Maureen Geldard reveals the secrets of the cottage garden she tends with husband Nick in Pendleton . . .

Describe the Garden

It is a small country cottage garden with borders all round. There is a gravel path surrounding a stone flagged area with three raised beds and several small, unflagged squares to allow for random planting.

What are your plans for the garden?

We are happy with the garden as it is at the moment – maybe we will change things in the future by planting different flowers that we have not tried before.

I do most of the gardening and I am what you might call a bit of a haphazard gardener. I usually do jobs like pruning, when I feel it is right to do it.

I don’t always go by the rules of gardening.

How did you get into gardening?

The garden has always been in my life. When I was a little girl my grandmother lived at the cottage and she would tell me the names of the flowers.

Gran had an area in the garden where she would grow peas and potatoes and also had the raspberry canes.

She would produce small amounts of jam that I remember was really delicious on scones.

What is your favourite feature and why?

I don’t have any favourite features – I just enjoy the overall look of the garden.

The garden gives me pleasure when the different flowers pop up once more and sometimes surprise me when I think they may have disappeared.

How much is spent on the garden?

We don’t spend much money on the garden as we’ve been given various plants by friends and neighbours, so what we do spend is mostly time.

Sometimes I buy a few bedding plants to introduce a bit of colour and maybe divide plants up to move them around.

Why do you enjoy gardening?

I am the third generation of female gardeners here at Rock Terrace as my mother and grandmother looked after this garden before me and I am following a tradition by teaching my grandchildren the names of the flowers.

Sometimes I’m sure they think I am making the names up – like snapdragons. I don’t know my Latin names so I’ll leave that to the experts.

Have you suffered any garden catastrophes?

Many years ago when we decided to make the garden easy maintenance for my mother, we dug up most of the grass and plants.

There was a huge mound of soil in the garden and for a long time it looked awful.

Even after we had put the new flags down, it looked like a concrete jungle and we began to wonder if we’d done the right thing.

Over time, though, the flags weathered and the plants began to flourish and everything in the garden was lovely.

Top gardening tips

Don’t have anything too formal as nothing in nature grows in rows.