Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Garden Centre Nazi!

Do you live with one of these? Or are garden centres a no go zone for you? This spring time weather will no doubt mean, at some point, you'll be popping to one near you soon.  Now I was a bit unsure as to whether or not to use the word 'Nazi' in my blog.  I don't want to cause offence to anyone for obvious reasons but its the only way I can describe my husband when we go to one of these places.

As kids if we were describing someone who was a right old control-freak we would often refer to them as a Nazi.  I doubt very much the generations of young people following up behind me 1) use it and 2) even know what it means. Although I did find a reference to a 'Grammar Nazi' in the Urban Dictionary so maybe I'm wrong about that one:-

...2. a – A person who believes proper grammar (and spelling) should be used by everyone whenever possible. b – One who attempts to persuade or force others to use proper grammar and spelling....

Garden centres really took hold in the 1970's and have now developed into vast retail outlets. I mean you can have your lunch there and everything! People starting going abroad for their holidays in the 60's and 70's - what with the rise of affordable package holidays to Spain and other cheapo destinations.  People came back from these places and wanted to re-create (good luck with that one) a bit of sunshine back in blighty.

All of a sudden the garden was a place to entertain - enter the BBQ. Everybody was having a BBQ back in the day - cue food poisoning but hey, who cares, we're eating outside in the freezing cold. Following on from that came all the accessories required for entertaining in the garden - tables, chairs, hammocks etc.  The idea of a hammock is lovely isn't it. Great in the Bahamas (not that I'd know) but doesn't quite have the same effect in South London with the kids pestering you every 5 minutes whilst trying to topple you over.

The garden centres generate millions of pounds in sales and (I am guessing here) vital to the British economy.  Us Brits love our gardens. Fact.

Now why the slur on my husbands good character? Well let me tell you - hard and soft landscaping is his game so he's in the know on all garden type matters.  He knows the names of plants, flowers, bedding, shrubs, hedging, trees and a whole lot more. He likes pottering around garden centres - it floats his boat, gets him going. I do not. I don't know the different names (why can't they be shorter than 30 letters for starters) and nor do I care to.  I have desperately tried to get into gardening but for the life of me I just can't.

Ornamental Cabbage - What's wrong with these bad boys?!

We normally go en masse and get one of those funny looking trolley's to load up 'our' choosen bounty. The kids and I are told to get whatever we fancy.  Trouble is everything I return with is not suitable.  He takes one look at the plant and says things like - no good in our soil,  wrong time of year, needs to be by water or even worse "really"? I like the ornamental cabbage plant. I mean what's not to like? It looks like an edible vegetable but is masquerading as a flower. Genius as far as I'm concerned but I'm not allowed it.  He says all my choices are normally less than 12 inches high like pansies (scoffs) and generally can be found outside most municipal buildings!

So, dejected, I put all my little choices back and get persuaded to pick up things that will grow, suit our garden (according to the garden Nazi's taste) and not be found outside a town hall somewhere.  Whilst I do like the spring and summer, I most certainly don't like the frequent trips to the garden centre with my very own Garden Centre Nazi!

Town Hall special?


  1. Very funny! Has he read this?! He is right about the cabbages tho. X

  2. Yes he read it - he's aware I call him that and what's wrong with the cabbage!x