We cut down an old fallen Berberis (that was still alive) at the back of the border. It provided a year round dark green back-drop to the vibrant plants in front and a warm, contrasting , orange glow of flowers in Spring. Taking it down has made way for fresh new growth at the base.
Immediately it has given us more space to rearrange the planting in front and given us an opportunity to refresh and renew.
It gives me a sense of renewal too. To see how deep this border actually is and realise its potential.
Alix and I have been working in this garden together now for 7 years. Every year we discuss, move, divide and replant different areas in the autumn and the excitement to see the changes the following year keep us going through the darkness of the winter months.
This is the biggest change we have done so far and it coincides with Alix moving to pastures new next Spring.
We didn’t know each other very well when we first started out but have shared the highs and lows of our lives in intimate detail ever since that first day. There is always plenty of time to chat during a session in the garden.
Performing tasks together we have recognised our strengths and hardly needed to communicate at all, as we read each other like books.
My highlight was seeing Alix weeding whilst on all fours at 9 months pregnant, determined and confident that it was good for her and the baby. She was right, as 24 hours later she held her beautiful baby in her arms, at home, having had the easiest of births.
We will always have great memories of wading through the pond trying to catch escaped fish, laughing as we balance as much as we can on the wheelbarrow so we need only make a single journey, chasing away the squawking Guinea foul, eating yoghurt with a plant label as neither us had a spoon and sitting in the van watching the rain dribbling down the windscreen, waiting for our chance to start again. Going home at the end of a day weary, mucky but almost always happy.
Our loss is Gloucestershire’s gain. I’m sad she will not be here to witness and wonder at the border once more with me next year and enjoy our vision together.
The end of the gardening year and an end of our era together.
Here’s to Spring and optimism and new beginnings… This is what gardening is all about and what, as gardeners, we become very good at.