Daphne Ledward, Garden Planner, Gardener, Author and Broadcaster



Spalding Guardian Gardening4 April 2013

It’s funny how you can pass a sign on the road for years and never notice it unless the need arises. A couple of weeks ago, driving along the A52 from Boston to Donington with the in-laws, who had come to stay for a few days, we felt the sudden need of a warming cup of coffee, and - in brother-in-law’s case – CAKE.

Near Swineshead there is a brown sign to a tea room, and we eagerly followed it to Concreation, which I’d always though of as a garden centre with the emphasis on hard landscaping. It looks nothing from the outside, but open the door and it becomes a garden centre shop, with the sensible things one needs to keep the garden happy, and a large, comfortable café with a conservatory extension, serving good, tasty food. Of course, having warmed up, we had to inspect the outdoor section. Even though the in-laws and I had no intention of buying anything, we couldn’t resist the collection of unusual dwarf conifers, and although our garden is more than full, I came away with six with contrasting habits, forms and colours.

Getting them home, the question was what to do with them, as they were too attractive just to squeeze in haphazardly. The answer seemed to be to revamp the mound of earth that was originally the pond excavation and which is now euphemistically referred to as the rockery. This is one of the first features seen on entering the garden, but had over the years become less than spectacular, the main highlight being a set of cheap and nasty ‘rock’ solar lights which hadn’t lit up at night for a long time.

Some reorganisation later and a subtle pruning of the one conifer that was already in situ, the transformation was amazing. I am sure that even the frogs, which have braved the unseasonal weather and returned to the adjacent pool to do their bit for the frog population of Surfleet Seas End, could not fail to be impressed – at least, I hope so.

Daphne Ledward

This piece originally appeared in the Spalding Guardian