I have come to that time of the year, as in previous years, where I take stock of what has been achieved. It is always enjoyable to review the year, because during the year the improvements may be any, but each is minor, and it is hard to get a sense that much has been acheived; looking back through photographs of events during the year gives a sense of achievement.
Although I note that in 2010 I wrote the annual roundup on 1st October, in 2011 it was the end of November, and now in 2012 it is Christmas. Like my school reports I “must try harder”!.
This year was reminiscent of 1976 when a hose pipe ban was followed by the appointment of a Minister of Drought – at which point the heavens opened. This year only the hose pipe ban was needed to persuade the Rain Gods that we needed water. Here in East Anglia we had had the driest 18 months on record. The Winter of 2011/12 was the first I can ever remember where I was irrigating garden plants! The Spring started off similarly dry, and with hose pipe bans looming I installed 14 cu.m. of rainwater storage (although I had calculated that to get me through the previous 18 months, i.e. storing water from times of plenty to cover my garden usage through the drier months, I would have needed 100 cu.m. stored)
The net effect of the wet summer was that we have not used any of the leaky hose irrigation, and certainly no oscillating sprinklers. I bought all sorts of bits & pieces of drip irrigation, looking forward to enjoying fiddling with it setting it all up etc. but its still in the packet – no doubt it will be needed in a future season.
But I did enjoy using the harvested rainwater – the plants seemed very happy.
To try to make it easier for returning visitors I’ve created an “Autumn 2012 Tour”. If you follow the link it will take you to the first revised article, read (or scroll) to the bottom, and then there is a link to the next updated article. I hope you find it helpful, the links will bring you back to this page at the end of the tour, or you can skip back to this page for an “2012 Tour Index” of the revised articles.
To take the tour start with the 2012 Season in the Exotic Garden [2012 Tour Start].
Index of the articles changed for Autumn 2012:
The big project of the year was the Exotic Garden [2012 Tour]. Last Winter I had a conservatory full of plants bought in the Autumn sales. These were planted quite late – late May / Early June – but by August I had an established garden that was thick with plants, and plants that grew at an astonishing rate.
I finished sowing grass on Centre Court [2012 Tour] in the Spring, and the Topiary yews have got established.
The hedges on the Long Walk [2012 Tour] have really come on well in their second season.
The Hydrangea Walk [2012 Tour], which our Two Pigs dug last Autumn, is still not planted, but I have lots of Hydrangeas raised from cuttings of one sort and another, and the beds are ready for planting.
I think a significant part of the success of the Exotic Garden has been that it is the most sheltered part of the garden, so I have planted a hedge around the Vegetable Patch [2012 Tour]
The Topiary Yew which are part of the Replacement Front Hedge, and which I madly am planning to shape as a Chess Set, have now reached sufficient diameter and height for the main column.
Preparation work is complete for the planting of the Serpentine Maze [2012 Tour]
Preparation work is also complete for the planting of the Fruit and Nut garden [2012 Tour]
There are some recent photographs showing growth of the Shrubbery [2012 Tour] and the completion of the extension to the Cross Walk [2012 Tour] planted with the Lavender plants I raised last year, and also some recent photographs of the Herbaceous “Hot” Border [2012 Tour]