What kind of person doesn’t have a plant?
In the same vein as most people thinking that someone can’t be all that bad if they have a dog (bear with me I’m sorting that one soon) what does it say about someone if they don’t have a plant?
It turns out that I fit into this category. Or at least i did until another helpful colleague suggested i get an allotment while I was enjoying my sabbatical.
Then it hit me. The unavoidable truth.
I actually own a garden…
A garden that I’d always viewed as a pain in the ass. A millstone. An evil receptacle of never ending grass growth, only held at bay by my less than hard worked lawn mower and the resentful sweat of my brow.
In the spirit of saying ‘yes’ to things more I decided on the way home to take a detour and visit a garden centre. In fact i missed the mark and ended up at what was apparently a hedge factory. Who knew you could go somewhere and buy bits of hedge?
Green hedges, prickly hedges, bunches of stick hedges, grassy hedges, the list appeared endless. The bowls and barrels were full of them. And there – at the end of the row was a pot with daffodils in it.
I’d never bought daffodils in my life – so why not now? Taking a quick photo for my blog I picked them up and ambled into the little sales hut.
The lady inside was instantly out of her office to greet me, and we got chatting. I described my horticultural virgin status briefly. She seemed sympathetic and started to explain to a green fingered newborn how to care for his daffodil.
‘Its fine in the pot – but you can take it out. water the leaves occasionally, and give it some food.’
I picked up some plant food.
‘This kind?’ I asked?
She nodded and i added it to the list.
It was then that I felt compelled to tell her why I was buying my daffodil. It seemed only fair – after all she was expecting me to take good care of it, and any assurances I could give would only help her sleep better that night.
I explained I had given my notice to quit at work, and her ears pricked up when I told her excitedly of my pending pooch purchase.
‘Its a good idea’ she said – ‘that will keep you fit!’
I told her that a friend at work had suggested an allotment – and she said ‘Well I can help with that for sure – I have 192 different varieties of vegetables.’
Slightly taken aback I asked whether there was any chance that her crippling lack of variety was something she should address. She laughed heartily and smiled.
‘May I ask what you do for a living?’ She said
‘Telecommunications’ I replied – fully expecting her to glaze over.
“Oh – I used to work for Worldcom she said. I left there to start this place.’
A little stunned I carried on talking to her. We traded names (Sarah) and I assured her that I would return for more help and tips. I felt in a small way I’d met a kindred spirit.
While heading to my car I received a call from my incredibly kind and well meaning manager asking whether i needed more time to consider my decision and whether further bereavement leave would help.
I had a daffodil in a carrier bag, relying on me to look after it.
I thanked him several times for his kindness and declined the offer.
I could swear my daffodil winked at me.