Happy New Year

2011 has seen a tremendous amount of change here at Hillwards.

Garden under snow, December 2010

December 2010

The snow last December did a marvellous job at concealing the piles of rubble and rubbish, but we have finally cleared away most of this construction debris from the front and rear gardens, erected fences around our boundaries, paved around the house, planted native hedging along the side and a beech hedge along the front boundary, dug out preliminary borders and planted them, resown or turfed the lawns and generally begun to create a real garden from the ruins.

Garden under snow, December 2010

December 2010

December 2011

In the kitchen garden, there were ups and downs: new crops that we shall try again include cavolo nero, florence fennel and celeriac. The cabbages beneath their smart cages still required more vigilance than we could find time for this summer, but were less riddled with caterpillar holes than last year’s. One of the key lessons that we reminded ourselves time and again through the summer was to leave more space between crops so that we can weed them and harvest more easily: always so hard when you are already trying to plant more than you have space for!

It has been a tremendously busy and productive year for us though, and I look forward to continuing to shape the garden next year while finding more time to enjoy it (and perhaps a little less landscaping effort!). In other aspects, the coming year is going to be a difficult one for us at times, with some dark days on our horizon, but it will bring good days too and I shall try and seize onto those to get us through the hard times.

The cupboard is overflowing with packets of seed to sow in the spring, growing seedlings nestle on windowsills and in the greenhouse, and in the garden buds and shoots already start to show their promise for the months to come. I wish each and every one of you a wonderful New Year: may your cup overfloweth with health, happiness and hope for a bright year ahead.

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16 thoughts on “Happy New Year

  1. What a difference a year makes in a garden – you must have worked really hard to get it straight – looking forward to seeing plenty of inspiring pictures next year. Best wishes for a successful gardening new year.

    • The difference is quite amazing. It’s certainly been a bit of work, but so rewarding at the end, and I still find myself standing at the windows gazing out and drinking it all in. All the very best to you too for a happy year ahead.

  2. If only I had that view from MY window! You’ve achieved a lot in 2011, and I’m sure you will make more big strides forward in 2012. Best Wishes to you, King of the Hill and your cats!

    • We are really lucky to have such views here. Thank you for your wishes, and all the best to you and your family for the new year – and hopefully we may yet get to meet up next year!

  3. gosh Sara you often mention the builders stuff in the garden but I didn’t start reading your blog until this year so never saw the top 2 photos, you have come a very long way with your house and garden,
    I hope your dark times are not too dark, a wisfulness has entered your posts, take care, wishing you a very happy new year and all best thoughts for 2012, Frances

    • Thanks Frances. It has been a busy year for you too! Thanks for all your encouragement and support through the year, I hope that this new year treats you well.

  4. I’ve enjoyed your posts and photos this year, hope you get a warm glow looking back on it all. My garden has got me through some tough times in the past, just a few minutes sowing some seeds or harvesting something edible is a great boost when all is chaos around you. Believe it or not, the garden will survive when you neglect it for other things. Hope you have a fruitful New Year.

    • Thanks Jan. It does feel good to finally be creating something. I love being out in the garden for lifting my spirits, rain or shine. Wishing you a very happy New Year too.

    • Ah, thank you. Hope that the new year finds you well and brings you joy. Yes indeed the snowflakes are an optional extra for wordpress users, that will melt away in a few days’ time.

  5. What a lot you have achieved, and what an impressive amount of work you have put in – with great results… and you’ve reminded me: I must rattle through my seeds; always cheers me up at this time of year.

    Best wishes for 2012!

    • Thanks Kate. I enjoy following your progress too. I couldn’t resist sowing a few more seeds today, and smiling at the rest, waiting patiently for spring.
      A very happy new year to you!

  6. Hi,

    Happy New Year; I hope 2012 is a good one for you.

    It’s almways amazing to see the changes in the garden and it certainly looks like you’ve put in a lot of hard work over the past year!

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