end of year (re)view 2013

I haven’t joined in with Helen’s end of month view for the last few months of 2013 because the only view has been wet, the garden became a jungle of weeds and tough grasses, the rains started in mid August and as the rain and wind continued the garden has become mushy and the lower part of the garden has suffered some flooding, this is the third very, very wet winter, not the normal wet, I am very grateful I am not among those who have had their homes flooded, so that’s the view, infact as I look out the window as write I can see a very large black Olearia virgata, wind burnt from the storms,
now a review of the positive, what has been good and plans for 2014, as I have already said several times the best has been my venture into veg growing, I still am amazed to think the 3 raised beds at the back of the house (south facing) were only being installed this time last year, there is a forth prepared that still needs to be put in, I hope it will be put in and working this coming year, this photo was taken 29th December 2012,
in the large garden area, I’m pleased with the small area I started in the birch garden, it has been nice seeing some flowers there instead of endless grass and thick moss, although I didn’t get time to put a mulch on the species rose border, both rose borders have given pleasure, the tweenie and damp meadow were good until I went away at the end of August since when I have not been able to reclaim them from the weeds and grass, I loved all the oxeye daisies in the alder terrace and the yellow rattle has made a difference to the wildflower slope which was it’s best this year,
francescaple.eomv3francescaple.eomv4francescaple.eomv5 francescaple.eomv6
the front garden is divided into 4 beds by concrete paths, the little bed has been good and the middle bed is starting to look like a silver and grey bed again, the new border in the jungle bed has been good and I did manage to reclaim a bit more and get it planted but there is still a lot of jungle, as for the wilderness bed well it’s still a wilderness, I’ve decided that as the front garden is there at the front of the house and what I and anyone else sees coming or leaving the house I’m going to concentrate on it next year, 9 years ago in 2004 it was all done and lovely but then being away most of 2005 and being busy with work 2006/07, the grass and weeds reclaimed it then the rabbits arrived and ate more than half of the plants that survived, but of course the rabbits don’t touch the weeds and grass!! so 2014 it’s the priority after the veggies,
to help me get somewhere with the rest of the garden (the large areas) I’ve decided in Feb/March I will hire someone to cut and clear all the weedy/grassy areas I was not able to get cut this year and in some areas last year too, then at least I will have a bit of a start, I know those in areas of water shortage and summer droughts will think I’m mad but I am praying for a drought in 2014 like we had in 2012, please weather gods, pretty pleeeeease …….
thank you Helen for hosting this meme and I hope I will be able to join in more in 2014, if you would like to see more end of month/year views please follow this link to visit Helen’s blog,
it’s interesting doing something like this and making yourself focus on the positive as you then see it wasn’t all disaster which is how it has been feeling since August,
wishing all my readers a very happy new year and all best wishes for 2014,


©Copyright 2013 Frances Caple. All rights reserved. Content created by Frances Caple for Island Threads.

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19 responses to “end of year (re)view 2013

  1. Frances your garden is just gorgeous, and far more colourful than mine has been this year! It is quite amazing what you have achieved given the conditions you have.
    With very best wishes to you for a happy, healthy and low rainfall 2014!

    • thanks Jessica, I’ve been here 11 years so I should have achieved something by now, I have learnt A LOT! as I am sure you know having a large garden the colour is very often dotted around in different beds, Frances

  2. Wishing you the best for the new year and asking for a little less rain over there!

  3. It was interesting to have a bit of a historical perspective as well as a review of 2013, Frances – and as you say your review has reminded you of the positives as well as the effects all that rain has had. There have indeed been lots of splashes of colour – and the wildflower meadow in your last picture is lovely :)

  4. We’ve had opposite years you and I Frances – 2012 was not good here yet 2013 has up until yesterday been perfect.
    I’m hoping that you manage to get your other raised bed sorted in time for planting. I do love your wildflower area – it must have been such a pleasure for the pollinators visiting your garden. The bed with the lupins looks wonderful – especially the yellow ones. I would pass those by if I saw those in a GC. I’ll be giving them more consideration now thanks to your pictures.
    Wishing you and yours all the best for 2014!

  5. thanks Angie, up here we seem to have had opposite years to most of the rest of the UK, sadly pollinators became rare after the rains started in August, I guess it was just too wet for them, the lupins are in the damp meadow which is one of the largest areas, I’ve tried lots of plants there and the lupins seem to thrive, so though I am not mad about lupin I bought more in as many colours as I could find just to get some flower there, I like the yellow as it is a soft lemon not bright, strong and garish, Frances

  6. Happy New Year Frances. You have worked miracles!

  7. Frances, your garden is growing so quickly it seems. I see so many blooms in these photos, particularly love the pathway edged in white blooms with the tree behind. You must be very proud, despite what the weather throws at you there have been great accomplishments. Have a wonderful holiday and best wishes to you in the new year.

    • thanks Marguerite, the tree behind is the Olearia virgata that is now black due to the storms, it has happened before and it has grown fresh foliage in spring so I trust/hope it will again, Frances

  8. You’ve achieved such a lot this year, Frances. Glad it wasn’t all doom and gloom. There is definitely a lot of reward in growing your own vegetables, hope you continue to be successful this year. Happy New Year to you, Sara.

    • thanks Sara, you and king of the hill are among those who from reading your blog have inspired and encouraged me to try growing veggies, so pleased I did, Frances

  9. My very best wishes to year and here’s hoping that 2014 will be a better gardening year for you, Frances. Great that your vegetable growing has proved such a success, the vegetables are all that keep me interested in August when the rest of the garden is suffering from the drought.

  10. Hi Frances
    I hope all your wishes come true for 2014. Looking at the pictures of your fabulous garden brings it home to me how tiny the plot is which we now have, Oh!! hope you do especially well with the veg.