My garden is almost 20 years old and came as part of my new house purchase. Housing developers are known for cutting corners, scrimping to eek out the great profit from every square mm of land – my garden included. The estate was built on farmland so and I am pretty sure that no previous properties or gardening activity had taken place on my little patch. As the developers moved on, hard, stubborn clay top soil was totally flattened, compacted but with no helpful drainage system, a turfed ‘lawn’ laid’ and fenced all around. Over the years. with arthritis causing me to need professional gardening muscle, I have had a small but elegantly sweeping border cut around to soften the edge. I also have a pleasingly rugby ball shaped bed around the small crab apple tree which sits breaking up the vastness of the brick side wall of the house behind. The clay is awful to work, pools of rain water remain for days and it bakes rock hard in any heat but garden companies thrive on the business generated by this and many a wonderful examples of man beating the elements are on show around here. It may be a beast to work, but the nutritional benefits to the planting are plain to see.