We love a bit of gardening. I like flowers that smell sweet & musky in the evening, pretty cottage borders and herbs arranged in geometric patterns. Steve likes anything edible and has little interest in the aesthetics of the thing. Rosie likes her little watering can and picking daisies and stones. In all, we're quite the team.
Our last garden was entirely paved (although we lifted a couple of slabs to make room for more veg). Pretty much everything grew in tubs. It was about 20ft long by 10 ft wide. Very compact and bijoux Mostin.
We now have something on an altogether different scale:
One formal, gravelled front garden with box and lavender hedges, several very old trees (some kind of cherry, I think, possibly a hawthorn, a holly and what might be a cypress). Two huge borders stocked with innumerable unidentified plants and a very dark, dank corner that contains an old Christmas tree, one of those old garden rollers they use on bowling greens (rusted to pieces) and other random rubbish covered in about a billion snails. There's also a charming wrought iron gate that doesn't close terribly well and, right next to the path, a very poorly standard bay tree whose bark got eaten by something - we don't think she's going to pull through, sadly.
Sauntering round the side of the house, we come to the pile of turf that was previously in the front garden and has rotted down into the most amazing compost. Unfortunately, it's been left for so long that a great big bramble has taken over the top and a small mammal or two has taken up residence inside. Hopefully they'll relocate, Watership Down-style as we gradually dig away their home.
We then come to the patio. This is almost exactly the same size as our entire old garden. It is now housing all the plants we transported from London (until we work out where to plant them) and is surrounded by a rampaging and slightly eccentric herb garden: many kinds of thyme, lots of dill and fennel (I hate aniseed and feel faintly nauseous even pruning the stuff) and some rhubarb.
There's a summer house/shed thing, which is looking a bit sad but might do for a Wendy House for Rosie with a lick of paint. At the moment we're keeping pots and seed trays in there. Next to that is the hot tub. Yes, a hot tub. Apparently, it's out of commission due to faulty 'lower controls' but that should be a bit of fun come the summer...
We have a huge veg patch, which Steve dug over during the Bank Holiday weekend. We've already planted loads but barely half filled it. Next to the veg patch is yet more rhubarb and some fruit bushes: currants and possibly a gooseberry. Further round are some very old and ivy-ridden damson trees. Also here is our pallet compost heap (thanks Gardeners World!), which we've very nearly filled already, decorated with the dogwood prunings from the front garden.
Then down the final side, we have a very big fence (from where the cottage next door was separated from the main house), which is crying out for some planting to soften it up a bit.
Finally, we have the lawn, approximately 26 metres square. The last people very kindly left their ride-on mower, which Steve is enjoying immensely.
I have some squared paper and a notebook of measurements and am trying to come up with a plan, but it's all so incredibly BIG. We got so cunning at making the most of a tiny space that, now we've got so much, I don't really know where to start...