Thoughts about our garden.
“We desire,” the Emporer dictated, “that in the garden there should be all kinds of plants.” Charlemagne the Great
I do a lot of writing about gardens, but our own personal garden has never been the subject of this blog. Our garden is always a backdrop to my thinking about gardens and gardening—a sort of character in my story whose face is never revealed. There are many reasons for this: first, our garden is just in the process of being established; I’m a terrible photographer and our garden is surrounded on three sides by unattractive roads and on one side by our unattractive house; and mostly because the act of gardening feels profoundly personal to me. It was designed for us, for our own pleasure, so the idea of opening for public consumption is a bit terrifying to me.
|BEFORE: The garden area when we bought the house.|
But I love other blogs that openly share their own gardens. James Golden’s View from Federal Twist is a brilliant blog about two wonderful gardens. That James bears his own soul through the garden is a source of endless inspiration to me. I’m just not that brave. And Scott Weber’s Rhone Street Garden is another fantastic blog. Scott transforms his small garden into and endless expanse through the lens of his camera. Through his images, I see and enjoy Scott’s garden much in the way he probably does.
|Nasella tenuissima and Salvia 'Caradonna'|
So in homage to other bloggers who bravely open their own gardens to public scrutiny, I am adding a few images of our own “in-process” garden. This spring marks two full years since I began smothering a triangular wedge of lawn in our sunny side yard. This area was too small to be a usable lawn, and too close to the road to be an enjoyable outdoor use area, so it seemed like a practical area for a garden.
|The sipping terrace which my brother-in-law calls the "duck blind" in late summer|
The house we bought was a neglected mid-century ranch which we essentially gutted, so my wife and I have poured our resources and time into renovating the house room by room. The only way to afford the renovation was to do everything ourselves, so that has left little time and money for the garden. The assembly of plants—and assembly is a much more accurate term than design—is a result of what we could get cheaply, what we could divide, what was available, and what would survive the mid-summer heat and humidity. This approach is probably entirely familiar to most gardeners, yet entirely problematic from my point of view as a designer. The garden becomes a product of impulse purchases and ad hoc decisions, not careful planning.
|Kniphofia 'Salley's Comet' with Pleioblastus viridistriatus, Nepeta "Walker's Low' and Eschscholzia californica|
But I’ve decided to embrace this non-designed approach. Design has its limitations, too. Any designer who has ever installed a garden, walked away, and then visited that garden five years later learns that design is not a singular vision set to paper; design is a thousand of little decisions and actions made through the life of the garden.
|Iris 'Persian Berry', one of the most exquisite colors I've ever seen|
With no real design to speak of, the garden has only a sort of guiding philosophy: plant only that which gives us pleasure. To use an admittedly pretentious term, our garden is a sort of “pleasaunce” by default, an archaic term for pleasure-garden. The concept of a pleasure garden is a bit antiquated these days. We are now much more likely to call non-food bearing gardens ornamental gardens. But “ornamental” is such a poor descriptive phrase. Who picks plants like they would pick wallpaper? To match their exterior trim? The worst gardens are those that aim to be merely decorative. No, we pick plants to live with us because they give us pleasure. I was recently re-acquainted with the idea of pleasure gardens when I re-read one of my favorite garden books, Rose Standish Nichols’ English Pleasure Gardens. It is a book I often pick up, read a chapter, and then put it away for a while. This century-old book is a compelling story of the English garden as viewed through three centuries of garden history. Throughout the book, one theme keeps emerging throughout the millennia: gardens exist for our pleasure.
Christopher Lloyd’s writings have also been an inspiration of late. Perhaps I’ve spent too many years designing gardens, too many years of balancing client’s desires with safe plant selections. I love the almost garish quality of Dixter’s Long Border. The way it thumbs its nose at “tasteful” gray, pink, and blue color harmonies. The way it mixes tropicals, shrubs, perennials into one boisterous expression. Like Dixter, I would love a garden dedicated to nothing but horticultural craftsmanship. ''Beware of harboring too many plants in your garden of which the adjectives graceful and charming perpetually spring to your besotted lips,'' Lloyd warns as he clutches a black-leafed Canna. I love that. Dixter’s great triumph (and perhaps its downfall) is that it employs every tool in the planter’s toolkit all at once. The result is a hot mess, but one of the purest expressions of horticultural exuberance I’ve ever known. And what a joy that is.
|Cotinus 'Royal Purple' center (coppiced yearly), Savlia sclarea, Miscanthus 'Morning Light' and Alliums|
Perhaps all gardening is an attempt to re-create Eden, but our garden has absolutely no paradisiacal qualities. As a result of its placement next to an ugly house and an ugly road, we’ve adopted a more postlapsarian style. In the border, we have an ecumenical selection of wetland plants, desert grasses, South African bulbs, native forbs, and color foliage shrubs. Anything goes as long as it goes. The other side of our yard, we are beginning another more restrained garden evocative of a woodland edge. But in the border, there is no room for restraint, only more and more plants.
|Nasella tenuissima, Salvia 'Caradonna' and Allium 'Purple Sensation'|
In this blog, I am often guilty of heaping too much meaning on gardens, burying a simple act under too many metaphors. Perhaps it is an effort to justify my own profession, to add more significance to my calling than actually exists. If a garden exists simply for our own pleasure, what then? Perhaps that is enough. All I know is that gardening is hard work that reveals many agonies and few ecstasies. So despite the garden’s many flaws and failings, when the afternoon sun hits a patch of Feather grass and silhouettes the violet stems of Salvia ‘Caradonna’, it is enough for me. For now, I am pleased.
|Phlomis tuberosa and Hibiscus 'Fantasia'|
|The ever ubiquitious, but entirely useful Spiraea 'Goldflamme' with Zahara Zinnias|
|Our native-ish garden, planted this srping.|
Finally, we get to see! Lovely!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Mary. I still cringe showing it, but I should know that gardeners are always lovely and forgiving.Delete
I once tried designing and helping to install a garden for my sister, but I had a rude awakening when I realized that what gives me pleasure is very different from what gives her pleasure. Although I make some efforts at designing my garden, what really matters is the pleasure the garden provides for me. (If it sometimes also provides pleasure for other people, that is a bonus.) Sometimes it is the way a garden area looks from a distance that provides pleasure, sometimes it is the juxtaposition of two or three plants, sometimes it is just a single plant that makes my heart sing and I don't much care what else is happening around it. Thanks for sharing your own garden pleasures with us. -JeanReplyDelete
I very much sympathize with your experience of designing for your sister. I've found that with design, you cannot separate your own vision from the client's. In fact, I find that owners connect with a garden better when I put more of myself in it. But it's always hard to blend points of view. Always good to hear what makes your heart sing. Great to hear from you.
Sounds like a gardeners garden to me.ReplyDelete
Ha, yes, entirely undisciplined.Delete
"If a garden exists simply for our own pleasure, what then? Perhaps that is enough."ReplyDelete
You imply that is not much. But the more immersed you are in considering the aesthetics of gardens, the more you care and the more you look, the more problematic your pleasure can become.
Here's a small part of my struggle - http://veddw.com/category/blog/
and I think you may sympathise!
And having made - and opened - a garden on a shoestring too, I do sympathise with other aspects of the struggle. Our design has been so dictated by what seeds I could germinate: though when they came they did tend to arrive in the quantities needed to make an effect.
Good to get a glimpse of yours : but aren't photographs limited?!!
That you compare your amazing garden to mine is a great compliment--though yours is an entirely different league. It's great to hear you have some of the same struggles--both in terms of aesthetics and budget. I do look forward to seeing yours someday.
I attended a conference once where one of the questions asked was “what is (and was – the conference was discussing historic gardens) a garden?” I liked the definition that emerged. “A garden is an outdoor space for the pleasure of its owner and his guests”. I think that does sum up what a garden really is and it fits with what you are saying too.ReplyDelete
When I visit other gardens I learn far more from what I don’t like (as long as I analyse why I don’t like it) than what I do like. We can learn from what we see and like but often it is much harder to understand the ‘why’.
A new garden is always difficult. You can see what you want to achieve but a garden needs time to establish. I laughed when you said you coppiced your Cotinus; mine grows so slowly I hardly dare cut out ugly branches.
The first image of your garden tells me you are a good designer even if you think your own garden isn’t designed; your knowledge of ‘right plant, right place’ is always there in your thinking. Gardeners who aren’t designers (not necessarily professional ones) put one example of a huge number of plant species and create a mess, because they like the individual plants. I believe a garden is more than a collection of plants. A garden is a combination of plants that grow well, and together create a beautiful image that is greater than their individual beauty. Your first image does that. Sorry I’ve written too much. Thank you for sharing your person space, enjoy it. Christina
Entirely agree with your definition of a garden. Lovely to hear from you.Delete
Pleasure and joy in life and gardens is exactly the same...fleeting. It is precisely those moments that compel us to create and experience more, more, more. It's also the same moments that allow us to never be satisfied for long. What a quandary. But, like you I can over philosophize, so enjoy the moments when you have them.ReplyDelete
I'm a pro at over-philosophizing. Just an effort at trying to explain what it is that keeps drawing us to our gardens. Your point about the ephemeral joys of the garden is exactly right.Delete
Thank you for showing us such a personal space and your journey...ReplyDelete
I just finished Beverley Nichols' "Down The Garden Path". Do you know it? Written in 1932, it is as entertaining as ever, and another journey in one man's garden story. I recommend it!
I love the "duck blind" image~!! We have some friends down here who have the same sort of thing from their front veranda: a wonderful place to sit and gaze!
I don't know that book, but I'm always eager to find a garden classic. Thanks for the recommendation; I'll look it up today.Delete
Yes, the duck blind becomes a great place in late summer as the perennials around it tower 4-7 feet above it. It's quite cozy to be nestled among the pollinators.
The salvia/nasella combo looks great, but I've never tried to grow the grass before because I've heard it can seed aggressively and can make a tufty mess. Let me know if I'm wrong though, because those look great together!ReplyDelete
Ruth~ Hope you don't mind me, a fellow commenter, chiming in about Nasella tenuissima. You are right on both points about the grass; I know from experience, and this grass (Mexican feather) is most common around Austin, my home. The volunteers are very easily pulled by hand, and the tangled matting that happens later in the season can be managed (somewhat) by not planting in windswept locations. These nuisances are overlooked here because of its ethereal color and movement, drought toughness and deer resistance.Delete
Entirely agree with Cyndi. I've had it seed a bit, but never very much. The messy part has never been an issue. Nasella is one of the few grasses that I don't cut back in the winter. I "brush its hair" with a metal rake in late winter to pull out some of the previous year's dead growth.Delete
I'm sure there are some areas of the country where its aggressive, but not at all in the mid-Atlantic. In fact, the bigger problem is that its lifespan is only 3-4 years, so even if it seeds a bit, it won't last that long. I tend to replant it more often than weed it out. It is one of my all time favorite plants.
Wow! What a lovely garden. Beautiful plant combinations and so inspiring! Thanks for sharing it with us.ReplyDelete
Thought provoking post, as always!ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing your photos. I have similar reservations and lack of photography skills, so I totally understand about the share/don't share question. However, I would submit that your garden is well designed anyway because you are so well trained and experienced that your "ad hoc" decisions are probably going to be "naturally" good.
My garden is very pleasurable--partly because it is a sort of outdoor lab and playground where I am constantly learning about plants and how they grow.
Re design: conditions partly dictate what happens later. I installed a designed rain garden last year. After a year, we have discovered that part of it stays wetter longer, so some different plants will have to be swapped in on that side. So much for the perfect balance and symmetry it started with!
Great to hear from you. I like your analogy to a "lab." Part of the pleasure is the experiment that gardens offer us. All kinds of experiments, right. The results are always different, but endlessly instructive.
I like your point about design. I've often wonder whether it is really possible to design a garden at all. A landscape yes, but a garden is essentially a relationship. As long as design is understood as a series of interventions over time, not some grand master plan, then perhaps that definition fits. Anyways, you always provoke thinking. Happy gardening to you.
While an architect by training (and therefore used to designing everything out on paper), I don't know enough about plants (especially since moving cross country where plant materials are so different!) to do anything but improvise my garden. I start with something (a neighbor gave me a trunk full of nasella, montbretia, russian sage, iris, and cotoneaster), and each thing I put in suggests what comes next. If it works, great, if it doesn't, I'll move things about. For me, it's a very satisfying way to design, in some ways a little riskier, but so much more rewarding, than having a final plan and an unlimited budget. I also find I'm more engaged with my garden as it goes through its phases - it's never a finished product, a 3-D version of the paper plan, but instead a living, growing, changing organism.ReplyDelete
We moved a year ago and I began a new border last fall. I'm delighted to see the nasella and salvia caradonna combination because I used it too. I hope mine will look half as good as yours by the end of the summer (or next year?).
Thanks for sharing your garden. I would suggest you're not a bad photographer either. Your blog is the one I look most forward to: always engaging, always thought provoking.
I love your description of 3-d design with a living organism. That's it. You understand both the need for design (the big vision) and the constant actions and reactions to the changing site. It's hard to balance, but the challenge makes it all the more interesting and rewarding, right?Delete
As a fellow designer, I appreciate the reluctance to share what is most dear and private. Thank you. I think our home gardens are the place where we feel the freedom to be playful and without the pressure to get it right. Your statement "...design is not a singular vision set to paper; design is a thousand of little decisions and actions made through the life of the garden" is precisely why my garden of 30 years works. I've had the time to observe it many times a day throughout the seasons and through that assessment I get what it "needs" or what I need. I often wish I had that opportunity with my designs.ReplyDelete
"our home gardens are the place where we feel the freedom to be playful and without the pressure to get it right" Right on!Delete
Before I had my own garden and my friends would take me on tours of theirs, I was full of envy, and I remember thinking, "people garden for their own pleasure. It is only happenstance if someone else happens to enjoy it too." Now I have my own garden, and it is a work of angst and groaning, much staring and thinking, "what next?" It is not an unmixed pleasure, but it is still a pleasure because it is the result of my own desire, work, choice, and whatever "eye" I have.ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing your lovely garden. And thank you for your thoughtful blog that I always look forward to reading.
Yes, yes, yes. My wife finds me staring out the window (after spending several hours actually in the garden) and asks: "what are you looking at!" Always thinking about the next move, right! Thanks for your comment!Delete
I really appreciate this personal glimpse, Thomas! As usual, your writing rivals your inspiring design. My front garden is an ongoing attempt to reflect “me”- what I enjoy and admire and within my lot’s limits and thorns. Even with zilch design training and zip garden experience, I have to do it myself, to create my own missteps and successes. Sooo, reading about your hesitancy to post photos and your reasons- is somehow encouraging and helpful beyond the practical inspiration.ReplyDelete
The view of the feather grass and salvia with that peek of orange in the background is everything.
It's the process that's so rewarding. The few moments we get "right" is icing on the cake.Delete
I loved your article, your humility (although totally unfounded!) and your garden. I am a landscape designer too and often create for myself in the same way. Isn't it ironic? No real plan, scale, etc.... just plants you really like and that you know will look good together.ReplyDelete
I was very taken with your Mexican Feather Grass (which I really do not have experience with) together with the Salvia. I have been wanting to replace some Yuccas (from previous owners) on top of my own slope that I have a tolerate-hate relationship with and decided after seeing your photos that I will use that plant for some of the replacements. Your photos were lovely and inspiring so your claim that you are not a good photographer is not true at all!
Anyway, I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your article and your photos.
Nasella loves a hot dry place. THe biggest challenge I find with it is having enough of it. It's such a distinctive grass--so evocative of the southwest, that just a little bit of it can look out of context with other areas of a garden. I would certainly recommend it, just use a lot of it. Much more rewarding en masse.Delete
Hi Thomas. First time I've visited this blog -- via Garden Rant -- and this is great write-up. Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
First off, I am totally flattered to get mentioned...I might still be blushing a little :-)ReplyDelete
I can totally understand your reticence about sharing your garden (people really do expect a designer's garden to be impeccable)...but you should show those images proudly, it looks wonderful. I will always prefer a garden that is honest to one that has been designed to within an inch of it's life. I think most gardeners know, understand, and accept that a true garden is always a work in progress...we are always striving to get it "just right", even if such a goal remains forever out of reach.
I don't think you attribute too much meaning to gardens...especially since so much of their meaning is what we bring to them...our own emotions and expectations. As you mentioned, in spite of all the (very hard) work, there are are those moments when everything falls into place...and maybe we do all this just for the chance that we'll get to experience those moments. I think in that way, a garden is more than plants, soil and weather...it's also about the proccess, about time. It lets us experience a lifetime within a single growing season...it's catharsis, pure and simple :-)
"It lets us experience a lifetime within a single growing season...it's catharsis, pure and simple" I love that line!Delete
Thanks for the inspiration, always!
What a delight to finally see your garden ... and what a seemingly miraculous transformation from ugly duckling to an emotionally stirring place (all the more so surrounded by asphalt, and traffic, I assume). I've never heard the term "sipping terrace" but I really like the concept even without knowing exactly what it is. Thanks for the word "pleasaunce" too. It brings me to thoughts of the frenchified sound of Chaucer's Middle English and its delight and pleasure--"Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote, the droughte of march hath perced to the roote, and bathed every veyne in swich licour, of which vertu engendred is the flour." Old fashioned, yes, but there's something eternal about this, and the garden. Keep the meanings. Pleasure first, then catharsis, like Scott says, as the seasons turn round. (I also want to steal the Nasella tenuissima and salvia combination, though they'd die in my garden.) Now off I go searching for Rose Standish Nichols.ReplyDelete
Love the Chaucer quote! The terrace is too small for outdoor dining, so we use it for sipping both coffee in the morning and whatever we're imbibing in the evening. We almost did not add it--14x14' is so small in the garden context, but I'm glad we did. It's a little perch to enjoy the plants. By the end of the summer, it shrinks and the only view is up--which is kind of lovely point of view as well.
Your garden is a magical bit of Eden inviting a little child to create enchantment. I love seeing the plastic bucket and shovel dropped on the path shown in your last picture. You are obviously bequeathing your love of nature to another generation.ReplyDelete
Yes, our "garden ornaments" are often littered throughout the garden. It was hard to find photos without trucks, plastic shovels, and buckets somewhere. Thanks for the comment.Delete
I too have spent many hours looking out the window, staring at my garden and wondering what my next move might be. It's a creative and spiritual experience that I've been enjoying for over 50 years. How sad that you're not my neighbor. It would have given me so much pleasure to share my perennials with you, in order to kick-start the new garden. Happily, the photos that you post, indicate that you've done an admirable job on your own. I do hope that the photo-story of your garden never ends. It's a delightful reading experience.ReplyDelete
Just as stunning as I anticipated!! Your protestations are a little like the super model that thinks she's fat, lol! ;) Thank you for inspiring us!!ReplyDelete
You are selling your photography skills and the results of your impulse purchases and ad hoc decisions short. Your garden is lovely. I am drawn to more naturalistic/English style gardens, so this is very appealing to me. Like others have mentioned I am very enamored with the Nasella tenuissima and Salvia 'Caradonna' combo. My garden is being created in a similar ad hoc way because I am currently renting my house, have a limited budget, and there are existing plants that the home owner wishes to keep. It's slowly coming together. Thank you for sharing your space.ReplyDelete
I so appreciate this warm-hearted post about a subject that intimidates me to the point of paralysis. I've never had a reason or opportunity to do any gardenscaping until recently, so am abjectly clueless. Reading how-to books equates with taking my car to the know-it-all mechanic: very little leaves me feeling so stupid. But your statement, "plant only that which gives you pleasure", made me realize that I've been frozen because I don't know how to design a decorative garden. Come to find out, I don't WANT a decorative garden. I want a heartful one. So now I know where to start, and for that I thank you.ReplyDelete
The "Duck Blind" patio looks just like where I would hang out! Great work in your transforming it into something that will increase in value for all.ReplyDelete
Beautiful writing, and even more beautiful images of your garden. Thank you for sharing it with us. Your salvia river winding through the feathergrass puts me in mind of Piet Oudolf's Lurie Garden -- simply gorgeous. I laughed out loud at the "duck blind" characterization of your sipping terrace. The secret aspect of it, tucked behind the summer growth, is delightful.ReplyDelete
I love the feather grass, it's very inspiring for my own verge garden that I started with great gusto and then let fall to ruin. Will try try again this spring!ReplyDelete
I've seen your garden! It's very disciplined & well designed. It's a heck of a lot more professional then mine :)ReplyDelete
No one has to like your garden except for you. If it gives you pleasure, then that's all that matters. Your garden is beautiful, but all gardens are a work in progress. It's painful to ever think of them as finished.ReplyDelete
I’ve wanted to respond to this wonderful post since I first read it. On that reading, I was confused by the image of Nasella and the Salvia because, at first glance, the road looked like water to me. With the wind whipping though the grasses, I assumed the street was the ocean and that you were posting something to prepare the reader for what was to come. That is a testimony to the beauty you have created and your photography skills.ReplyDelete
I enjoy the references to your garden because it grounds your entire approach and reflects the well-chosen name of your blog. Gardens serve as metaphors for so much in life. Relationships with people as well as relationships with nature are all illuminated by reference to the regular tending and nurturing, the disappointments, and pleasurable surprises that are inevitable when you make what is really a rather bold decision to create a garden.
Yet, even when friends enter the garden, there is a sense of exposure. They don’t know of your struggles, what you found in the space, what you have and what you don’t have in terms of basics like money, time let alone taste and forethought. The garden exists for them in the moment—as it should—but what if they don’t like it? It is like dear friends meeting your small child for the first time when he or she has refused to nap.
I was enthralled last year by your post on annuals, in part because I was enjoying my own so much. This year I boldly scattered cleome across one of my annual bed. At least two package, sown according to package directions. NOTHIN, not one little sprout. So I went for old reliable cosmos selecting a different variety than last year—white and pink. Well, I don’t know how many came up but they have been so slow to grow tall and bloom, due I think to lower temps this spring.
This disappointment is writ larger this year by the fact that we are getting married in the garden in one week. Yes, were are truly exposing ourselves—not as you have done by bravely posting your garden to the world—but there will be many ages and aesthetics represented among family and friend. The plants I see as gloriously natural, many will see as messy. Some, more sophisticated, will probably find my “tropical” area planted in and around a large decaying tree stump as kitsch. Why did I plant just 18 casa blanca lilies instead of 81? (Ka-ching) My mother, who loves the tidiness of mulch so much that for her it is a landscape element in and of itself, will be surprised that I don’t have more of it. My cousin who works for a design-build landscape architecture firm will see the cracked concrete path that was here, and remains here, as a horror, I’m sure. But will he notice that the “weeds” growing between the cracks are thyme?
Why did I plant those ostrich ferns purchased at the local native plant sale in a straight line? Did I forget everything I’ve learned?
No, because I know they spread by runners and my future vision is of masses of them, filling this shady area. I don’t just see what’s here, I see what I hope to see in a few years.
This is what my gardening partner and soon-to be-husband and I have concluded. First of all, it doesn’t matter what other people think (duh). Of course, we want them to be pleased that is why we have a garden. The important thing is: We have a garden! We are bold and brave, as well as old and somewhat crazed. So again, the garden, by its very existence, is a metaphor for our joining together in this ridiculously old, formerly ramshackle, big house—not to mention—its sizable for the inner-burbs property.
Yes, sometimes our blended teenage daughters don’t get along, sometimes we argue. Yes, age and decrepitude are on the horizon but we take yet another leap of faith, daring to do what many at 49 and 54 would not. And buying the biggest river birch we can find because we want see as much of its beauty as we can before we die.
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Sounds like a gardeners garden to me. Simple yet elegant!ReplyDelete
Now I found your Blog "Pleasure Garden" and your beautiful and inspiring garden. I love your combination of Nasella tenuissima and Salvia 'Caradonna'. Blue is a special theme in our garden and we experiment a lot - but unfortunatly feather grass do not work in our zone. Greetings IrisReplyDelete
Wow, what a beautiful garden! This is such an inspiration to every gardeners out there. Love those lovely plant combinations. Thank you for sharing them with us.ReplyDelete
Wow. It looks like you have finally found your "gee" spot!http://tinyurl.com/lbvhdb8ReplyDelete
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Wow, what a beautiful garden. Looks so magical and such so inspiring! Nice share!ReplyDelete
Love your garden! Thank you for sharing!!!ReplyDelete
The above images of the garden are beautiful. All the flowers are so lovely. I like purple color flower the most!ReplyDelete
Such a beautiful transformation of home exterior look. The flower plants are so lovely to see.ReplyDelete
great blog. I have just moved house and we have a tiny gravelled walled garden at the back which i am desperate to rip out and design properly but alas, we are lacking in funds and time so i have tidied and replanted. Yesterday we had a surprise hot and sunny day so i took a cup of tea out and sat and enjoyed the toad lilies and anemones bobbing along in the sun. Pure, unexpected moment of joyReplyDelete