What do we do in our time away from work?

Director Simon Page wrote a short piece for us on his passion for gardening and how he transformed his new back garden into a beautiful place to relax, reflect and contemplate:

I am acutely aware how lucky I am to have a full-time job in the firework industry and even though I really enjoy my work, we all need other interests in our life and mine is getting out of the house and spending some time gardening.

We bought our house off plan in 2013 based largely on the fact that for a Town House the garden was large. With grown up children and very busy work lives we both acknowledged that our passion for being in the garden was more important than internal floor space.

The new build was on what was previously a cordwainer’s small holding presented that proverbial “blank canvass” and over the last seven years we have spent the vast majority of our spare time together; planning, digging, planting, pulling, dividing, mulching, constructing, dead heading, arguing and of course many hours smiling.

The mental health value of gardens is starting to be understood as more and more people connect with their “outside space” and with nature, the cycle of the seasons and the understanding that spring always follows winter. When those early snowdrops push through what appears to be dead earth, those who garden feel the excitement.

Being slightly compulsive about gardening I would say there are few hobbies which are:

  • Predominantly in the fresh air
  • Are literally on the doorstep
  • Provide as much or as little exercise as you want
  • Can cost as little or as much as you want to spend
  • Allow you to sit and admire at any time of the day and almost all times of the year – even through a window
  • There is always something more to do
  • You can do together or alone

One thing my passion has in common with my work is that I rely on others for the artistic vision. My role in the garden is very much towards the practical side in support of one who can visualize the end result!

Given the unique times that we are all going through the garden has been an oasis of calm and a getaway. We are so glad we have put so much time, effort and passion into it over the last few years.

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