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Why on earth poet Alfred Lord Tennyson entreated Maud into his
garden some 150 years ago I haven't a clue. That the rest of us
should - and most will - be going into ours P.D.Q., I'm sure as
eggs are egg-shaped things you break to make an omelette, eggs
benedict or any other egg-based dish that tickles your fancy. For
while your eyes tell you we're deep in mid winter and should still
be knocking back the eggnog, a quick glance at the calendar will
reveal March has parked its butt at the breakfast bar and his best
buddy spring won't be far behind.
Those who like their homes' exterior to be as pleasant as they
are inside, or are even avid gardeners (calm down - that
was 'avid' not aphid) probably know, now is a good time to
fill those pots with dahlias, prune them sweet red roses and maybe
even to go tip-toeing slowly through the tulips! If this is you,
please feel free to install a water feature while we gently ease
the agoraphobics toward the back door.
Do you hate your garden? Do you long to have a compulsory
purchase order slapped on it so the whole sorry lot can be buried
beneath a four-lane motorway? Would you have paid to have this done
already if you weren't skint? In short, are you desperate for our
Good news! We can help. Just paint all your windows
black! However, we highly recommend a trip to your GP first, as you
may be suffering from a major depressive illness. Unless, that is,
you're a) a teenager, or b) a Goth, or c) both, in which case get
that black paint and go knock yourself out, everything is
That's the botanophobes sorted, next are those who want the
ultimate in low maintenance gardens without actually concreting
over everything. This one's just for you: What's the difference
between a decorative plant and a weed? Absolutely nothing.
Diddly-squat. Except if you like something, it's a flower. Hate it?
Then it's a weed.
The subject of weeds is entirely subjective. Hence you could do
absolutely nothing to your garden. Just let nature takes
its course. Then, if the neighbours or suchlike politely quiz you
as to its condition, front it out like this: "Oh the Meconopsis
cambrica (Welch Poppy). Yes, its yellow flower complements the
green Epilobium brunnescens (New Zealand Willowherb)
wonderfully! It's taken years to get my Tibetan Harmony Garden to
this condition, thanks for the complement. Now excuse me, it's time
for mid morning meditation." Marvellous, British eccentricity at
Still here? Then you must want an attractive, usable garden,
maybe with somewhere for kids to play in, have the odd barbie, a
patio/decking area with both sunny and shady spots etc. In
other words, we've reached the vast majority of people with
different needs, little knowledge and even less time to go fiddling
with hardy perennials in herbaceous borders.
The one thing you can be sure of, and should even make time for,
is good professional help without getting ripped off. Want some,
really? Well howdy-doody, that's what we want too!
Before calling anyone in, do some research. It's easy. Just type
'garden design' into your search engine of choice and you'll be
flooded with sites that help with ideas as to what you
really want. Type in your garden's, jot down some must haves (e.g.
BBQ etc.) and voila - your perfect garden! Then type in
your budget. Unfortunately, the site will reveal all you can afford
is a window box for Rover's kennel (only not an actual
Hell, what do websites know? At least we've got your budget now
and a clear idea of 'must haves'. More money that's now worth
spending is on your phone bill, calling some professionals
(preferably full service ones if patio doors, conservatories or
anything other than straight gardening are on your wish list), to
discuss your ideas, come up with a proposal and finally that all
It's now one recalls the words of 19th eccentric poet
T.E. Brown, who wrote: 'A garden is a lovesome thing, God wot!'
True Mr Brown, but: 'It's just a pity paying for it, He's not!'
The DU.IT wordsmith, 2010.
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