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Head Gardener’s Diary

Little Sparta’s Head Gardener, George Gilliland, has overseen the maintenance and development of the garden, and the conservation of its numerous individual artworks, since 2012. Until 2016, George’s work was supported by gardener Ralph Irving, who worked with Ian Hamilton Finlay and Sue Finlay for many years. This continuity has ensured Finlay’s original vision for the garden is maintained. George’s work today is supported by members of the Little Sparta Trust and by volunteers. This page features George’s monthly Gardener’s Diary, published with the Little Sparta Newsletters.

  • May 2024

    May, the month that zings… All Is zinging bright green and fresh, there is lushness in all new growth, which is now romping forward. Blossom follows blossom as the trees

  • April 2024

    Changeable weeks in the garden… April  already  nettles IHF – ‘Spring Verses’   Groups of ox-eye daisies are planted into the long grass on the hillside at the far end

  • March 2024

    As we enter Spring in all its elements… Picturesque has been remade and installed at the end of the lochan. This single word carved on an old fence railing overlooking

  • February 2024

    Spring in winter… The random patchwork of weather continues as we are beset by further storms, suffering more losses – the large willow tree by the Arcadia kingdom column at

  • January 2024

    Winter days….               From one year to the next we negotiate passage through a series of named storms. While for the most part we have avoided the worst of the

  • November 2023

    November days…                                                                                                                   There are further frosty starts as the clocks go back and we ease towards winter. Bright skies but sharp air.

  • October 2023

    Change in Seasons…   The skies grey, the leaves golden. There are stormy days but no substantial damage though at times it really does feel like we are in the

  • September 2023

    Change in Seasons…   The change in seasons, week by week, the strange lurches from hot bright days of Indian summer to misty mornings, heavy downpours and then blustery winds

  • August 2023

    Autumn in August… At the height of the season it seems a never ending sequence of tasks to keep on top of everything.  By the Virgil cobble circle groves the

  • July 2023

    Come rain or shine… There are more variations of weather, as we miss some of the extremes, but are still subject to several prolonged heavy downpours. Of course rain benefits