Friday, October 21, 2011

Thank you, Dr Seuss: Oh! The things that you’ll grow!

So far, we have only bought one thing Beetle related, for fear of tempting fate. However, I’m pleased to announce that the one thing is a compendium of Dr Seuss stories.

Although it will be a good few years until he will be able to appreciate it, one of my favourites is ‘Oh, the Places you’ll go’.

So, with very heavy thanks to Dr Seuss, I thought I would present the gardener’s version of this lovely story…


Oh, the things that you’ll grow



That’s the thing that we do

When we’re growing plants

It’s such great fun too!


You have twigs in your hair

You have mud on your shoes

You can plant what you want

Anything that you choose.


It’s up to you. And you’ll grow what you grow

And you are the gardener who’ll decide where they’ll go.


You’ll examine the pots. Look ‘em over with care

Some will be scrawny, half dead, so it pays to beware

With your head full of plans and your boot full of pots

You’re too smart to buy any with mildews or rots.


And you may not like any

That you’d want to feed,

In that case, of course,

You can grow them from seed.


There’s a lot more to choose

What have you to lose?


In seed catalogues and websites

You’ll so often find

There’s so many to choose from

You’ll go out of your mind.


And when you start clicking

On ‘buy these now’

Don’t start counting pennies,

That’ll furrow your brow.




You’ll be knee deep in compost!

You’ll dream of seedlings!

You’ll think that you’re queen of

All the green things.


They won’t grow straggly, because they’ll have the light.

They’ll grow oh so strongly, gain vigour and height.

Whatever you grow, you’ll get the best of the crop.

Whatever you sow, it just won’t want to stop.


Except when it don’t

Because, sometimes, it won’t.


I’m sorry to say so,

But sadly it’s true,

That damp off

And die off

Can happen to you.


You can get all het up

About seedlings that collapse

And your compost that dries out

Producing hard-to-break caps.


You’ll forget to pot on

So plant roots will coil round

So when you do plant them,

They’ll just die in the ground.


You’ll start to avoid

The greenhouse or plot

You’re embarrassed to look at

Those plants you forgot.


You’ll start to lose face

And your poor pot bound Queen Anne’s Lace

Will long to find its roots in a place

But for now it is sat in a most useless place.

The Waiting Place...


...For seedlings just waiting.

Waiting for a drop of rain

Or towards the light to crane

Or to move to the cold frame

Or for the waterlog to drain

Poor plants just waiting.



That’s not their fate!


Somehow you’ll catch up

On all that pricking and potting

You’ll find the sun shines

And stops damping and rotting.


Oh the things that you’ll grow! There are beds to be dug!

There are mulches to spread. There is water to lug!

And the beautiful flowers that you’ll see unfurl

Will make you the happiest gardening girl.


Success! The plants will grow and grow,

With the help of your weed-crushing hoe.


And will your plants succeed?

Yes! They will, indeed!

Flowers and produce success guaranteed!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Time flies…

OMG! As I believe they say nowadays.

An idle thought this evening made me go back and check a previous blog post from a few years ago. And due to some sort of (cat-like?) sixth sense, I discover that it is precisely THREE WHOLE YEARS since LAPCPADPOUB Day. Oh my.

Maybe next year, it will be resurrected – now there’s a threat!


For old time’s sake:

There once was a gardening blogger

Who posted a memory jogger

About cats wot were mad

And poems so bad

It made many folk want to flog her.

I thank you.

Friday, October 07, 2011

The Language of Flowers - a book review

I read quite a lot; just occasionally, I remember to blog about the books afterwards. SomeBeans is much better at blogging about the books he’s read. However, when I have been given a book to look at, I thought I ought to make the effort!

I’m sure a fair few garden bloggers have been approached about reviewing The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, with that of Esther Montgomery being one review that I have seen and enjoyed.

To be honest, if I had seen the book in the bookshop, I would probably have avoided it – a pretty cover featuring swirly writing and a fair amount of pink would have had me moving on to other books quite rapidly. Whilst the copy I have was given to me by the publisher,  have to say that I would have been happy to spend the money after just a few pages of the book.

The language of flowers (as oppose to The Language of Flowers – the book) is something that I learnt a little about quite some time ago. I think I must have heard about it from a great aunt, and something of the romance of it has stuck in my mind ever since. Flowers were used in Victorian times to express a wide range of messages and emotions., in a subtle way. I suppose this lives on with the rather predictable red rose of expensive Valentine’s Day today, declaring ‘love’. How much nicer and more thoughtful it might be to receive a more personal message within a bouquet – perhaps Stock and Cosmos.

So, to the book. I don’t want to give the story away, so perhaps a few hints using the language of flowers. The story is a bouquet of aquiliegia, buttercup, lavender, peony, white roses and cirsium. Yet around and through these are wound trails of  hawthorn, lilac, moss, and above all, daffodils.*

A book to read in long sittings, perhaps as the nights draw in. A book to enjoy. And a new language to learn.

*If you’d like to know what this bouquet means, you can find out here.