Is there a right time to leave a much loved garden?

I’m finding it quite painful receiving tempting seed catalogues in the post when, at the moment, it’s not clear where I am going to live and what type of garden I will inherit. Apart from committing ideas and plans to paper, I feel I can’t actively do anything practical yet for a garden in 2018. I am beginning to think that October, when the garden is preparing to go to bed, is the best time to move, not at the start of the year with Spring beckoning and an abundance of colourful brochures packed with goodies whetting the appetite.

Towards the end of 2017 I spent a fair bit of my budget buying spring bulbs, designing the colour schemes and adding to the pots I already have, which at the last count numbered just over 30! Some of you reading this will smile and think to yourselves “that’s nothing, you want to see how many containers I have”.

Last year along with Cosmos, sweet peas, calendula to name but a few, I also grew dahlias successfully from seed. The dahlias were planted out into the flowerbeds, I didn’t dig them up and the new owner of the garden may benefit from them in 2018, that’s if they get through the winter and recently waterlogged beds.

I defy anyone with a love of gardening, not to resist buying a plant, or even plants, as a memento of a happy time spent visiting other gardens, either NGS or National Trust/English Heritage properties. After 17 years, my garden is full of memories, many of which I know I have to leave behind. As much as I would love to, I can’t bring myself to strip the whole place – also I’m not sure the removal men will take too kindly to more than half a garden centre to move! It has been a very difficult decision to pick what to take and what to leave behind. The photo above is the Tree Peony I bought from Stanstead House in April 2017. I have always promised myself one of these and although it only produce one bloom, it was splendid and I have no intention of leaving it behind. It is now in a container by the back door and fingers crossed has taken the transition from flowerbed to pot in its stride.

Is there a right time to move, if you have a garden, let alone a much loved garden? I don’t think there is, it’ll be an emotional wrench whatever time of the year. With a bit of luck, all going well and conveyancers not dragging their heels, I will be in a new home by Easter and have plenty of time to sow seeds and nurture new plants, as well as enjoy my transported spring bulb laden pots.

9 thoughts on “Is there a right time to leave a much loved garden?

  1. Moving is always so stressful and leaving a well-loved garden behind ever harder. But you can look at it as a challenge to create an entirely different garden and take as many of your most loved plants with you. I always regret leaving some plants behind when I left a garden where I had lived for 18 years, especially when I learned later that the house was being used as a rental, so I knew the garden would most likely be neglected. Any news on where you have decided to move to Ronnie?

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    1. I know that feeling about leaving a much loved garden in the hands of someone else. Years ago I left such a garden, shrubs etc and a neighbour rang after a few months to tell me the whole garden had been pulled up and completely Astro turfed from edge to edge. I as so upset. This time I’m potting up/taking cuttings of plants with memories.

      I’ve had an offer accepted on a property in Emsworth (a mile from my daughter 😀 ) but not going to say more yet as I don’t want to put the mockers on it! What this space

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Fingers crossed. Emsworth (if it is the one in Hampshire on the south coast) is in a sweet location. Wish you luck!


  2. We moved house in May 2013. I had been accumulating plants in pots since the beginning of the year and I had split up a lot of perennials and potted pieces up to take with me. We moved in on a Saturday and by the Tuesday I had created the first flower bed (in what was just lawn) and started to plant. Other plants stayed in pots for weeks or months. Spring was actually a very good time to move plants.

    The new garden lacked a greenhouse so I had to go and buy a small plastic greenhouse for tomato and pepper seedlings, until we’d built a new, full size greenhouse. I now use the plastic greenhouse for seedlings and for drying onions and shallots from the allotment.

    Good luck with your move – and keep up the gardening!

    All the best,


    1. Lovely to hear your experience! I’m going to have to compromise so an application for an allotment might be in order.


  3. Gosh moving from your garden sounds quite hard and you have described it all so well. Uncertain times are hard aren’t they. I do hope you find the place you want – and I look forward to hearing about it and seeing your new garden whatever it is. Best wishes, Julie


    1. It might be a small courtyard or even a balcony but the draw of an allotment is very appealing.


  4. We all know how you feel! Seed/bulb/plant catalogues, promotional emails, web sites, plant sales ….. The onslaught is endless. I try to discipline myself now. Catalogues travel quickly and unopened straight from doormat to recycling container, if I visit a garden I take with me just the admission fee and £5 for refreshments. I don’t go within 10 miles of an advertised plant sale. But I fail and still the lawn has to get smaller! I hope you find your new garden with home attached soon.


    1. My son in law made me laugh recently when I said I didn’t like mowing the lawn, his reply was “you can tell that because your lawn is getting smaller and smaller” !!!


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