If I had a one pound coin for every time somebody asked me about green fingers, I would have a solid gold trowel by now.
It is usually a person who doesn’t do much gardening – no time, plants always die, no space, too expensive, don’t know a dahlia from a dandelion. Green Fingers, a contentious phrase at the best of times, coined by some wag to suggest that some people have a natural, or even unusual, ability in growing plants is Poppy-cock.
We all have ‘green fingers’, it is just that some of us don’t know how, or want to, use them. There will always be people who ‘hate gardening’ from J.K. Huysmans, to Fran Lebowitz. That’s their prerogative but to someone like myself raised in a cloche, I think they have a small screw missing.
Pets thrive if you look after them but we don’t say somebody has Hairy Toes just because their dogs and cats are happy and healthy.
They are all living things and respond to care and attention. Common sense really isn’t it?
Don’t keep fish if you hate cleaning the tank.
Wild plants have learnt to fight their corner, it’s survival of the fittest,
but domestic plants on the other hand have been so cosseted and cultivated, so hybridised and removed from reality that they must rely on us to look-after them. To water, feed, prune and adore.
Of course you can over-do this love-my plants business. Take that menace from North America who’s treatment of plants is beyond obscene. He has recorded growing the world’s largest Cabbage at 63kg (10 stone) he’s chucked in a carrot at 8.5 kg (1.4 stone) and cajoled a cauliflower to swing the scales at 14 kg (over 2 stone) but that all fades to fudge compared to his pumpkin hitting the scales at 1,190 kilos, that’s 120 or so stone. Poor pumkin.
I ask you. You wouldn’t feed your cat so that it was bigger than a pony so why do you want your Pumkin to be bigger than a tractor? Cruelty to plants I call it.
People who love ‘proper’ gardening will always find a way even if they don’t have much space. An old tin on a window sill becomes home to some runner beans with their bright scarlet flowers, or a decommissioned tea pot is happy to support some mint.
And don’t forget the applaudable ‘Guerrilla Gardeners’ who delight us by secretly planting up land that the gardeners do not have the legal rights to cultivate, such as abandoned sites in public places; little patches of ephemeral ground works turned into slices of hope and glory. It was A.A.Milne who said,’Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.’
. Look through this pavement art. An archway opening onto a road of hope and possibility. The disappearing point devoid of trees and people but full of potential, like Kerouac writing on a continuous reel of paper. It contrasts with a busy street where a ‘pod-car’ is coming towards us probably with little interest in what the pavementist is up to. Bravo! Add a couple of plants and I am yours forever. Failing that, a light aircraft will do.
THE WORD blog is a conflation of two words: Web and log. It contains in its four letters a concise and accurate self-description: it is a log of thoughts and writing posted publicly on the World Wide Web. In the monosyllabic vernacular of the Internet, Web log soon became the word blog.