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.

  • October 2020

    Hidden words…   The most visible seasonal change in the structure of the garden takes place this month as all of the artworks are covered, brought into storage or packed

  • September 2020

    Like a windmill turn, turn turn…   The World’s Oldest Windmill turns again and we are into autumn – almost on the point of the equinox the change in season

  • August 2020

    Heathery hills.   A month of contrasts as we seem to be on the receiving end of every storm or front – low clouds caught on the hills emptying themselves

  • July 2020

    Lost in greenness… The full flush of summer brings with it, almost inevitably, a change to grey skies and downpours – the narrow edges of tall rain drenched grass pathways

  • June 2020

    A moment of lightness and balance…   Warm muggy days of early summer are dappled with vibrant green leaf light. The colour is luxuriant. Comfrey, meconopsis and lilac are in

  • May 2020

    A serene summer ahead…   Spring days extend themselves. As the daffodils go over the gorse comes into bloom, its coconutty scent an almost exotic fragrant surprise.   Forget-me-nots, cowslips

  • April 2020

    Greenness begins…   Nature renews itself. All along the bare length of branches, the downy backs of leaves unfurl themselves revealing the fresh green within. …. Seasonal tasks take over

  • March 2020

    Promise of new growth.  The first true glimmers of springtime as the cycle of nature moves on in the garden. ….. There is much work going on to deal with

  • February 2020

    A stormy month A month sandwiched between storms – Ciara and Dennis – and though we are not as badly hit as some areas there is still a bit of damage

  • Head Gardeners Diary January 2020

    January 2020

    Snow falls. For the most part it is a very dark, dank, grey and gloomy start to the year – we sit under heavy sullen skies, everywhere is wet, sodden