25 March 2012

'Plant Rescue'

You know the programme ‘Pet Rescue’, where the RSPCA rescue pets from uncaring owners? Well, I think there should be an offshoot series, ‘Plant Rescue’.

I could weep over the poor neglected plants in my local Tesco. And no doubt the callousness involves supermarkets of all persuasions throughout the land.

This time of year Tesco sell daffodil and hyacinth bulbs for indoor display. They are cheap, from £1 to £3, and to be honest very good value. I buy a pot nearly every week. It’s wonderful having fresh flowers in the kitchen. The smell from the hyacinth can be aggressive but it’s good to have that bitter, ‘up the nose’ scent clearing away the musty centrally heated air of winter; like a gentle act of defiance.

The trouble is I can’t buy all the unwatered, squashed pots in the shop. I want to sweep them all into the trolly and run out into the car park to a waiting van, then speed through the streets to a caring garden centre where they will be thoroughly watered, and tenderly repotted into stylish terracotta pots. I can imagine ‘Country Living’ doing a feature on them:
  •   ‘Give a Narcissus a good home.’
  •   ‘A Hyacinth isn’t just for spring promotions.’ 

When I pick just the one I have to say sorry to the others for leaving them behind. I wonder if my ones suffer survivor guilt.

Those I do rehouse get watered and smiled at everyday and when they have finished flowering I stick then in the garden.

Daffodils, as we all know, are robust little characters. A bit of sunshine and they’re out shamelessly bobbing in the breeze, but hyacinths are more temperamental. If they reappear at all they’re never as full flowered as when they were first put in the ground.

But this year last year’s rescued Tesco hyacinths are making a valiant effort.

They are a joy.