I love working in my client’s garden and my client loves me working in her garden! Betty and her husband have developed a beautifully rich garden over the past fifty or so years, full of wonderful lyrical plants, with exquisite colour palettes and plant combinations. Sadly, since Betty’s husband passed away and facing her own physical difficulties, a gardener was needed and that gardener is now me.

Together we make a great collaborative team and share anecdotes and personal insights whilst I develop and nurture the garden. Each gardening session I arrive laiden with ‘gardening porn’ (excuse the expression, no better term describes it!) I mean magazines, journals, special offers and alike and leave it with Betty whilst I roll up my sleeves to get stuck into the garden. After the gardening session we discuss new plants and their positions within the garden, an aspect of my work that probably gives me the deepest thrill.

Tending to the present keeps a garden at its best at whatever time of year it is. I love looking at plants and their relationship to eachother. When tending Betty’s garden I keep the garden in its present, whilst remembering and respecting its past.

I began working with Betty in October 2011, so I haven’t worked the garden in all the seasons yet and I am still discovering plants as they reveal themselves. As this happens I make a note to move plants into better positions for both access to light and working with other plants for their form and colour. There is always a wonderful sense of creating an unending evolving picture and one which can be enjoyed at any time. The thrill of anticipation does make me go all peculiar at times, it has to be said. But my clients know all about that because they too share the passion!

I have cut a ceanothus into a bonsai stylee despite being over 6ft tall and Betty tells me how her friends and family comment on how lovely it looks, now just coming into bloom in early May. I have been working on reshaping the lawn and I have cut it into an almond shape, this shaping gives even more opportunity for deeper planting at either end and moves us away from the dreaded straight line. I have to confess to loving to cut and plant at a jaunty angle, try it, see what you think, for me it feels much softer and gives more potential for movement within the garden as well giving a much softer shape overall.

By keeping your garden in the present you create the opportunity to see so much of what nature is doing, it will do it anyway, whether you look or not. But I recommend you do and as often as possible, because at this time of year everything happens so quickly, the present is changing rapidly.

If you would like to talk with me about a new planting scheme in your garden, please do feel free to get in touch, my email is judi@judithegardener.co.uk. For gardening maintenance enquiries (North-East London, Essex, Hertfordshire and Enfield) please telephone 07818 005773. Always happy to answer gardening questions if I can or steer you towards resources. Happy gardening!