Living in town means that we don't have a garden, we have a small yard and are on a very long allotment waiting list. At times this can feel really difficult but we've come to realise how lucky we are because we have several parks in town and we can walk down to the beach (admittedly not one of Cornwall's most beautiful beaches but sea and sand none the less). We also have a special place to go and look at nature...these are marshes nearby that are looked after by Cornwall Wildlife Trust, we can walk or bike there, depending on our mood and we try to get there three or four times a week.
We draw, photograph, take notes, sit and drift, observe, birdwatch, notice the changing seasons and walk. It really is a beautiful place and has helped us to realise that we don't have to own a piece of nature to experience it fully.
Not having a garden means we can't just throw the children outside alone so we have to make time to go with them into nature no matter how busy our day might be. I'm very aware of all the nature time we adults would have missed if we had a garden, I really think we have benefitted from what seemed to be a huge problem when we first moved here.
I'm not saying there aren't days when I wish that I could just say 'go play in the garden' while I get on with my sewing in peace and sometimes I don't want to go and get cold or wet when the children do! But, when I've put a bit of effort into going outside I always appreciate it, and we can always come home to hot chocolate. What I love most about this place is that I know we wouldn't visit it nearly so often if we had a garden, but we would be hard pushed to have a garden as amazing as this. Perhaps we put to much emphasis on owning our own space, perhaps it would be better if we supported people like the wildlife trusts and the rspb in creating and maintaining places like this that we can all enjoy.