Tuesday 23 June 2009


This slide show is of my daughter Rachel's garden. I sneeked a peak on Sunday when we dropped something off at her house. She said to look as she had been very busy in the garden. I did get her permission to post.

I was very pleasantly surprised what a delightful little haven her garden has become.

My other daughter Rebecca as a child always took an interest in gardening and plants. Before school age I remember her weeding a row of parsnips but was worried when I realised she had got half way along the next row, carotts. I needn't have worried she had figured out for herself to leave the carrots and remove the weeds.
Rebecca's partner Zion comes from The Gambia where he has a large plot of land and judging from the photos I have seen it has the most amazing collection of trees. He believes he has a specimen of nearly every native tree in The Gambia. As many Europeans buy up the land around him they clear the land which makes Zion's place a bit of an oasis.

Rebecca has brought home many seeds which she thought I would have fun trying to grow.

When they last popped in to see us she was delighted to see that the Guava, Papaya and Cassia Fistul (Golden Chain Tree) had germinated and so she sent me some photos plus a couple of other trees they grow. The West African Sickle Bush Dichrostachys Cinerea is used for medicine. Zion has about 50 of these mature trees and lots of baby ones. Rebecca says it is the little birds favourite tree to sit in, I think because it has spikes on it so they feel safe so the big birds can't get them.

The African Locust bean tree Parkia Biglobosa they harvest the yellow bean pods.

Last year I went to Kew Gardens and Wisley with Rebecca and Zion, it was such a treat as Zion was able to tell me about many of the trees and plants in the glasshouses which he grew on his land and what medicinal or other uses they had.

So did the girls inherit my love of gardening or was it the many formative years spent with me whilst I gardened?


  1. Rachel's garden is fabulous and I love the pink table & chairs.I think she has inherited her love of gardening from you just as I have from my father, you should be proud and so should she as the garden is really lovely.

  2. Doing geneaology I have discovered that in my family and probably others traits are passed down the line, in my family it is gardening ( from Dad's side) and languages ( from Mum), in David's line it is accounting so your girls did not stand a chance of not enjoying getting things to grow!!

  3. What beautiful gardens. The apple doesn't fall....you know. The first one is so gentle, and the second dramatic, and wild.Ahhhh

  4. Wow! They both did so good, Joanne, you can be proud of them!

  5. Both gardens are so nice. I think it must be a bit of both nature and nurture. They have different styles though, I really like both!

  6. Thanks for all your lovely comments. Having two such different gardens in the family adds so much more of interest to my gardening pleasures.

  7. I think your passion for plants would be hard not to catch!! Both your girls have great gardens and how fabulous to have Zion in the family and learn about another country's plants from someone who is obviously also passionate.

  8. What an interesting post.

    Looking at the slide show, I think we all need a hammock.


  9. It looks as if both your girls have inherited your green fingers. You raise an interesting point. My parents are both keen gardeners, my sister and I are but my brothers have no interest at all :)

  10. Can't see the slides yet, but loved the "sneek a peak".
    You created a new word in the English language. Well done :-) Now all you have to do is find a meaning for the verb 'to sneek': (crawl up a mountain in wet clogs, perhaps?)

    Ah: saw some nice pink chairs. And...they have berries on their Arbutus: mine maddingly gets totally stripped by the birds as soon as the berries appear.
    This is fun, Joanne: mesmerizing, now that I can finally see it all. Your site is fast becoming action-packed.

  11. Carrie Yes it is nice to have Zion in the family.
    Rob Thanks I hoped it would make a nice change from roses and vegetables.
    Anna Yes it is interesting in my family Dad was the keen gardener although Mum knew the names of many plants and loved to arrange flowers. 3 of the 4 of us are all keen gardeners.
    Joco sorry you can't see the slides. The way I loaded didn't seem to give me the option to spell check and so I am not surprised that I put sneek when I meant sneak. But whatever I won't be crawling anywhere just yet.
    Actually it is in Africa and not Arbutus but Parkia Biglobosa a very different tree.
    Talking of Arbutus though I have killed one and on my second which has shed many yellow spotted leaves. The new seem to be ok so fingers crossed. I have been using rain water this time instead of chalky tap water so hope that helps.Any suggestions would be appreciated on the growing of Arbutus. Isn't the bark wonderfull?

  12. Hi Joanne, both gardens are a total delight! You must be very gratified to see the love of gardening carried on by the offspring. Zion sounds like my kind of guy too. I know little about trees, unlike the perennials we grow. My own grown children also love gardening and we have discussed whether it was nature or nurture with them too. It has to be both working together, I believe. My parents did not garden, but both of my grandmothers did and I have been planting things for as long as my memory allows. There is a gene for such things.