Pick of the crop

9th October 2023 | posted in News

When it comes to gardening, green fingered Railway Housing resident Susan Lynn Taylor is the pick of the crop.

Extending for 170 metres behind her bungalow in South Milford, Leeds, her back garden is horticultural heaven featuring an extensive fruit and vegetable patch, flower beds, bushes and small trees, patio, shed and greenhouse.

It’s a love that dates back to when Sue was first old enough to pick up a trowel.

“My grandfather had the most beautiful garden full of flowers and vegetables and in particular, strawberries,” said Sue.

“I used to visit when I was four and he would show me how to plant seeds and to care for the plants. He taught me to keep a garden right needs only half an hour in the morning and half an hour at night.”

Now 69, Sue still uses her grandad’s tools, making sure they are sharpened and cleaned regularly and have linseed oil applied to the wood each year.

Sue says her garden was her saviour when she went through a period of depression after the death from lung cancer of her husband, former fireman Chris, followed by her mother passing five years ago.

“I suffered a breakdown, and the garden became my sanctuary and my safe space,” said Sue. “I find I can go there and work and just switch off from everything else, it is so relaxing.”

And she admits she spends more that the half hour first taught by her grandad.

“In springtime when it’s the busy time and the weather is fine, I will happily be in there for six or seven hours. The rain doesn’t bother me that much but if it’s heavy I can always work in the shed or the greenhouse,” she says.

Originally a baker, Sue also worked for many years for the NHS before retiring and sees her garden as part of a daily well-being routine not only providing healthy food but also healthy exercise for body and mind. She suffers from osteoporosis but won’t let that stop her tending to the garden and is planning some raised beds for next year.

A resident with Railway Housing for the past four years, she says people are always surprised when they first step into her garden. She has grown most things over the years from the traditional potatoes, onions and peas to the more exotic chillies and peppers but there is one thing she would still like to turn her hand to.

“I’ve never tried topiary and it is something that interests me,” she said.” I don’t have a hedge but I do have some bushes and conifers so I might have a go at that next.”

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  • Pick of the crop - Railway Housing Association

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