Lines on the intricate science of gardening

mesnip30716There are heretics in this world who regard gardening as some kind of cross between  obsession and sorcery. But they are quite mistaken: it is in fact a multivariate scientific pursuit of excellence which – like all such endeavours – seems incomprehensible to the huge mass of barbarians at the garden gate…that is, all those poor unfortunates who underwent a less than Comprehensive education, and thus cannot decipher even the simplest of technical terms.

Although myself a member of the Inner Gardening Magic Circle, I am tonight nevertheless going to break ranks and reveal for the first time the exact meaning of all the central tenets of gardening jargon, sorry, philosophy. This means almost certain expulsion from the RHS and the confiscation of my Wisley OAP discount card; but such things are as nothing compared to the courageous pursuit of glaznost in all things.


Take for example this description by Algernon Hissinglawn of one of the main attractions of agronomy:

“The application of Yogic Alexander Technique to the act of herbal extinction”

In layman’s English, this means ‘weeding’

Or we can examine in close-up the practice first described by Doctor Nigel Lafitz-Geralde as….

“The process by which horticulture is advanced in an informal mannet by the random selection of plant life, with a view to encouraging fruition”

….a practice more commonly known as ‘pottering’.

At the recent 150th Anniversary Dinner to mark the birth of Hermione Qualcast, Sir Monty Donne-Duellin was heard to comment about….

“The vital necessity within every 72-hour window to engage in the minor centimetric vertical reduction of aggressive foenum in the horizontal space”

….which practice most of you will know better as ‘mowing the lawn’.


One could also call wandering about with gratuitously snipping secaturs ‘pruning’, twirling stems around bits of barbed wire fence ‘hedging’, and wrapping plastic around young saplings to protect them from voracious deer ‘nurturing’. It really doesn’t matter: depending on your bent and resources, gardening is a great way to create, shape and be original on canvasses both great and small.

It is vastly more entertaining than Twitter or Facebook, because it is devoid of the screaming right cortex and the look-at-how-well-I’ve-done things.

But above all, while plants don’t answer you back in a stupid manner, they will reward you many-fold if you use your noddle to observe what they like best.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.