This is post one hundred on ‘the tattooed gardener’ blog! Doesn’t time fly when your having fun, or in my case….. writing rubbish?
The good/bad news is, I still have loads more rubbish left to write about…. so be warned!
I was a little stumped on what to write on this being the hundredth post though, then I remembered what I had found in our gardeners hut one day.
Not long after becoming Head Gardener, we had our gardeners accommodation renovated. Before the builders moved in, we had to go through piles of old gardeners stuff that had built up over the years and found some very interesting items. One being this old Encyclopaedic book on gardening. So I took it home for safe keeping while we were in a temporary office and forgot all about it.
It wasn’t until the other day when sorting through stuff at home, I remembered I had found this old book. I then realised that this used to belong to a previous Head Gardener.
Many a book has been written about Trinity and it’s famous past residents and it’s buildings, wealth etc. But, it’s the more recent less known history of Trinity that has always interested me. Some of this I already know, as certain stories are passed down from gardener to gardener, also reading minutes from previous meetings and some old plans and ideas but certain other things get lost in time. So finding this for me , was a real gem.
The date on the inside of the cover is 1946 but I’m sure the book even pre dates this. The next hand written date in the book is 1958, so the gardeners obviously used this for reference for several years. So was this the main book that the Trinity gardeners used for many years? If so, when was the last time it was used for reference?
Was the calculator I found with the book, a tool that the gardening department use to use in their lawn management, plans/schemes? Have some of the older plantings still in and around the college, started life here with this calculator? This we will never know for sure. With the book was several hand written plant lists, garden records and other items relating to the gardens dept; that I felt I couldn’t really show.
I also found a bookmark on this page, ‘The Rock Garden’. Funny how a certain Trinity gardener of this day an age, has been writing his own version of the Rock Garden. Obviously, the Trinity gardener who had been reading this section, had the proper way of Rock gardening in mind…. or did they?
Time has moved on in life and in the garden but working in places like Trinity, time seems to stand still. Now, I do mean this in the nicest of ways, as with many a historical garden, there is that special quality that you don’t always get working elsewhere. Walking around the garden you see many things that, many eyes have seen before and many more will see in the future. Then you will find these little bits of history that had been hidden for many years, that had all been forgotten about.
Trinity was founded in 1546 by King Henry VIII, so from the date in the book through to the present day, it is only a small part of Trinity’s history. Even though you feel like you are working in a place that is stuck in it’s own little time bubble, time certainly does move on and changes do happen. For instance, who would of thought that one day, Trinity would have a :long balding haired, tattooed, baseball hat wearing Head Gardener….. I wouldn’t of done for a start! Something I am very proud of and a position I know I am very privileged to hold!
So having came across this book again, I will take it back to the Gardeners Office and put it back on the shelf, along with the more up to date books we now have.
I love garden history, I often wonder what previous head gardeners would think of a woman at the helm at Cliffe. Shock, horror and outrage I would imagine!
I’m sure there would have been a few of them that would of thought like that. Unfortunately, some of that attitude does still exist today but I hope to think people’s attitudes have moved on.
Sort of like me being a black woman welder on ships? *chuckle* History rolls in its grave! (as if there were no women, or people of colour, on ships – history says otherwise!)
That book is a great find, though! Reading the thoughts (and complaints!) of Gardeners Who Came Before would be a treat. Nice score!