Looking back at old photographs of our garden is an unsettling experience for I realise how hard I worked before I retired from my paid job and travel took over. Today I go for ease of maintenance: eleven years ago I must have had more energy. Whatever, here is our front garden on August 14th 2005. I do find it odd when men tell me they have no time for gardening and make their garden into a car park.

I was very keen on cacti and agaves at that time, before the grandchildren came along in earnest and I gave the lot to a contractor who did some work on the roof. I must have been devoid of sense for they were valuable. But prickly …  and grandchildren are precious.
I was also keener on annuals. I am a little more reticent about growing them these days. I could change again, seeing these. In the left is a hydrangea that for some reason I moved into a shaded spot where it fails to do itself justice. It will be returned. The hebe suffered from a hard frost, poor thing.
I still have the rowan, full of berries in the summer before the birds descend on it. The tall helenium is scarcely remembered. A reminder of just how useful old photographs can be. I must remember next year to see how the roses and different perennials I have there now can rival this display.


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