Monday, July 4, 2016

No Regrets - well just a few!

I don't regret living in California where the sun shines almost constantly, although it does have its negative sides. This year has been exceptionally windy  and time after time my garden has been shredded. Fortunately plants grow back fast and most of the species in my yard like Bougainvillea and Tecoma are repeat flowering. A week or so back,  we had exceptional temperatures and whilst 100F is normal for this time of the year, 121 F (50C) was just too much and quite a few plants, amazingly including agaves, just fried in the heat! Last Saturday I went up to the Huntington Gardens, yet again, but this time for the Cactus Society show and sale and I'll post about this next time. 

Cactus Society Show

But these days in the Huntington are just sheer horticultural pleasure. The climate up in Pasadena is more moderate and the gardens feel and look more like a UK garden - there are lush green lawns, broad-leaved trees, roses and beds of flowers - dare I say it very British looking! So this got me thinking and I have to admit that I do miss many of the beautiful plants and gardens that I used to enjoy back in the UK. So this post is a sentimental, pictorial wallow in all that I miss whilst I am away from the UK. Enjoy my pictures of favorite plants and gardens back in the UK.

I particularly miss some of the lovely spring and early summer flowering plants. Whilst there are some plants that are seasonal here, many like bougainvillea look similar all the year round and of course with the warmth,  there is not the same winter dormancy followed by spring. I miss the lush greenness of spring plants and fresh summer color.

And of course I regret not being able to go garden visiting. We do have an annual local gardens tour - just one day a year and so I miss all the many opportunities to visit gardens in the UK. Never underestimate the value of the National Gardens Scheme - its unique!

I've just been reading another blog about the Woburn garden show and seeing the pictures of a very wet muddy field and ardent gardeners shopping under umbrellas. I don't miss this weather, but the opportunities for plant fairs and specialist nurseries are very limited here.  A few plant fairs and garden shows without the rain and the mud would be great!

And of course I miss my own gardens back in the UK. There is my own tiny little garden in Nottingham, being lovingly cared for by a friend. And of course there are the University grounds. Whilst it is now nearly nine years since I left and two changes of management, I still feel a territorial pride, knowing that I created many of the landscapes and planted trees that are no longer saplings. I shall regret not visiting University Park this summer.


  1. Will you be back home at some point this year? There's no perfect place but where you are sounds mighty fine with just very few and very minor disadvantages.

  2. Wonderful to read and look, and see English gardens and their flowers when they work. This year has been so disappointing, and I am directing the conversion of much of my garden to shrubberies from my hospital room. I have a wonderful memory of legging it up over the gate into the walled garden at Nottingham the evening before the half marathon.

    1. Frank - great memory - I had forgotten that evening! And we ran a race the next day! tried to contact you on Messenger but it wouldn't let me reply. How are you?