YOUTH MATTERS Kelly Wickham...Joys of digging in have been passed down the generations

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Having green fingers seems to run in my family.

I remember as a small child, being in my granny’s garden admiring the rainbow-coloured flower beds, hanging baskets and pot plants. An array of plants was found, from sweet-smelling roses to delicately hung snap dragons.

My mother soon began to take on this talent and our garden became a massive area full of sweet perfume and colours varying from vibrant bold tones to soft pastels.

As much as it was encouraged, the idea of volunteering my hands into dirt and bugs horrified me. I would prefer to sit inside with bottles of pretty peel-off nail varnishes and Barbie dolls.

As I got a bit older, and my mum dragged me to the eighth garden centre in the eighth consecutive weekend, I began to take a bit more interest in the plants. I wasn’t very well educated on species, and instead picked out anything that looked pretty, but left the hard work of looking after them to her!

Soon my mum started growing vegetables and flowers from seed. From potatoes, lettuces, carrots and spring onions through to strawberries and sweet peas. I watched as each tiny progress the plant made was echoed in the satisfaction she displayed.

So this year, after moving into a house with a double greenhouse, I’ve started off small, with sunflowers.

I thought it would be best to plant the whole packet, as surely they wouldn’t all survive!

I currently have about 15 plants scattered around the garden, tied up neatly to some bamboo canes.

Sadly, thanks to some hungry caterpillars, I have already lost several, but with such a big packet of seeds, there are plenty left!

And of course there are my three very hungry chickens, ready to eat the remnants, when the plants begin to wilt!