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Which plants got you into gardening?

There are three that I particularly remember. One was Cerastium tomentosum, when I was about 8 years old. We were renting a house on a steep hillside and it had been planted on a little terraced bed alongside the drive. I thought its silvery leaves and white flowers were amazing and at that age I could practically see the down on the leaf surfaces.

Then later, when I was 15, we were living in a different house and I asked for and was given an area of the garden to work in. I bought a Hybrid Tea rose 'Peace' and a plug plant lupin--it was all I could afford. My father helped me to plant the rose properly. Not particularly unusual or thrilling plants, but the pride I felt in their growth was enormous. I loved the way a drop of rain collected in the centre of the lupin leaves, and the development of tier on tier of flower buds was fascinating. And the rose produced a few buds, so watching those swell and eventually open was rather miraculous. 

What were the plants that got you hooked?


  • When I was growing up we only had a tiny balcony on the fifth floor. Had a gardenia and a camelia and a few herbs they were everything to me and tought me so much about the natural world in miniature. I used to spent the summers in the countryside with my farmer grandparents so got another perspective on growing and good production which was eye opening for a city boy like me.
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,313
    Coleus and Celosia.
    Around 6-7 yrs old and I realized I could buy a packet of seed for 6d then sell each plant for 1s 6d to neighbours - I was onto a winner :)
    The fascination of planting something so tiny and within a short space of time see it grow big and beautiful still enthralls me.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,053
    I don’t remember which plants, exactly, but it was a combination of being allocated my own rockery area and a children’s gardening book by Percy Thrower. I am sure aubretia was involved, as mum had a lot of that, plus a packet of aquilegia seeds, which came with the book, non of which germinated.  Many, many years later, it was growing vegetables and pots on a terrace.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    edited March 2020
    We had amazing red roses in my small garden, growing up (I used to talk to them), and a montana hedge. These are my first memories of a garden. Also my aunt and uncle had a farm and I remember my aunt growing potatoes and parsley. Eating those straight from the garden was an amazing thing. I can still taste the freshness. As soon as I got a small garden of myown, I wanted to recreate some of the joy of my first gardens - and I have.
  • B3B3 Posts: 25,252
    When I was about 12, I kept house plants. Aspidistra, bizzy lizzies and coleus. I found the aspidistra flowers fascinating and I used to see for how long I could grow the other two without a leaf falling off. I learnt about pinching out and propagating.
    When I got my own first garden,it was completely different. I had to contend with weather and pests and the dog!
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Cambridgerose12Cambridgerose12 Posts: 1,120
    edited March 2020
    B3 said:
    'I had to contend with weather and pests and the dog!'
    I feel your pain...
  • B3B3 Posts: 25,252
    Not pets now but plenty of pests😉
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Posts: 3,866
    Like other members have mentioned, I also had a (very) small patch of our family garden all to myself when I was a teenager. Can't remember what I grew in it, except an experiment with wheat seeds; I was surprised to watch it grow so fast!
    I also remember the 2 species of tulips that grew year after year (in the vegetable border): pink ones and black ones. I remember playing hide and seek in the asparagus bed, when their foliage was left to grow.
    On the other hand, I vividly remember the one thing that put me off laurel hedges. We had a longish such hedge, which my younger brother and I had to trim twice a year (after my father had died). It was extremely boring and exhausting for our young arms. This may explain my usual rants on this forum any time laurel hedges are mentioned. ;)
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,530
    At primary school, we were given daffodil bulbs, nasturtium and candytuft seeds to grow in pots at home, and we took them back to school when they flowered.  The best ones won a certificate.  My dad, who loved growing things, helped me to look after them.  One year I had the best daffodil, and another year the second best.  Thanks, Dad.  He also gave me a small bit of garden of my own, I grew miniature cypress trees and rose bushes, and the smallest plants I could find.  I remember having heartsease and pink flowered saxifrage.
  • JemulaJemula Posts: 175
    The scent of sweet peas in my grandparents’ garden.
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