Fourteen years in the making
For some reason the title of this post made me think of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address but that was four score years and ten! Anyway, I have had my garden for just over fourteen years and I thought having not posted about the garden for ages, since April I think, I would give you a quick tour.
Lets start with the front garden. Regular readers will recall that in April 2016 I dug up the front lawn and planted the whole of the front garden with mainly late summer perennials. Well my youngest son dug up the lawn whilst my eldest son installed the brick edge path ably assisted by my amazing mortar mixing skills. It has been a huge success and is something I should have had the courage to do years ago. I love the changing colours and textures through the year and there is always a sense of movement even on a hot still day like today. It is full of wildlife from birds, frogs, bees, butterflies and other insects and of course my cat.
To access the back garden you go down the side of the house where you encounter The Banana; its The Banana as I grew it from seed two years ago and am hugely proud of it.
The patio isn’t too crowded at the moment, its been worse but it does need a bit of a weed. In fact the patio has been looking its best this summer, all neat and the pots arranged so there is a good display, no seed trays, lanky seedlings, random purchases etc. The reason is that the house is on the market! Yes, I hope to move and so the garden has had to put its best foot forward and look gorgeous since late June. It has also had to try to not look too scary or intimidating for a potential new owner.
So we go up the steps at the end of the patio to the main garden. If you look towards the back of the photo you will see the open boundary where my new neighbours chopped down all the trees last summer. I have spent a year trying to convince myself that its fine, I can adjust the garden to a sunny one instead of a shady one, after all when I moved here I had to learn to garden with the shade and just think of all the plants I could grow. But it doesn’t matter how much I tell myself this I have stopped wanting to be in the garden. My garden mojo packed its bag when the large sycamore went; ironic really as I used to moan about all the sycamore seedlings.
To be fair its not the neighbour’s fault its just one of those things, its simply time to move on. We have been here 14 years and the intention was only to stay 7 or 8 while the boys were at senior school and then move on. But we have been happy here, the house and garden have served us well. I have learnt so much about plants and gardens and what I like and don’t like. Before this garden I had had gardens but never one that allowed me to experiment and explore horticulture like I have over the last ten years – of course the fact that the boys are grown has given me more time as well. The removal of the trees is just the thing that has pushed me into making the decision once and for all – I have been thinking about moving for probably three years if I am honest.
So the current position is that I have an offer on this house and my offer on another house has been accepted. Surveyors and solicitors have been instructed and a mortgage offer confirmed and now we wait. I don’t want to tempt fate by telling you about the new house but the garden is larger, its more rural and my gardening mojo isn’t quite back but its popped in a few times, especially in the middle of the night.
Today I went round the garden and made a list of all the plants I want to take. I have taken cuttings a few weeks ago of favourite shrubs that are too big to move especially the Grevillea Canberra Gem in the front garden which reminds me of my late sister so is hugely sentimental and I will miss profoundly. There have been discussions about whether I should take any plants at all. Wouldn’t it be better to start again but I don’t think the purchasers are gardeners and I have spent a long time collecting my ferns and epimediums so no they are coming with me. The list today stood at 80 plants (including bulbs and cuttings) – I just remind myself of a gardening friend who recently told me she moved with 400 plants.
While I was making my list I thought I should take some photos to remind myself of the garden at its absolute best and to give it its due despite me as I have garden very little this year. Its full and voluptuous and makes me realise that moving on I need to be more relaxed with my garden as it is quite capable of looking after itself for a while and that means my new passion – embroidery and quilting – can thrive alongside and in fact I will be a more rounded person.
Of course when there is firm news and contracts are exchanged I will share but at the moment all my hopes are pinned on one property and there is nothing else tempting me so fingers crossed.
Having written this post I feel a little sad at the thought that my garden may in a year or so be no more but its one of those things. Its time to move on and start a new garden which will build on everything I have learned and will include some friends from this garden and who knows the new owners might decide to keep some of my garden – either way I hope they enjoy the garden and house as much as we have.