Newbold Garden – Thinking Back/Looking Forward

The calendar year is drawing to a close and this morning Kristy and I are doing a spot of tidying around the front lawns. The last forgotten leaves of autumn are matted, thick and damp on the butterfly lawn and we’re raking them up to let the grass breathe and stretch out. It’s good meditative work and perfect at this time of reflection and planning. Occasionally I pause, lean on my rake and muse over the lessons from the year gone by and weave my dreams for the one to come. Colours, shapes and green sculptures form in my mind’s eye. Something as simple as removing leaves from one place and allowing them to rest in others carves out space and gives definition, painting with leaf, grass and rake.

SAM_0547It’s amazingly mild and seems to have been for some time. It’s easy to think that spring is here already…… but January and February are still ahead so beware impatient gardeners ;-). The low winter sun casts a warm, golden light on the vibrant, rusty, brown bark of the Scot’s Pines surrounding us. I’m sure the mere sight of the light, from my place in the shadows of the lawn raises my temperature a couple of degrees. I shed a sweater and woollen hat before continuing with my meditation.


Lunchtime finds me atop the wall of the vegetable garden, I don’t know how, it just seems so long since I looked at the garden from this place. Even in the depth of winter the land gives nourishing food, only less variety is there. Row upon row of leeks, and beyond out of sight but still there, the same in parsnip and further to the left swede, sprouts, cabbage and kale. As I gaze over the land I remember the many people that helped create this beautiful space, especially in 2015. Ben and his calendula strawberry combination, Kristy and Steve sowing swede and beans, Coco and Charlotte planting garlic and the host of Monday volunteers that helped among many other things to shape and plant the chicken run. The list goes on, too many to mention but rest assured I carry you all in my heart and it nourishes me every day as I walk in this beautiful garden.


My dreaming continues. I see 2016 as a year to welcome even more people to this wonderful venue, both to contribute in its evolution and simply to take respite and enjoy the surroundings. The air rings with flute, violin and laughter as I anticipate fun filled Spring Saturdays and lazy, balmy summer evenings. A seat to enjoy morning tea with the chickens and outside, on the edge of the woods, another to enjoy the orchestra of bees surrounded by tall comfrey.

Lunchtime is over and the dreams are paused as the present moment demands more active pursuits in some of the cluttered sheds. More cleaning and sweeping ahead of the new season. I wish you all a prosperous 2016 and hope to meet at least some of you in the year to come.

Warm wishes from Martin and the Garden Team ☺ .


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