The garden as we first viewed it, in the estate agent’s particulars, had two obvious and immediate selling points: its wide open size and its impressive woodland backdrop.

Beyond that it appeared rather unloved and uninspired. The agent’s phone-photo successfully blurred out, or left out, the mountains of rubble and hardened, waste concrete along with an unnerving, potentially tetanus-inducing population of 6-inch rusty nail spikes.

Once the birds were fed, our immediate attention, upon purchase, a little over a year ago, was with the house itself. After the leaky roof and the like had been fixed and the cracked, split, internal Victorian doors had been Annie Sloaned, we focused our energies and resources on replacing the broken back fence and imparting solid, supporting structure to the four corners of the 600+ square metre/almost 7000 square foot plot, creating a better bounded, more enveloping and inward looking space.

Progress slowed to a practical standstill over the Summer months due to the uncomfortable, cumulative effects of increasingly hot, humid weather and a depletion of personal, physical energy after what had started to feel a lot like relentless hard work.

Now the cusp of Autumn is upon us – and with it altogether more tolerable daytime temperatures – I can enjoy being out in the garden again. Every part of this space remains a work in progress, of course, and – in actuality – will forever be so. Uninspiring, scratch-rendered and pebble-dashed walls need painting, the old privet hedge needs cutting, the lawn needs reseeding (again) and millions of species-specific, mercenary nematodes are due for delivery this month. Among the jobs requiring me to get my hands dirty this coming season is my absolute favourite of the entire gardening calendar: Spring bulb planting. This time last year, the garden was in no fit state to receive such treasures; this year, it can be assured of liberal, petal-propitious recompense. 🙂