Posted: 22/06/2013 at 11:32
I grew up in a little Buckinghamshire village of Seer Green in the late 1940s. Our neighbours were my aunt & uncle and they grew cars: Austin 7, Austin Ruby, various Vauxhalls and Fords + an old Morris van - in fact anything with an engine in it!
Dad on the other hand was a keen gardener, mostly out of necessity after the second world war when everything was rationed. We had a dozen apple trees in the garden and a veg plot + an area set aside for chickens (gave us fresh eggs and manure and occasional chicken dinners). I had my own little plot to grow things but being a young boy it did get a bit neglected at times!!!
Then we moved to High Wycombe about 10 miles away when I was 9 and Mum & Dad took on an allotment in addition to their garden and I was able to help (carrying cans of water the 200 yds to the plot, helping with the weeding, and best of all picking the crops when they matured).
Mum loved to do the garden at home mostly and had a beautiful rose bed in the front garden which neighbours used to admire and a large rockery in the back (at least it looked large to me then!) She still loves her garden but at almost 100 she can't do it herself anymore so my sister & brother in law keep it tidy so she can still see it & get pleasure from it.
When I got married in 1966 we came to live in Bristol where we have lived in the house we bought then. The garden was a bit of a mess with bonfire holes dotted around and an old asbestos garage the previous owner had accidentally driven right through into the garden one day. My early gardening experience came into its own then and we have gradually built up to what we have now. When our children got married we halved the veg garden and did a complete re-design to what you see today (above left) so instead of 2 lawns with crazy paving up through the middle I designed a kidney shaped lawn & moved the path to the right and increased the left hand border size in width.