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Just thinking, when I read the posts here, it's clear about the passion for gardening.  However, before I was 20, say, I had no interest whatsoever in plants or anything remotely to do with gardening......oh, except for garden peas .  I used to pinch loads from the school veg garden....took so many the headmaster called for the pea thieves to step forward.  My red, burning face screamed out it was me but I got away with it.  Ah! Those were the days!

I got into gardening when I dismantled a concrete chicken shed and planted a honeysuckle, pyracantha and jasmine and.......they grew!!!  I was,hooked.


I don't remember when I didn't garden.

 My mum always gardened, and her mum,my nan, always did. Mums grandad always had a big allotment. So I kind of grew up with it.

I had my first tools and My own patch when I was 5

I had my first greenhouse, a 6 x 8 corrugated plastic one, when I was 10

I started growing tomatos and bedding plants for neighbours, spending all my pocket money on Paraffin to keep the frost out.

I used to put the bedding plants in for them, charging a shilling a dozen. I soon learnt to plant close together at 4 inch spacing instead of 6inch. you get more plants in that way

I got my next greenhouse when I was 14, 16ft x 8 glass and aluminium. I paid for it selling more plants.  When I went to Uni, my mum took over the Plant businesss, with me pricking out at weekends.

When I did my finals I didn't have time to do all the pricking out, so I taught Mum how to do it. Dad fills the trays and pots with compost ready to plant up.

30 years later, at the age of 80 , theyre still at it. My mum says it keeps her young.She likes to chat to all the people who come for plants every year.


I really don't know Verdun.

When I was very young, my granddad had a rose garden and pond that I would spend many happy hours daydreaming in but I never ventured into his greenhouse or up to the veg plots.

When I was a teenager, I did the gardening at home but I remember my biggest motivation was a preference for neat and tidy over horrendous weeds.

When I had a family of my own and moved from a flat to a house, I naturally wanted to improve the garden but I guess I could have done this with patios and a neat lawn so I'm not entirely sure how or why I am a keen gardener except that I really really enjoy the creative/design side of it, the beauty of nature in all ways and the taste of home grown veg  

I think gardening just ticks so many boxes. The heart, mind and soul connectivity to nature that de-stresses, reinvigorates and heals. The sense of achievement and satisfaction standing in your own little piece of paradise.The sensory overload of taste, sight, smell and even touch. The sounds of wildlife. 

I get my kicks where I can find them


I was travel sick,that got me into gardening.


Here nearly everyone has window boxes hanging from their balconies. So years ago when I came back to Switzerland I decided to do the same. Then we had a ground floor flat with a patio and I got some of those large grey plastic boxes and put holes in the bottom and planted dahlias, tall marigolds and anything else I could lay my hands on and placed them around the edge of the patio. It just went on from there, first house, first garden, flowers, then veg, ad infinitum.

Fact is, I just like to get my hands dirty!



I was a late convert and had no interest at all until my mid 30s. I didnt think that gardening was very rock and roll.

My interest really started when we bought our current house which had large gardens but was a right mess. At first I just hacked things and mowed the lawn.

The next step was buying plants not knowing what they liked or what looked good together.

Then slowly started to see that some things looked better in combination than others and that some grew better in some places than others.

It grew and grew and when  my first plants from seeds flowered and then i started dividing plants and taking cuttings, I was hooked. Now it is a passion that I cant imagine being without, but I still love the rock and roll.


When we were children,my brother and I both were given a small patch of garden ,we could grow whatever we wanted and were each given the money for two packets of seed.We got a huge amount of pleasure from seeing whose plants would come up first.

After that I can,t remember being really interested in gardening again until I started watching Geoff Hamilton,and then I was hooked and have been ever since.


Verdun what a brilliant thread. I need to think about this, and rationalise my thoughts, or my input would keep spammers off for days. Brain already in overload at all the old memories and I'm only 27


I enjoyed reading these posts....get to know you all bit more too.  Hope there are more.


it just snuck up on me while I wasn't looking. Before I knew it the rest of the world ahd gone away

My parents loved gardening and tried to get me interested , but I never enjoyed it and when I first got married and had our first houses my husband enjoyed gardening and I was happy to leave it to him. Then as the children got older and we got very involved with their sports activities the garden got sadly neglected and for one reason or another OH lost interest and it just got worse and worse.then one day just over a year ago I decided I couldn't stand the overgrown mess any more and started to tackle it on my own, not really knowing what I was doing. As things started to improve I realised that I was really enjoying it, being outside whatever the weather, cutting and clearing and then planting. I read and read and then found this forum which has been a massive help. I've started to grow veg, which I find so interesting and rewarding. I can't wait to get home from work and into the garden and am so sorry I have come to gardening so late at 56. There's so much to learn and still so much to do in our garden ,bot I really am loving it  and can't wait to retire and fill my days pottering in the garden.


Think it started when I was very young I remember throwing some marigold seeds around, they grew I was fascinated.....been gardening ever since. Glad to say my daughter has followed in my footsteps we are the only ones in my family that are gardeners.

The others are all decking and gravel

Jess is in the Garden

Great post Verdun

My 1st memory was growing candytuft from seed in a candytuft competition at primary school, aged about 7 (my god, do kids even do stuff like that any more?! It was the 70's mind...)

I was hooked.


Dad grew veg and roses from my earliest memories. I spent time watching and helping, I realised many years later how much I could remember about veg. Mum came to gardening in her 50's and is still at it at 85.

Had a go at veg in my 20's but when plasic greenhouse blew down I fell out with the garden. At that point the only flowers that I ever noticed were cauliflowers. At our next house a new build we just kept blank soil weeded, not even any turf. One day we walked around the estate and saw the hard work others had put into their gardens and I felt ashamed

4 yrs later when we decided to move to have a bigger garden !!  some of our neighbours wanted cuttings, plants from the garden, even wanted to buy the greenhouse and my plants in pots. Most came with us ( plants not neighbours). I cried at leaving my lovely but small garden.

We've been here 13 years, I have a good number of shrubs and plants, but this is the first year I've bothered or had time to grow annuals, free seeds did the trick. I still get the biggest thrill from harvesting vegetables.

I love being in the garden and am happy that we could retire early and spend more time in it.


Steve the Gardening Vet

This is an interesting question. As a child I reluctantly would help Dad do stuff though I am sure he mostly planted flowers to keep Mum happy and veg as he wasn't a high income earner.

I lived in flats for years with houseplants. Moved to Asia and pretty much had no plants at all but in my late 30s, when I was moving back to the UK and looking at houses online, I found myself unable to look at a house without judging the garden and it suddenly became essential to me that any house I bought must have a decent sized garden.

It has been said that I was born middle aged...


I just love always having a reason to be outside


I have always pottered in the garden, as did my mother, but she always regarded it as 'Mans' work. Goodness knows why as after my father passed she proved to be a brilliant gardener.

Always searched for large gardens but 3 children put pay to anything like flower beds, although I did develop a shrub border.

Slowly a garden became less important so the next house move meant thta we downsized the garden. it was overgrown so once again i pottered, clearing a bit, growing a few beans. Then Ill health forced me to leave work and I was looking out at this tamed mess. So with pruning saw I chopped and removed stuff (also very therapeutic) discovered buried slabs and then began to recognise weeds. - I did nurture a clump of ground elder until my then NDN moaned about it.

After I had cut and discovered things my son, then at uni, cme home and said why don't you try planting instead of destroyng. It was like a eureka moment. I designed and planted up little garden and began to crave for somewhere that I could design and plant up. Move house and i am here, largish garden, started from scratch, still very much develpoing it. Mind you we did have to clear it first.

Have tentatively started to grow a more varied amount of veg apart from runner beans

Now I am so hooked I spend nearly every day in it, plan trips/ holidays so that I can visit others and if too wet trawl through catalogues, gardening books planning the next stage.

Yesterday, for instance , a circle where the butterflies are had been designated a wild flower area but while looking, weeding I realised because of its prominence in garden it needs to be planted up properly - I think big bright annual bedding in a formal display, can't wait for the seed catalogues to come to plan it 


Great thread Verd and lots of lovely stories and anecdotes. Not sure where my interest came from other than it being creative which I've inherited from my Dad. When I bought my first flat I had a tiny space below the front bay window as it was ground floor. I enjoyed the planning of it and I suppose that's what my main interest is. I did garden design for a while but  when I suddenly found myself on my own  with 2 young children I realised it wasn't feasible to pursue as a career. With each garden I've moved to it's the creation and planning that I enjoy most - seasons and conditions have to be taken into account so it becomes more complex than designing an interior of a house. I like seeing the transformation of a space I suppose.

To my shame about 2 years ago, I realised that my husband's bees had no forage in our garden! I am a very late starter, have learned masses in the last two years but the field outside is beginning to look a little like a garden now. I only grow bee friendly flowers and can bore for England about compost! Is it odd to get a 'high' from going to a new garden centre?