July 31st 2011 Tim Candler
Catalogue people are at it
again. Last week I could have had five hundred dollars worth of
nearly dead plants for a dollar fifty, so long as I paid the shipping
Today I could be the proud owner of a single root for around twenty five
dollars, and if I can be tempted by two of such roots shipping is free.
Nor do I know which of these catalogue companies I hate most.
This unnatural antagonism
began some years ago, and I have nursed it happily. I
overheard a conversation between a plant salesman and his customer.
Twice he said, "If you can dig a hole, it's the right time to plant."
My own reaction was "That's
fantastic! This place must be like Entebbe." And it was summer, with
fireflies in the evening, a suggestion of crickets, tropical depth to the
air, those sorts of qualities. Of course in more innocent days I believed 'Plant Nurseries' were
run by 'Nurserymen.' A breed of my own species I have venerated.
But I should have guessed
because a Nurseryman will say things like,
"No you can't
have that until next year." And "Go away."