Rose’s growing story is somewhat of a domino effect. It started innocently four years ago when she sowed wildflowers in a few tubs in a little suburban garden with her daughter, Luna. They loved seeing the flowers bloom and the wildlife it attracted. The flower tub collection grew a little more, with helpful guidance from Rose’s Mum, starting from hardy bedding plants like geraniums and begonias. The Mum here is of significant value, as Rose reminisces her upbringing in a nearby village with a good size garden and lovingly nurtured cottage borders and hanging baskets. The love for nature and animals sparked then led to feelings of relaxation and freedom.
A few decades later, the gardening bug again took hold of Rose. She began by building a couple of flower beds at the front of the house and filling them with perennials such as Lavender Echinacea and Scabious. Shortly after that, a few more flowers went into the back garden, followed by a trial of strawberries and tomatoes and the most recent addition of a zip greenhouse. Unfortunately, the structure was not quite ready for the strong spring winds, so after a short seedling mourning period, Rose started the sowing game again. This year, it’s time for some miniature Halloween pumpkins.
After having some challenges with ‘pests’ on several plants, she learned about natural pest control, such as ladybird larvae, slug-deterring copper tape, and a soap spray for aphids, all far more beneficial than nasty pesticides. Not so long ago, much of this expert knowledge would not be accessible without a horticulture degree. But the current online community of gardeners sharing their top tips and tricks has made it possible to quickly learn and engage even when you have a busy life. This realm is a real asset to those starting their growing journey.
Rose describes herself as an enthusiastic novice gardener, despite working full-time and raising a family. With a helpful hand from her husband, Colyn, her garden thrives. It’s a space for loved ones and wildlife to gather. Rose’s words sum up nicely the essence of a beginner, though I think this applies even to those with plenty of growing experience.
“I can’t explain how happy I feel when coming home and being greeted by my plant babies,” she says. “I can’t wait to see how my garden changes, the wildlife that hopefully comes to visit, and the continued joy and safe space it will give me”.
It’s all about joy, isn’t it?