As I announced last week, fate has dropped into my lap one of the biggest challenges of my life – a new garden an acre in size and a bit like a mini Lost Gardens of Heligan. Once much-loved, it is now overgrown and effectively abandoned.
As a friend said to me when she visited this week, “I wouldn’t have a clue where to start.” Well, in my view the first step in a new garden is actually the easiest – stop and find out what is there already.
And so the past few weeks have been spent exploring and unearthing its secrets.
So far, I've discovered:
And then you known what I said about unearthing secrets? I realised that Basil has some friends. Oh yes, the giant brash pile at the foot of the garden clearly has hidden depths! This photo was taken on Wednesday.
But as yet, not a single House Sparrow or Starling and no Greenfinches. Why are there no Song Thrushes, or butterfly caterpillars on the nettles. And how come I've only seen one bat once?
What a sign of the times! But a chance to make a real difference for nature.
For a number of years now, I have been reliably blogging every Friday with barely a hitch.
And then in the last few weeks it has all gone to pot. I'm hoping you'll forgive me, because I think I have got the most amazing wildlife gardening excuse.
Yes, I've bought a new garden. It's big. And it's in a right old state!
My dream garden would be an absolute blank canvas. But this is a close second best - a large garden, once loved, but that has got totally out of control.
It is 'blessed' with about 25 leylandii, each I estimate about 60 foot tall.
Only some of them aren't even standing...
...and as you can see nor is the garden wall it fell onto.
Then there are all the nettles. And bindweed.
And the military style fencing.
You get the sense that it is long time since this garden became too much for its former owners.
But what an adventure and privilege to have the chance to bring it back to life! An adventure which will now form much of the content of this blog.
I hope you enjoy following my journey as I see how successfully I can give nature a home