pond with goldfish

Appreciating our garden

Gardens are wonderful spaces, like ini parks. No matter what size they are, it's a privilege to have an outside space that I've come to appreciate so much more over the course of the current pandemic the world is facing.

Our previous property only had a very small balcony, so the thought of an expanse of greenery was one of the key factors in choosing this property. Since moving here many years ago I’ve always enjoyed our garden, but I’ve come to really appreciate it over the lockdowns of this past year. Even a brisk stroll to the end of the garden and back is refreshing, just having somewhere outside to escape for a few minutes really helps to clear the mind. Add in the plants and chance to watch the garden wildlife and each trip outside can be a mini-adventure.

Our back garden is not huge, although the way I talk about it one might imagine a vast country estate. It is, however, larger than average for our area thanks to our 1930’s built house being sited on a corner. The whole plot, when viewed from above resembles the shape of a lamb chop which means the rear garden is an odd shape. This adds to the joy a, from our house, you cannot see the whole garden. With some thoughtful planting, along with some hard landscaping, we’ve subtly divided the garden into three parts to create visual intrigue.

Stepping from the house, the patio is a social space, looking out over the grasslands – actually, a lawn lined by shrubs and bushes. The shape of the grass leads you to a second patio. This one is circular and encased by very tall bamboo which makes a beautiful sound when there’s a gentle breeze. This space is multi-functional, it’s a lovely social area that benefits from being bathed in sunlight throughout the day and into the evening. This is why it’s also home to our washing line most of the time. Why, on garden makeover programs, do they never consider washing lines in the designs? From the house, this circular area appears to be the end of the garden. However, once on the circle you’ll notice a bridge leading to the final section of the garden. This bridge spans the vast natural lake – a pond dug by me. It’s only a meter and a half across, but the pond does stretch nearly the width of the garden. In the pond, there are numerous fish, newts and seasonal toads, plus the other visitors. Once over the bridge, on the other side of the pond is a practical space for storing all the garden ‘stuff’ like wood, plant pots and wheels. Everyone has lots of spare car wheels, don’t they, no? Just me then? They are all stored neatly and covered so that the area doesn’t resemble a junkyard.  This area is also home to our shed. Just a common garden shed, but with the door open you can sit and enjoy watching the pond life.

We must be doing something right with our garden as there is an abundance of daily visitors. Form the different waves of birds, squirrels and other small mammals and the previously mentioned amphibians too. Although I’ve always enjoyed our garden, the lockdown has made me appreciate this outside space so much more.

Latest thoughts

Welcome 2022

A new calendar year marks the start of another lap around our celestial star. What will this year bring? Who knows, as that would just be guessing and I’m not one for making big predictions.

My lists from 2021

It’s customary at this time of year to reflect on the year and provide some sort of clever predictions about the year to come. I think most would agree that 2021 has not been an outstanding year. For all those that made it this far, congratulations and I hope you had a good festive break?

Do/Pause Workshop

Last year I attended the one day Do Pause workshop and it has proved to be one of the most valuable events I’ve ever attended and Robert Poynton is a superb facilitator. The day left me with a whole host of practical things I could put into practice straight away, along with deeper things to take away to think about. Over the year since the workshop, I’ve been practising many of the lessons learned, introducing different pauses, all of which I’ve felt has provided me with a slower, more thoughtful way to see things.