A tidy, well organised back garden with seating area.

What am I going to do with all that space?

Have you small children in your house and are not sure what to do with the garden? Are those goal posts in the garden taking up lots of space? Have you got all lawn and not much else in the garden.  Maybe your just not sure where to start?

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be offering ideas on helping you to plan out your space. The plan is a starting point and will likely evolve over time as you develop your garden.  People tend to make ongoing changes as their tastes evolve.  Indeed, as your children grow, your garden grows and the requirements of the garden space changes. At the start, there’s no point in putting in lots of delicate flowers that your kids are likely to trample on.  You want hardy, robust plants that will stand up to a little abuse, but you also want it to look like a space that’s to be enjoyed, is attractive and pleasing to the eye.

One of the first things that you want to decide on, is where to locate a patio or seating area.  Do you like to entertain during the summer months? Have a family barbeque? Sit out with a glass of wine or cup of tea in the evenings? What are you going to use the space for? If it’s for eating then it’s best if it’s somewhere close to the house where you don’t have to trek up and down the garden every time you’ve forgotten the ketchup? I would recommend that you grab a chair and a cuppa and sit down where you think you’d like to have your patio.  Is it really sunny – ok, it’s not sunny today, but does it get full sun? What about during the evening? Is it windy? The last thing you want to do is spend money on a patio, sit down to your bbq and realise that the wind is howling through and you can’t enjoy the space.

Is there anywhere else in the garden that you want to have a seat.  I have a little corner marked out for myself that I’d like to have a seat in. There’s nothing planted there right now, it’s surrounded by a hedge but I’d really like to put a seat in that corner.  It’s really peaceful, it gets sunshine during the day.  I’d like it to be a little hidden so that if there’s anyone else in the garden they might not see me (ok, fine, it’s a place to hide from the kids!).  Do you have a place in mind for yourself. Some people, like to have a small table and chairs further down the garden, not to eat in really, but sit down with a cuppa – I’d be happy with just  a bench. If there is somewhere that you’d like, again bring out a chair, sit there for a little while.  Can you hear lots of traffic, some might not mind the noise but for others it’s too much of a distraction and they want to be able to hear the birds chirping.

I’d highly recommend bringing out a chair for a few days, try out a few different parts of the garden that you think you might like to have a seat.  Close your eyes and imagine what you would like to surround yourself with – evergreens, ferns, flowers coming up in Spring, daffodils, tulips, or lavenders that are really scented during the summer.  Gardening is really personal, it’s your space, to sit back and enjoy with your husband, wife, family or friends.  It’s something to be enjoyed and treasured, it’s a journey. Happy Gardening, Lynda

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