I have often wondered where my love of gardening started and realise that it was my parents who planted the seeds of love for gardening in me.
In 1960 Ireland there were no garden centres or nurseries but there was Mr Middleton, gardening shop in Dublin’s Mary Street. This shop sold gardening products such as seeds, bulbs, plants, and gardening tools. As my dad worked in the city centre, he would often frequent this shop to purchase plants, seeds or items he needed. He loved growing vegetables in the back garden of our house and shared the magic of sowing then harvesting his crops with me.
My mother loved roses and flowering shrubs in the front garden of the house. She grew these from cuttings that she gathered from friends and often “acquired” cuttings from other locations. She explained how plants are nurtured and fed to achieve healthy plants with beautiful blooms. My mother grew the most beautiful Trumpet Lillies and Sweet Pea.
Helping my parents in the garden kept me busy and happy. When people admired the gardens, took some fresh vegetables home or just sat in the summer sun I would be thrilled that the work and effort showed great results.
In my own home I have invested a lot of resources including time and effort in my gardens. I love growing flowering shrubs which give pleasure year after year. I also grow soft fruits, some vegetables and in pride of place is a miniature apple tree. Now that my mother is long gone I am delighted that I have some of her Lillies and Sweet Pea growing in my garden.
In recent years I have started sharing gardening tips and advise with my adult children. I help them place and plant low maintenance plants in their gardens. Our well loved “Nana” Lillies and Sweet Pea plants are a feature there too. I encourage my grandchildren to start gardening by helping them plant easy to grow sunflowers, peas and raspberries.
Time spent rambling around formal gardens or parks allows me see how professional gardeners place and manage plants. I really appreciate the effort and work done by these gardeners to achieve the beauty, structure and plants that they produce. I will go to visit gardens in Ireland and abroad to see different plants and ways of gardening.
When gardening you are out in the fresh air, getting exercise, time just flies by. You witness the changes in the seasons, watch the birds who visit and always have a plan for the future as gardening is always looking forward.
I love gardening, I am not an expert but after many years of trial and errors I am willing to plant and wait to see what grows. I am so glad that I was introduced to gardening as a child as I have had years of pleasure and enjoyment.