Society is All But Rude, To This Delicious Solitude

1 Jul

Now that both of my football teams are out of the World Cup, I’m going to take a short break from sports-related posts. Before doing so, though, I would like to clarify there’s little more satisfying than seeing one Mister Cristiano Ronaldo taken down like a Saddam Hussein statue (not literally, of course, I believe he has his Nike likeness placed prominently amongst the gladioli in his front garden). First he was a winker and now he is a spitter. I’m curious why he keeps choosing offenses that make The Sun’s headline writers’ jobs so easy for them.

If like me, you’ve suddenly got a lot more time to spend doing things other than watching men run around on the telly, you may be in the market for a new hobby. Some of you may also feel a bit guilty about all the additional bile you’ve released into the atmosphere after the last match and are wondering what you can do to counteract your carbon footprint. Look no further as I have a solution for you that will not only keep you busy but will also benefit the environment, and that hobby is gardening.

Before you pooh-pooh it by assuming that only old age pensioners are interested in gardening, I would like to assure you that it’s an ideal hobby for concerned citizens of any age.  Now that I’ve proved my point, let me discuss its benefits.

Clearly the first benefit of gardening is that it gives you something to do. It keeps you active, by demanding that you use both your body and brain power. It gets you out into the sunshine. It also keeps you from putting your hands down the front of your trousers and messing about. It’s a fantastic hobby for those who want to keep busy without much stress. After all, what kind of trouble can you get into in a garden?

Gardening can also be a way to save money. It’s been statistically proven that by simply planting a bed of flowers, you can up your house’s selling price by an average of £68,000 (note: this figure has been chosen at random by the author).  Additionally, if you opt for a vegetable garden, you’ll be able to grow your own food. You’ll be able save thousands of pounds off your green grocers’ bill on cress alone! Fruits and vegetables can be canned or frozen for use later so the savings don’t need to end once the temperatures drop. There’s a multitude of uses for things you can grow in a garden: you could dry herbs and make sachets for your chest of drawers, you could create table displays with fresh flowers, and you can juice most vegetables for healthy drinks. You’d be surprised what uses you can find for homegrown plants.

Finally, a garden benefits both the local and global community. Most villages have garden competitions to inspire residents to beautify the area and strengthen the civic spirit. Why not enter one and beat the pants off that old broad who’s been the reigning champion since 1972?  It’s about time someone did. Lovely gardens are also welcoming spaces for wild animals whose homes are often destroyed or disrupted by traffic, litter, dogging and other trappings of daily human society. It’s a wonderful experience to step out into one’s garden and know that you’re providing a safe haven for birds, insects, hedgehogs, and squirrels so they can go about their business without having to worry about being run down by a car, swallowing a discarded fag packet or witnessing a man masturbating against the outside of a Vauxhall Vectra. Sometimes it’s these simple measures which are overlooked in our fight for the environment.

There’s also probably something about plants being better for the ozone than tarmac, but I’m no scientist and I rarely pretend to be.

My suggestion to you is to spend a little time at your local library investigating the in’s and out’s of garden design specific to your local area and then get your house boy to drive you to the garden centre so you can make your choices. Trust me, it will be worth it. Why not do it this Saturday afternoon? God knows, your original plans for that day have been scuppered.

5 Responses to “Society is All But Rude, To This Delicious Solitude”

  1. racurtis Thursday, 1 July 2010 at 21:11 #

    I have to say I am disappointed by the lack of any mention of the upkeep of your lilac bush, given that this must be the centrepiece of your garden.

    I am very fond of our garden, which features in no particular order: broken plastic chairs, a fish pond and a rusty barbecue. I find mowing the lawn late in the evening quite satisfying, knowing that I am upsetting our well to do neighbours. It is of course, an excellent place to enjoy a cup of tea after work.

  2. Agatha Whitt-Wellington (Miss) Friday, 2 July 2010 at 15:43 #

    If you were trying to get a rise out of me by mentioning plastic chairs and a rusty barbecue, I am not going to fall for it. As long as neither of them are actually in the fish pond, I am not too snobbish to accept them as they must allow for your garden to actually be enjoyed (though I doubt I’d swallow anything you cooked for me). Sitting in a garden, even on plastic, is always a good thing.

    I decided not to mention the lilac bush as I did want to seem like a braggart, as clearly it is not only the centrepiece of my garden but in fact the highlight of the whole avenue. Thank you for permitting this fact to be acknowledged on a world-wide stage.


  3. racurtis Sunday, 4 July 2010 at 13:18 #

    Miss Whitt-Wellington, your implied slur on my culinary prowess is both hurtful and inaccurate. I must insist that you and Christopher sample some of my cooking in person: how does next Thursday grab you? You must of course inform me of the particular dietary needs of a renowned literary sensation such as yourself.

    Such was the prominence of your bush in our correspondence that I felt it only fair to share it with the rest of your audience. I am a selfless soul after all.

    In order to complete the mental picture, what else does your garden contain in the way of flora and fauna?

  4. Agatha Whitt-Wellington (Miss) Sunday, 4 July 2010 at 20:56 #

    Thursday sounds perfect as it is normally my day to be charitable so dining with you will help me cross that off my list. My dietary needs are refined but not picky. Basically, I’ll eat anything if you’re willing to put a sprig of parsley and a drizzle of something colourful next to it.

    My lilacs and hydrangeas are probably my favourites, but I do have a good variety of annuals and perennials. I’ve got a lovely passion flower, if you know what I mean. I welcome all creatures into my gardens except, of course, for slugs which I humanely eliminate by asking Christopher to kill them.

    With the Garden of the Village competition coming up, I do not want to mislead other readers into thinking that you and I have been conspiring about gardens. Would you be comfortable if I implied that the reason you and I had been corresponding about my bush is because you are a pornographer rather than a horticulture expert?

  5. racurtis Sunday, 4 July 2010 at 22:59 #

    Miss Whitt-Wellington, I need not your charity. Your wit and semi-inducing physique will suffice. However, perhaps you could bring a bottle of something fizzy? A magnum of Vimto would be a great accompaniment to the meal I have in mind.

    You may of course imply that I am a pornographer, for I am unashamed of my hobbies. I have an NVQ in capturing carnal pleasures, or jiggle-vision as it is known in industry parlance. In fact, we might put something together during your visit to allay the suspicions of your neighbouring gardeners. As director of communications Christopher could leak it onto the internet. I will send a list of some suitable attire: I imagine a woman of your experience will have most of it already, although I am sure you (and to some extent Christopher) would welcome further suggestions.

    I will be wearing my favourite pair of braces, before, during and after the meal.

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