Garden update 2020

It’s hard to believe that a whole year has passed since we moved into our new house in Mottingham. Many members will have visited our old house and garden, next door, whilst the new build was taking place. For those who don’t know though, after realising that we needed to downsize, as our family had flown the nest, we decided to knock down our garages and build a smaller house adjacent to our old one.

Before the dividing fence went up between the two gardens a man came to us to erect a shed in, what appeared to him, to be the middle of our large rectangular lawn. I showed him the sticks I had placed to mark where I would like the shed to be built. He took his hat off, scratched his head and asked “Are you sure that’s where you want it? -It’s a bit random isn’t it?”

When the shed had been built a dividing fence was erected straight down the middle of our large rectangular lawn, between our old and the new gardens. I invited some friends around to see what was going on. Some even peered rather nervously through a gap in the new fence to hear what plans I was hatching for my new garden.

Whilst the house was going up I got cracking on creating a new garden.

The first thing I did was to lay a curvy hose on the lawn to plan my new bed layout. I placed long canes to indicate where I hoped to build the raised beds, compost etc. By running up and down the temporary staircase in the, by now, half built new house I could look out of the windows, then adjust the hose each time, and get a better idea of how the new flowerbeds would look. I found this quite exciting as I was fed up with my straight lines of the old garden.

Then we moved the arch from our old garden into the new one, taking care to move the rose and clematis it supported at the same time. None of the side flowerbeds have been made at this point. 

I must confess, at this stage that two of my son’s friends were on hand to help with the arch and digging out the lawn to make flowerbeds. We barrowed all of the compost that I had been making in the old garden and set about improving the soil in our new beds. They also helped us to make two raised beds, from scaffolding planks, which quickly became temporary residences for extra plants that were in transit. Here they are with my beautiful Cercis siliquastrum flowering profusely in the background.

I do find that gardening is rather like decorating. You have to put in many hours of hard work before you can enjoy the easy bit.

The next task was to dig up and split all of my beloved treasures in our old garden. I planted half of each one back in the old garden and half in the new. I was thoroughly enjoying myself and I was barely buying any plants but by the end of the year but I had almost filled every bed. The job was made easier by removing a fence panel so that I could dash, laden with plants, from the old garden to the new.

As you can see by the next spring the garden was starting to shape. It’s simply amazing how things have grown. After just a year it almost looks like a mature garden.

Isn’t gardening wonderful? If you put a little work in you get so many rewards.

Since taking this photo I have created a dedicated iris bed with 7 different coloured irises. I’m worried that I’m becoming an iris addict!

During this year’s lockdown my projects were a bug hotel and very small pond.

I have also been trying to introduce some vertical planting which will hopefully cover the new fence that looks so bare. So far I have put in several climbing roses including Iceberg, Compassion, Danse du Feu and Golden Gate. I’ve also planted several other climbers like honeysuckles, clematis and Hardenbergia. This is a new plant to me. Apparently it’s similar to a Wisteria but less vigorous.

All of this has required rather a lot of trellis so I do hope that it all grows!

Clematis Pernille

In August I was glad to welcome many members to our open garden. We shared the day with Vija and Fran who also opened their gardens and made a whopping great  £319 for cancer charities. I know that some society members could not come that day and so I thought I’d share a few photos of our progress over the year. Viv.


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