I was contemplating claiming that I had fallen victim to an anti blogging attack – certainly it feels as if events have conspired against me, including losing a lot of photos I planned to use to a hard drive melt down. The truth is that a heady mix of depression, stress and “where on earth are we going to move to” left me without any energy or inclination to garden, let alone blog about it. Fortunately the garden just got on with it all without me.

The pond border in late May

The purple aquilegias I grew from seed make a vibrant contrast to the geums I grew or bought.

Purple and Orange
Orange geum
Red Geum

I got a red and an orange geum from the Malvern Spring Show last year, and I was beginning to think I had lost the red one, but it turns out it just comes to life later than the other. My other Malvern purchases are also putting on good growth, though no flowers yet on the Sanguisorba. One of the photos I lost was of a tray of seedlings from the Antrhiscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’, half a dozen of which have gone to Gardening Sil, who is currently unable to do much gardening thanks to a wriggling bundle of energy in the shape of a new son!

Hand-reared purple aquilegias

The purple aquilegias that I grew from seed are not the delicate type, though they have a beautiful shape.

Purple aquilegia detail

I apologise for the lack of any “proper” plant names in this post – I have mislaid my notebook with all the details, it is probably sulking under a pile of property details! I don’t even know if I realised that the purple aquilegias would match the yellow spurred ones purchased at Malvern for shape, but I like the similar scale.

The Malvern Aquilegias thriving

I don’t think I have ever been more grateful for the way gardens can just get on with it without us for a while, and still thrive – though the least said about the dock that it also thriving in the pond border the better, and as for the dandelions that have sneaked in…)

The great news is that not only have we worked out where we want to live, and not only have we had an offer accepted on a house there, but the new house has lots of garden with some promising plants, a shed and a (rather battered) timber greenhouse. Add to that the fact that in the end it is Mil and Fil who are buying our own house, and suddenly things seem to be coming together rather beautifully. We get to move in easy stages, leaving some stuff here with Mil and Fil while we get some work done on the new house. Even better, I know the current garden will be cared for and loved, and that I will be able to come back and divide plants to take with me at a time of my own choosing rather than in some mad rush.

The new house is on Anglesey, in Cemaes Bay, so I will be gardening in a maritime climate with lots of northerly exposure, but the house is set back and quite sheltered so hopefully the salt-laden winds won’t create too much havoc. It is an estate sale, and the vendors are anxious for a swift completion, so the next few weeks will be spent dismantling the greenhouse, rescuing belongings from the loft, and packing. Not much blogging. But, by July I hope I can start sharing my experiences settling in and getting to know a new garden. In the mean time, sincere apologies for the fact that I will not be reading and commenting on blogs, or being very responsive on my own, but here is a small taste of what I am moving too.

front garden with sea view
tiny pond
side garden
shed, greenhouse, space for pots and coldframes
acerSome promising structure

Within the space of a week I have been transformed from a bundle of stress and worry into someone who feels almost unbearably lucky. I didn’t dare hope that I would be able to move to a house with a good sized garden which has evidently been much loved and which I can leave to get on with it while we get to know one another. That this should be by the sea has me jumping for joy – or would if it were not for the fact that I am totally exhausted from what has to be one of the swiftest property hunts in history! I am really happy to be going back to Anglesey, and look forward to sharing something of the Island with you all, as well as the next phase in my adventures as a gardener.

58 thoughts on “Between Gardens

  1. Hi Janet, Nice to have you back, if only briefly, and that you are feeling better in yourself now. How exciting that you have found somewhere great to live with a good garden – plenty of scope to express yourself there I can see. Hope you don’t find the move too stressful.

    1. Thanks Elaine, it is really nice to “touch base” again. I am hoping that because we don’t have to do the move all in one go that it makes the whole thing a lot more manageable. Time will tell! In the mean time I am already musing about how to screen a seating area with fruit trees and where to plant the rhubarb…

    1. Hi Sue, it seems to have gone from immense frustration and no movement at all to suddenly all happening quite quickly! I woke up this morning with ideas about where to plant rhubarb and worrying about asparagus…

  2. Hi Janet,

    Glad to see you are well, and I hope your move goes well. Hopefully the heat isn’t too much for you at the moment, as packing is never fun when it’s hot and sunny outside!

    Looking forward to seeing more about the new garden soon :)

    1. Hi Liz, the bit I am really dreading is emptying the loft – I’m hoping we can leave a lot of that until the autumn… As to the new garden, I am already buzzing with ideas, and really must catch up with the Chelsea coverage… How are things with you, still thinking about moving too?

      1. Hi Janet,

        I just thought I’d let you know what you’ve done to me…
        I’ve only gone and bought some orange geum to combine with my purple blooms of erisymum which you must’ve subconsiusly inspired me to do!


        Ah yes as for moving, well really it all depends on my job situation and whether I feel the market even remotely back enough for me to attempt to put mine on the market. I don’t mind as long as I sell it for what I bought it. I don’t plan on taking a hit on price – don’t care if I don’t make anything from it.
        But yes I do want to move, it’s just whether I ever build the courage up to try to! Mainly I just want a driveway so I don’t have to park on the road.

  3. Moving is a very stressful thing. My mother actually couldnt eat at one point when they are moving due to lots of legal issues, it was very worrying. How nice not to have to worry about moving all the plants straight away and you can wait until the autumn when it will be kinder for them to be moved and you understand your new plot a little more.

    New plot looks interesting, some good strong shrubs though I’m not sure about that circular bed.

    Looking forward to seeing you again on the other side

    1. Hi, sounds as if your Mum had a truly horrendous time of it, I can only hope we escape any weird legal stuff.

      As to that circular bed, I am very sure about it – it has to go! But it will at least provide me with useful stone to edge other beds with… That front garden is really sunny, so I am looking forward to playing with plants I haven’t been able to use in my current garden. I see eryngiums in my future…

  4. Hi Janet, glad to hear some updates from you! Your old garden has struck a certain balance that it still looks great despite minimum intervention from you. And the new garden looks fab, good size and lots of potential. I can imagine your excitement of getting stuck in with gardening once you’ve settled in with the move.

    Good luck with the move, glad to hear you can take your time with it and don’t have to rush too much :)

    1. Hi guys, I think I am extremely lucky with all manner of aspects of the coming move (so far, anyway, there is still the dreaded survey). But one of the best things is already having a good backdrop of mature shrubs to plant against. Mind you, there are a couple of leylandii that are going to have to go, and a sad cherry that has been planted too close to the garage to be healthy for either party. I am wriggling with excitement!

  5. I am glad you are still among the living, and the blogging. Congratulations on your new home and leaving your old garden in good hands. I like a seaside clime.

    1. Hi Les, I thought of you when I was wandering around Cemaes looking at the cliffs and thinking about the wildflowers that will thrive up there – and how different my “Winter Walk” post will be this year!

    1. Thanks Lyn, it makes the past few months feel like a bad dream, which is great as I thought it had become a permanent state of being! I have my bounce back. Some energy to go with it would be nice, but hey, one thing at a time, and at least the garden at the new place can look after itself pretty well while we sort the inside out. And next year I will get to play…

  6. Great news, Janet – and it is so nice to have you ‘back’ (if only part-time). Good luck with your plans – sounds like it has all worked out pretty damn perfectly for you. For which I’m very pleased. D

    1. Hi David, I am dead chuffed at how it all seems to be turning out, and already obsessed with the new garden. New climate, new soil, the front garden gets loads of sun so immediately I am thinking of all the plants I love that I haven’t been able to grow here. So much to learn! Must be patient…

  7. Janet, I am happy for you to be gardening in such a lovely new garden. To be by the sea will be nice as well, I love being by water, it is calming and rejuvenating. Good luck with your move and see you in July when you return to blogging.

    1. Thanks Janet, I too find water calming, and in the case of the sea, also invigorating and exciting, depending on the wind! We spent half an hour one evening just sat on a wall overlooking the beach watching the tide turn and a dog play on the sand. Blissfully relaxing.

  8. Good to have you back again, so glad your move is going ahead successfully. Cemaes Bay is a lovely spot, have spent many a happy weekend there in a friends cottage, sold now unfortunately. Your new garden looks good with an excellent variety of shrubs to form a backdrop to all the plants that will eventually come with you, hope you continue to improve.

    1. Hi Pauline, nice to be back! Cemaes is lovely, isn’t it. Though the views of the power station would not be to everybody’s taste… I am grateful to have the mature backdrop of all those shrubs, they provide great screening, and are so expensive to buy, at least I can grow perennials from seed.

  9. Hi Janet, I have been checking out your site regularly. I cant say how pleased I am to see your return. Love the look of the new garden, seems like someone was looking down on you from above. Catch up with you again.

    1. Hi Alistair, how lovely to know you have been checking in – sorry there has been nothing to see/read. We are definitely feeling quite extraordinarily fortunate at the moment.

  10. Hello I agree with others that it’s nice to see a post from you again, especially as it’s good news.
    Lovely pictures, and I’m sure that you’re already pondering about your new garden for next year!
    Take care, Flighty xx

    1. Hi Flighty, thank you, it has been lovely that so many people are still following my blog given my long absence. And yes, I must admit that I have been plotting and planning already, daft really as I haven’t got a clue what the soil is like!!

  11. I’m really happy for you. It can be awful feeling like you’re in limbo, I’ve been there myself. You just don’t feel like you can focus on anything and it’s hard to see any light at the end of the tunnel. Everything sounds so exciting, a garden and by the sea. I wish you well with the move and settling into your new home and garden and look forward to reading your blog on your new garden and how it evolves. Best wishes, WW.

    1. Thank you WW, you obviously have been there, that is exactly what it is like. It has made a gigantic difference deciding where we are going to live and finding what I hope will be our new home – and garden.

  12. Hi Janet, echoing what others have said, it’s lovely to read a post from you again and great to know that things have resolved themselves so neatly, especially to know that your mil and fil will care for your existing garden – which, btw, looks gorgeous; is that geum Cooky? I have Cooky, an orange geum, love it. It’s looking really lovely and I smiled when you said the garden had just got on with it as that’s the same here (although I have now chipped in with rather a lot of weeding!). Minimum effort and maximum joy. I wish you a lot of happiness in your new home, growing by the sea will be a marvellous experience – and I agree with you on the circular bed!! Much love and hope it goes well for you… Caro xx

    1. Hi Caro, yes, well spotted, it is indeed ‘Cooky’ – I can’t remember what the red one is though, and still haven’t unearthed my notebook from the chaos that is my desk at the moment… I am really looking forward to gardening in a maritime climate – and to being able to collect seaweed from the beach to fertilize the veg! My fingers and toes are now crossed that all goes smoothly with the survey etc, no nasty surprises.

  13. No wonder you’ve had little time for the garden or the blog but if we were honest, most gardeners would ‘fess up’ to having chosen indoors during the wet, cold days of Spring. Those gorgeous day-glo geums look like they’re dancing with the grannies in their bonnets.
    Such good news Janet – wishing you all the best in your new home. Is it too soon to say Bon Voyage?

    1. Hi Laura, it has been a dismal Spring, hasn’t it – my tulips were rubbish this year, but the geums are making up for it now, I love your description of them dancing with the grannies! Thanks for the best wishes, I suppose it could all still go wrong if something crops up in the survey, but at least we know that no one else is interested and that the vendors are anxious to get on and complete, so hopefully “Bon Voyage” is timely! I’m certainly starting to pack this week, so much to do, not least a greenhouse to dismantle…

  14. How lovely to see you posting Janet ~ have been wondering how you were. So glad to read that the move has now got a face and a garden to it – must make it easier when you can actually picture where you will be making roots. Also it must be so reassuring to know that your old home and garden will be cherished by folk you know. Anglesey is a lovely spot – we had our honeymoon there. Look forward to hearing more from you when you are settled in. Take care xxx

    1. Hi Anna, I feel reborn now that the future has some shape to it, and am excited about gardening again now that I have seen my future playground. I must remember that it isn’t actually ours yet, and I will be gutted if it falls through, but we saw another house with another wonderful – though totally different – garden so either which way life is full of hope and excitement again. It has certainly put a whole new perspective on the Chelsea coverage!

  15. Janet, I’m thrilled for you and so excited. I had been wondering, and hoping, that things were well with you. Your ‘old’ garden looks lovely, those aquilegias contrast beautifully with the dancing orange geums – I want to add some lovely orange and red geums to our garden next year too, we have a couple of G. rivale which are beautiful but much shyer.
    And how wonderful that you have found the perfect spot on your beloved island, by the sea in the sun, and with a good garden to get your hands on. Hurrah. Such happy news.
    I’m so pleased that the inbetween-days are over and you have a tangible future to move towards again – so soon. And space to yourselves for a while, with no stress about selling the house and what will happen to the garden and the luxury of moving your favourite plants (and the contents of the loft!) piecemeal. Happy happy news.
    Sara x

    1. Hi Sara, happy, happy indeed, I have to keep metaphorically pinching myself to remind myself that it isn’t a dream – survey happens today…

      I am loving the geums + aquilegias, and hoping to use that in the new garden, but I am staying strong and promising myself not to dig up lots of stuff now that I know I won’t be able to plant appropriately until next Spring. Lots of dreaming and planning over winter, with walks by wild sea as breaks. Can’t wait. Your own garden is coming together beautifully, so good to catch up with it a bit, and your hawthorn is stunning.

  16. Janet I’m so happy for you that things are starting to fall into place at last, your garden looks good doing it’s own thing and your new garden has some lovely high hedges to help keep those salt laden winds out or at least filter them, good luck with it all I hope things go relatively smoothly from now on, Frances

    1. Thank you, and yes, it does seem to be a garden that is quite well sheltered – I thought of you, and of Fay up on Orkney, when I was wandering around and wondering how salt-laden and strong the winds would prove to be! The fact that on this side of the Island there are actual trees, that are not all canted over at a sharp angle telegraphing prevailing wind direction, gives me hope. Where we lived before was very exposed.

      1. Janet I know you are a more experienced gardener than I am and I am not quite the novice new gardener I was 10+ years ago, one of the things it took me a long time to realise is that the soil I have is as much responsible to poor growth as the wind, in many instances more so, since I have learnt more about my soil and individual plant needs and ajusting the soil as necessary plants have grown better and pick up after a bad gale much better, as I can’t get good compost here I am reduced to using purchased fertalisers but that’s better than nothing, I think also the size and number of shrubs already growing in your new garden is a good sign, good luck I look forward to hearing your garden journey, Frances

  17. Good luck with the move – so good that you can return to your old garden after you have moved and re-aquire plants. The new garden looks well cared for and I expect you will have lots of fun shaping it to your liking.

    1. I am extremely lucky the way it is all shaping up, time to plot and plan without having to dig plants up in what is currently a quite savage heat!

  18. How lovely to see you back! And even better, how lovely to know that things are sorting themselves out, a bit like the garden – and that you will soon be up here in North Wales! Croeso!!

    (That garden looks like lots of potential – and I did notice the rather splendid greenhouse cum potting shed. Excellent… looks as though you’re going to be in a similar position to me, inheriting a previously-loved garden, but not one that has been so idiosyncratically loved that you can’t impose your own stamp on it. I’m really looking forward to seeing what you do…)

    Good to have you back – hope you felt all the good wishes heading in your direction during your absence!

    1. Hi Kate, I am thrilled to be winding up in N. Wales, and am practicising telling everybody I am a parrot and that I live in Cemaes ;-) We really must get beyond that stage…

      You are spot on about the garden, it has some great backbone planting, some hideous landscaping, and bags of potential – not to mention a brand new climate to get used to, loads of sun on the front which opens up new planting opportunities, and that circle promises to be an excellent source of landscaping materials to recycle!! I’m glad I will feel the freedom to make my mark, but it is nice to have a good shelter belt in place too.

      Looking forward to sharing the adventure!

  19. Janet, congratulations on the new home! How wonderfully this has all worked out. So glad you will be able to re-visit your old garden and divide what you like as you can. Moving can be so stressful, especially with time constraints, this is really the best of all worlds.

    1. Hi Marguerite, it is truly wonderful how it is all working out, it makes an enormous difference not to have to rush through any of it. Plenty of time to plot and plan, I am waking up with new ideas for the garden every morning already, and I haven’t even got the keys and measure it out properly yet!!

  20. Glad to have you back, Janet, even if only for a little while. Your new home looks lovely and so full of gardening possibilities! I know how stressful moving can be, but the fact that you can do it in stages will make it so much easier for you. Looking forward to seeing all your new garden plans once you settle in.

    1. Hi Rose, it is lovely to be back, even briefly, and the thought of the garden – and sea – in my future is getting me through the present, which is full of cardboard boxes and lists!

  21. Hi Janet – So glad you’re back. I’m particularly looking forward to seeing what you plan for that circular flower bed.

    1. Hi b-a-g, good to be back, the welcome has been almost overwhelming. I feared people would have given up on me!

      I am itching to find out how many of those slates I can rescue to re-use when I dismantle that circled bed, I plan something far more informal for the front garden, full of the sun lovers I have never been able to grow here except in small patches or pots.

  22. I’m so glad everything is good with you; I’ve been thinking about you a lot. How exciting that you’ve found somewhere so inspiring to start your new garden. I’ve been having internet issues and haven’t been able to upload for a while. I’m really looking forward to seeing what you do with your new plot. LOL Christina

    1. Hi Christina, sorry for the delay in replying, I have been bogged down in the sale process, which nearly broke down but thankfully is now fully back on track, so I have been allowing myself to plan and dream!

  23. I’m feeling your stress Janet. Being in a similar position at the moment the thought of being homeless or having to find somewhere very quickly is filling me with dread. I am so glad that things worked out for you and you can now glide through the whole moving bit and explore your new garden. I hope your new house is as you want it so you don’t have to spend too much time indoors.

    1. Hi Janet, sorry for the long delay in replying, am now off to your blog to try and catch up. So sorry to hear you have to move from your lovely garden. Our own gliding hit a few air pockets along the way, but is now thoroughly back on track. Hope your stress levels are OK and you are nowhere near homeless…

    1. Hi Donna, sorry for the tardy response – should be there in the flesh, armed with secateurs and camera, in just over two weeks…

  24. I’m beyond giddy for you me dear!

    I’m a few years off my own forever garden – but when I get one I hope it makes me as happy x

    1. Hi Fay, I hope your turn comes sooner rather than later, a garden that actually allows you to garden, where things stay in the ground rather than flying around at high velocity, would be wonderful!! We should be at the new place in two weeks time… I already have plans…

    1. Thanks Karen, I was certainly ready for a new start – which should be in around two weeks time!

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