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Your Great Outdoors

My week in the garden this week has been one of absolute smiles. The rain poured and the sun shined on me and my mind wondered when would the man, or woman, with the remote control make up their minds on which setting they wanted the weather to remain.

But all of this is good and to use the title of last weeks article, there is a balancing act in there somewhere. It maybe one were one gets slightly sun burnt and equally saturated potentially the very next day, but it does balance itself out. Last years extremes of course putting all of my just typed theories to absolute shame.

But within the space of just seven days my apple trees have all burst into flower. Also in there it seems one can include my cherry trees and my peach trees. The place is literally blossoming and blooming. All though there is no great skill to scattering some seeds on top of a window box filled with compost, you can also throw in there the fact that my lettuce seeds have just germinated. And the roller coaster doesn’t stop there as my strawberries are producing their fresh foliage, my onions and garlic sets are flying it. This just to name but a few…

From an ornamentals perspective my Crataegus or Hawthorn have also burst into leaf and with that bringing birds chirping some sweet soul music. It is quite simply so pretty and amazing.

I know some, as I have said so many times, over the course of the last years have followed the trends of the cobble, to decking and now to the growing your own. Within that genre, as most landscape gardeners will tell you came a double underlined requirement for low and zero maintenance gardens. Something that baffles me now mildly, especially when you realise some of those gardens have quite recently become host to a variance of intensively farmed allotments and raised beds.

Yesterday I picked some tulips  from my front garden and popped them very simply in an old glass to brighten up the kitchen. I realised that no matter what season, even though parts my garden may look at worst slightly shambolic, to my eyes anyway, I have got some form of flower or foliage to adorn the house and brighten my and the families day – or at the very least just my own. Equally, I also will always have some form of fruit, vegetables and herbs on the go, but from a pretty looking something point of view, there is always something, somewhere to grab a bunch of to scent and admire indoors. There comes with that a sense of achievement when someone calls around and to borrow the cliché, stops to smell the roses. That because I have grown them myself.

In here the point I make is that if you are about to get the garden made over, be it in phases or stages to suit financially or for family reasons, do take in and include the bigger picture. Sure there is the checklist of sheds, washing lines and so on that must and will be considered, but there is something about a house that feels like a home. This at least in my opinion comes from the individual, collective or singular. For me there is nothing more warming than being invited into a family home where the fridge hosts a myriad of children’s drawings and postcards, homework and painting, knitting or whatever sits half done on the kitchen table. On the walls may well hang some nice pieces of art and next to it a photograph collection that in monetary terms is worthless, yet it means so much to those who see them every day. It is what makes us different. It is what makes another’s home intriguing. I like intrigue and personally whilst I’d love to live in a show house, I’m also honest and logic enough with myself to realise it wouldn’t stay like that for very long.

Equally I’m also aware that my garden plays host to two dogs that will not walk the line I wish them to and this before I get to the humans who insist that the rotary washing line must go here. Instead I realise I must embrace the eclectic mix of wants and needs from the garden. And between my green waste heap and the pile of logs that is so great from a biodiversity perspective I’m now of the belief that unless I install a great big ark, one with two of each animal on it of course I have included just about everything I can think of.

Last week, two halves of a morris minor left my home. These the former remnants of an old show garden. The engine-less car of course replaced a dead tree which I had painted red. I simply loved its silhouette. The red dead tree as a by the way was requested by a client and happily given away. That of course was previously a space reserved for a satellite that I had turned into a bird bath.

These garden features as you can gather are all things that any or all of us can quite easily lay our hands on and adapt to suit, but yet they are not the usual.

Personally, I’m looking forward to a time when, maybe just maybe, all of our gardens maybe become reflections of the people we are and real extensions of our homes.  I think that would nice. I know it would make me smile. It is in short quite simply amazing how simply one can make their great outdoors greater.

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