“My name is Malcolm, I’m 37 years old and I live and work in Bristol. I grew up on a council estate in a small village in Wales, which was quite built up. The only area we had to play in was a small garden, which was more of a concrete courtyard. It was all I needed, though, along with my dog.
When I’d come home from school, I’d still be full of energy. With nowhere else to go, I’d play in the garden. It wasn’t anything magnificent, but it was ours. It was somewhere to go that was safe and enclosed.
A quiet corner
I need to have that moment of solitude. I certainly need something with a bit of green, not just a concrete jungle. Something closer to the countryside is absolutely vital to me. My garden is my number one stress release. I can come home from work in a terrible mood, and the garden allows me to unwind again before I can enjoy my evening.
My wife Robyn would probably say she does the majority of the gardening, and I’m not one to call her a liar, but she may be bending the truth somewhat there. I’ll see a job that needs doing, half finish it, then spot something else that needs doing, and half finish that as well. We’ve got a whole garden of half-finished jobs. But it’s mostly me that starts the jobs off, until my wife gets fed up and finishes them all for me.
Our garden is fairly small, but just about the right size for entertaining. We have a small patch of soil which we’ve tried and failed to grow fruit and vegetables in. As a result, we now use this space for a few flowers, and we have a small patch of lawn and a patio.
We don’t really have the time to fight weeds by hand, as we both work full time, so without glyphosate our garden would be completely overgrown. It’s a great time-saver and without it neither of us would be as happy to be out in the garden. It’s a great tool that allows to enjoy our outside space.
Weekends for entertaining
During the week I use the garden for relaxing or doing some work, when needed, but on the weekend I may have a barbecue with friends or just sit outside and enjoy a beer on my own. Obviously, we’re slightly restricted with the British weather, but in the summer I’m out in the garden all the time.
“We don’t really have the time to fight weeds by hand, as we both work full time, so without glyphosate our garden would be completely overgrown.”
Malcolm, Bristol, UK
My wife works from home, so she uses the garden for grabbing a few minutes to relax during the day, much like I do after work. My wife has her own company, called Burnt Soul, creating active clothing for exercise and festivals, and I think you can see her creative touch throughout the garden. Because she runs the business herself, Robyn is pretty busy most of the time. She’ll grab a few minutes for some fresh air when she can, though.
A tight social group
For me, the garden is primarily used to relax in. For my wife, it’s more the social aspect. I like the peace and quiet, where I can unwind after 10 hours at work.
We can fit around eight people in our garden, and we have a fairly tight social group, all of whom live within a stone’s throw. There are four other couples, so we normally bounce around each other’s houses and share the responsibility of hosting.
Having a garden is incredibly important to me, as I need that outside space. I’m indoors all day, with people hemmed in around me. There are huge amounts of data and information swimming around in my head all day, so when I get home I need to get outside and let my brain breathe. Being able to do that in a nice, well-maintained space makes all the difference.”