I didn't begin to get interested in gardening until I hit my forties. My parents are both keen gardeners and I remember dragging my heels every time I had to visit the allotment with my Dad. At that point, I had no real appreciation for the outdoors since all I was interested in was having my head stuck in the latest book.
Even when I married in my late twenties and became the proud owner of a small but traditional town house here in the UK complete with a front and a back garden to enjoy, I still had no interest in it. At that point I was besotted with decorating and tearing down that hideous 1970's wallpaper and the cork floor tiles in the kitchen.
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In my thirties I got into bird watching and going on nature walks with my husband and a camera. This was the beginning of any interest in our very plain outdoor space. Suddenly, the plain grass lawn with a single cotoneaster shrub took on a new and significant meaning as I realized the potential for attracting birds and watching them from the kitchen window.
One thing led to another (as things often do) and I found myself adding in some bird feeders, then some bird baths, a small wildlife area in the back corner, a shrub here and there .... You probably get the picture.
Once I started to attract my first robin then some starlings, thrushes and especially goldfinches, I was well and truly hooked. It became all about developing the outdoor space as a place that would attract in local wildlife and become somewhere that we could relax and enjoy as a family.
A Gardener's Best Friend. The Robin, Britain's Most Loved Bird.
The garden is very much a work in progress. It probably looks very ordinary to anyone that visits but, to us, it's very special indeed. I love the fact that there is always something new to see every day. There are new jobs and tasks to do and the wildlife is slowly building up as we add in more items of interest.
Just today I spotted two frogs in the wild section. Occasionally we do get them despite not having a pond. But they have never taken up residence until now. This is the first year where I've seen them for more than just a single day. It could be because we have put a couple of shallow water containers out and kept them nicely topped up, that and the nice shady and long grass areas in the wild area may well be to their liking.
Back in 2009, Our Garden was Plain Lawn and Just One Cotoneaster Shrub!
Although it's covered in a blanket of snow, you can get an inkling of just how plain our back garden was back in 2009. It was mostly plain lawn with some gravel to one side, a few large stones near the bottom and a small cotoneaster shrub. That was it. Over the course of this blog, I'll be showing you how it is being transformed from this very plain and boring framework into somewhere that we can grow things to eat and enjoy the wildlife too.
I may be rather late to the game of gardening but I'm just so thankful and glad that I have got to experience the joys that creating your own slice of outdoors can bring. I hope you will enjoy following me on the rest of my journey. And I hope I get many more years to really enjoy it.
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