Seeing in the New Year

And so, here we are, on the eve of a new decade; Farewell 2010s, All Hail the 2020s! With the world as it is, there seems relatively little to look forward to on a macro scale, so I am choosing to focus on things that are within my gift to influence; my relationships, work/life balance, carbon footprint and, of course, my garden. I have learned over the years that time spent fretting is time wasted, so I prefer to just get on and ‘do’ whenever possible. What 2019 has taught me most of all is that situations can change unexpectedly, and not always for the better. I have always lived by the adage ‘Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today’, but the profundity of this statement sits at the forefront of my mind as we approach the New Year.

Me and John (aka The Beau)

2019 has been a year of big changes for me, with The Beau and his two pups, Max and Millie, coming to join me in Broadstairs at the end of June. Prior to that there was much travelling back and forth between Broadstairs and Penzance. Fun as that was, it was not sustainable in the long term. For the last six months we have been one happy family, getting used to our new living and working arrangements, making new friends in the process. I miss my regular visits to Cornwall, which presented opportunities for seeing family and friends, as well as copious plant shopping. If all goes to plan we’ll be back there for a few weekends in the spring, when Cornish gardens are at their most wondrous.

Sinocalycanthus raulstonii ‘Hartlage Wine’

The merging of two plant collections made for a very abundant summer in the garden, prompting me to consider whether we need to make some changes for next year. A little more room to manoeuvre would be nice. A record number of visitors – 440 to be precise – visited The Watch House in early August, raising over £2000 for the National Gardens Scheme. An appearance on BBC Gardeners’ World in March really helped to pique people’s interest: if you missed it, here’s a link. The segment begins about 7 minutes and 30 seconds in to the programme.

With space at a premium outside, we have turned our attention to indoors, embracing the recent house plant craze. The knock-on effect is that there is not as much room as usual to overwinter tender plants. I am not moving out, so a little slimming down of the plant collection might be needed next year.

The Gin & Tonic Garden on New Year’s Eve 2019

Having struggled to make time for blogging in the latter part of 2019, I am determined to get back to writing regular posts in January. This blog has always been about discovery for me, providing the impetus to learn about new plants and unfamiliar gardens. In turn this has prompted me to look at things differently; to be more inquisitive and thoughtful about what’s in front of my eyes. Hence ‘seeing in the New Year’ has an alternative meaning for me, and I am resolute about doing more of it.

The Jungle Garden on Christmas Day 2019

Wherever you are in the world, and however 2019 has treated you, I wish you all the very best for 2020 and the new decade. May it be everything you hope for and more. TFG.

Viking Bay, Broadstairs, Christmas Day 2019

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54 thoughts on “Seeing in the New Year

  1. You certainly had a life changing 2019. I hope that all falls into place comfortably in 2020. I will look forward to your blog posts. I thoroughly enjoy how you can express your love of garden, plants and life in general. Best wishes for you and John in 2020.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for this post Dan, a pleasure to read as always 🙂 . All the best for you and John for 2020. Looking forward to read your posts in the nearest future ( January begins tomorrow ). Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a fantastic year it’s been for surprises and challenges! So love your blog, full of so many interesting observations and plants, it is so different from what we have in Oz. Wishing you, John and your family and friends, a fabulous new decade, full of many green treats and surprises… hope to see you both soon….,Happy New Decade… luv from 🇦🇺Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for all your wonderful and informative posts. The G & T garden is absolutely fabulous. What a brilliant plantsman, gardener, designer etc etc you are and as someone who hasn”t met you but love your post, so happy for you and the Beau, and the dogs too!! Very happy 2020 to you all.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for the great blogs through the year and the chance to be two of the 440 who had a wonderful visit with such warm hospitality.
    Looking forward to the coming year and wishing you both (and your readers) the very best.
    Even at this time of year the garden looks great!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. All the best to you all. .starting from scratch with my garden next year so look forward to your posts.notebook at the ready. .happy new year from Rotherham, South Yorkshire. .

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi me again. ..just watching your gardeners world clip again ,could you tell me the name of the foliage plant in the foreground next to the canna…thanks in advance. ..paul

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A month ago I stumbled across your blog and added to my blog list in the hope that you would continue. I love the photo of your family in hawaiian shirts, and hope you are able to continue letting us in on your adventures in botany. Happy 2020

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for your life and love affirming blog! May all that you give through your blog and incredible hard work (vast knowledge, skill, and beauty), be returned to you exponentially!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I know you hear this all the time, but your garden is beautiful. I also appreciate your thoughtfulness and kind spirit. Looking forward to more posts from you in 2020. Happy New Year to you and The Beau!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I raise a glass to you both, wishing the both of you a very Happy New Year. I look forward to the many blogs and Instagram posts to come in the new year, they always make my day, Thank you!
    With warmest regards to you both Kevin Dyer.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I have enjoyed reading your posts very much Dan. They are always so entertaining and informative. I wish you and the Beau all the very best for 2020 and look forward to seeing and learning more about your beautiful garden.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jane. How are you faring during this apocalyptic summer in Australia? I am guessing fires must be terribly close to Mudgee, which must be frightening for everyone. I hope you are not personally impacted? It’s all very tragic to witness from afar and we are all thinking of you. Hopefully the fires will be at an end soon and the land can start to heal itself.

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      1. Dan, thank you so much for your concern. We have a ‘megafire’ approximately 50km from us as the crow flies, but we’ve been incredibly lucky with the wind direction which has stopped it moving towards our town. Our spirits are low, however, seeing the utter devastation of the country and the effect on humans and animals. We’re not seeing an end any time soon. My garden looks sad too: temps in the 40s, water restrictions and little or no rain do not make for a happy growing climate. Mostly I’m endeavouring just to keep things alive. Messages from blogging friends have been much appreciated.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well, we are with you in spirit Jane. From what I have seen Australians are among the most gutsy, optimistic, practical and friendly people on earth, so I know you’ll be OK. Take the time to feel, then come roaring back as only you can.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Your wonderful posts fill me with inspiration every time.we have a sub tropical garden here in darkest ripple nr deal , its mainly asleep at the moment but I’m full of ideas thanks to you for 2020 already. So have an exciting and plant filled 2020 with many blessings for you and your beau xx

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    1. How brilliant. I had not heard of Ripple, which is very remiss of me, so I had to look it up. Looks absolutely lovely surrounded by all those fields.

      We are both very lucky to be able to exploit the unique East Kent microclimate, although hasn’t it been wet this winter? I can’t recall a year like it. Hopefully the plants will not suffer. I’d rather have wet than extreme cold, that’s for sure. Dan

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  14. Happy New Year to you and John! You look so happy together. Wonderful to find someone to share your botanical adventures with. Love how good your garden looks now. Inspiring! May 2020 be a wonderful year for you, your family and your beautiful gardens. Love your blog and look forward to reading more. X

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Your garden is so fabulous and so inspiring. I hope you do get back to blogging more as I have missed your informative posts and the accompanying beautiful photos. But life has a habit of getting in the way and you are such a busy person with a lovely home and garden to attend to. Happy New Year to the two of you, I wish you a healthy and floriferous 2020. 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That would be good Gill. I now have wheels again, courtesy of The Beau, so I am a bit less restricted with my travel. Would be good to come by in the spring and do a garden visit. I think all our holidays will be in the West Country this year. In the meantime, hope 2020 treats you well. There will be new plants for both of us, of that I am certain! X

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  16. Great first-of-the-year post, looking forward to read more from you, as always. May 2020 bring you and your loved ones good health, joy and happiness in life 😊 regards, Lin

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  17. Beau?! That is the name of the tired 1967 Chevrolet who arrived here just before you wrote this two weeks ago. It is short for ‘Hobo’, but maybe you shouldn’t repeat that.
    Although the Jungle Garden looks a bit less jungly for winter, the Gin and Tonic Garden seems to have gotten a bit fluffier. Is still dig that magnolia though. It is funny how compact spaces sometimes contain more diversity than I can fit into a few acres.
    I have a different question from that of the coleus in front of the canna. Is the canna in the background of the top picture a Canna indica, or is it like the Canna musifolia behind the coleus in the previous question from Paul Kingston?

    Liked by 1 person

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