Do you use the garden now?

That’s the first question on the questionnaire, and even something as simple has caused some people to ask for clarification about what is meant by ‘use’.

So maybe it should read How do you use the garden now?

For some residents the answer will be quite simply that they don’t.
Cherry blossom
Others keep their bikes and cars there. Some residents like to sunbathe, have barbecues, read. A few of us like to grow things, to plant seeds, to water them and watch them germinate.

We hang our washing on the lines, admire the cherry blossom, pull weeds from the flowerbeds, study the industrial architecture of the walls, watch the birds, the insects, take photographs.

Industrial heritage

Industrial heritage

Some of us clear up rubbish, both things that have blown in from the neighbouring streets, and items wrongly placed in the garden waste and recycling bins.

We walk through it on our way to the bus stop, chat with our neighbours, enjoy the changing seasons.

So how do you use the garden now? Or don’t you? And if you don’t, what stops you from using it?

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8 Responses to Do you use the garden now?

  1. evasajovic says:

    That’s a good question! Thank you. I think for me it is related to what is ‘permitted’ in the context of using it with kids. I know that Izaak would love it but would use it as a football or cricket ground, which might be disruptive. But this is a great opportunity to pose the question.
    Thank you.

  2. Ricardo says:

    In simple straightforward terms:
    – Bicycle storage, barbecues, sit down and relax with a good book and a drink when its warm and sunny, growing up some plants (currently strawberries, possibly later also chili-peppers & small tomatoes), picking up and eating cherries and the fruits from the bits of the neighbor’s strawberry tree that use to poke into our side of the garden near the car entrance.

    Also, since I’m in the ground floor and near the greenest bits, I also enjoy looking at it from the window, observing the birds doing silly ‘birdy’ things and the neighborhood cat taking an afternoon nap on the chairs we have outside.

  3. libbylocke says:

    I like to sit on the grass with a picnic rug and sunbathe in the summer months, I would love to have a Mediterranean Feel – with lots of clean crisp colours and lines, a water feature or a hot tub would be amazing…
    My friend has a garden pod in her garden and its great for storing lovely colourful bean bags in the winter months and has a little fridge and toilet – so we don’t need to pop back inside if you need to pop to toilet or get a cool drink

  4. Twenty-One says:

    The way I use the garden now:
    to dry my washing there
    to grow tomatoes, vegetable, herbs and flowers
    I clear litter
    to play with the cat
    to keep my car and my bike
    to relax – gardening, taking photographs, watering; socialising with friends, occasionally sitting and reading, feeding the birds and watching them, enjoying the changing seasons

    I think those are the main things.

  5. Elly says:

    I love the little garden- Ben and I use it more for bike storage and maintainence rather than gardening.

  6. Twenty-One says:

    I forgot about the second part of the question. I do not sunbathe, but I should sit in the garden more if it were differently arranged. The collection of garden furniture sitting in the car parking spaces belonging to flats 1,2 and 3 always looks to me like a badly managed pub garden and very uninviting. Who would choose to sit in a car space when they can sit on grass? Also, if anyone else is already outside it feels as though I am invading their privacy when I go out. Several years ago when Gabrielle and I canvassed residents this was a recurring theme, and we came up with a gardens within garden idea, so that residents could go out and enjoy spots which were less open and more private. I need to dig those notes out.

  7. JK says:

    Thanks for setting the questionnaire!

    I mainly use the garden for laundry in the summer and for looking at rather than gardening. Sitting / eating out is a nice thing to do but the chairs are located pretty close to the flats that I feel that I may disturb our neighbours. Following the comment above from twenty-one, I have been wondering if we could have our own parking space back (flats 1 – 3), and it would be ideal if more private spots can be arranged for everyone to enjoy the garden.

    Also, not to forget our lovely cherry tree, it gives a good view from my flat and also good cherries. 🙂

    • Twenty-One says:

      Re seating and your parking space, that should be easy to achieve and cost nothing. We could distribute the chairs around the garden, making a start on more private spots.

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