This blog has had a lengthy gestation phase, longer than those of elephants and whales, but now it’s time to go into labour. First of all, a heart-felt welcome to my old faithfuls, who know what to expect from having read “In the Garden”, my long-running column in the Shetland Times, the Shetland Isles’ weekly paper.

For my new readers I’d like to say that The Impossible Garden refers to my garden at 60º North, its and the gardener’s agonies and ecstasies, its flora and fauna – including humans resident or migratory.

What started as a small patch of annuals outside my kitchen window in the 1970s has since fledged into two acres of shelterbelts, wetland, a pond, wild flower meadows, mixed borders, woodland, and alpine landscapes for lime as well as acid lovers.

raised beds in the kitchen garden

How it all started - Lea Gardens in 1977

Over the years about 1,500 species and cultivars from all over the world have found a home at Lea Gardens and now attract visitors from all over the world.

According to some, the garden with its cosmopolitan gathering of plants is an enchanting place, but it would be a smidgeon dull to spend all our time in it. We’ll venture out of the garden whenever we (my readers and I) please, and in good time you’ll be introduced to Lily, the supreme illustrator, the delightful Hilary, my favourite botanist, his less delightful colleague Dr.Noltie, as well as the illustrious Mr. Gentleman, mean and nasty High Maintenance Husband, the beautiful and talented Society Lady and their rather unusual ménage à trois.

late june from the east gate

The same view 30 years later

Now and again this blog will also be used for Lea Gardens news such as opening times, special events and new developments.

view from the hill

Lea Gardens, winter 2005

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3 Responses to Introduction

  1. George Jacobson says:

    What a lovely photo of the Gardens in winter, Rosa (& James)!

    • admin says:

      It’s one of my all-time favourite pics of my “wintergarden”, but six years on it looks quite different. You should come and see the garden some time. It would be great to see you.
      best wishes

  2. Eric Burgess-Ray says:

    What a fantastic job you’ve done!
    My wife Ann and I moved to Unst 6 months ago from Leicestershire, and we are definitely going to visit your garden. We are both artists and I was particularly interested in the mural you have on the building; I’m thinking of doing something similar to our cottage, as seen on Swiss chalets. But gardening is Ann’s domain, and she’s starting our garden from nothing.

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