Starting at the beginning

I have been thinking about writing a blog for a long time. I’ve even made a start once or twice. I know what I want to write about (everything, actually) but I was never sure what would be important enough to form the content of the first post. The beginning seemed to be too important to rush into. Thanks to a recent conversation on Twitter (and the establishment of #gdnbloggers) I have been encouraged to, well, simply begin. So, here goes …

I have had a lifelong passion for gardening. An early memory is of writing a gardening column in a class newspaper aged 7, orchestrated by a student teacher on work experience. Other early memories include the smell of geraniums (pelargoniums of course) and tomatoes in my grandfather’s Victorian conservatory, giving the Chelsea chop (years before I ever heard the term) to a stand of Michaelmas daisies, and the horror expressed by my mother as she assumed that year’s flowers were doomed as a result, and my father’s dahlias lined out in the front garden.

My gardens have included a north-facing strip of subsoil on a housing estate, a much-loved family garden on sunny, Surrey, sandy loam, three allotments which regularly flooded in winter, and a tiny walled space in West Sussex. And now we have an almost 3-acre garden in south-west France.

We are embarking on an exciting adventure, one which I rarely dared to dream of but which somehow has come about, to develop a beautiful, large garden. And I shall be writing about that adventure.

But I shall also be writing about the many other aspects of me, my life, my interests, and my concerns, hence the title of this blog “Renaissance Gardener” (with a respectful, yet humble, nod to Leonardo da Vinci and the great thinkers and creators, the polymaths, of the past).

One thing this blog will try never to be is one of those didactic lists of how to garden. There is more than enough of that kind of material already on the web and I don’t intend to add to it. I am not an expert in anything beyond what it is to be me.

I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I know I’m going to enjoy writing it.