When we moved into our house last November, we were so excited to finally have a garden… but then several things happened that meant I didn’t have the time or the ability to get out in the garden as often as I would have liked. It’s safe to say S has been disappointed by this, and I’ve promised her that next year, we will spend more time in our garden making the most of our outdoor space.

The good thing about having an outdoor space is that S is able to do all the messy things I don’t often let her do inside the house! She loves those painting sets that come on the front of kids’ magazines, but I hate them with a passion; they’re so messy and no matter how I set things up, paint always ends up on the carpet! 


We’ve had a garden for a year now, and the novelty has definitely not worn off! In the summer when we had the paddling pool up in the summer S practically lived in the garden; she would get out of the pool for long enough to eat her meals, and then get straight back in and begin splashing around.


My mum bought her a sand pit for her birthday too, which she’s enjoyed using as well. Often on a sunny day over the holidays we would move S’s table outside into the garden with her PlayDoh collection, or her Plasticine, or painting or other horribly messy things that just make me panic about the carpet in our rented home if she does them inside the house!

This year I’m thinking about getting a pop-up gazebo to go outside, so that S can spend more time outside having fun (and doing messy things). This way she can be outside for longer in the hot sun, but also when it’s raining. I realise this makes it sound like I just shut my daughter in the garden all day – but obviously I often sit out there with her. If I’m honest, the gazebo would probably be more for me than for her, since she doesn’t much care about getting rained on!

Vicky Charles

Vicky is a single mother, writer and card reader.

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