I had high hopes for my new large garden. When we first arrived my inner gardener awoke and immediately started planning. Put some colourful plants in and make a Japanese garden in the corner next to my desk to start.
However, these plans disappeared after I took a closer look at the soil and lawn.
The soil is so compacted I've bent the fork, even though it's mostly sand. It's very poor quality. How anything can grow here, I don't know. The only thing that's growing well is the enormous tree in the centre of the lawn.
And therein lies the problem. The beautiful beech tree is so huge, it's sucking all the life from most of the garden. Lining the borders are conifers of different types which destroy the rest of the ground. Nothing will grow near them, either. We have completely bare patches everywhere. And no, we can't remove the trees - it's against the rules...
As for the lawn, well, that's a misnomer for a start. When we arrived here in April it was green, but mostly moss. We've had very little rain until the past couple of weeks so even the moss has died. The lawn is brown. Part of it is a complete dust bath of ants nests. Just past this desert is an interesting green patch near the end of the garden which is lushly filled with 'meadow flowers' aka weeds. And dog diorr diaho shit (see previous post for details... she's better now, by the way).
I've put in three plants: an acer near my Japanese stonework and a couple of buddleia. Not very interesting or unusual, but I'm reluctant to pay out too much in case the bitter winters kill them off.
However, the other members of my family have other ideas on how to fill up the garden and add colour to my vista... so far we have two vivid yellow plastic swings on the tree and a large green and blue trampoline that I've unsuccessfully tried to hide.
A quick glance out my window now as the twilight descends into night, I can see two pink and purple hula hoops, a turquoise and white baseball and a fluorescent orange and blue water bomb. Scattered elsewhere are brightly coloured tennis balls secreted away by the dog. Colourful, yes. But not quite what I was after. I spend a lot of time looking out of the window - especially when I have work to complete. I want it to be a happy, beautiful and inspiring scene...
Yesterday though, Tim and Rhiannon bought back the most hideous item of garden 'adornment' I've ever seen. An inflatable water-slide.
This monstrosity was bought back from an afternoon they spent with friends while I slaved away writing in an attempt to finish before the summer holidays.
Triumphantly it was dragged around to the patio where Tim attached the loud pump in order to inflate it. I was making dinner so didn't really register what was going on. Until I returned to the living room to find almost the entire width of the patio blocked by this multi-coloured eyesore.
Rhiannon was already in her swimming costume ready to try it out. She had time for two happy slides before dinner even though it's rather chilly here right now. I asked if it took long to inflate.
"No, not long, just a few minutes"
"Good, then deflate the thing and put it out of sight until the weather gets warmer, please."
They'd planned to leave it up in the garden... I think not.
After all, where would Kita catch her sunbeams then?