Comment: The pros and cons of a small garden

Small can be beautiful - not to mention low-maintenance

Small can be beautiful - not to mention low-maintenance - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

After what feels like years of downpours, cold snaps and general freezing misery, the weather has finally taken a turn for the better, meaning that for those of us blessed with a bit of outside space, we’ve been taking tentative steps into the garden.

Ours is very much a micro-garden, just big enough for patio furniture, a shed, a kids’ swing and slide combo and a small trampoline. In case I was under any illusions regarding its all-round amazingness, I’ve been on the receiving end of cold, hard truths from various visitors.

As a friend of my son said recently, “you’ve got a really small garden”. This was after he’d dissed the size of our house - also “small”, apparently. A friend of my daughter’s also noted: “Your trampoline’s small – mine’s much bigger.”

We have form when it comes to small garden ownership. A family member ‘joked’ when visiting one of our previous places that the lawn was so little you could trim it with nail scissors. How we all laughed!

While I’m not a garden size queen and found their comments amusing, they did make me question for the kerzillionth time our decision to live in one of the most expensive places in the country. Are my kids missing out by not having access to vast grounds and huge trampolines? Is this why my almost six-year-old still can’t ride a bike? Should we sell up and move to the wilds of nowhere and live mortgage-free for the rest of our lives? Erm, no.

Before buying our current small-gardened abode, we missed out on a property with a 200ft garden. We fell (briefly) in love with it and dreamed of our children bouncing on massive trampolines and cycling back and forth down the lawn. That now feels like a lucky escape. We struggle to maintain our mini lawn and the thought of coping with a massive one now fills us with dread.

Last weekend, our patio furniture was brought out of hibernation in seconds flat and, after a half-hearted wipe, the 7ft trampoline was also summer-ready. It only took about 10 minutes for my other half to get the jungle-like lawn under control, after many months of neglect. Honestly, I pity those with lawns so vast they need a ride-on mower! Well, not really – but I can see the positives in not having one.