Mary sat on her sunset bench enjoying the last of the day’s warmth and the quiet of the evening. Her husband Bill, had been buzzing around all day asking one question after another. Should he put the train set up in the garden? Where was the bird food kept? Would they want to pick some tomatoes? His enthusiasm was seemingly unstoppable. While fielding his questions, she’d systematically tackled several batches of baking. Tomorrow their daughter Lucy, and her family were coming to visit.
With hundreds of miles between them, they didn’t get to see as much of Lucy’s tribe as they’d like, so they wanted to make the most of their time together. Lucy’s husband Tom worked away a lot and their children were still very young. Jake was five and little Ella was just two. Bill liked to have a banter with Tom, but most of all he liked messing about in the garden with his grandchildren. The weather was set to be warm and sunny for the next few days and Mary was excited about spending time with her family.
When they’d first decided to re-design their garden they wanted to incorporate some interest for their grandchildren. They didn’t however, want to fill it with plastic toys that the little ones would grow out of all too quickly. Their Garden Designer suggested taking a more naturalist approach, by creating a wild area at the end of the garden where the children could play, get muddy, build things and pick flowers. They could have tunnels or a secret hideaway and include elements that would encourage wildlife, to further peek the children’s interest. Mary and Bill loved the idea especially as they would enjoy seeing more wildlife as well.
The end of their garden was already populated with several fruit trees, so they’d under-planted with wild flowers and bulbs for low maintenance. Bill had set to work making bird boxes and ladybird shelters to fix to the trees. Mary remembered fondly back to the last visit when Ella had toddled around the cornflowers and poppies trying to catch a hover fly. She never caught the fly but took such delight in presenting her Gran with the bunch of flowers she’d picked on her journey. Jake had been fascinated by the pine cone he’d found and they’d spent a happy hour turning it into a pine cone dog.
According to Bill, tomorrow was the day that young Jake was going to be introduced to the art of den building. Earlier that morning Bill had stumbled into the kitchen with armfuls of willow sticks, just after she’d swept the floor. Mary had to chuckle though; Jake had probably built dens before but he would enjoy helping his Grandpa and it would keep Bill out of any other mischief for a while.
Mary figured it was time to go in and see if Bill had run out of questions and found all the toys he thought necessary for the visit. She wondered if she could get him to chill out for a while before tomorrow. It was going to be a busy few days.
Do you want to find out more about what changes Mary and Bill have made to their garden? To find out what other mischief Bill's been up to click here.
There's more in the series coming soon. You can subscribe or follow me on Facebook or Twitter.