Our Suffolk Cottage Garden: 2014

This was a year in which we started considerable planting. The year had started with another period of snow. The dogs had now reached an age where they were very feisty and challenging; ‘the terrible twos’. This meant they were full of energy and play and that they would delight in digging up the garden. So, to address this and give our plants a chance for successful growing, we put a temporary fence down the middle of the garden.

Effecively, this created a garden for us plus a dog pen. I have to tell you that this action actually worked. Our plants had time to safely establish. Our dogs had an area they could play in and do what they wanted. It was a little frustrating, cutting the garden in half, but it was for just a few months and we could tell that Oscar and Digby were starting to calm down, later in the year, and that is when we removed the fence.

One of the challenges was that we had decided to host a Birthday event for my mum. She had been increasingly unwell and this would be her 69th Birthday. I realy didn’t know whether she would make it to her 70th, so we decided to have her big party a year early. This meant fitting the event into only half of the garden. I’m delighted to say that it worked and we had a truly wonderful Birthday bash for my mum. My mum made it to the age of 74. She sadly passed away in 2020. It is a joy to remember her big Birthday event, here.

With the wonderful Birthday gathering over, we set about taking down the garden divide as autumn started to arrive. The dogs were responding well to their training and I was confident that they would now leave the plants alone and not try to dig everything up.

And so the remainder of our year in the garden was about looking after new planting, including the hedgerow that was starting to develop. I had planted the hedgerow with the aim for it to be a wildlife hedge; attracting in insects and birds but also providing some additional ground coverage for small mammals and amphibians. Oscar and Digby now left the hedge alone and were more interested in just chasing each other, in play.

The end of the gardening year is about maintaining what can be maintained, keeping things tidy and planning for the new year. This had been a busy but productive year in the garden and the new year would be easier, as the dogs were now moving past their most challenging age.

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