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Memories of your childhood gardens

My daughter had to design a themed garden for school, throwing out ideas it suddenly brought back to mind, when I was a child in the 70's, how exciting it was when the rag n bone man would visit our road. Just thinking of it evoked memories of gooseberry bushes, rhubarb, tom thumbs and pansies! How exotic I thought my grans Fuschia was and how there seemed to be a doc leaf on hand whenever you needed one!

Would love to hear your childhood garden memories

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  • Beaus MumBeaus Mum Posts: 3,535

    Hi Bonnie, lovely post and so appropriate to how i feel today.  We had a bench that i spent many a sunny afternoon sun bathing to a crisp! I then spent the night covered in wet tea towels to soothe the burns!  

    I remember drying my hair on the swing.

    Sadly i had no interest in plants at that age! More interested that mum had the paddling pool filled for when we came home from school image

  • Bright starBright star Wrea GreenPosts: 697

    I can remember the rag n bone man calling too, he had a supply of balloons ready for any of us kids that  took him stuff no longer needed. Our garden backed on to some allotments which were between our garden and the service road at the back, an alley running between the allotments connected us to the service rd. We had a big muck heap at the bottom of our garden and I can vividly recall my younger sister standing guard at the top of the heap shouting abuse at anyone who dared venture into our alley! Next to the he muck heap we had a massive clump of rhubarb which was cut on a regular basis for us kids to have a piece to dip into a bag of sugar? No wonder I have a mouth full of metal. Still love rhubarb to this day especially in a pie, but not with as much sugar! 

    Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Ours was a small holding a large walled garden every wall covered with fruit trees, I can still taste the sun warm Victoria Plums and William pears just at thier best as we picked and ate them. I too loved rhubarb and dad would cover a root with a bucket lined with straw, those first shoots poached with custard oh my. We also had pigs ducks geese hens and Dad a keen gardener feeding us and the extended family from the garden even though he had his own haulage business. It would take pages to write it all up but a lasting memory is Dad opening the garden gate saying come on girls, the ducks and geese would follow him down the lane across the village green and on to the duck pond. Dads motto was if you cannot eat it or sell it do not bother growing it. He did give me my love of Peony's Madonna lily's and pinks. A happy time.

    Frank

  • Joyce21Joyce21 Posts: 15,489

    The smell of the annual delivery of manure.

    The clove scent of carnations,

    Picking and eating peas and strawberries so that many never reached the kitchen.

    Opening the 'snap dragon' flowers.

    Making daisy chains.

    Also the milk man with his horse and cart. We took jugs out to be filled from the churns.  Balloons from the rag and bone man. The "onion Johnnies" and the coal man. . . .Getting the tar rubbed off our feet with margarine. . . . Happy memoriesimage

    SW Scotland
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 1,771

    I was born in the early 50's. We had, allegedly, had a pretty garden but ' Hitler spoiled it,'  and my parents' love of gardening can be measured by the fact that it wasn't put right until the 1970's! It was just a wasteland with a couple of shrubs and scrubby grass. My best friend has a more conventional garden and my love of plants was first engendered by a deep red rose that grew there, scenting the sunny pathway.

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 14,272

    So was I, Posy.

    The first garden I remember was in a Surrey town. The garage was on the left as you faced the garden and there were raspberries growing by it. Lawn in front of the house, then a low wall with aubretia, then a row of apple trees, more lawn on right, veg garden on left. My sandpit at the end of the veg garden. At the end was a greenhouse on the left and a shed on the right. Between the 2 was a blackberry bush growing up the brick wall. I was sick from eating too many blackberries when I was about 3. In front of the wall was a patch of grass where our 2 tortoises lived.

    The front garden had a large messy bed full of calendulas. My mother just let them get on with it. She always preferred growing vegetables.

    There must have been roses, in the front, I think, because when horses went by, there was a racing stables, my father used to rush out with a shovel to put the droppings on the compost heap for his roses. There were trade people's horse and carts too, but I can't remember what. I loved horses.

    When I was 11 and my parents had 6 children, 2 pairs of twins, we moved to an old farmhouse in the country with a bigger garden. My mother still grew veg and my father had a rose garden with brick pillars with roses climbing up them and roses on formal beds. There was a big shrub bed at the side. Mum used to moan about the ground elder in it and sometimes a man came to dig it out. There was a big flower bed, usually full of weeds, but flowers grew too. Also a fruit cage, we kept our guinea pigs in it as it was properly fenced and netted. That was kept much tidier than the flowers!

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 16,246

    EARLY MEMORIES INCLUDE THE FARMER CALLING DOOR TO DOOR WITH HIS CHURN OF MILK. UNPASTEURISED, PRESUMABLY, AND ALSO, AS WE WERE AT THE END OF HIS LIST AND HE NEVER STIRRED IT UP BEFORE FILLING THE JUG, SKIMMED. I REMEMBER MY MOTHER BERATING HIM FOR MAKING HER PAY THE SAME AS THE PEOPLE WHO GOT THE TOP OF THE MILK AT THE START OF HIS ROUND.

    ONE DAY HIS MILCH COW ESCAPED INTO OUR GARDEN AND ATE HALF THE FLOWERS BEFORE IT WAS RETRIEVED BY THE EMBARASSED FARMER. AS HE DROVE THE BEAST OUT OF THE GARDEN, MY BROTHER SHOUTED AFTER HIM "SHUT GATE!" IN THE BROADEST YORKSHIRE ACCENT AND GOT A THICK EAR FROM MY HARRASSED MOTHER FOR HIS CHEEK AND ACCENT.

    MY FATHER, ALWAYS LOOKING FOR THE LINE OF LEAST RESISTANCE AND THE QUIETEST POSSIBLE LIFE, USED TO STUDY ENTOMOLOGY IN HIS SPARE TIME. I REMEMBER HIM TAKING ME ROUND THE GARDEN, MAYBE AGED SIX, AND SHOWING ME THE DISTINCTIVE VEINS ON THE WINGS OF HOVERFLIES AND TELLING ME THEIR LATIN NAMES AND THE ENGLISH MEANINGS. SUCH AS HELOPHILUS PENDULUS, THE DANGLING SWAMP LOVER, WHICH HAS THE VERY NOTICEABLE U BEND IN ITS WING VEINS, TYPICAL OF THE GENUS.

    http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6080/6088873597_85111cecef_b.jpg

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Joice I did not to go far for that smell, we had stables, i helped Dad shovel horse muck and straw through a trap door in the end wall straight into the midden.

    My Mothers Uncle was the milkman the dairy farm just up the road we among the first delivery, Uncle Arthur would walk in with a jug of fresh milk for my porridge saying get that down thee lad you will need muscle for "t" tattie picken, Yorkshire born like my Mother.. Dad was from Prudhoe me born in Durham it was like being a linguist even before the Greek Latin and French started.

    Holidays I would stay on the farm helping with morning milking, often drank it straight from the bucket, it was filtered and went through the cooler then delivered. Churns with dipping measures for Jill Half and Pint, the ladies brought thier own jugs to the cart. There was a Fordson Tractor but Arthur preferred his horses Suffolk Punch and Cleveland Bay. I loved horses.

    Frank

  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 1,771

    Even in the city, Liverpool for me, there were horses, then. Our milk was delivered from a horse-drawn cart and I would get up at 5 o'clock to go out to see the horse. I loved them, too. He knew the round and would walk on or stop and wait exactly the same every day. I sometimes wondered if he would go on even if the milkman stayed behind. We didn't have a beautiful Suffolk Punch or Cleveland Bay, he was probably just an old pony, but lovely in my eyes.

  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Scariff, County Clare, IrelandPosts: 5,715

    What a lovely thread!  Thanks, Bonnieweething.

    I'm an early 50s product too, brought up in a village in Hertfordshire which is now the site of a junction between the M1 and M25.  (I haven't been back since it acquired a Little Chef where the field with the wild daffodils used to be...  image)  Tiny bungalow in a big garden, with a rose bed under the front window and a lovely Acer griseum next to the path to the gate.  Dad worked in London, and gardening was his escape from the "big smoke".  In the back garden was a lawn with a pear tree in it, a pond, mixed borders, cordon apples trained over the path, loads of soft fruit, enough veg to feed us all year, and a wonderfully mysterious shed under the big oak tree, full of tools and labels and tarry string.  Lovely memories of sitting at the picnic table under the pear tree with my mum and sister, "topping and tailing" gooseberries with small scissors before they were bottled, and helping dad sow vegetable seeds.  image  In my memory, springtime was always filled with bird song, summer with sunshine, autumn with crisp leaves & bonfires, and winter with deep snow...  

    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
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