The inconstant gardener

A rusty pitchfork leaning against a weathered shed.

It’s amazing how having kids can cause you to put things off. Take our garden, for example. We’ve lived in our house for almost eight years and have only just started making it our own! Does it show that I’m not a natural gardener?

That’s not to say that we’ve been lazy or, indeed, that I’m blaming the kids. There were just loads of other things that needed doing to our house and it was low on our list of priorities. My parents have a lovely, big garden too so the children haven’t gone without plenty of time outdoors.

Times are changing though. My parents are looking to downsize and their house is on the market. Almost simultaneously, my two younger kids have suddenly become interested in gardening. Argh! This has dragged our back yard much higher up the to-do list!

To be fair on ourselves for a moment, we’ve done little bits here and there. Over the course of seven years, we’ve knocked down the previous owner’s rotting shed, installed a new one, painted it and knocked it down when it too started to rot.

We also put in a temporary path and patio – yes, almost eight years ago – and, much more recently, had a nice new fence installed when the previous one fell over. I think it’s fair to say that we’ve been very much reactive.

A garden early on in the landscaping process.

We’ve started as we mean to go on and removed both the lawn and patio. The surface of the former was so uneven that it was a nightmare to mow as well as a huge draw to neighbourhood cats thanks to my resultant reluctance to cut the grass regularly.

The latter, meanwhile, was just too small for a family of five so we’re going to make a much bigger one. The path, meanwhile, was okay but we wanted something a little more inspiring.

Right now, the back garden is largely just earth. Thinking about it, this has probably made it even more attractive to defaecating moggies, but it’s just temporary.

My parents have made a raised bed for the kids to grow plants in. Meanwhile, we’ve decided to repurpose a load of hexagonal stones as a path which will resemble the gold run in Blockbusters.

If any cats suddenly discover the ability to talk and say “Can I have a P please, Bob?” I won’t be amused.

So there are our plans for our garden. Hopefully, now that I’ve written them down, they might actually happen!


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