GARDENINGMrs Cheshire is solely responsible for my love of gardening ... flower gardening ... my dad is responsible for my ‘try and fail’ attempts at growing vegetables.The first time I discovered flower gardening was at St Helens and the flower plot just outside the classroom. It never occurred to me to visit it in person as I was too much concerned with understanding my new life as a schoolgirl.Then one miraculous sunny day we were called to go outside and sit on the grass around the flower bed. ‘Goodness real earth’ was my first thought ’so that’s what’s under grass!’ We dug into the earth finding such delights as worms (I am still fond of finding worms) and pulling out a few weed seedlings.Mrs Cheshire then produced the loveliest plant called “Love Lies Bleeding” which we dug a large deep hole for and planted it.I cannot remember ever having a gardening lesson again but it is something that has stayed in my mind. I was really glad to have that memory because I have never forgotten or forgiven... I never went out to it again....and why?There was a small shed opposite (used by the gardeners I suppose). One day there was a lot of clattering and noise and some high-pitched little screams coming from it .... a squirrel was trapped and two men were in there with spades trying to hit it...they succeeded and held it up. One of the senior girls told me the government paid a bounty for dead squirrels....Have I ever managed to grow Love Lies Bleeding? Never but, every few years I try and fail, and remember fondly Mrs Cheshire.