Early Days

The Stumpy 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.

 Don't roses look great when grown by water.
Looking Upstream - 2004

Willow branches, green and beautiful in the background, grow from a large stump. There are stumps everywhere in this garden! In its middle ages, when the stump was allowed to resprout, I even changed the garden's name to the Willow Tree Garden.

 The Willow tree by the water.
Looking Upstream - 2006

There have been many changes in the garden by the water since these early photographs. First the Iris Japonica 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.

 Early days - the waterside border on the other side of the water race is still to be dug.
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.

From Stump Lawn to Stumpy Garden

For the record, this area started life as Stumpy Lawn, and in autumn 2018 regained the name Stumpy Garden. Continuity is a wonderful thing!