by Gary on 4th April 2022 / 0 comments

Our place of peace and tranquillity

In the Garden of England

Okay, I'll get to that 'Garden of England' thing in a little while. This is my side of the gardening story that has led to 'Our Garden for You'.

Janis has covered most of it in 'The tales of a bumbling gardener', but like most stories, there are two sides to this tale; and why did we come up with 'Our Garden for You'? and why are we sharing it with you?

That start of Our Garden

She has an older sister you know?
In short, back in 2016, fed up with corporate life, commuting and fuelled by our love of travel, we focused on 'Our World for You', our travel blog.
A view of the Elizabethan Priest’s House with the planting of the Mediterranean themed Delos Garden at Sissinghurst Castle Garden
The Delos Garden at Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent
That was all great until the Covid-19 pandemic, and the world went into lockdown in 2020. Although we didn't travel, we still created content, and as restrictions lifted, we started to travel again. We focused on the near and then again a little further afield. Our World for You will continue.
That was all great until the Covid-19 pandemic, and the world went into lockdown in 2020. Although we didn't travel, we still created content, and as restrictions lifted, we started to travel again. We focused on the near and then again a little further afield. Our World for You will continue.

The health benefits of Gardening

and I really need the exercise
One of the lessons we learned during the lockdowns was the need to exercise. We are lucky to live in the beautiful county of Kent, known as the 'Garden of England', (see, I said I would get back to that), and we have some beautiful countryside to explore, so with our legally allowed exercise, we headed off to keep active.
A well-trodden dusty path through a cornfield in early spring.
Not to far from home

Now it is no lie to say my lifestyle is sedentary. For most of my working life, I have sat at a desk, driven to the office, and of an evening enjoyed a beer or maybe a vin rouge or two, (see, that's what all that travelling does for you), anyway that lifestyle and a touch of genetics means that I carry to much timber, and it's feeding my green fingers.

So during the winter of 2022, I decided I needed to get active again. So off on those country walks again? Actually, the garden really did need tackling, so why not combine both? And why not share our experience? Somebody must be interested? Hi Mum.

So, Our Garden for You was born.

Pinterest?

The Pin image for our post - 'What Our Garden means to me'
Why not Pin it for later?

The plan for 'Our Garden'

You mean I need a plan?

If you follow us along, you'll see we need a plan, not just a layout of the final garden; I use the words 'final' loosely, but where do we start.

Well, the garden always looks worse in winter, does it not? I suppose, but there's so much that needs to be done. So I'll have to focus on what is the most important.

A rotten, dilapidated wooden fence, with a pergola in the background
In need of work

If you step out of the rear of our house, there are two options, the drive and the patio. The patio is the first area you encounter, which will be one priority.

The view of our garden from the rear of the house will be through the conservatory (that will become part of the 'Our Garden' story over the coming weeks, months, years), so that view will need addressing. I cannot wait for that first cut of the lawn in 2022; it always makes the garden look better, or so I think.

The garden fork and trug on the lawn in front of the Rowan tree before starting work.
The lawn
Finally, there is the working area; the potting shed, tool store and a space for the composters. That is going to need some serious work. The potting shed requires an industrial spring clean. Now, a confession, we have been a little lax on keeping things under control; you can hardly see out of the potting shed for the ivy that has engulfed it - another priority.

What do I want from the garden?

Well, of course, many things

Firstly, I want it to keep both of us healthy as the years roll on. In case you didn't know we are in our early to mid-50s, and we have the time to enjoy our garden.

Then there is the wildlife. There be more about that later on, but we love travelling, which has a carbon footprint. I have always tried to offset that aspect of my lifestyle with the planting decisions in our garden. That will continue.

A frog hiding beneath a terracota pot in our wildlife pond
A resting frog
We want to be reminded of our travels. No, I am not putting in a sand dune at the back to remind me of Namibia, but sunflowers and lavande (deliberate spelt like that), for memories of Provence, and closer to home, those visits to the garden of fabulous National Trust homes.
A traditional stone windmill in Provence, France
The Moulin De Daudet in Fontvieille, Provence
I want us to sit back on the patio as a Spitfire flies past; they actually do; we are close to West Malling, home to a second world war airbase, and regularly see them from 'Fly a Spitfire' based out of Biggin Hill, all while enjoying a cold beer, come on; I deserve it, especially if I have spent a few hours in the garden.

What do you want from Our Garden

I am prepared for tumbleweed.
So why are you reading this? What do you want from us? We would love to hear from you, so please drop us a comment to tell us what you would like from us.

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