Through the Garden Gate

It’s been ages since I last blogged here but life and business have been hectic with little free time despite the virtual holiday I had last month (you can read all about that here!) Summer is now heading towards autumn (boo hoo) but what a glorious one it’s turned out to be here in the UK and the garden has certainly rewarded us with its glory.

To think we went from this:

Garden snow small

to this:


Last year’s weather was a washout and this year was forecast to be the same yet Mother Nature has a way of recovering and boy, did she! From a superb display of daffodils and stupendous tulips:

100_5817100_5830to being eventually entertained, if about a month late, with the most wonderful array of poppies, peonies and foxgloves leading into a hot, colourful display all round. One foxglove grew to over 6 foot tall.


pruned foxgloves


But not everything faired well. The fuchsias haven’t been good, the columbines peaked all at once and were over within a week and my two tall, all-summer-long varieties were blown over in the strong winds we have here. As the plants flourished, so did the snails to decimate my hostas – their leaves are like lace curtains although the flower spikes survived. We aren’t plagued with slugs, thankfully. We have an army of frogs that keeps them in check. The roses have re-bloomed three times now, and we have never had such a glorious or long display of sweet peas. I’m still picking them.


The rear garden is still dazzling splash of colour with many pots and hanging baskets,



and the new lilies we found, in red, yellow and white, were exotic but each flower only lasted a day.


The good weather enabled me to get in the garden more, enjoy my early 7:00 am coffee out there and it’s been wonderful being able to sit outside all day and work whilst enjoying the sights, sounds and perfumes.


Along with the glorious flowers we have taken much pleasure this year in the wildlife that’s come back to the garden. We came across our first slow worm for many a year, although he nearly got chopped up by the lawnmower!


Dragonflies have been in abundance, as have the butterflies (read more about the butterflies in Over the Backyard Fence), moths including the fascinating humming bird hawk moth, crickets and bees – I never realised there were so many different sizes and varieties of bumble bees, from tiny “baby” ones to huge fat, long haired ginger ones. Certainly no shortage in my garden.

What we haven’t had this year is the plague of flying ants we normally get in July, nor wasps.

Soon it will be time to put it all to bed and dream of next summer. I’ve great plans for the garden. Much has to come out as it has become crowded, many larger plants need dividing, ie the astilbe and hosta, most of the irises and crocosmia will be thinned out so I can put in a wider variety of perennials and shrubs, and several larger shrubs must come out altogether as they are taking up too much room and creating far too much shade, apart from which they are not the colour they were supposed to be when purchased, but they have served their purpose and given the birds handy perches whilst waiting to feed.

Ooops, spoke too soon. A wasp has just landed in my glass of wine. Oh well, at least he’s died happy and merry. Best go and get rid of him and refill my glass.

So cheers, here’s to a wonderful summer. Thank you, garden, for giving me such a good one this year.


12 thoughts

    1. Thanks, Jo, it’s been lovely working out there this year. Hopefully we’ll get some more good days so I can write outside. Grey, rain and gloomy here the past few days – still, it’s made for a good excuse to get the paints out!


  1. What a little piece of paradise, Kit! Lovingly tended and it shows…gardening is so relaxing and I think it’s something very necessary when you lead a busy life! Nature is very giving – and that blaze of colours (and the stunning photos) bear that out. Autumn next, so a new season to celebrate.


    1. It keeps me sane and calm, just a shame not nearer the sea! Thought of autumn is depressing although does make for some lovely scenery to explore and paint – ha! If I had the time….


  2. What a piece of paradise you’ve created in your yard, Kit. It’s lovely. And the work is peaceful and fulfilling, isn’t it? You’ll have many pictures to look on as the weather darkens. And plans to make for next year. Thanks for sharing a piece of your beautiful garden with us.


  3. You certainly have a green thumb. I never have but Jack did. I’m still uncertain what I’m going to do with the garden here. Eventually I’d like to have a fountain and I’ll need to replenish the bark but will hire that done. For this year I’m just puddling along and trying not to let the weeds take over. We are getting some much needed rain and in the Pacific NW you never know when the sun will reappear.

    Loved the pictures.


    1. It’s certainly more by trial and error and over the years a lot of plants have died on me. And Dave must take most of the credit for all the hanging baskets and pots. I keep hinting for a fountain in our front garden, one of those solar powered ones but Dave keeps saying it’ll end up as a communal bath for the local pigeons. Plenty of perennials and shrubs are the order of the day, less work and maintenance than growing annuals as Dave does in our front patch. Do wish we had a large plot though, or at least one that wasn’t such an awkward shape. But we enjoy it none the less. 🙂


  4. What an absolutely glorious garden – thank you for sharing it with us. Here in south west Scotland the skies have turned dark grey and I think we are about to have torrential rain – but we have had a great summer, too.


    1. Thank you for popping in, Mary. The back garden is only small compared to the “other half” (we live on a corner plot so the large part is at the front and side of house, given over to veg and annuals) but we love it. Raining here today, first day for ages I haven’t been able to work outside. Hoping summer lasts for a few more months. We live in hope. Hope you drop in again soon. 🙂


  5. Your garden looks like a haven of colour and scent, Kit. How heavenly. I must admit I haven’t seen a slow worm in ages but then they are shy creatures. I feel like you do about the end of summer as I’d like it to stretch on for a few more months – if only to spend more time in the garden!


    1. Have to admit I prefer the garden to indoors so when weather is good I make the most of it. But not today, it’s tipping down! Wouldn’t it be great though if summer stretches out to December for once? 🙂


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