Monday, 15 January 2018


The past only comes back when the present runs so smoothly
that it is like the sliding surface of a deep river.
Then one sees through the surface to the depths.
In those moments I find one of my greatest satisfactions,
not that I am thinking of the past;
but that it is then that I am living most in fully in the present.
                                                             Virginia Woolf

Frost on the winter garden

Christmas at Kew Gardens

I knew virtually nothing about gardening when we moved here from our nearby town house simply because we had no garden to speak of there. It was interesting, therefore, to open the notebook and read what was written - in the beginning it was mostly lists of plants that I'd identified as already growing in the garden.

(I remember really enjoying this detective-like adventure, spending hours searching through masses of garden books borrowed, of course, from Durham County's libraries, and began to empathise with how the early plant hunters must have felt).

Fatsia Japonica in flower

As I became more confident, the notebook  began to list plants I wanted to grow and seeds I planned to sow (many of which subsequently failed or died). It also included basic diagrams showing where perennials  were to be planted and it has been interesting recalling some of the planting of the initial layouts, making me realise just how much the garden planting has changed over the years.

What has been most interesting, however, has been recalling the many people, most of them no longer with us, who gave me many of the plants which are still thriving in this garden as I write and whose generosity ensures that their presence will live on as long as I continue to garden here in Pablo's garden - testimony also to the generosity of the true gardener who is always ready to share both plants and knowledge with others, a generosity for which I will also be grateful.

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