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.