A garden in the making

My garden has been in the making for many years. The day I moved in I had a rough plan, a layout and a few ideas as to what it would look like. The outline plans have changed a little over time, but fundamentally I stuck to my original ideas and 12 years later I finally got to realise those day-dreamy sketched out plans.

The view from the back doorstep

I had a vision of a winding path, a tree providing dappled shade, favourite plants giving structure, seats dotted around for the gardener and visitors to sit and relax, a table big enough for a coffee pot and cups, with climbers scrambling over the cobbled walls, oversize pots breaking the beds up, using colour blocks to play with light, structure and senses.

Looking at the deck and the deck bed and pots

I wanted to create a garden for all seasons. A garden that comes from the heart and mind. A garden for the senses.  A garden that can’t be seen all in one quick glance; I have to move around the garden to see and feel it all.

Looking to the left

I shared my back doorstep view with you in May, just as the garden had had its makeover. It was all looking so, well so thoroughly new – teeny tiny plants, huge gaps showing the dark brown soil, a few pots tentatively dotted about to break it all up. A freshly painted back wall – you can’t forget the Margorelle Blue can you? A newly laid crushed shell path. Lots of clean sharp lines. A garden waiting to fill out.

Looking to the right

5 months have passed and time and nature have softened those edges, filled in the gaps, hiding the soil from view. The plants have done their work – they have softened and brightened, grown and died back.

Zooming in on the right

It still has a way to go. Any garden does. It has many years of settling in, of tweaking and adjusting. Making changes over time. Growing.

It is after all a garden in the making.

Looking back



  • Gorgeous! I love the blue wall. I definitely see the influence of the Jardin Majorelle throughout your garden. Your twelve years have been well spent. 🙂

  • so pretty Claire, those crushed shell paths are inviting, and the colour is beautiful … isn’t it marvellous how it transforms as the months pass? Just the right balance of laciness with solidity, of hidden corners to explore and bold statements … looks simply gorgeous!

  • Wow! It looks stunning. You should be very proud of this garden! I thought it in June, now I am doubly sure.
    If you want I’ll try and dig out some photos of the original version (when you first moved in) if you want to do a ‘before the makeover’ post.

  • I love that so much of your growing is done in pots and how you have used color. Seeing the textures in your garden makes me think you would have enjoyed going to the dahlia farm with me.

  • Beautiful! I wondered if you had a home garden in addition to the allottment and now I know! I love your selection of plantings and the layout is ultra professional looking! Thanks so much for sharing this! 🙂

  • Your garden is really beautiful, Claire. I love the structure of it and all the beautiful colors and areas. I could use your green thumb to do some work here! 🙂

  • Claire, this is a wonderful brilliant garden! And a testimony to the power of a blue wall. I love seeing the changes over the seasons, where the hardscape stays the same and the plants grow and soften the edges. What a treat you have shared!

    • Thank you for your compliments, the blue wall was certainly a lot of fun to paint! I’ll admit it took a deep breath to put the brush to the wall, but I’m glad I did !

  • It’s lovely! You’ve created an oasis, filled with color, shade, texture and comfort. It’s inviting and personal. Well done, well done. I’m sure you’re enjoying it immensely.

    • Thank you! I think one joys of gardening is that is forever changing and evolving – from one day to the next, it is always changing – right now heading into autumn and windy wet weather it is taking a battering, but a day of sun will change all that.

      • I agree. Changing and growing, dying back and re-emerging. I love it all.

        I long for some wet weather after a long, long dry year. I hope we get some rain this season, too.

  • Absolutely exquisite. I particularly love gardens with ‘rooms’ like this, separate or hidden spots so that they always invite, nay, *need* further exploration. They do change, grow and become new and different constantly, not only under hands as sensitive and experienced as yours but of their own natural volition. That creates a constant state of newness and surprise that becomes visible even to the gardener who is at home there when there are corners and niches to be treasure-hunted. So lovely, Claire!

  • A wonderful garden, Claire. It must be gratifying to see your ideas come to fruition like this. I really like how you’ve added pots/planters to extend the beds. They give you a flexibility that most of do not have and you’ve used them very well.

    • Hi John, the pots in the beds definitely give a flexibility – they are also good at hiding things that don’t look so good, and also give me something to look at in the dead of winter…….

  • Oh how pretty, it’s too bad that we’re heading into fall. I suspect you are too but I do adore the burst of energy that the greenery seems to muster when the nights get cool. You have really created an oasis with variety of texture, colour and materials. Nicely done Claire.

  • I love your garden Claire! It’s light and airy, yet cosy and sheltered too. Very welcoming and such variety of plant forms and shapes. The “hardware” is really effective too, with the shells and then the blue wall reminding me of the sea. Thanks for sharing – I was very curious to see it!

  • Oh wow Claire – it’s stunning! It was incredible when I saw it over a year ago – now it’s more thna incredible and I love that wall! You’ll have to come round and give me some ideas 🙂

  • It’s simply beautiful. All I want to do is pull up a chair, wander around, have a chat!
    Isn’t is wonderful to realize the garden you so visioned. I understand! 🙂 Hugs.

  • I love your garden.. you’ve accomplished everything you’ve set out to do, Claire. It’s so impressive, I especially love your blue wall.. and the idea of a crushed shell path is just so poetic. I think you should do this for a living.. you’ve got such a talent and gift for this. If you lived near me.. I’d hire you today:) xx

  • What an inspiration. Your garden is absolutely beautiful. Do you have “before” pictures? Thanks for sharing–this will give me something to think about all winter….

  • Your garden has such charm, Claire, I love the way the plants are growing exuberantly, following their own line, and the way the original disciplined design has softened and matured into a relaxed refuge.

  • well done, it’s so varied and you’ve made good use of the little space – I quite like your brave use of colour too

  • Wow, there I could sit a full sunny day .. listen to music … working on my blog. What a fantastic job you have done – amazing result. I totally agree, you can be so proud over yourself.
    And I love that blue fence/wall … and even if it’s very structured it give a feeling off a meadow, wild flowers.
    Excellent job, Claire.

  • Absolutely gorgeous Claire. Give yourself a well deserved pat on the back for a job very well done – your garden is absolutely beautiful!
    🙂 Mandy xo

  • It’s lovely to see how it’s all looking five months on from your last pictures. You have a great eye for these things and it shows.

    • I think what I’m looking forward to seeing is what it looks like in 5 years time – I wonder what will still be there and what will be new?!

  • I just love your garden, Claire! I can really feel how peaceful it would be to sit with that cup of coffee and simply luxuriate in all that splendid color. You have created interesting niches and it really is true you couldn’t take in the whole of it with one quick walkabout. I am so glad you shared the photos. I do love the way you’ve made a plan and stayed with it. It takes patience, and yours has paid off! 🙂

  • Nothing shy of extraordinary Claire! Exquisite! It is JUST what I would want in a garden…but lack the “all of what it takes” to accomplish. But to look onto your garden is a thing of peace. Of deep gulps of fresh and joyous peace. Thank you!! Xo

  • Every garden is a garden in the making, whether the gardener wants it to be or not. Your garden has come along beautifully. I really like you the way you use the big pots.

    • thank you – I like using big things in small places (and the garden is certainly small!) it plays with perspective and allows for some areas to be easily changed or spruced up

  • That is so impressive! Makes me wonder where I would be if I’d had (and more impressively kept to) a plan over 12 years… Guess I should start now–see how inspiring you are!

      • I have been working on my garden longer than that and just have a little project here and there to show for it (not to mention pachysandra rooting in my bathroom with a hard freeze coming tonight). You did great!

  • Your garden is so beautiful! I love your choice of plants! I look forward to what you plant in your garden next year!

  • I love the description of your plans for the garden. It sounds like a lovely garden of Eden. But the reality of your new garden is even more impressive. How beautiful it all is. Each picture could be a work of art by itself. And I can easily imagine you and your family reading a book or listening to some music in the wonderful environment that you have engineered. I have been very busy recently, dealing with my own personal problems, and it is a both a pleasure and a relief to go back to a few of my favorite haunts, and enjoy what others are doing.

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