You Need to Do What to the What Now?!

Lady covered in plants

Last week I posted about those occasions where we feel a bit Joey. The times when people around us are all talking about something, and we haven’t got a clue what they’re talking about. On Sunday I was reminded of one subject area where I always feel like that – gardening. Whenever I’m in my kitchen, I always listen to Radio 4. The one show where I never seem to get any wiser, however many times I listen to it, is Gardeners’ Question Time. I don’t know what anyone else hears, but when I listen to Gardeners’ Question Time, this is what I hear…

Floral border

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hello, I’ve had a Hodgepopolous Snuffleupagus in my north facing back garden for six years. It has always produced wonderful bilobilus flowers, rather like decatunias, but this year it hasn’t flowered and the leaves seem to have a touch of the skanky spotty spots. Can the panel help?

PANEL MEMBER: Ah yes, Hodgepopolous Snuffleupagus are very prone to the skanky spotty spots as everyone knows. I assume you’ve been cross-strippling the branches every year?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Of course yes, cross-strippling them every year, and strapahooning them every other year. But never galooning them!

(Hearty laughter from everyone)

PANEL MEMBER: Haha, I should hope not! Right, good, the cross-strippling and strapahooning are all up to date. What’s the soil like?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Chalky and a bit baulky. And I should probably mention that next door have a rather unruly Great Stickitupamajumpa just the other side of the fence, and it keeps shooting on my side.

PANEL MEMBER: Ah right. Now we’re getting somewhere. Is it shooting aggressively?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes, but I’ve put down some alkaline grouty pouty composting solution mixed with alganine block chips, and that helps a bit.

PANEL MEMBER: 2 parts to 1?


PANEL MEMBER: Ok, well I suggest you score the shoots and ramble the brambles with dingdong spray. Then get together with the family next door, and all do the Dance of the Seven Veils under the light of a harvest moon while pigmy monks chant Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo and shower you with freeze dried hamster droppings. Then water it daily and hope for a sharp frost.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that, it’s so obvious!

Floral border

If you’re anything like me with gardening, you’ll have read what I wrote up there, and not been completely sure which things might be real and which things I completely made up. I’m not really sure myself.

So, anyone want to explain gardening to me?

photo credit: sassycrafter via photopin cc


168 responses to “You Need to Do What to the What Now?!

  1. Hey Vanessa, I am in the exact same boat! I have been given multiple gardening books and my mom is literally mother nature. And yet I kill every plant I touch (I am amazed I have been able to keep my cat alive to be honest). I have managed to keep two potted orchids alive but I think this is in spite of myself. I’ve had to do a lot of Youtube tutorials which then resulted in a lot of Googling to translate what the hell they were talking about in the video. Do you think the plants pick up on confidence?


    • Well it sounds like you’re really trying hard to learn, with all those YouTube tutorials and Googling business! You might joke about plants picking up on confidence, but I think there’s probably an element of truth there, not so much in terms of the plants “picking up” on how we’re feeling as such, but just that if we do things with confidence, we often do them better don’t we, so maybe just believing ourselves to be better gardeners will result in us being more confident, and therefore doing it better – what d’ya reckon?


      • I couldn’t agree more! Fake it till you make it right? You’re dedicated yourself trying to decipher garden talk shows. I will be undertaking a real live garden this spring as I just moved to the country, so I will keep you posted on my efforts. I have nightmares of dead tomato plants and barren strawberry patches :S. Maybe if I play the plants some Stevie Ray Vaughan and strut around the garden all confident like it will better my odds. Here’s to us trying!


  2. lol ohhhh man “I not sure my self”!!! Thanks I needed a good laugh.


  3. I’ve managed to keep a Mint plant alive since July. It’s my greatest gardening success to date! It turns out what I’d been doing wrong in the past was forgetting to spray it with Bobbly-Wimple juice every 46 minutes (how embarrassing).


  4. I feel the same way when I listen to that garden show on NPR or when my really into it gardener friend talks about gardening. She always prefaces it with, “It’s so easy…”

    Congrats on the FP! Jules sent me over here. 🙂


    • Thank you! Love Jules! 🙂 Yes, my boss at work is really into gardening and talks knowledgeably about it all – I’m not complaining though because she often brings us in veg and stuff that she’s grown, and it’s very impressive!


  5. Hey VJ, how did I miss that you were Freshly Pressed – whoop, whoop! Congratulations, Missy. Couldn’t happen to a nice blogger.


  6. My success with growing plants is hit and miss. If something in my garden lives…I’m brilliant. If it dies…the person who originally planted it put it in the wrong place or the plant got plant influenza and died as a result of the disease.
    My favorite thing to do is to rescue dying house plants that have been tossed out as rubbish. When they come back to life…I’ve got a green thumb and when they do die…well it was already dead when I got it. 😉
    I’ve got two large planters on my front porch and it has taken me five years to find a plant that will live more than three months so I am currently sowing my oats with my green thumb success.
    And gardening books are only good if they have lots of pretty pictures to look at…the rest is, as you have pointed out…gibberish. 🙂

    By the way, congrats on being Freshly Pressed!


  7. I love this post! Hilarious 🙂 My thumb is only green when covered in paint…


  8. Oh my goodness that was hilarious. “Stickitupmajumpa” especially gave me the giggles. If it makes you feel any better, my thumb is whatever the opposite colour of green is. I can’t even keep basil alive!


  9. Reblogged this on Simply that.


  10. Thank you for the giggle. We inherited a garden when we purchased a new home in May. I have NO idea what I’m doing. Such a great feeling to know we are not alone in our battle against the stickitupmajumpa.


  11. I love little shop of horrors


  12. Brilliant! Now I learned about Hodgepopolous Snuffleupagus.


  13. I liked the “fake it til you make it” comment best. That’s what I’m trying to do, for sure. I’m in litigation to get my disabled daughter back from the State. They took her, when my husband became a paraphelegic….said I couldn’t care for both of them….Now, hubby has passed on, so wish me luck. At least their “Time factor” has been eliminated, right?…I have lots of that right now! And I’m trying hard to seem like I’ll know what to do with her(lol)…


  14. Hey, the what now done collapsed! So, are we back to the WHAT????????? but I dont’ know HOW!


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