Tuesday, August 12, 2008


And so, I'm back. Actually, I've been back for about a week, apart from this weekend when I was once again forth. But yesterday I was back again, but will go forth and back and forth and back in the coming weeks.

Oh dear, I think I've muddled it all up. Let me try again...

Last week I returned to town after two lovely weeks on Mayne Island. Lovely, but only partly restful; those of you with spawn of your own will know that children of single-digit ages are particularly adept at staving off peace & quiet. We also had the pleasure of dogsitting Dearest Father-in-Law's hound, a chocolate lab whose irrepressible happiness is largely offset by her incorrigible compulsion to alternately roll in or eat the foulest substance she can find. Which on Mayne means otter poo. Fret not, I shan't go any further into detail.

Dearest Wife, Little Man, and Darling Daughter are staying on on Mayne until Labour Day, which will give them a full six weeks of island time. For the kids, I'm hoping it'll be the stuff childhood memories are made of. Beach forts. Shells. Seaweed. Ice cream treats. For Dearest Wife, well, I hope she finds some soul-refresh time. I shall be joining them on weekends, temporarily locking the absurdities of finance in the boot of the car every Friday evening before stepping onto the ferry.

You might think that with both bride and bairns on the island I would be leading the life of a carefree, bachelor libertine. You know, leaving the toilet seat up because I can, going down the boozer every evening, frequenting discotheques, etcetera. Well, it's not like that at all. And why?

Because of flora.

No, no, no, not some floozy named big-eff Flora, but flora as in vegetation, greenery, things botanical. Goodness, where DO you get these ideas?

You see, Dearest Friends, Darling Wife is a keen gardener and I have been requested to ensure her plant empire remains watered and alive. Well, I say "requested," but the request came accompanied by a three-pages of instructions and the implication that should I neglect the plants I'd be better off buried beneath them.

To be fair, Darling Wife did set up a soaker hose on a timer for the back garden flowerbeds. And her instructions are written to cater for my horticultural illiteracy. But it's the pots that are killing me. You want to know how many she has? Guess.

Nope, more.

Give up? Just over one hundred of the buggers. Yes, a century of the things, ranging from tiddly seedling receptacles to a whacking huge ones in which you could hide a wombat, if there wasn't already a Japanese maple in it. There are some in the back garden, some in the front, some inside the house, some on the shower deck, and some on the top deck. And I spend ninety minutes each day checking and soaking them. Yes, an hour and a half.

Now bitching aside, I know both that Dearest Wife derives great pleasure and satisfaction from her horticulture, and that she's damn good at it. I also appreciate the results of her efforts and am pleasantly aware of the garden in general, but I really have little interest in the specifics. Which leads to many conversations like this:

Dearest Wife: "I'm really pleased with my Scrofula Scabulosa. Don't you think it looks marvellous?

FiL: (Engrossed in Betty Swallocks: The Memoirs of Lemmy Kilmister's Jockstrap) Mmm, yes.

DW: You're just saying that. You don't know which one I'm talking about.

F: Um, yes I do. It's the, er, red one. With the leaves.

DW: Oh, honestly (stalks out of room).

F: Sigh. (Returns to Betty, but enjoys it slightly less)

And so, Dearest Readers, that's why this little patch of blog garden is looking a bit limp and peaky as of late. I'll try to tend to it a bit better, most likely at night.

Love & Rockets - Yin & Yang (The Flowerpot Man) (buy here or e-here)
PiL - Flowers of Romance (buy here)
The Clientele - The Garden at Night (buy here or e-here)


mjrc said...

duties like these are made much more enjoyable when you can do them whilst listening to your favorite choonz . . . but as i recall you do not own an mp3 player, am i correct? i might be time to break down and invest in one. it takes the edge off doing chores. :)

btw. i am mighty impressed by your wife's horticulturing! i bet your yard is beautiful.

FiL said...

Dearest Marcy, I do own an mp3 player but I don't like wearing earphones anytime except while flying (in a plane, not chemically). Something about not being able on hear what's going on around me, methinks. Of course I could blast moozique from some sort of a digital boom-box, or something. Or maybe this is the excuse I need to wire the house for wireless indoor/outdoor tuneage. Hmm, that'd surprise Dearest Wife...

T&F@tlh said...


Did you know that D&S are still keeping one of Dearest Wife's plants alive after all this time??

Of course you should get that place wired for sound (wirelessly of course) - for the sake of the plants...don't forget that the PoW has set the example so you can leave them listening to Radio 4 while you are away at work!

big kiss

Just a Girl said...

Now that's commitment to the greens. I love the look if rangy gardens and pots but am lucky to keep one or two plants alive(a succulent and a dragon plant).

I do believe I'd be finding a space and lying in the greenery with my book or just staring at the clouds.

Tim Young said...

I think you might need to play some Mesugah to the plants ...

How does music effect plant growth

.. and had you thought of saving some of that otter poo for the plants too? ;)

China said...

Speaking of Tim's comment, in reading this I couldn't decide what was more delightful/funny - the idea of a grown man tending to a daunting garden, or a grown man using the term "otter poo." (Otter Poo sounds like a pet name for a loved one, I think.)

Greer said...

Sounds like a lot of pressure... you may need an extra vacation yourself when this is all behind you :). I bet it's pretty though.

Drakontas said...

Tanya says that the nasturtium looks a little piqued, maybe more sunlight and a larger pot, or less water.

From your common killer of plants and longtime colleague, Brian.

FiL said...

Dearest T, Dearest Wife will be pleased to hear her triffid is thriving back in Blighty. As for Chuckles, d'ya think he'd keep me in Duchy Original biccies if I did keep R4 on for the plants??

Dearest JaG, I'd love to do likewise, but there's nowhere to lie down amongst all the pots :( :( :(

Dearest TiM, I can just see all the wee pot-bound veggies headbanging along. And otter poo, well, just ... UGH!!!

Dearest China, it does smack a bit of a teenage summer job, doesn't it? Only I don't get even the $2.50 per hour. And viz my response to TiM, 'otter poo' could never be a term of endearment in my book. 'Foofie otter', 'otterkins', 'otter diddums' maybe, but otter poo, well, just ... UGH! ;)

Dearest Greer, it is pretty - a wonderful big orangey flower (hibiscus?) just opened up today.

Dearest Brian of Drakontas, how lovely of you to visit! Peaky-shmeaky, as long as I keep the damn thing alive...