At the End of the Day

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.


18 thoughts on “At the End of the Day

  1. It is with some degree of regret that I must bare my very soul and reveal that gardening is one of life’s numerous activities at which I have failed exquisitely – my excuse is having suffered a lobotany at an early age.

    PS You might take a shot at Wisley.. although, on second thoughts, I could be jumping the gun.
    PPS Isn’t Algernon Hissinglawn Joni Mitchell’s manager?

    Private Ambulance for Hieronimusb DipBot (failed)

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I didn’t realise the national shooting range gave you an OAP discount……..at least you won’t be going to Wisley with an AK47 I guess……..

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  3. John,jewels on bbc this morning calling for the abolition of the pension lock in after 2020,still doing gods work.

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  4. mro i still think the Tories even with boundary changes will mess up the economy and Brexit so much that Corbyn,doesn’t have to be good! just there to win! hence why they want Smith,business wants a business PM not a peoples person

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  5. “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.”

    Genius. I hadn’t thought of the advantage of plants. They don’t answer back like erm, wiimin and erm… adolescent children. At the moment they are nagging me to get a family dog. This is driving me nuts.

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  6. Jeremy ,i refused to get a dog until they the children were older,we have just got a Tibetan Mastiff and like plants their is a downside but the upside is making me wonder why i never got one earlier! i also believe John had some good therapeutic time with a dog himself last year! but obviously not enough to get one????

    Liked by 2 people

  7. It’s quite astonishing how much time can be lost just ‘pottering’ and if someone asked you to explain what exactly that amounted to in deeds, how lost you can be for words.

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  8. Since the bottom fell out of our small world we have thrived ten-fold from our garden. Whilst decorating abroad in Surrey, (from Gloucestershire) we were able to take an afternoon off and visit daughter in London, Surrey Quays neighbourhood. Imagine our and her delight to fall upon a Japanese Wineberry shrub (many of which we have at home) looking fruitful and abandoned just a stones throw from her new door. Several handfuls of raw fruit later we entertained the idea of a river ‘bus’ thingy………
    Now in possession of more jars of jam than we will ever eat, and 2 chest freezers full of veg (including walnuts that freeze so well when shelled -they lose the bitterness once frozen) we will be okay, whatever. Own saved lettuce seed is far better at germinating than bought, and we are never lacking in food.
    The bounty of life will be just that, and if we can eat the weeds so much the better!

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  9. Waldgaenger Children seem to love him and he seems to love Children,he gets lots of attention from all he meets!which helps socialise him and my son

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  10. Tell them you’re buying it, but they’re walking it and feeding it and clearing up its poo.
    Mean it.
    Practise it.
    They will never want a second dog.

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