Now that the snow has gone and spring is in the air I’ve begun to notice just how untidy my garden is beginning to look. I should explain that I have never considered myself a gardener, unlike my dad who kept a beautiful lawn and borders. I’m more of a ‘tidier’, a puller of weeds and dead bits. Yet there is something very special about a garden, which is often overlooked. It is a space in which we should feel safe almost, if you like, an extension of the inside of our home. Many people don’t have a garden or choose not to have this area of land that requires so much attention. This is a view I fully understand as I wait with some trepidation for the annual arrival of a sound that can send a shudder down the spine of many a lay gardener. Someone somewhere, not too far away, will be the first to ‘fire’ up a lawn mower. All over the borough of Corby there are mowers of all shapes and sizes cowering in the forgotten corners of sheds and garages just waiting for the inevitable. Yet, the funny thing is, we all seem to expect these amazing pieces of equipment to simply work on demand. Well, now is the time to have the lawn mower either serviced or replaced. I’m sometimes astounded at the durability of my own mower that I bought for a mere £40 four years ago. My lawn isn’t ‘crown-green’ and never will be. I like a lawn to be somewhere that can be used by the family without the fear that it may get damaged in some way. Although, I have to confess, that without weeds there probably wouldn’t be a lawn at all! Some of the plants or trees that are growing in gardens today are really quite amazing, certainly for this part of the world. Plants and trees that my dad, I’m sure, would have found either impossible to grow in the 60’s, or really funny. I’m talking about some of the exotic varieties like palms, Yucca’s, even Olive’s. Perhaps it’s got a lot to do with global warming or a desire to re create a vista that reminds us of some faraway holiday. Either way I like them because of their low maintenance and their evergreen qualities. As for the shed, well, what can I say? A separate little Wendy house full of stuff that only reminds me of my own lack of horticultural skills. Tools that I’ve never used but which might come in handy…one day, and most of which were bought at some garden centre or other at a time when the impulse-to-spend guard was down. Still, in my garden none of this matters as I continue to mow, tidy, pull and get rid of the ‘dead bits’.