Well, we made it. I’ve been here for two weeks now, and finally have internet. Why, exactly, does it take so long? There are still boxes everywhere, a leaking roof to fix, ditto a dripping shower, and I have spent rather more time wrestling with labyrinthine telephone wiring and puzzling over plumbing than I have in getting properly acquainted with my new garden! But I don’t care, because I get to see this out of my bedroom window every day:
Even on a wet or murky day it boosts my spirits – never in my wildest dreams did I dare imagine I would wind up living so very close to such a beautiful bit of coast. It makes a tremendous difference that, even if I am just walking up to the shops to pick up milk, I pass this:
It makes an excellent escape from the chaos of moving, and although this blog will continue to be focused on my gardening adventures, I’ll post about the Island too, and not just because I think a sense of place is important in a garden.
But I digress. Although I got here first, to wave my hands around at the removals guys and at least attempt to get things approximately where they were due to go, my time here didn’t really begin until TNG arrived. He’d stayed behind for a few days, partly to make sure the most important things arrived in the first load, but also to wait for our lovely camper van, Cameron, to have his new coat of paint finished. Poor Cameron had been looking rather the worse for wear, and we feared we would have to sell him, but thanks to the generosity of family we were able to get him the tlc he needed to restore him to pristine condition. So I spent some time last week anxiously peering down the road from the front garden, hoping to see Cameron – and TNG – appear.
Such a welcome sight! And not just because TNG, who knows me so very well, had loaded Cameron with as many of my precious plants as he could fit in!
I was even more delighted to see him than the plants, honest…
With all the boxes to unpack and things to organise, I feel as if I have been snatching time to get to know the garden here. I haven’t even had my soil tester out, though I have run my fingers through the earth – well drained, slightly sandy, over clay. Like the house, the gardens are in need of a lot of TLC. At one time people with great passion gardened here, and there are some lovely plants, but many are now over crowded.
When we moved to our previous house the garden was a completely blank slate, just ragged grass with a few shrubs and conifers crammed into the corners and around the edges. This is an entirely different prospect, a mature garden in need of renovation – and a certain amount of revolution! For instance, I am happy to accommodate the mophead hydrangeas in the front garden, they are such a part of coastal gardens like this, but I refuse to tolerate spotted laurel, and certainly not three of the blighters! I am itching to yank out the pieris too, I have always heartily disliked them, but I am also aware that I need to take my time, pick my battles. I want to prioritise restoring the view of the sea at the front, and establishing at least the beginnings of a kitchen garden at the back. And then, of course, there is this:
A wonderful source of slate to be used elsewhere in creative ways, and some nice hebes lurking in amongst the bedding, but it has to go…
As I gradually win more time for myself I will introduce you to the various bits of garden in more detail – and beg for advice, and ask for help in identifying the many, many shrubs I find I know nothing about. I feel ignorant, excited, impatient, slightly daunted. But most of all, I feel deeply happy to have found myself living here, in such a wonderful place, with so much garden to play with.
P.S. Apologies for the broken archive widget, one of the updates seems to have played havoc with the layout and I haven’t had time to fix it yet…