I’m prepared this week. No last-minute rush, all is calm and in control, just like a girl guide. In real life I didn’t make it to the heady heights of girl guidom, but I was in the brownies, who quite frankly take anyone. I can’t remember much of our exploits except there was a curiously large plastic mushroom placed in the middle of the room at all our gatherings. Like many of my fellow gang members, my arm was bedecked with various badges. Unfortunately they weren’t cool and sophisticated subjects in those days, no Inventing, or Aviation or Zero Waste. Possibly there was Crocheting Toilet Roll Covers and Defrosting Arctic Rolls, although I can’t be certain. The only one I remember for certain was the music badge. Perhaps too well. “What is this instrument?” the examiner asked pointing at a picture, “A bass” I replied. “Can you be more specific?”. I was puzzled, very puzzled, what could this highly technical terminology be. I had studied my Ladybird book The Story of Music from back to front and front to back, I had been confident I had all subjects covered. But I was flummoxed No light bulb moments. Eventually after much furrowed browing (which I blame for my present wrinkle predicament), some uming and a far amount of ahing, I conceded I didn’t know. She made a terse note on her clipboard. Now a little uncertain of myself, I went on to play my recorder solo, possibly a rendition of Handel’s Water Music, more likely Frère Jacques, as I say my memory is hazy. It turns out this mystery instrument is called a “double bass”. Give the gal a break! And yes, I am still bitter. And yes, I did get my badge. And yes, it is time I moved on.
Seems I have wandered off the track once more. I will lose my trekking award. Back to the task in hand, which is Six on Saturday. An event where billions of people from across the galaxy feature six items from their gardens, or an approximation on this theme, in a humongous horticultural jamboree. If you wish to get your SoS arm badge then pop on over to our Akela’s site and you can discover much more, including the words to She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain which you will need for a sing-song later.
First we have a viola which is still in its reticent stage. Each year is the same. I plant them with great verve and expectation, praising and naming them with great aplomb No. 1 in my top ten of winter bedding. Then they sit there. *time passes* Any flowers that deign to show their cutsie faces are nibbled by slugs in their overcoats, they grow lank and dishevelled. *time passes* Then eventually they wake up, read the contract and get into giving us a great display just when we are thinking about changing the display. We are still at stage 2, although this little chap has avoided mollusc attack so deserves a show and tell.
Next we have the emerging foliage of Lamprocapnos spectabile ‘Valentine’, or Dicentra specabilis ‘Valentine’ to those who knew it in its previous incarnation. They are perfect in their infancy. Scattered around are leaves from the large shrubby phlomis that shades it, torn off in the recent high winds.
Now we have the first showing of the diva Lilium ‘Casa Blanca’. This majestic lily was a gift from my favourite heckler. I don’t wish to ruin his reputation so he will remain anonymous.
Who invited you to the party?
Onto the emerging leaves of Potentilla ‘Lady Mantle’. This name has yet to be officially accepted by the Royal Horticultural Society. Which is mainly because I dug a piece out of her ladyship’s garden and ran home with the hounds snapping at my ankles. Without label naturellement.
Lastly a flower which is not in my garden, but it will be soon. This beautiful camellia bloom belongs to our neighbour. Soon, when it has bored of being splendid, it will drop over the wall onto the path that leads to our front door. I think it is quite fair that I can share in its loveliness, the fee being that I will clear up the deceased.
There we go, six done and dusted. Dyb, dyb, dyb, dob, dob, dob.