About Me

My photo
SW London
A semi-mature, hardy individual who tries to get away with doing as little as possible in gardening as in life, still expects the best results & wonders why she is frequently disappointed! She likes to keep a photographic record of everything, good & frequently bad!

Friday, 13 November 2009


bewcastle 001[1] - Copy (2)Bewcastle
My recent  wittering on biscuits got me to thinking about my dad & how he loved to garden. So, I thought I would write about him because I miss him & know he would love to see what I have managed to achieve in gardening as well as the rest of my life.
I suspect that deep down my dad had a natural tendency to laziness which I have inherited, but he would never dream of letting such a trait surface. Indeed I think he constantly tried to prove otherwise.
From the age of 2 we lived in the wilds of Cumbria, right on the border with Scotland: indeed we had to cross the border to see our doctor. Climate & weather wise it was challenging to any gardener.
Dad was Head teacher at the tiny rural school. We lived in the school house which had a very respectable sized garden. Initially half of this was school garden where the older children were taught (up to the then school leaving age), but when they were transferred to Secondary School dad took it over for fruit & veg. It was still referred to as the school garden.  The aerial  photo above shows the school with the school house on the left & what was originally the District Nurse’s house to the right.
Dad loved his garden & spent the large proportion of his life there when not working. I don’t suppose we really appreciated it when we were young: it was just a place to play & which miraculously produced gargantuan amounts of fruit & veg. Much of this had to be given away & when we had the luxury of electricity much of the summer was spent freezing stuff. That really was a chore for us, particularly when we were old enough to be left when they went away during the summer with instructions to carry on freezing.
To be honest we didn’t help much in the garden although dad would have loved us to. I did spend some time helping him build a greenhouse. We had got about half the glass in when there was a dramatic storm: yes, you’ve guessed it, no glass or all glass would have been fine!
Dad was so keen on gardening that eventually he, along with some other keen horticulturalists, was a prime mover in setting up the annual Bewcastle Show so that locals could compete & show off what they had achieved in their gardening as well as baking & craft work.
Luckily I moved to a house with garden before dad died. He & my mum were about to move to Norfolk (from whence he originally came) so I drove up to Cumbria & filled my car with bits of plants from the garden. I think the only plant I have left from that trip is some Lysimachia punctata which has a slight thuggish tendency but I will not be parted from it as it is always a reminder of dad. He never really saw my interest in gardening blossom, but I often think of him when I am outside.
bewcastle 001[1] - Copy Mum & Dadbewcastle[1] - Copy The flower garden
Writing this has brought back many happy memories, all prompted by the words “Daaaaad, 10 o’clocks”.


  1. How very charming.
    Biscuits: chock full of, not only sugar and hydrogenated fats but memories.

  2. Tee hee, I'll bet those thighs haven't seen daylight for some years now.

    Two thirds of my parents garden was given over to fruit and veg growing, the rest being one small lawn and some paving area to sunbathe on. Unlike you I wasn't allowed to be an LT and had jobs allocated like picking and shelling peas or the redcurrants and blackcurrants. My gran came to stay once and was given the task of picking and washing the raspberries. My stewed raspberry pudding was served up with earwig floating in it - a clever ploy from Grandma that ensured she wasn't asked to do that job again.

  3. That's a nice tale. You have certainly inherited some of your parents features! Funny, that.

  4. you have your dad's features