Our previous garden.

The 2020 season in our garden was filled with abundance of colour.

This has been the best Summer yet for colour and interest in our garden. A container with a Rose ‘Dame de Coeur’, placed strategically, has worked a treat! A corner of ground cover plants, Ajuga reptans, Parahebe cataractea and Saxifrage geum don’t need much attention and just perform all Spring and Summer long. And a pink Rhododendron ponticum (usually invasive as nobody’s business), shouldn’t cause much trouble where it is. I almost forgot the black elder grown from a cutting which gave us a few umbels of pretty little flowers.

Our garden on Skye is a very open and flat site. There wasn’t much here when we moved in, apart from a few 30cm tall pines and a row of escallonia on the West side. Now, after some six years we can enjoy a slightly bigger selection of plants. The hedges that we now have, provide the necessary protection.

We used willow, more escallonia, griselinia and a few more pines. Things are still small and grow very slowly. They keep being knocked back by the many wind storms we get and this is our major problem up here. The exposure.

Me, moving plants on a relatively mild day.

But, we persevere and though I know on a different site we would most likely have a wild, bushy garden with tall sturdy plants, I feel like this is even more of an achievement.

We grow many things in pots, either very heavy ones, that will not blow away, or others that we can move according to the weather. Lots of watering is required to keep these performing well as it’s not just the sun that dries them out but even more so, the wind.

It’s the first year I dared to grow surfinias and they have lost a few big branches but I will definitely grow them again! I was very pleased with my combination of white Lobelia, blue Bacopa, yellow Sanvitalias and pink Argyranthemum ‘Summer Stars’ which I have been growing from cuttings every year. I love those containers! Each time I rolled my eyes over them I felt a warm feeling in my stomach.

We have six benches or garden chairs spread out around the garden, so we can enjoy a sit down in every corner and at any time of day, or even night.

When I think about it, this garden has so many functions! It is pretty to look at, supports wild life, birds, insects and even frogs which hang out in our compost bin, it’s where we stroll after dinner, have a bone fire and grill sausages on warm days (or when it’s 4 degrees too!), we sunbath and of course it’s where I can go wild with my camera, which is right up there on my agenda.

But…like any garden, it is always a work in progress and a playground for learning about and testing different things. It takes a lot of work and thought but it’s the best thing to be involved in. At least for me.