The Willow Garden had a simple and sensible beginning. The gentle slope from the grass down to the water's edge was too difficult to mow, so I dug a garden instead. The perfect solution - when in doubt, dig! I initially filled it with reject plants from other borders. Roses and flaxes started off growing happily side by side - there was lots of room back in 2004. But I knew that this garden would change as the shrubs grew fatter and taller.
Looking Upstream - 2004
Willow branches, green and beautiful in the background, grow from a large stump. There are stumps everywhere in this garden!
Looking Upstream - 2006
There have been many changes in the garden by the water since these early photographs. First the Iris confusa patch was flattened in a winter snow storm, so I ripped most of it out. The rose Robusta wasn't quite as 'robusta' as its name suggested, and used to get covered in rust. So eventually it was consigned to the rubbish fire in another winter clean-up.
Roses by the Water Race - 2004
I gradually tidied up the water's edge, creating stone walls and little paths. The flaxes continued to grow - and grow - and grow. Willow Bridge was built in 2008 to span the water race, and giant self-seeded Gunnera was allowed to stay by the water's edge. The roses now have to fight much harder for air and apace, but the early planted blue perennial Geraniums are still growing strong.