A Year in My Garden

This time last year one of my gardening goals was to photograph my garden each month of the year so I could look back at the end of 2019 and compare the growth and beauty of the garden month on month. It hasn’t always been easy to remember to walk around and take the same picture at the same spot each month but on the whole, I have managed it and it is really exciting to look back through a year in my garden as the seasons changed.

This view through my garden arch starts in January 2019 and ends in January 2020, with the notable exceptions in the months I failed to take a picture! It is visually striking to see the way in which the Twisted Willow which wraps around the archway, fills out from barren contorted twigs to a verdant canopy of lush foliage.

I photograph the beauty of my garden to use in blog posts and on the social channels of The Pink Wheelbarrow but often those are close up shots of the light catching a particular plant or the stunning colour of a flower just bursting into bloom. What was harder this year was to remember to stand back to take a shot of a whole border, particularly when I didn’t really like some of what the shot framed.

In January you could be tempted to start planting into what looks like empty spaces
By June, the Hostas majestically fill out to occupy a large space each in the border

One of the best practical reasons for photographing your garden regularly is to serve as an aide memoire for your future planning. It can be hard when you look out at brown, withered borders in the bleak mid-Winter to recall the glory days of Summer and to remember just how gorgeous your little patch of green was. It is all too easy come Spring to start to turn over borders, even dig in new plants, only for those dormant perennials or bulbs to be dug up and your previous hard work to be ruined. Having a series of photographs to look back on actually aids in future planting planning.

January – this border would make you want to start all over again as it looks so soggy and dead
But come June and it has burst into a lush green border in soil which is still damp and always shaded

Use your photographs to record the progress you make year on year as it is often very difficult to recall how bare an area looked until you dug in a border or lifted an area with some structured planting.

This is the boggy corner of the garden which collects all the fallen leaves even after I think I have bagged them all. It is very wet and full of puddles in January.
By June, it’s all planted up, mulched and I’ve started to lay some new turf after raising the soil level a bit with sand to help with drainage.
Even in September, when the colour from the Foxgloves and Lupins has faded, it still retains a texture of greens

It is also a wonderful thing to look back at your fabulous Summer garden pictures and take a moment to revel in the success of what you created and shaped. I do sometimes look back at pictures and feel immense pride in how good the garden looked in that moment, on that day, in that month.

Back in January, this are was quite bare as it was a newly dug border and I was just starting to move things from other areas of the garden to it.
This was June and it was a lovely area to look at (I bought the seat as a focal point as I never really sit down). This whole corner which previously was drab, was filled all Summer-long with happy pollinators.

This year, I am going to attempt to keep photographing my garden at the beginning of each month so I can look back at the end of 2020 and compare the growth and beauty of the garden month on month and also year on year. Why don’t you take five minutes each month and join me? Just grab your phone or camera, point and shoot and share the images on The Pink Wheelbarrow’s on FacebookInstagram or Twitter pages, using the hashtag #snapyourgarden.

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