2012 Garden Review

Garden Through The Year

2012 has been another year of great change here in our hilltop garden, as we have continued to develop the garden’s structure and plant up borders and containers.

Young shrubs in the two main borders quietly settled in, soon submerged by a sea of more exhuberant planting from perennials and annuals alike. In time, these shrubs should provide a more tangible backbone to the garden, particularly in the quieter seasons.

Field Border through the year

In March, we finally defined the front edge of the field border, and could plant up the strip that this created between our earlier planting and the grass. From June to December, this border has been full of colour (albeit mostly tawny browns and golds for this past month).

In early summer, we also created a new semi-circular border below the top path, which became home to our first dahlias and a few more permanent plants, peppered with seed-raised annuals to fill the spaces. The dahlia tubers have now been dug up from the heavy clay and are dreaming away the winter in a cool cupboard, hopefully to emerge once more in the spring for another splendid display.

2012 top flowers: Jan, Feb and Mar

L->R Jan: Cyclamen coum ‘Maurice Dryden’, primrose, snowdrop; Feb: Narcissus ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’, Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’, pulmonaria; Mar: Crocus ‘Negro Boy’, Tulipa sylvestris, Tulipa ‘Veronique Sanson’

The opening months of the year were dominated by new bulbs and winter’s small but stalwart performers, from primroses to pulmonaria. Tulipa sylvestris was a firm favourite, its pink streaked pointed buds opening to reveal sunny yellow flowers that lit up the grass verge.

2012 flowers - Apr, May, Jun

L->R Apr: Dicentra spectabilis, Lunaria annua, Tulipa ‘Barcelona’; May: Viburnum plicatum ‘Pink Sensation’, Aquilegia, Erysimum cheiri ‘Blood Red’; Jun: Linaria maroccana ‘Sweeties’,  Rosa, Eryngium giganteum ‘Silver Ghost’

As spring turned to summer, the borders burgeoned with blooms from aquilegias to roses. Hard to pick favourites during these months, as the garden blazed with colour.

2012 Top flowers - July, Aug, Sep

L->R Jul: Callistemon, Verbena bonariensis, Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’; Aug: Buddleia, Papaver somniferum, Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’; Sep: Verbascum chaixii Album, Echinacea purpurea, Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’

The colours intensified even further as summer settled in, flickering with butterflies whenever the sun shone. The half-dozen Japanese anemones planted the previous autumn gave their first true performances, from the pristine white of Honorine Jobert to the pink half-double Pamina.

2012 Top flowers Oct, Nov, Dec

L->R Oct: Sedum spectabile, Dahlia ‘Twynings After Eight’, Aster; Nov: Aster turbinellus, Dahlia ‘ Fake Hillcrest Royal’, Calendula officinalis ‘Indian Prince’; Dec: Jasminum nudiflorum, Knautia macedonica, Primula vulgaris

Asters picked up the baton as autumn leaves began to fall, dahlias and cosmos continuing to bloom undeterred by the first frosts of winter, until December found the borders finally dying down into a tapestry of sepia and decay, lit by small flares of yellow from primroses and winter jasmine, while Knautia macedonica has bloomed non-stop for more than twelve months now, albeit less fervently through winter.

Something for every season in our young garden, which is pleasing; although winter is certainly the quietest time, still requiring more thought and effort to give a stronger shape until spring bursts once more from the earth. But already there is more substance than a year ago, satisfying progress as the year draws to its close.

On a personal level, it has been a sad year for us, still keenly feeling the loss of my dear Dad. During the worst of our grief, the garden has provided a haven and focus, drawing us out and sprinkling a little magic across the darkest days, knitting us back together little by little.

Nevertheless we shall creep onwards, tomorrow, to a fresh year, and may it herald good things for one and all.

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17 thoughts on “2012 Garden Review

  1. What a pleasure it has been to see these complete year reviews like yours, particularly having only begun my blogging journey during that time. Yours also shows the special progress of a ‘new’ garden, so a great record for you as well as interesting for us – and you have some beautiful flowers which I shall be going back to have another look at as some may be joining my wish list! I am so glad too that the joys of creating your garden have gone some way to support you following your Dad’s death, and trust you will continue with your progress in all these things in 2013.

  2. Hi,

    Lovely photos, let’s hope 2013 is drier!
    At least the plants seemed to love the rain, even if it meant we couldn’t really get out to enjoy the plants 🙂

  3. The progress is interesting – but I couldn’t help noticing a certain absence of sun throughout your shots of the garden… please let’s have a better year in 2013…

    (In fact, let’s have a better year all round.) So I’ll wish you an excellent 2013, and all the very best.

    • Hmm, there was definitely more sun than the first-day-of-the-month shots would imply, but not enough, it’s true. Fingers crossed for a sunny 2013. All the best to you too!

  4. I found it amazing when I did my pictures and looking at yours at how the borders look empty for months and then all of a sudden in one month they seem to be full.

    Thanks for joining in this year and I hope 2013 is kinder to you.

    Helen

    • Yes, the change is surprising isn’t it? Our borders aren’t as bare this winter as they were last year, so it won’t be such a stark contrast again as from the bare earth of almost empty borders, but still a lovely burgeoning!
      Wishing you a very happy year ahead,

  5. Oh the mosaics are such an effective way of watching the year unfold Sara. May the new year treat you and your garden kindly xxx

  6. Amazing to see the transformation – you really have developed borders with interest through the year, or will have once those shrubs fill out. Looking forward to watching your garden developing even more character as 2013 unfolds.

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