Monday, 31 December 2012

End of Year View (31 DEC 2012)

These photos were taken a few days ago during a brief interval between rainfalls.
 

view of front patio  -  primula  -  bulbs disguised
 
I thought squirrels/cats/foxes were supposed to keep out of the rain, but they managed to snatch a few moments to dig up newly planted bulbs which I attempted to hide under the primula, leaving the latter with dirty faces. They didn't outwit me completely though because the bulbs I poked into a weedy planter are still safe.
 

winter jasmine  -  view of front left bed  -  frost-bitten marigolds
 
I didn't celebrate Christmas, the sad state of the garden is pretty much a reflection of how I'm feeling. This year was the worst in my life so far with two deaths in my close family. It's the first time I have experienced how quickly life can slip away without even a good-bye and how easily loved-ones let go and move on.
 
sedums  -  view of rear patio  -  heather & swiss chard
 
The sadness has been increased by reports in the British media about sordid events which may or may not have happened several years ago before the word celebrity was a derogatory term. Apparently, some of my childhood idols, assumed to be reliable, trusted and true, were not so heroic. 
 
hellebore buds - view of rear left bed - viburnum
 
Up till now I have always felt personal and public sadness in different ways; events I heard in the news affected me but didn't get to my inner core. However, this year they have amalgamated into one. A cup of tea and a biscuit doesn't make a bad situation a tiny bit better, for the first time.

reinvigorated foxgloves  -  view of woodland by the back wall  -  iris shoots

 
Gardening in the rain is what's kept me going through the festive season (though there isn't much evidence of this in the photos). It's been almost three years since I became a gardener or at least had the idea of becoming one, but the seed was planted much earlier.

jasmine didn't flower but presented red leaves instead  -  view of rear right bed  -  wall flowers 
 
When I was sorting through some of my mother's things I found a letter that I wrote to her when I was about ten while she had to take a trip away from home. It described the flowers in her garden that she was missing. Even then it seemed to be one of the few ways we could communicate and now it is the way I interface with the outside world.
 
remains of ammobium  -  view of front right bed  -  japanese quince (my final Dozen for Diana nomination) 
 
Joining in with the Dozen for Diana meme during the past year was a way of sharing what I understood about plants beyond just their appearance. I'm not a fan of the colour, so it was a surprise when I followed Diana's example and assembled my twelve tried and tested plants together to find there was a definite bias towards pink.
 
Dozen for Diana - my choices for reliable, trusted and true plants
 
Inspecting this collection charts my progress as a gardener : the blue moon roses I sniffed as a child; the nicotianas which I was given to start my own gardening journey; the marigolds which germinated in my kitchen; the lavender revived after being rescued from the sick plant shelf; sedums divided, then divided again; foxgloves introduced to a gloveless garden, now taking over.

It seems a shame to end Dozen for Diana with just a collection of photos. I have my eye on two plots of land which might give me an opportunity to start from scratch and arrange these plants properly having learned from experiments in my own garden.

 
Neither of these plots belong to me, they are owned by non-gardeners who don't mind giving me access. The first is the rear section of my late mother's garden. If you dig around you'll find toys from mine and my brother's christmas crackers tossed away decades ago and cassettes of my favourite songs which my brother taped for me then stamped on after we had arguments. The second belongs to my friend (& fellow engineer) T who thinks a garden is just a place to set up a shed. The problem is that neither my brother nor T are into pink or developing relationships with well-behaved plants. That's a small issue to be dealt with next year ...
 
Today I'm linking up to :

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16 comments:

Mark and Gaz said...

Those two new plots are something to look forward to. Hope you feel better soon

patientgardener said...

I lost my sister suddenly three years ago, there was no opportunity to say goodbye and it traumatised my family. However three years on we are slowly recovering and coming together. It is hard and I have learnt that you mustn't under estimate grief. I became easily angry at everything and anything, then I went through a period of exhaustion. I still have phases where I am struggling but I am getting better at recognising the signs and being kind to myself. If you ever want to offload on someone you can always email me, I found it easier to talk to people that dont know me or my family well.

Both those gardens look like interesting challenges and something to throw your energy into.

As for bulbs I am annoyed as we have a badger visiting who has a taste for tulip bulbs.

b-a-g said...

Thanks for sharing Helen - I think I have done enough unloading. I've made a mental note to be more positive in my posts in the New Year - as there's no point in immersing myself in misery. A bit of sunshine would help ...

HolleyGarden said...

I hate how Christmas and the New Year come during the winter when the weather is the most bleak and depressing. I hope your garden gives you a bit of solace as things start to bloom in the coming months. Having two new plots to experiment with are wonderful, but you do have to remember that in the end, they are not yours. I love the colors of all the plants you chose for your Dozen. They would make a beautiful garden with just those 12!

Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

B-A-G I have come to look forward to your posts and to you visiting mine. I have enjoyed getting to know you. You encouraged me to look beyond the color and the flower and take a risk with some plant experiments. Gardening has always helped me even when I could not get out to pull weeds which right now are under 3 ft of snow...I will take solace in my indoor garden for now and anxiously await a time to see some green again. I spent the holiday homebound by sickness and weather. I think I preferred it this year as I needed the time alone. I hope this year provides you with more sunshine, wonderful plants and more time in the garden.

Diana Studer said...

wish I could send you - that bit of sunshine. We have plenty, and I'd love just a little, of your English rain.
Your Dozen collage makes an appealing bouquet - a gift - the medley of pinks brought to life by that lime green Nicotiana (my favourite!) and some glowing golden sunshine in the marigold petals.

gardenwalkgardentalk.com said...

I lost my mom at Christmas a few years ago and got the call from 400 miles away. I can very much relate to letting Christmas go by without observation. I hope things get better with time, but there will always be memories and the good ones make things a bit easier.

debsgarden said...

I am so sorry for your losses this past year. I can't remember who said it, but I remember a quote that states that at a certain age life quits giving and starts taking. In some ways that is true. About three years ago I lost three immediate family members within a year. Since then others have passed away so that none are left of my parents' generation and my brother and I and two cousins are all that are left within my own generation. It is humbling and sad, but life does go on. There is a garden to tend and relationships to build. I intend to live until the day I die, if that is possible. Time and the good earth renew, and I hope you will find peace and joy in 2013.

Anonymous said...

T has plans ...

b-a-g said...

Sorry T - I did get a bit carried away, using your garden to visualise a blank canvas.

Do your plans include a second shed ?

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

Hi b-a-g, I've never experienced the kind of grief you gave gone through - are still going through - so I have nothing helpful to say, just that I hope that plants remain a way of coping with, and maybe even a way out of, the darkest of the mire. My own conversion to pink in the garden has snuck up on me, I still find it faintly disturbing and slightly shameful, but I can't deny it. I have too much photographic evidence. Hope you find areas of earth to continue exploring the world of plants, of whatever colour, in 2013.

altroverde said...

Hi b-a-g! I felt sad reading about your losses, I only knew about your mother. I think gardening could make you feel close to her even when she's not here anymore, I think you are never alone in the garden.
As for your pictures I enjoyed watching your garden, I like its shape and the movement that stuctures create. Good luck with the desert gardens! ;-)

Alistair said...

Hi B-a-g, I have enjoyed catching up with you from time to time these last couple of years. It is so hard when we lose someone close to our hearts. Great to see your latest gardening plans, I have observed how at one time gardening seemed like a guilty pleasure to you, now you are shouting it from up high. Although my visits may be less frequent I look forward to sharing some experiences with you.

b-a-g said...

Thanks all for your kind comments.

The garden bloggers have been a real source of comfort this year. I would have never thought that communicating with people on the internet could be like that.

Wishing you all a happy & healthy New Year.

Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens said...

Bag, The thought of you being so sad that you didn't celebrate Christmas makes me sad. I wish I lived closer and could have invited you over. However, I am encouraged that you have projects in mind for 2013. When my mother died, it was hard to grasp that I would ever feel happy again, but believe it or not life will get better and you will feel better. It just takes a long time. Here's to 2013. Carolyn

gardenenvy said...

Gardening is a great form of therapy.
Keep it growing. Jeannine

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