The endless optimism of the singing birds in the trees lifts our spirits and encourages us to get on with making our space more welcoming and attractive. I find physical work profoundly energising and the exercise helps us get rid of stress and prepares us to live as warriors and not as victims.
When I need a bit of encouragement to get on and do things, I have a look at some of the old photographs I’ve taken of the garden and wander around taking shots of the same views now. This one is a good example of the back of our house about a year after I planted the rose in the photo. It’s now more than six metres high, winding into the young oak tree which shades the back of the terrace and it’s covered in little yellow flowers around the time of my birthday in April.
People often give me plants for my birthday and I plant them in this spot which has become my “Birthday Garden”. It’s starting to look good and does a great job of keeping our cellar cool in the summer.
The brambles and ferns are still present but I’ve left them for the time being to provide shade and I’ve cleared and mulched a space for a few more birthday shrubs planted this year which should eventually grow to about a metre.
Unless you have an unlimited budget, filling a space with plants takes time. I like the gradual process of using sentimental plants which you can nurture to maturity. They give an enormous amount of pleasure, not just to me but also to the person who gave them to me.