Back to my Roots


When a phormium bursts out of its plastic pot you know it is ready for action.  More accurately it is time for your action.  Last week this constricted monster was divided and planted out in various areas of Max’s garden, where it is sure to flourish.  The strength and versatility of these feeding, anchoring, storing and propagating organs is immense and admirable.  Lying below the surface, supporting the show boys and gals, it is not often they are examined or appreciated.  We should remind ourselves once in a while that they are both the beginning and the end.  They should be respected and nurtured if you want vigorous, healthy plants.  Once you get past the idea that they look like a heaving orgy of Amazonian snakes, the turmeric coloured roots are quite beautiful too.

Didn’t serve me so well today.  On my way to the du Maurier’s I came across a “Road Ahead Closed” sign part way into my journey.  A handbrake turn later and I was faithfully following the diversion signs until, 14 miles later, I ended up at a sign saying “End of Diversion” followed by “Road Closed”.  Concerned that I had inadvertently become embroiled in some kind of avant garde film, possibly Swedish, definitely in monochrome, representing the meaningless of life in mime form, I made my pathetic excuses, “I can’t get there!”,  and went home.   A little Miss Marplesque investigation later and it seems that the “Road Ahead Closed” actually meant,”Five Miles Ahead, Well Past the Place You Are Destined, The Road is Closed and If You Follow the Diversion Signs You Will Only Reach the Other End of the Closed Road and With It Intense Frustration”.  In their defence, I suppose they didn’t have a large enough sign.

17 thoughts on “Back to my Roots

  1. It’s much more fun when there are two different road closures leading to the same diversionary route and so two sets of yellow signage and you don’t know which ones you should be following. Or when snow closes the local motorway and the police direct the traffic onto a local road which is also closed and has police redirecting traffic to the motorway. Teasing the other type of roots out of a constricted pot can be a really absorbing, pleasurable activity with a great sense of accomplishment at the end. I know of more than one garden centre to which you might offer courses!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, in general we pay so little attention to the roots (unless the plants start dying!), and many times there are so many shapes, textures & colours to admire. But this is a privilege reserved only to those dividing, planting, … 🙂


      1. For sure; what I meant to say actually was that some people may never enjoy the roots ‘spectacle’ because it’s something to experience mostly when dividing perennials.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Why are diversions always 14 miles long around here? Only in Devon, eh. I remember the first year we were here there was a sign at the bottom of our road which said ‘Road Closed Friday, Weather Permitting’. Never saw that on the M25..


  4. Well these signs are obviously designed to make our journey more exciting. How boring to always know where you will end up and even if. I always ignore them and it is surprising how often there is no obstuction at all. Can be tricky if there is though.
    Have you ever tried to dig up a mature phormium? I have. Wow, what a root system.


  5. Hi, I was driving on a relatively quiet road late one evening. Suddenly a police car loamed in the distance blocking the road with a diversion sign in front pointing down a single track lane. After following this for about three miles with no side turnings or signs I came to a junction and, I’m sure you’ve guessed it, no more diversion signs. I was half an hour from home when the nice police car blocked my road, it took me two hours to find my way home following the non existant diversion signs.


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