Five summers ago I had to downsize – Big Time. I had lived alone in a four bedroom, three reception room house which was tied to my job. Not only was it a large house, it had a large garden which should have been a joy but it became a burden. Now I have retired I have a neat little bungalow with a nice little garden and it is a joy.
I have the help of a very energetic man, Jack, who does most of my gardening and quite a lot of jobs in the house. Like me, Jack isn’t getting any younger so we agreed that the best plan would be to create a garden which can become low maintenance. At the moment I grow annuals and vegetables (which is not low maintenance), but as I age and become more decrepit, perennials and shrubs will take their place.
However, at the moment it’s vegetables and bedding and I like to mix them. Jack doesn’t really approve of that: he likes veg in one place and flowers in another but tough, my garden and my rules. Anyway, what could be more glorious than an obelisk covered with runner beans or flowers and herbs growing next to the tomatoes. My hanging basket stand has strawberry plants and I grow potatoes in ornamental flower pots.
I like life to be like that - fun, mixed up, quirky. Retirement is a time of freedom from rules and expectations. It's time to enjoy the fruits of my labours. And I'm loving it!