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