Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Going to pot

This week's Tuesday mess comes courtesy of the greenhouse and my ever-expanding plastic plant-pot collection.

When I first took possession of the greenhouse I cleared it all out with great gusto muttering disgustedly at the mess that had been left behind and protesting that I would never let it get into such a dreadful state. For the first few months everything was in its own place and order reigned.

Then gradually and inevitably the situation started to slip. Things didn't get put back where they came from. Plants which had died off got dumped on the side and left to be dealt with later. Plastic detritus that couldn't go into the compost but was too big for the kitchen bin started to collect in little piles awaiting the long-promised trip to the tip, only to be forgotten by the time we actually went. And the windows got green and smeary, and moss started to grow in the joints of the frame. And somewhere, in the in dark corners behind the paraffin-heater that I have never used because on those nights when it's cold enough to need a heater in the greenhouse it is, lets face it, far too cold to go outside and start fiddling about with paraffin-heaters, there in the damp half-light, the plant-pots began to breed.

Large pots, small pots, hundreds of little thumb-pots, tall dark clematis pots, multibuy inter-linked pots, huge great tree pots, buy-one-get-one-free pots, square pots, round pots, green pots, brown pots, pots in every shade of black, pots which just never quite stack...neatly

Eventually I could hardly get into the greenhouse. So today C and I carried out a cull, keeping only two or three hundred of the most useful-looking pots and putting all the others on one side to go to the tip. We also braved the monstrous spiders (big as your hand with great big pointy teeth) and the clammy horror which is the embrace of the unexpected slug, to drag all the contents of the greenhouse out onto the lawn, wash the windows, sweep and generally reorganise.

So, the mess is now somewhat subdued, although the fact that we didn't actually get to the tip and so had to put all the junk back in (admittedly in a different place) rather spoiled the effect. The rejected plant-pots are now languishing in a black sack (from which they will no doubt be trying to escape), along with the old wooden lawn-edging which was the occasion for the last trip to the tip, but which had become so buried by the time we eventually got round to going, that it was actually left behind!

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