Garden knowledge

April 21, 2007 at 3:00 am 2 comments

Rose in ThailandNow, Jim Webber is a man I’d like to meet. Not only is he an inspiration to anyone who is complaining about working too hard, I suspect he possesses immense knowledge of lost practices. So who is Jim? he’s 104 years young; is a gardener in Dorset UK; and has just downed his gardening tools after 93 years (yes, you read correctly) on the job. Arthritis has finally caught up with him but he’s not giving up just yet. Jim and his 68 year old daughter will be tending their own garden from now on and selling the produce.

Jim used to work with his brother, Jack, until Jack died in 2006 at the ripe old age of 95 (mmm..I’d better ditch the treadmill and take up gardening!). Jim has never taken a holiday and doesn’t wish to. He prefers to rise at 4.00am every day and dig, plant and prune. He refuses to charge more than £3 per hour.

Can you imagine the expert knowledge of gardening that Jim has? I’m no green thumb, but things like knowledge of the soil; the right plants for the climate; when to plant; when not to plant; companion planting; how to nurse sick or dying plants; natural ways of dealing with pests instead of spraying tonnes of pesticides and so on. Jim may even practise moon or lunar planting, a method of gardening as old as agriculture itself and a mix of folklore and superstition. Lunar planting centres on the moon’s gravitational effect on the flow of moisture in soil and plants and also the effect of moonlight on seed germination. So the best time to turn over a garden, for instance, is during the last quarter of the moon when the water table has dropped to its lowest point.

Let’s hope that a publisher or oral historian rushes to collect Jim’s know-how!

Entry filed under: Curiousity, Knowledge Management.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Container Gardening Tips  |  April 30, 2007 at 3:34 am

    That is a really amazing story! My grandparents on both sides were avid gardeners, but they all stopped sometime in their 60s. I can’t imagine them gardening in their 80s, let alone 100+! That’s just wild.

    I would definitely rush out to buy a book that contained his years of wisdom. I agree with you. His information should be published! 🙂

  • 2. thinkingshift  |  April 30, 2007 at 8:33 am

    Thx for leaving a comment on ThinkingShift blog! yes, wouldn’t we all love to be that fit and active at 100+ years. Love to know Jim’s secrets – but I suspect it’s simple: good old fashioned lifestyle and plenty of healthy exercise outdoors.


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