Six on Saturday: 11 November

He who must be obeyed has thrown down the gauntlet. Can we mere mortals come up with a “Six” week after week through the winter? Will sex* fall by the wayside?

But being Welsh and, therefore, mentally superior, a little exercise of mental agility produces this week’s six. Six things in my past that helped to make me the gardener I am. In my garden. Meets the definition. There are more than six photographs but I’m following a previous example of our Glorious Leader. So there!

You’ll find more links to this Six on Saturday lark if you pop over to The Propagator’s Blog. Links to other posters will appear in the comments through today, possibly tomorrow and maybe even later.

Prelude (Not part of My Six)

My interest in the garden started at a very early age. I can, perhaps, claim more than Michael Perry to have invented the concept of naked gardening (before he was even born). And of having naked gardening activities photographed for posterity. I wasn’t carrying anything big enough to protect my modesty so had to add the little red dot which is barely big enough.

Paying My Way (No. 1 Part 1 of My Six: Scrubbing)

My parents were firm believers in earning whatever it was I wanted. So when I asked if I could have a little patch of the garden to call my own, they set me to work to earn it. Hours were long and hard. Protective clothing was unheard of.

Achievement (No. 2 of My Six)

But After a few years, I’d earned enough to make a rental payment on my own little plot. My first experience of gardening. A photo which I use today as my avatar. I was also better-looking then!

As an aside, the number of the house behind which my little plot was situated was 107. And WordPress tells me that this is my 107th post to this incarnation of my blog.

Looking After Things (No. 3, (a) and (b), of My Six)

It was a learning experience. I would explore the wonders of Woolworths on a Saturday morning, exchanging my meagre pocket money for a packet of seeds or bulbs. Then I’d plant them. I didn’t have any plant labels in those days and it was often hard to remember what I’d planted or sown where so that I didn’t dig it up.

You may notice the log pile behind me. We were ahead of the environmental times you know! I also tried hardwood cuttings; I was nothing if not ambitious.

I remember the worry my first gardening winter caused. Would the snow freeze my baby plants? Would it squash them? Regardless of the cold, I carefully cleared my little plot every day.

More Paying My Way (No. 2 Part 2, (a) and (b), of My Six: Lawn Care)

I still had to work to earn a few pennies to spend at Woolworths. I was pressed into a bit of lawn maintenance.

Promotion (No. 4 of My Six)

One day, dad announced that he was installing an irrigation system in the garden. Cutting edge stuff, eh? Then I discovered that I was the irrigation system. This was a promotion from “Slave” to “Thing”. At least, at last, I got protective clothing!

Achievement (No. 5 of My Six)

And lo, things grew. They grew bigger than me! They’re Heleniums, by the way. I’ve never been without them in the garden since.

Learning (No. 6 of My Six)

But I was always ready, indeed keen, to learn more. And TV was so informative.


Given the shocked look on Andy Pandy’s face, I’m wondering what Looby Loo was doing off-camera.

I hope this week’s six has brought a little smile to your face. Maybe you’ll think of treating us to a similar account of your history some time in the future.

Now I’m off to put my thinking cap on ready for next week. Until then, enjoy your garden.

*I studied Latin in school and was top of the class when it came to translating Caesar’s account (probably ghost-written) of his Gallic wars. We were less sensitive to accounts of subjugation in those days, perhaps because Caesar never proposed to erect a big metal ring around some castle in north Wales to celebrate subjugation. Indeed, he didn’t have a castle to erect a big metal ring around. If you still don’t understand “sex” look it up.

30 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 11 November

  1. Hello lovely John
    Thank your linking this lovely post to #MyGloriousGardens this month! I hope Stumbleupon worked for you. I stumbled 3 posts; yours being one so congratulations! Thank you for supporting my linky. #MyGloriousGardens is going to hibernate for a few months (to write school reports and sort out Nativity plays) and will be back in March when I hope to read all your lovely posts. Sophie xx

    1. Hi Sophie. I’m waiting till Wednesday to let you have StumbleUpon stats as, I think, a week will give a good idea of the effectiveness of the “referral”. I’m planning on responding by email in as much detail as my stats package will give me.

      It sounds like you have a wonderful Christmas to look forward to, overloaded with the good cheer of report writing and, I guess, at some stage report reading too! Such fun! I hope you enjoy the break. See you next year. x

  2. Hi John
    I’m going to put this on StumbleUpon tomorrow. Thank you for joining #MyGloriousGardens this month. Let me know if you notice any difference in views!

  3. Love all your pictures! Looks like you were born to garden! I wish I started gardening sooner, but I’m glad I now enjoy and appreciate it. Thank you for sharing!

    1. And thank you for visiting. I’ve often wondered whether, had I not caught “the bug” so early, would I have caught it later or found another pastime.

  4. Brilliant John. You certainly made me smile. What a great collection of memories and photographs. I remember Bill and Ben, Andy Pandy and indeed The Wooden Tops. Those were the days…

    1. And in those days, learning was so much easier. Everything was expressed clearly in black and white! 😉

    1. It was often sad, though. I had to be very careful to rebury any earthworms I dug up, making sure my little sister wasn’t watching. If she found an earthworm, she’d eat it!

  5. It looks as if we watched the same gardening programmes when growing up. I also use to have to work for penny’s to spend in Woolworths, the young today, they don’t know how lucky they are!!

    1. I do wonder if they are as lucky as we were. Though when I look back, I’m often conscious that plants are a lot more colourful these days. Then we had grey heleniums with almost black stems, grey nasturtiums, even the bluebells were grey. They do say the camera never lies! 😉

  6. Just too delightful and very dear. What a lovely collection to keep. Loved it – do more in similar vein.

    1. Thanks. Maybe one day I’ll dig out some non-gardening memories, though that wouldn’t be for a Six on Saturday post.

    1. I’ve always wanted an adorable red blob. Most of the clothes you seem to like were hand made by Mum. Only the shoes and socks were bought; I’m not sure about the rainwear though she certainly made several warm coats for dryer circumstances.

  7. Really wonderful account of an early gardening life and how interesting that it didn’t put you off but made you the gardener you are today. Amazing that you still have those photos. I particularly love the one where you are attempting to shovel the snow. Blob-a-lob, weeeeeeeed. Hurrah for the Fifties!!!!

    1. I have lots more photos but many are not publishable. Well not legally anyway! They don’t make TV programmes today like they did back then. Childhood has lost its innocence. We didn’t have computer games and flashy toys; we had empty boxes that our imagination transformed into spaceships, boats, cars, whatever. I made a “fence” around by little plot by sticking twigs into the ground. And discovered hardwood cutting techniques in the process.

      And I think that, compared to today’s youngsters, though we had a lot less in monetary terms, we had fun, we learned, we stretched our imaginations, we solved all sorts of little problems that we encountered then and so are far better able to sort the big problems we encounter as adults. So really, we had lots more. We were lucky to be growing up back then.

    1. Why, thank you kind sir. Next Saturday may see an anti-climax, though.

  8. You put a smile on my face for sure. There’s a brown envelope on the shelf above this desk which probably contains some quite similar stuff. Fear not, that’s where it’s going to stay.

    1. My parents were very adept at photographing me in all sorts of situations without any apparent apparel! My sister was also very adept at pulling out the photo albums whenever any of my friends visited. That roller was not plastic filled with water, by the way, but heavy metal. I could barely lift the handle, let alone move it!

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