Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Flowers for the Queen

Up at the nursery, a new blog character, Mr Billenbenn, is a picture of concentration as he prepares the compost for the hanging baskets. He sprinkles a layer of fertiliser in, shapes the soil to fill the gaps and sits back to admire his handiwork.

A swallow swoops into the large, dark shed, settles on the beam overhead and the two of them have a conversation.

'You'm cheerful today,' Mr Billenbenn says. And then he looks at me. 'Cor, he's a lovely little thing, inner?'

Out in the greenhouse, hanging basket after hanging basket is suspended from the ceiling. A label is attached to each one, the grander the name the bigger the basket. It's like turkeys in the butcher's shop at Christmas. You can judge the calibre of the customer by the size.

This year, there is a run on red, white and blue surfinias as the whole nation goes Diamond Jubile crazy. I um and ah about this contrived colour scheme, preferring to have a 'white' theme to reflect the colour of diamonds but then fear the wrath of Mrs Bancroft who wants all the hanging baskets in The Enchanted Village Square to be prettily patriotic.

So I abandon all thoughts of being original and become a royalist sheep.

'But please don't put bizzy lizzies in my hanging basket,' I plead with Mr Billenbenn. 'They make my flesh creep.'

'No praaablem, ' he says. 'Bizzy lizzies be in short supply after last year.'

And I remember. The bizzy lizzy mystery disease, which all but wiped out the plant in 2011. A mildew disaster of national proportions.

And then the swallow flies out of the shed, wittering on about something or other and Mr Billenbenn goes back to his planting.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x


  1. You'll be spoiled for pageantry over on your side of the world with the Jubilee and the Olympics. I plan to come over in September, once all the excitement (and most of the other tourists)is a memory.
    Now I'm off to plant a hanging basket or two...

  2. Hanging Baskets truly are the jewels of the kingdom. I miss seeing them everywhere.


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