Here’s a copy of my gardening column from the December issue of Eastlife Magazine, which is a fabulous magazine all about ‘Living life in the East’.  The full version of the magazine can be viewed online at www.eastlife.couk

It is hard to believe that a year has passed since we moved to Frinton and started our journey to restore one of Percy Cane’s gardens. It has been an incredible year with fun and laughter along with a generous dose of blood, sweat and at times, tears. It is quite miraculous what we have managed to achieve with limited time and budget.


Where once stood an imposing 30-foot high yew hedge, which we chainsawed to the ground in January, we now have what is starting too look like the first hint of a hedge. Each York stone slab has been carefully restored by hand to remove layers of moss and reveal the beautiful stone beneath. Metre after metre of border has been double dug by our gardener, and dressed with leaf mulch and organic manure in an attempt to start to break down the legendary Frinton clay that curses every bed. And whilst at one point we doubted we would be able to do any planting this side of Spring, we can now gaze down the garden to see freshly planted hydrangeas, a fig tree, magnolias, ceanothus, philadelphus and herbaceous favourites such as crocosmia, agapanthus, alliums and echinacea.

What was originally the kitchen garden and amounts to about a third of an acre, has been cleared of brambles which spiraled 30 feet up into the oak trees, trees hit by lightening have been reduced and the stream which was hidden by yet more brambles has been cleared and dredged. New fencing has tidied up boundaries and offered us a little protection from the local muntjac who are rather partial to the freshly shooting grass that has transformed this dark and dreary corner of the garden into an emerald coloured oasis.

We are a long, long way from the end of restoring this amazing garden, but we are finishing the year feeling satisfied and fulfilled by our achievements so far. And, with a little break over the festive season, we will feel energized and ready to carry on the journey into 2018 and beyond.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and all the best for the new year ahead.

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