It’s got to just about that time of the year where I start to look sadly out of my living room window and into my garden, with the air of someone looking at the shell of a burnt out house.
In the summer, I can just about get away with my garden because it looks FULL at least, and I can pretend I have let things become unruly on purpose, in a bid to create a magical, overgrown fairy garden. In the winter, this does not work. In the winter you can see the unpruned shape of things. You get a good view of the dead leaves accumulated throughout the autumn under the once full flowerbeds, and you see THE HOLES.
Oh the holes!
I should tell you that my garden has not always had this post-war trench vibe. A couple of years ago I took pride in my lawn, spent time tending to shrubs, and even spent actual money on a landscaper. You can see the transformation here from prison backyard to tropical paradise.
And then I got a dog. Hello Mako.
Here she is, looking like actual butter wouldn’t melt. What this photo doesn’t tell you though is that she is a GARDEN DESTROYER. This right here is a dog who will take a perfectly good lawn and dig and dig until it is a muddy mess. You will no longer be able to hang out the washing without fear of twisting an ankle, and heaven forbid it rains and the holes fill up, for then she will dig in the mud and trample it all through the house.
But what to do?
‘Nothing’ seems to be the answer. Nothing other than resign myself to a garden full of muddy holes. I’ve toyed with simply paving the whole thing – heading to Love Discount Vouchers and grabbing myself a simply paving discount code – but while I do like the idea of a patio garden, full of low maintenance tubs, sun loungers and possibly a cocktail waiter, there is a part of me that just couldn’t do that to Mako. I see the joy she gets from digging holes, and despite the fact that it makes my garden look like the abandoned site of a former mine, my love for her and my want for her to enjoy herself takes precedent.
I considered artificial turf, but I don’t think dogs are really meant to dig that up, plus you have to think of the worms, so here I am.
The only sensible solution seems to be to focus on the cocktails, even if I don’t yet have a waiter, and perhaps I can give the garden a fuzzy, magical glow after all.