In my 20's and 30's I craved a larger garden - more space, more plants, more wildlife. Just more really! Now I have the garden I craved, it must be at least 5 times the size of my old town garden and guess what, I now reflect back to my smaller space with rose tinted spectacles and pine what I have lost.
As a working mother, garden designer and business manager for my husband's business my free time is very limited. So now my dream garden runs me ragged - the hedging, the pruning, the mowing and the wholesale weeding. Don't get me wrong I love my garden, but I think the wildlife have taken over at times (well most of the time) - the moles, the voles, the mice, the rats, the hornets, the bugs, the slugs and the ticks!
The moral of this tale, must be finding a balance between the garden we dream off and the amount of time we actually have to maintain it in good order. After nearly 10 years in my dreamed off paradise and I truly appreciate that there must be a balance between the garden we desire and the amount of energy we can put into keeping it beautiful. Kids love the wildness of the garden and don't care that it's a bit overgrown. I also have a bit of help every other week with the hedging and heavier jobs which makes a huge difference.
Like everything in life today, we are sold an image of how life or our gardens should be - one of airbrushed perfection - yet the reality, is that perfection often takes hours and hours of effort or expense. The right garden/life balance needs to balance at the tipping point of joy - you can enjoy your outdoor space without being a slave to it.
The garden/life balance - getting it right ......