In My Grandad’s Garden

Grandad’s garden was a thrifty and wonderful garden indeed.

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Many of his plants were cuttings he had taken from other peoples plants and which he had then grown on (he was never shy to ask and always fab at sharing on.)

He grew many things from seed including fabulous tomato plants in his much loved rather ramshackle greenhouse. Oh the lovely smell in that greenhouse. I remember it still. It was all tomatoes and sunshine.  I was often to be found watering the plants in there whilst grandad sat on his chair telling me tales, hanky on head, sun streaming in.

He was very proud of his garden.

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I went to grandad’s every day after school and spent many many hours in his garden. My best friend and I would do handstands and play catch by the shed.

My sister Tricia and I  grew up in that garden.

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That’s me with the hair ribbon!

Later on as he aged and I did he would set me to work weeding and cutting . Often we would pick his big fat, fragrant, colorful English roses and gather them in a bunch for mum to receive when she came home from work.

Grandad like to see what he could salvage from skips and the roadside. A thrifting product of his youth.

His family were really honest people but extremely poor. Grandad and his sisters used to be instructed to follow the coal cart around. They were not allowed to pinch anything but if any pieces fell off they were to gather them up and run home with them quick.

Grandad knew all about waste not want not. His first job (full time) age 12 was to work in a hotel just for meals and tips. Sounds ridiculous nowadays but they were so poor it was worth him working so hard  all day so his family didn’t have to feed him,

Granddad would make things out of the bits and bobs he found in skips and mainly he would gather in bits of wood and keep mending his fence. DIY wasn’t really his thing and the fence always looked a bit bizarre! He would wander down to the local riding stables with his wheelbarrow and wander back through the long boulevard  with it full to the brim with manure.

He would always make an effort to do things right and well.

Grandads favorite flowers were iris, roses, aubretia, and fushia.

Credit Pemberlolly

I loved Grandad’s garden. It made me feel safe and it was like another home.

Grandad’s garden contained many hours of effort, work and love. He didn’t just nip to the garden centre and buy ready blooming plants (like I often do) each flower in his garden was a testimony to his ability to nurture really well.

Apart from my mum no one has ever loved me with the care, patience and creativity that my Grandad did.

What kind of a gardener you are reflects your parenting I think. I am a bit slapdash with feeding and watering but I delight in every flower. He was meticulous in his care, encouraging his flowers to bloom with  patience, nurture, wisdom and kindness.

I absolutely adored him. He looked after me like he looked after his garden. I was showered in kindness, attention  and care.

I’ll love and remember my  grandad and his gorgeous happy garden all my days.

When I too am old and sitting in my greenhouse telling my grandchildren stories of my days I will still be thinking of him, all he taught me and how well he loved me.

Thank you my darling  grandad, I miss you still x

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Arthur Williamson

Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?
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11 Comments

  1. May 22, 2014 / 10:21 am

    Beautiful post!! I loved my grandparents garden – my Gramps was very much like yours, always growing things from cuttings and never afraid to ask! Good times 🙂 x
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  2. May 22, 2014 / 12:42 pm

    What a beautiful post. My Grandads green house smelt just the same, and whenever I smell really fresh tomatoes it reminds me of him. He was good at waste not want not too- in fact his nickname was ‘Pig Bin’ – a leftover from the war when scraps usually went in the pig bin, but in their house they went in my Grandad instead.

    My Mum loves taking my kids round her garden, and teaching them about the plants, I guess I better get learning before I become a Grandparent, as it seems for many of us it provided truly lasting memories. xx
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  3. May 22, 2014 / 5:32 pm

    Beautiful post. Such nice memories x

  4. May 22, 2014 / 6:54 pm

    What a moving and beautiful tribute to your grandad. We have never lived close to my grandparents and have missed out on Summer days relaxing in each other’s company. You are so lucky to have those precious days to treasure in your memory xx
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  5. May 22, 2014 / 8:10 pm

    I’m sat here with my tissues out after reading this. There’s something about that generation and the way they lived (both in their homes and outside in their gardens) that I really wish I could recreate here. The way that thriftiness was underlying everything. The way everything was always reused for something and things created from what today we sadly just throw away. I aspire to be like your Grandad.

    x
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  6. May 22, 2014 / 8:51 pm

    Oh my goodness, I am worried, I am not a good gardener, I’m a bit slapdahs – let’s see if it grows then, but I love my children and try to do everything possible for them.
    I sincerely hope my gardening isn’t a reflection of my parenting as you wouldn’t be impressed.
    Love your post Becky
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  7. May 23, 2014 / 9:43 am

    What lovely memories – of a grandad who sounds just wonderful.
    I do hope that my gardening abilities aren’t reflected in my parenting. I’m always forgetting to water my plants and they constantly die on me!
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