Over the winter months I hardly step foot into my back garden so every Spring after we've tidied up the balls my dog has chewed and cut back the overgrown bushes I dream of having a low maintenance garden.
I cut this picture out of Homes and Gardens (British Magazine) a few years ago and keep going back to it.
My garden is a similar shape and size (really small!!) and while I do love the look of a nice, well groomed lawn, when you have a golden retriever who can only 'perform' at home (seriously - he can go for a two hour walk in the forest but wait til he gets home to go to the toilet) I do worry about how hygienic a lawn is.
We actually already have a large patio area with slabs like these with a wall separating the patio and the lawn and then three steps in the middle going up to the lawn. When my kids were too young to play in the street or the forest the back garden was ideal. We have a large jungle gym which has been a magnet for all the kids in the street over the years. Now Seth and Lily are older they prefer to play in the street with the other kids or in a den they have all built just inside the forest gate.
I think it's time to move with the times. I love the fact that even though this garden doesn't have a lawn it's still very green. I also love that ther are various seating areas which would make it a good garden for entertaining and barbecues.
It's a big step digging out the whole lawn and it wouldn't be cheap either. I've a feeling my dog toilet may stay for a few more years and this picture will just get a bit more 'dog eared' with all my longing gazes!