A Year in the Garden

As we head towards New Year, another cycle is complete and the garden comes full circle. About this time last year, I had the idea of taking one photo of the garden each month, the picture to be taken while stood on the same spot, looking at the same view through the garden arch each time. Twelve months and twelve photos later this project is finally complete and is shown in the gallery below – may take a little while to load the images – or the iPhoto stream – for full-screen viewing.

This series of monthly pictures shows the winter-bound garden tentatively emerging from ice and snow, turning green and leafy as the weather warms, bursting into flower, turning into a lush, overflowing paradise, racing to producing seed for the next generation, then slowing down, tiring and fading, turning brown and dying, succumbing to frost as the temperatures fall and finally returning to sleep when the ice and snow returns once more to encase the garden and complete the year.

11 Comments


  1. I love these photographs! I enjoy seeing overviews of other people’s gardens. Are you growing anything up that arbor? I could not tell for sure.

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    1. Hi Jason. Thanks, I am very proud of these pictures since the whole lot took a year to do. There are bare-root roses at the bottom of each side of the arches. You can see the Gertrude Jekyll rose flowering in the June image (vibrant deep-pink blooms). They only went in this year, which is why they’re not really noticeable as they’re still pretty small. It’ll take a few years for each rose to reach the top of the arch and cover it – I can’t wait for that picture!

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  2. This is very impressive! I think I like the ones with the spring bulbs plus the delphiniums and foxgloves the best. Your garden looks amazing in these photos. What is the white flowering shrub on the right hand side in the spring photos?

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    1. Hi Claire, thanks. The white shrub is a “Spirea x Arguta“. Search the blog for “White Spirea” (or click the link) and you’ll see more detailed info on it as well as pictures. If you have the space it’s worth getting as the display is phenomenal but only lasts a few weeks.

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      1. That’s a lovely shrub although it’s somewhat dangerous to suggest buying more plants to a plant addict like me who has already filled the available shrub space and more! I’ve decided I can make space in the shade for a sarcococca but I’ve decided to do my tax return tomorrow morning before anymore spending. The joys of Christmas!

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  3. Sunil, all the best for the New Year! I look forward to keeping up with the news about your London garden!

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    1. Hi Lynn, all the best to you too! I look forward to more enjoyable reading about your roses!

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  4. I love these photos and the idea is wonderful! I took a turn at going through them quickly, and the garden itself seems to move as it stretches up and then recedes through the seasons. Great work.

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    1. Hi Emily, I’m really glad you liked the photos, I’m very proud of them (mainly because it took so long to do). I tend to be hopeless at taking pictures and rely on keeping the 1 out of 20 that isn’t blurred, it was a close call in some months where I almost ran out of time for that month’s image!

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  5. Sunil, What a delightful project. I’m always amazed by how much of the year you folks in the UK have flowers in bloom. I’m particularly partial to the June image of those gorgeous blue spires of delphinium.

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    1. Hi Jean, I try and plant such that we have at least something in flower at any time of the year (at the moment there’s a gap in early winter from when the mid-December frosts wipe out the last of the annuals until the Sarcococca Confusa in late January). Obviously the Spring, mid and late summer are the best times in the garden but clever planting can extend the season at either end.

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