Monday, 11 April 2011

Grow on then!

I started in horticulture when I was 16 years old and was given time and a lot of patience by a super lady called Sheila Hayden. My job really, was spotty teenage till monkey and I did fulfill the duties of a till monkey rather well (even if I do say so myself).
Sheila taught me that horticulture is the one job you can have and spend time legitimately standing seemingly doing nothing. My first introduction to seemingly doing nothing was watering. It is the one job that I struggle to get anyone to do properly and it is the fundamental start to getting plants to do what you want them to do.
This aside, my love of plants started in this job and soon swelled into a desire to sing....... Well actually not sing but to go and learn more for certain.
This thought led me to talk to Sheila who said 'For god's sake don't go and be a bloody designer! Learn about the plants' These not so dulcet tones ringing through my brain drew me to the prospectus of Pershore College. Every concievable course was there from Arboriculture to the evil and accursed design courses.
My first thoughts swung directly to the course that would allow me to wield heavy machinery with gay abandon 'Arboriculture' and then I heard Shiela again 'learn about the plants'. To be honest it wasn't just Shiela, a good friend had said that they never got girls on the 'arb' course and they usually smell a bit due to swinging in trees and being clad in chain mail. Knowing all of this helped me to choose the worst paid of all the horticultural trades, 'Hardy Nursery Stock'
I hear many of you swoon beneath the weight of glamour this yields and the rest of you say 'Why?'
The reason is this: To produce a field of plants from just a small room's worth of plant material is one of the most satisfying things I have ever done and I have never met a truly unhappy gardener. Yes we all moan a lot but truthfully it isn't real moaning, It's mostly about the weather or not enough growth in the runner beans this spring, and usually with a swift half or glass of pea pod it can all be remedied.
I could go on for a lot longer but I know I can dribble on so here's why I have started the blog. I love the job I'm in and I love the smiles people end up with when I tell them 'it isn't dead, it just hasn't had time to shake off the winter.' A good friend has just started a blog about his gardening company and it got me to thinking that I could make more people smile with a couple of pointers that will make life easier. Most of my dearest friends are gardeners or nurserymen and horticulture has always been about sharing knowledge, time and respect for each other and the plant world we chose to learn about. I don't know how regular it will be or if you will enjoy this blog but I hope you do and I challenge you dislike gardening in some form or other.  So as the title says 'Grow on then!'


  1. Great stuff, Ed! The web will be richer now you have a place to pour out the wealth of your plant knowledge, looking forward to reading it regularly!

  2. I am really loving having a place to rattle on about the thing I love best. If anything I'm worried it could become all consuming.
    Looking forward to hearing about all your gardens.