Having received a formal diagnosis of Autism after a lengthy waiting time I thought I’d share my experience and how gardening has helped me develop coping strategies. This diagnosis has been a shock and a relief in equal measure. As I’ve opened up about it to a few people on this journey I’ve literally had every reaction: acceptance, obliviousness, denial. I must have become an expert at masking and avoidance. From a young age growing up in the ‘80s/‘90s I struggled with social anxiety, depression, and self-harm. I remember secondary school in all its painful detail. I avoided playtime by wandering the corridors or finding an empty classroom to sit in. I dreaded PE lessons if you can call that car-crash a learning experience. I was not really listening in class, not being educated, not having my well-being checked, not interested. I can still name all of my bullies 30 years on. I always felt like I was on the peripheral of life looking in. Not quite connecting w
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Having had a break from writing on these pages, I felt it was as good a time as any to return with transformative news, both in reinstating the original name of this blog 'SuburbanGaze' but also of the outside space. Over the summer months of lockdown I began researched ideas around renewing the patio. We had spent so much time concentrating on plants and nature that we had forgotten our own basic needs. So many options to choose from, so many trawls through Google images to find inspiration. I knew we needed a large flat area with a built in pergola for shade but all off-the-shelf models lacked the bold clean and dark masculine straight lines that I was looking for. I realised quickly that our needs were not catered for and I would need to design something from scratch. So the process began, like so much in the outside space a lot of thought and planning has gone into it. The problem: A hideous eighties patio, hiding a revolting fifties concrete patio beneath with an en
Its always good to have a bit of a change, I guess life is a journey and we all move through different periods. For now for me, everything shall be black with a splash of orange. Have began by using some garden paint to coat the bird-boxes for a sheltered spot behind the potting shed, also painted black. The bird-table has also been coated having been natural, cream, blue... The potting shed has also been transformed in the same colour, I love how this colour makes the boundaries and building disappear into the background. All the plants appear front and centre the colour popping. With new robust fences installed the garden has never been better for us. And that splash or orange has been delivered in a spray-paint coat of the former white garden furniture and a new garden sofa in the al-fresco dining area.