When we bought and moved into our house eight and half years ago, the garden was already well established and the lawn lush and perfectly kept. And while it was neat and tidy and visually pleasing, gradually, changes were made here and there to make it more us. As we pulled out shrubs past their used-by date, straggly day-lilies and overgrown daisies, we began to have more of an idea of our vision. Old woody roses gave way to Double Delight and Iceberg varieties. A mish-mash of cottage style plants was replaced by a row of ornamental plums, lavender bushes and a Poinciana tree. An abundant but awkwardly placed herb garden was relocated and an adjacent sandy patch of yard turned into a sweet little vegetable plot.
For the past few years, there's been much waiting... waiting for things we'd planted to take off and to fill in gaps... to grow so that they looked as though they had been there all along... to look like what we'd envisaged from day one. Finally, after several years, lots of planning and much hard work, we're feeling closer to that point. As I hang out washing, I smile at the Cottonwood Hibiscus bushes which in under a year, are already peeking over our fence. While I am sipping a cup of tea at the kitchen table, I look proudly out the window at our lemon tree, the branches of which are currently weighed down with an abundance of fruit. I pull into our driveway greeted by a show of pink roses, with blooms bigger and brighter than any year to date.
Gradually, as well as changing visually, our garden has evolved to suit not only our taste, but also our needs. Nowadays, with two little ones running around, it has come to feel like another 'room' in our house. It is where sandcastles are built and 'cakes' are baked in the sand patch... where fairy gardens are tended to and imaginations run wild... where Asha is cuddled and shown affection. I love that I find garden gnomes hidden among the lettuce leaves in the vegetable patch and flowers poked optimistically into bare patches of earth in the hope they will grow. Paths are covered in chalk drawings. Balls and gumboots and watering cans lie on the lawn.
Our garden looks not only more established, but 'lived in' and enjoyed and much more like a family garden...