Have you been good this year? Of course you have, you’ve kept the garden tidy with the minimum possible demand for assistance from non gardening and therefore culturally limited sharers of your space. Did you ask Santa for what you would like for a present in clear, unequivocal language, preferably without competition for his attention from football, Facebook or the world economy? You may consider a written list, to ensure that he has heard and understood that compliance with some of the inventory will go a long way to ensuring harmony over television viewing during the festive season.
Sciadopitys verticillata (Japanese umbrella pine)
I have some kit without which I wouldn’t want to live. I can recommend a “ladies’ spade” which is neat and manoeuvrable, unlike the navvy’s shovel that Attila uses to terrify the borders into submission. You may wish for a new pair of sharp secateurs, if you grow anything other than annuals. A pristine set of shears provided that you have a hedge, or loppers if you have something to chop, may prove welcome. You can’t have too much fertiliser. B&Q sell bags of “Gro-sure” and buckets of fish, blood and bone are available at stores everywhere. Large plastic containers ensure that the contents stay waterproof, can be refilled from cardboard budget packs and may be used as weed collectors or recycled. The fatter the tub, the bigger the dash it will cut when wrapped and be-ribboned under the Xmas tree.
If you would like a surprise and you think that they have been listening to your hints, then send them to a reputable nursery. Advise them to eavesdrop on other shoppers, taking note of their moans of desire and hot, breathy lust over items of equipment or greenery. That might just be me. Otherwise, tell them to take a card, cheque book or wodge of cash and look for a hefty label. Some things have to be immense or you need lots or they lose their charm. I wanted a substantial pot for a palm tree which is getting too big for its boots. I dragged my spouse around a number of vendors in vain. After a lengthy search during which my spouse was parted from many of the things he needs for civilisation, we found what I craved. The vessel is so colossal that the plant should be content for a long time to come and me along with it. The price was reasonable so that I need not feel guilty, although I’m sorry about the soccer match that he missed.
Under the cherry tree
Upon being told that a fire had started in Pudding Lane in 1666, the Mayor of London then said that a woman might piss it out. Some of the pots I saw were of so much ceramic and such slight volume, that any female worth her salt might fill them with little effort. My man was patient when I rejected many on the grounds that they were too small, the wrong shape or an inappropriate colour. He baulked at transporting my prize on the back seat of his convertible, so we’ll return with my car and a trailer, for him to do the heavy lifting. For his gift, I’m considering a home hernia treatment and a year’s supply of aromatic massage oil.