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Age Can Influence Gardening

As we grow older, there are some things we cannot do in the garden as well as we did in our earlier years.

For example, cutting the lawn became more difficult for me as I got older. Eventually we hired a landcape service to do that job.

I still loved my garden but found I could not do the daily work a garden demands, At least that is what I thought.

Todd Longstafffe-Gowan tells the story of Sir Robert Heron (1765-1854) in his book English Garden Eccentrics: Three Hundred Years of Extraordinary Groves, Burrowings, Mountains and Menageries.

It seems that Sir Robert from Stubton took great pleasure in planting both native and exotic trees. No easy task.

His age did not deter him.

Longstaffe-Gowan writes, “Advancing age did not dampen Heron’s impulse to collect and to improve the range and quality of his natural curiosities.”

He quotes Heron who wrote, “I was thought foolish by some, for planting, at the age of thirty, trees which I could never live to see in perfection.”

In fact, he did not stop gardening for many years.

He said, “I have continued planting all my life; and now, at the age of eighty-three, am planting the newly discovered trees from China and Japan.”

Here is Heron’s country house at Stubton Hall [Below]

The entrance front at Stubton Hall in the seventeenth century. [Courtesy of Country Life Pictures]
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