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The Van Hage Garden Company

Novemeber 21st 2005:

Q: With summer a distant memory, how can we remind ourselves of the pleasure our gardens gave?

A. As we all put our gardens to bed for another season, it is great to reflect back over the high points of the colourful summer months. Taking photographs regularly of your garden – its features and problem areas – is a way of constructively analysing your gardening successes and failures.

A glance back through photographs taken just a couple of seasons ago will highlight marked differences in plant size and growth. Photo’s taken at all stages of the making of a new flower bed, digging of a pond and construction of a patio can act as a historical reminder of the considerable time commitment you have invested lovingly into your garden. It is surprising how quickly we forget the pain and effort involved in building a new feature once it has been successfully completed!

With a new gardening year approaching, it’s the ideal time to begin taking monthly photographs, to act as a ‘Gardeners Calendar’ for future reference. Why not give a gardening friend a photograph album for Christmas with this in mind? Just a few snaps, casually taken at regular intervals throughout the season will catalogue the progress of new plantings, favourite shrubs and bedding displays. Don’t forget to date the reverse side for an accurate record.

Looking back at my own photographs recently, I was reminded how well the summer poppies flowered – encouraging me to plant more; how quickly new herbaceous plantings took hold, even though they didn’t go in until the end of June and how tidy the garden looks when freshly mown and edged. In addition, they have also emphasised the need to redevelop some ‘boring’ areas, which seriously lack colour and interest for much of the year. I can now happily draw up plans over the winter months for their transformation next spring.

Chris Roberts is Managing Director of The Van Hage Garden Company

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