Do you see your garden as a haven, a labour of love or a chore to keep on top of?

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Do you see your garden as a haven, a labour of love or a chore to keep on top of?

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Review of "Do you see your garden as a haven, a labour of love or a chore to keep on top of?"

published 09/03/2017 | elfbwillow
Member since : 07/02/2007
Reviews : 378
Members who trust : 72
About me :
Returned to see ciao has been lost :( so sad. Added a review before i realised. Let that be a parting gift. Where is everyone going now? So sad :(
Pro It is a mess
Cons My daughter makes memories
very helpful



Do you see your garden as a haven, a labour of love or a chore to keep on top of?

“What is a weed? A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson must be a man after my own heart, or at least follows the same wave length as me in the garden. You see, I am certainly no gardener despite my great grandparents, grandparents and parents all having green fingers. I would say that perhaps it is finally skipping a generation, though my sister seems to have developed the taste for gardening, so the only conclusion I can come up with is that I must be adopted!!

When I was a little ankle biter, barely bigger than the huge sunflower in my grandparents garden (which is possibly the reason these evil flowers scare me now as they watch your every move!), I used to spend hours playing among the other beautiful flowers in the garden, having teddy bear picnics among the beautifully tidy grass and skipping around the flourishing apple tree. My grandparents were always busy in their garden and took great pride in every inch of it. It was certainly a labour of love for both of them, and back then, it was for me too as I helped dig the weeds that my gramp taught me about, or watered the pretty flowers alongside my nan. I could spend hours and hours helping them out, never noticing the time go past. Unfortunately, both my grandparents have gone to sleep now, though I will always hold on to memories like that.

Back at my own home, my parents also spent hours in the garden. It was smaller than my grandparents and not so lavish, though it was still well kept and beautiful. Every weekend when the sun was shining, my parents would spend hours pruning the garden, though unlike my grandparents, me and my sister were never able to help. Perhaps this is how my dislike of gardening came from, for after my nan died when I was 16, my gramps health deteriorated and although he did attempt to build up his garden in his new bungalow, it never grew to the heights his old garden did. Perhaps part of his love for gardening died alongside my nan, which was such a shame, though these things do happen, especially if the memories are just too painful to continue.

So whilst my mum continued to perfect her garden, I grew further away from my old love of gardening, preferring to now spend time with friends, though I do admit, it was still lovely to return to the garden and eat dinner among the flowers in the beautiful sunshine. Yes, although I had strayed far from the love of gardening I had as a child, I could still appreciate the relaxation a beautiful garden offered, and still can, though unfortunately, I have not yet come a full circle.


I have heard this phrase many times, though I can not say that I see the truth in it, or maybe I can, maybe I am a master gardener without realising – if you call uncontrolled weeds, messy try-hard flower beds and rock gardens that become rock slides a master in gardening, if so, I am certainly the best!

When giving directions to my house, I often use the phrase 'just look for the messiest garden along the road' – and now that the old lady down the road has moved, this phrase has certainly become true. Both the front and back gardens have now become a natural wildlife area for any animals and birds which want to venture into the unknown...except, I think its even too much of a mess for them! My cat, at least, loves jumping among the long grass and sitting on the empty flower pots!

My garden is nothing like the almost magical garden of my grandparents (though my daughter says there is fairies living at the end of the garden in our half completed fairy village!), though this is certainly not through lack of trying. I have lived in this house for over 14 years now, and although it may not look like it, a lot of work has been done.

When I first moved in, there was a huge shed, only half standing, filled with rubble, rubbish, kitchen name it! It was a nightmare, and a huge job that I practically did single handed over the course of a couple of years – without a skip! The garden was also once a sloped garden, though the people before me who had lived there had decided to level it up in three levels, except for some unbeknown reason, (possibly because the shed was too full!) they raised the levels up with anything they could find. The amount of random things I have found over the years is unbelievable – half a saucepan, broken vases, broom handles, bike parts and so much more. The only thing I havent come across is treasure!

So, after many years of hard work and no real garden, I finally got it to a recognisable state. I had found a garden amongst the rubble! Though it still had a long, long way to go before I could really call it a garden – but when you are not born with green fingers, getting it to that state takes a lot longer. Over the years I have attempted to create numerous flower beds, rock gardens and potted plants. I have been luckier with the pots and some flowers have actually grown, well until my cat sits on them, though the flower beds have rarely produced anything worth mentioning. My lavender plant that a neighbour donated to me does grow strong, the only downfall is I hate the smell of lavender! Typical!

So, I did the best thing I could – I left it to nature...and to my now nine year old daughter. Remembering my happy memories of gardening with my grandparents, I wanted my daughter to experience something like that with me, yet not being green fingered, I knew it would not be the same – at least that was what I thought. It took me a while to realise that I did not need to be a professional gardener to share my own memories with my daughter and in turn, create our own. Yes, eventually I hope to have a garden I can be proud of, with a lovely patio area and home built BBQ for those summer days, surrounded by pretty flowers that actually grow more than five minutes, a shed that stands up alone and some lovely hanging baskets full to the brim, and maybe this summer we will get closer to that dream, but for now, the garden belongs completely to my daughter. She has her own vegetable patch, which to be honest, we have not had much luck with, and two strawberry plants which actually thrive each year due to her timely care – perhaps she has got the green fingers! She has a playhouse and a little den in the trees, her garden toys stored for when summer comes and a paddling pool waiting to be used again. She chalks on the half built patio area, has water fights with her friends in the summer, goes snail hunting and so much more. Of course, there are rules, though I am pretty laid back with the garden and my daughter has fun out there, which is what matters to me.

So, how do I see my garden?

If you look through my mums eyes, my garden is a mess that needs a lot of work and a whole bunch of new equipment and furniture. It is not a relaxing place, and she feels out of her comfort zone as it is nothing like her beautifully kept garden. She wants to get her hands dirty and tidy it up, and she would prefer more adult room in the garden than what we have.

If you look through my grandparents eyes, I am sure that they would want to help create a paradise garden, yet I know that they would be happy with my garden if I was happy with it.

If you look through my partners eyes, you would be planning ways to do the garden up, plans flowing in your mind of how to build that DIY BBQ I want, measurements floating about of patio slabs, and how on earth he is going to climb to the top of the massive hedge to trim it back. He would also probably be wondering what on earth I have planned for him to do out there next!

If you look through my cats eyes, you would see adventure. You would see hunting possibilities and a place to play in the long grass. You would see your territory, and no matter how messy it is, you would protect it.

If you look through my eyes, you would see the mess and want it sorted, yet you will be happy that you have a garden, no matter what the state, because many people do not have that.

And if you look through my daughters eyes, you will not see the mess, not see the failed attempts at growing flowers, or the work that needs doing. You will not care that the grass needs mowing, or the patio slabs are wonky. You will not see the over grown hedge or the weeds mummy thinks are pretty so keeps them around. You will not see the furniture that needs a new lease in life, or the half dug out flower bed that got left alone and over grew once more. You would not see any of this because you would see the fun that could be had. You would remember gardening with mummy, no matter how good it looked, you would remember playing with your friends, in the den, in the paddling pool, on your bikes, no matter whether the patio was finished. You would see adventure, wildlife, fun, happiness, and joy, for the world is a big place, but for now, in the safety of your own garden, you see the whole world, and that world is yours to make beautiful memories in.

So yes, my garden is a mess, and although I hope it will look better soon, none of this matters to me, for memories are still being made, precious and everlasting, and that beats any beautiful flowerbed any day.

Thank you for reading.

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Comments on this review

  • Chippytarka published 17/03/2017
    Lovely write upx
  • afy9mab published 16/03/2017
    Nicely done.
  • LiveMusicLoverLyn published 15/03/2017
    Lovely memories you have
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Product Information : Do you see your garden as a haven, a labour of love or a chore to keep on top of?

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Listed on Ciao since: 02/03/2017