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...I would have a shared experience with some of the above that you write about...but little nostalgia for the olden days....   being just a little younger than you... I recall those times as being pretty horrid to tell the truth... long gone...

...I think most people get into gardening when they buy a house for the first time... as we did in the early 1980's.... prior to that had zero interest in fact I would have found the subject completely boring with a capital B... but strangely once you get the's like a virus that takes hold and from then on you never shake it you...?

Just a way of life, always done it, i supppse you could blame my parents
Some of those things you mentioned were still around in the midlands in the 80/90s- i remember ice on the inside of my windows, not many mice farting tho, my dad used to shoot the rats with a shot gun!

Lovely post!

Afraid my experience far less poetic.. my new neighbours took out all their trees from the garden a few years ago leaving us with zero privacy and I had to learn about gardening quick smart! Had no interest before this but was bitten by the bug as a result and never looked back - made lots of mistakes along the way but given me so much pleasure to see my garden emerge from scratch!



We had bees in the garden. Our garden was just a lot of scruffy grass and no flowers. I thought gardening was mowing the grass, sometimes. Then I realised that perhaps it would be kind to grow something for the bees. The grass is even scruffier but at least there are lots of flower beds now and even a few veg. I love being outside & having bees around me.


Before I met Mrs Fish I saw gardening as something boring,middle aged people did. Apart from ponds though,we had a pond from an early age and being interested in animals/wildlife I was forever there with a net and jam jar.

But plants just sat there and did nothing,or so I thought but they couldn't compete with football,wildlife,fishing,fish keeping,rock bands and getting drunk with my mates.

Along came Mrs Fish. We moved in here and the back garden was a mass of old dead grass and brambles. My Dad,being a keen gardener all his life,offered to help me create a lawn. We dug it all over,sowed the grass seed and created the lawn.

Since then,with Mrs Fish becoming gradually less and less mobile and me being her carer,I've come to love gardening probably because its one thing I can do without having to leave her. One condition she has is epilepsy which requires me being on hand,so in the garden I'm within earshot. The fishing and boozing has had to bite the dust though,the latter probably for the best in respect of my own problems with anxiety/depression.

But now I've come to appreciate the beauty and wonder of plants and regret not starting sooner. I've discovered how integral they are to nature's grand plan. Without them,neither us nor the wildlife I so love would exist. But above all I find gardening relaxing,rewarding and the fact it has brought me into contact with all you wonderful people  

Wow,I've rambled on a bit there haven't I 

flowering rose

When I had my first home and a garden  .

Dordogne Damsel

We had a huge garden as a child and my dad did wonders with it for a season or two, but he, as always moved onto a different hobby after that, shame really he excelled at whatever he did but never stayed with it - all or nothing kind of guy. Anyway, over that short period I was given a patch and sowed some lovely mixed annual seeds, I was about 9 or 10, I will never forget the thrill of them emerging and also the delight in seeing them flower; godetia, cornflower, love in a mist, marigolds and poppies. I remember too the lovely tomatoes, green beans, potatoes and onions we picked for those two summers  - and the colorado beetle scare!

He built a fish pond and a rockery, gorgeous, we had the biggest and best fish in the neighbourhood (another brief interest, fish out lived his interest) and it something I have wanted to replicate ever since. When I married (1984) we had a postage stamp of a garden but I did my best with annuals again. 2nd house bigger garden more ambitious, but mostly containers as we worked away and had to rely on self watering system.

3rd house, mostly lawn but lots of containers and hanging baskets (deadheading and watering a daily chore, put me off petunias forever). 

Last house mature garden with lots of rhododendrons and mature shrubs so built raised beds for first attempt at veggies - with some success! 

Then arrived in France to a beautiful much cultivated and extremely well stocked garden and panicked, especially as we had to live in UK for the first three months of ownership (Feb/March/April), Still fighting with it, but absolutely addicted, thank goodness haven't got a 'proper job'. 

Everyday I surprise myself with my background knowledge and stun myself with my ignorance - I have a dream and next year .....

Thank goodness for this forum though on so many levels!


Smokin Donkey - with the greatest respect,I believe forum users are free to give out as much or as little information as they see fit. I could give you all the details but they might not be suitable for a public forum such as this.

And yes I've climbed Snowdon via the less trodden paths (the Pyg Track) and I wasn't following any sheep as far as I know. Take care 

Orchid Lady

I got a house with a fairly big garden (well big enough for a GH and veg patch anyway  ) almost 5 years ago, spent the next 4 years renovating the house and this year started to focus properly on the garden.  It's my first year with my new GH and doing 'proper' gardening as I would call it, i.e. nurturing plants and growing from seed, flowers and veg - I've made mistakes but I'll learn from them and next year will be better and so will every year after that 


I got into gardening when I was forced to retire early due to ill health. I was 48 and found myself with lots of time on my hands and confined to the house/garden.

Gradually I became more and more interested in the garden as, for about 8 months of the year, that's where I would spend my days and, at the best of the season, my evenings.

I don't have a large garden, about 12 x 10 metres at the front and 20 x 10 metres at the back, but it's enough to keep me occupied full time as everything takes me so long to do! 

Dordogne Damsel

I think it is wonderful how gardening can become therapeutic for the body and mind. Perhaps the NHS should consider giving a dose of gardening out on prescription along with some free seeds and a trowel!

I have found it very relaxing and also found my patience has improved and once out there don't stress about time and getting things done - sometimes don't even get to the task I had planned to do, catch sight of something en-route that needs attention and suddenly 3 hours are gone by.

Can't think of a better place to spend your day - and evenings.


Hi Smoking Donkey,

Retirement wasn't a lifestyle choice. I had to retire due to a serious and very debilitating heart condition. I was only 48 so certainly didn't want to give up work at that stage of my life. 

As regards hobbies, I had to give mine up as I could no longer, physically, carry them out; keen golfer, keen fisherman, owner and maintainer of classic MG.

I didn't take up gardening to relieve boredom or to keep me out of the pub. I took up gardening because it's one of the few things I can do, all be it gently, in my state of health.

I would much rather be working, playing golf, fishing, looking after my MG and doing the garden instead of only been able to do the garden.

To some people retirement is a forced state not a lifestyle choice.


Smoking Donkey,

Just to clarify. My MG was awarded concourse status by the MG Owners Club, for insurance purposes. Despite this, during the summer months, I regularly drove it. The amount of work and dedication required to maintain a car in this condition is huge! In addition to the work required, I can no longer drive, classics or otherwise, because of the medication I need to take every day. Just to reiterate, my circumstances are not a lifestyle choice! I do not moan about it, I do not feel sorry for myself and I do not seek sympathy.

I posted on this thread because I thought it was about people telling others what got them into gardening. Not a vehicle for someone to dispense barrack room advice regarding what they should or shouldn't be doing in their private lives.

Are you really qualified to tell people what activities are better for them to be doing with a heart condition? Especially when you don't know what the condition is?


Play nicely, boys and girls.

Welsh Onion.......couldn't agree more

This has shades of turning into another backbiting fiasco.......only recently finished with the last one.


I got into it when my OH bought his first house. He wasn't into plants and I lived in a flat and just grew a few things on a balcony. Fast forward 15 years and while we are not gardenaholics, we enjoy growing some of our own, planting, propagating and watching what grows and flowers.

GMaiden.......I guess that's how quite a few people become gardeners.  Once you have a patch of your own, you start to do a little and then before you know it, you are a gardener

Much depends on your time and lifestyle of course but I imagine most people who pop a few seeds in a bare spot enjoy the results and want to "explore" a little further 


Hi potteringabout nice to meet you  

I'm sad that you are unable to do the things you loved doing. I admire the fact that you have tried to adjust and now spend in your garden  I can't image what I would feel like were I in your situation. Best wishes.