Posted by: christinelaennec | March 22, 2014

First spring in our new garden

Almost exactly a year ago today, we’d agreed the sale of our flat in Aberdeen.  Incredible to think of all that’s happened in the interval!

Some of you may remember that we needed to have a garage conversation about the asbestos-roofed garage and back garden of our new house.  Well, we have been enjoying a revamped space with good drainage, interesting paths, better security, and instead of the old garage, a shed and a summerhouse.  I am so very grateful that we were able to do this.

Summerhouse (with shed behind).  Our garden.  March 2014.

Summerhouse (with shed behind). Our garden. March 2014.

In January I planted eight climbing roses from David Austin Roses:  five in the back garden and three in the front.  Some of them are familiar friends, which I grew in my garden in Aberdeen, and some of them are new to me.  They are all very scented.  The ground has been terribly waterlogged all winter (I read that Glasgow had 12″ of rain in December alone), and I was worried for them.  But each one is putting out new shoots.  Isn’t it fantastic?

One of my new climbing roses.

One of my new climbing roses.  I think this is Constance Spry.

Or, if you aren’t a gardener, you’re thinking, “What am I looking at here exactly?” (I’m still getting to grips with my new camera – apologies for the sharpest focus being on the fence behind!)

I have enjoyed planting up perennials in the sunny border, as well as wildflowers in the lawn.  They’re specially selected for grass that is cut frequently.  The idea for this came when I was talking with the Dafter about her great love of daisies, which we enjoyed in profusion in the drying green we shared with our neighbours in Aberdeen.  I realised that our new turf – a huge improvement over the dangerously pitted old lawn – would be some people’s weedless delight, but to us would seem horribly bare without a covering of daisies and clover.  I hope to have some results to show you in the summer.

The sunny border, my garden, March 2014.

The sunny border, my garden, March 2014.

As well as hoping to grow a number of perennials, I have left spaces to grow flowers from seed, including sweet peas.  I have left two spots for the sweet peas, to use on a rotating basis.  If you grow sweet peas in the same plot every year, they won’t do well.

We are trying to make our garden bird- and insect-friendly.  The hedge is a great asset, as the littler birds take shelter there.  We’ve attracted robins – and the inevitable wood pigeons – to the ground feeder.  Here is a metal bird, adorning my rain gauge!  As you can see, we’ve had at least 3″ of rain this month so far.  My Grampa always had a rain gauge, and I love keeping an eye on it.

Mid-March and we've had 3 inches of rain since the start of the month!  March 2014.

Mid-March and we’d had 3 inches of rain since the start of the month!

Here is one of the original inhabitants of the old garden, a lovely variegated ivy.  I love seeing the fresh, new leaves on it:

New growth on the ivy.  March 2014.

New growth on the ivy. March 2014.

We’ve also kept a skimmia, a camellia (which to my relief is just starting to bloom), and several tea roses.  The people who sold us the house have been to see the transformation and to our delight they completely approve.

Happy Spring, everyone!  (And happy autumn to my antipodean friends.)



  1. Oh how exciting!! I Love the summerhouse! I want to come for cups of tea in the summerhouse!! And the path is just beautiful! And there is nothing better than David Austin roses — we just used David Austin “Juliet” in the wedding last week. What a beautiful transformation for the back garden! I’m so happy you are all ready for spring!

  2. Loved these pics!

  3. My dad always had a rain gauge in his backyard…a good memory for me too, although I have not had one in my backyard…you inspire me,
    Christine 🙂 It is lovely to see what you have already started in your garden and to know some of what you hope to do. Our Camellia bush has just started to bloom, too, and has more blossoms than I thought it was going to. Happy Spring to you and yours! xx

  4. How wonderfully uplifting to see all these plants. Your garden’s going to look superb! I like the idea of planting wild flowers in the lawn, and what a nice rain gauge. Can anything beat the smell of scented roses on a sunny day? Here’s hoping the sun shines on yours and fills your garden with beautiful scents.

  5. Your garden looks beautiful and very very promising for summer.
    I’d love to see those David Austen roses 🙂
    Unfortunately I can’t grow them in my garden. The soil is my garden is like sand and so not good for roses.

  6. Ohhh, your summerhouse is so pretty!

    These photos are lovely. I hope you’ll share more when things are in full bloom?!

  7. Wow, wow, wow. Perfect.

  8. You have created a beautiful space in your yard, Christine. That little blue house is fabulous – I want to live in there! ❤

  9. I just love the summerhouse ~ it’s so cute! Your garden will be such a nice place to sit with a cuppa tea with everything blooming. ♥

  10. you have a true heart of a gardener. you inspire me! everything looks wonderful.

  11. Your backyard is a true oasis, Christine! Your summerhouse is so charming and I can visualize the roses in bloom, the flowerbeds filled and you in your gardening clogs happily puttering around with your sweet family looking on. Beautiful. xo Karen

  12. Gorgeous Daffodils! Ainsley ran to me the other day with two handfuls of Daffodils — just the flowers, no stems. I briefly panicked thinking she had shorn all the neighbors’ flowers, but, thankfully, they were from our humble plot. I explained that stems are rather helpful if you want to put the flowers in a vase.

    I love the summer room. You’ll have to give us pictures of what you do with it.

    Take care!

  13. Oh, what a lovely garden you are creating. Your familyl is so blessed.

  14. Have you got Gertrude Jekyll in there? I think I remember she was in your Aberdeen garden.

  15. Thank you so much, everyone, for your enthusiasm! I will definitely show you the garden as it develops, and summerhouse likewise.

    Heather, I think “Juliet” is one of the flowers that you can order from David Austin as a cut flower. Beautiful.

    Kelly, I can just imagine Ainsley’s gift of daffodil heads – and your relief that they came from your own garden.

    Linda, I do indeed have another Gertrude Jekyll, in the front garden. What a good memory you have!

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