Friday, 22 February 2013

When Cannabis met Daphne

Once upon a time in Lush Places, our village in Dorset, we grew one of these in our garden:

It was a complete accident, of course, popping up directly beneath the bird feeder. Next to it were two tomato seedlings which I hadn't planted either.

When friends came around, I would steer them out on to the patio and ask them what they thought it could be. My brother, a secondary school teacher, said he had no idea rather too quickly and a man whose wife put him forward as some kind of plant expert said no way was it cannabis.

I and the local social worker, however, knew exactly what it was. I had no intention of doing anything with it, except watch it grow. And then the dog started acting a bit weird and rather too laid back for a refined and well-bred English setter.

Hey man, the plant had to go.

But not before I imagined the whole of Lush Places with these things growing under bird feeders, the length and breadth of the village. WI meetings would be conducted on a ring of chaise longue, like Wild West wagons pulled together in a circle for safety. Despite the cold flagstones on the church floor, the congregation would be lying out in the aisle and the transept to form one big cross for Jesus.

The drinkers in the pub in Compost Corner would be looking at their pints of Taunton Cider and Vimto and Palmers Copper and thinking 'ere, this stuff be pretty strong. The shopkeeper would be giving away free lottery tickets with the groceries and three elderly gentlemen would be starting a conga in the village square.

Well, I think something like that is just about to happen in our Corfu village of Agios Magikades. We have felled the last of the daphne, which had become overgrown spindles desperate for light, pushing down the citrus trees like a gang of school bullies.

In a few days' time we shall put the branches on the bonfire and set light to the lot.

The very thought brings a smile to the face of one of our Greek friends.

'You know the daphne leaves were chewed by Pythia, the priestess at the oracle of Delphi, to put her into a trance?'

So if the wind changes, Agios Magikades could very easily look a little bit like this:
That's about it.

Love Maddie x


  1. When we lived back here in the early 70's we had a cannibus plant that I nurtured for the same reason as you, when I told my MIL what it was she had FIL mow it out...(we were renting from them.)

  2. Oh, I've missed reading you. Lovely post as usual.


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