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Just a little thought

  • Just a little thought
  • Just a little thought

On this Armistice Day, and Remembrance Sunday, just spare a little thought for all the gardeners of a century ago who went off, sometimes in pals regiments, to fight for their country, never to return to their beloved plots again.

Think of how Tim Smit must have felt when he saw the graffiti in the thunderbox in that lost garden, and the same names on the cenetaphs at Mevigissey and StEwes. This was the real reason he brought Heligan back to us, it maybe true we can never bring the optimism of the 1914 spring and early summer back on their behalf, but that 'Garden Lost In Time' is an incredible tribute to those lost people, and all those ordinary men who went with barely a thought of what might lie in store for them. These were the men who did the hard work, gave us most of the great gardens we know today, leaving their loved ones to fight for what was theirs. Gardeners of today carry on that very same tradition, so along with those other ordinary people, let's just be thankful for what these men did a century ago. This year marks the passing of a century since the battle of the Somme which started in July and would rage on until the18th of this month, so please let's not complain of this time we live in.

Comments (7)

  1. Grower

    The GPS Team

    So well said Rob! We've added a photo from Heligan (one of our very favourite gardens too) and a field of Poppies for good measure.

  2. Grower

    Rob Johnson, Green & Furry pet and garden care

    Thanks, it is really important to mark this occasion, particularly once you realise that most of these pals were no more then lads, some even lied about their age to enroll.You really need to read the first two books on Heligan to properly understand what went on there. The first book has the thunderbox in and the second starts with a photo of the staff at about the turn of the 20th century, a rather haunting effect I is a long time since I Have been to Heligan but as I remember it, I think it is still my favourite garden. We have a beatiful miniature painting of the sunken garden in our own downstairs Thunderbox.
    What inspired me to write these pieces was when I was looking at old garden photos on the net, I came across one of the front lawn of Heligan with the house in the background, and an emu streaking across the front of the photo, one of Jack Tremaynes no doupt. This made me think of how differant things were all those years ago.

  3. Grower

    Rob Johnson, Green & Furry pet and garden care

    .........and now apparently, the emus are back at Heligan.( not the same ones!!) . This, on a more serious note is capturing the full essence of those gardens of long ago. They weren't always just about what we think of as gardens, they was some pretty eccentric and well off owners in those days who set staff some very challenging tasks. When I was gardening for a local estate, even I was charged with an extensive waterfowl collection, that was bad enough, but long gone now, I wouldn't swap any of it, although I see even after a couple of changes of ownership the same gardens look as stunning as ever.

  4. Grower

    Good Earth Gardens

    I still haven't been to the Heligan gardens! Argh some day...

  5. Grower

    Rob Johnson, Green & Furry pet and garden care

    I have only one thing to say to that....... Go!!!, if you get the opportunity.It may be a long way for most people, but it is a real insight into gardening, and gardeners past. I just couldn't stop going, even for an excuse to go in the tea shop. Then back there the following year with Heligan the centre of our attention. Addictive, sad or What?
    Another garden which must be seen is Trebah, this one really is spectacular.

  6. Grower

    Rob Johnson, Green & Furry pet and garden care

    The photo with the emu I mentioned is entitled 'Tayler chasing an emu',or something similar. I wonder who Tayler was, and what became of him?
    Just an idle contemplation!

  7. Grower

    Rob Johnson, Green & Furry pet and garden care

    Tayler hunting the emu, the photo mentioned above will comes up on my web search if I type that. I don't know if the photo is in some sort of copywrite, so I'd better not put it up

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