The Fortnight Garden in Suffolk was started in March 2011 – I can hardly believe where the years have gone and the changes during that time!
Just one year later the perennials were flowering everywhere!
2012 and the few years which followed were not happy but the gardening continued.
The euphorbia in the shady side garden became a giant and had to go, replaced by paeonies, geraniums, and echinaceas. And that year the quince tree started producing fruit, but I had to wait until 2018 before there were enough plums to make jam! The Conference Pear has faithfully produced pears every September.
By 2016 the garden alongside the front patio had acquired grasses, white ‘Honorine Jobert” anemones, and rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’. And in 2017 the roses were particularly lovely.
2018 disappeared into Portugal where we travelled and walked in the Alentejo, from Flor de Rosa down to Béja. Then a few days in Northern France were needed to investigate WWI battlefields and cemeteries as part of preparation for a presentation on the Armistice. And I cannot imagine a year without visiting France so there was a trip to Brittany, with time in Nantes, Morbihan, and Finistère. And in the remaining time I was involved in voluntary work and coping with family illness. I tidied and watered the garden and changed a few things in the autumn and winter, but the ‘Fortnight Garden’ was left to look after itself and was more appropriately the ‘Occasional Garden’. Somehow there is also no photographic record of the year. This year, with more time to myself, I am setting out to make changes. The garden needs to survive with less watering and I am moving towards encouraging plants which are hardier and easier to tend. This is leading me to more grasses and fewer varieties of perennials. This is not a ‘plantsman’ approach but I would like to have a garden I can enjoy but which also leaves me with the time to pursue photography.
So, starting with a bed which has been giving me a lot of trouble and which used to be planted with perennials such as heleniums and nepeta. The Cornus Mas in one corner is now quite substantial and because a hedge and trees have been taken down this corner of the garden has more light and sunshine. The tree is surrounded on the hedge side by bergenias, sedums and primroses, and on the other side I have planted brunnera ‘Jack Frost’, heuchera ‘Purple Palace’, and pulmonaria.
Further along are two bushes of ‘Graham Thomas’ and a large euphorbia which looks rather isolated. I think I will need to plant another, lower one to make sense of this dramatic plant. And around the roses are knautia macedonica, montbretia, and carex testacea, with a few other bits and pieces. I am hoping this is going to work!
Now I just have to wait and see what happens!