I started keeping a garden diary in 1999 to record the development and progress of my garden. I have allowed it to lapse several times and finally it stopped altogether about five years ago.
2020 has been a difficult year for all of us as we have struggled to cope with the Covid-19 Pandemic. Everyday life we took for granted changed - work, routine, recreation, holidays, shopping - even good health - have been affected.
My garden has been the perfect therapy, a special place of hope and healing, and I want to share it with you. It's a small space, nothing grand, but I hope you enjoy it with me through my Diary. Perhaps it will make you think about creating your own diary too.
February 1st My snowdrops grow in the paeony bed and have established well over about twenty years to form a lovely carpet in a shady part of the garden. I can see them from my kitchen window and it's exciting to see the firtst ones appear and then watch them spread into a white carpet. The flowers appear before the glaucous blue-green foliage which then provides a pretty contrast to the strong, reddish paeony shoots. These appear at the end of the month. TIP If you want to try growing them, order them now to plant while they are still flowering, this is known as "planting in the green". Oprder 100 and divide them into 4 groups to plant in different parts of your garden. They probably won't all flourish but the ones that survive will tell you where they are happy!
January The Rhododendrons growing on a North-facing wall are full of buds. Keeping them well watered in the Summer during the dry spells to prevent bud drop certainly worked. All three - white, pink and deep red - are growing well and developing into an elegant evergreen screen against the old red brick wall. They are a great addition to the garden as they flower early in the year and make a vibrant splash of colour in that dark spot, and there is rich evergreen foliage right through the year. TIP Keeping your rhododrons well watered during the Summer months, especially during droughts to prevent bud-drop" ensure lots of flowers next Spring.
The Daphne is coming into flower and the perfume is intense. It was lovely to make a study of a single cluster of flowers, so many tiny buds! No wonder it flowers for such a long time. The scent from that small spray of flowers made painting it very enjoyable.
My first entry for 2021. I'm excited but aware this will be experimental as my previous diaries were recorded straight into a bound book. This time it will be on separate pages as each one will need to be scanned to display here. Diary posts will be made as things happen in the garden and posted immediately on Instagram and Twitter to keep you up to date.