I love having a garden. I love the ever-changing colours of the flowers and blossom. I love being able to sit outside in it in summer. I love being able to look at it through the window in winter. I love that my kids have a place they can play in with their little cousins, where they can kick a ball round (although it usually goes over the wall). I love that my guinea pigs have somewhere they can run around (or usually just sit, to be honest) and eat the grass.
But I don’t love DOING the garden.
I don’t mind cutting the grass, as long as the weather isn’t too hot. But I really hate weeding. And we seem to have a lot of weeds.
We’ve done a lot to the garden over the years, and we’re still learning. We’ve planted a lot of things that have died. We did a massive redesign a few years ago, which made the layout much better. But still the weeds kept growing and the plants kept dying.
I love to see the patches of wildflowers in parks to encourage the bees. I wanted some in my own garden, for the colour, to hide the weeds and for the bees. So I thought I would plant some seeds. I found a suitable pack in Lidl – for 29p. They were described as ‘summer flowers’. So I spent a whole 58p and planted them in a particularly weed-filled area of the garden and watered them when I remembered. They took a while to grow, and there are definitely a few weeds in with them still.
But they look STUNNING. There are a lot of different types of flower and a lot of different colours, including yellow, orange, pink and red. I cannot believe that I got that many flowers for 58p. And my whole family is very impressed at my gardening ‘skills’, something nobody would have attributed to me before.
Apart from that, my husband has taken on some weeding duties. It turns out using a hoe is much quicker than using a small fork, so that’s a win. And we’re gradually learning which plants survive and which ones we like to see every year. We look at other people’s gardens for inspiration. My husband has even been watching a few gardening programmes on TV.
The clematis that was planted before we moved in looks amazing every spring. So we have planted another one. We’ve planted yet another hydrangea, because the colours are beautiful and they also spread and cover up lots of area that would otherwise be filled with weeds. We’ve planted more lavender – because they spread too and they’re also good for the bees.
I don’t know if it’s because we’re getting old or because the kids are less demanding (apart from endless requirements for lifts), but we are spending a lot more time on the garden. Everything is getting watered regularly, so is less likely to die.
It’s taken over five years, but I think this time we many finally have learned to love our garden. And learned how to keep it alive and (relatively) short of weeds.
Do you love gardening or hate it?