Well I’ve shown you my allotment so here are my gardens. Gardens I here you say, that sounds a bit fancy doesn’t it? I am lucky enough to have a front and back garden but neither are large by any stretch of the imagination. My front garden is about 5 metres by 3 metres , the back 5 metres by about 10. We moved here 4 years ago. Its our first garden and 8 years of garden frustration were unleashed. I used to watch Gardeners’ World with such envy. Although we did some gardening at the houses we rented it was never the same. Gardening is about investing time and spirit into a space and watching it change over the seasons. We were never quite sure that we would see the bulbs I was planting in the autumn flower in the Spring such was our nomadic lifestyle at the time.

Both gardens were laid to lawn and the back had a big patio and decking but neither had many plants. I love plants, taking inspiration from Carol Klein whose garden is stuffed with plants and not a blade of grass to be seen. In such small spaces as our gardens lawns seemed to be such a waste of space so out they came along with the decking.

The back garden - under construction

The biggest extravagance was having a reclaimed brick path put in but after a winter of walking across muddy grass to get to the shed and then having muddy kitchen floor we needed something. We liked the idea of using something reclaimed and hoped that it would look like it had been there for a while and not look new.

Just waiting for the plants

The back garden – summer 2011                      

I’ve tried to cram in as many plants as possible so there is a long season of interest. Its made a real difference to the wildlife in the garden. There was very little when we moved in but now we have lots of birds, bees, shield bugs, ladybirds, bush crickets and many more. It shows how important gardens can be for the environment and biodiversity.

Front garden under construction

goodbye lawn - hello plants