You have to understand that I am going to be a 65 year old horticultural virgin in a week’s time.
My first memory of a garden was in Singapore where we all lounged as others laboured. Back to Caledonia (stern and wild) in due course. I remember a Rowan tree and lots of grass but I have no recollection of other growing stuff requiring cultivation. I was still too young for conscription into Mum’s garden task force.
Dad’s next posting was to Salisbury and into newly-built married quarters. The earth was a mass of flints which I dutifully picked up and piled under maternal supervision. By the time we moved on again, Mum had worked wonders but I was only ever an unskilled labourer toiling in her stony field.
Our next house in Perth had a substantial and mature garden with lots of green grass and flowers and bushes and big brown woody sort of things but I was still not inducted into the mysteries by my mother. Essentially, she took her text from Matthew Chapter 8 verse 9 when it came to gardening – “For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
So, I went and came and did this and that to help her garden grow without any grasp of what it was all about. At age 17, I moved to Embra to go to Uni. From then until next week, I have lived an urban existence with no need to trouble myself about nurturing Mother Nature.
In a few short days, Mrs M and I take possession of a detached bungalow. I drive past every so often to check that it is still there. It is becoming clear that the front and rear gardens have thrown off the sloth of winter and are seriously burgeoning at an alarming rate. And I don’t know which parts of this rampant growth are weeds or flowers or fruit or vegetables or triffids.
More to the point, the Home Report said that there was no evidence of Japanese Knotweed but that they could not guarantee that it was not lurking. If it is, this is not, apparently, a good thing.
So, I intend to enlist my fellow Charioteers as an Early Warning Japanese Knotweed Defence System with the hope that they can also point me in the right direction in any Weed v Flower debate. Let’s start with this one. We seem to have a lot of it at both front and back.
I am fairly certain that this is not JK but would be grateful if anybody could tell me what it is and whether we want to have it.