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in The potting shed
since I can not get out to do the garden due to the deluge from the sky,I have been thinking about the gardens here and around ,how you can tell what plants were in favor ,say the seventies.I can remember the supermarkets selling cheap plants ,for instances ,flowering current ,forsythia,and everybody's favorite the cypress tree.I look at the gardens (that have not been concreted) and see different plants from different era 's. Again pampas grass was popular until one discovered you needed a bigger garden.Of course recently you have grass's and other fashions,but I still have the remains of sixties roses , peonies and hydrangeas in my garden and I been here 34 years.
I know just what you mean! We've been gardening here for 35 years and we still have many plants from when we first started off - forsythia, variegated weigela, spirea (bridal wreath), lilacs (purple and white), berberis, honeysuckle and crocosmia. Although we've kept up with some of the fashion these are like old friends. (except the pampas).
From invoices I inherited with the house, and from my own engagement of tree surgeons here, I think my current garden was once a 1970s conifer forest! (you can see it now on my blog - they have all been vanquished).
I know I left my blue stained fence behind at my London flat in the 1990s, a reminder of that decade.
If ground elder is connected with an era, then that's the one that lingers in my plot....
When I first started gardening with a very small patch, I grew the things that my father had grown. I started my current garden in the 80s, an overgrown bit of hillside that used to be a field and it has become a cottage garden. I suppose it is mutli-decade as fashions in plants have come and gone, but I don't like to get rid of plants. I still have a blue fence but it is a little patchy nowadays.
A better question may be what Century, having grown up in a garden that had grown fruit and vegetables for nearly two hundred years I think I tried to emulate it.There are still plants from then passed on as things changed, the fruit and veg meagre as a treat for Grandchildren now my needs are less.I was never a fashion follower so the individual touch always reigned supreme.
What seems in vogue at the moment seems to be disposable gardens. You buy hanging baskets/pots etc at the centres and throw the lot away at the end of the season. My elderly neighbours do mostly 'unfriendly to bee' bedding and then dump the lot come the winter even if some of it would survive. I'm very much a perennial/self seeder type of gardener and I now leave some weeds if they are beneficial to insects. I am also growing a lot native wild flowers now and actively looking to target insects and birds into my garden. There is definitely a movement into bee friendly gardening coming right now which is brilliant.
and now; don't forget all those plastic, metal, wooden, concrete things you can have instead of plants
Going a tab bit off topic but on the theme of 'concrete things' does anyone remember when 'garden gnomes' were in fashion. Everyone seemed to have one in their garden, my view was they were the height of bad taste but nearly bought one when it became fashionable for 'your gnome' to go on holiday and gardeners received postcards from their 'missing gnomes' on their travels.
We have had our garden for about 25 years and were lucky that it was a blank canvas so that we could do what we wanted. It has changed many times over the years and just evolved to what it is today. We still change bits that we aren't happy with but really do love our garden - I know it isn't to everyones taste I used to grow bedding like Muvs neighbours but for a few years now I have grown Bee friendly bedding plants and right through the year there are plants flowering in the for the Bees to enjoy so I hope we are doing our bit for Bee conservation
Pam LL x
I have been looling after my garden for 48 years but still have some of the plants i inherited and loved immmediately like Geranium "Johnsons Blue"and Primula "Wanda". I have lots of the perennial herbs like thyme, rosemary, marjoram and mint the gardener used to grow for the housekeeper back then and still grow lots of strawberries as they had beds and beds of them. My garden has always been friendly to wildlife, including seven children and seven grandchildren. They have had a football pitch, tennis court, badminton court, three storied treehouse, dinosaur bones museums, garden plots of their own, and I still have the snooker table in the old gypsy caravan. But throughout it all I have grown masses of fruit and veg and flowers. Fashion has not touched it much until recently when I found that at 84 the fashion for raised beds and no-dig gardening suited me down to the ground or rather up from the ground!
I remember my dad fussing over his Blue Moon rose and only ever getting 3 blooms, tops, a year. He always grew sweet peas for my mum to cut. Gardening is seemingly coming full circle with our return to wildlife preservation. I do love how different everyones garden is though and each one reveals so much about the owners. I just make sure I plant extra bee stuff to make up for my next door neighbour and because he dumps it on the waste land next to my garden my son goes and salvages what he can and plants that up. I am slowly planting up the waste bit of land with his plants and my seeds lol. I understand it can be quite scarey to do something different to what you have always known.
I am definitely not of the "Groundforce" generation, not a square inch of decking in site. I get a peverse pleasure from being out of date and letting my garden come back into fashion. I never stopped growing Dahlias and now, after a period of relative loneliness, everyone is copying me!!
Apart from that my garden cannot easily be dated...I am old enough to have a bit of every decade. I also think that the contemporary look of many modern gardens, whilst nice to look at, would be so boring to live with...how on earth could you change something, dig up a part of it for a new bed, introduce something new etc. ?...it would lose the design integrity and look a mess, in no time at all. A hoidge podge of a garden is easy to evolve as you go.
I so agree, WW. I think those contemporary gardens are utterly boring. They are for non-gardeners IMO. I think you hit the nail on the head regarding having a bit of every decade in your garden. Gardening is bound to be influenced by what is easily available to buy and that does change from decade to decade. Also, I'm influenced by what I see in gardening mags and that also changes with fashion. But over the years, I've learnt what works for me and generally, I stick with that - long-flowering herbaceous perennials and climbers, tough plants that don't need too much mollycoddling.
The only garden gnome I was ever tempted by was one I saw in a shop window...used for advertising a brand of young mens' clothing...they were groovy little homicadal gnomes with Hannibal Lecter masks and a chainsaw..... mad...
I have been gardening since my sons grew up and left home...my inspiration was the beautiful Lost Gardens of Helligan but tbh you would never know that looking at our garden. One thing that probably dates my style to the early nineties is the tree fern, altho mine is in a large pot so that I can drag it into the Gh in the winter...after losing a couple left out despite wrapping.
Like Lilylouise (hello Pam X) I now grow nectar rich flowers for the bees....I belong to The Bumblebee Conservation Trust and grow a lot of the plants that they recommend. I'm not a fan of 'instant gardens' and like the fact that our garden has evolved gradually. I'm not a hguge fan of hanging baskets largely because we don't really have anywhere to hang one.
Yes Yes 'Peabrain...lots more singles, fewer doubles for me. More sophisticated too.
I've looked after my garden for nearly 23 years. When we first came here I was heavily influenced by Geoff Hamilton, who was doing his Cottage Gardens type series at the time. I built a sort of parterre section and planted cottage style borders. Then the kids came along and everything was given over to grass for playing football, paddling pools etc. Now they are teenagers and rarely venture out of their bedrooms, even more rarely into the garden! I've reclaimed the garden and have the added bonus of a bit more spare cash these days. My first investment was a greenhouse, which I couldn't afford in 1990, and I've spent a lot of time putting paths and other structure in. I have put in some raised beds but otherwise was drawn back to GH and his inspirational series, which I bought on DVD. I'm now completing the garden I set out to create 23 years ago, with one or two 2010's twists. The "parterre" is just receiving a rebuild (snow permitting). So I'm firmly stuck in the 90's and quite happy to be there!
i think grandma is right about contemporary gardens being for non gardeners. They are outdoor rooms and have nothing to do with the growing of plants. I don't have a problem with that but it's not for me.
I don't think I have a decade. I reckon to keep it wild but add as many new species as I can.
Zoomer 44, I believe Chelsea Flower Show is allowing gnomes in for the first time. I don't have either decking or a 'water feature'. As regards fashion, I don't read any gardening magazines or colour supplements, I just buy what I like. I sometimes go to gardening shows where you can learn what is currently available, but often they are sadly too large for my little plot.
The human ideal of beauty changes from decade to decade, so clothes from the eighties look a bit naff now and I guess gardens and interiors do the same. But with a very few tweaks a garden can be made to look up to date - if you want it to.
So my current theme is to de-clutter, have fairly clean lines but with loads of plants spilling over those parameters.