Extra Pages in the Calendar.

A member of one of Facebook’s many gardening forums posted a selection of photographs this morning, one for each month of the year – a calendar of sorts. It struck me as a good and interesting exercise, certainly something which would while away some time on a dragging day of constant rain. I had done enough reading and writing by lunchtime and it was a pleasant way to pass the afternoon – as it turned out, the day cleared and we managed to get out for a walk – so I started on the photo-search after lunch and continued before and after dinner this evening.

Choosing photographs may seem simple enough but I am not a great one at making choices, or decisions, and, though I whittled the selection down from an original fifty or so, I still had far more than the required dozen, the standard for any calendar but, hey,  it’s my calendar and I’ll have it my way and some months have more than one photograph.

Here we go!


A January view of early snowdrops, Cyclamen coum and hellebores. I look forward especially to the snowdrops each year. They come and give a great display during the darker days and certainly brighten the garden. 


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February is the main month for snowdrops and this photograph shows how I like to have them in the garden – big plantings of those easy-to-grow varieties which give good impact, good colour. We call this area of the garden, The Lane. When we bought the house from our neighbour be kept this lane to give him access to the fields behind us. Over the years farm machinery grew too big to use the lane and we purchased it from him. It is one of my favourite areas of the garden. 
More snowdrops! This area, between two large beds, became our “Bulb Lawn” several years back and we planted it with snowdrops, crocus, daffodils and odds and ends of other bulbs. When some orchids were added the flowering season was extended from February into June so we left the grass uncut and found it was gradually filled with “weeds” – native wildflowers so it is now regarded as a bit of a wild patch – “meadow” would be an exaggeration! We cut the grass in August.  A good view to the river. 


The front garden – two small lawns, very unimaginatively called “The Square Lawn” and “The Circular Lawn”! The two Betula utilis ‘Jacquemontii’ were among the first trees we planted in the garden. At times we regret ever planting them as they have wide-spreading shallow roots which make the ground around them very dry and difficult to garden. 


The Circular Lawn in the front garden. This was originally a sloping lawn but I cut into the slope to make a level area – my younger days when this was all done by hand. 


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The vegetable garden where we grow a little of this and a little of that – artichokes on the near right, rhubarb behind, asparagus down on the left and a selection of fruit all around on the outer beds – espalier trained apple trees, blackcurrants, raspberries, blackberries, loganberries, plum and pear trees. 
Peeping into Mary’s White Garden, a small formal area surrounded by hedges. 


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The snowdrops and bulbs have gone and the grass has grown tall – we have sown Yellow Rattle to reduce the vigour of the grass so that the wildflowers will do better. The wildflowers are simply those which came of their own devices and can vary year to year. 
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At the top of the “back garden” – the wall raises this bed to give a little drainage to that side and is a good spot snowdrops. That’s a Cornus ‘Norman Hadden’ on the left in flower and the bright yellow tree is Acer negundo ‘Kelly’s Gold’ – with an Acer griseum in front. 
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Bottom of the garden – Crataegus crus-galli in full flower, a great tree but has the most vicious thorns. Iris ensata in flower on the left with hosta and primulas to the front of the bed. 
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The view from where I sit – yew hedges to either side. The veg patch is off to the left; the white garden to the right. A Gingko biloba at the top. 


The front garden – the Square Lawn – in evening light


Dahlias to the left; an hydrangea bed to the right – probably the bed which gives best return for work done in the garden – one day in spring to dead-head and prune! 


At the top of the garden, two areas which we call The Oval Lawn (wherever did we get that name from – well, the shape of the lawn!) and The Shade Garden.


This is a view I obviously like very much as I noticed today that I have photographs of it at every time of the year. The trees to the left are hornbeams, Carpinus betulifolius, a group of three. As the foliage falls from the trees the river in the background becomes more visible. 


Sculpture in the garden! It’s hard to ignore but, thankfully, doesn’t impinge on us. 
Iris unguicularis ‘Kilbroney Marble’ setting off this Christmas scene. 

Goodness, that was a long year!





17 thoughts on “Extra Pages in the Calendar.

  1. Lovely photos of a wonderful garden. I’m jealous of that impressive crataegus and those lovely hornbeams and the borrowed scenery of that lovely bridge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That crataegus was the curse of my life for a good ten years. Its branches grow horizontally and I couldn’t count how many times I drove into them when on the lawnmover. Thankfully, I have now raised the branches above head height. The bridge? Pffff I live with it. LOL


      1. I haven’t looked at it. There had been so many false starts that I wasn’t tempted back to it and now I wonder if it will attract the same numbers as use the Facebook page – but, maybe, that’s a benefit.


  2. Paddy,

    Your garden truly is a horticultural tour de force, evidently managed and maintained with skill & devotion in equal measure.

    The photos you supply of your own garden are a joy to behold, and continue fuel inspiration & imagination of things I might trial. I noticed numerous seating structures dispersed in the different ‘gardens’, I just do not know when you get the time to rest & use them all!

    I was a trifle surprised not to see any daffodils in the spring photos?

    With best wishes of the season,


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the seats are little more than ornaments as we sit on them so seldom. Despite the lack of photographs there are plenty of daffodils in the garden.


  3. Paddy, love those pics. They certainly would make a great calendar. Reading your post reminded me of how some years back, the bloggers I followed would often take the month of December off from blogging but would take November & go through the past year, post a photo to represent each month, & tell something that they had done in the garden that month. Then they would come back in January supposedly rested & ready to blog again.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I found your blog and stunning garden after a visit to Sorta Like Suburbia. Your hedges, your views, your plants all had me drooling. That Crataegus is beautiful and reminds me of the Viburnum maresii we lost in a bad winter a few years ago. I live in the Upper Midwest (Wisconsin, USA) and it will be quite a while until there is anything to see in my garden. I am only dreaming of snowdrops at this point in the year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, flattery is so welcome and I thank you so much for it. Now, for the confession: I am the undergardener. My wife, Mary, is the real gardener and is the one who makes the decisions on what goes where etc. I am there for the hedges and the edges, as they say, cutting the grass, managing the compost, pruning trees, the heavy work etc but design, planting associations are all down to Mary – and I, to quote her, “work well under direction”. Nice to hear from you!


    2. I have failed to find a “Follow” button on your blog – except to follow on Pinterest, something not within my experience! I liked your entries and would like to follow. Paddy


  5. Paddy, your garden is absolutely gorgeous! You have been there a long time by the look of those betulas and the great swathes of snowdrops. I hope I am around long enough to see mine mature. I hope you don’t really regret planting them, they are glorious and your garden scape would be lessened without them. And through the long winter….well, what is more beautiful than their white skeletons. I also read that they support over 200 species of insects and birds. So for that reason alone they are heroic! Thank you for sharing your Garden Calendar. These blogs are so valuable to me on days like this when storms keep me indoors! Best wishes for the coming seasons…Karen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’ve been here over 30 years so the garden is maturing and snowdrops have built up over that time. The birches are with me and I won’t get rid of them. In a smaller garden they might be a nuisance but I can treat that areas in a manner which suits them and do other things elsewhere.


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