Additions to the garden in more recent times are every bit as important in terms of memory-jogging and sense of place.
A white-barked birch (Betula jacquemontii) that looks ghost-like in the evening light, first appeared as a seedling under a mature specimen in friend Ron’s garden just down the lane.
The invitation to winkle it out of his rockery and plant was irresistible, and it’s now 10 feet tall. Peeling the bark to reveal a whiter shade is so therapeutic.
The dwarf lilac, covered in bloom, was a gift from friend George (a keen golfer) years ago. He’d ordered one in memory of his beloved black Labrador and three arrived. When a visitor inquires as to the variety, I say ‘Sevvy’.
There’s a schizostylis from Jane, trifolium from Ted, chrysanthemums from Alan and plum tomatoes from Tony. All have a tale to tell. And as we gaze admiringly at the two double white lilacs (syringa Madame Lemoine) that our late neighbour Eddie donated, it’s a pure Tardis experience, back to the cottage garden of yore and an identical tree whose fragrance also filled the evening air. Does your garden offer such delights?