Know Yourself!

I was told yesterday that I should change the name of this blog to “An Irish UNDERgardener”.

The Dublin branch of the Alpine Garden Society had their annual lunch yesterday in the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire and I had been asked to speak ahead of the lunch. Triona, their events organiser, persuaded me to talk about our own garden, something I was reluctant to do but she was persistent and I agreed.

When asked to give a title for my talk I suggested “30 Years as the Undergardener” – it struck me as an interesting title and also an honest reflection of my position in the garden here as Mary is the driving force, the planner and organiser and I the one, to quote Mary, who “works well under direction!”

Hellebore (4)Hellebore (3)

It took me quite a few years to come to the realisation that this was the situation. In the early years there were tree trunks to be dug out and removed, large beds to be made, manured and planted, lawns to be laid out – brick edging etc – and then the usual male occupations of grass cutting, the hedges and the edges – and, of course, the compost was my specialty. At times I felt proud, even justifiably proud, of my contribution but a moment came: We had a group visiting the garden. Mary took some off in one direction and I others in another. I spoofed away about this plant and that, how we had chosen it, some comments about it, how we had found it perform etc etc. All was going well; I was king in my own garden until a lady turned to me, with a quizzical look, a knitted brow, and blurted, “But, this is a woman’s garden!”

Hellebore (2)Hellebore (8)

There was my bubble burst though it took me another while to fully realise how accurate this woman was in her observation. And so it came that Jamie, at the end of my talk yesterday, suggested I change the name of the blog to “An Irish Undergardener”

Pfffffffffff! No, too much trouble! But, a big “Thank You” to the people of Dublin AGS for such a warm welcome and such a pleasant time with them.

The hellebore photographs are from the garden today – just to add a little colour to the writing!

Hellebore (7)Hellebore (6)Hellebore (5)


8 thoughts on “Know Yourself!

    1. We’ll stick with the traditional terms. After all, we already have the suitably labelled mugs – “Headgardener” and “Undergardener”


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