A regular blogging friend, Sarah revealed her love of the structurally indomitable plant, the not so humble hosta. That led to me mentioning it was one of the plant types my mother loved and that I had inherited several when she died. Not all have survived and those that have, while remaining magnificent are also one of the battle grounds that feature in my garden.
They are adored by slugs and snails. I have tried everything to eradicate them from the pots. Chemical warfare at which even the boffins at Aldermaston might blanche and may yet see me sequestered to some Putin brain drain camp; eggs shells and gravel when I’ve tried to improve my green credentials; nematodes and slug contraception – damn tricky things to put on, those gastropodoms ; copper rings and woolen pellets. I’ve even popped outside in the dead of night to toss them into the neighbours only to find they ‘home’ and will return the next night.
So I fail but so what? Gardens are about beauty both perennial and fleeting and both are worth the effort. And the fact hostas will go from this….
…to this, the horticultural equivalent of doily making, is but one of those pleasures. The little sods are here for a reason, even if like proselytising doorsteppers and clock obsessed traffic wardens who appear when least wanted their timing sucks.
I penned this little poem – a constanza to give it its posh title – on this very subject… I think it sums up me and these little buggers only too well.
If at any point my life seems drab and stale
My head begins to ache, my heart to harden
I open up my backdoor and go into my garden.
My gaze casts wide and never seems to fail
To find some joy and hopefulness
Amongst the verdant fruitfulness
But then alas, I spot the glitch, the little silver trail
Whose pretty zigzag wanderings
Will start some morbid ponderings
Could it be the bugger’s back? It’s beyond the pale
When you’ve spent so long in eradication
To see that shell is pure vexation
A battle won is not the war, o stubborn little snail
Beating you is a complete lost cause
I’m giving up; I’m off indoors.
As usual, Dog adopts his Standing Pooh Pose: ‘sometimes I sits and thinks and some times I just sits’