Saying Farewell

I moved to Worthing in February 2001, seventeen years ago after buying a large ground floor flat in a Victorian conversion. I bought it because it had its own rear garden, albeit overgrown with ivy, not only over all the stone walls but through the borders and lawn.

I lovingly restored it, turning it into a good old-fashioned English cottage garden, with lots of roses and flowering shrubs.

We are, at last, blessed with sunny, warm weather which is about time. Last week the lawn was a boggy mess with standing water in the borders. It has only taken four sunny days to dry out and buds are appearing everywhere.

Last year the above border was packed with yellow and white tulips and daffodils. I left the bulbs in rather than dig them up and the display is not as good this time round. I think this is a lesson that it is worth removing spring bulbs after flowering.

I was a bit heavy handed pruning the Ribes so this year it is not as spectacular as in previous years. The Astilbe has shot up in a week, and really should have been thinned out at the end of last summer.

All the tulips are coming into flower and are going to make a colourful show. Strangely a number of labels are missing, I know I was really careful labelling everything when planting up.

Why the orange crates?

I am moving on Friday (20th) and leaving all of this behind, except for my pots. A lot have already been distributed around family and friends and the others I will take with me.

The above pot is one of five coming to my new home. I am moving to Emsworth a small harbour town on the south coast near Chichester.

Throughout life we learn to make compromises and here is my compromise – my new home has south facing French doors and a patio, but NO GARDEN. Paying off an interest only mortgage left me with a limited budget. I had looked at the Isle of Wight where I could afford a property with a garden, but when the Emsworth flat came up, moving to the IoW weighed up against being in easy reach of friends and family there was no contest.

All is not lost though. My youngest daughter and her husband recently also moved to Emsworth. I’ve blogged recently about their garden which they are happy for me to work in, (it gives them a free gardener!!). The garden is a renovation project and already beginning to take shape. There will be a lot to blog about.

I do feel sad about leaving my much loved garden, especially as I’ve discovered my buyer is going to rent out the flat. I can only hope someone who loves gardening will move in, but it is something I can’t dwell on once I’ve locked the door and waved goodbye.

Onwards and upwards to new horizons. Oh, I almost forgot, I’m in negotiations to share an allotment which really is exciting. So with that and my daughter’s garden I will have plenty to keep me busy.

Spring in the Garden and a Move on the Horizon

At last after far too many soggy days we have sunshine! This time of the year often means clear skies equal frosty nights but hey, it’s infinitely better than constant rain. I even have some daffodils appearing, which I always find exciting.

I’m going through cupboards and drawers discarding 17 years of clutter. For some extraordinary reason, whilst I was whipped into a throwing away frenzy, I binned all the carefully saved bulb packets. I think it was because I had assured myself all bulbs had been labelled whilst planting last year. WRONG! The above pretty crocus is sans label, I have had to Google until I came across a name I recognised. I believe it to be ‘Snow Bunting’, that seems to ring a bell anyway.

The garden is still mine until I hand over the door keys on the last day – whenever that is going to be! It will be a sad day but until then I can’t turn my back on a much loved garden and think after Easter you won’t be mine anymore. Above is the wettest, boggiest part of the garden, however the ferns love it and the foxglove I moved during the summer looks very happy. That is annoying really as I have never had much success with foxgloves, it would decide now to behave.

Whilst lots of people love foxes, the local urban foxes are the bane of my life and love trashing my garden and digging holes. There are lots of daffodils and tulips bulbs in this bed and in order to make life a little challenging for Freda Fox and her growing family, I placed lots of little sticks as a deterrent. It doesn’t look too attractive but appears to have done the trick, albeit there are still a few places they have made holes – you can’t win all the battles when it comes to gardening.

There is one solitary brave flower on the forsythia, it is a large shrub and the flower looks as though it has been stuck on for fun. I didn’t notice it when taking the photo but the spirea is also in bud, this shrub has wonderful golden autumnal shades in the Spring, turning a boring green in the summer.

I never tire of the little red lipstick shapes of the appearing peony. In all the years I have had it, the wretched plant only ever has one flower and I have never managed to find out what I am doing wrong.

Back to the patio, the hyacinths are pushing through the soil, which looks like a boiling porridge pot and is spilling over the sides as the plant makes its way to the daylight. I must remember not to use so much soil next time.

With little sunshine on the patio at the moment, the crocuses are not opening up in the way they should, so ‘Firefly’ is not showing to its best, still pretty though.

New update: My Move

Kirstie and Phil of Location Location Location TV fame would be proud of me – compromise being the order of the day. When looking for somewhere to move to, I had a choice of a small property and tiny garden on the Isle of Wight with all the travel issues that brings, or a ground floor apartment in Hampshire with French doors facing south on to a large patio. Fingers crossed all goes to plan and I have gone for the second option in Emsworth, a pretty harbour village near Chichester. My daughter and her husband are moving there next week and with a large garden that needs a lot of work I’m gently feeding the idea that they need help PLUS the icing on the cake is I have already found someone with a plot to share on an allotment just down the road. I am really excited about the prospect and can concentrate on patio/container planting and managing a small allotment – lots to blog about. I will be so disappointed if it collapses, but I am going to be positive. Keep your fingers crossed for me please people!