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Jo's 2017 review

Hello Everyone

Well, I hope you are all keeping well and enjoying the fine weather. It is now time for 2017 which was a busy year for changes in the garden and a great year for flowers of every description.

In January the work on the wall supporting the flower bed that runs along the New River Lawn at the Alpine Meadow end was nearing completion. All the stones had been removed from the bank and painstakingly cleaned and replaced. A great job carried out by Gary and Heather, photo 1.

Back in 2011 I mentioned the renovation that took place on the yew hedge in the allotment area. Well, fast forward 6 years to February 2017 and it looks really good. The snowdrops that were planted in this border have naturalised too and put on a great show every year, photo 2. Also, in February changes were planned for the area by Christine's Gate, photo 3, so enjoy this hedge while you can! More will be revealed in March! We had thought that the snowdrops were never going to show as a month earlier there wasn't a flower to be seen in the Rock Garden then as if by magic they all appeared to put on a fantastic show for us, photo 4. In the Millennium Orchard the crocus were spreading like a carpet across the grass, photo 5, as they were elsewhere in the gadren too.

Then in March the daffodils joined in the 'festival of flowers' down in the Rock Garden, photo 6. The new look for Christine's Gate and immediate area was completed. Bryan had added snowdrops and through the year added other plants as well for year round interest, photo 7. At the end of the month the scilla ran amok through the Alpine Meadow creating a sea of blue for the daffodils to bob about in, photo 8. Also, at the end of March the Magnolia tree by the George III Memorial was in full bloom, photo 9.

In April the Magnolia on the other side of the Rose Garden was in full flower. It is a darker pink and usually flowers quite a bit later than the pale pink one as it is shaded by the large yew tree but it was looking beautiful in 2017, photo 10. The Tulip Terrace was looking dazzling in the sunshine, photo 11. On the other side of the lawn the Citrus trifoliata, also known as Japanese Bitter Orange, was in full bloom, photo 12. It was a really good year for it. This view along the length of the New River Lawn is another of my favourites especially in Spring with all the blossom out on the trees, photo 13.

Also in April was the official unveiling of the Torii Seat in the Rock Garden which will appear in a 'part two' newsletter.

In May the Wisteria took centre stage and looked stunning that year, photo 14. But when you looked at it from the side you could see that it wasn't as healthy as it looked, photo 15. It has continued to die back a little each year since then. The Eremurus Border was looking lovely. Not many flowers on the Eremurus plants that year so lucky to catch this one, photo 16. When I took this photo of the House from the Front Lawn I didn't realise how important it would be, photo 17. The Cedar tree was severely damaged by the storms we had that year and had to be cut down in July for safety reasons.

Tom Tiddlers Ground always comes alive in the summer and in June the Cotinus coggygria showed us why it is known as the Smoke Tree, photo 18. Also in June the border in front of the Rose Garden was full of colour and looked radiant in the sunshine, photo 19.

At the end of June a large trunk of the Cedar tree on the Front Lawn came down after heavy rain. After inspection by the Enfield Tree Officer it was deemed unsafe and had to be cut down, photo 20 (7 July 2017, photo courtesy of James Hall). Also, in July on the front drive this Eucryphia nymansensis 'Nymansay' was in full bloom, photo 21. This tree is often overlooked as it is set back a little to the right of the Redwood tree and unless you are walking along the drive, or taking photos as I was, you are likely to miss it. Another tree you may not see unless you are looking for it is the Campsis radicans in the back yard of the house, photo 22. It has the most exquisite flowers and you can see why it is also known as the 'Trumpet Vine', photo 23.

In August the tribute to the Lee Valley Regional Park was well established, photo 24. All through the year across the Park there were events planned to celebrate the fact that the Authority had been created 50 years previously in 1967.

In September the summer bedding on the Tulip Terrace was still going strong, photo 25. At the back of the Honesty Bed the Ipomoea lobata, known as 'Spanish Flag', was flowering well and looked lovely in the afternoon sunshine, photo 26. On the Front Lawn the Rhus typhina, Staghorn sumac, looked beautiful, seen here with Leycesteria formosa, the Himalayan honeysuckle, planted under it, photo 27.

In October the Citrus trifoliata was covered in fruit, photo 28 and those brave enough to try one soon found out why it is known as Japanese Bitter Orange. Definitely an acquired taste!

The Autumn colour in November was amazing especially the Liquidamba styraciflua down by the pond, photo 29. It never disappoints me.

Finally, there was snow in December. I always enjoy the way snow makes the familiar look so different. Just a couple of the 109 photos I took on that day, photos 30 and 31. I had to go home because it started snowing again hence the splashes on the lens, oops!

Hope you have enjoyed this wander through 2017, see you in part two.

Best Wishes


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