Friday, 30 April 2010

Gardner's Question Time

Last week the gardens of some of the finer homes in my hood flung open their garden gates and invited the public to wander about their roses while nibbling on homemade cake and (unlimited) tea. Now, there is not much I won't do for a cupcake and a mug of Earl Grey, so I took my good friend, and our hangovers, along for a look see. I have never been what you might call green fingered but I have tried to embrace the big pots ethos with varying degrees of success. It seems the dank corner in which my front door lies is only good for planty, green things and the hot pinks and vivid orange blooms I crave belong to another place. One that gets the sun. So, after taking advice from my horticultural friends, (why is it that perfectly normal people suddenly start speaking fluent Latin whenever you enter a garden centre?) I have now planted Hostas and ivy and ferns, which seem to be doing quite well although I was just about to throw what I believed to be a 'dead' fern away when it recently burst back into life, apparently that's what they do......who knew. Anyway, me and my friend had a lovely time, sitting beside a water feature, under a palm tree ( I kid you not) chowing down on slabs of walnut cake with butter cream icing and raspberry cupcakes, discussing the 'circus' party we'd attended the night before (a tight-rope walker since you ask and I may never get the glitter out of my eyebrows!!) Then we went to look at the beautiful tulips of one of my yoga ladies, she's just celebrated her 95th birthday. She was standing under the tree, proudly displaying her blooms, wearing her trade mark Wellington boots and wrap-around cashmere cardi, her neat white bob framing a lifetime of beauty. She advised me to try Euphorbias in my sun-free corner so ego sum off to B & Q !!

Now I don't know if this is an age thing but I found myself genuinely excited by the Election .....yes I was one of the lucky few who managed to get through the door and cast my vote.... for what it was worth. I went with the son, now of course no longer the teenager, who claimed he was not a political animal and didn't really hold with anything that was on offer, but that he and his friends had decided to vote for change!?!? It was all so jolly in the school play ground in that truly English way. Eager canvassers sporting big grins and even bigger rosettes, huddled together in corners, suddenly united in a common goal to get us voting, armed with their clip boards, making gentle enquiries. Armies of volunteers pointed us needlessly in the direction we were going and one eager beaver got a bit narked when I checked on my boy, insisting he, and only he, was allowed to instruct on how to make the cross of democracy. Had I not had such a busy day on Friday I would have stayed up longer, flicking excitedly between BBC, ITV and the Divine Lauren Laverne on 4, eager to discover what gem of wisdom Paxman might winkle out of Joan Collins or who could top that well known political pundit Bruce Forsyth. It was like some kind of Royal Variety Show nightmare vision of the future.

With all the excitement I lolled very happily on my Saturday night sofa, catching up on Sky plus and thoroughly enjoying Later With Jools, hasn't that Iggy Pop got the shiniest hair ever? Bowie does a good mop top too, whatever drugs they were taking it's certainly given them a lustrous sheen to die for. But for me it was Courtney Love's age defying performance that stole the show with her lyric of the week: 'I'm too young to be this old....'

Top tip: Put on 'Nobody's Daughter', fling open the windows, turn it up to 11 and let Courtney lead us into our dotage.


  1. I am too old to feel this young actually !!! I can second Euphorbias - they come in lots of varities too. I have a bit of a thing for Jeremy Paxman - which I believe makes me a "thinking woman".

  2. Great gardening tips - just what I needed for my dark dank bit of the garden.
    Can't believe your bargain buys xx

  3. Hostas are heavenly the slugs too. Be warned, they'll peep their lovely leaves above the ground and be chomped away in an instant! Covering the soil with sharp grit or broken eggshells should help to deter the little b-^^£"s. Here endeth the gardening tips. :)

  4. Well, if Courtney is too young to be that old, I'm certainly too! (and I also want that nice shiny hair!)
    I have been religiously listening to Gardener's question time for years now, but honestly I don't understand a word because they all speak LATIN. It's hopeless.