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.