I was born and raised on a farm in County Derry Northern Ireland, one of 14 children. We grew all our own vegetables – and of course lots of potatoes. The nicest potatoes I have ever tasted were the ones my mum grew, a variety called King Edward. I also love delicious plump stalks of rhubarb. Where we lived in Northern Ireland was cold and wet. I disliked farm labour and vowed I’d never marry a farmer. So it came to pass that in 1986 I came to Australia to work as a nurse … and married a businessman.
Among the most delicious and super easy vegetables/herbs I’ve grown are sugarsnap and snow peas with their crunchy bite and sweetness, cherry tomatoes, sweet basil and buttercrunch lettuce. You won’t taste the like from any supermarket ever. Cape gooseberries, or ‘lolly gobble bliss bombs’ as my husband said when he first tasted them, are also among my favourites. My challenges to grow include beetroot, parsnips, brussel sprouts and cauliflower. I haven’t given up!
When I retired from nursing 6 years ago I wanted to learn new skills, meet and interact with new people. Having discovered community gardening initially at Warners Park I met Janet and Mary Anne, and was immediately hooked. They nurtured and inspired me. All my dreams came true when I joined Market Garden Park. It’s my happy place.
I get to grow an amazing variety of herbs, fruit and vegetables all on tap at a 10 minute walk from home. What’s more I love the physicality of gardening, as I value the camaraderie of a beautiful bunch of like-minded people, their generosity and sharing of knowledge. I find it a calming environment that suits me well.
I’m very proud to have been dubbed the Compost Queen of MGP … I don’t actually like to touch wrigglers of any kind but I have the utmost appreciation of their contribution to the garden.
Editors Note: Maggie sometimes seems to us to travel at the speed of light. She’s driven to thrive on keeping busy. As gardeners at MGP we’re often on the receiving end of her thoughtfulness and generosity with home baked sweet treats such as cakes and scones. She’s a whizz with the sewing machine too, currently working on stitching up masks and aprons for fund-raising.