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just wondering..what or who inspired your love of gardening? my nana and papa, dad's parents, had a lovely rose garden..which explains my obsession with roses, i particularly want 'blue moon' which they had and really reminds me of my nanathey had a lovely lilac too which nana always had vases of in the house and i loved the smell mum and dad not into gardening at all but do have 3 climbing roses which all smell divine,they also have a cherry tree which i remember planting when i was about 8 or 9, i'd love to replace our inherited rhododendron with one, one day..! the other set of grandparents had a greenhouse and my grandad grew tons of tomatoes, i can smell them now, delicious! so that's my main influences, does anyone else think early memories shape choice and love of plants?


mine was the garden of a neighbour who grew "livingstone daisies" mesembrianthemum criniflorum ,( the first botanical name I ever learned) I loved them. I used to walk round as a boy of around 8 or 9 and just stare at them.

I remember planting them as seeds when I was around 10 and was amazed that they grew. I was hooked.

My main influence was my maternal granddad, he had a large garden mainly veg with 2 greenhouses, one for his tomatoes and one for his show carnations, the smell was unbelievable. And there were great big clumps of purple and mauve bearded iris' down the side of the path down the garden. And Mr. Bowser, next door would put up a hessian 'dutch barn' in the late summer for his show chrysanthemums, and he'd spend hours in there, putting paper bags over the flower buds to protect them, then checking their progress, then when they were perfect he would cut a bunch for my nana, granddad didn't have a lot to say about it apart from his 'over inflated daisy's' comment. I don't have chrysanths but I do have an iris bed.  

how lovely to hear these stories, i jsy remembered my best friend as a child,though  we're still in touch- her maternal grandfather grew incredible sweet peas, masses of them remember being wowed as a little girl and when he gave me a bunch i thought  i was the luckiest girl in the world!

Busy Bee2

Totally!  Whenever I see orange roses I think of my granny and grandad's house, and red potentilla - used to wish that the flowers were strawberries.  When I am in the garden here, the wood pigeons flapping and cooing in next door's leylandii hedge take me back to the garden of two maiden aunts who lived in our village - there was a similar hedge at the back of their garden.  The smell of tomatoes takes me back to my uncle's greenhouse - one year he grew 'Big Boy' and brought me round a tomato that was almost the size of my head.  I ate it for lunch - just one tomato.  And delphiniums are my dad's.  He had a variety called 'Old Father Thames' and one year he took a flower from it up to the City of London where he worked and won first prize in a gardening show in his lunch hour!  To garden is to re-connect with the people from our past. 


Jack 3

Nice to read all these.

My grandparents also inspired me a lot. My Grandad was always in the garden and I remember my Grandma always walking me round the garden and getting me to smell the roses and other flowers.

Also when we were kids, we weren't very well off and my mum used to grow lots of veg and get us to go and pick what she needed for cooking that evening. Me and my brother always used to steal the peas and get in trouble.

She also gave my siblings and me a little area each in the garden to make our own mini gardens which we'd go out and tend each day. It was an awful area to live in but we were so lucky to live in a council house with such a big garden. It wasn't until about 30 years later that I got my own garden and now am discovering a love for it.


My strongest memory is of a poinsettia shrub in our garden in NZ when I was about 9. My mother would cut it back and cut the stems into about 18 in pieces, which she would bend to make edging for the border. They always sprouted and I have loved them ever since. OH and I spent our first wedding anniversary in Nepal where they also grew and presented me with a coffee jar full. I always buy one at Christmas, sadly it gets too cold here in winter to grow them outside. My Mum always had window boxes which I copied when we lived in a flat with a balcony and when we moved to a flat with seating area there were containers all round with every plant I could lay my hands on. Been hooked ever since.


My love of gardening didnt really come by choice.  My parents have this huge garden and dad after retining early, spent every minute there, but when he got in his 80's all he could do was cut the grass with a ride on.  It got to be like a wilderness, covered in brambles, conifer hedging out of control and a large patch of 7 or 8 full grown conifer trees shading the garden.


We dug out the trees in 2011 and i sowed seeds and planted up in 2012, this picture was summer 2013.


In 2010 we built an extension on the bungalow and i set too to try and hack it back.


This is a piccy of the part that had the large trees in. I dug it out and planted up in 2012/13,






My infant teacher inspired me when i was five years old.  We grew mustard and cress on the classroom windowsill and i would be first in the queue for school to get to the saucer to see my seedlings.  i still get a thrill , eighty years later , seeing the seeds I have planted germinate.

Ashleigh 2

Beautiful photo's Lyn, lovely to see beds with so much colour, we had a big garden when we were kids and played all the time on the grass, My Dad was always pottering around but I never took much notice and took all the beautiful flowers for granted, wish I'd got interested sooner, he could have taught me so much but he's not well enough now. One year he grew sweet peas and I can remember spending ages just staring at them, they were the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. 

Busy Bee2

Lyn what a lovely garden!  Marion, my foster son just brought home some cress he had planted at Beavers a couple of weeks ago.  Last weekend I made some egg mayonnaise and he and his sister had the cress in sandwiches with that, which I am assured, was delicious!  I hate egg mayonnaise myself, but I felt certain that it was exactly the right filling choice to do the cress justice!!


I didn't get even remotely interested in growing things until I was about 35. My father and my brother were keen and semi-professional gardeners (in that they wrote about it) and as a child I felt bullied into helping, but I loathed worms and other creepy crawlies. So the ONLY job I would do in the garden was trim the edges of the lawn with a long handled clipper. That kept me a safe distance from the 'nasties'.

Hi Louise

i worked in a garden nursery when I was in my twenties. This job was on a part time basis as I was training to be a quantity surveyor.

The nursery gave me an appreciation of the care and devotion that was given by the people that worked there.That experience working there never left me and gave me a hobby at first. When my wife and I brought our first house I wanted it to have a good size garden so that's I could learn my gardening education. 

The inspiration to get in to gardening came from my love of the out doors and the love of seeing something grow by  giving it the right conditions and care. Gardening is no longer a hobby, but has become a life experience that i now enjoy at every givem moment

I love the opportunity to work in any garden, not just my own - that inspires me












My Nanna and her relatives. They lived nr Durham, somewhere, her Mum (my great-Grandma, Nanna's auntie Laura and Uncle Bob, And Mum's Auntie Lorna and Uncle Alf. They all had friut and veg gardens. One of my earliest memories is of going out with Auntie Laura to pick veg. One of them had one of those piano things with a paper roll inside, that played by itself. I really thought it was magic or a ghost!

Mum once got lost on the way, and Uncle Alf told us he had painted white lines down all the rds to help us find our way home. And that we couldn't kiss him, as he was really the Frog Prince, and he didn't much like being a frog, which kissing made him become. Lost my first tooth there, too, in an apple!

And I remember Dad's Stepfather putting me on his shoulders to pick apples in his orchard. (but also remember a motorcyclist hitting the car and breaking both his legs)

Nanna never had a garden in my memory, but had the most fantastic deep southfacing windowsill in her flat. She grew loads of plants there, Azaleas, sanseveria, African violets, Christmas cactus, etc. She was always giving me new plants, but they never survived. After she died, I inherited them all, and all of a sudden, they grew for me. I'm sure she watches over my garden now, and my boys, who she never lived to see.

I eat very few veg, but I'm sure those early memories are what make me want to grow them for my boys.


lovely to read all these,sorry lizzie didn't mean to steal your thread, just had a few minutes and had been looking at blue moon so was remembering childhood in nana and papa's garden


You didn't steal my thread, Louise, it was an out of date thread. I just thought it might be interesting to read more stories about why people start gardening. I love reading these stories. Yours is the "now" thread.

thanks.. not co 'now' though!!


What a beautiful garden, Lyn, well done. What are those lovely blue flowers at the front in the first pic?

Lovely stories, everyone, am enjoying reading them all!

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