LOOKING FORWARD


This is a New Year post about looking forward to the year ahead, and without a New Year's Resolution in sight.  

1. A Spring Clean

What better way to start the year than with a jolly good tidy up.  We have swallows nesting in the garden shed each Summer and they do rather decorate the place, if you catch my drift.  But several hours later, and with the aid of a bucket of soapy water, it's looking much tidier.  I even managed to wash up a few of my stash of plant pots in anticipation of all the seeds to be sown.


2. Seeds!

Talking of seeds, the catalogues have started to arrive.  Many hours will be spent making lists and then trying to edit them down to a reasonable length.


3. A Good Book

I've been reading 'We Made a Garden' by Margery Fish.  I'd not read any of her writing before and greatly enjoyed this one, mainly because of the slightly disparaging tales she tells of her husband, Walter.  This is Margery's first experience of making a garden, but Walter, however, has his own ideas about how things ought to be done.  To some extent it is a reflection of the gardening enthusiasms of the early twentieth century.  The first area of the garden they make is a rock garden, and there are many recommendations for plants to grow in walls and between paving stones.



But the main reason I love reading a new gardening book is that it sets me off dreaming about changes and improvements I can make here.  Most of these dreams may come to nothing, which is just as well, since there are only so many plants a gal can look after.

4. Evergreens

One of the chapters in Margery's book is 'The Value of Evergreens'.   It is a short chapter, which can be summed up as - your garden will look bare in winter without any, and a bit of structure from clipped shrubs is good in a formal garden.  But you knew that didn't you?  So did I, but I can't say I've planted many evergreens apart from hedges, both dwarf and tall, like these in the Rose Garden.


I didn't plant any of the evergreen shrubs in the photo below. Here there are juniper, mahonia, hollies and spotted laurel. But imagine the scene without them.  It would be so bare.



5. Skimmia Japonica 'Rubella'

Since evergreen shrubs are so important to the Winter garden, I did think it could have been the theme for this week post, with profiles of six different evergreen shrubs.  I even started taking some photos.  They didn't half look dull.   I thought this Skimmia was worth including though, with its pretty red flowers. 




6. Winter Flowering Cherry

This has already been flowering for a few weeks and will carry on for a few more, despite the pigeons pecking at them.  I look at this froth of pale pink flowers and think can it really be Winter?



Well it definitely is, but there are signs that we have turned a corner into Spring.  Those early flowers, the Pulmonaria, Aconites and Hellebores are showing signs of flowering soon, and so the garden year begins again. 

May I leave you with best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year.  
This post is part of Six on Saturday, a weekly gardening theme, hosted by The Propagator.







Comments

  1. I loved Margery Fish's book for exactly the same reason - particularly the bits about the gravel drive. However, the thing I am most envious about is your shed! Those boxes to store things in. Very nice. I now have serious shed envy.
    Happy New Year to you too.

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    1. Thanks Joy. The shed storage boxes are old apple crates, which I got a couple of years ago as the shed was descending into chaos. I don't quite know why/how I need so much gardening stuff.

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  2. I was impressed by the box shelves. They look very neat indeed. I've visited East Lambrook Manor Gardens a few times (they have a good nursery) but I've not read Margery Fish's book. I'll have to look out for it. All the best for 2021.

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    1. Thank you. I'd like to visit East Lambrook Manor Gardens. The book didn't have any illustrations, and it's hard to get a feel for a garden from a few pictures on the internet.

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  3. I love the box shelves! It's so tidy ... Looks like a pic from a gardening & home magazine. (A wide shot might not have given the same result ...) : Happy New Year to you and yours !

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    1. You're right Fred. A wide shot would have revealed the bright yellow and green hozelock garden hose and the unattractive garden sprayers.

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  4. I think a few of us think you have a very elegant shed. I agree Margery Fish's writing is just the thing to read to inspire us at this time of the year. I've visited East Lambrook Manor, which isn't too far away, in the spring time, a really lovely season showing off her spring planting.

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    1. East Lambrook sounds like a lovely place to visit and we are lucky that it has been looked after and kept going.

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  5. I've been given the Margery Fish book but haven't yet read it. Now I know she describes building a rock garden I feel I must dive in. I have both those seed catalogues plus a few more. The Marshalls catalogue gives you cute little bookmarks to mark the pages you like. You've got some great shrubs and structure in your garden - it looks fabulous on a winter day.

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    1. Thanks Katharine. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did. It certainly made me smile. I see you have a wall with planting spaces, which is another of the topics she writes about in the book.

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  6. Yes, once again, the box shelving is the winning photograph and idea, if only I could lay my hands on enough of them. Re the evergreens: they have their undeniable value in the winter garden and we really couldn't do without them. However, conifers - do you remember those miniature conifers, underplanted with heathers, of the 70s and 80s? - I could live my life happily without such an evergreen in the garden, those dull, unchanging plonks on the landscape!

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    1. I remember them. When we first moved here there were some conifers underplanted with dead heathers. The conifers were probably small once!

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  7. I like the structure of your rose garden - some old-fashioned rose gardens are nothing but spindly legs in winter, not yours. The winter-flowering cherry is a heart-lifting sight, it must be a welcome reminder that spring follows winter.

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    1. Thank you. We were lucky that there were already some large evergreen shrubs planted around the edges of the garden.

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  8. Your shed is so tidy and well organised that I’m tempted to print off the image and hand it to my husband with the instruction - make ours look like that. Of course, it won’t happen. I’ve given up organising it because as soon as there’s space he fills it up again.

    Your skimmia is pretty and is always a worthwhile addition to the garden, as are the trees and other shrubs that add structure at this time of year. Best wishes for 2021.

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