Gardening is a life skill that it is a pleasure to pass down through the generations.
My dad used to love being in the garden and at weekends he would put on his working clothes (burgundy check shirt and courdoroy trousers) and his worn out old gardening boots, which I think may well have been his National Service issue boots and toil away for hours, mowing the lawn with an old Qualcast push mower, tidying up the flower beds and borders and most of all looking after the vegetable plot at the bottom of the garden. There were always a couple of rows of potatoes that needed earthing up, cabbages that needed to be inspected for cabbage white caterpillars and some rows of beans that needed tieing in.
One of the nice things about this was that while he did this he encouraged me to help and passed on his knowledge and his tips – always sow runner beans on June 6th is one that always sticks in my mind for some reason. To encourage my interest he would let me have the responsibility of looking after the easiest plants, the lettuce and the radish, those that could be relied upon to germinate quickly and to grow without too much trouble or the need for constant attention.
In my turn I taught my own children about seeds and plants and gardening and growing fresh vegetables so I was delighted this week when my daughter sent me this picture of my granddaughter looking after her seedlings in a way that I can remember doing myself under the supervision of my dad.