Grow Write Guild #21: Gardener part 2

Back at the end of February I posted part 1 on this subject and concluded that the seeds of being a gardener had definitely been sown (sorry).

It's taken a while to progress this second part for a couple of reasons - finding photographs to go with this post which I hoped would also help jog my memory as I realised that just by moving house I didn't become a gardener either!  What I hadn't bargained for was having to look through piles of proper photographs as well as lots of digital ones!

We bought our current house in 2002 and I've managed to find the photo that was included in the estate agents' details, see right.

After the first viewing I remember thinking that the garden was "like a park" with its shrubs, trees and bushes. It was a little overgrown but even we could see it had good structure, and we hoped that with some help we'd be able to maintain and control this garden.

It seems we didn't move to digital photos until around 2008 and I'm sure at the time that felt like a big change however we're so used to having our smartphones to hand that today this feels like a world away!

It also seems that we didn't take many photos at all of the garden in our early years here. I found some photos dated 2005 (see below) and they show the structure of the garden, which has been tidied and is more manicured, but there's not much more than maintaining going on. Looking back I think we were probably scared by the garden - we're not anymore!

On the left the view from the house; on the right the view back

to the house (we've many of this shot over the years!)

On the left is a bare Laburnum; the right shows the Laurel at the end

of the garden. 

They're not great quality photos, but they seem to be all I have. But even so,  it seems I'm not yet a gardener!  I think this changed when we started growing fruit and vegetables, it was also when we started to own and change this garden. We added raised beds, which MOH made and painted and we chose what we wanted to grow. We had initial success too, which no doubt spurred us on. 

Tomatoes were our thing, and below you can see what I regularly still call our tomato farm!  Having raised plants and later growing them from seed it was (and still is) hard to discard the weaker ones, hence the farm!  Luckily we like tomatoes...

We've also grown courgettes (plentiful), sweet corn (some success), cabbages (a "lace" variety!) and runner beans (another regular - we never buy runner beans!)

So now I think we've become Gardeners. We're not quite Good Life standard yet, nor do we plan to be but there is a certain calmness and pride in being able to grow some of the food we eat. Of course, some years are better and produce more than others and this dependson both the amount of time we can spend in the garden and the weather we have - but that's all part of being a gardener. 

And of course we still have the rest of the garden to do, we can't just concentrate on growing vegetables! The other way we've made our mark on this garden is introducing some topiary, which we cut ourselves. It's also rewarding but in such a different way, unlike the veg the results are instantaneous and bring more character into our garden. 

There is always something to do, and ways to improve our garden and when the weather's too bad to garden (like it has been this winter) I spend part of the weekend just gazing out of the conservatory wistfully...

I'm linking this post (belatedly) to Gayla's Grow Write Guild, take a look to see what made other contributors gardeners.