October 16, 2018

Garden Diaries

Caroline’s Garden Diaries 6.4.17: Growing Gardeners

I hadn’t really noticed RHS National Gardening Week before now, but apparently there’s been one every year for five years, and it’s happening again this week. Maybe at this time of year one’s too busy actually gardening, but it did catch my eye this year because it’s “all about helping new gardeners to get growing plants”. Ah! Learning new skills, getting people to grow plants; good idea – it’s what lots of us are doing in the villages for the Plant Fair (coming soon, 11 June!)

Also, I noticed that the Week includes an exhibition “The Diary of a Gardener” at RHS’s Lindley Library, showing how people have documented and described their gardens – another compelling reason to follow the event…..

Looking back at my old notebooks, I see I started to keep a garden diary in March 1974; we’d just moved into our first house after several moves since getting married. Some of the previous rented places had scope for growing plants – a window-box, or a back-yard – but at last, to have a decent garden was wonderful. The previous owners had liked the garden and gave me a little map of it with names for the main plants; Deutzia, Rose Crimson Glory, Broom Burkwoodii, so I kept up the practice of noting names:
“10 March Planted RHUBARB (Champagne); took FORSYTHIA cuttings and put in bed”
“12 March Bought from WI Market and planted AGROSTEMMA (red flower) and yellow POLYANTHUS, and sowed PARSLEY in seed box.”

And so the diary goes on with almost daily entries of new plants bought; digging, planting, sowing seeds, pricking out, potting up.
So what grew this gardener? Simple really; as a child I had my own garden (an abandoned pig sty), and someone who loved gardening and showing me how to do it; and probably the genes from Granny.