End of Year View – 2017

As 2017 draws to a close I thought I would capture the garden as the year turns.  I could say “in all its glory” but that would be an exaggeration as the garden has suffered from my lack of interest this year and is looking a little worse for wear.

I’ve taken these photos with a wide-angle lens as I always find it hard to take photos of my garden which is rather wide with access from one side (see garden plan via link at top of page).

It is interesting that having spent little time in the garden this year, and indeed even less writing this blog or engaging with horticultural social media, I find that  I am seeing the garden with fresh eyes.  I find that I am more critical of the planting and less sentimental about the plants.   However, on the whole the structure and layout of the garden is all right it is really a case of bringing the planting together.  As Gertrude Jekyll argues “the possession of a quantity of plants, however good the plants may be themselves and however ample their number, does not make a garden; it only makes a collection”.  This is a fair assessment of much of my garden so my aim is to make a garden from what I have.

The one change to the structure of the garden is the removal of the very top path which runs along the back of the garden.  It is a path that goes no where and was put in when I originally cleared the slope to give access. However, the wood planking which has supported the terraces is beginning to rot due to age and it is rather challenging walking along the path.  But in truth I hardly go to the top of the garden and I have decided to remove the path which will given me more planting space for shrubs.

Over the Christmas break, when it isn’t snowing, I have started the big job of tidying up the garden.  As well as the normal piles of leaves to collect up there is a lot of cutting back and weeding to do and pruning.  In fact I spent yesterday trying to find the back fence under a sea of pyracanthus.  As I hadn’t pruned the bushes for a year or so they had become top heavy and the snow pushed them away from the fence they were meant to be clothing.  After some satisfying hard pruning order has returned and some Chaenomeles in flower has been discovered – missed in the Boxing Day Flower Count.

I’ve prioritised the borders which have a lot of spring bulbs – well the ones with lots of snowdrops.  This explains why the border along the patio looks so bare as it is full of snowdrops and eranthis.

The greenhouse was the first space to be tidied, back in November, and is as ever full with all my tender plants.

Finally a view of the front garden which has been a triumph this year – though it might not look it now.

I’m hoping that now I have decided to stay put  I can enjoy the benefit of my hard work over the last 13 years and continue to delight in the view of the hills which I have realised are so important to me.

 

Advertisements

14 Comments Add yours

  1. Tracy says:

    Your garden is lovely. I have enjoyed reading your blog from the beginning and seeing its evolution.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Thanks Tracy

  2. Chris says:

    Hills are so lovely Helen aren’t they. The view of hills from my front verandah stirs so many emotions and I love the way they change in appearance at different times and different seasons.
    Enjoy your home – it’s like a new start without all the dramas of moving.
    Cheers.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Chris
      I hadnt realised how important the hills had become to me until I was about to move to a house where I wouldnt be able to see them at all. They have become very important for my mental health I think.

  3. Cathy says:

    A winter garden, highlighting the bare bones, is a good place to reassess the structure and relect on the contents – as was your realisation that you were going to stay put. This weekend, with its milder weather, is a great opportunity to get on with all those jobs, and I wonder whether you will have more flashes of inspiration for change…?

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Cathy
      I had ever intention of gardening ever day I was off (10 in total). Before Christmas I did loads, then came the snow and the rain. It has rained every day since Christmas, not all day but enough to make everything soggy. I’ve done some pruning and some tidying but have given up now. Hopefully next weekend the sun will shine or at least the rain will stop. best wishes for 2018

    2. Cathy says:

      Have you not had a pleasantish w/e then? It was so much milder here on Sat/Sun and I started shifting compost about, a much delayed activity. No heavy rain here, but it’s much cooler this week. What a shame you have not been able to get much done in your garden, but no doubt you have an embroidery project or something similar that have been able to work on in the warm and dry? Oh, and I have found buds on my ornamental quince!

  4. ljaynature says:

    Really enjoyed reading your blogs this year. Hope you have a fantastic new year 🙂

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Lisa
      Thanks, Im glad you enjoy the blog. I havent engaged with it much in 2017 but I plan to do better in 2018

    2. ljaynature says:

      Look forward to reading them

  5. Eddi Reid says:

    Thank you for sharing you sleeping garden. I also am taking the winter opportunity to edit the garden. In my case I need to make things more easy for us to care for – that means pruning without mercy, removing dead and fallen timber, dealing with over enthusiastic ground cover and volunteer grasses, etc.etc. I have used vinca major under trees but it has loved the spot and become absolutely rampant.
    Good luck with next year – I am glad you are staying put – there is a deeply satisfying feeling in knowing where one will be.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Eddi
      Yep those pesky plants have a habit of growing and getting bigger dont they. But if they just stayed still it would soon make gardening boring. Enjoy your editing and thanks for dropping by

  6. Yes, a collection is a different thing, isn’t it! That said, I’m sure you can make a garden with the plants from a collection, and now you are coming back to it, having decided to stay, I’m sure you will!

  7. Yvonne Ryan says:

    Winter in a old country LLOQA YOU TO Ae the structure an shapes of the garden and a chance of doing a Megan. My ol IkwbN teCHER WAS RUTHLESS WITH HER PRUNING AND DEDISIONS TO CHOP OUT PLANTS THAT DIDNT FIT IN. OUR Grdens in UCKLAND TEND TO LOOK SAMISH ALL YEAR AS VERY WARM AN NO FROSTS AN THEREORE NOT MANY LOELY AUTUMN LEAVES. I BLOIEVE THAT GARDENERS SHOULD CONCENTRATE ON PLANTS THAT DO WELL IN THERE AREA AND NOT PUT SO MUCH EFFORT INTO PLANTS THAT ARE OBVIOUSLY NOT MEANT TO BE IN A SPOT THAT THEY DONT FOURISH IN EG WHY OTHER WITH AEOLIUMS – SPELLING – WHEN THEY ROW LIKE A WEED IN OUR GARDENS. AND NO MATTE HOW MUCH I LOVE PEOONIES I HAVE JUST GIVEN IN AND ONLY BUY A BUNCH ON MY NOV BIRTHDAY. I TRY TO FLY DOAWN TO CHRISTCHURCH THEN AND JUST GO TO THE GROWER AND GET HUE BUNCH FOR GOOD PRICE. THEY DO NOT GROW IN AUCKLAND UNLESS YOU POUR ICAE BLOCKS OVER THEM IN WINTER AND THT’S PRETTY SILY WHEN WE CAAN GROW SO MANY BEAUTIFUL LANTS THAT YOU CANT GGROW IN A CDOLD GARDEN. WE ARE HAING A HOT SUMMER ANA DHAVING TO WATER. MY 15- POTS MADE IT TO MY NEW GARDEN AND TWO OF MY DAUHTERS HAVVE BEEN LANTING SOME. EG HYDRANGEAS THAT ARE TWO YEAR OLD CUTTINGS. MY HEART IS NOT IN IT AND STILLL HAVENT GOT MY GARDENIG=NG MOJO BACKA AFTER MY STROKE AND GET VERY TIRRED. ALSO AT 79 DON’T WANT TO SERIOUSLY START ANOTHER GARDEN IT IS A LANK CANVAS BUT WITH MY POTS HAVE LOTS OF COLOUR.HOPE NOT TOO MUCH COLD ABEFORE YOUR BULBS POP UP AN NO MORE SNOW.AN HARSH FROSTS. ALTHOUGH FROSTS DO KILL BUGS. TEMPERATURES HAE BEEN IN LATE 2-‘S C SO ENJOYING SUMMER AND SWIMMING THO’ NOT AS EASY AS MY LOVELY COAST HOME I HAD TO LEAVE BEHIND. LOOKING FORWARD TO SPRING PHOTOS. od rhw gRSDEN.

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s