Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

It is now a whole year since I took on the task of writing in the parish magazine for the Birstwith Horticultural Society and I really hope I haven’t been repeating myself too often or teaching my grandmother to suck eggs.

Having to think carefully about what I want to say each month has made me even more aware of the gardening year and its patterns and routines. I came seriously to gardening when Bernie and I finally owned one of our own and being young with limited means decided I could feed our growing family more efficiently with a fruit and vegetable patch. Growing up as I did with a fanatical gardener for a father, one of the Percy Thrower ilk, I assumed that evenly spaced rows and perfect veg were pretty standard. He must have turned so often in his grave while watching my mistakes as to be permanently dizzy. But what I did discover was the joy of digging and planting, the satisfaction of seeing tiny green shoots appear and the taste and goodness of homegrown produce ( you note I didn’t say perfect produce).

While tackling the last of the crowd control on my front garden shrubs my passing neighbours complimented me on the garden and said how beautiful all the colours and shapes were. The pleasure of their kind words made my cold handed tasks seem easier and also made me stand back for once and look at the garden with fresh eyes. Giving pleasure by creating a pleasant space for other people is what makes the world go round. Just think how we would view Harrogate if they ceased to plant up the wonderful borders and beds and concreted over the valley gardens.

From everyone at the BHS we would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a healthy and productive New Year.

Maureen Smith

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