Thursday, 24 May 2012

Share your garden?

Our neighbour is having problems selling her mid terraced property; feedback from the selling agent has been that potential buyers don’t not mind the small bedrooms but they have problems with the shared access to the rears of the properties! I personally haven’t a problem with this aspect of my property, and worry about those that do.

I think that having a shared access encourages neighbourliness and helps to create a sense of community.  (Obviously I have been lucky to have had good neighbours who I like and who respect my privacy. I’m not so sure that I would be of the same view if I had the neighbours from hell!)

My elderly neighbour, two doors down – but only a hop, skip and a jump away at the back of the house, regularly puts her guinea pig on my lawn for exercise and to eat the grass. She fetches in my washing when it rains and we regularly swap gardening tips and exchange plants. All this would be very difficult if it were not our common shared access.

Way back in the mists of time, a gentleman who had previously owned our house built a wall at the bottom of the garden leaving a gap to access the adjoining property. This was done with the sole intention of aiding a blossoming relationship with the lady of house on the next road! He eventually married her but would this have happened if he had to walk around the block?!

As a garden designer, I have created quite a few gardens where access to adjoining gardens is crucial to the client and the new design, whether it is a garden gate or a hole in the hedge left for children to squeeze through. I am glad some people still think along the same lines as me and I think that the world is a better place for it!

Let’s also not forget that at a slightly smaller scale, it’s equally important that the natural visitors to our gardens, such as hedgehogs, are able to use ‘wildlife corridors’ or links between adjoining gardens. Gaps in hedges and holes in fences encourage all manner of creatures to extend their territories and enjoy more diverse surroundings, turning our garden spaces into mini nature reserves! Click link for more information

So are we all too keen to put up barriers and keep ourselves to ourselves? Why are we so precious about our small plots of land remaining oh so private? 

By the way, my neighbour has popped round just to show off my garden to her friend as she thinks it looks lovely at the moment!

Author Melanie Smith - Gardenplan Design 

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