It is also fast becoming my favourite view in the world. Intimate garden views with sheds, green houses and washing lines give way to fields of grass and cows, hedgerows and ponds which in turn give way to distant blued hills melting into blue sky dotted with clouds - on a good day; on a wet day we get tones of grey with interspersed rainclouds of violet and slate looming over horizon. all, however, beautiful in their way.
The hawthorn blossoms have been stupendous this year with the local hedgerows looking like the most fairytale of bridal sprays, absolutely dripping with petals, turning the countryside into a symphony of white and spring green. And the scent - it makes just breathing seem like the greatest treat at this time of year and as I step off the train I take in a huge lungful of air and the scent of blossom and green growing things just overwhelms me, letting me know I'm back home again.
The garden is also taking shape. We've got the flower beds sorted, whilst Jean-Luc has been building and assembling, I've been indulging in manual labour and digging over the beds, digging out dead tree roots ad planting up ferns and assorted annuals. It's not looking too bad. I'm now playing the gardener game of waiting until next summer when they have established a bit more and look less like islands of green and more like a flowing border of colour and texture or at least that's what I hope for.
It looks a bit suburban with its edges and neatly mown grass but that's a compromise with Jean-Luc's passion for tidiness; I'm hoping that as the plants develop we'll get some softer edges and sweet disorder will creep in, if not everywhere then in enough places to meet my desire for a wilder garden. To be honest if it were up to me it would be huge borders, small wildflower meadow dotted with orchard trees and no lawn; but the art of a happy relationship is compromise and so we both do so.
The big golden conifer on the left is an important landmark; firstly it's the Nu's preferred shelter from both rain and sun and secondly, it marks the start of the veggie growing part of the garden. The plan is that from there down to the paving in front of the summer house will be raised veg beds, fruit bushes, comfrey, and a compost heap; separated from the first part of the garden by a trellis up which my Fuggle hop will grow. that's the plan anyway. Obviously we won't get the beds in for the growing season this year as we had to get the greenhouse in before anything else could be built; so this year it's be chard and a few other things in pots; and of course, our stupendous harvest of tomatoes.
(note the wild garlic in front of the shady 'woodland' border - yum)
I'm determined that next year we'll be growing a good selection of veggies for us to eat. I don't aim to provide everything we'll eat but I would like to provide fresh seasonal veggies that the supermarkets don't appear to be able to. Rainbow chard, fresh beetroot, beans, peas, courgettes, spinach, kales, peppers, tomatoes and chillies to name but a few. I want to experiment and see what survives and thrives; I know there'll be disappointments but I can't wait to try.