It's that time of year when the dumping ground that is ‘out back’ demands a damned good thrashing. The shed deserves to be condemned and the garden resembles a Syrian high street. The undertaking is soul destroying: you spend hours concocting a vision of aesthetic beauty and then, within minutes, after the kids have discovered you have made good, it is ruined once more. In quick time the spanners end up in the water butt, the fence panels are ripped off for a make-believe bonfire and you wish you’d bought a first floor flat instead.

The garden is fraught with danger. I have never been health and safety’s biggest fan, but would not risk using the Flymo barefoot when the inevitable happens. There are plenty of men hobbling about minus a toe after wearing flip flops, now peculiarly known as ‘sliders’, in which they started the yearly horticultural ball rolling.

The inaugural cut is put on hold after the quick shed tidy turns into a half-day complete overhaul. With everything dragged out onto the grass, you attempt to locate the rogue can of chemical that has leaked over your hardboard shelf over t’winter. Eventually you stumble upon the mower blade tool that went missing in action exactly 12 months ago, to the day, and you put it back from whence it came for safe keeping. The wife has moved the extension cable and is out, so the next 30 minutes is spent muttering under your breath as you eventually locate it in the most obvious storage place: the outside toilet.

It soon becomes pretty apparent that the lack of the sound of neighbours' mowers, despite the first murmurings of summer in the offing, is because they are not as stupid as you and have realised that the grass is damper than Roy Keane at a comedy club. The light mow turns into a war of attrition as you rip through the turf and leave the ground as a muddy quagmire with more bald patches that an alopecia sufferer.

Then the inevitable happens: the reason we do not own pets that require freedom beyond a cage or a bowl is the mess they create and, having used the front garden as a convenience for six long months, contact is made between human and beast. There’s only one thing worse than mowing through cat waste, and that’s strimming through it. The downside to the raw unbridled power of the Bosch is that any foliage or foreign object it comes into contact with gets flung up onto my glasses and face. With the remnants of man flu I learnt a valuable lesson today, and that is to breath through my nose when strimming. I have been through a whole reel of dental floss and the taste of the neighbour’s feline still smarts.

The alien environment of the garden centre is also a disaster. How do people learn of perennials, rye seed and compost mixtures? It was never on the curriculum when I was at school, although we did, for a year, get shipped off weekly to a local farm to learn ‘rural studies’.

With huge gaps in the bedding where I have accidently sawn off ‘established’ roots, I reach a state of complete confusion within a few minutes of entering Aylett’s and alleviate my pain with an overpriced muffin and a gander around the pet section instead.

I love the ambience of a garden and all it signifies, but know when I’m beaten. I want to keep it green but feel, as I am much more confident in a Wickes environment than that of Nottcutts, that I may have to patio over the lawn and invest in a new jet wash. Not only because I wish to clean said patio, but to blast off the well-established cat poo from the underside of the Flymo before selling it on eBay.