June’s compact front garden layers climbing plants over deep green hedges over a lush woodland understorey to ensure that the space is maximised and noise and pollution from the nearby roundabout are reduced. Red geraniums, roses and fuchsias add vibrant, exotic splashes of colour. June kindly invited me to spend a lovely Sunday afternoon sipping coffee and eating cake in her splendid back garden.
June Treynor is a retired flower shop and garden shop owner who has lived in Cardiff for the past 35 years.
What are your most memorable moments of owning your own shops?
JUNE: I enjoyed the gardening shop. However, the flower shop was a lot of work, and I was regularly working through from Thursday morning right up to Saturday morning to get the flowers ready for a wedding or a funeral. I took on a lot. In 1962, I was the president of the Chamber of Commerce in Chepstow. I was also heavily pregnant, and I remember desperately trying to finish off the flowers for a wedding after my waters broke, but I managed to complete the flowers before giving birth to my first son. I had to reprioritise my time after the birth of my second son, so I moved from the flower shop to the gardening shop to have regular working hours.
To stop myself missing the flower shop, I continued to teach flower arranging and gave talks on gardening all over the place. However, the constant wiring of flowers has taken its toll on my hands.
How did you first develop your love of gardening?
JUNE: After the war, I got a job in The Mount in Chepstow working in the gardening team. I trained there for two years and learned everything I know from the head gardener. The house had a separate greenhouse for carnations to give to the gentlemen and an orchid house to give orchids to the ladies. There was also a peach and nectarine house. During the war, the peaches had been sold in Cardiff for six shillings each.
What is your favourite plant?
What do you most like about Cardiff?
JUNE: I like every inch of Cardiff. I should probably say the parks, but if I’m being naughty I’d say the shopping centre!
My favourite flower shop is Eric Roberts, now known as Covent Garden Flowers on Shirley Road in Roath. I couldn’t recommend them highly enough, they really do beautiful displays. Flower shops provide such a lot of beauty, and while there flowers may be more expensive, the service you get is worth every penny compared to supermarkets.
Who is your gardening inspiration?
JUNE: My favourite TV gardeners are Monty Don and Carol Klein. They are the equivalents of Delia Smith, where she can get people to cook who can’t cook, through calm descriptions rather than busy explanations and fuss. Plus I love grasses, just like Monty.
My gardening style is to allow the plants to self seed, finding the spaces they are happiest.
June’s garden is a definite Happy Place, filled with bees and tame birds, and quiet despite the busy roundabout nearby. The lush vegetation in her front garden helps to absorb the sound and fumes of the traffic.
If you would like to visit June’s favourite flower shop: Covent Garden Flowers
June has also been published discussing the war on the BBC website. WW2 peoples war stories