How I Became a Gardener (Possibly)

I often wonder what it is that decides when someone will become a gardener and someone else won’t. Is it in the genes? Or is it conditioning? This is my theory about me.

In my young years, lunchtime involved “Watch with Mother” on the TV: 15 minutes of programme aimed at us pre-primary school kids (and, indeed early primary school kids as it finished just in time for me to skip round the corner to school).

Was this supposed to be a flower or one of those frilly bath thingies you find in other people's bathrooms?
Was this supposed to be a flower or one of those frilly bath thingies you find in other people’s bathrooms?

On Mondays, we had “Picture Book“, stories and simple craft things that we could make without glueing ourselves to the wallpaper. And a dog.

And a co-presenter of Picture Book was a dachshund.
And a co-presenter of Picture Book was a dachshund.

 

If things had been different Picture Book might have inspired me to become a dachshund trainer in a circus.
If things had been different Picture Book might have inspired me to become a dachshund trainer in a circus.

On Tuesdays we had “Andy Pandy“. We also had “Andy Pandy” on Thursdays. I preferred Thursdays because they were spent in the garden whilst Tuesdays were always indoors.

Andy Pandy, Teddy and the famous Looby Loo.
Andy Pandy, Teddy and the famous Looby Loo.
Indoors was boring. They got out of a basket, wandered around and got back into the basket.
Indoors was boring. They got out of a basket, wandered around and got back into the basket.
But on Thursdays they'd do things in the garden (including gardening when they weren't playing).
But on Thursdays they’d do things in the garden (including gardening when they weren’t playing).

In between our double-dose of “Andy Pandy“, we had “Bill and Ben“. This was real gardening. And they spoke the language of real gardeners. Unintelligible gibberish.

Bill's the one on that side and Ben's the one on the other side. Or is it the other way round? They were Flowerpot Men.
Bill’s the one on that side and Ben’s the one on the other side. Or is it the other way round? They were Flowerpot Men.
In the middle was "Weed" or "Ickle Weed" as they pronounced it. There was also a tortoise called "Slowcoach" or "Slogalog" in Flowerpotese. It's a wonder we didn't grow up speaking an alien language.
In the middle was “Weed” or “Ickle Weed” as they pronounced it. There was also a tortoise called “Slowcoach” or “Slogalog” in Flowerpotese. It’s a wonder we didn’t grow up speaking an alien language.
Or did we?

The week was rounded off with our Friday episode of “The Woodentops“. This was our dose of agriculture for those who wanted to go that bit further than mere gardening.

Wouldn’t be right if I didn’t include a picture of them. And, I mean, the females were topless (except for Mrs Scrubbit who wore an apron to cover her booby bits). I was corrupted by semi-naked women at a VERY early age!

So I had gardening in my pre-school curriculum on two days a week and agriculture on a third.

Then, there was the work element.

I had to scrub the garden path to earn a bar of chocolate.
I had to scrub the garden path to earn a bar of chocolate.
I had carry a heavy can around to do the watering. This was my first encounter with protective clothing too!
I had carry a heavy can around to do the watering. This was my first encounter with protective clothing too!
And the lawn had to be rolled!
And the lawn had to be rolled!

And as I got a bit older, I began to enjoy our little garden.

Peering thru the heleniums. I've never been without them in a garden since.
Peering thru the heleniums. I’ve never been without them in a garden since.

And then I got my own little bit of ground.

All mine! I use this photo as my avatar as it’s the very first place I got to stick a trowel into the ground.

Eventually I got kicked out of the house for committing no other offence than growing up. I got my own postage-stamp garden. Eventually I got an allotment. Then I moved to my present garden (with house attached).

garden

And suddenly realised that I am a gardener.

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9 thoughts on “How I Became a Gardener (Possibly)

  1. What a lovely post, and funny as well….. I’m far too young to remember those programmes. *Ahem.

    But like you… I suddenly discovered I’m a gardener. No going back now.

  2. I used to love Picture Book, and “ickle Weed.” Happy, carefree days. Thanks for the reminder. Made me smile.

    1. There’s something buried in my cerebral void that keeps telling me that the sausage dog was in the second incarnation of Picture Book.

  3. These photos are wonderful, love them! I loved all of those programmes too, especially the Wooden Tops and Spotty Dog. Made me smile, thanks!

    1. Did baby Woodentop ever get a name? Can’t remember.

  4. What a nostalgic post! Great to be reminded of all those early childhood programmes. I watched them all. I can picture now how the dog in Wooden Tops used to prance about. And I can hear Bill and Ben’s silly voices. And weeds. Great fun, thanks.

    1. And on Saturdays we had Torchy, Twizzle, Four Feather Falls, Muffin ….. They were the days. And having fun then didn’t involve blisters either!

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