Jeff builds secret garden for spectacular wedding

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Grooms – if you’re planning on making your wedding day extra special for your wife-to-be, you could do worse than to take a leaf out of Jeff Rochester’s book.

Sprouston support worker Jeff pulled out all the stops, working on a stunning secret garden setting, from 6am to 10pm, in the 10 days before his marriage on Saturday to Vanessa Heckford at Ednam Village Hall.

Romantic Jeff said: “Vanessa always said she wanted to get married in a forest, like the scene in Twilight.”

The green came with the hire of the hall and Jeff – who worked for Border Aggregates for four years and ran his own gardening business for seven years – began transforming it into something that was beyond Vanessa’s wildest dreams.

Jeff told us: “I hired trees and bedding plants from Steve Emerson at Newton Don Nurseries, and he let me keep the bedding plants, so I have distributed them through the village.

“And Border Aggregates kindly lent me all the seats and figures.”

To add to the forest theme, villagers who kept birds of prey brought owls and hawks – and allowed the guests to handle them.

Vanessa said she had no idea the extent of what Jeff had planned.

She said: “I was expecting a few trees and maybe some plants.

“Ednam was buzzing with the talk of the garden and I suppose it was tough to keep it a secret – they kept coming up to him when he was building it .

“The bridesmaids were all sworn to secrecy, and the curtains in the hall were all drawn, so I couldn’t see out before the ceremony.

“But when I saw it, it was spectacular!

“I’m just super proud of him for all the effort he put in.

“There was a water wheel, flower waterfall, seating, dykes, trees, hidden shack, pathways and an archway ... it was like a dream.

“The whole day couldn’t have gone better ... there was a few drops of rain at the beginning, but once it cleared up it was just perfect.”

This week has been spent dismantling the garden and returning the loaned objects, before the couple head to Stirling for their honeymoon.

But Vanessa will always have that memory of her secret Twilight garden.