I had planned my garden for decades. When I retired I was going to live in my ancient, maybe 16th century, cottage with roses around the door and half a dozen cats, maybe a well and a couple of ghosts! When I put on my bonnet and shawl I knew what kind of garden I wanted.
A mass of colour, shape and form with narrow grassy winding paths, that wended their way through it all. Mysterious hidden spinneys, the soft gurgle of water, hidden somewhere in the undergrowth. A garden of dreams.
That is what I planned. Well plans sometimes come together but in my experience more often than not they don’t.
In my youth I had planned to live alone in my cottage. Just me and the cats. The solitary of you out there will understand this desire, most of you won’t. When it came time to plan a new garden. I had two dependents, my mother and my sister.
What I wanted was soft windy paths of grass and moss.
What I got was hard paving and straight lines.
Zimmer frames and wheel chairs had to be accommodated.
Blindness had to be accommodated.
It wasn’t going to be 'my garden' but 'our garden'.
What I had at the beginning was hard straight lines and no plants.
What I have now is a lush overgrown garden, the straight softened by plants overflowing. Hidden places behind trellis and shrub and water in abundance behind rustic fences.
We have roses higher than an unsuspecting face. Water away from the main paths. We have raised beds high enough to sit on and contemplate. We have all the favourite wildlife singing, rustling, squeaking, and silently moving through the undergrowth.
It is increasingly my garden again. My mother enjoyed it for 7 years, my sister never an avid gardener ventures out there less and less. I look around and see that in turning my garden into our garden I have in fact benefited myself. I too grow older; my feet increasingly feel the need of a hard surface beneath them. The sitting height of the beds put in for my mother to rest on, allow me as I age to do the same, and so much easier to weed when my back is aching than a ground level bed.
Maybe it is a little large to manage in the years to come, but I have always been a child of a garden with wild - ness built in, I shall just have a little more than that in my age I shall have a wilderness:)