Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Three generations of garden lovers

My maternal grandfather. At one point he was a gardener for the Cartland family (he didn't much like Barbara Cartland). Every time I pick raspberries now, I think of him, having spent many happy times picking and eating the ruby jewels from his garden when I was small.
My mum, who developed her garden from the standard 1970's suburban rows of marigolds and alyssum (and a back garden full of my father's dahlias), into a shrubby and herbaceous riot of colour and texture. And not averse to the odd trick - SomeBeans was impressed by the gorgeous flowers on a hazel the first time he visited chez Mouffetard. They were fabric.
Sadly, only one remains. Apologies for the 'dress' - it was the 1970's. I still love dahlias.

13 comments:

Julia said...

That is very sad. Please tell me if this is none of my business, but have you only just become the last surviving family gardener? No matter how recent, I am sorry for your loss.

My grandfather had an award-winning rose garden, three ponds, a vegetable garden, a tennis court and a field full of geese, ducks, bantams and peafowl. Sadly he died several years before I began gardening, and I always feel a touch of sadness that he never knew. Mind you, he'd probably have been disgusted by how few flowers I have!

HappyMouffetard said...

Thank you for your comment. No - it's been a while, but I was just looking at some old photos which SomeBeans had scanned onto the PC. I'm not sure what my grandfather would have made of my garden, but he'd like the fact I've now got an allotment :-)

James A-S said...

Strictly speaking that is not a dress but a high belt, I think.
Your family undoubtedly has style - am particularly keen on Grandpa Mouffetard's dungarees.

chaiselongue said...

Sorry to hear you're the last - but with gardening there's never a last. Like a garden, gardeners renew themselves, pass on their knowledge, interest and excitement to another generation, whether their own children or other people's! My grandmother was a gardener in old age, having never had a garden before, and I remember picking peas and fruit with her, but she never knew me as a gardener, sadly. I'm luckier, because my daughter gardens now - but she only became really interested after she left home!

Karen Hall said...

Ahh, Bless - What wonderful pictures.
Karen
An Artist's Garden
(Re James AS comment - my grandfather would have called the dress a pelmet!)

The Garden Monkey said...

The love shines through.

Great Post.

Titania said...

Don't be sad; I think your grandfather and your mother were very happy gardeners when you look at their fantastic gardens. Even if you are the last it doesn't mean you are the last one. My mother had a garden. She grew "Madonna lillies." Once I opened all the buds because I wanted to see what was inside. My mother was in tears and I didn't do it again!

HappyMouffetard said...

Thank you for your comments - they were lovely. It's nice to open the blog at the moment & see my grandfather & mother looking out at me :-)

Matron said...

I just LOVE that picture of your Maternal Grandfather! There is so much we can learn from these old boys you see on the allotments! And yes.... I too had a dress like that!

VP said...

I love those pictures - especially the 'belt/pelmet'!

My old school was built on the site of the Cartland family's pile in Brum. One of our houses was called Cartland as a result.

We always thought it a real hoot that a very prim and proper girls' grammar school had a very strong connection with Mills and Boon!

BTW Threadspider went to the same school and lives just up the hill from me here in Chippenham!

HappyMouffetard said...

VP, we had a Cartland house at our school (in Malvern), too. I was always disappointed that the badges for the house were white, rather than a vivid pink as favoured by Dame Barbara.

VP said...

Cartland's colour was a vile green (a sort of muted lime) with a gold motif in the middle. yuk! Pink would have been a vast improvement, but that was the fate of Priory (black with pink in the middle). I was glad to be in Meriden (red with a white Tudor rose).

We also had Warwick, Stratford and Lichfield - all to do with the school's history...

Blimey, I'm off down memory lane here!

Northern Shade said...

What a sweet picture of you under the dahlia forest.
I love the feeling of connection to previous generations of gardeners. Certain plants and scents trigger strong memories when I'm in the garden.