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