Plants / Seasonal

Goodbye and hello

Over the past 10 years I have planted small gardens wherever I’ve lived.  In the courtyard of a Notting Hill basement flat I planted my first ever garden, a symbolic attempt at putting down roots, and two years later in Bristol, I planted a container garden, later taking it with me to Oxford.

At my mother in law’s home in Oxfordshire, I nurtured my containers alongside her well established garden. I was starting to realise I could lose hours and days blissfully and industriously working away, and that this was something I needed.

I planted a garden in Devon, and three months ago left it to start a new life here in Australia.

It is true that moving house feels traumatic, especially after putting so much love into one place, even for a short time.


A flash of inspiration to rip down the ivy, clearing the way for my first attempt at gardening in Notting Hill, 2005


Blissful memories of driving to The Chelsea Gardener to make my first tentative purchases of lavender and thyme in the background, plus orphaned and rescued cabbage tree and bay in the foreground


Our rotating compost, affectionately known as ‘the rotating doodle’ – don’t ask


Nothing avant-gard here, but it was my first time!

My most recent garden in Devon, planted with herbs from Poyntzfield Biodynamic Nursery in Scotland which they deliver wrapped in moss. Missing are photos of my tansy, which became my favourite of them all, with her healing blooms of deep yellow buttons in late summer through autumn. I miss her and hope she’s doing well.

10 newlands

Tangle of chives, french tarragon, lavender, catmint, thyme, climbing rose, roman camomile

newlands garden

Lemon verbena growing through catmint, creeping thyme on the path

thyme path newlands

My cottage garden at the height of summer – note the bee bath filled with rocks and water on a slab, and the thyme path I laid and planted


And here I am, starting a new life with my husband in Australia, a move which attempts to consolidate a number of requirements missing for so long, a steady income, the ability for us both to pursue our careers, sun, sea, and proximity to my family and my home country of NZ. After such a big move I feel I need to say thank you and goodbye. Thank you beautiful gardens, you helped me put down roots, you gave me so much pleasure, I didn’t know what I was doing but you turned out great!

Reviving this blog after two dormant years, I want to turn my attention to sources of nourishment for me, in addition to food, namely plants, rituals and traditions, and my love of the sea.


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