What would you look for in a new garden if you moved house?

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Sienna's Blossom, Nov 24, 2019.

  1. Sienna's Blossom

    Sienna's Blossom Super Gardener

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    Hi everyone,

    Sorry I've not been posting much recently, I've been so busy that I've not had much time for taking any garden pics or posting, the garden is looking lovely with some great autumn leaf colours and berries. I was soooo tempted to buy a callicarpa today for the purple berries but resisted for now as as are *thinking* about moving in the near future.

    Still lots of thinking to do so it may not come to anything, but it's got me thinking about how it will feel to leave our much loved garden, as some of you will know, our gardening journey was kick started after the devastating loss of our second baby, and wanting to create a memorial for her, so leaving it behind so many years later would be difficult, but then again, we know so much more now, so could see how a new blank canvas perhaps would be a good thing for making a new garden and our favourite plants can be incorporated into the next garden.

    So, if you were to move, is there anything you would specifically look for in a garden?
    I know the house itself needs to be thought carefully about, but I can see how the garden would be important to us, and would probably influence our choice!

    Who has moved and left behind a loved garden? And do you have any tips or advice for doing so?

    Would love to hear your thoughts

    :autlvs:
     
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    • Selleri

      Selleri Super Gardener

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      Hi @Sienna's Blossom , it must be heartbreaking to leave your garden behind, especially when it is a memorial. Perhaps you could plant a tree in your new garden to carry the memories to your new home?

      My Grandmother started to say her goodbyes to her beloved summer house in her eighties by planting trees- she pulled (ok, stole) oak and silver willow saplings from the forest and neighbour's fence and planted them in. She laughed that it's for the great-great- grandchildren. She also planted Dahlias and Peonies in place of potatoes because she loved them and felt that so late in her life she can go against the ingrained morale that all available space must produce food.

      I'm also likely to move next year and am looking for a mature garden with mature trees. Trees are important :). A non- level plot would be ideal as I want a natural looking pond in the lower parts, great if one already existed. Oh, and a house would be nice too.

      When we moved into this house 3 years ago I found it lovely to see what the previous owner had grown, and worked on that. She must have been elderly, there are lavender and rose combinations, mature Hydrangeas and some very 70-ish conifers and evergreens. Even though my tastes are a bit different, I respect her work and leave some tributes in.

      Now it's time take hardwood cuttings of the shrubs you must have with you, and in the spring you can start hard core propagation. It's not easy to move established plants, but cuttings will grow and give the sense of continuity. Much better than buying everything new, and a washingupbowlful of cuttings transports easily. We have moved 4 times in the last 12 years and I still have plants from the first garden, and have taken cuttings for the next uprooting :)

      Plants will go on growing, and a new garden is a good refresher with all the planning and daydreaming. I hope you will enjoy it when the time comes.
       
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      • Sienna's Blossom

        Sienna's Blossom Super Gardener

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        Such a lovely reply @Selleri , you've given me lots to think about and it's so nice to hear others' perspective and experiences - thank you.
         
      • CarolineL

        CarolineL Super Gardener

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        Hi @Sienna's Blossom last Christmas I moved away from a garden that I created from scratch over 27 years before. It was tough, but coming to a new seriously empty garden gives me something to plan and look forward to. I agree with @Selleri about taking cuttings - I am kicking myself about some things I left behind. Also remember that if you have any special bulbs eg galanthus it would be worth potting them up in advance. IMHO the main things to look for in the new garden are space and hopefully acid soil!
         
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        • Mike Allen

          Mike Allen Total Gardener

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          Nice to see you back again SB. I have lived here in this flat/maisonett since 1964. I agree, I'm a bit of a stick in the mud. (Very apt considering all the rain we have had). My garden was like an overgrown tip when I moved in. Over time I have changed the design of my patch so many times. At times I have perhaps used the garden as an extended lab, trying out plants and experimenting.
          So many folk are saying, to the effect that there doesn't seem to be enough time to do things. This past summer, I have lost several shrubs and sadly some roses. My daughters have been advised that come the time, for them to salvage as many of the roses as possible, recent additions I have planted in 15Ltr. Pots.

          Over the years I have perhaps 'lived' plants. Two chances I had included taking over as Supt. of the gardens at Osborne House on the IOW. Also an invite to move to NZ and take care of the gardens of a couple who had left Blighty and set up there.

          Truly I can and do understand individuals feelings of holding onto things, plants included. When it comes to gardening. I feel that some extra kind of, 'must do' must have....keep'. Perhaps that tiny voice of calm might ask. Do you really want to move?

          Whatever your wishes, desires and eventuallity. I sincerely wish you and others all the very best.
           
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          • Sienna's Blossom

            Sienna's Blossom Super Gardener

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            Thanks both for your replies, @CarolineL that must have been emotional for you leaving behind a garden after 27 years, I wish you every happiness in your new garden, as you say something to plan and look forward to which is great.

            @Mike Allen thats the big question and the answer changes frequently! We aren't going to rush into deciding, and will only move if we can find somewhere that will tick all the boxes, where we are now isn't perfect, but it's home and its seen us through the happiest and saddest of times, so lots of sentiment there. And everytime I look out the window and see our little wildlife garden and all the birds it just makes me happy and brings me peace. But I try to think that given time, a new garden could do the same. I'm still surprised at how gardening has captured my heart and soul, I never thought I could get attached to a garden, but I 100% have :heart:
             
          • Upsydaisy

            Upsydaisy Total Gardener

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            We've been here for almost 38yrs now, hubs took on two big drastic building projects to remodel and extend the house. Now the children have long left home we are rattling around in a house that is way too big for us.

            I know to some extent how you must feel @Sienna's Blossom , we've had a couple of sad times as well of course many, many happy ones here. We have been debating a move but for us at the moment when push comes to shove we just can't leave.

            The garden was totally redone and I have many plants taken as cuttings from my parent's garden, my Mum was a brilliant gardener and adored working in theirs. My parents also bought us some of our fruit trees too, all these pull on the heart strings making them hard to leave behind. Last but not least we have our past pets too that are at rest in certain selected areas.
            It's a hard call to make, take your time in making it that's all I can say really. Also agree that taking loads of cuttings is the best way to go in taking your memories with you.
            Wishing you the best in whichever decision you make.:)
             
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            • Sandy Ground

              Sandy Ground Total Gardener

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              My opinion, but first a bit of background.

              In a few weeks time, we've lived in this house for 30 years. During that time, I have done work on it myself without having to call in tradesmen of any kind to help. Other than for certain electrical and plumbing work that is illegal for me to perform according to local law. Some of the things that I've done, although considered completely normal here in the village would be unthinkable for those living anywhere else! How many would even consider laying sewage pipes, fresh water pipes, even drilling bore holes for geothermic? I'm not boasting, merely stating facts.

              The consequences of doing these jobs, and that includes the garden is that our souls have been laid in the house.

              My latest escapade, which is almost finished, has been to replace 12 double glazed windows with triple glazed ones. Being honest, I'm not as young as I once was, and the project has proven to be a little too much for me physically. Therefore, much in the same way as the OP. we've been considering moving. Which has made us think. Firstly, what do we want to look for in another house, and secondly, what do we want to look for in another garden.

              Ignoring the house thing for the time being, and concentrating on the garden part. First, it has to be bigger than the current one. I would be looking at a minimum of one acre, but preferably two or more. There is reasoning behind that. The size would allow the use of more professional machinery to do the work, and therefore would, with a bit of planning, take less time than the current garden does. I wouldnt bother if the soil was acid or alkaline, rich or poor. The only things that they affect would be the choice of plants, and at the same time, giving a challenge. One thing that I would look out for though is the presence of difficult weeds such as ground elder, knotweed (I think thats the name in English). If that is present, then there is no way that house would be bought!

              The big problem though would be the other house. Its a big part of me due to all of the work that has gone into it, so I'm not sure that I could cope with moving to another unless I'm forced to. So, in reality, for me at least, what to look for in a garden is at present, immaterial.
               
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              • Sian in Belgium

                Sian in Belgium Total Gardener

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                A very interesting thread, which I have enjoyed reading quietly in the background, before responding.

                We have talked about this a lot, as we know that this is our “permanent Belgium” home, but that eventually we will move back to the UK. The main reason for that is we know as we get older, coping with health problems with the additional language barrier, however fluent we become, will be difficult - it will all be easier “back home”.

                Hubby often jokes that next time, we will have a property with actual “soil”! The properties I have owned:
                1st was a leasehold flat, on the ground floor, where I “gardened” the patch outside the flat. Not really mine, but the other flats appreciated the colour, so all were happy.
                2nd had a 100 ft garden, but it was 6-10” flinty soil over solid chalk. Challenging, and an excellent learning environment to prepare me for...
                3rd (present) property. A half-acre of ground, but it is half sandy soil, half pure sand.

                I have always gardened in a sloping garden, where the slope is steep enough to make life difficult, especially when using machinery. So a more level garden would be nice, although it doesn’t have to be flat.

                We will probably go for more land, with the plan to plant an orchard/woodland area. As @Sandy Ground has commented, sometimes a larger property is easier to manage, as ride-on mowers become more feasible. (More level ground also needed for this).

                I think I would like an established garden, or at least one with some established trees in it. We can create wonderful mature-looking areas within a relatively short time, but it takes decades for an oak to become the majestic living habitat that it is....

                I’ve not been in one place for more than 15 years, so haven’t the deep ties that some of you feel. However, it always hurts to leave plants behind. I too believe in cuttings. My main rosemary plant goes back to my parents’ original rosemary plant, 5 cutting-generations ago. I love it! As I’ve mentioned before, my “Dad” black currant is the last plant my dad bought me (and possibly himself) before he died. I dug it out when we left our rented property here, and we will try to move it again, when the time comes. Cuttings will definitely be taken! I have snowdrops that we’re given me over 20 years ago by a dear friend who had 100s of different varieties. No one could identify this one, which has relatively big white flowers, and wide leaves, a little like Elwesii, but flowers reliably before Christmas.... These flowers are planted in open ground, but have moved with us over the last 5 properties (we have rented as well as owned). Pam’s snowdrops will come with us when we move.

                I could go on, but I think you get the drift!

                I think if you are considering moving, take cuttings, divide plants, so you are ready to move some of your memories with you.
                :wub2:
                 
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                • andrews

                  andrews Super Gardener

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                  We moved from our last house 20 years ago. It was a new build and we had a load of tubs on the front which came with us. I think that the only plant left is a bay tree. All the others either died, became too big or clashed with the current theme. We didn't have any plants of sentimental value at the last and while the garden was nice, we didn't have an attachment to it.

                  If we were to move, I'd want a smaller garden. It would have to be south facing and have well draining soil.

                  I'd take a lot of cuttings and hold back some of the plants that Ive grown from seed, keeping them in pots for the next place. We have lots of tender plants in pots so they would come with us.

                  Some of our main plants are too big to move so they would have to stay. Unfortunately, they wont grow from cuttings so I'd have to start again.

                  On the garden, I would get all of the hard landscaping done first and plan the garden. Our current garden evolved and became a mess until drastic action was taken to redesign it.

                  I would love something like this Elizabeth & Stevens - Unique and Unusual products for use in your Homes and Gardens or as the Perfect Gift. > Cast Iron Huge Orangery to plant arids and tender plants but would consider something less grand (and less expensive - this has gone up by 30K since I first looked at it).

                  The one thing I continue to take are photographs of the garden at its best and its worst to see the progress and to give us memories to keep.
                   
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                  • Sienna's Blossom

                    Sienna's Blossom Super Gardener

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                    Such heartwarming replies, thank you all. Humans are a sentimental bunch aren't we! It's so lovely how so many of us feel we have put our hearts and souls into our homes and gardens, and it must be so touching to have plants given you from loved ones too, that helps you feel connected to them, something I would love to do myself for my children in the future.

                    Yes our current garden was also a 'gradual evolver' with no design or plan initially, we were complete novices. Luckily it's worked quite well, with a few tweaks here and there but now I think we'd have more of an idea about designing and thinking ahead next time.

                    I think im going to start by walking round the front and back gardens and noting down all the plants we have that I love, and would want to use again. Then try and sort through that to figure out what can have cuttings taken etc. Would be useful to have a plant inventory anyway, so I don't forget what we've got, including bulbs and perennials as I kept getting surprised this year by things sprouting up that I'd forgotten we planted!
                     
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                    • Sandy Ground

                      Sandy Ground Total Gardener

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                      Theres something else I thought about in relation to what to look for in a garden.

                      Over the past few months, I've been looking into the history of gardens. I put the blame on Monty Don for that! :biggrin: One thing that it has made me realise, and many will not agree on this, is that the style of garden must suit the style of house it belongs to. If that style is not what the house owner likes, then perhaps the house is also wrong?
                       
                    • Sienna's Blossom

                      Sienna's Blossom Super Gardener

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                      That's a very good point @Sandy Ground ,it's interesting how gardens and how we use them have changed over time.
                       
                    • roders

                      roders Total Gardener

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                      I always fancied a non flooding stream (river)at the bottom of the garden with a small boat.
                      Also handy for water for the garden a whole new interesting vista ,wildlife etc.
                      One can dream........:swan:
                       
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                      • CarolineL

                        CarolineL Super Gardener

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                        Hi @roders - I now have a stream! The snag with a stream is that the water has come from elsewhere. Mine flooded the bottom of the garden because I hadn't realised some idiot had let lots of rubbish float downstream (coal shed wooden door, 8 foot of downpipe, plastic dustbin lid...) and blocked the normal route. So now I have to keep a careful look for any detritus and clear it. However, I still think it's lovely, and the noise is quite peaceful.
                         
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