What garden writers say…interpreted


I love reading about plants and gardens but sometimes, just sometimes, the same words get used a bit too often or there is a phrase that catches my eye and I wonder what the writer really meant, so I thought I’d write about that.

“Exquisite”  – really small flowers and fantastic detail, but I forgot my reading glasses so couldn’t see them properly enough to accurately describe them.

“Intuitive hybridiser” – seriously, I have never seen anyone so badly organized make such random scatty decisions and they are, quite frankly, very very lucky to have such a good end result.

“Innovative” – it looked completely bonkers; I’d be amazed if the owner understood what they were doing let alone me in the two seconds that I saw it between being offered cake, weak milky tea, and listening to stories, that I couldn’t possibly repeat, of that cruise they went on in 1976 with Alan Titchmarsh.


“It is probably…” – I’m about to make a really big sweeping statement to start this article and if you know anything about the subject I’m writing you’ll be able to pull it to shreds which is why I used the word probably. Thankfully most of you reading this have not got a clue and care slightly less, because let’s face it you only bought this magazine to look at the photos.

“My favourite is…” – hoping to get this sent to me as a freebie.

“We must garden with a freedom and ease that comes with a deep absorption and close affinity with the place” – what did you say the word count of the article had to be again?

“…romantic yet practical, experimental but traditional; an emotional experience, a garden of timeless quality…”-  As far as I can tell they are desperate for as many visitors as they can cram in, so I’m doing my best in this article to make sure no-one feels excluded.


“undulating topography” – I wrote “a bit bumpy”  earlier and the editor hates it if you repeat phrases in the same article, so this is what the synonyms feature of Word came up with.

“Planning a border is a little like organising a meal…” – except if you go to the supermarket for a ready meal it really isn’t, but I’m trying to make out that you are all amazing chefs preparing everything from scratch including growing your own vanilla pods (all my friends’ head gardeners do this), because there are some recipes to create attractively photographed food later on in the magazine.

“My column this month is rather unusual…” – I thought I’d point it out at the beginning in case you don’t notice.


I should really have been working rather than typing this; it’s a good job it’s a worthwhile contribution to garden writing otherwise it would have been a complete waste of a Sunday afternoon.

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