When Rosey was a child she had a little corner of her father’s garden which she called her own. There she used to dig with her little pink trowel, sow seeds and water her flowers. Best of all was finding beetles and wriggly things like worms which she cut in half because someone told her it would make two smaller ones!
Like most villages, the one she lived in had a horticultural society, and Roseys mother was well and truly in charge. And every late summer, all the villagers would come together for the highlight of the social calendar – the annual flower, vegetable and produce show. There was, of course, a children’s section where all the local kids would display their vases of flowers and pumpkins. No one ever complained when Rosey won first prize, it was sort of expected, and it made her father, the head judge very proud.
Now, ten or so years later, Rosey lives in a little flat and gardening is just a happy memory. At least we thought it was, but a few weeks ago Rosey surprised us all by announcing that she was once again tilling the soil in her little garden back at her parents’ home. Not only that, but she had been quietly nurturing all manner of blooms and vegetables which she intended entering in the annual show!
Well, the show took place a few days ago. In the centre of the village green stood a splendid white marquee and once inside the senses were assaulted by the most glorious smells and dazzling sights. I spotted Rosey resplendent in a long baggy flower print dress and rubber gardening boots all topped off with a rustic straw hat encircled by wildflowers. She couldn’t wait to show me her entries, and I have to say I was very impressed. At least I was until she showed me her carrot entry. There in the middle of a row of perfectly formed specimens sat Rosey’s carrot. I have to say I was a little taken aback! It had an uncanny resemblance to gentlemen’s – how shall I say – genitalia. I told her she should remove it before the good ladies of the judging panel arrived. But she refused. It didn’t win, but I’ll never forget the looks on the faces of the judges!
Anyway, she didn’t gain any first prizes, but her sweet peas got ‘highly commended’, her cabbage came third despite providing a home to something unpleasant. As for her onions – well, her onions came nowhere!
Rosey was very taken with the entries in the lily class. She particularly liked one display of huge white arum lilies. She couldn’t resist sticking her hooter in and having a sniff and as a result, spent the rest of the afternoon with an orange nose! But just when I thought Rosey had got through the day without causing an incident, she bumped into the table on which the prize orchids were proudly displayed, some of them worth a considerable amount of money. Well, one vase toppled, and her attempts to catch it before it hit the deck caused a sort of domino effect with the other vases. I didn’t know which way to look. There was a stunned silence until Rosey started giggling. Now when Rosey starts giggling it is really infectious and in no time at all everyone was laughing.
As usual, the day ended with a traditional English barn dance. Barn dancing is taken very seriously in rural communities with each of the dozens of dances having their own patterns and moves. By now Rosey had had a couple of glasses of chardonnay and there was no stopping her! She went in the wrong direction during the Weavers Jig and took someone else’s partner in Stripping the Willow and fell flat on her back in the Chanctonbury Ring, but as usual, she got away with it.
Rosey has now decided it would be a good idea if she rented an allotment. A little piece of land she can call her own with a shed and a bird table. I hope she does. She clearly is very green fingered – and orange nosed!