Our Editors Rooftop Garden

‘round the traps with our editor John.

When Rotary President, Neil Watt, recently mentioned that he had weeds growing in his spouting I was disgusted.  How could anyone let household maintenance get out of hand like that.  What must his neighbours think?

The following morning as I walked to the front gate to pick up the paper I noted the overgrown nature of my own garden.  There were a few struggling cosmos where I thought I’d sown many just a month again.  Of the iceland poppies I’d dealt with the same day there was not one to be seen.  Thistles, sour grass and other weeds were flourishing.  At least the sour grass was green and covered in little white blooms.   The camelia was growing, even if it was in need of a trim. As my gaze lifted towards and over it I felt a little embarrassed at its lack of attention, but wait a minute! What was that?

Not simply weeds in the spouting!  There was a forest up there.  A giant Californian sequoia took centre place.  Surrounding it stood various smaller trees and shrubs – all along the length of the spout.  I rushed into the house to get my spectacles, dropping the paper on the way.  There’s another story.  ‘How to unwrap the morning paper before lunchtime.’

The first, second, or was it the third problem was to find my glasses. Beside my side of the bed? On the desk in the mess I call the study? On the bench by the coffee pot?  None of these.  I’m not neurotic, well not all the time, but I was now a little troubled.  Trees in the spouting, and now misplaced spectacles.  The immediate problem was solved when I discovered them in the bathroom.  Now don’t draw any conclusions!  I’d left them there so I could shave after I’d unwrapped that confounded plastic from our morning paper.

I rushed back to the front yard and a less frantic examination revealed the monster redwood as a tallish thistle, beside it was a nice little crop of cosmos and a drooping trail of nasturtiums, but no Iceland poppies.  At that point the dulcet tones of my companion called “What’s the matter dear?  Can I help?”

I had been thinking of using the ladder, but that idea had to be put aside.  The last time I attempted to use it I was stopped in my tracks by a very stern “Where do you think you’re going with that?”  My companion can’t hear when I call from the end of the house, but let me scrape the folding ladder on the garage wall, or floor and she’s on to me before I stagger to the door with it.  “Don’t you know that sixty percent of deaths of men over fifty are a result of falling from ladders?”  I do now.

So, with the ladder out of the question I started to attack the mess/study. I ‘d reached the filing cabinet and while I was clearing it up I came across a business card from a man who cuts lawns, trims shrubs, and cleans spouts.

I don’t think his children will starve this week.

John – Editor