The Art of Cultivation

Today I visited a friend who is the most brilliant and dedicated gardener (funny how those two qualities often go hand in hand, whatever the sphere.) My gardening, by contrast, is marked by great aspirations but a distinct lack of application. Visiting Jake generally inspires and depresses the gardener in me in equal measure.


Inspires, obviously, because his garden is not only a beautiful place to be but is also lushly productive. Depresses because I am reminded how he spends about 8 hours a day most days of the year working on it. While I love gardening, it is not my only passion. I am never going to spend that kind of time on it. I am never going to have a garden like Jake’s.

The man even has a greenhouse! And a beautifully ordered greenhouse at that.


But the best thing about having friends with beautiful, lushly productive gardens, is that they tend to produce gluts, which generally means you never leave their house empty-handed. Today I left with some butternut squash and chillies for the kitchen, some flowers for my garden’s borders and several cuttings from his redcurrant and blackcurrant bushes which I shall do my best not to kill.

I guess the moral of my story is this: if, like me, you’re a bit rubbish at cultivating the land maybe you need to cultivate gardening friends instead. While you’re waiting for their green fingered skills to rub off on you you can enjoy a healthy supply of organic veg.

And, eventually, you will learn some miniscule proportion of their gardening knowledge too. If for no other reason than that the embarrassment of killing off yet another of the plants they gifted you becomes too great to bear. And then that year you’ll both be looking for some non-gardening friend to take several kilos of pumpkins off your hands.

Pumpkin pie, anyone?


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