Is everyone sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin… actually before I start this story let me just say that I’ve never been remotely interested in gardening, I’ve even managed to kill the hardiest of house plants (have you ever seen a Ficus with just 3 leaves? It’s a sad and sorry sight let me tell you) so its probably just as well that we don’t have any pets!
Fortunately for me the hubster loves a bit of gardening and will spend all day out doors trimming and pruning and mowing. Which is why when we first moved into our house he was straight out the back door to deal with the pretty unexciting shingled space we had inherited.
It’s a 60ft garden and did have some quite mature planting along the borders – I don’t think I could have moved into a house with one of those ‘patch of lawn’, ‘bare stark fence’ gardens, but we were lucky to have inherited a rambling rose, a jasmine climber, wild sweet peas, a little magnolia tree, a patch of marigolds and a small clump of bamboo, amongst other colourful plants and bushes.
None of this was massively apparent when we moved in though as it was mid march (its our six year anniversary in the house this Thursday in fact!) and the main, overwhelmingly unattractive feature was a long stretch of grubby shingle, possibly a few patches of dog poo (the former owner was a single older lady with two big dogs).
The hubster immediately set to work removing the shingle by the bucket full, putting down bag after bag of soil and planting grass seed from scratch.
Soon we had an oasis of lawn which helped to start the transormation which the onset of summer helped no end.
In the course of the past six years the lawn has gradually expanded. I also got the hubster to remove every other paving stone of the ugly path so that at least we have a stepping stone effect. The bamboo has gone mad (!), the magnolia is thriving and the marigolds are gone.
The hubster has sometimes been a bit over-zealous with the pruning in my opinion (remember my hatred for bare fences?!) and two years ago this did lead to a bit of a ‘Hedgegate’ face off between himself and our next door neighbours when he aggressively cut back their privet. On the other hand I’m no gardener and I can’t be expected to understand the necessity and magic of pruning (I’m also very impatient so I’m not too great at the whole ‘it may look crap now but just imagine how wonderful it will be in two years time’ scenario).
We’ve had a lot of great summers enjoying our little space (it really is like another massive open air room to the house in the summer months!) although there were one or two years of irritation caused by our next door neighbours erecting a massive trampoline up against our fence so that their
nosy friendly four year old could constantly spring into sight and ask repeatedly “what you doing?”. However he is now nine and we may just get our own back this year as JJ is the perfect age for bouncing!
There have been barbeques, playdates, and the addition of a slide, mini trampoline and various paddling pools to date.
Right now I’m just very much looking forward to getting back out there and enjoying our little oasis again (minus the mud!).