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.

  • November 2023

    November days… There are further frosty starts as the clocks go back and we ease towards winter. Bright skies but sharp air. A short month also mixed with gloomy low

  • 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

  • May 2023

    Freshness and promise… Some may have noticed a lack of recent update information about goings on in the garden – this in part was a self imposed silence as we

  • September 2022

    September storms… It ends as it begins with a storm lashing through bringing high winds and rain. Earlier in the month the rain is welcome, a momentary reprieve for dried

  • August 2022

    Effects of drought… Though perhaps not so immediately evident or expected here, we have suffered as many issues as elsewhere from the prolonged period of drought. There is no recourse

  • July 2022

    The ‘terror’… The annual ‘reign of terror’ on rose bay willow herb begins with a process of decapitating the vast swathes that have overtaken the hillside. It is also pulled

  • June 2022

    New ideas and approaches… The start of summer – of sorts – and almost inevitably the moment our doors open the rain falls, so we have had to endure a