Posted: 30/12/2012 at 17:41
I can remember planting flower seeds such as virginia stock with my grandmother when I was little. I was allowed a small patch of her garden to 'play with'. As I got older it was my job to mow her lawn....
When we had our first house OH & me tried, but with a clay soil, a North facing plot, neighbours' children damaging things with footballs etc & lack of time, it just meant that we kept the lawns cut. I did plant gladioli, roses & bulbs though & they were good.
When we moved here, at the end of a cold March, not a single bulb was in sight! Lots of trees & un-maintained shrubs & lawn. I did, with my Mum's help, plant a lot of bulbs that first yr. Always watched GW & listened to GQT, as now.
Life continued. We did cut down/back a lot of the trees & shrubs. But because it was a part-shade garden, still is, lots of plants I bought just didnt cope- no surprise with hindsight.
Then in Sept '96 I was sat out there & just got fed up with it being just green & having so few flowers! I started to cut down/hard prune shrubs & read & read as much as I could. Beth Chato's Green tapestry book was on repeat loan for ages from the library- I've now got my own copy!
The 'bug bit' as they say. I read loads, made notes & planted 'right plant, right place'. With learning how to deal with types of shade & improve the soil as I went along, the garden became a place of lots of different plants & shrubs. Colour arrived!
Yes I made mistakes, we all do. My daughter will soon have her first garden & already is asking questions & making plans. She enjoys garden shows & visits, but is absent when the compost bins need turning out!!
My paternal grandfather was a keen gardener, his brother was a professional gardener. My Mum had no training, but definitely had 'green fingers'. My MIL was also a keen gardener so advice was there & genetics too!
Gardening has been my 'therapy' & I definitely get withdrawal symptoms when I cant get out there! J.