Although I knew we would have ponds instead of lawns, one of the reasons being that I am affected badly by pollen, there was no great plan as such for the rest of the garden. Certainly, I remember drawing nothing more than a few rough sketches on paper as to how the overall appearance might look. Most of the ideas were still in my head waiting to be put into practice. It would be truer to say the garden evolved, partly due to the two mountains of soil which came from the excavation of the ponds.
The expanse still to be cultivated, the bulk of the garden in fact, was flat and boring, with nothing of interest to hold the eye. With the extra soil we now had, we would be able to create different shapes and build up raised island beds. We decided on a plan to keep the momentum going. My husband would fill two barrows with soil, which our elder son would wheel to where I was working, after which I would rake the contents into a shape.
Initially, with lots of energy and enthusiasm, we got off to a good start. But, after more than a few exhausting days, we came to the realisation that this whole procedure was going to take the best part of the Summer to complete. Frequent showers of rain often prevented us from making progress, as it made the soil heavier to work with. As a result there were days when all three of us slithered about as if we had slipped on banana skins.