My garden is not a sophisticated garden. 22 years ago it was just a pile of builders rubble and I imagined it to be more perfect than it is today. We managed to make every mistake in the book, and those same mistakes are still there today. The curving path that winds its way up the gently sloping garden was too narrow then, and it’s still too narrow today. We put in a garden pond and we lovingly added fish – remarkably most of the fish managed to survive. When our children grew up and married we found ourselves with tiny visiting grandchildren. That was the point when the pond had to go.
On the advice of other gardeners, and tv gardening programmes, the garden was divided into different rooms. Some rooms were created using trellis panels, and I grew roses up them. I loved those climbing roses on the trellis. But the wind was stronger than the trellis, and eventually, they had to be removed. Our archway met the same fate.
Even now the mistakes continue as must-have plants are bought and placed in a prime position, only to have disappeared by the following spring. I keep trying, but like me, the garden is getting older, the fence has become a silvery grey, unlike our neighbours’ fences that are coated with paint regularly. But there’s just not enough of the fence visible to even attempt to paint it. So the bits on view grow a little bit paler with each year…and I won’t admit this to just anyone – but I secretly like it that way. And secretly I like my little rustic garden too.
Behind our back fence, we have fields that sometimes have crops in them and sometimes cattle. Last year I was planting strawberries with my eight-year-old grandson, when a cow bellowed loudly, directly behind the fence. We looked at each other, my grandson with a slightly amazed look on his face, then we laughed aloud before returning in companionable silence to our job of strawberry planting. Memories are made of tiny moments like that, and gardens can be full of fond memories.
It’s not a large garden, but I struggle with the heavy clay soil that the roses seem to love. It’s a windy and wet garden. We’re on the west coast of Scotland and just one mile from the shore, so wind and rain are constant companions. But the sun does shine, otherwise, I’m sure my plants wouldn’t grow.
As the years have passed I’ve grown to love being out there, working in the garden. I love the rustle of the wind passing through the trees and shrubs, the chirping of birds…and the silence. Of course, we have neighbours, and occasionally my solitude is broken with sounds of strimmers and lawnmowers, and children playing during school holidays. But that’s alright, my children were noisy too, and there’s nothing wrong with happy laughter.
I have a little 6 x 8 unheated greenhouse that’s showing its age…and perhaps even more ramshackle than the garden it sits in. There’s also a small summerhouse that I love to sit in, it gives me shade from the sun or shelter from the rain or the wind. I like to write my journals in there…or just sit and look at the roses.
I hope you find something to enjoy in this little blog. It’s not ever going to be full of garden wisdom because I consider myself to be a learner, but you’ll get to read the thoughts that flit through my head when I’m kneeling down, digging out weeds or planting bulbs in that sticky clay soil…and maybe you’ll find a pretty photograph or two that might inspire you.
Copyright. All images on this website are copyright of Catherine Wood unless otherwise stated.
Reasons to Garden
Garden as though you will live forever.William Kent
Life begins the day you start a garden.Chinese proverb
Gardening adds years to your life and life to your years.Unknown