Here's a look of what we have to tackle in our back garden. Heavy, clay soil with a fill best described as treacherous shards of glass and rusty metal. I am forever pulling bits out of the ground and remonstrating with the kids: "See, that's why dad and I keep telling you to put your shoes on!" The clay pan effect isn't one we're keen on continuing and I think a long term garden plan is the best way to approach the situation. By doing this, we are defining our play, living and loafing spaces and will build up the soil accordingly. We moved the trampoline to this area in the foreground today. Rather than fight to establish lawn underneath it and have to move it for mowing, we've decided to designate it a soft fall area instead.
Looking back towards the house there will be lawn in the foreground, then we will bring a compact crushed gravel 2 metres out from the house, forming a path and bike track. We'll continue the gravel down the right-hand side of the house. Here, we are still debating the merits of a pergola versus a courtyard with seasonal shade. We have such delicious light coming in to our living area that I am loathe to jeopardise it. I'm trying to convince Joe to give me a couple of years to experiment first with summer shading before we commit to a fixed structure.
Here is Jono happily blowing his lips together in a put-putting noise, motoring his trike around the garden. He's not fussed with the lack of lawn and niceties, rather just happy to be outside and on the go! Joe and I are so enjoying starting to use our garden now the fences are up. We have just been laughing at how happy we are to be fenced in - yes, the very opposite of 'don't fence me in'! We've had another lovely afternoon outside, pruning dead wood from the apricot tree and head high, eye-poking out branches so we can put our picnic table underneath, whilst the kids played in wading pools... summer bliss!