Mrs. Pedersen – and the story behind the garden
How passion became my way of life
My name is Anette Krogh Pedersen. I am married to John, and we have 3 children and 5 grandchildren. I got the idea for Mrs. Pedersen’s Garden in 2012, but have had a passion for garden life for as long as I can remember. When I was born in Djursland, east of Jutland, in 1966, my father was a farmer and my mother a bank assistant. My mom had only 4 weeks maternity leave. When she had to go back to work, I was taken care of by my grandma and grandpa in Randers. When I woke up from the noon nap, I was lying and looking up at the pink flowers of the cherry tree. So who knows, maybe back then, the seed was sown to my great love for aesthetics and garden life.
By the time I reached the age for starting primary school, we moved to West Jutland. My parents had bought a larger farm near Lemvig. I missed grandma and grandpa a lot. Luckily, my little brother and I had the chance of spending several summer holidays with grandma and grandpa out in their allotment garden house in the outskirts of Randers.
Grandma was incredibly careful and proud of her garden. She had the most beautiful allotment garden with winding garden paths, water, curved beds and meandering edges. She received honorary awards every year. We children were very fascinated by the garden and wanted to help. My brother and I were then allowed to cultivate, but only outside the hedge. We were teenagers before we were allowed to cultivate inside the garden. And even then Grandma always kept a watchful eye on whether we were doing well enough.
Grandpa built a playhouse with a terrace where we spent the night. The grass was always short, soft and fine light green. The neat kitchen garden had stringy rows and was always cultivated. How I loved those summers.
Originally, I was a trained dental assistant. It began when the local dentist needed a schoolgirl to go to hand. I started working there nearly every afternoons after school from the age of 14. I found out I was pretty good at it, and I therefore took the education after finishing primary school .
John and I bought our country house when I was just 19 years old. I set as a requirement that it must not be clay soil like many farms around here. It was essential to me that I could create a lovely garden. Already as an 18-year-old I had joined the garden association Tangsø in Lemvig. And it is perhaps not a surprise that I was the youngest member for many years 🙂 Inspired by Grandma’s allotment garden, I designed the first part of my garden when I was 19. Since then it has gradually evolved into what it is today. At no point did I have in mind that my garden could one day become a livelihood.
I had various temporary positions in school dental care. This meant that I had time off during the school holidays at the same time as my children. When I finally seemed to have the chance for a permanent job, the local authority resigned a position, and I ended up unemployed. So instead, I found work as a disability helper, a job I liked a lot.
At the same time, I started to open my garden a little to the public. The first large group that came to visit were members of the Tangsø garden association. Around Christmas they also came to my place to see how I was decorating for Christmas in the garden. I found that many were interested in also seeing how our home was decorated. It gave me the idea for events with housing and garden inspiration.
At one point I was a member of Tangsø’s board and someone from the board suggested we try to find a concrete course. Why? I asked. We can do it ourselves! And then we met one day at my place and worked with concrete. It was a great success and the starting shot for the courses I hold today.
One day my employer did not wake up from his midday nap – it came very suddenly and unexpectedly, he was too young to die. Besides setting me out of a job, it set a lot of thoughts in motion. I thought there must be a meaning to this. One never knows how long one has left to live. It is now if I am to live out my dream and open my garden more to the audience.
As an unemployed person, I was entitled to a 6-week self-chosen course, and I took a course in social media, made my blog and my first web page. At that time the garden was only open a few weekends and at Christmas, so there were not many visitors, and not many knew me. But through the blog, people found out about my existence.One of the participants at a housing / garden event was the journalist Margit Vendelbjerg from local TV midt / vest. Margit pulled me aside and asked if I would like to make a broadcast about my garden? Just 5 minutes of TV a month with the garden + a long program with my creative ideas?
However, it wasn’t long before the concept became a show of 35 minutes of TV a month from April to November, and it quickly became the biggest viewer success that year, so it ended with 2 full seasons and 2 cavalcade broadcasts of one hour each. There was a lot of preparation for me, but it was all worth it, and I could not have done it without John, who, in addition to his full-time job and cultivating the fields belonging to the farm, is a volunteer in Mrs. Pedersen’s garden and always ready to help if it gets tight. The days we filmed, my mom made sure we got something to eat and drink, and dad was always ready to run errands if we were missing anything.
The TV broadcasts helped to kick-start the broad knowledge of Mrs. Pedersen’s garden. The year after the first broadcasts, I took the plunge, started the company in earnest, and had my first season with weekends open from May to September and overnight guests
Today, I enjoy being allowed to do what I do best, and love the most. Being allowed to live out this wonderful dream that has just become more beautiful and more intense as the years have passed.
My great desire and joy over this everyday life in and around the garden has helped to shape and develop me into Mrs. Pedersen, and every year from May to September I welcome many lovely garden enthusiasts to my universe.
At the same time, my faithful followers can look at instagram throughout the year. I post pictures several times a week.
I might often work alone in the garden, but I’m never alone! I have garden friends all over the country and also some from other countries. It’s amazing and I’m so happy to be able to share my joy with so many garden lovers. It’s a pleasure and a great honour that I can be an inspiration to others.
Many of my lovely guests ask: how many people are actually working on keeping the garden so nice? They are surprised, it’s pretty much just me.
My business is a one-woman business. However I am so lucky to be enriched with a lovely family who is happy to lend a hand when needed. And then I have a very skilled helper, who is here in a flex job 4 hours a week, and a friend with whom I share the kitchen garden. And as mentioned before, my husband John is always ready to help when he has time for his full time job and the job of tending the fields around our property.
Every year I get ideas for new still lifes that stand around the garden. I let myself be inspired by the season, and I myself love casting things out of concrete for my lineups. For example. I use a rhubarb leaf as a shape and make the most beautiful small water dish with the structure from the leaf clearly marked. Or I make lifelike bird eggs in concrete.
And I find exciting recycled things that, together with beautiful flowers and other greenery, can help to decorate gardens, sheds, gazebos and caravans.
Finally, I just have to tell you about Miss Viola’s Laundry. It actually started as Santa’s workshop, and it still is in the month of December. But the rest of the year, Miss Viola’s Laundry is a charming mini-museum with an old-fashioned washboard, clothes roll, zinc tub, sewing machine, etc., beautiful old things we found in the attic, and which have now been given new life and are a source of many fun memories for some of our Guests.
When I got the idea to decorate the nice little extension, which was originally a machine house, right back from the start of the farm, I thought it should be called something with laundry, as some of the things were used in connection with laundry.
I came up with the beautiful name Miss Viola’s Laundry because my grandmother and an aunt were both christened Viola by middle name.
After I became an instagrammer, I get invitations to blogger events 4-5 times a year. It is a good way to keep up to date with the latest trends in plants. It is also a great opportunity to meet colleagues from all over the country and to gain mutual inspiration. I also give lectures in different places around the country several times a year. You can book me by calling or writing for a lecture in Denmark.
It was a bit about how Mrs. Pedersen’s garden became what it is today. I look forward to seeing you.
Kind regards Mrs. Pedersen
V. Anette Krogh Pedersen
Skalstrupvej 36, 7570 Vemb
Tlf.: + 45 40 25 96 25