The garden we ended up with is massive, not country house massive but it has a big patio, perfect for outdoor toys and a decent sized lawn for toddler football and general running around. It also has a decent sized shed to the side of the house for storage which is now water proof courtesy of my dad's willingness to brave thunderstorms in the name of attaching roofing felt.
But Euan and I will happily admit, we don't have a clue when it comes to actual gardening. I'm scarily efficient at ripping up weeds and cutting down overgrown foliage, but don't have much experience of planting and sustaining garden type things. I also don't know what's just nice to look at as opposed to nice to look at, low maintenance and not likely to kill Carmichael offspring who ingest it.
On the topic of ingesting, I've developed an odd pleasure in tracking down Dig For Victory information. There are a couple of books on the topic that pull together a lot of the wartime pamphlets and I have a burgeoning interest in using some of the garden as it would have been used under rationing. When I originally had the plan, I envisioned it taking up quarter of the garden, but since I'm currently incubating the second Hurricane Carmichael and may well not be able to string a sentence together in July or August, I'm reducing my plans to some carrots and onions and maybe some potatoes in the disused Belfast sinks that I've been eyeing up in my father-in-law's garden. He is generally bemused by my whims but seems to have decided that going along with them is the easiest course of action so I'm sure that when I ask, he'll not only bring them over but also give green-thumb tips, I'm very lucky that my in-laws are so supportive of my particular brand of crazy.
Over the winter everything has died back, so it looks like slightly less of a wilderness, but every time I sit down to have a meal with Sam, the garden quietly mocks me as if it's telling me it knows I'm clueless. This all came to a head on Sunday so I went out with pruning shears to have a quiet word with the horrendously overgrown shrub/tree/thing clogging up the top corner. I noticed the inside of the branches had turned black and the leaves were covered in brown patches so I went back to the shed for a hand saw (as my friend pointed out yesterday, this doesn't exactly qualify as light pregnancy exercise but the hormones were driving me on!).
Once the thing was reduced to a stump I realised it added up to maybe four trips to the recycling centre and that all of the other trees and plants now look worse by comparison. Nothing else for it, I announced to Euan that we needed a skip. I must have had a certain look in my eye because he just agreed straight away and poured me a Fanta (any Malcolm Tucker fans out there might get why I find that beverage so appealing). So, our skip arrives on Friday and the next couple of weekends are going to be an exercise in overgrowth reduction. And then, we're probably going to have to admit defeat and do what any reasonable non-self-respecting adult would do, we'll ask our dads what the heck to do with the garden.