Sarah Millican loves her garden, even if, at the minute, it does all look a bit stick-y.
I’m a bad plant mam. I’m a good cat mam but an awful, awful plant mam. I have treated the back garden (greenhouse, raised beds, my domain) with the same utter disregard I poured over all hobbies as a kid.
I played the clarinet, for two months. I joined the Brownies, for two weeks. For the latter, my mam didn’t even buy me the uniform. She borrowed one as she didn’t think I’d stick at it. There’s nothing worse than an accurate insult. I played the guitar for a bit longer, but probably only six months. Not sure that was my fault, as I never asked for a guitar. I asked for a piano, as I had no idea how expensive and massive they are. I got a guitar that was affordable and could be slotted down the side of my wardrobe.
The problem with declaring something your ‘domain’ is that no-one else goes near it, even when it starts to look like Jumanji. Yes, I’m still talking about my back garden, though I appreciate you could apply the metaphor to the ‘front garden’ too.
So, my greenhouse is both overgrown and dead. Unidentifiable plants spill out over the sides of their slug slimed pots. Wowsers, chives will not die. Others have leaves like ugly green crisps. Outside it’s a little better because the sky has done some of the job I’ve abandoned. There’s one pretty red rose beaming away and the tomatoes still think I’m eating salad when, the truth is, because I haven’t learnt how to make tomato soup yet, they are largely redundant. The giant plants that produce baby corn (Hey Nature! What the fuck?) fell over and no-one (me) picked them up. It all looks very ‘early apocalypse’.
Basically, I’ve been stupidly busy and it’s cold and I don’t know which ones grow back and which ones don’t. My gardener friend surveyed my potted twigs last January and said: “You know tomatoes don’t grow back, don’t you?” to which I smugly replied “we’ll see” as if I knew something he didn’t.
I’m just going to have to Google every plant I have to find out if I leave it, cut it down to nowt or tip in the bin. Will I ever just know that raspberries will come back but my cucumber is a goner? Will one day all of this come naturally? Like driving?
Of course, there is one tree I’ve spent time on this month.
Sarah Millican is a comedian, writer, reformed workaholic, feminist, cat and dog mam, wife and lover of food.