New Year’s Day Dreams.

Sometimes I dream about having manicured acres with topiary and an army of gardeners.

Trentham Gardens

I would love beautiful, original art work in the garden.

Trentham Gardens

A big, fat, stone frog perhaps.

Biddulph Grange

A Japanese tea house…

Bidddulph Grange

And a flock of pink flamingos.

I would love an ancient tower to write in.


A wild flower meadow full of native orchids would be wonderful.

Wild flowers Meadow, Great Dixter

And a beautifully maintained walled garden to supply vegetables all year round.

Walled garden, Gravetye Manor

And I would really love a rill and an arboretum of rare and ancient trees. And a long drive lined with lime trees and an infinity swimming pond. And I yearn for an orangery and a massive greenhouse.

But then I look back at the pictures of my house and garden, and I realise I wouldn’t swap them for any of these things. My funny, higgledy- piggledy house was built more than 500 years ago. Upstairs, there are sloping, oak floors and nothing anywhere is even or level. It is a quirky little house, full of character and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. And the garden is my creation and my dream. Some of the trees and plants were planted before our time here and I am grateful for them, but I have redesigned every inch of the garden and made it my own.  Most of the plants have been carefully chosen by me and many of them grown from seed or cuttings.  And it gives me great joy; this is where I belong.

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Happy New Year to everybody and thank you for reading my blog. It gives me so much pleasure to share my garden with you, and I enjoy reading all about yours. I hope you will stay with me through 2022 as I have an exciting new project to share with you later in the year. I hope all your new year’s day dreams come true.  And I wish you health and happiness and continued joy in your gardens.

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49 Responses to New Year’s Day Dreams.

  1. Tracy Perez says:

    And I covet your garden1

  2. I feel the same way about my garden, although a (small) flock of pink flamingos would certainly not be unwelcome! Happy New Year Chloris!

  3. Forget the garden, I stopped at the 500 year old house. Needless to say, we don’t have a lot of buildings in that age range over here. I live in a bright and shiny new American city where we tear down anything older than 1960’s. I am exaggerating a bit, there are a few old building here. Thank goodness there are people like you to keep the historic houses. Are the old houses on a national registry?

    • Chloris says:

      Our house was built in 1500. Yes, old houses and buildings of special architectural interest are listed by English Heritage and so protected. We own the house, but we can’t do anything at all, not even paint the front door, without permission. It’s a good thing really, in the great scheme of things, we are only custodians for a brief moment in this house’s history.

  4. Ellie says:

    You have a beautiful house and stunning garden. Happy New Year and happy gardening!
    Best wishes

  5. bcparkison says:

    Bloom where you are planted until the need for divisionand to multiply the beauty.

  6. Heyjude says:

    Your garden is stunning, no need for envy other than me envying you. I would love to have a walled garden so that I had shelter, I hadn’t thought it through when buying a property on the top of a south-west facing hill. And a big heated glasshouse where I could spend all the wet and foggy days in.

  7. What a delightful post, Chloris! I love your garden just as it is, as it shows the constant hand of a loving and avid gardener. That last photo is a stunner, beautiful textures and shapes and colors. Wishing you a wonderful new year ahead and looking forward to hearing about your new project.

  8. alison41 says:

    I enjoyed seeing your garden dreams and pics of your garden. Thank you for sharing both, Wishing you a happy, healthy new year, and a bountiful, blooming, beautiful garden.

  9. Yes to a Japanese tea house! Your lush borders are lovely, what’s the variegated tree that features in the last photo? A Cornus ?

  10. Pingback: Goodbye to 2021 | Rambling in the Garden

  11. Kris P says:

    We gardeners are a covetous lot, at least when it comes to plants but, once we’ve imprinted ourselves on a garden, it’s very hard to let go. Your garden offers so much and, beyond a few tasks requiring heavy-duty manual labor or humongous machinery, I suspect you’d find it hard to turn over much of the work involved to an army of gardeners. You’ve done a LOT with your space just in the time I’ve followed your blog and I expect you’ll never accept any apparent constraints on your imagination. You have a gravel garden with Agapanthus and succulents that looks like it could be lifted from my part of the world! I look forward to seeing what you’re up to now. Happy new year!

    • Chloris says:

      I don’t have an army of gardeners, but I do have 2 gardeners, Paul and Julie who both do a couple of hours a week. I used to do it all by myself but I find it helps to have help now, specially with all my new projects. Yes, I love succulents and I always admire yours. Mine have to go inside for winter here. Happy New Year Kris.

  12. marthastrain says:

    Thank you for inviting us into your beautiful garden! I am eager to see what you have in store for us in 2022. Stay well! Martha Strain North Carolina, USA

    Sent from my iPad


  13. Your garden looks wonderful, Liz. I never tire of seeing what up you come with next. I feel the same about my garden, though a nice, burly young man who could tell weeds from prized perennials would be inspiring. Hope the Pianist is on the mend. Happy 2022.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Amy. Yes, the Pianist is well now thank you, as is my son, who was very unwell with Covid just before Christmas. This has certainly not been a season to be jolly here. But now we have a brand new year and bulbs are showing their little heads everywhere, and from now on, I’m going to be bottom up, head down, cooing over every ittle snowdrop flower. Happy New Year to you too.

  14. Su says:

    You could add a stone something-or-other and sculpture to your beautiful garden. You would probably have to adjust for scale, though..Perhaps, budget would also be a consideration! Meantime, I hope you have a Happy and Healthy New year.
    Su in Minnesota

    • Chloris says:

      I used to have a large stone surrounded by Birch trees in my previous garden. Since I moved away 16 years ago, I have heard that the rumours in the village are that I was a Druid! The simple truth is, hat I come from the Peak District in Derbyshire and miss rocks and stones. All we have here are flint stones. I would love a very large stone here, but I don’t know how I would get it into the garden.

  15. tonytomeo says:

    HA! Exactly! I did not like the direction this was going, but you set it all straight.

    • Chloris says:

      I expect we gardeners always fantasise about grander gardens from time to time, but most of us would not swap our own little personal bit of Paradise. It would be like giving away your dog for a prettier one.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Although I still compare my garden to how I could have done it in the Santa Clara Valley, just a few miles away, I am very pleased with what I have. I always have been. The gardens that I grew up with were small and flat home gardens, with perfect climate. They were very manageable and ridiculously productive.

  16. Eliza Waters says:

    And you’ve created great beauty and variety there as well. Happy year ahead, Liz!

  17. What a lovely post. Of course you have a wonderful garden, full of great beauties, but the point I love is, be happy with what you’ve got. Happy New Year, my friend, may it be full of fun and adventures of the good variety.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Gill. Of course, that is my point, our own gardens are worth more to us than any grand and expensively designed landscape. Our gardens are our own creation, we’ve sweated over them, worried over them and spun them out of our own dreams. Happy New Year to you and I wish you fun and joy with your own newly acquired bit of Paradise.

  18. I so enjoy reading the blog and thinking about the two of you and the lovely visit we enjoyed pre-covid. My position in Washington, DC, will be coming to an end in late June and I’m looking forward to enjoying my own home and garden again. I know just how you feel. All the best to you and happy New Year. I can’t wait to hear about the surprise.

    • Chloris says:

      Hello Marian, how lovely to hear from you. I imagine it will be wonderful for you to get back to spending more time in your garden. I hope you will resume blogging about it too. Happy New Year to you too.

  19. Noelle says:

    Happy New Year Chloris, and be Happy in Your garden. In my dreams my garden is like yours, in reality I have a pocket handkerchief of a garden, but I am very pleased with what I have too. I admire other gardens but I do not covet them. It is always a pleasure to read and see pictures of your garden.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Noelle, gardeners always treasure their own gardens, size really doesn’t matter. I know from reading your blog, you are a plants person and I expect your garden is very special.

  20. What a lovely post.
    Happy New Year.

  21. Cathy says:

    It is nice to dream, but home and my own garden are my favourite places! Have a wonderful gardening year Chloris. 😃

  22. Cathy says:

    What a lovely, lovely post Chloris, as I have already mentioned to you, one that resonates with most gardeners, I am sure! I do wonder what the woman with the wild hair was wishing for, though – and I did briefly wonder (albeit not very seriously!) about building an upwards extension to the shed, to create my own tower… 😊

  23. “This is where I belong.” Well said. Your garden is so special. I think having a big, fancy garden would be stressful so I appreciate my little plot with personal plants, as you do. Happy New Year, and all the best in the months ahead!

  24. Anna says:

    You have your very own paradise Chloris and what a beautiful spot it must be to live and garden in. I look forward to hearing all about your new project as the year unfolds

  25. snowbird says:

    A delightful, quirky, unique house and garden along with a delightful, unique and quirky gardener. What’s not to love! I wouldn’t swop a thing

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