Until two weeks ago, I had absolutely no interest in gardening. Now, I’m concerned that this whole blog might turn into an extension of Gardeners’ World – where I just wax lyrical about my petunias, peonies and pagodas.
After the departure of the old gardener, and a small interlude where I attempted to manage the garden myself but realised that the water supply to the house had been cut off and I had no idea what I was doing (details in last blog here), a saviour appeared in the form of a lovely lady called Margaret.
Margaret was recommended to me by a friend and she offered to come down to the house to explain exactly what was in the garden and what I needed to do.
When I arrived to meet Margaret at the house, she was already deep in conversation with Zak the baby-faced foreman.
‘Is that boy actually in charge?’ said Margaret. ‘He looks about 10-years-old!’
‘I know!’ I whispered conspiratorially. ‘He probably should be at school!’
Margaret and I pottered round the garden, while she pointed out various plants, such as this shy clementis lurking in the shadow of an over-bearing conifer.
And this yellow peony tree which with a little bit of TLC, could produce more of its buttercup-coloured flowers.
But how lovely does this wisteria look?
The saddest thing, according to Margaret, is the wisteria up the front of the property (which was destined for the skip anyway). Because it had been stuck in a pot for years, it hadn’t been able to grow properly. Same goes for the sickly-looking clematis armandii, draped listlessly over the side fence.
Knowing how lovely the wisteria looked on the pegoda, I immediately started a Save The Wisteria campaign and decided to replant it on a different part of the pegoda.
Cue The Husband (aka. the muscles behind this futile operation). First, on Margaret’s instructions, he smashed both the wilting wisteria and sickly clementis out of their pots (the husband enjoyed this bit the most).
Then he had to dig a big hole.
Next, plonk wisteria in hole.
According to Margaret, water like mad.
(With the water turned off, I daren’t go back to beg at the nearby restaurant like last week – so have taken to watering the plants with large bottle of Co-Op’s finest spring water – oh yes, only the best for our precious perennials!)
On Sunday, I told the husband that he had to dig two more holes that day. This did not go down well. The husband is fed-up of digging holes. There’s a book called Holes, which I read with my class at school. The protagonist, Stanley Yelnats, is sent to a juvenile delinquent camp out in the desert and forced to dig several holes a day.
In short, the husband said he felt like Stanley Yelnats. It probably doesn’t help that while the husband is digging his holes, I stand around issuing instructions in my role as Chief Delegator.
‘This is an entirely fruitless operation,’ grumbled the husband, as he stabbed resentfully at the clay-like earth.
‘But if I does work, think how nice the wisteria will look,’ I said.
‘Think of The Sense Of Achievement!’
‘You’ve gone wysterical,’ said the husband. ‘And you’ve got hydrangea mania to boot!’
He begrudgingly continued with his digging.
I, meanwhile (in my new alter ego of Margo Leadbetter) was already plotting my next gardening adventure… namely, what can I grow in these boxes?!