The Gardening Highlight which changed my life

Back in June 2001 I wrote an article which was published in the Cottage Garden Society magazine.  I thought i'd put it on my blog because it still applies as much today as it did when I first wrote it and it also relates to my last blog entry on a career in gardening.

"Gardening has only been a hobby for seven years - as a child it was a for of punishment, but eventually I got the bug, and it was only a matter of time before my 30 ft sq walled, modern housing-estate garden was much to small.  (this is an understatement for someone who's obsessed with buying plants!)  Having worked as an assistant accountant in the same firm for 10 years, and been stuck in an office since leaving school, it was definitely time for a change.  But it did take a year for me to get up the courage to make that change.  Well-paid job, five weeks paid holiday, pleasant working conditions, good friends and boss.....

Now i'm a self employed gardener.  I go around other people's gardens, cutting grass, weeding and pruning.  By the time people get around to phoning me you can imagine the sort of state a lot of the gardens are in, and on first sight it's quite daunting, wondering whether i'm capable of making any impact let alone improvement.  Thankfully I have yet to be defeated, even with the adverse weather conditions.  It's so satisfying to clear a garden, not to mention being thanked by someone who sincerely means it."

"It is hard work, especially in comparison to number crunching but it has so many rewards - I just should have done it sooner.

Highlights of this career change are the wildlife.  I hardly have to put a fork to the soil in any garden before a robin has turned up, waiting and watching to see what I have unearthed.  Several toads hibernating, and one poor hedgehog who has been unearthed three times - third time lucky for him as he was in the rubbish to be burnt!  So now my 30ft garden just keeps growing around the surrounding countryside.

I could not have done it without the support and encouragement of my husband (who thinks all gardens should be astro turfed!) also my friends and family.  Another thank you would have to go to the man who pays me to buy plants for his garden - have I died and gone to heaven?"