One of the jobs that we wanted to achieve was to fence off our ponds. We managed to do this with one, but the other needs a rethink, with maybe a metal grid over the top to make it safe.
When we were house hunting six years ago, one of the criteria high on our wish list was to have a large garden. We were very lucky to find a house with a nice big plot and an extra piece of land at the end that many years ago, the homeowners along our road had been given the option to purchase. Luckily for us, the previous owner bought the piece of land allocated to our house AND our neighbour's. This extra bit of garden contains my vegetable plot, fruit trees and has been used for the odd football match. Separated by a hedge from the main garden and accessed via two narrow side paths, it has always felt exactly what it was - a bit added on. When we were fencing off the pond, I had the lightbulb moment that by removing a dead section of hedge and laying some turf, the two parts of the garden could be connected and made to feel as one. Almost as soon as I had thought it, my husband got to work doing it and ably assisted by a little worker, my vision was realised.
To make the most of opening the garden up, my husband somewhat impulsively purchased a Jungle Gym that would provide all sorts of play opportunities for the little ones. It was supplied as a box of fixings, colourful accessories and a big pile of planks and posts in different sizes that had to be pieced together. Thankfully, also supplied was a booklet of fairly comprehensive instructions.
It was wonderful watching my husband, my daughter and her boyfriend working as a team to turn the components into a fantastic construction.
If I had been consulted regarding the purchase, I would have probably said that it was maybe age inappropriate for my little ones - aimed at slightly older children. I am glad I was not consulted. Four year old Addy clambers up and down like a monkey and loves being "up in the trees". Dylan, not yet 2, pushes himself beyond the limit of what he has ever done before to climb up and although he still needs a reassuring hand when he comes down the slide, it won't be long before he is whizzing down independently. As he pulls himself up the little climbing wall feature, I smile to myself that this is exactly the sort of boy I want him to be - strong, capable, determined, not afraid of challenges.
The garden is coming together so well now. There are always hedges to trim, grass to mow, borders to weed, vegetables to tend.... but it gives us all pleasure in so many ways. Not least is how much I appreciate turning this:
|Rhurbarb Muffins - serve with a blob of creamy custard|