One of the many aspects of writing The Lost Garden of Garraiblagh which I enjoyed was working with the seasons. As any gardener knows things don’t stop at the end of summer and in the old estate gardens there was still so much to do to ensure the provision of food for the big house throughout the year and including Christmas. It was fascinating to research the methods used in growing and storing vegetables and fruit – and flowers – for the winter period.
At the same time winter and Christmas in the book were times when people not only came together but remembered lost ones and found themselves dealing with strange situations – and comic ones.
Using old family photographs assisted in gaining a sense of a world long gone but one that provided the basis for building the atmosphere.