Kevin Smith's Blog

Day 725 - goodbye

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Don't panic, I'm not considering suicide and I'm not emigrating - this particular 'goodbye' is about saying a sad farewell to my garden in Westcliff. You see, we moved house at the beginning of the month and are currently living with my in-laws while we wait for the purchase of our new pad to complete. I've bought all of my potted plants with me, but those in borders have been left to fend for themselves until I can return, dig them up and move them to their new home (we're letting the old house and the tenant is cool with me coming back to strip the garden). I think the in-laws were a little shocked when this lot arrived on the removal truck, and I realised I'd actually bought more plants than clothes with me:

I can't bare to think of everything I've left behind and can just picture the dahlias that need deadheading, the helianthus that needs staking and the miscanthus that are just about to flower. Never mind, we're hoping to complete next month so I'll soon be able to rescue the lot.

Of course, it's nice looking back at the garden's journey, and it's incredible how much it's changed over the years. Here are a few comparison shots so you can see what I mean:

Looking back to the house



Across the pond


Down the garden


Of course the garden wasn't just about pictures. It was also used constantly by Ida, our lovely daughter:

Not to mention countless photo shoots for my work for gardening magazines:

Luckily the nirvana of school summer holidays has kept us occupied and I've been able to put the left-behind garden out of my mind. Amongst other things we've celebrated a fabulous 30th birthday with our dear friend Lorna:

Enjoyed a gorgeous break on the edge of Loch Fyne:

And attended the stonking wedding of James and Rebecca:

Living with the in-laws is working out well too, which is handy as I think we'll be here for at least a year while we renovate the new place. I've only encountered one awkward moment when Carol (my very lovely mother-in-law) suggested we sit down as a family and watch a documentary about E L James' Fifty Shades of Grey. Call me old fashioned, but that's not the kind of programme to watch with your mother and father-in-law.

And of course, I've got a new garden to look forward to. Here it is, just waiting to be Kevind. My abandoned Westcliff plants are going to love it:

Until next time (and possibly my next garden)...

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Kevin Smith | Garden Media Writer and Editor

On 31 August 2010 I quit my full-time job as the Commissioning Editor at Gardeners' World Magazine to be a stay-at-home dad  and to try and scratch a living as a freelance garden journalist. It's often said that a 'life change' is good, but can I cut it with the yummy mummys? Will I manage to get a single shred of work done? Will Ida (she's the gorgeous little girl who's the cause of all this) like gardening as much as me? Who knows, we're going to find out...