When I think of my friends' gardens, the ones with children, I see that my reality is theirs' too. They have goalposts, swings, climbing frames, washing lines, bare patches on their lawns, bikes abadoned anywhere. And when I read about family homes and gardens I see none of this.
What I want to see is how ordinary families (those with ordinary budgets and not the services of garden designers on hand) manage to incorporate not a child-friendly space but a child loving one while keeping it looking reasonably good and eeking out a bit of area for an adult who loves to garden.
I've written about this before and Sharon Lovejoy, author of one of my favourite books, kindly commented that washing lines will feature in her latest book, which I plan on checking out.
article on creating family homes, and no, they weren't perfect in design but perfect for family life.
"Remember, your mini-Versailles, complete with topiary, nymph statuettes and colourful flowerbeds, will also have to accommodate the unstylish - trampoline, tyre swing, paddling pool, guinea-pig hutch and crumbling shed. Don't be precious."
Oh, music to my ears! Don't be precious indeed! Perhaps it's a result of the impending recession, but such a down-to-earth attitude is so refreshing.