Meanwhile, the front of the house was neglected and it certainly had no kerb appeal. The one redeeming feature was the ornamental cherry tree, though even that needed some tlc.
Eventually my husband started to lift some of the paving stones out there, and immediately hurt his back and had to stop. "Don't worry", he told me, "I'll get back to it." Three years later and I was in despair of ever getting the heavy work done so I could do some planting and make it look as though we cared about it. I had several times left messages for local gardeners and handymen but never got a call back or managed to even speak to anyone about getting a quote.
Then just over a week ago someone knocked on the door looking for that kind of work. First he pruned the cherry tree into a neat shape. Then he took up the old paving stones and dug out the wild bit beyond them. He filled in the tiny pond which had already been drained and was just a hole in the ground. He levelled it all off, leaving a little of the wild stuff around the tree as I requested, and added a low concrete boundary. The final job was putting down a membrane and topping it with shale. And last Friday I was left with this.
I am over the moon. Yesterday I took time off to go out to a garden centre and buy some bamboo edging to go around the tree area and some primrose plants. Hubby is going to build a trough to go under the window and hide the unsightly cable. In the meantime, I really hope I can manage to get out there this weekend and put primroses in the wall and the pot. That will do for a start.