The gardening lobby are a dismissive lot. According to them everything else is as exciting as watching paint dry. Bog Sage, these are the people that watch grass grow!
A garden should consist of a flat lawn and that’s it. Nice and simple, nothing fancy but the world is full of would-be Percy Thrower’s. Who really wants the hassle of extra work and of doing it outdoors? Mowing, sowing, cutting, potting, digging, raking- boring. All those -ings are nothing more than a recipe for sleeping. Endlessly working, always renovating, this gardening charade is nothing more than being an eternal horticultural barber. Just give it a Kojak and be done with.
Tried to avoid a gardener neighbour but ran into her in the road.(wish I’d brought me car. I would have happily run into her). She was hyper-actively enthusing about her next project. She was going to plant bulbs in her garden! I’m not the brightest lamp on the circuit but did I catch her right, bulbs? Planting bulbs? In the garden? Planting bulbs in the garden? I suppose that’s one way of lighting up the garden. They’re definitely away with the fairies, those gardeners- Jack and the Lightstalk!
Another thing I can’t get my head around is why anyone would want to wade through dirt while shovelling away in those acres of litter trays? Mucky boots, dirty fingernails and the smell of stinky soil that loiters on your clothes is not my idea of heaven. Neither is being surrounded by creepy-crawlies and feathered flying creatures. Slimy slugs sliding through your hands and bird droppings raining from above. Much rather be in a mosh pit any day of the week.
Yet the devoted gardener is religiously obsessed with their Eden. Their dystopian world is a Frankenstein monster out of control. An ever-expanding cultivated compost heap. Where they see beauty I see a dog’s dinner of a land. A plant’s a plant, a flower’s a flower. They all look the same. You’ve seen one…As do trees. Couldn’t tell you one tree from the other.
Met the gardening woman again and she told me she was going to cut down the big tree in her garden. A light bulb appeared in my head. My modest bucket list includes cutting down a big tree. The one I really want to topple belongs to a friend’s in Denmark but this one closer to home will do. I volunteered to do the duty to the damsel in distress.
She took me to her garden of paradise and I saw for the first time- the great beast. It was one of those behemoths you encounter in the forest. It was fifty stories high if it was a floor! A towering building of bark and branches. I told the big fella he was about to meet his maker.
The woman offered me her power saw but I declined because that’s cheating. I wood use an axe to give the Arboreal monster a fighting chance. I swung the axe and pulverised the ogre with a succession of powerful blows. After seriously denting one part of its circumference I began work on the other side hoping to meet in the middle and fluke it like the engineers of the Channel tunnel did.
The day got darker but after tears, blood, sweat, toil and lots of cola the big tree came tumbling down. Satisfied? Not yet. The next task was to hollow out the stump using chiselling tools. The tree soon became a type of bucket chair. I sat on it and and slept like a log.