Or maybe that reason to be cheerful should be ‘happy chance’.
I made myself a cup of herb tea this morning and it had a tag on it with an uplifting thought (I know, I know – ergh…). Normally I ignore these things but something made me look, and the inspiring thought was ‘Life starts when we start growing a garden’ – thanks, Yogi Teas.
(Well, life and swearing, but then we have been doing some major seasonal clearing.)
Going by that slogan – I can’t bring myself to call it an ‘inspiring thought’ again – my life began pretty much as soon as my life began:
My parents were very, very keen gardeners; at one point my mother had even taught gardening – gardening and French, in a rather exotic combination. My father was probably more obsessed with photography, but it was a close-run thing (I’ve inherited that obsession too). Fine weather inevitably meant being outside and usually in a garden, wherever we were living. Unsurprisingly I – and a little bit later, my brother – were encouraged to join in. There was never any idea of giving us our own part of the garden; we just stuck our trowels in wherever we were allowed to do so.
Mind you, even our parents realised that there were some tasks which were better supervised than participated in by two-year-olds:
Chunky thighs and a wee hand-knitted tam. Some things never change. And I still prefer to supervise the lawnmowing, though that has more to do with having a sloping garden and a heavy mower. Honestly.
Raking through the old photo albums in search of evidence, I was brought up short by this, captioned ‘Katharine and her favourite flower, a– ‘ – well, let’s wait for the reveal:
I remember loving them, but I didn’t remember any actual proof, and yet here it is.
And I still love them, and was delighted last year to find some and introduce them into my garden, despite the fact that they are terribly, terribly out of fashion.
They’re Pyrethrums – and I still like them in red. Or maybe it’s more of a crimson. Don’t care, love it whatever it is.
They’re so uncomplicated, so cheerful, so bright. They almost look like a child’s drawing, and maybe that was one of the things that appealed to me – I have found an even earlier Pyrethrum pic in which I must have been about 9 months old – or maybe I just loved wild colours (I was never a pink person, even then).
I’ve always had strong views on fashion in gardening, and how it can lead to the eclipse of perfectly good plants… I think I’m going to have to start the Rehabilitation of the Pyrethrum as a Border Plant Society, otherwise known as the RPBPS. I’m hoping we can pick up members from birding types who can’t type ‘RSPB’ properly.
How about other people’s early experiences? Was anyone else equally thrilled by a particular plant, and if so, what?