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Gardens

This column by Simon Gear first appeared in Khuluma magazine during 2011.I’m not a big gardener.  The only thing I have ever planted of my own accord is my rain gauge.

And that doesn’t work out all that well, because the chap who my wife employs to carry out her gardening dreams is ever so slightly confused as to its operation and dutifully fills it up every Friday.

This puts me at a disadvantage when negotiating the greenness of our own bit of earth.  I am determined to move away from the green lawn-obsessed gardens of our parents and have something that better reflects the fact that we live in Africa.  My wife, while not exactly hankering after England’s pastures green, feels her plants’ thirst as keenly as her own.  Although, she has never been a big one for the booze, so it’s fair to say she feels their thirst as keenly as I feel mine. And her sympathy for her plants’ discomfort is pretty much the opposite of her sympathy for me when the beer runs low. If the sun so much as looks at one of her plants, she is out with the hose.  Many’s the time we have stood out on the front verge arguing.  “But honey I entreaty.  “It’s going to rain tomorrow.  Trust me, I’m a weather guy.  At which point the neighbour’s automatic sprinkler kicks in.  I get no respect.

Well, I’ve finally won . Last week we put in a rainfall capture.  Remember them?  Houses used to come standard with them in the 70s, but somehow we all got modern and sophisticated.  The fairly small roof of my office collects enough to keep her veggie garden permanently squelchy. 

Which has left me contemplating that it takes three litres of water to brew a litre of beer. At least I’m not pouring the stuff on the grass.



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