Diary of a Reluctant Gardener

Perhaps resistance to change is written into the DNA of all reluctant gardeners – I certainly find it very difficult to contemplate hard pruning for example, even though I know that the trees, shrubs and lavender would benefit. I’m greedy too – I love the mass of showy irises that appear every year, so I don’t want the plot thinned and rhizomes removed. Yes, the plants will benefit from more space but I want more, more, more…

All of which leads me to the next big project, which I know will be an emotional roller-coaster of a journey!

We have a lawn, approximately 10m x 5m. I use the term ‘lawn’ in a very vague sense of the word; it is after all better described as a tapestry of weeds, clover and dandelions, all of which have combined to create a carpet of green. Sadly, grass is conspicuous by its absence. The rest of the garden is taken up with large flower borders and planting areas, and a garden kitchen.

Attempting to create a perfect green lawn is likely to end in failure, as the summers here in Valence sur Baïse are warm, dry, sunny and long – great for being here, but rather more challenging in the garden.

So, do we take up the grass (or at least some of it?). We would love to increase the potager space, as now that we offer evening meals, a “fork to fork” approach to growing would be great. There is something rather special about including home-grown produce to the menu, so vegetables, fruit and herbs are all on our wish list.

Also, we are wondering about keeping chickens to reduce food waste (and for our sanity, since chickens are just the most delightful creatures to share the garden with). And a new seating area would be lovely.

But can we fit all of that into 10mx5m space? And more importantly, can I bear to see so much change? Lots of conversations ahead – we’ll keep you posted.