I just love flowers, all flowers, all colours and types…Red ones, white ones, blue ones, lilies, roses, chrysanthemums…
I’ve had my roadside stall for many years now. Some people have been buying flowers from me for 30 years- they leave me cards to tell me so.
I used to grow lots of Christmas lilies. They are the white ones you know with the perfume. Everyone wanted them just for Christmas, not before or after but on Christmas day. Oh, that was hard because you couldn’t tell whether they would be early or late each year, I would go out and look at them carefully, waiting, watching, hoping.
I just love looking at them, they are beautiful things.
Ever since I came to the farm here I have grown flowers… I used to take them up to town to the florists or, if they really wanted them quick they would come down and get them - you know if they had a funeral or something where they needed the flowers straight away.
Sometimes I would get so absorbed in my gardening that my husband would say “I’m going to bed now, your dinner is still on the table, don’t wake me up when you come in will you!’ It would be nearly midnight sometimes before I would come in from the garden and my flowers.
I look forward to each season because it brings different flowers. I love it when the swallows come back to nest here near my front door each year. I love sitting on my garden seat out the front watching them come and go from the nest. They don’t mind me sitting there you know, they know me!
I'm happiest when I am looking at my flowers growing, looking at them in the bunches, you can nearly kiss them!
Sometimes I talk to my plants, I feel a bit silly saying that. I have no-one else to talk to now. I used to talk to my husband, and then after he died I used to talk to my cat. But now there is no-one else to talk to so sometimes I talk to my flowers or the swallows.
I like to be busy. You have to have a reason to get up every day don’t you? My husband used to say that I would always be busy. He said the weeds are busy growing behind you so don’t turn around or you will have to start it all again.
I used to have a cat and I loved my cat. He was such good company and used to follow me round the garden. He liked having a drink of water from the hose, I would hold it up and he would drink from the end of the hose. He didn’t like it when I sprayed water over him though.
It’s important for me to take my medicine each day and drink enough water.
I love eating fish and chips but you must not live on it you know!
I loved seeing my children grow up. But, I cried when they left home, wondering if they were alright.
My best memory was when I first met my future mother in law. She welcomed me with open arms and said ‘I was the daughter she never had’- that was pretty special.
I am proudest of reaching 100! I never dreamed about it, oh gosh, you know many people don’t quite make it.
I am proud of my family – each one has done something different. My grandson is going to be famous - I think he will have a lot of girls around him.
I’m just an ordinary person trying to be happy. Mostly I’m happy but sometimes I am in tears. When you get to a hundred most people you knew are all gone.
Nettie will always be with us in spirit, but sadly passed away in April 2019.
Photography by Lara van Raay.