We are regularly asked how we came up with the name Vialii Garden Design. Some people think it’s our surname (we were tempted to change our names by deed poll as it sounds a lot more glamorous than Burt!) but the real reason is simple – it’s the name of one of our favourite flowers, the Primula vialii.
Primula vialii is a striking plant with its poker shape and lilac base and red tip. They look great planted in groups and make a vibrant splash in the garden in early to mid summer. They work best as a woodland or bog plant and love to be kept moist and like partial shade. They are easy to grow and need little care. They quickly multiply and can be divided later in the year.
So, once we had the name, we needed to come up with a logo. A friend of ours recommended Margaret Scott, a graphic designer based in Edinburgh. We met with Margaret to explain what we were looking for – we wanted the V of Vialii to look like a stylised Primula vialii. Very quickly Margaret came back with the fabulous logo which you can now see emblazoned on all of our designs, websites, stationery, uniforms, vehicles – you name it, we brand it!
Finally, Margaret also created a stylised plant for us which we use as a footer on stationery, website and dotted here and there.
So there you go, a potted history (excuse the pun!) of Vialii.
All at Vialii
Construction of the shed started some time ago. We originally posted about it back in September 2011 and whilst the shed has been completed for some time now we’ve only gotten round to writing about it today.
As mentioned in our earlier posting, the shed needed to be bespoke due to the awkward sized corner. We had acquired some very robust Canadian oak pallets which were ideal to provide a strong and sturdy structure necessary to support the weight of a green roof.
The walls were clad in a weatherproof ply skin and then dressed with horizontal softwood slats which have been pressure treated. The roof structure consisted of graded timber roof joists and a double sheeting of marine-grade plywood. Graded timber was then secured around the perimeter of the roof to form a reservoir for the growing medium.
The roof then needed to be waterproofed so a thick visqueen membrane was added and carefully cut to size and pinned to the perimeter timber. At this point we needed to consider how to drain the roof. We were reluctant to install a standard PVC downpipe as, quite frankly, we thought it would look rubbish. We opted instead for a drip-chain arrangement which involved feeding a chain through a pre-drilled hole in the low point of the roof structure. You tie a knot in the chain so it doesn’t fall all the way through the hole and then the chain the drapes down onto the gravel corner of the patio. When it rains, the water finds its way to the hole that the chain passes through and gently trickles down the chain into the gravel beneath. Simple, looks good and is quite the conversation piece too.
You not only require to consider what to do when things are wet but almost as important is what to do when things are dry. There’s not a great deal of growing medium on the roof so it has the potential to dry out pretty quickly. We included a double layer of thick cardboard at the base of the growing medium to hold onto valuable moisture and as we intended to grow alpines on the roof so we filled the roof with a fairly poor mix of topsoil, sand, grit and vermiculite. So that was that, job done. All that was left were the little details…
All at Vialii