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FACT: The majority of keen gardeners have more than a sprinkling of grey hair. 09 Dec 2015

And it’s no real surprise.  Unless brought up in a green-fingered household and an early gardening aptitude was discovered and nurtured, most of us spend the early adult years building careers, learning the demands of raising a family and frequently upping sticks to move to new employment pastures.  Family incomes are gobbled up by the necessities of sustaining life and by mortgages that are at their peak.  As the children grow, their physical and spiritual needs are usually placed above one’s own and the world rushes by as a mountain torrent and it’s often only when the brood flies the nest that there is time to re-engage with the wider world and enjoy one’s place in it.  It therefore stands to reason that with this new-found “me” time, there is the mental space to spend the time to understand what makes plants tick, how they function, what they need, how they fit with each other, why they’re given seemingly impenetrable Latin names and generally de-bunk what had been a hitherto unfathomable world.  The garden can become the replacement family and those same parenting skills and reserves of endless patience are simply re-applied and justly rewarded with blossoms and fruits and symphonies of colour.  Through our gardens, we can put issues such as climate change into context and compare our own observations with those that are being reported elsewhere. 

If there is one flaw in this model that most of us follow, it is that these new skills would benefit greatly from the energy levels that we once had in our twenties.  We sell packets of the vital micorrhiza root inoculant that can dramatically improve the rate at which new plants settle in to their new home;  if only there were such a potion for us gardening folk!