Saturday, 10 March 2007


Bloggers' Paradise

This month's theme is HOLIDAY and for many of you what I'm about to tell you about will not be classed as a see it only lasted 2 days....but for Hubby & I it was the most special holiday we have ever had.

A Little bit of history first;

Hubby & I 16 years ago were NOT gardeners.......the garden of the house we live in was all totally concrete. The previous owner owned dogs and had concreted the whole garden over. Slowly over the course of a few years; starting with a pot plant and ending with a Kango slowly our love of gardening started to develop. We were helped by one man....a man we never ever met.....a man whose joy and exuberance when gardening riveted us to a TV screen...a man whose money saving ideas made it possible to build the garden we have now. That man was Geoff Hamilton....the TV programme Gardener's World......and Hubby & I watched and learned and put into practice Geoff's wonderful ideas as he worked on his Barnsdale garden.

In 1996 Geoff Hamilton died of a heart attack whilst cycling for charity in the Brecon Beacons. The news affected Hubby & I deeply....neither of us have ever been ones for actual tears at the death of film or entertainment heroes........but how we sobbed at the loss to our world of our beloved Geoff. Even now after all these years I feel the tears coming as I type this post.

Geoff's garden, Barnsdale, was opened to the public. Hubby & I vowed that when he retired we would take ourselves away for a special holiday and visit Geoff's garden and see for real all the wonderful mini gardens he had built.

On 3rd November 1998, our wedding anniversary, Leanne and family & Manda and family presented Hubby & I with a scroll; it was the details and dates of a weekend in June 1999 bought and paid for, for us to visit Barnsdale. We were so must be the most exciting present we have ever received. How those months dragged until 5th June when on a fine sunny morning we boarded the coach and went to "live our dream".

The hotel we stayed in was perfect. We dropped our bags off; had a quick cuppa
and boarded the coach for BARNSDALE. With our souvenir guide clasped in our hands

we made sure we didn't miss a single one of the fabulous gardens that we had seen Geoff building on TV. We took so many photos; you would be here all day if I posted them all.

This is the Artificial Rock Garden........the rocks were made by Geoff!

Of course I took photos of hubby; when I look at them now I honestly see a resemblance to Geoff.

We shed a tear as we paid our respects to Geoff.........and thanked him for helping us build our own little paradise.

It was only fitting that we should buy the Geoff Hamilton Rose....all the more special as we bought it from the Barnsdale Nursery. He is still going strong...this photo was taken last year.

Those of you who visit my blog often will know that my Hubby, Mick, has terminal brain cancer. We would never have had the chance to visit Barnsdale when he retired. If we hadn't received that wonderful Anniversary gift.......................we would NEVER have had our Dream Holiday.

For more information on Barnsdale click HERE.

Or click on the album above to see a few more photos.


A wildlife gardener said...

What a wonderful story, Ruth. I'm so glad you and Mick had that special holiday. Geoff Hamilton was my gardening hero too. I like others, but he was 'It' for me, as far as gardening is concerned. My husband and our two sons knew how much I loved Geoff, so for the birthday I had after Geoff died, they bought me two videos of Geoff's, one called Paradise Gardens, the other, Cottage Gardens. I can recommend them if you haven't already got them.

talj said...

A wonderful memory of a beautiful holiday!! It sure looks like you both had a wonderful time! :o) The pictures are really lovely and it is nice to hear how you and Mick got into your gardening :o)

Jacquie said...

I am so glad you were given that opportunity when it could be fully appreciated, and that it came fully up to expectations! The Geoff Hamilton Rose is spectacular.

Thanks for blogging-along again this month - and congrats on your award for your other blog!

Gledwood said...

That is a lovely post... erm, Ruth, I acidentally might have referred to you as an old age pensioner in my blog today... er, very sorry


RUTH said...

Gleds; I'll forgive you as you're such a nice little boy. But just remember some women of my age have toy boys younger than
Ruth the silver surfer

Scarecrow said...

We have some great old Garden Gurus here in Australia and it will be very sad as they go.
Sounds like a very memorable holiday you had. I love touring other people's gardens and do know how much hard work is invloved in presenting a garden.
Maybe you could get the above mentioned videos thru a library (if they lend videos in UK like they do here).
You may have noticed I'm updating my link list on my blog I'd like to include this blog on it if you have no objections.
I sometimes forget that my Photo a Day Blog friends have gardening blogs too...

Libbys Blog said...

Oh you lucky people. I loved watching Geoff too! Although at the time I didn't do too much in the garden, I had 2 young toddlers! But I've made up for it since! lol!!

Green thumb said...

That was a touching story ,dear Ruth.I 've always been inspired by
your blog.It is so wonderful to follow your dreams. I wish you and your hubby best of luck.




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