A Year in Review

Last December, on a grey and gloomy day much like today, I wrote out my goals for the garden for 2015.  Re-reading that blog post a year later, I’m amazed to see how much of what I set out to do I actually accomplished.

Discovering this was a big surprise, but after only a few minutes of thought I realized that it wasn’t because 2015 was such a productive year but because I set myself rather modest goals. (Who, me? Surely not!)

I wanted to make the ‘staircase’ on the China Terrace more prominent, and I did, transforming it from this…

 

Copper tubing outlines a 'staircase' that leads to an upper floor of this re-creation of Glen Villa Inn, destroyed by fire in 1909.
Copper tubing outlines a ‘staircase’ that leads to an upper floor of this re-creation of Glen Villa Inn, destroyed by fire in 1909.

 

to this.

 

The painted wood outlines the form of the 'staircase' and connects to other painted wooden elements on the China Terrace.
The painted wood outlines the form of the ‘staircase’ and connects it to other painted wooden elements on the China Terrace. These include the columns at the entry and window frames on one side of the hotel. The window frames also use copper tubing, as do the chairs around the dining room table.

 

 

I modified the yin yang, replacing worn-out plants with Artemisia ‘Silver Mound’ and adding a painted tree trunk in the circle on one side.

 

The painted tree branch is like the black dot in the white circle of a yin yang symbol. It corresponds to the inert gravel used for the 'hot' side of the circle and it also adds height.
The painted tree branch is like the black dot in the white side of a yin yang symbol. It also adds height.

 

I completed a major piece of sculpture, a project I didn’t mention in my plans for 2015 for fear of jinxing it, but something I knew I wanted to do.

 

 

This photo of Tree Rings now accompanies my Artist's Statement on the Site and Insight website.
This photo of Tree Rings now accompanies my Artist’s Statement on the Site and Insight website. I know the text is small here, so I hope you’ll take a look on the website itself.

 

 

The big project for the year didn’t happen as I had planned. It definitely wasn’t what I announced it would be — a series of stone-filled gabion baskets to strengthen the straight lines in the Lower Garden —  but it was a version of that idea. Instead of using the gabion baskets in the Lower Garden, I used them in the parking area, where they replaced a tumbling down stone wall. The change transformed the area, from this…

 

This view shows the driveway and the parking area in front of the house, out of the frame to the right.
This view shows the driveway and the parking area in front of the house. The house itself is out of the frame to the right. At the end of the crumbling wall is the cascade; renovating it is a project for 2016

 

to this.

 

A newly-built wall uses stones in gabion baskets, to create a more architecturally interesting look.
A newly-built wall uses stones in gabion baskets, to create a more architecturally interesting look.

 

I was delighted with the new look when work finished in early summer, and I remain delighted.  Every time I look at this wall, I smile inside.

Reading what I planned for 2015 and looking at what I actually did, I am quite pleased with myself. I am particularly pleased when I consider the amount of travelling I did this year and the many wonderful gardens I visited. Mind you, I’m not so pleased when I read what I planned to do in 2014, that I didn’t manage to do that year or the next.

But such is life. And who knows, maybe in 2016 I will.

What about you? What are your garden goals for 2016? And if you set goals for this year, did you accomplish what you set out to do?