Andrew Fisher Tomlin
The power of a day in the garden
I’m not particularly nostalgic and I often feel that many of my childhood memories have come from the tales my sister tells of what I got up to but I do have a few very clear memories that, I think, put me on the path to where I am today.
Those memories are very clearly of helping my Dad in one of his three allotment plots that we got to in a 5-minute bike ride. Often on a Sunday morning when a good roast was calling we’d cycle up to the allotment where Dad was already there working. We’d help him dig up potatoes which were like treasure, pull up carrots and pick runner beans. Once we got older we were allowed to pick fruit for Chivers Farms in the village during the summer holidays. And of course there was a garden at home that my Mum tended too with an apple tree for climbing and plum trees around the corner to harvest for free.
I often think that my passion for gardening comes from not just my childhood but also that I like my food and my Mum taught me to cook. It’s as important a skill as gardening and perhaps these days we could all take a lesson from this. And today even though my mortgage is paid from working in gardens I still enjoy a day in my own garden.
In our business we design community gardens for vision impairment, for dementia and with young people, a huge range of ages and abilities. I see the power that both active gardening and passive enjoyment of a garden brings. When I get home and go out for half an hour to do some gardening, and then find it’s three hours later and its gone dark, when I put my feet up and look at what I’ve achieved I still get as big a buzz out of a garden as I did digging up the treasure of potatoes all those years ago.