I would hate for potential clients to see my back garden. The front is passably neat and tidy, although I do have to do something with the long bed bordering the driveway now that the drainage repair work is completed (more about that another day). The back garden is another kettle of fish entirely. It’s not tidy. It’s not even particularly well designed because I keep changing my mind about what I want (somehow it’s much easier pinning down a clients’ requirements than my own). But it’s perfect for me.
You see, for me, the garden is an escape. It’s a place for me to dig a bit, weed a bit and forget about everything else. So I always have an area ‘in progress’ that I can work on when I feel like it, there’s always a few winter casualties so I can have fun filling the gaps, the plants are always left to stand over winter so I can watch the goldfinches balance on the verbena, and the planting overall is quite ‘unstructured’ so that self-seeded plants don’t look out-of-place. In other words, my garden lets me do what I want when I want, but it isn’t so demanding that I HAVE to do anything when I don’t want to. (OK there is a lawn, which I hate, but the husband insisted on it and so it’s up to him to look after it!)
Right now it’s wet and windy and the last thing I want to do is garden maintenance, so I won’t. Two days ago the sun was shining – the first proper sunshine of the year – and I spent a relaxing hour cutting back some of the shrubs. I really enjoyed it, it wasn’t a chore and there was the satisfaction of a job well done. Gardens are intensely personal things. Don’t let anyone tell you how yours should look, just do what’s right for you and enjoy it.