My earliest gardening memories are hazy, but specific. Cutting mint for a sauce with the sunday roast lamb, picking blackcurrants or gooseberries for a sunday crumble.
I was brought up in a council house in south wales and they came with large gardens which most people used for veg and fruit. There was a small lawn with an apple tree, then the large veg patch with soft fruit at one side and to the rear.
Strict stereotypical roles – normal for the times – were played by my parents, my dad grew the food, my mother cooked it.
I ‘helped’ as much as any young child does and when I reached my ‘teens the weekly mowing of the lawn with an ancient cylinder mower was one of my chores.
I left home and went to college in 1973 and never returned to live in the area again, my career taking me all over the country during the next few years.
Then in the early 80’s – terrible to think I now can’t remember the exact year – my dad had a stroke following on from a diagnosis of angina. I went to visit and being around Easter he was wanting to get his potatoes in!
So with his old and much loved spade I “trenched” the chitted potatoes under his instruction. He was on various medications and seemed to be improving.
Then in late summer he died in his sleep at home from another massive stroke. I returned for the funeral and to help my mother with all the arrangements.
After the funeral sorting various bits and pieces I noticed the potatoes I had planted with him in the spring.
So using his old spade and fork I dug them up for my mother.
I’ve been led to write this post by Gayla Trails “Grow Write Guild” idea.
The Grow Write Guild is a writing prompt series (created by Gayla Trail) to help those of us who want to write about our gardens and our gardening experiences, but are looking for a little help or a community of likeminded friends to provide support and a gentle kick in the pants.
I sometimes need a jog to get me writing a blog post and sometimes they can be very brief and very constricted to practicalities. I’m hoping that the Grow Write Guild will help me write more interesting posts more regularly. Her prompt of ‘My First Plant’ led me to thinking about my dads garden, and the old broken tools of his that I still have.