End of Month View: January 2015

Have you ever had one of those frightful dreams in which you are running very fast and yet cannot seem to move at all? That is how my garden (sorry The Brazilian –  our garden) is making me feel. I have spent every weekend of the month at hard labour, and look what there is to show for it: nada (as The B might say). No plants, no shrubs, no flars. Just earth, roots and rubble.

Just earth, roots and rubble



Nothing much going on from this direction either

And then I look back at this photo from December and realise that I have done something (mostly shifted concrete):


And even more since November, when it all began:


So when I’m exhausted after a whole day spent digging up enormous roots and feel as though I’ve got nowhere at all…

Spot the birdie!

… I can stop worrying and know that things are progressing, however slowly.

‘End of month view’ is hosted by Helen at The Patient Gardener.

15 thoughts on “End of Month View: January 2015

  1. Thanks for following me. We moved from Glasgow to Suffolk in July last year, I commuted to Edinburgh daily on business, to a beautiful old cottage in a ruin of a garden. I look forward to seeing your progress in your garden, for fifteen years I looked at Edinburgh garden flats every day with deep envy.

    1. Thanks for following me too. I bet you don’t miss that commute! We are lucky to have a garden flat, I hope you enjoy following progress on it. Suffolk is beautiful… I used to like holidaying near Southwold. I recall visiting the heavenly gardens at Helmingham Hall… greatly recommended if you don’t already know it.

  2. What a lot of work you had and probably still have. Roots are a nightmare to dig out, but just think how fit you are getting!
    Looking forward to watching that space over the year.

    1. Thanks Annette… Fit, and impervious to cold too! Although you must be colder still, four hours north of us. Roots are all right if you just methodically go at it while thinking higher thoughts. One’s back does give out after a few hours of it though, and it was good to swap to another task every so often.

  3. Joanna when I saw the first photo I thought how wonderful to have a clean slate to work from, I’m glad you posted the previous months photos, you have done such a lot! wow and at a time of year when you are far from working in the best conditions, I think taking over a neglected garden or a garden established but not to your liking is much, much hard than a garden that is just soil, it looks like most of the worst will soon be over and you can start create your style of garden, Frances

    1. Thank you Frances for visiting and leaving your lovely comments. I am so glad I started taking photographic records of the garden, or I would have been half as motivated to keep cracking on with the project. I agree that there is more work involved in starting over, but because the original garden was awful and HAD to go, it perhaps spurred me on much more than if just a few things here or there needed changing but could wait till next year.

      1. The original garden didn’t suit your purpose, which is a perfectly good reason for digging it up and starting again. But it wasn’t awful, just neglected. And do you know what – before those rather dull shrubs got out of hand and the messy flower pots encroached it would have been a simple geometric diamond-in-square layout just like the little gravel and brick garden which so fascinated you on the walk to school. When it was new it must have looked very smart, apart from the concrete slabs of course, but that quantity of brick or York stone paving would have been prohibitively expensive. It was a garden for looking at from the windows, not for sitting in, and still less a gardener’s garden.
        It’s just a guess, but I imagine that whoever laid out that geometric design was not the person who enclosed it in a privet hedge. I bet the hedge-planter was a lavender and roses gardener, not a slabs ‘n’ cotoneaster merchant.

  4. You have done an amazing amount of work and this slogging will be worth it in the end. That’s the important part you need to keep telling yourself when you get down hearted.
    When you have finished, you’ll take a step back and say to yourself, ‘I created that’ and be most proud…..honestly 🙂

  5. It always amazes me the difference in 20 miles or so, I am that distance soth of you and we have 2 to 3 inches of snow, frozen solid, so no gardening will be happening for a while, here. Lots of planning, seed buying and a frustrated gardener!

    1. Ah, that does sound frustrating! And only 20 miles away. We’re right on the coast though so that does make things milder, and the garden itself is very sheltered. I haven’t even seen a proper frost on our plot of land, even when the streets around have frozen puddles. Wishing you a good thaw out before long.

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