Farewell to Albertine

No, not the end of the blog, but a farewell to my dear little garden. We are moving house – like sensible people, we decided the week before Christmas was a GOOD time to do this – so I have to leave behind Albertine, The Wren, the mysterious yellow rose, and many other friends. (Not that I talk to my plants, Prince Charles-style, you understand, but I am fond of them).

Garden in summer

Garden looking its best, summer 2012

Luckily, we won’t leave everything behind – I have pots which will easily move to the new house, including my bay tree, azalea and some herbs, and I collected seeds over the autumn from foxgloves, columbine and snapdragon. No idea how these will actually turn out, as I’ve never stored seeds over winter before, but I have them in envelopes in the fridge so I hope I’ll get at least a couple of new plants from them.

Bay tree

Bay tree – 2011 Christmas present

Still, it will be hard to leave the roses I’ve nurtured over the last four years, the honeysuckle and clematis I trained up the trellis and over the dead tree, the rosemary which gets used in cooking virtually every week, and the bulbs which I won’t even get to see flowering again. I’ll also miss Alfie and Tabby, the cats who have treated my garden like a second home, though I won’t miss having to dispose of their mess…

Alfie and Tabby

Alfie and Tabby in a rare entente cordiale

On the other hand, there will be lessons I’ve learned and mistakes I won’t make again…no planting mint in anything other than a pot, as it sprawls everywhere. I won’t see the bamboo, which was so shapely and manageable for the first few years, continue in its relentless triffid-like growth (and probably eventually have to be removed). I will miss my fuchsia, but the new house has fuchsia AND hydrangea in the front garden, so no need to make any changes there.

I am also gaining a south-west facing garden (hurrah!) with a good sized lawn, but a fairly blank canvas apart from that. There is a raised bed which might be good for growing veg, and we saw a well-laden apple tree hanging over the fence – OK, not technically ours, then, but the fruit on branches which dangle over our side are up for grabs, aren’t they?

It will be a bit of a challenge to decide how much space to keep as lawn, for maximum entertaining/play space for the hordes of children who will descend on it when the sun shines, and how much room I can carve out for flowers. Do I dare to plant a tree? (I’ve always wanted to have a garden big enough to plant my favourite tree, the rowan). Will there be room for a shed? (at the moment all our gardening gear will be in the garage or utility room). Where shall I put my herbs so that they don’t spread everywhere? (It’s useful to have herbs near the kitchen, so I’m thinking pots on the patio, or a Belfast sink style planter if I can get hold of one).

The Wren rose

The Wren in all her glory, summer 2012

I am sure I’ll make a whole host of new mistakes, and make unexpected discoveries, and enjoy documenting my work on here as I go along. The big difference, though, is that we are moving to a house and garden which has been a family home for 25 years, much loved and well looked-after.

Garden, late summer 2009

Garden as it looked a year after I moved in, late summer 2009.

This time, I won’t be taking a bare concrete patch and turning it into something beautiful. I won’t be planning my first garden from scratch, based on daydreams I’d had for years. I’ve created that garden, and now I’m leaving it…so it’s a sad farewell, but besides the plants in pots and seeds, I’m taking happy memories with me. Goodbye, Albertine, may you bloom for many years to come!

Goodbye, Albertine

Goodbye, Albertine


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s