Dr John Smith: Garden has changed as life has changed

Dr John Smith's garden is open on Sunday, June 15, as part of the National Gardens Scheme
Dr John Smith's garden is open on Sunday, June 15, as part of the National Gardens Scheme

We moved to our present home in 1981.

At the back was a large lawn, some rose beds and a tree or two.

It was ideal for our young family and it was one of the reasons why we liked the place so much.

Beyond the back hedge stretched fields for as far as the eye could see. It was idyllic.

Time passed, the children grew and left home. The garden began to seem dull and boring and I grew restless with it.

Over a few months our garden was transformed, much of the lawn was dug up and in came box hedges, a herb garden, large borders with perennials and shrubs.

Later trees were added, a greenhouse, then a summer house, more trees and what I fancifully call my “reading shed”.

A place to sit and read, to think and write.

More time has passed and if the previous owners returned they would not recognise anything. I hope they might find it a peaceful place.

In no way is the garden finished, there is always work to be done, new ideas to explore and mistakes to make.

Above all it reflects the story of our lives. Finding a place to build a nest, safe and secure enough for our family to grow and enjoy life.

We did just that.

When the children left we were able to take stock and change. I moved from general practice to palliative medicine and the hospice, my wife trained as a health visitor.

Life was redesigned if you like.

Nothing is straightforward and just as we made mistakes in the garden we made our own mistakes too.

Life is not exactly a garden, but it’s pretty close.

If you would like to see our garden it is open under the National Gardens Scheme on Sunday, June 15, 2pm to 5pm at 34 Poplars Farm Road.

The admission charge (£3, sorry) goes to Help the Hospices and Marie Curie among other charities.