On the eve of World Naked Gardening Day this Saturday, hear me when I say I’m definitely no gardener.
About as far as I stray into the horticultural realm is mowing the lawn once a month, and I definitely wouldn’t class that as any kind of enjoyable hobby.
In fact, the last time I can remember having dirt under my fingernails was probably sometime back as a kid when I used to get paid twenty cents to ‘trim the edges’ with a pair of blunt secateurs.
Yep, wouldn’t know my pumpkin seeds from my petunias, my potash from my perennials.
What I do know, however, is knee-slapping strangeness not to mention priceless quirkery when I see it.
My wife is the one with the green thumbs in our family. Recently she’s taken to borrowing gardening magazines from our local library in an effort to grow her knowledge on all things soil/fertilizer/compost/organic/garden insect related.
This has afforded me the opportunity, on a few occasions, to casually leaf through some issues as they lay open on the lounge room coffee table and behold some truly wonderous and original gardening tips.
I’m not talking about your standard ‘use crushed eggshells for a calcium rich soil’ type of advice nor your ‘powdered milk and human urine (separately or together) are just the trick for healthy tomato plants‘ order of instruction. Forks in the garden to keep animals away? Who doesn’t do that? And as for the ‘ol aspirin in the vase-water to keep cut flowers fresh? Your Nan was doing that a hundred years ago!
What I’m talking about is the hardcore, twilight zone/full moon type of weirdness passing itself off as post-new age botanical genius. Try this little gem on for size for instance –
“Why not scissor the cups out of your old brassieres and set them out in your annual garden as little domes to protect fragile seedlings? It looks wacky but it sure does the trick!”
Then there’s this –
“Calling all Tooth Fairies! Don’t throw away your kids’ teeth. Save them up until you have a good third cupful, then scatter them around your tulip beds come spring, and you won’t lose one bulb to marauding squirrels. Scares the dickens out of them, I guess!”
There was also a whole page article in one publication espousing the benefits of nude gardening. And the voodoo-science-backed ‘benefits’ listed didn’t extend to just the health and well-being of the person doing the gardening, but, if you can believe this, to the garden itself as well!
I’ve actually clipped this and magnetized it to my fridge. I plan to keep it there at least until the end of this weekend.
As to the first Saturday in May being World Naked Gardening Day, no, I’m not making that up. Can you believe its been a thing internationally since 2005!?
Ironically, not what you’d call one of your garden-variety awareness days that’s for certain.
Ps. This week’s recommended read is THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN – a 2008 mystery novel from best-selling Australian author Kate Morton (Explore her website here) Since graduating from the University of Queensland in 1999, Kate Morton has gone on to sell more than 10 million books in 42 countries.
The plot synopsis for THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN reads –
A tiny girl is abandoned on a ship headed for Australia in 1913. She arrives completely alone with nothing but a small suitcase containing a few clothes and a single book—a beautiful volume of fairy tales. She is taken in by the dockmaster and his wife and raised as their own.
On her twenty-first birthday, they tell her the truth, and with her sense of self shattered and very little to go on, “Nell” sets out to trace her real identity. Her quest leads her to Blackhurst Manor on the Cornish coast and the secrets of the doomed Mountrachet family.
But it is not until her granddaughter, Cassandra, takes up the search after Nell’s death that all the pieces of the puzzle are assembled.
This book reputedly simmers with secrets and is cleverly structured like a Russian doll, with stories within stories, histories inside histories.
Pss. More recently published (last month) is the satirical novel BOB HONEY WHO JUST DO STUFF penned (sorry!) by Hollywood actor/director Sean Penn. The story centers on a man named Bob Honey, who after his wife leaves him, becomes an international assassin who kills elderly people with a mallet.
Reviews of BOB HONEY WHO JUST DO STUFF have been decidedly ‘mixed’. This week’s bonus read is from a Canadian book reviewer who explains in detail why he considers Penn’s book ‘the worst novel in human history’.
Psss. Spotted in traffic this week (if the definition of the word ‘traffic’ includes the bottom end of my street) was a car sporting a SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK rear window sticker. As far as car accessories go, surely this has to be right up there with the iPad car headrest mount, moisture-sensing windscreen wipers and an in-car mini pizza oven.