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Garden Mentors

UffUff SW Scotland but born in DerbyshirePosts: 2,881
Did you have a mentor who gave you inspiration and confidence when you became interested in gardening or did you just get stuck in and hope for the best?


  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 23,618
    No one in my family was interested in gardening. I learnt and am still learning by my own mistakes😉
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • nick615nick615 SW IrelandPosts: 1,200
    Two books, both 1977.  Readers Digest 'Food from your Garden' and 'Vegetable Gardening' by W E Shewell-Cooper.  Flowers are left to OH.
  • UffUff SW Scotland but born in DerbyshirePosts: 2,881
    I guess that making mistakes is the best way to learn B3 and I've made plenty. 

    I think my interest started with helping my dad in the garden when I was about 7 or 8, more by bribery and a need to earn pocket money. He paid me by the square yard for weeding. When I'd finished he would make a show of going down the garden and pacing out the area and pay me accordingly. I realised when I got older of course it was his way of teaching me a good work ethic. He was very knowledgeable about garden practices and taught me a lot about growing vegetables. 

    When I got older and was married, same as you Nick615, I learned from books, in particular the Dr Hessayon Expert books. They seemed to me to contain a wealth of knowledge. I've just Googled them and I'm shocked at how much they are worth now. 
  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 10,278
    I learned by doing, from books and from the good people on here 😀😀😀

    We are considering setting up a mentoring scheme at our Gardening club.  We have gained lots of new, younger members over the lockdowns and there seems to be a real appetite for advice and knowledge sharing.
  • UffUff SW Scotland but born in DerbyshirePosts: 2,881
    That's a fantastic idea chicky. Will you let us know how you get on please?
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,427
    edited November 2021
    Books (mostly from the library) and TV (Gardener's World with Geoff Hamilton).
    And of course lots of trial and error, finding out what grows well here and what doesn't.
    There weren't internet and forums then, and my parents weren't really gardeners until after I'd left home (they kept it tidy but the only gardening I remember doing as a child was pulling up ash seedlings sown by next door's tree, and lawn mowing with a push-along cylinder mower).
  • SherwoodArrowSherwoodArrow Nottinghamshire Posts: 184
    nick615 said:
    Two books, both 1977.  Readers Digest 'Food from your Garden' and 'Vegetable Gardening' by W E Shewell-Cooper.  Flowers are left to OH.
    Snap, this was my Grandmas book.
    Its my go to book for everything, from Planning to planting, pests to preserving 😁.
    It’s all in there. 
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    I've learnt loads from this forum. One of my main inspirations was the colour palette of Sarah Raven's books and her presentations at Chelsea. The colours really knocked me sideways, and they still do.  GW provided a constant learning curve in the early years and I would sit, literally, with a notebook, scribbling down ideas.

    Another inspiration is Great Dixter and Fergus' lectures and the generous delight he shares. The exuberance of the place and the dedication to courage, learning and biodiversity reminds me of the essential point of growing, for me.
  • UffUff SW Scotland but born in DerbyshirePosts: 2,881
    That looks like a lovely book SherwoodArrow. You've encouraged me to ferret one of mine out. This wasn't my first one but as you can see very much thumbed through.

    Just going back to Geoff Hamilton JennJ. He used to remind me of my dad. Down to earth and a no nonsense just get on with it type on man and if things go wrong get a grip and do it again.

  • coccinellacoccinella Luxembourg Posts: 379
    I would like to see a category on this forum dedicated to books. How-to books, garden poems and garden literature  books, antique books (Dr Hessayon's are soon to be just that😊). 
    What do you think?
    When down go out and buy a packet of seeds
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