My mother started it…she loved to garden but when I was a child she had no money, inherited dogs and three children under the age of three. I remember her trying to recover ‘London Pride'(saxifraga x urbium) and maroon primulas from the mouths of golden retrievers. Then we moved above the shop and my mother’s gardening was confined to pots. She would bonsai trees she found as saplings and put alpines in her sink garden. When she arrived in Didcot and despite working full time and managing the home she acquired the allotment at the back of our store and built her first real ‘Alpine garden’. Three cyclamen corms became a colony and the area was stepped by any old rocks she could find and gravel was delivered by the sack load. When she finally retired her Alpines were transported and soon there was a new colony of cyclamen.
My gardening prowess has grown over the years and on my retirement I found the same delight in Bonsai ing tree saplings and trees grown from seed
When my mother died I started my cyclamen colony; transferred first to a project where I worked and then to my new home.