T’was the week before Christmas. (*****)

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T’was the week before Christmas I’d finished the year

Ninety great gardens so far and so near

The stockings were hung on the gateposts with care

In the hope that the NGS raised such good fare

All gardeners now were so snug in their beds

With visions of plum trees that danced in their heads

With camera on auto and notebook on hand

From cottage to castle I travelled the land

Allotment, walled garden, the street and the square

Hospital, Manor House, Hall and parterre

Through twenty-four counties I cut quite a dash

Most gardens were open, and most didn’t clash

In all sorts of weather, even fresh snow

the owners of gardens put on a fine show

.The statues and sculptures so big and so bold

The carvings and sundials so bright to behold

Water in fountains in ponds and in lakes

Wheelbarrows, mowers and rusty old rakes

Of snowdrops and dahlias I now know so much

To some it is knowledge to most double-dutch

The cakes were delicious but never would last

I used to think thin but now I think vast

That Gardens are good for you – never in doubt

So off you go next year – get out and about

It’s the end of my mission as I drive out of sight

“Happy Christmas to all and a hearty good night”

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36 thoughts on “T’was the week before Christmas. (*****)

  1. So glad you have finished your gigantic task,
    So sad that my mornings won’t start with your blog.
    But now there is one thing I really must ask…
    Please SIT a short while by your yuletide log.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year of Gardens


  2. Marvellous!

    So well done achieving all this, and you have given us much entertainment! Rebecca read it to me over tea in bed.

    I hope your Christmas is happy and peaceful.



    Sent from my iPad


  3. Fantastic, Julia! Well done, what an amazing effort and top marks to Gussy for accompanying you….
    And almost the best bit was the literary splash at the end! Happy Christmas to you all , see you in 2018…. much love Prue xx


  4. What a poet you are!! Great finale with a flourish, and now you can sit back and wait for the arrival of a new generation!
    Happy Christmas to you all. X


  5. What a really good rhyme
    You do it so well
    There’s no end to your talents
    We’re under you spell
    We’ve loved all the gardens
    And the phographs too
    Thank you so much
    And Happy Christmas to you


  6. Congratulations what an amazing achievement! I’ve loved travelling the country with you and I really enjoyed hearing you speak at Conference – inspiring! Thank you so much. Have a great Christmas and here’s to an amazing new year.

    Susan Paynton County Organiser North Powys

    Sent from my iPad



  7. Such a brilliant series Julia. It must have been exhausting but wonderful for all us couch potatoes. A poet as well … is there no end to your talents?!
    Happy Christmas.


  8. What a clever end to such an amazing year

    Have so enjoyed reading your blogs and will miss them, Huge achievement and every blog was so well written and photographed

    Happy Christmas to you all

    With love

    Fiona xx


  9. Major problem loomingJulia. How are we all going to get by without our regular garden fix? Your blog has been a joy to us all and I will no longer be opening my ipad each morning ‘just in case’. Superb rhyme! How about Rudyard Kiplings ‘The Glory of the Garden.’ Non gardening husbands take note……’And some can pot begonias, and some can bud a rose,
    And some are hardly fit to trust with anything that grows;
    But they can roll and trim the lawns and sift the sand and loam
    For the glory of the garden occupieth all who come.
    Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
    By singing “oh how beautiful” and sitting in the shade…….
    Thank you Julia


  10. Love the verse!  And will miss the great prose, photos and lovely garden descriptions.  Hope you’re going to think of something to replace them   in due course!

    Love  Jennifer 

    Sent from my Samsung device


  11. Brilliant. What a feat and a poet too. Well done you have given us such pleasure and we will miss your Garden Gate blog so much.
    Happy Christmas.
    More in 2018 please.


  12. Totally brilliant Julia. I have LOVED reading about what is behind every garden gate with fab photos.
    Happy Christmas 🎄☃️🎅🏻


  13. Not a garden too small or large, minimalist or opulent, all got the same treatment. The same thoughtful essay and enticing photos. I enjoyed every moment of it. No doubt all will be reread and poured over in the coming cold months. Merry Christmas to you and yours. I hope you have all the best.


  14. Brillant! Now poetry as well as photography and blogging. You deserve a well earned rest and then what’s your next adventure? Angela



  15. Well done for your marvellous achievement – your poem rivals Kipling’s “The Glory of the Garden”. Now have a lovely Christmas and successful 2018.

    Jenny Reeve


  16. Excellent, every garden brought to life by your exhaustive attention to detail and excellent images. Well done you, enjoy your Christmas and Happy New Year to all gardeners!


  17. OK that’s just showing off now Julia! Seriously though – thank you for entertaining us all throughout 2017 and best wishes for Christmas and 2018.


  18. Hi Julia – you really are a star. So now it actually t’is the night before Christmas and I love your clever version of one of my favourite poems. Thanks for entertaining us so beautifully all year – wishing you a very happy and peaceful Christmas.


  19. Pingback: Allotment Aspirations

  20. Wonderful selection of gardens and pictures. You really captured the mix and variety of The NGS.
    Thank you from the depth of The New forest.
    Wishing you a more peaceful 2018!


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