Wednesday, 19 June 2019

My father-in-law

When I first met my girl's father
He was gruff as he sized me up
Nodded at me and turned aside
Suggesting that I should behave
What had I let myself into?
Did he think that I was depraved?

In fact he was an individual
Had a wife and two teenage girls
Whose needs seem to mystify him
So spent most of his time outdoors
In his garden which was a dellight
Spent his time there 'til fall of night

His garden had lawn and fruit trees
And a mass of flowers and insects too
Birds, singing, nesting calling it home
Then to produce their vegetables
Had council allotment quite close by
With veggies irrisistable

Each evening and all of weekend
Spent his time tending all the plants
Or sat smoking his hand made fags
My girl told me she come that way
Grab a carrot and eat it up 
After school nearly every day

They came to Australia when retired
To be close to their family
A small house and garden they chose
So that he could still garden on
On visits we would still receive
Grown veggies his talent not gone

Image found at

Perhaps I should explain that in Britain families with small gardens or enthusiastic gardeners could recive permission to plant vegetables on council land which would be allocated to them. You were permitted a garden shed to keep tools and other equipment in (best kept locked). They were very popular and still exist today.  Quite often you would see the whole family working there or sitting down watching their Dad or Mum working there or even being allowed a small portion of their plot to have a kids garden themselves! These plots were extremely useful in wartime!


  1. Now THAT is a garden. It sounds like he found his space, peace and contentment out there. I loved this, Robin. I can see that school girl grabbing a carrot after school. No carrot sweeter than fresh from the garden.

  2. It sounds like your father-in-law had a real love for tending his garden.

  3. Aw. You made us visualize all the scenes. Such sweetness!

  4. I think if one has even a little patch of land, growing your own veggies is the way to go!

  5. Ah fruit lawn and vegetables grown from patient love. What a garden. Thanks for dropping by to read mine Robin


  6. Lovely memories. The garden definitely sounds like a it gave your father-in-law immense joy. And the gift of homegrown veges...what a son-in-law could ask for! :-)

  7. It's pretty neat that when a man is mystified by and gruff with people, he turns around and tends lovingly to the garden--something his whole family can enjoy. A good story.

  8. Wonderful idea in England. We should do it here. I could 'see' this well.I miss a garden. KnJ

  9. England is wonderful that way. We can't even give our farmers a break to help grow us food here. All that aside, I found your words full of love and your garden an intergual part of you. (I have no spell checking right now and am on my phone so can't see well.) Such memories we all should be lucky enough to have. I have wonderful memories of my grandparents and other relatives gardens plus being raised on summer farms I was very lucky there! Big hug!