Written by Sarah Millican


Shit in the garden

Stuff’s been happening in Sarah Millican’s garden, although, as she explains, not much of it has had anything to do with plants.


Illustration by Louise Boulter.

I haven’t done one of these for a while. Mainly because I haven’t done much gardening due to being busy and it being cold (I think I’m a fair-weather gardener).

One thing I did do was grow great big fuck-off sunflowers but that was more driven by competition with my husband than the urge to garden. We both planted seeds, mine in the greenhouse to get them going, he wanted to put his straight in the ground. I didn’t stop him. I’m a bad wife. Hey, it’s a competition, I’m not an idiot.

His didn’t come up. We assumed birds got them. I laughed in secret. Mine were doing pretty well three weeks in when he decided to plant some more seeds (batch two) in the greenhouse. I have no idea how this happened but his grew taller than mine. I still win though because his first ones are in some blackbird’s tummy.

The plants that I like the best when I’m busy are the snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils. Because they’ve got my back. You never hear them asking to be watered or just dying off willy-nilly after a year. Every year, as they pop up, I can almost hear the opening bars to Destiny’s Child’s Survivor as they push through the earth flicking the Vs at all the shit plants that don’t have the get up and go to come back.

snowdropsDaffodils are my favourite flowers so to have them grow themselves in my garden without any work for me is awesome. I also love tulips but, as it turns out, so do rabbits who ate the buggers practically as they were being planted. Maybe I feel a kinship to bulbs. I didn’t get much attention for years, but I powered through with my big yellow face… This is a terrible analogy.

Two very exciting things have happened in the garden since the last time I wrote about it. Neither have anything to do with plants. Firstly, for my 40th birthday, I got a washing line. I had asked for it. The very domesticated me rubs up weirdly against the very feminist me but I reckon feminism is about women being equal to men and I’m pretty sure men are able to hang out washing, even if, in my experience of living with men, it’s been in the washing machine for four days and smells like mouldy bins.

My washing line is actually one of those spinny ones, which I had always resisted as I thought they moved on their own and couldn’t get my head around where you’d plug it in. I’ve very quickly become that person who declares it “a good drying day”, pays attention to weather forecasts and runs out with a washing basket at the merest hint of rain. I understand why they run. I once had to bring in a duvet cover that had been hanging out in the rain for hours and I could barely bloody lift it.

It’s worth noting that since the last time I hung clothes out (when I lived with my parents), my knickers now need two pegs each.

tuvokThe main reason I’ve been in the garden in the last year, is because that’s where we empty the dog. The first two weeks we had him, he had kennel cough so we could only walk him in the garden. It gets a bit samey after a while so I started listening to music while I did it. My husband says that one of his favourite images of me is me dancing to Return of the Mack at 6am while wearing a big yellow raincoat, wellies and pyjamas. I picked up my first poo in that garden.

So while few seeds have been planted in the past year, there has been much activity. And it is still my favourite room in the house.

Sarah is currently on tour and tickets are available here.
Check out Sarah’s other gardening columns here.


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Written by Sarah Millican

Sarah Millican is a comedian, writer, reformed workaholic, feminist, cat and dog mam, wife and lover of food.