Sunday, 4 July 2010

Just Another Day in Paradise

Welcome to Bub and Kyna, your wit is much appreciated, and also to anyone else daft enough to read this.
Anyway, I was reminded that I'd promised to give a talk to the local horticultural society, they asked for a "day in the life" sort of thing. Now I'm bricking it. Naturally socially inept and retiring, ten years of living in a park has left me shy to the point of sociophobia. Sometimes I wonder if I'm a touch autistic, but my son assures me I'm no worse than most. Still, although it's not till November, I think I should make a start on my talk.
My day begins at 7.30, which I think comes under the heading of "Cruel and Unusual Punishments". It took me ages to get used to it but now I can see that it's often the best part of the day, except when it's dark and dreich and thoroughly horrid. At least my commute is short, two minutes or so and I'm at the Walled Garden where my hothouses are. At this time of year I get an enormous waft of perfume from the honeysuckle growing to the left of the gate, while last month the wisteria repaid all the time I've spent pruning it with spectacular amethyst flowers.
As I come in, I check out the pears' progress. They get the benefit of the south facing wall and are a mass of white blossom in Spring and dripping with the best fruit I've ever eaten in Autumn. There are cherries and plums as well on the east wall and apples and more plums outside. There was a peach, I'm told, and vines but the old range of glasshouses where they grew has fallen into such disrepair that we're forbidden to go in there. Of course we ignored this, so The Boss had the place nailed shut.
It would be wonderful to restore these, but various clerks of work have tried and failed even before the current crisis. Ah well.
As I enter the first greenhouse, I hear the piteous wail of Chocolate the Nursery cat. She sounds as if she hasn't eaten for days, but this is belied by her shiny coat. She's very affectionate, loves a cuddle and even if it's only cupboard love it's a nice welcome to work.
My minions join me and we get stuck in. One of the girls waters the hanging baskets so she sets off in her van to do her rounds. We have an automated irrigation system but there are always dry patches so whoever's on at the weekend does the watering and gives the plants a foliar feed while the others issue plants to the area squads who descend on us like pillaging hordes. Well, some do, others come in, look around gormlessly, and say, "Eh, you've to give us the plants for King's Park." What kind of plants, we ask. "Eh,...marigolds?" What kind of marigolds? Shrug. African Marigolds? French Marigolds? Shrug.Calendula? They start to panic. Big ones or wee ones? Yellow orange or red ones? By this time they're looking like rabbits caught in headlamps so we take pity on them and tell them what would look good together and how many they'll need and suggest a few dot plants for added interest. By this time it's nine o'clock and time for teabreak.
Well I think that's enough for now, it's ten o'clock so I have to go and lock up.