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.

7 comments:

Dene Wood said...

The post title sums it up Iz, sounds like the perfect job to me.

The Idiot Gardener said...

Not until November? We can all rally around and get you a cracking speech written by then. Might I suggest, by way of an ice breaker...

"Seedlings are very much like like dwarf strippers. Give them a drink and they'll grow on you, but whatever you do, don't take their heads off with a flymo, because that costs extra!"

Is that heading down the right road?

Is the Wiz said...

It's not perfect Dene, but I've had worse, including working as an artist's model. Perhaps that's why I balk at the mention of dwarf strippers, IG, tho' if I can pluck up the courage it should at least guarantee I'll never get asked back.

Mal's Allotment said...

Gee Willickers Izzy, your blog is looking a bit swanky!

You'll have no problem with your audience because you are passionate about what you are talking about. If not... you've already figured out plan B. But seriously - November ?!?!

Is the Wiz said...

I know Mal, but I keep bumping into the Secretary, who tells me how much they're looking forward to it. They must have desperate lives or he's tactfully reminding me. So I thought if I did some prep I could stop worrying about it.

Mal's Allotment said...

Keeping it clean - here's a joke that's doing the rounds:

An old man lived alone and his only son Vincent was incarcerated in Barlinnie for his part in a jewel heist. He got a long term because the gems were never recovered. The old man resented his son's absence because now he had no one to help him dig his plot. With hardly any rain the ground was as hard as rock.
The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament.

Dear Vincent,

I am feeling pretty bad because it looks like I won't be able to plant any veg this year. I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. If you were here my troubles would be over. I know you would dig the plot for me.

Love Dad

A few days later he received a letter from his son.

Dear Dad,

Whatever you do don't dig over that plot. Wait till I get out first.

Love Vinnie

At 4 a.m. the next morning, the police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding anything of interest. They apologized to the old man and left.

The very next day the old man received another letter from his son.

Dear Dad,

Go ahead and plant the veg now. That's the best I could do
under the circumstances.

Love Vinnie

Britta said...

Dear Is the Wiz,
I think it's good for your equilibrium to write the speech now - then let it rest, as you would do with seeds (although you are allowed sometimes to sprinkle a few drops of new ideas on them), and don't try to get too perfect. As you know, slugs are willing to devour all sorts of marigolds, regardless of colour or height! Britta