The Gardens of Brookwood Shire….part one

IMG_4224A friend of mine said the other day, “Brookwood Shire is all about gardens.”  And so it is.  It was the gardens that inspired me to get hens…I kept reading how wonderful their poop was…how good they were for gardens..I didn’t expect to be smitten by them.  And it is the gardens that attract the birds and the bees and all the other little creatures who live here…that make it such a magical place.  And it is the gardens that make Brookwood Shire such a sanctuary.

 But this was not always the case.  I have not always been a gardener..or at least I didn’t know I was.  It was a chance meeting with my friend Joanne..a master gardener..that started me on this path.  And so I would like to dedicate this to her…whose care and skill taught me so much and gave me the confidence to find the gardener inside myself.

And so slowly, over the years, one garden at a time, Brookwood Shire came to be.  

Gardens evolve..over the years but also throughout the year. They are always changing.  Different seasons have different flowers.  Some gardens are at their best early, and others are happiest in the heat of summer…and some take almost the whole summer to bloom.  These are pictures of the gardens at their best…they have been taken over the years…throughout the seasons.

I will start with Spring….


Pussy willows are always first.  The surest sign that winter is done.


They are followed by crocus…

image..and heather.

IMG_3901And then the daffodils emerge…

IMG_3917..and the forsythia.

And suddenly things are popping up every where.

IMG_3925 IMG_3924 IMG_3888 IMG_3890 IMG_3898The gardens come alive.

The woodland gardens have their moment.IMG_5205 IMG_5210 IMG_5203

IMG_5212Followed by other shade gardens.

IMG_5222 IMG_5249 IMG_5255 IMG_5326 IMG_5394 IMG_5395 IMG_5414

Until the delicate shades of green with tiny splashes of color fill the beds.

And in the sun, the phlox bloom.

IMG_1577IMG_1527imageA carpet of color fills the edges of the sunny beds.


The laurel blooms..

IMG_3957..and the greenhouse fills up with baby plants.

IMG_4075Lupines begin to pop up and open.

IMG_5299And chives burst into bloom all over the gardens.  It is quite spectacular.

IMG_5275The iris and dianthus open adding their delicate blooms and more color.

IMG_4238Peonies bloom and the veggies, now planted, begin to grow.

IMG_5259A pot of herbs, newly planted, adds more color and texture.

IMG_5460And Violas form mounds at the edges of the veggie beds.

IMG_4136The leaves have returned to the trees and there is life everywhere.

IMG_5297Spring has sprung!

But the gardens are not done.  In the heat of summer, Spring flowers fade…and Summer arrives.

import sept 26 2012 076More about that tomorrow.


About patti

I am a retired kindergarten teacher, tending a new kind of garden now, raising chickens and exploring permaculture. I live with my husband, Bill, my beloved dog, Fergus and my cat, Mighty Merlin. We have a small cottage and a tiny bit of land called Brookwood Shire. It is our sanctuary.
This entry was posted in Brookwood Shire, Gardens, Nature, Spring and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to The Gardens of Brookwood Shire….part one

  1. Joanne says:

    Wow! Thank you for the dedication. It has been an honor to help you find your green thumb, and to learn with you and create with you. I always left Brookwood Shire inspired, and if not for you Claystone Cottage would never have emerged.

  2. Celeste says:

    I am in awe to how beautiful your gardens are! 🌸🌺💐

  3. If there was a ‘love’ button I would have pressed that! You must spend a lot of time in your garden and you are going to have so much fun in your ‘Irish’ garden with different plants for a different climate. Can’t wait to see it.

    • patti says:

      As I was writing this I was thinking about gardening in Ireland. I suspect there are plants I think of as Spring or early summer that bloom all summer there. And plants I think of as shade plants may be fine in the sun..since it is so much cooler there. And I am sure planting times etc are different. So lots to learn..but very exciting.

  4. Anne Wilson says:

    Your gardens are very English/Irish, we grow just about everything that you are growing If you end up remaining in Co. Leitrim you must remember that in summer you have very little darkness, I could often be found working in the tunnel at 11pm during the summer months! when we lived in Leitrim, the other thing is that Leitrim soil is normally very shallow soil, there are some areas that have good soil, but few and far between. Has Carole passed on our phone number to you?

    • patti says:

      Yes Anne, thank you, we have your number. It will be very strange to have it light so long in the summer in Leitrim….no reason to ever get out of the garden, I guess. I have heard that Leitrim has a heavy clay soil….I am hoping with compost the soil can be improved. Do you know the Organic Center in Rossinver? Our cottage is right near there so I am hoping to take some classes there and learn more about gardening in the area. I am happy to hear you think my gardens are very English/Irish….it is English Cottage gardens that have always inspired me. We are in the process of selling our house and should be back in Leitrim in November….when I suspect it will be dark very early..but less cold and snowy than here. Hopefully we will be able to get in touch then. Thanks again for all your help.

      • Anne Wilson says:

        Yes I know the Organic Centre, I used to teach poultry keeping there many years ago when it first set up. I like Rossinver, did you find the wonderful water falls near there?, there is now a pathway that you can walk along the falls.
        Once you are settled in your forever home there is a great garden centre that I can recommend down in Clare, good prices, good plants, and Certified organic. I would also be pleased to give you cutting of plants from my garden as things need thinning out.

      • patti says:

        Thank you! We will be renting in Rossinver and looking for our forever home. Cuttings from friends is always a nice place to start.

  5. I am so glad you met Joanne ♥

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