December 2019: Planting a multi-stem cherry tree and reflections on 2019


We planted a bare root ornamental cherry tree (prunus serrula) in December; it’s a multi-stem specimen and we positioned it at the foot of the mound that we created in June. Situating it near the foot of the slope means that it’s slightly raised (when viewing from the path) and this gives impact. It’s also near the walkway to the secret seating area so hopefully the branches will act as a canopy when it’s matured. 2019 has been our most productive year in the garden and it’s satisfying to look back at how far we’ve come. The photo below is from August 2017 and was taken just after we’d removed the turfs in preparation for starting the walled garden area. Scan down to see the hard landscaping which we finished earlier this year.

2019 Highlights:

August 2017 (I am stood where we planted the silver birch which you can see in the picture below)
  • Finishing the walled garden area. Planting the multi-stem silver birch in the middle was great to give this area some height (April 2019)
  • The alliums were beautiful, and attracted lots of bees (May 2019)
  • Building the retaining post wall and secret seating area (June 2019)
  • Laying the steel edging and paths (July 2019)
  • Building and planting up the interconnected ponds (August 2019)
  • Building the oak sleeper bench by the pond (August 2019)
  • The ornamental grasses in the border (August 2019)
  • The Helianthus ‘lemon queen’; long lasting and beautiful blooms (September 2019)
July 2019



2019 targets:

  • Finish the dry stone wall (completed in April; also finished the edging and paths in July)
  • Keep better track of gardening activities via a journal (not complete although maybe this blog is enough)
  • Appreciate the happenings in the garden rather than looking to what’s next (ongoing – I’ve tried to stop and enjoy it all more in 2019; I’ll continue to be mindful of this). The oak sleeper bench by the pond has enabled us to sit and enjoy the garden more – especially in the morning with a cup of tea
  • Spend some time every weekend, and when possible after work, in the garden during spring and summer in particular (we spent the vast majority of our weekends in the garden. I could be better at spending time outside after work though)

2020 targets:

  • Plant a willow hedge along our border with the wood
  • Successfully complete my RHS Level 2 practical course; start the theory programme in September 2020
  • Plant up the mound
  • Extend the border on the right hand side of the garden
  • Prepare and possibly plant up the border (next to the wall and wood)
  • Plant around the oak sleeper bench
  • Plant up the remaining beds around the wall

Final thought – the rose that we trained against the pergola in October has started to produce lots of new shoots this month. I’m so excited for spring 2020!


  1. It’s great to see how your garden has undergone such a dramatic change over the months. The walled area is fabulous and worthy of being in any RHS garden. Great work!!
    Looking forward to seeing the next stage of transformation.
    Love Denise

  2. Agreed, the walled area is looking amazing. Whoever came up with that idea is a genius ! X

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