Awkward Gardener’s Question & Answer Time – December 2019

Each month some of Britain’s top gardening experts answer reader questions in Gardener’s World Magazine. While their advice might be accurate, sound, and worth listening to, that’s not how I roll. Here are my answers instead.

How can I stop badgers digging up my garden?

Ronnie, East Sussex

Have you tried distracting them? Set up a baccarat table on your back patio. Once they’re all sitting comfortably and are ready to play, get a friend to sneak up behind them and knock them out with a shovel. Take them to a nearby wood and release them unconscious onto the forest floor. When they come to, they’ll assume they won big, got drunk, and bought themselves new digs.

What’s wrong with my mature hydrangea?

Mr Riley, by email

It’s dead, Mr Riley.

Which plants will block noise from my neighbours?

Fernand, by email

Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculata) and Deadly Nightshade (Atropa belladonna) should do the trick. How you get them to consume it is up to you but once the screaming associated with the painful convulsions stops, your neighbourhood will return to peace and tranquillity.

What is this houseplant I inherited?

Ann, by email

That, Ann, is a toiletbrush.

Haemanthus albiflos.

Well, close enough. It’s Haemanthus albiflos. And I keep mine in the toilet.

Why hasn’t my garrya produced tassles this winter?

Vanessa, Berkshire

Garrya are inherently shy plants and can take a bit of coaxing to flower. If yours hasn’t produced any tassles, provide it with some encouragement by dancing topless in front of it. Put a couple of pasties with long tassels on your nipples and gyrate furiously while singing “In The Mood”. It’ll soon get the idea, as will your neighbours.

Until next month, happy gardening!

10 Replies to “Awkward Gardener’s Question & Answer Time – December 2019”

  1. This was not the thing to read while I was having a coffee. Had me chucking from baccarat table onwards. I now know what to do re my garrya though not sure my neighbours would be too keen.

  2. Reading this at Hawlz caused extremely loud peels of laughter to rise up from a very remote beach on the southern west coast of Australia. I like to think this has the same effect as those Tibetan prayer wheels, sending waves of positivity through the universe.
    Thanks for that. Absolutely joyous.

  3. I’ve been checking your blog weekly since this post came out… please post more! The world needs it!

    1. I have been appallingly tardy. I’m sorry. I’ll work on something over the next week or two. Thanks so much for reading! I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

      1. Very pleased to read this. Madeline is absolutely correct and I will go one step further to say it is actually your civic duty to produce a further update ASAP.

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