Hoe-pefully we’ll dig deep and get this garden back on the right path

3 GoodGymers made their way to help an isolated older person in Kingston upon Thames.

  • Nicky West
  • Gosia Rybacka
  • Kingston upon Thames runner
Sunday, 3rd of February 2019

It was freezing. Seriously. MINUS 5!!! Perfect gardening weather, no? Coining ourselves as The Sub-Zero Heroes Mission Team, we arrived at Mr P’s ready for a good old dose of arctic gardening.

Mr P was ready with the chisel for us to yank open the garage door with, which Gosia mastered. Meanwhile, Nicky made Mr P a hot cuppa and Samia had a good chinwag with him, catching up after the first mission a few weeks ago. With implements ready, we got to work in not our usual mission attire: Samia wearing The Duvet Coat, Nicky with wellies and Gosia with magical powers of being able to stay warm without looking like she’s dressed for Lapland.

We WILL find this path,

said Samia with a scary level of determination. We’d cleared the patio last time and there was no way that this path was going to stay hidden under the carpet of overgrowth that had ventured from the borders over to the paving. Possibly cowering in fear of Samia’s new-found hoeing determination, Gosia and Nicky took the wise move of clearing leaves and weeds that may block any hoeing.

As our toes became number, the path started to become visible and Nicky had to start to threaten some unknown plants with the secateurs (heaven forbid they may disrupt the hoeing...).

And then we found the bush plant thing with things on that we recognised. "What is this called again?", we pondered. The cat tree? Catnip? Cat willow? We found a stone cat next to it and decided we must be on the right path (in two senses now that the path was visible!) but just couldn’t remember. And then, 2 hours later, it came to mind:


After clearing the path, removing some recycling and bagging up the victims of the Great Kingston Hoe Down, we took many photos of the newly discovered path and took much delight in being able to now see how beautiful Mr P’s garden had once been, with borders, bird feeding stands, benches.

After Samia spent a while chiselling out the mud from her trainers (thanks to Caroline for that top tip last time!), we headed indoors to chat to Mr P. We showed him photos of the work and, heard his fond memories of his wife, adventures of his daughter and his life in general. We hope that we can return again to continue the mission of all missions.

Report written by Kingston upon Thames runner

Discuss this report

Gosia Rybacka
Gosia Rybacka
Sunday February 3rd, 2019 13:48

Great report Samia and wow well done with the hoe! You have made this path shine!

Nicky West
Nicky West
Sunday February 3rd, 2019 13:51

Fantastic report Samia. So glad that we could help Mr P. Such a wonderful man.

Rob Haworth
Rob Haworth
Sunday February 3rd, 2019 14:32

Wow what a transformation! You can't have been cold after all that effort.

Kingston upon Thames runner
Kingston upon Thames runner
Sunday February 3rd, 2019 17:27

One of my favourite missions! Such a lovely man and such a great team - total Sunday morning feel-good-factor. Thanks Gosia and Nicky for such a great mission!

Kate Haworth
Kate Haworth
Sunday February 3rd, 2019 18:46

Fantastic work ladies! I'm so pleased that you were able to return to what we started and really make an amazing difference. I'd hoe-ped 'weed' be able to go back to continue. You've done an incredible job! Mr P must be so pleased!

Monday February 4th, 2019 11:57

Amazing work, mission dream team, what a transformation!!

Richmond runner
Richmond runner
Monday February 4th, 2019 12:03

Wow what a transformation, this looks like a different garden!

Alix Guerber
Alix Guerber
Monday February 4th, 2019 12:06

Such amazing work ladies!

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