Saturday 31 December 2011


I have been very neglectful of my garden blog this last year due to various things not least my involvement in advocacy of Lyme Disease not just through my Looking at Lyme Disease blog but in helping support other sufferers and campaigning through my Member of Parliament, who is being very supportive. The replies however from our Department of Health would be laughable if it wasn't for so many people's suffering, they trip themselves up frequently and show how ignorant they are of the developing research.

The garden continues to be enjoyed and there have been various changes. Due to having some lovely new hardwood windows and Mike decorating the house, we decided to cut the Wisteria hard back. I did check on Google and found re assurance from Arabella Sock who I know of through the blogasphere but can't now find the link. So with fingers crossed we cut back the Wisteria to about knee high and at the end of the Autumn we were rewarded in seeing one new shoot reach about 3 feet before the Winter.
The Fuschia bushes have been flowering well into December as we still have not had much in the way of frost yet.
I took the opportunity to get Mike to relocate the water barrel which was always an eyesore next to the garage. So painted black and at last connected to a down pipe it already is proving to be less of an eyesore and very useful.
The Wallflower are looking good this year and again were grown from seed in the greenhouse to start then into pots and planted out in the vegetable patch after  we had harvested early crops.
My daughter Rachel took me to a lovely pub/eating place The Churchill Arms not far from Notting Hill, the eating area was in a conservatory and the ceiling was covered in hanging plants it was absolutely amazing, so I decided to have a go at making our lean to a bit more interesting. The roof height is a little low but already it is looking rather nice.  
The yellow flower on the bottom right is a Coronilla Glauca Citrina. It was a present from my daughter Rebecca two years ago. It has not stopped flowering since she gave it to me, but in Winter it flowers the most and the perfume is so delicate and welcome at this time of year. It says it is fully hardy but I bring it into the lean to during the Winter months because I am not altogether convinced of that.
Still interesting colours along the back terrace
Although the climbers were very hard pruned for the decorating and new windows they are recovering well. I love the new door which is a stable door something I have always wanted.
In March my 90 year old Dad came to live with us, he is still able to get about slowly but decided he couldn't manage his house and garden alone.
 Leah at the well came with him.

The Hydrangeas are looking particularly colourful this Autumn.
There are still a number of roses flowering and the box comes into it's own dressing the vegetable garden in the Winter.
This was another big change to the garden. Thirty years ago when we moved  here we planted a hedge of Leylandii. It made a good hedge between us and the neighbours at the bottom and although Mike pruned it hard it was a mammoth task. About 10 years ago the fence behind the Leylandii came down and with agreement of the neighbour we decided we didn't want another fence but in order to disguise the brown Leylandii which loses it's green against a fence and does not re grow, we planted Laurel in between the Leylandii. All the best advice said not to do this as they would not survive. They were small plants and needed watering during the Summer months but had grown well if a little sideways. So we decided the time had come to get rid of the Leylandii and hopefully in the next year or two the Laurel will shape up to become a more manageable hedge.
With the removal of the Leylandii we gained 3/4 feet across the bottom of the garden so scope for other things which is always fun for a gardener. Mike did the spade work in digging up the no mans land in this bottom corner much of which is riddled with Ground Elder and Bindweed. We will never get rid of it but every now and then we have a purge in one part of the garden or another. This has all been replanted now with plants from my nursery so looking forward to seeing how it progresses. I had grown lots of plants over the last couple of years because Rebecca and husband moved house and so lots of nursery plants have helped furnish their new garden.
The greenhouses are tucked up for the Winter, those plants on the left were grown from seed and in true Joanne fashion I lost the label and name. I do know what they are not and am hoping they are Dierama pulcherrimum or Angel's Fishing rods but maybe that is wishfull thinking because I lost the original plant and had tried seeding them. 
Of course I am as usual slow to get my head around blogger changes but seem to be coping after having initially tried adding this to my wrong blog!

So all in all it has been an interesting year but the best news was becoming a Grandma to a lovely little Graddaughter.

Wishing all my blogging friends a Happy and Healthy 2012.


  1. Lovely to see your post Joanne and to catch up on what has been happening. You certainly have been busy. Many congratulations on the arrival of a granddaughter ~ how exciting. May the new year treat you and those that you love kindly and may all that graces your garden flourish xxx

  2. Your gardens are lovely, and so big! No wonder you don't find much time to blog about it, but I'm glad I got to see this post. I found my way here by way of Aiken House and Gardens.

  3. So glad to see you back to the blog. Hope to see you more often. Happy New Year. V

  4. Your garden looks absolutely fantastic. There are so many plants that one can really do a treasure hunt there. That's what I am thinking of transforming my garden into.

  5. Congratulations on becoming a grandmother! I think I missed that exciting news.
    I love seeing your garden! I'm so impressed with the boxwood hedges! Love the new windows and door! Happy New Year!!!!

  6. Hi Joanne,

    Lovely post. Here's hoping that 2012 is just as successful. Keep up the good work!

    Best wishes, Alex.

  7. Best of luck in 2012, Joanne. I always enjoy visiting your garden.

  8. Wishing you a Happy New Year!

    I am trying hard not to covet your boxwood hedges. They are so lovely. Box doesn't grow well in our climate (summers are too hot) so I must admire yours from afar.

    Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

  9. Joanne.. I love your cottage and gardens, I love that window on that photograph and the greenhouse... I want to move to England and dream I own a cottage like that! ;) Enjoy every minute, my friend!


  10. dear Joanne, i'm so pleased you gave us this update. Changes to the garden kind of parallel the changes in the family - as time goes by ... cheers, catmint

  11. I'm looking forward to spring here. Love the pretty hydrangea blooms.

  12. Hi Joanne
    I finaly checked to see if a miracle happened and that you made time to show off your beautiful garden again
    Thank you

    As always it is so pretty I can almost smell the fragrances wafting from the flowers
    a lovely change from out almost snowless brown winter.

  13. So nice to hear from so many friends I do miss this interaction must blog on my garden blog more often and visit your blogs too. What no snow in Alberta Alison!!

  14. This post seems to me very enlightening and interesting, thanks for sharing
    un saludo

  15. Joanne, you have accomplished a lot in real life while you were 'off' from the cyberworld. Congratulations on the arrival of your granddaughter! Do post here and keep us updated whenever you have the time. Meanwhile, your garden is as lovely as ever, neglect or no. Happy New Year 2012!

  16. Hi Joanne, it is great to have a post from you again, and it's clear you've been very busy. First, congratulations on your new granddaughter, that is exciting;-) For some reason, I didn't remember you had greenhouses...those look like fun to me. I have wished I could have one here--but there's no room for one, plus, we aren't allowed to have one in my development as it's against the Homeowners' Association rules. ugh. Anyway, you have LOTS happening in your garden and in your life--having your father come to live with you is also a big change & I'm sure, keeps you busy. How nice to have Leah at the Well in your garden;-) I'm glad you posted an update.

  17. So glad I stopped by. Joanne, I showed my husband your bad garden, and he said, "Wow." Wow indeed. All those lovely teepees and hedges. Sometimes, I wish I lived in a more moderate clime. Ah well. We have lived in our house since 1980 (my husband) and 1989 (I). I was thinking that it takes a long time for a garden to mature into loveliness. Yours certainly has.~~Dee

  18. Wow so nice to hear from you all.

  19. What a lovely garden you´ve got! Lots of time and love in it by the look. Hope to read a lot more from you!! Dont stress though :)
    God bless

  20. Just found your blog and i'm chuffed. I have just moved to a newly renovated country cottage and the garden is a blank canvas!
    plain grass at the back and gravel at the i'm going to follow your blog for inspiration!

  21. I stumbled upon your blog and I would say that it's really wonderful! Your garden looks very happy in the photos. I wonder how you made them healthy and vibrant. Gonna have to keep updated with your post. Thanks for sharing! :)