to think all you smug bastards with GARDENS don't know how lucky you are!

(113 Posts)
TrappedInHell Sat 20-Apr-13 13:56:40

Sorry, sorry, sorry but I am RANTING and feeling full of woe is me! I live in a fucking FLAT on the 2nd floor. I feel trapped, hemmed in and high up. I want to send the DCs out into the sunshine while I do stuff. I want to plant flowers and mow grass just to get the smell. I want to hang washing and see the wind blow through it. I want my toddler to have a sandpit. I want to sit outside in the sun with a glass of wine. I want to do the DCs a bbq. How did my life come to this??? There is nothing I can do to change for the foreseeable future.


crazynanna Sat 20-Apr-13 14:00:22


Any chance of you getting a local allotment?

aftereight Sat 20-Apr-13 14:01:37

If you live near me you can come and share my (v small) garden in return for weeding and mowing grin

Seriously, I know exactly how you feel. Although I have a garden now, sorry!

I lived in a tiny tiny two-bed terraced house with a tinytinytiny patch of concrete leading to a concrete alley, and I hated every single second of summer. I scrubbed the alley and planted things in pots there, which all inevitably died but that's how desperate I was for some green!

Have you looked into whether your local neighbourhood have a community garden scheme? We had one in our old town, it was a communal area where you'd volunteer to plant bulbs and mow grass and grow flowers - it was brilliant for kids in the summer. Worth looking into!

Oh, and I think it's legal in some places to have barbecues in parks as long as you tidy after yourself. Have a check with your local council. There's nothing like a park barbecue smile

JaquelineHyde Sat 20-Apr-13 14:02:01

I feel for you, I have been there and would not like to go back.

wibblyjelly Sat 20-Apr-13 14:02:21

I feel your pain, we were in a flat last summer while I was pregnant. Its horrible not having a garden. Do you have a communal garden at all? Failing that, nearby park? I know its not the same, but at least you can be in the sunshine.

Mrsrobertduvall Sat 20-Apr-13 14:04:45

I feel guilty now' as I have been moaning to dh about how the garden is too big, and I'd like a smaller oneblush

Loveiswhereitfalls Sat 20-Apr-13 14:08:53

When we lived in a flat I would just pack a picnic and go to the park for the entire day .
Now I am sat here looking out at my lovely gardn with the doors shut because the bastard cat keeps bringing live mice in and dumping them hmm

SoupDragon Sat 20-Apr-13 14:09:10

You're welcome to come and mow mine if you want. It's approximately 180 x 40ft and uphill. It'll put you off mowing for life.

I have a bad back and can't face it right now.

JakeBullet Sat 20-Apr-13 14:10:05

I have been there too OP and I totally and utterly understand your rant. I honestly do, two years ago I was housed in a two bed house with a garden which had never been touched, I am slowly sorting it out and feel so so fortunate to have it,

OhLori Sat 20-Apr-13 14:10:42

Most privileged people live in a bubble. They think everyone lives in the past or like those Move to the Country programmes. To me having a garden is actually a privilege most people take for granted.

I was driving in an interesting part of London today, where they are building swanky high-rises. They are actually potentially exciting in some ways e.g. the penthouse fantasy, etc if one is young, single, whatever. However, I think we are meant to be closer to the land including gardens. Its just part of our nature as human beings. We were borne of the earth and long periods away from it (in flats, in offices, in schoolrooms) is not a good feeling. Also, see my thread "Should I move to a caravan" blush but sad.

TrappedInHell Sat 20-Apr-13 14:11:55

Been on the list for an allotment for over a year. No community garden. Park full of dog shit!

Thanks for being nice so far. It is bloody harder than I expected and nice weather just makes me madder.

LooseyMy Sat 20-Apr-13 14:13:11

You can have mine! Looking after it is a pain!

TrappedInHell Sat 20-Apr-13 14:13:37

OhLori I am an earthy type and it has definitely taken it's toll on my mental health sad.

WishIdbeenatigermum Sat 20-Apr-13 14:14:02

I hear you op! I got a garden for the first time ever when I was 40. I'm sitting in it now. When the dcs were toddlers we'd literally spend all day in the park. Do you have relatives with gardens? My poor parents had us descend on them most weekends in the summer when the dcs were small.

BlackeyedSusan Sat 20-Apr-13 14:15:18

there is no reason why you can not have a sandpit in a flat apart from needing a very good vacuum the rest I agree with.

BegoniaBampot Sat 20-Apr-13 14:15:51

that's a shame Op, don't blame you for having a rant.

BlackeyedSusan Sat 20-Apr-13 14:18:46

oh and a builders tray from wicks to catch the worst of it.

BlackeyedSusan Sat 20-Apr-13 14:19:16

can you do pots on the window sill?

TrappedInHell Sat 20-Apr-13 14:19:53

oh WishIdbeenatigermum WOW. Very happy for you!

We have always had a garden until last year. DCs have grown up with one. In fact I purposely bought a house with large garden immediately that I found I was pregnant 16 years ago! Don't ask what happened sad.

perplexedpirate Sat 20-Apr-13 14:20:09

You are welcome to mine OP. It's scruffy, windy ALL the time and nothing grows apart from some horrid vine that has strangled the life out of my apple tree. I have tried everything and it never works. That garden is my life's failure and it just sits outside my window, day in, day out, depressing the bejesus out of me. sad

Have you got anything like this local to you?

We have a garden sharing scheme in Edinburgh- very cool idea. Basically, it matches up people who can't manage their gardens with those who would like access to one. It's not quite the same, of course, but still pretty damned good.

NotAnotherPackedLunch Sat 20-Apr-13 14:20:51

OP- I'm really sorry you are trapped without a garden.
We're in our first house with a garden and it's brilliant.
Whilst going to the park and having an allotment help a bit, there is nothing to beat chucking the children outside to play while you potter about doing jobs round them and then being able to take a glass of wine out once they are in bed.
I hope something unexpected comes up and you get a chance to have a garden.

HerrenaHarridan Sat 20-Apr-13 14:20:55

If your park has the local kids football clubs on then the dog shit will be getting cleared every time they play so might not be as bad as you think.

Also lots of councils are running garden matchmaker schemes so people like you and people who have a garden but struggle to maintain it can get together smile

WishIdbeenatigermum Sat 20-Apr-13 14:22:18

trapped can you camp?? We were in Germany one year and apart from proper tourists like us there were a lot of families escaping from flats in nearby towns, cats tv and literally the kitchen sink for the summer.

VinegarDrinker Sat 20-Apr-13 14:25:49

I'm a real outdoorsy type but we lived in flats with no gardens til very recently (and our current one is tiny and still a bit of a work in progress toddler death trap ), one thing I did that made me happy was growing veg in window boxes. It doesn't make up for a lack of a garden at all, really, but I did get to get mud under my fingernails which cheered me up a bit.

DragonMamma Sat 20-Apr-13 14:29:06

Try having a lovely south facing garden and kids that would rather be milling around indoors...very annoying. I have to keep shoving them out the back to try and make the most of the tiny bit of sunshine we are having.

I couldn't be without my washing line though so I do sympathise with you.

noisytoys Sat 20-Apr-13 14:30:36

We don't have a garden. Or any outside space. It's been 5 long years with no prospect of moving any time soon I would love a garden but gardens are a luxury I can't afford sad

Startail Sat 20-Apr-13 14:36:08

I'm very lucky I only lived in a flat for 14 months when we we're first married and long before DDs. I hated having absolutely no outdoor space, not even a balcony.

I used to stick the clothes horse out the window on to the fire escape.

Yes I'd spent three years in student flats, but that was different. If it was nice we just took our work out on the grass and went flop. Just having no outside at all really depressed me.

forevergreek Sat 20-Apr-13 14:39:30

We have a flat and love it. We do have a small balcony though.

On balcony we have a water/ play small wooden table ( water part slides under sand to save space. Turns into regular table with lid on.

And plants on balcony rail. Also a balcony rail small BBQ.

We also take a BBQ to highbury fields or London fields, as they allow bbqs.

Do you have parks/ beach nearby that allows BBQ? Do you have a club you can join that includes outside space? Do you have a balcony/ or could you move to a flat with balcony.

A flat with a balcony is nice IMO. Saves the maintaining of large garden, but a medium size will allow for a small sandpit, some folding chairs, and balcony rail BBQ.

We also grow lots of herbs indoors which toddler 'help' with.
And have water play in kitchen!

Iamcountingto3 Sat 20-Apr-13 14:48:35

I also understand the need for outdoors space - having had time in a flat when we bought our first flat I put some sort of outside space as a key priority, even though it meant compromising elsewhere - I think there's something very grounding about being able to be outside easily, and able to grow things. I hope the breaks even out & you get your garden again soon...

I know nothing beats your own garden, but maybe think about the following:
- talk to your allotment society - is there anyone who could do with a helping hand? Or would like someone to come and 'allotment sit' as the holiday season gets going in a month or two? Our allotment soc LOVES people who are keen - they might even have general jobs you could do (maintaining communal spaces, maybe) so the kids get access to the plots.
- agree with the window box suggestions - it's amazing how much you can pack into a window box and a few hanging baskets, and it helps with the sensory stuff (smells etc) as well as that feeling of magic that watching something grow from a seed can give- think about house plants too.
- for that 'chuck the kids out' feeling, camping is worth a try - even if it's only 2 miles down the road. Get an easy to put up tent, and check out local campsites so that it's not a hassle/big deal. We go with mates every year to a campsite 10 mins away - love it!

IsThatTrue Sat 20-Apr-13 14:59:47

Oh I know how you feel, I have Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) and since we've been in a house with garden my moods are so much better, even in the winter just being able to hang washing out occasionally is great.

I hope you get your garden soon!

EnlightenedOwl Sat 20-Apr-13 15:20:48

I hate my garden.
The back garden is not too bad. The front... I spent yesterday afternoon clearing cat shit off the grass. angry then putting grass seed down on the bare bits which may grow or not. Then digging and composting and spreading grass seed which probably won't grow and is a waste of effort.
I would like it all paved over but its ££££.

FarBetterNow Sat 20-Apr-13 18:02:29

I do know how lucky I with I garden.

I don't understand cities - why would anyone pay millions for a flat and not have a garden.

£1.6m for a flat with no garden - madness.

LayMizzRarb Sat 20-Apr-13 18:09:17

I'm not smug, I'm not a bastard, and I do realise how lucky I am to have a garden. Are you always so spiteful when you can't have something you want?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 20-Apr-13 18:11:47

We had this too OP...while my older DD was a toddler and it was hard.

A neighbour offered us hers....but I never felt quite comfy if you know what I mean. If I were you, I would consider getting some compost and making a box garden....just so the DC can plant things.

And the park as often as possible.

Lolapink Sat 20-Apr-13 18:15:38

Where do you live? I would be happy to share mine!

marjproops Sat 20-Apr-13 18:22:55

okay Op. downsides of a garden.

people having BBQs as soon as the sun comes out (whatever time of year) and the smell (even tho I love the smell) and smoke gets on your washing hanging out.

Loud drum n bass (there are more styles of music, people) blaring onto the whole street.

noisy kids on noisy f*** trampolines (not begrudging kids playing but see thread about wanting peace and quiet in garden).

mowing a lawn.

snails and slugs and sometimes mice.

cats coming and sh*****in your garden.

we used to have a flat with a balcony and it was lovely-the balcony that is. do you not even have that?

its not 'escape to the country' in most cases. I do feel for you OP, its nice to have something to go and sit in fresh air and stuff, and I totally agree with ohLori about of the worst inventions ever.

im more that satisfied with a little patio with a few plants and a bistro set. could do that with balcony too.

youre welcome to my garden!

PolterGoose Sat 20-Apr-13 18:24:34

Have you heard of LandShare?

WishIdbeenatigermum Sat 20-Apr-13 18:25:09

laymizz that's just unkind.

Phineyj Sat 20-Apr-13 18:25:09

Could you afford a National Trust membership? I do like wandering across their great big lawns knowing it's someone else's job to mow them!

JassyRadlett Sat 20-Apr-13 18:26:53

I do know exactly how you feel. I've spent the last 8 years in flats with no garden and last month moved to my first house with an incredibly modest garden.

I love it. I will never, ever take it for granted because I know that feeling of a suddenly sunny afternoon when you'd just like to sit in your own garden without the hassle of going Out. It just is so much simpler to be able to flit in and out, just grab food when you need it, and not worry about the baby/toddler falling asleep in the pushchair on the way home so you're stuck with the impossible choice between waking them and sitting on your own front step as it gets darker and colder.

So I know that anything else while nice is second best. I hope you get your garden sooner than you think.

How about you start a community group to look after the park? Then you can make it all lovely. Is it something that appeals? You'd not only be improving your life but that of those around you.

Chandon Sat 20-Apr-13 18:29:07

I feel your pain.

We lived in a 2 bed flat until the kids were 4 and 6, and I have pics of them cycling through our open plan flat! With hindsight that makes me a bit sad.

The nearest park was grim. I spent a lot of time at our local leisure centre, it had a park and indoor pool, we sometimes went every day for a week (in summer). I also knew every nook and cranny where you could sit in the sun (by the church, also a bench in front of the baker's, and bring a picnic).

You will have to really get to know your local area and taken mental notes of any nice-ish place, do you have a leisure centre?

Also, make friends with people with gardens grin

no, seriously, do.

That's a really lovely idea BadBadKitten. Would councils welcome that sort of thing? I'd love to get a group together to improve our local park, it's an absolute dump.

dementedma Sat 20-Apr-13 18:31:06

we have always been in flats but had access to a shared green for hanging out washing and for the dcs to play in. I am in a flat now, and the attached garden belongs to our flat, but is completely overlooked by the other two flats, includng the downstairs hairy bikers plus motorbikes and the old lady with the shitty dog!
Gardening is just housework outside. I put pots with flowers on every outside step and prefer to sit there with my glass of wine.

marjproops Sat 20-Apr-13 18:34:00

OP do you have friends or family with garden? maybe go there sometimes. not the best solution but many many people are in the same situation as you. are you council? you could always do a swap.

why are you in a flat? could you not get a house?

LayMizzRarb Sat 20-Apr-13 18:35:12

I don't think it's unkind. I'm disabled and have to think about everytime I make a journey outside the house. How to group trips together to use the least number of steps/taxi journeys. I would not dream of describing the able bodied as 'smug bastards' and questioning if know how lucky they are to be able to walk more than 50 yards.

I accept what I have and don't find it necessary to be nasty about others who can walk. I'm lucky I'm not totally housebound.

I read the thread title as tongue-in-cheek, LayMizz. I think you're taking it a bit personally.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 20-Apr-13 18:39:41

LazyMizz it's not the same thing. OP having a bad day is not being awful...she's just venting.

expatinscotland Sat 20-Apr-13 18:41:44

We don't have a garden. Never have bar a couple of years out of 11.

You just get on how you can! And I had 3 at one time. Now have a 4-year-old DS and 7-year-old DD2.

I pack a picnic or BBQ and off we go. Today we flew a kite and kicked a football in the park and had a BBQ in our portable BBQ.

MarianneM Sat 20-Apr-13 18:45:00

Are there no parks or outside spaces near you where your children can play?

I live in a 3rd floor flat, no garden. Today I went to a local soft play centre with my two children - there is a large outdoor area that has a sandpit, toys, bouncy castle, wendy houses etc. The girls ran around for three hours while I sat reading in the sunshine. They also made new friends and enjoyed the company of other children and parents.

You don't necessarily need a garden...and communal spaces are more sociable.

Meglet Sat 20-Apr-13 18:48:50

I have a small garden and do consider us lucky.

Some of the dc's friends live in flats and it must be really hard for them and drive their parents up the wall.

rainbowfeet Sat 20-Apr-13 18:49:06

I could have written this post myself!! confused Long complicated story... Marital home small but nice with garden then came a poorly child, her subsequent death, my breakdown, end of marriage, me & 2 dc's in a small 1st fl rented flat there is a communal garden of sorts but that's full if smelly rubbish bins & dog sh#t!!! ... To make matters worse ex is still in marital home with new gf!! But hey ho.. Most days (apart from the odd bad day) I am thankful for what I have got!!! grin

expatinscotland Sat 20-Apr-13 18:53:56

We're also in a flat. 1st floor maisonette.

dementedma Sat 20-Apr-13 18:55:53

meant to add that although I have a garden now, i am neither smug nor a bastard

Molehillmountain Sat 20-Apr-13 18:56:24

I agree with the poster who talked about the privileged living in a bubble-as children at least. I remember a lightbulb moment when I was about nine and there was an item about gardening where they said "...and if you don't have a garden you could...". I vividly remember thinking "but everyone has a garden don't they?" And the train of thought that followed. I think some of my friends have yet to have that thought. I'm really sorry op, vent away and I hope something changes soon.


We moved from a flat to a house when DC1 was 2.7. Changed my life.

People said "oh but you live near the swing park and there's nice communal gardens" but that is completely different from having your own back door, shoving encouraging the children out of it, and sitting inside in peace watching the laundry fluttering on the line. It was always such an expedition to go outside, rather than just another place to play.

TheCrackFox Sat 20-Apr-13 19:09:28


We have a much loved garden now but up until 4 yrs ago we always lived in a flat. Life with so children, without a garden, is so much harder. A lot of this has to do with the British weather - just not enough sun.

LST Sat 20-Apr-13 19:22:08

what part of the country are you in op? sad

colleysmill Sat 20-Apr-13 19:26:57

Our house is fairly ordinary and not really particularly special - escape to the country wouldn't be interested.

The biggest factor in swaying us in buying it was the garden. It's the kind of garden I dreamed of as a kid.

But (and its a bloody big but) we live in one of the cheapest counties in the country. We couldn't afford anything like this anywhere else - what we paid wouldnt buy you a shed in the south of the country.

I hope I'm not smug - I thank my lucky stars we are able to work and live here at the moment but who knows what is round the corner for any of us.

redadmiralsinthegarden Sat 20-Apr-13 19:34:23

where are you, OP? There are lots of people on here (including me) who have a garden that you could access!

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 20-Apr-13 19:38:21

I agree with those saying OP could access their garden but it's just not the same is it? She can;t really relax....her DC can't run in and out.

OP why can't you move? I know it's you rent? In your situation I would focus ALL my annoyance at getting into a house with a garden....I would save pennies...find other ways...yes it could take years but it's a focus.

This isn't actually your first post about this is it OP? As I recall you moan a lot about your housing situation.
I know things are tough but you don't help yourself by pointless envy of things you know you don't have and can't have at the moment.
I have a garden btw yes but that doesn't make me either smug or a bastard. I don't care how much you want to rant. Your post title is unpleasant.

colleysmill Sat 20-Apr-13 19:42:05

Oh definately welcome here anytime

Fillyjonk75 Sat 20-Apr-13 19:43:01

Meh. It's just another room to tidy!

Kirjava have pmed you smile

Laquitar Sat 20-Apr-13 19:49:03

Can we make a mn swap then? All these lovely posters who love mowing grass and are good at gardening can come to the lazy cows like me and enjoy free gardening, i will provide wine and you can use my washing line too! Honestly i'm useless at gardening and i dont fancy it at all. Dirty garden full of slugs, weeds, and cat and fox poo. I will give you cake too!

mamasmissionimpossible Sat 20-Apr-13 19:49:59

We used to live in a 2 bed flat, 3rd floor. There was no garden and it was such a faff taking the kids to the park. Although I did do it, as they nearly drove me mad with all their energy

We now rent a home with a garden, and although I don't like the house. I am so gratful for the garden and being able to chuck the dc outside and leave them there I love being able to hang washing 'outside' rather than having it inside for days on end.

I am making the most of it as we are probably going to have to move back to our flat in 6 months as we can't afford to stay in the house long term sad

raisah Sat 20-Apr-13 19:55:30

The neighbours cats use the bottom of my garden as a toilet. My right hand neighbours have outside kennels which stink on a hot day or if the wind blows in a certain direction. My left hand neighburs have 2 dc & use my driveway as a shortcut to theirs but never say hello. The neighbours at the bottom of my garden used to throw their fag ends over the fence when I first moved in. They stopped once I started to throw it back over the fence.

Chottie Sat 20-Apr-13 20:01:30

I hear you OP. I lived in a flat for 2 years. Just the joy of opening the back door and stepping into a garden is wonderful.

I hope MN can come up with a solution for you.

MyDarlingClementine Sat 20-Apr-13 20:06:27

enlightenedowl do cats shit on grass shock

bedmonster Sat 20-Apr-13 20:08:49

I really sympathise with you. We had no garden and 2 small DDs in a 3rd floor flat for 4 bloody years. It was horrible in the summer, not being able to just fling open the back door and sling them out, no trampoline, no fresh air, no bbqs. We've been there. It meant having to get up and make an effort to go to the park just to be outside.
We do now have a mahoosive garden and I do know exactly how lucky we are to have spent the whole afternoon just being outside.
It sucks to feel hemmed in and I really do feel for you. sad

parabelle Sat 20-Apr-13 20:11:31

I don't take it for granted, this is the first time since I was a kid that I've lived any where with a garden. Have you any parks nearby?

BlackholesAndRevelations Sat 20-Apr-13 20:17:34

I hated not having a garden, and that was before having any dc. Have you any relatives with gardens?

guilty at state of garden blush

marjproops Sat 20-Apr-13 21:46:30

BTW OP calling garden owners/dwellers bastards is not nice, howvere ranty you're feeling.

Softlysoftly Sat 20-Apr-13 21:55:22

I've never really had this hit home before but as an ex country girl now in a city but with a garden I actually really really rant feel for you sad

I'd feel suffocated. I do hope you manage to get some greenery somehow.

K8Middleton Sat 20-Apr-13 22:00:32

Huge Fernley Whatsit did a scheme for this, Landsharing or something. Might be worth a look?

You get to use part of someone else's garden in exchange for a bit of mowing and weeding. National Trust were involved too iirc.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Sat 20-Apr-13 22:01:37

Yanbu. It must be very difficult for you. I am not really sure what to suggest but I hope that a garden is in your future.

Viviennemary Sat 20-Apr-13 22:08:58

It's sad when you don't have a garden and you really want one. Mine is just a bit of a burden as neither of us likes gardening much. And everything seems to grow so quickly it's hardly worth doing and it's all grown back again. And when my children were little they did play out sometimes but not that much they'd rather be inside getting under my feet. I'm sorry if that sounds ungrateful but it's just the other side.

teaandthorazine Tue 23-Apr-13 10:55:23

I completely and utterly know how you feel OP. YANBU.

I live in a second floor flat and although the area around us is generally quite green and pleasant, it's absolutely NOT the same as having your own garden. In fact, we have communal gardens which are nice enough to look at but I want to be able to open my back door and sit with a glass of wine in the evening, or chuck ds out to play without having to hover by the window and keep three doors on the latch so he can get back in. Not possible here. The old dears who live in the other flats are curtain-twitchers and passive-aggressive notewriters extraordinaire. And as for barbecues/hanging out washing etc, no chance!

In a couple of years time we might be able to move, maybe. As long as rents don't rise any further. There's no way I'm going to another flat without a private garden, even if its just a patch. Until then I'll have to make do with a pot of mint on the windowsill! I've put our names down for an allotment but the waiting list is a whopping 5 years...

Am amazed that people think buying a National Trust membership/hanging out in the local park is a good swap. Don't think they'd let me hang out my sheets in the grounds of Chartwell somehow!

Do you want to come round to mine especially if you want to mow lawns, dig and plant stuff? There's not much in the way of sunshine out there right now though.

teaandthorazine Tue 23-Apr-13 11:05:16

Happily, Arbitrary! I am desperate to dig and plant. Have even half-seriously considered setting myself up in business to do just that, unfortunately I have sky-high rent to pay and I'm not sure that mowing the lawn would cover it grin

I suspect I might not be round the corner from you (if I were, you'd have a garden or at least a yard as everyone does round here). Alas.

Anyone who wants to is more than welcome to come round and garden or me. I hate gardening. I'll even supply tea and biscuits.

StephaniePowers Tue 23-Apr-13 11:08:34

OP have a HUGE hug. I really know how you feel and you're quite right. We're outdoors creatures really.
All I can suggest - I used to do this - was on a day off, take a bus and head out of the town. Walk in the fields/hills/whatever's near you. It really helps.

glastocat Tue 23-Apr-13 11:23:21

I feel your pain OP, this was one reason why we left London after I had my son, we had a flat with no garden and I just got so unhappy and felt trapped. We moved to Ireland where we had a big garden, but sadly the weather meant we didn't get as much use out of it as I hoped. I did love it though. Now I'm in Oz and never out of the garden, it's heaven. I agree with the person who said it feels like a fundamental human right, we are meant to be in nature not cooped up in boxes in the sky.

glastocat Tue 23-Apr-13 11:27:19

And yes even a tiny patch of a garden is much better than none, my first flat in London had a teeny tiny garden which I loved so much, just big enough for a sun lounger, picnic table tiny veg patch and lots of hanging baskets and loads of friendly neighbourhood moggies.Fond memories!

I fully sympathise, and would let you know that I never take my garden for granted, I was in a flat when the dc where toddlers and now I do sometimes have to throw them out but I love it so much.

teaandthorazine Tue 23-Apr-13 11:34:44

I think it's the privacy element that does it, which is why having a tiny patch of scrappy private garden is better than having even a beautiful communal one.

Where I live, I'm not even allowed to put pots out on the 6-inch-wide 'balcony', or hang baskets off the railings, in case they prevent the firemen from getting in and rescuing me in a blaze. I'm not making this up. Madness.

Hmmm. This thread has touched a nerve!

I live in an European city where the majority of people live in flats.
Our children go to parks or playgrounds, where they find other children they can play with.

stopgap Tue 23-Apr-13 12:20:28

I've lived in flats for almost twenty years, and in the last year we have rented a place with a large patio (20 x 30). No grass, obviously, but it is glorious having somewhere that my toddler can play and have a sand pit.

You are not being unreasonable at all. I love city living, but know how annoying it is to have to dress everyone and traipse to the park when all you want to do is open the back door and have the kids run around.

Icanhasnickname Tue 23-Apr-13 15:21:59

I grew up with a massive garden, but still loved my fairy garden more! I spent hours tending it.

expatinscotland Tue 23-Apr-13 15:37:39

That is awesome, Ican.

We'd love a garden, but it would mean private renting. No, thanks.

I don't think it's fair to label people who have them smug bastards.

erowid Tue 23-Apr-13 15:46:22

I understand OP frustration but I certainly do not take my garden for granted. I spent 10 years of living in flats and having nothing but windowsill for a few potted herbs but last summer we moved into a house with a garden. We had a tiny budget but our main priority was a garden and I couldn't care less what state the house was in. The first 3-4 months of us living here we were outside digging, weeding and planting then sitting round the chiminea every evening. It wasn't until winter came that we realised we hadn't even unpacked the house.

VitoCorleone Tue 23-Apr-13 16:23:11

You know what, i never even thought about it til i read this thread, but realise now im lucky to have a garden, id be lost without it in the summer

Not trying to rub it in, just never thought about it til now.

VitoCorleone Tue 23-Apr-13 16:24:58

Those miniature gardens are cool!

expatinscotland Tue 23-Apr-13 16:35:08

I never thought about it until I moved here and have been in flats pretty much the entire time. Can't afford to buy and never will.

Squeaaaa! Sorry, just spotted your user name, teaandthorazine. One of my favourite songs, that. grin

Sorry, as you were...

Wishwehadgoneabroad Tue 23-Apr-13 20:27:41

I hear you...3rd floor flat's a killer in the summer.

Would give anything to be able to sell up and move to a house. sad

valiumredhead Tue 23-Apr-13 21:42:46

We have a garden now but we had 11 years in a flat, I know how hard it is and how fucking annoying the smell of bbq's is envy

Almost every day either dh, ds or me says 'Oh I love the garden' smile We don't take it for granted at all. We had to sell up and move miles out of the city though which meant starting all over again.

Wrt taking a toll on your MH, I agree, I have felt much better generally since I took up digging and weeding.

Sorry, none of that is helpful but I know how you feel x

valiumredhead Tue 23-Apr-13 21:45:22

Wrt my bbq's being annoying comment, I meant that I used to feel SO envious and it felt like the whole world was having a bbq and not us sad

LynetteScavo Tue 23-Apr-13 21:52:23

I have a garden, and I know I am very lucky. I am not smug. I have been looking at where I might live when I'm old (I like to plan ahead, I'm not due to retire for 25 years!), and don't need a garden. I came to the conclusion that I really would like at last a small patch of grass to call my own.

TiredFeet Tue 23-Apr-13 22:36:48

Yanbu. I have lived in a flat and I hated it in the summer. I really feel for you. People moaning to you about their gardens and how much work they are are being rather insensitive!

teaandthorazine Wed 24-Apr-13 07:05:08

ThatGhastlyWoman grin

Twattybollocks Wed 24-Apr-13 08:28:21

Well I've been moaning all week about how much my back hurts and how much work is involved in getting my garden to look even slightly respectable for the summer but I confess I do feel for you. Yes it's hard work, but nothing beats sitting out there in the evenings after kids are in bed, with a glass of something and just listening to the birds and the stillness.

I could've written this post.

Even worse...outside my window is a gorgeous empty field. But I have to go through 3 fire doors to get the buggy out, and we live when OH works, so there are often members of the public just wandering around. Which means I can't just open the back door in the morning (still in pjs, bed hair etc) to let the dog out for a wee. Oh No. I have to get dressed, get the baby dressed, put him in a sling/buggy and trundle through 3 stupid fire doors just to let the dog have a wee.

fuzzpig Wed 24-Apr-13 08:53:21

I empathise OP. TBF we do have a small patch of grass in front so we are lucky in that respect.

I would LOVE a back garden. I am disabled and even being out front while the DCs run around is too much for me (they aren't old enough to be unsupervised) and things like walking to the park are impossible at the moment.

undercoversahm Wed 24-Apr-13 08:53:47

Where do you live, OP? You can come and share mine. You have made me realise again how very very lucky I am to have a (small but lovely) garden. It makes all the difference. YADNBU.

?grandparents with gardens?

Eskino Wed 24-Apr-13 09:10:13

Ah I feel for you. We spent last summer in a flat with a baby.

Me and the next door neighbour would sit with our babies on the nearest patch of grass, surrounded by drying washing on racks. It was a lovely memory but im still pleased we both have moved to houses with gardens.

Do you have a nearby verge or patch you could put a few pots on, that would deter dog shitting owners? I'm all for taking over our little green spaces.

sashh Wed 24-Apr-13 11:04:02

You are welcome to share mine if you will do the mowing. No problem with a sandpit, not sure about a trampoline but I would consider it.

I'll even pour the glass of wine for you

mmmerangue Wed 24-Apr-13 11:12:35

I had this discussion with my parents last week.

They have a 1/4 hectare tree filled, over flowing with greenness and life, ponds, ducks, all walled in and it was a treasure to grow up with (albeit I didn't realise that till it was no longer mine.)

I have a shared courtyard in which the paving is crooked and not safe for DS and a patch of grass out front right next to a fast main road and the grass is shit and nothing grows in the flower bed I dug cause of all the traffic and poor light. Also we are 1st floor up a set of concrete steps so I can't just set DS free and watch him from the kitchen window like some sort of stepford wife fantasy

Now the weather is here and the park is a 20 minute walk away as well, it's bumming me right out sad

quoteunquote Wed 24-Apr-13 12:45:07

I second the NT membership, if you find one of the offer vans, for about £35, you get unlimited access to all properties, most have wonderful gardens,

google guerrilla gardening, and guerilla gardening and the name of where you live, there are plenty of respectable groups around, we have lots of spaces in and around our town that have been taken over, one of which is now a lovely walled garden, which is used by a lot of families, it was a fly tipping spot. I bet there is a space near you that needs to be hit.

and get camping, it really helps when you are feeling detached from the land.

honeytea Wed 24-Apr-13 13:16:58

I actually feel smug about living in an apartment. We do have a lovely big communal garden with a playground and pool and BBQs. I think a communal garden is a great solution for us, the kids all go out and play together.

We have been thinking of selling our flat and buying a house, we went to look at houses this weekend, both houses had big gardens with play houses and trampolines but I just thought oh god I'd have to look after this garden. I'm much happier with my balcony and someone else mowing the lawn in the communal garden.

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