Well, things are progressing rapidly on the house-moving front: we’ve had our HIPs report done (what are they for, exactly?) and now we’ve had the details drawn up, so on my desk I have a leaflet all about our house as seen by others.
This has been something of an eye-opener. You get so used to complaining about this or that little niggle, and carping on about the stuff that you know needs doing but you haven’t got around to, that you forget that overall it’s not actually that bad. In fact, it’s quite nice, really.
This is particularly so with the garden. I know just how dreadful my garden is: after all, I’ve seen all those perfect gardens you go visit during summer, and I know what a good garden looks like. Not like my garden, that’s for sure.
Whenever I look at my garden, I see the borders near the house which don’t have as much winter structure as they should and are an odd shape which I’ve been meaning to change for years. Then the middle section is what can only be politely described as a “work in progress”: we’ve had an ongoing bonfire there for a while and that’s where all the piles of compost or sand or bricks have been dumped while we’ve been doing our bits of landscaping. The kids’ area, where the fishpond is, needs a bit of a weed-through and there’s a path to be put in.
The wildlife pond and exotic-ish garden are another work in progress: the intended boardwalk is still just planks on the ground. And the muddy chicken run with its half-pruned apple trees (a current project but temporarily kiboshed by the foul weather) is hardly a model fruit garden.
But get this. Someone comes round our house to see what we’ve got, and although admittedly they’re trying to sell the place, they can’t actually lie. And this is what they wrote about my garden.
The front is “landscaped with deep semi-circular well-stocked border” and “pretty beech hedging”. And as for the back: it’s “very substantial”, apparently, and those odd-shaped beds near the house are transformed into “formal gardens” with “well-stocked shrub and flower borders”. Our chicken-run apple trees are a “mini-orchard” and we have a “large timber shed”, “triple compost heap” and “mature trees”.
Blimey, I’d go and look at it myself if I read that lot. I don’t know whether to laugh at the triumph of estate-agent speak over reality, or wonder if my garden is, really, a bit nicer than I thought it was. For now I think I shall just allow myself to be very flattered.