As we stroll towards her sweet garden in Germany, I should tell you that I've been lucky enough to meet Eleonore when she made a daytrip to Berlin to meet me last fall. We spent a very enjoyable couple of hours together, despite our visit getting off to a bad start when I went to the wrong café first, and then had to run across the city where Eleonore patiently waited for me. (A highlight of that visit was her account of driving with friends to watch The Wall come down in '89). . Since then, we've kept in touch here on the blog and also through the occasional card we pop in the mail (such fun to get real old-fashioned mail with stamps from other countries. . . ).
And around the time we visited Ali's garden, Eleonore emailed to offer a visit to her little Eden. Of course, I accepted happily! Now here we are, knocking on her door. . . .
Greetings done, introductions made, and here's Eleonore ushering us into her charming green space. She has such an interesting story to tell us . . .
My garden is very small, only about 60 square meters. But we can sit on the tiny terrace with a cup of tea
There were a few hydrangeas along the back wall of the building (this photo is from 2008).
I planted a New Dawn to cover the brick wall
and a friend with a lovely garden gave me seedlings and clippings of many of her perennials. Not all of them thrived but still the result was wonderful
Those plants which felt at home started to extend and to turn up in unsuspected places. Given the difficult conditions, I have always been very grateful for this tendency of the garden to look after itself.
Another inheritance of the first owners is the picture they painted on the wall next to the compost bin .
Later he used the garden as a dump for building materials and waste.
For more than a year I had to watch my garden being destroyed, while I took him to court over my right to use it. He appealed three times and lost every single case. So in the end, the garden was mine again, but it had suffered badly.
I was hesitant about investing too much in its reconstruction because I did not really trust my luck. But the white hydrangea and the New Dawn rose set the example
Excuse my interruption here, but look at those astonishingly persistent green shoots! What a story!
and one by one almost all of my perennials appeared again. I did not do much more than weed and cut the lawn and let the garden sort itself out.
What frustrations or challenges do you still have with your garden?
All this struggle and fight for your garden, was it worth it? Would you do the same thing again?
Thanks so much, Eleonore, for sharing your garden with us. I suspect readers may want to ask you a question or two. . . . Comments welcome below.