Expectation Vs. Reality

“Scale the shifting tower of coin and what awaits may change from the breathtaking vista of your expectations into terrifying vertigo.”

– Stewart Stafford

I generally try to be as optimistic as realistically possible (no pun intended). When I went to view this house in London, the advert boasted these photos of a gorgeous, albeit overgrown, garden with the promise of some amazing plants already thriving:

Immediately stepping out of the garden, I was greeted by an aged concrete patio which led onto raised beds lined by bricks on the sides which, after about 3 m, guided you into a lawn with untidy beds on the boundaries.
..Crossing the raised, brick-lined beds, the lawn and the untidy borders were quite a sight to behold with some exotic plants scattered in some common natives. If you were to turn around with the lawn and the scattered beds above behind you, you would look back at the entrance of the garden (the small white door to your left) as shown in the picture below:
A promising piece of work, I thought. This shall be fun, I thought.

When I went to view the house, I was stupid enough to not take photos. Probably because I had back to back viewings booked and had no time to waste. I couldn’t even step beyond the raised beds – it was that overgrown. This was back in November – exactly a year ago. The house had remained unoccupied for quite a while so I was re-assured that the garden would be ‘cleaned up’ before it was handed to us. Fair enough, I thought.

New house new garden?

I mean sure, technically it was a new house with a new garden. But did the garden have to really be new-new? We moved in roughly 2 months after the viewing. Due to some logistical issues, my husband went in first and sent me photos of the empty house and the garden, in excitement, saying everything had been beautifully cleaned up for us to move in. The house, sure. The garden – erm, let’s just say I was short of having a seizure when I saw what a good job had been done ‘cleaning up’ the garden:

As I said, as soon as I opened the door to the ‘garden,’ I was greeted by an aged patio which led to raised,brick-lined beds on each side followed by :
..the lawn area which had faint boundaries of where the previous borders used to be. Turn around 180 degrees to look back towards the entrance to the garden and you see:
The tiny white door to the left leading into the garden.

Here are some more detailed shots of various parts of the garden as we found it when we moved in:

Entrance into the garden, via this white door, was adorned by a passionflower vine which you can see on your left. Thankfully, this had not fallen victim to the radical clearance.
Raised bed on the left, in more detail.
Raised bed on the right. Ha…ha ha!
Lawn area immediately following the raised brick bed on the left.
What nightmare garden would be complete without bamboo? This clump was right at the beginning of the lawn, after the bed on the left.
And lastly, let’s not forget the garden furniture and the hose lying on the patio near the entrance.

To recap, here’s expectation vs. reality:

Jokes apart, I am thoroughly grateful to my agency for having organised the clear-out since the whole outdoor area was extremely overgrown. I do wish they had also removed the bamboo which soon became the bane of my existence. However, given that the garden looks the way it does now, I can’t complain. Instead, it has inspired me to start this website and continued to bring me joy beyond explanation everyday. I really cannot complain!

Yes, your assumption is correct. My homepage photo is what the garden has been transformed into:

This photo was taken in September – exactly 2 months ago. Of course, thing’s have slowed down in this green space as we are heading into winter. But, that doesn’t mean I’m not busy pottering around this beauty,planting bulbs and protecting the tender ones..

I will keep you posted about how we’ve come this far. Stay tuned and happy gardening!


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