Tilehurst Horticultural Association

Me and My Garden

Our new Chairman, Terry Bryant, introduces himself through his garden.
Q.  Garden or Allotment?

A.  I have both a garden and an allotment (at Oak Tree Road).  I prefer the allotment because the soil is easier there.  At home, my garden is on clay.  In 1963, when I moved in with my wife, Sheila, the soil was bright yellow and I’ve been composting ever since!  I grow all sorts of vegetables at the allotment – runner beans, courgettes, garlic, onions, beetroot, parsnips, leeks, early potatoes and not forgetting my favourite French beans.  I have fruit bushes and rhubarb there and sweet peas and dahlias.  I also grow a few vegetables at home and we’re nearly self-sufficient.

Q.  Flowers or Vegetables?

A.  Vegetables – I’m definitely not interested in flowers!  Apart from sweet peas because they’re a lovely flower with scent.  And begonias, wallflowers, and daffodils.  Sheila is a keen flower arranger, but no…I don’t really grow flowers for her to use! 

Q.  The best part of my garden?

A.  The part of my garden I enjoy most is the greenhouse. I grow tomatoes with lettuce interspersed, and I would like to grow cucumbers but don’t have much luck with them.  I enjoy spending an hour or two in there in the sun and in the summer it’s full to overflowing.


Q.  The Gardening Job I Love? 

A.  Digging out the compost heap – said with feeling and without hesitation!  The compost heap in the garden at home is much better than that at the allotment, because it also contains kitchen waste and the compost is black and crumbly.  I take compost from the garden down to the allotment compost bin to improve it.  I’m also not averse to the occasional shovel full of horse dung if horses from the local stables happen to be passing! 

Q.  The Gardening Job I Hate? 

A.  I loathe removing cats’ mess from the garden, but apart from that there’s no job I really dislike.   Sheila can testify that I even enjoy despatching slugs (preferred method is at night with a knife!) 

Q.  My Favourite Season? 

A.  I don’t have a favourite season, I like them all apart from winter, which really has nothing to offer.  Perhaps if I had a different garden, I might feel better about it, but in my garden there’s really not much merit in winter.  We need some good frosts to break the clay down, but we don’t even get those these days! 


Winter           Spring

Q.  My Favourite Plant? 

A.  Although I prefer vegetables, it would have to be a flower, and it would be the begonia, because they deadhead themselves.  They’re very obliging flowers and when they’ve had enough, they simply drop off! 

Q.  My Dream Garden would have …

A.  ….4 foot deep loam and would be adjacent to a riding stable! 

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