Purple Wellies

One woman's musings of plant lust for intoxicating blooms

If the Glove Fits … Don’t Wear It!

So Christmas is nearly upon us again, and I am sure many have retreated to gardening from their armchairs, browsing the seed catalogues. If you are like me, I’m sure you can expect a sprinkling of gardening presents among all of the usual candidates of socks and chocolates, but just how useful is the garden paraphernalia you get given?

Take gloves for example. How many times have we all received a pair of gardening gloves as a present? I’m not talking about the gauntlets for wrestling the most vicious of brutes, or the water-repellent latex ones that offer good levels of dexterity and grip. No I’m talking about the sort made from thin cotton in the latest branded, ditzy fabric of the moment. Oh, thank you we say, whilst actually thinking these things are like wearing a Tim Peake space suit. This means I can now prick out seedlings and deadhead them both at the same time, with my cumbersome gloved hands. They of course, will keep soil off of our skin, until we wear a hole in the fingers, which with me, on average takes 3.5 minutes.

Then of course we have the matching trowel, fork and perhaps, if you are extra lucky, also the secateurs in a gift set, again in the latest ditzy branding. Of course this would come from a different relative to the gloves, so therefore would be a different design. Many a matching hand-fork and trowel have parted company in this garden over the years only to be reunited many years later at the bottom of the compost bin or buried deep in the corner of the shed. For the unlucky ones, there is always that element of doubt that creeps into one’s head – did it get accidentally trugged up and taken to the green waste bin at the council recycling site.

Then of course there is the ‘gardeners’ hand cream. Now what makes this stuff so exclusive to gardeners, other than the price? And don’t forget the scrub, or rejuvenating therapy balm. Or ‘lettuce soap’. Lettuce soap! Why on earth would I want a soap that smells of lettuce! Swarfega will do the job just fine thank you very much.

Ah yes, and then we have the ‘gardeners diary’. I have been brought this year upon year. The first year I was given one; I did indeed make some notes in it to remind me to prune this or to move that, but once was enough. I know what the weather does in this area, that I don’t need to make meticulous notes about it. Weather these days is becoming consistently unreliable, so why refer back to something that may not happen again. I grow plants that slightly push the boundaries, but nothing that would be so out of its depth that I would need a sauna to keep it alive. I have to say I don’t think my five year old daughter would agree with me on this as she most definitely makes full use of the unused diaries for her scribbles and doodles.

And so the items mount up in the end kitchen cupboard that acts as a secondary store to the shed - the one I pull things out of for those ‘quick gardening sessions’ and there are many of those, when I don’t have time to venture to the bottom of the garden and get through two padlocks that always stick! These ‘presents’ sit nestled in amongst the useful objects and morph together always entangled in garden twine, that no matter how hard I try, just insists on wrapping itself around the entire contents of said cupboard.

Maybe we could make a shrine in the shed to all of these well-meant, but not well thought out presents. A shrine to ‘all things gardening’ for the non-gardener, or maybe a ‘non-present’ memorial for the gardener.
Posted: 15/12/2016 21:24:59 by Pamela Barden