Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Why garden?

Rosalie Pike recently joined the Food Garden Group. Here is her first contribution to our blog.  Welcome, Rosalie!

There are endless web sites, magazines and books on how to garden.  Why people garden is just as fascinating. In a complex, fast paced world gardening is a constant.  The reasons people garden are intensely personal and varied.

My own journey into the world of gardening began as a toddler.  We lived as an extended family with my grandmother at Tea Tree near Richmond and to maintain domestic harmony my Mum did the house keeping and cooking and Gran the garden.  As an independent child with an enquiring mind I was often in strife with adults.  Time in the garden with Gran was refuge.

In Spring Gran used to pick a basket of hyacinths and travel on the train to Hobart to sell her flowers.  This took up most of what to me was an endless day.  The waiting was excruciating for what was a highlight of my young life.  When Gran sold the flowers she always bought me a Little Golden Book. Bliss!
On the train to Hobart with Gran
The rhythm of our life was governed by the seasons.  The pleasure of the first green vegetables, particularly the peas.  Podding them was another matter.  Sore thumbs, green nails and a mild case of RSI after shelling enough for Sunday lunch with cousins, uncles and aunts.   I was thankful when they finished cropping.

Summer and early Autumn saw endless jam, pickles, sauces, chutney.  The aroma was heady and Sunday tea always included the jam of the moment on bread with lots of cream.  My Gran milked the cows and was in charge of the cream and butter making.  The neighbour made the bread.

Our social calendar was dictated by the garden and the seasons - school fairs, garden shows, church fund raisers, cricket matches, the CWA, weddings, dances and funerals.  The all involved food.   My particular favourite was Harvest Festival.  The church was always decorated with splendorous flowers and fruits.  This this day Autumn is my favourite time of the year.

As the years rolled on I acquired a garden of my own and most of my passions stem from the garden - cooking, flower arranging, food production, community involvement, family and reading.
My present garden at Bellerive
'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'  Cicero.  Two thousand years have passed but I agree with Cicero.

Why do you garden?

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