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.

  • yellow_poppies

    June 2018

    For a full month almost we have been basking in exceptionally warm and dry weather conditions – in many ways this allows the garden to be seen at its best

  • stile_escalation_renovated

    May 2018

      At last we are in springtime and everything is getting going. All is green and fresh as a rush of delayed growth fills the garden with new leaf and

  • April 2018

    First signs of spring. A few hours of sunshine lift the spirits and spring greening begins – but soon we are overtaken again by showers and dull days. Not quite

  • March 2018

    Snow storms again cover the garden. Snow storms again cover the garden, close it in- there seems to be no respite – and no definite signs of the slow coming

  • February 2018

    A month enclosed by snow. A month enclosed by snow, as either end of it we are covered by wintry weather. Water solidifies to icy forms and flat hardened surfaces. There

  • January 2018

    High winds and snow storms. For the start of the year the garden faces first a series of of high winds then snow storms sweeping through. For a time it

  • December 2017

    All is frozen. All is frozen as temperatures plummet and we are iced over in a sparkly white haze and the skeletal shapes of the garden loom in morning frosts.

  • November 2017

    Peace disturbed for a time. ‘We survive a near miss from a tree fall at the Top pond by the obelisk Il Riposo di Claudio. Peace disturbed for a time but all

  • October 2017

    Blankets of Leaves. ‘The garden is closed and most of the small works have been brought in for storage. Just about all of the larger pieces have been wrapped up

  • September 2017

    Leaves Colour and Fall. ‘Low cloud, low light – the end of the season. The Eclogue sheepfold is strimmed down and also the St Just stones cleared around. In the Temple pond the area by the Aircraft