Well, hi there! This week our gardening team was working in a Castlecove backyard when they came across this big, beautiful snake. It was sitting on a fence and at first it just looked like a stuffed toy. But no. On closer inspection it became clear that it was actually a real snake that had just had a substantial lunch and was now taking a siesta.

Not everyone would be okay with meeting a snake, but our crew simply took a happy snap from a safe distance and kept on working.

There’s a great variety of animals in Sydney’s north shore gardens. But some people still find it surprising when they encounter a creature like this near their back door. Others find it a downright violation. ‘The snake is trespassing for Pete’s sake. Call the council! No, the police!’

But surely animals and plants belong together, don’t they? And gardens are all about nature. Aren’t they?

It’s fantastic to design and create your personalised dream garden, plant exactly what you really love and see it grow over time. And of course a well-maintained lawn, a paved barbecue area and a pool are all highly desirable in the grand scheme of suburban living. Everything has its place and value. But us gardening folk also genuinely believe in a little conservation too. There should be a balance. There can be a balance.

There’s no need to rip out plants willy-nilly, pave everything and clear it all out for the biggest pool possible, or be exasperated by a big tree that has the audacity to drops leaves. It’s a tree! A big, beautiful tree that has taken years to grow and now provides shade, brings birds into your garden and makes your outdoor area a wonderful, living place. A real sanctuary.

Doesn’t that have a high value?

Isn’t that desirable?

We hope so. Because that’s why we’re passionate about gardens and gardening and creating beautiful green spaces.

We’re lucky to live in a part of Sydney that has so much bushland on its fringes. Every day is different out there for us in your gardens. We love seeing the birds, lizards, spiders, beetles and the brush turkeys. And when we occasionally stumble across a sunbaking snake relaxing in a backyard before returning to the bush, we are happy.

Just take it as a compliment if they choose to drop into your place.