Thinking of gardens always makes me happy, some of my earliest memories are of my parents gardening. My dad was always busy with the latest project my mum had dreamed up. I fondly remember my grandad’s back garden in Sydney, lush buffalo grass with a perfectly edged narrow path leading to a secret rock garden where my brother and I would create mini worlds. I think of going to the botanical gardens for picnics or watching peter rabbit exploring Mr McGregor’s garden, it’s all very romantic. So naturally at our new house I want to re create these experiences and follow in the footsteps of those who have inspired me.
My grandad was a soberly, methodical gardener, hell bent on doing things neatly, with a great old fashioned pride in his work. Right into his 80’s he would to come and visit us in Brisbane, we lived on an acre and a half, and he would rake up every last gum leaf, (for non Australians, Native Gums are lovely but disorderly trees, there always seems to be just as much of them on the ground as on the branches). He instinctively pruned the camellias, and perhaps less intuitively dug up my mums beloved native violas from the front patio, ‘Finally got rid of all of those weeds for you Helen’ *gasp* All the while completely immaculate with his knobbly knees in high socks and a perfectly pressed shirt with a grey vest.
He passed on this determination and love of the outdoors to dad. Dad however lacks the same enthusiasm for precision, it is hard to take a man in a shirt with more holes then fabric seriously. Especially when he is standing on a flimsy 30 year old ladder on a slope, 10m up…In thongs (flipflops) with an electric chainsaw trimming branches. He certainly wouldn’t win any awards for safety, but his touching faith in his DIY ability is unshakable and 95% of the time very impressive.
My mum gave me my creativity, her sense of style is unwavering, although she is from more of a free-range artistic strand then my grandad and father. Dad was the bewildered muscle behind the reclaimed bathtub filled with driftwood and flowers by the front door. She is a collector and always delights in finding new ways to display something (usually something NO ONE else would dream of picking up). She is also a very knowledgable gardener, whenever we point to a tree she will give us the variety and if she is feeling particularly knowledgable the latin name! She is always there with a trick to fix your green thumb problems.
I have always thought of gardening of something older people did and it wasn’t until I was touring through England where Joel and I wandered the grounds and decided we needed our own small scale sanctuary. Things for our new home and garden were set into motion. And especially through this last few years when I have needed to find peace and solace, gardening has helped to centre and calm me. Helping me to connect with natural seasons, that remind us life goes trundling along. I also read microbes in the soil are good for us, so it’s always nice to have a little science behind the good feelings.
So as you can see I have long fancied being a gardener, I am convinced it is a therapeutic patience-giving pastime and based on my heritage I should be good at it. Only time will tell.
So this was my inspiration to get creative in the garden.
Whenever we tackle something new, I think it is human nature to consider our inspirations. Great journal prompt for this week is to think about who inspired you to garden, share it below if you feel inclined, I love hearing people’s stories.