oh that is awful. I would have exploded and given them a good row ! lol
I agree with what others have said here. Don't give in to them.

23 Jan, 2013


Make a list of what plants they destroyed, with the individual species in detail .
When the Manager comes again it will help you to keep calm and demand restitution in kind. Give him a copy, but keep a copy yourself in case he cheats you.
It needs a Clive Holland type gardening expert to support you.
You are a very sensitive lady, its hard to battle on your own.
Hopefully you have found a friend locally by now who will be with you when the Manager comes again.

24 Jan, 2013


I can only agree with everything said already. I feel so sad for you - plants are like children, aren't they? Stand your ground and demand mature plants to replace the ones removed or threaten to tell all to the local paper. Take photos of what's been done already. Lots of good luck! :o)

24 Jan, 2013


Tell us how you get on please! X

24 Jan, 2013


Good morning...

i'm sorry I did sign in last night to update you but there must be something hideous in my star sign at the moment because my pc appeared to die... but my son tinkered, shouted: "Clear!" and zapped it back into life for me... but for how long I'm not sure...

Well he came yesterday morning and spent almost two hours with me in the garden... bitterly cold but I just don't feel like inviting him in and putting the kettle on..
He feels awful... the 6 blokes feel awful... he is a really nice guy and we get on well, but that doesn't fix it...
he has said he will make it right?? ..."planned" to do a couple of extra things, which being on my own would be a help ... like installing the drain pipe i bought to go on the shed... and providing me with and connecting up a water butt... obviously putting the irrigation system i had rigged up back in place and completing it as i had planned... and my trouble is i feel ungrateful for not being content with that... but i'm still so sad, sincerely at not being able to have what i had worked on... my vision of this little courtyard garden with ivy covered walls and pink and white and lilac trailing over and my privacy is all gone... i'm back to bare chain link fence etc...

anyway he wanted to get cracking but i did stick to my guns in as much as i told him i will not be rushed and i was not prepared to give him the go ahead there and then... i have allowed him to come with 2 guys today... any minute, to clear the awful mess they left as i asked them to stop immediately... i said i want it made safe, which it is not at the moment... slippery mud all over the patio and pots stacked one on top of the other ... anything that has survived won't be able to shoot because of the weight on top... and my kitchen!!! OMG ! i am the original crazy cat lady and have 3 cats... and it makes you realise just how active they are indoors! i have muddy footprints everywhere...

it is keeping me awake and i realised this morning about 4.45 am that if I take the fella out of the picture i would be suing the a*** off of the company... but i worry that he would lose his job over it .. so i am going to take the weekend to mull it over ... where there's a will, there's a way is one of the things i live by... but, other than turning the clock back, i just can't see a way to regain the time that the plants had to make their home here...

anyway, they have just arrived to begin their clean up operation and i'v promised them a cuppa in an hour or so... oh one thing thank you, Nariz for your suggestion about photos... it is something i always do to remember good and bad on all sorts of things.... yesterday i went out and took loads of photos of what had been done before they had covered their tracks ...

one of the poor chaps, who i have met a couple of times looked so sheepish and told me he hadn't wanted to come back... i said why are u frightened of me ? and he said he couldn't face me after what they had done..
thank you all so much for taking an interest, for your ideas and for your support.. it is very much appreciated.. i have the weekend to think it all over... i'll keep in touch and let you know... jan

25 Jan, 2013


Good luck !

25 Jan, 2013


i have uploaded a couple of pics

25 Jan, 2013


I sincerely hope that there is a sliver lining to this dark cloud of a shenanigans. What an upsetting thing to happen.

26 Jan, 2013


This is really heartbreaking Clematis......I'm sorry about my earlier comment about the ivy re-growing. I wrote it before I found your blog. I can't imagine what possessed them......I would have been like you, unable to speak to them. At least they are remorseful.....that's a good thing at least. I hope you come to a good ending in time, but I fully understand your heartache. :(

27 Jan, 2013


You are a lovely bunch ! Thanks to you all for your ideas and support. Well I know it's going to make me very unpopular but I have come to a decision... And this is how I reached it ... Hope I don't bore you (please feel free to stop reading at anytime !) but I haven't reached it lightly and feel I need to explain my reasoning ..
My garden meant, well means, so much to me. It was totally bare and characterless when I moved in and I experimented, not always successfully! To find the best way to get things to grow in that giant "rockery" and disguise the wire fences with cuttings I had managed to keep alive !!
Cut to the chase .. If I accept his petunia surfinias idea and the water butt and give him the go ahead I feel, rightly or wrongly, that I am saying oh it's OK I'm over it .. But I'm not .. It really isn't OK .. I want to go out and see MY plants start shooting and come back to life .. it gives me a thrill .. As the weather improves I want to sit out in my garden that I created not one that someone else thinks is how it should be .. And that can't happen ... If there was a way to make it right I would go along with it but there just isn't ..
I'm afraid I am going to write to the head office and inform them what has happened and explain how devastated I am. What I would like is to start again. I am not a money grabbing opportunist who believes in egging the pudding to extract maximum advantage, I will be honest but I will try to convey just how heartbroken I still am.
The fly in the ointment is that the manager, who I do hold responsible and who was at fault ... His fellas were only following orders ... Seems a really nice guy .. But, for once, I have to stand up for myself... Logically it seems ridiculous to put his feelings above my own in this situation ... Blimey, sorry that sounds sooo self righteous !
So I am going to take the matter further and see what they propose and if it comes to taking further action, although ultimately it is not up to me who they hire and fire, I would ask them to give him a second chance ...

27 Jan, 2013


Excellent plan! Doesn't sound self righteous at all, sounds assertive and self respecting and positive! Go for it! It's the guys mistake and his company can well afford to pay for it. Surely he won't be sacked unless of course he makes a habit of cocking it up big style, in which case he is in the wrong job. I understand how you feel for him, but his plan sounds useless tbh!

27 Jan, 2013


Its not money grabbing, it was your haven and had taken years to get the look and feel you wanted, I would be devastated as well, you stick to your guns Jan, Karen is right they can afford to put it right, what they have suggested as a replacement is in my opinion a quick fix to shut you up....

27 Jan, 2013


Your comments are very reassuring, thank you. For those of you who are interested, it is largely similar to my last post but with a few alterations, but I have sent the manager the following, by both text and email to ensure he reads at least one of them.


Hi Xxxxxxx
> Well I know this is going to make me very unpopular but I have come to a decision. I haven't reached it lightly and feel I need to explain my reasoning.
> My garden meant, well means, so much to me. It was totally bare and characterless when I moved in and I experimented, not always successfully, to find the best way to get things to grow in that giant "rockery" and I had created a degree of privacy by disguising the wire fences with cuttings which I had managed to propagate. I'll cut to the chase.
> If I agree to going ahead I feel, rightly or wrongly, that I am saying that everything is OK. That I am over it but I'm not. It really isn't OK. I am heart broken, sincerely heart broken.
> I want to go out and see MY plants start shooting and come back to life because it gives me a great thrill. As the weather improves I want to sit out in MY garden that I created, not one that someone else, however well intentioned, thinks is how it should be. And that is simply impossible, it can't happen, instantly, because it is all gone. If there was a way to make it right I would go along with it but there just isn't and it's destruction holds far reaching consequences for me.
> I feel I need to write to head office and inform them what has happened and explain how devastated I am and that I need to start again, from scratch.
> I am not a money grabbing opportunist who believes in egging the pudding to extract maximum advantage, I will be honest but I have to advise them of the facts and convey just how distraught I was when I saw what had been done and how heartbroken I still am.
> It is with a very heavy heart because you seem like a really nice guy but I have to stand up for myself and I can't, logically, put your welfare and feelings above my own in this situation.
> So I am going to see what they propose and, although ultimately it is not up to me how they treat their employees, I wish you well and bear no grudges. I look forward to being able to work with you to create a new garden. As I said at our meeting, it's nothing personal but a terrible mistake has been made that cannot be rectified.

> I am hoping to reach a swift, fair, realistic and acceptable resolution to the situation so that work can resume, but I wish to make it absolutely clear that nothing further is to be done until you have my signature on an approved plan of action. If no agreement can be reached, I feel I will have no alternative but to escalate the action.

Still with my kind regards
> Jan

so now I have to draft my complaint!!

28 Jan, 2013


Well said! Good luck, and keep us informed.....if you like! :)

28 Jan, 2013


Well done you for grasping the nettle! I hope you get a good response to your well-constructed letter - as I said - they should replace your lost plants with mature plants of the same type that can go partly towards hiding up the ugly mess they left when they ignored your precise instructions. Very good luck to you and your efforts. :o)

29 Jan, 2013

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