Garden Journal 4.1.20

Welcome and Happy New Year!! Join me here weekly to catch up on my gardening endeavours through this #GardeningWays Journal. I spend much of my time gardening professionally for Rachel de Thame in Gloucestershire, and my journal picks up on progress in her Cotswolds Garden plus other horticultural highlights that might pop up during my week.

I use the #SixonSaturday meme that continues to blossom on social media, as a way to channel my gardening week images and writing, and the text below simply gives a little more background for each of the chosen images

Six images from Gary Webb to tell the story of his gardening week

This week as I’m sure you’ll know, wrapped comfortably around New Year’s Eve, and gave opportunity to get away from my regular gardening location to, you guessed it – visit another garden! I have to admit that whilst I love to visit other gardens, when the weather is gloomy with poor light, and considering I spend so much time outdoors in my working role, it is sometimes difficult to summon enthusiasm in the midst of winter.

Once the plunge is taken though, once the walking boots are on and the jacket zipped up, there’s little better to revive the soul than venturing out in the fresh air, and especially when it takes in such a special venue as the one I describe in this post. The journal this week therefore contains a mix of experiences from home, work and whilst out and about.

Lichen photograph taken through a magnifying  lense
A lichen clad apple tree branch

The first image above is not the finest image, granted, but was taken on my mobile phone camera (as are all the images). It was taken looking through a small magnifying lens, as I wanted to look a little closer at the extraordinary mosses and lichens that almost completely clothe the orchard trees in the garden at Broadwell.

The image was intended as one of my #12DaysWild images, a hashtag set up by The Wildlife Trust for the 12 days of Christmas. If you’re someone who appreciates wildlife and nature, you might like to scroll through the many fascinating 12DaysWild posts on Twitter or Instagram – they’re full of useful tips for helping wildlife and appreciating nature.

A ladybird quite content in its winter dry stone wall home.

From a distance all is generally quiet in most January gardens, with little but birds and maybe a passing cat to capture attention, so to see a tiny flash of ladybird red amongst the mossy hollows this week was a real treat.

It wasn’t the only one I have to say, but each sight of this kind is a reminder to me that even on the most light starved day, when the ground can be sodden and the coolest of winds chill the cheeks; wildlife activity continues on the tiniest scale. It’s just incredible.

A marigold flower defies the winter chill to flower
A Lone Marigold

This simple pot marigold in my home garden at the moment was shouting for attention. It’s as though it is time travelling from its regular summer showing to see what winter is actually like, and looking at its condition I’d say it has spent most of its journey shivering!

Ice plant shoots waiting patiently in the winter garden
Ice Plant

An ice plant in my garden at home, waiting patiently in the wings to release its pent-up energy to a 2020 audience. Sitting tight to the ground beneath stems from last year, the buds enjoy a protective micro-climate and promise great things for the coming months – they also remind me that patience is possibly the greatest virtue, as they say.

Detail of  preached limes beside a knot garden at Kenilworth Castle
Knot garden at Kenilworth Castle

This image is one of many I took on a visit to Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan garden. I could easily wax lyrical about the garden as a whole, which is a very characterful garden restoration and one of my favourites.

The detail above focuses in on some pleached limes beside a cute little knot garden, limes that have established to frame the garden space beautifully. The training is very precise and requires much pruning to keep them in check, and I can easily imagine aching hands from all that secateur work!

Paring back a pruning cut in the orchard
Orchard Pruning

Last image up for my New Year journal entry hints at a sizeable task of orchard pruning in my garden at work. Suffice to say that there’s a bit of thinning to do to aerate the trees and improve light penetration going forward, but this image focuses on one of my ‘things’; that of paring a pruning cut.

Used mostly for larger branch removal rather than secateur cuts, paring is simply a process of smoothing back the edges of a pruning cut to help the wound heal more easily. Admittedly, this photo doesn’t illustrate the most perfect example, but I try to do this as often as possible and, well, it feels like the right thing to do.

Well that’s it for another garden journal entry; a great ‘levelling’ week of garden activity for me, offering respite and repair from the Christmas excess. I wish you all the very best for the year ahead, and I look forward to hearing about your gardening year too!

If this post has been of interest, do click to follow this GardeningWays blog, or to catch up on some of my previous posts. Thanks!


Kenilworth Castle & Elizabethan Garden


2 thoughts on “Garden Journal 4.1.20

    1. Thanks, I really struggled to balance the camera & lens so most of my lichen images were a bit shaky, but even so the subject is fascinating, so many species hiding in the cracks & crevices. Fascinating!

      Liked by 1 person

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