Dig With Dickie !


My mother remembers  grandfather who was the village policeman bringing home hares rabbits pheasants probably payment for caring for the local poachers! His garden then had pigs, chickens, fruit and veg – the family well provided for, a world far away now in this current culture of  supermarket ease of provision.

So, gardening and countryside was always a great love since childhood. Of course being a teenager in the 1960s meant other pleasures soon distracted me and it wasn’t until the early 1970s with the movement to the countryside by then old hippies (early 20s!) that my past resurfaced.

I had already embraced vegetarianism in 1970 and environmental politics with the fledgling friends of the earth, so after several abortive attempts at dead end jobs I moved my young family to the west of Scotland and back again when the dream of escaping society failed. I finally had to get a job and cease dreaming. So, what is an ageing hippy to do at 24!? Grow flowers and vegetables of course! I enrolled at Norfolk agricultural collage to take horticulture. 2 yrs. later with my new qualifications, City and Guilds 1&2 and Royal Horticultural division one I went to work as under-gardener for the aristocracy in north Norfolk but my socialist credentials didn’t fit in so I moved on ! It was a good experience in a lovely garden but they also wanted a servant ! I then landed a post with Norfolk health authority as a propagator; no not that! A glasshouse technician in todays lingo!

After a few years I became head gardener and much later, at 38, a garden manager for the health authorities horticultural services for Norfolk. At 40  I ‘retired’ and retrained as a transpersonal counsellor and psychosynthesis therapist which after 20 years I am almost retired from to! ( lifelong interest in human psychology/ meditation and spiritual development/ existential poetry…). Now i am  just a grumpy old man just like granddad! Say hello sometime! Richard  (Austin)

Richard, who writes dig with dickie, apologises for the long pause in his basic guide to allotmenteering becuase he is digging frantically in real time to get his plot up and running! When the planting season has settled down i will resume the guides ready for next season any enquiries do come over and ask me on the plot and i will do my best to help thanks Richard

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Royal Horticultural Society
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