Moving house is widely recognised as one of the most stressful events in a person’s life, and I can certainly vouch for this after spending the last 4 months trying to sell our home. For gardeners, the whole process can be more traumatic having to say goodbye to a space you’ve lovingly created and to plants you’ve nurtured over time.
After a frantic week packing, cleaning and saying goodbye to friends move day finally arrived. My garden, like most, doesn’t look at its best in January, but having a final wander around I could see the first signs of life emerging: pristine white snowdrops poking up through fallen leaves; hellebores, with their exotic, cup-shaped blooms and the slender leaves of daffodils appearing, hinting at the spring colour to come.
When we’d first moved here over 10 years ago there were a few trees and ferns but not much else. Each year I’d added shrubs, perennials and bulbs and by doing so had created a haven for wildlife. It’s given me immense pleasure to see a whole host of creatures stop by the garden to feed, bathe in the bird bath or to set up home.
The compact and bijou greenhouse where I had spent many a happy hour sowing seeds and sheltering from the weather was now empty, except for the staging we were leaving behind for the new owners. The shed once so full of gardening paraphernalia I could only just squeeze through the door was bare. The patio once covered in a collection of pots filled with bulbs, evergreens and colourful annuals looked twice the size now it had been cleared.
Alongside the sadness of saying goodbye, however was the feeling of excitement. The prospect of a new garden, a whole host of plants I could grow, new opportunities. The garden I’ve left had been my first real opportunity to properly grow plants and I’d made plenty of mistakes, planting things in the wrong place, choosing things that grew too big or planting things in places where they needed more sun or more shade. But that was all part of the learning process, and now I was keen to start afresh and learn from my mistakes. Hopefully I’ll have a bit more space so I can get a bigger greenhouse that will allow me to grow succulents, chillies, and pelargoniums. A wildlife pond would be nice and space to grow some vegetables near the house so I could pop out from the kitchen and picks herbs and salads rather than having to make a trip to the allotment.
I’ve brought with me a small collection of cuttings and divisions of favourite plants to get me started: some special snowdrops, a beautiful ornamental currant, a couple of attractive ferns and an epimedium or too. So, while it’s been sad to say goodbye, I’m looking forward to new planting possibilities.