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Why Are Gardens Important?

 

Friends Enjoying GardenLike most people, my first experiences with gardens came as a child. My parents owned a retirement home in Devon, which was blessed with over an acre of mature gardens. There were terraces and lawns, greenhouses, various gazebos and an incredible rose garden. Specimen shrubs and trees abounded, including two giant Monkey Puzzles which were unfortunately lost in the Great Storm of 1987.

Idyllic childhood days were spent playing in the garden with my brother, friends or my own imagination. Trees were climbed and play houses built. We organised football games on the main lawn, which to my young eyes looked the size of Wembley Stadium. I think the garden must have been purpose built for a game of hide and seek.

Naturally, as the house was a retirement home, children weren’t the only ones enjoying the garden. Pleasant spring and summer days would invite some of the residents outside to savour the gardens too.  Residents enjoyed taking afternoon tea on the terrace whilst the active could take a leisurely stroll around the garden pathways. I remember one resident who was keen on dead-heading the roses, usually before the heads were actually dead! She seemed to enjoy the activity so much we were reluctant to stop her.

This is the crux of why gardens are important to us. It doesn’t matter if you are young, old or somewhere in between, gardens are vital to our lives. Gardens provide a connection to nature – an essential part of our spiritual existence. As our lives get increasingly busier and our world relentlessly connected, we simply must make the time to switch off and ‘just be’. Our gardens provide this opportunity.

As I grew into adolescence, my parents realised I was a good source of cheap labour and I was given household duties to perform. These duties were often centred on the garden: sweeping up leaves, mowing the lawns, trimming the hedges. But the truth was I rarely viewed these duties as a chore…I actually quite enjoyed them. Feedback was often instant. I took something and made it look better, stood back and enjoyed my work. In my recent career, working in finance for an insurance company, the millionaire founder told me that he was at his happiest with a rake in hand, clearing leaves from his garden. It’s as if your garden demands that you slow down and relax.

There is something primeval about growing plants which appeals to our very sense of being human.  Not long back into history we survived through subsistence farming – we grew the food that we ate. Sowing, planting, and watching our crops grow…our gardens replicate this process. Similarly our parental instincts lead us to nurture our families.

I think that gardening is embedded in our DNA.

  1. Lorna said:

    I enjoyed your blog and sensed your enjoyment and connection with your garden as you grew up. Have read your other blogs too and have been inspired to see my own garden in a new light and will take up some of your suggestions.

    • Nick said:

      Thanks for you comment Lorna, it was quite a personal post so I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Sharon said:

    i m loving your new website, the piece about the fire pit and the lovely bird art work especially appeal to me. I’m a Yorkshire girl who similar to you was brought up with fields all around with trees to climb and freedom to explore nature. The garden is my safe, calming escape from the chaos of city life, look forward to more posts, products .

    • Nick said:

      Hi Sharon, thanks for your lovely comments, and glad to hear that you can relate to my thoughts. Our gardens should be a sanctuary so I’m happy you have one to enjoy now you are living the city life. But I also hope that you still get the time to escape into the country and be that little Yorkshire girl again:)

  3. Jacqueline Farguson said:

    Hello there
    I was searching for unusual items for the garden of a new care home being built in Eastbourne and was delighted to find your amazing collection and to read your blog.
    Is there a chance I could visit you next week?
    Perhaps you can let me know.
    Thanks ever so.

    • Nick said:

      Hi Jacqueline, thanks for you kind comments! More than happy to have you round to view some products. I’ve just sent an email to the email address you gave. Thanks, Nick

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