Are Gardens Making a Comeback?

I am unsure about the title I've given this article, as for the majority of home owners, gardens never went "out of style". They are not a thing that goes in and out of style - they are a necessity! However, I uphold the title because there exists a smaller minority of home owners who overlook that little piece of green space at the back of their house. They pave over it, they build conservatories and extensions over what was a large part of their garden. It's THESE people who seem to be slowly realising the error of their ways; many are realising they didn't need the extension or the conservatory, and the "paved garden" (surely a contradiction in terms)...I mean, who EVER thought that was a good idea?

Nobody sits in a conservatory
There, I said it. OK, I'm exaggerating a little, but it's well known now that for much of the year, conservatories are either too hot or too cold to sit in. Yes, there are ways and means to maintain the temperature of such a living space, but I would venture the vast majority of conservatories do not have such temperature controls, and they become not so much a living space as just...a space.

I remember renting a large house with a conservatory. I would work in a room that had a view of the garden...well a view of the conservatory that had a view of the garden. It felt so wasteful that I couldn't fully utilise the conservatory - because it was for much of the year either too hot or cold. In the more temperate times of the year, I'd walk through the conservatory (short-cut from my office to the kitchen, it had its uses) and think "oh, it's pleasant in here! Maybe I should move my desk to here?" - but I'd change my mind - not worth the hassle. I knew that coming into summer or winter, I'd be moving my things back out in short order.

Do you really need an extension?
It's a misconception that extensions add value to your property. They often give the original rooms of your property less light, and your garden is often the area that loses space to the extension (many home buyers are looking for a decent sized garden and willing to pay for it). You lose vital SPACE around your property in the process of extending it, and remember all good designs utilise SPACE. That's why people love gardens so much - regardless of how well they're kept (or not), they all give you much needed SPACE and LIGHT.

Paved gardens are ugly
My titles are quite outspoken, aren't they? The idea behind paved gardens is that you don't need to maintain them. The slabs and brickwork don't need trimming back - they just sit there in perpetuity. There's not much more to say about paved gardens, except that they just look a patio that decided to occupy the entire garden space.

Surely, we all want a green space?
This leads us to the only acceptable way to utilise that garden space that originally came with the house - to leave it alone, or to reclaim it if you've built over it. There's no pomposity of snobbery about this - the point here is to keep a part of your property that's green and natural. I like to maintain my garden, while a friend of mine has a rather unkempt, overgrown garden. When I visit his house, I still enjoy sitting out on his overgrown lawn...why? Because it feels good, that's why. I like to listen to the sounds of nature - birdsong, the rustle of leaves in the wind, of buzzing bees. I love the irregular shapes of nature and the irregular shadows they make on the lawn. I love the sun shining through the branches and twigs of trees in the winter months. And so do the majority of home owners too.

If you've built and extension, a conservatory or paved over what was your lawn, maybe it's time to reclaim your garden!

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