Well exactly seven years ago today, we left the big smoke of London to come over to Ireland to take over the garden centre known back then as ‘Cottage Garden Nursery’. It all started through an advert in BBC Gardeners World magazine with a garden centre and cottage for sale. Persuading Sarah to ring up and find out more was quickly followed up with a visit or three and a falling in love with the place.(except for the ott pink paint inside and out)
After a long and protracted sale of our house, we packed up the old Volvo estate with our two dogs, the remaining bare essentials and left sunny London on a Sunday morning. A long drive down to Pembroke meant staying the night until the ferry the next day. Given we had the dogs our choice was very limited so the B&B we stayed in was not exactly top of the range. Basic facilities no en suite, two dogs for roommates and a mattress that slumped in the middle meant our stay was not exactly refreshing. Our dogs made themselves at home one cocking his leg on the sofa and the other spotted the resident cat which nearly led to him running through a glass door.
So with relief, the next morning we left only for the ferry to be delayed for several hours. What appeared to be calm seas soon turned into a roller coaster of a journey and our sailing was spent horizontal in our cabin until we were close to land. My first vision of our new home land was through me being sick over the side.
After getting through customs and having a break we set off on the long journey arriving just before 10pm. Our seller had left the stove on and we pumped up the inflatable mattress and fell asleep until waking on a solid floor due to a slow leak at around five in the morning.
Amazingly we were up and madly open for business at 10.30am that day and as it is now the weather was wet wet and very wet. Our clothes were more suited to a warm summer and not the cold and damp so we huddled around the stove. What had we let ourselves in for.
Well seven years on it has been hard work but home is now here for us and our two boys and the garden centre is making fantastic progress. Who knows where we will be in another seven years.