Our previous home, which we'd lived in for a little over nineteen years, had had a postage stamp of a garden to the front and one the size of a rectangular postage stamp to the rear. Once established, I had enjoyed pottering about in them, because the relatively small amount of maintenance involved allowed me to devote the majority of my time to our two young sons. My husband's contribution to that garden had been to help me choose the plants for it and then to use it for the recreational purposes of reading or sunbathing. I was the keen, amateur gardener.
The area of our new plot was just under half an acre; the area which was to become our new garden, half that again. To say that my husband found the idea of helping to clear a quarter of an acre of weeds and rubble, using only a spade and a fork, quite daunting, was a bit of an understatement. But the idea of making not one, but two ponds left him speechless.
After a visit to the library we came home with an armful of information about how to "create a garden pond, the easy way". Meanwhile, armed with a length of washing line and a garden hose, I was dividing my time between laying out the shape of the ponds and trying to identify the kinds of lichen on the stane-dyke wall at the back of the house.