Sun, sea, and…Margery Fish October 06, 2015 13:29
Last weekend was a real treat. It is twenty years since I headed off to university, so the occasion was marked by a reunion back in our old haunts in Exmouth, Devon. What a magical place to have gone to university. Our old campus is derelict now, but I feel truly lucky to have chosen to study to Rolle College, Exmouth. A decision that was made so lightly - on the basis that it was near the sea. It seemed to me to be a very sensible place to spend three years. Today's pressure surrounding the need to go to the best uni, or most established, didn't seem to exist back then. Or if it did, it was completely lost on me. Instead, I bummed around with some amazing friends, who, twenty years on, are just as fabulous as they always were.
Amid the laughter, chatter, drinking and inevitable trip to the cheesiest (and only) club in town, we all had our own time – some headed to the shops, others for a nap and the sporty went off for a walk on the cliff tops. Me? I grabbed a glass, sat in the gardens of our hotel overlooking the sea and read a few chapters from Margery Fish.
Granted, this isn't the most rock and roll thing to do on a weekend away. But it was such a treat to sit, undisturbed, for an hour, with nothing to do, nowhere to be and, dare I say (as a very happy and grateful mother of two small boys), nothing to wipe.
And how better than to spend it reading ‘We Made A Garden’. With war approaching, Margery and her husband Walter bought East Lambrook in Somerset in the thirties and the book charts the development of their garden. For the uninitiated, Margery Fish was the first of her kind – a woman who wrote about gardening in a totally informal, uninhibited style. She is also credited for transforming the way we garden, extolling the virtues of cottage garden styling.
'We Made A Garden' is a book that I truly love. You get a sense of the woman, and the marriage, behind the garden. Margery whispers secrets, gossip and wisdom to you on every page. Making it a perfect read for an already nostalgic weekend.