WHEN it comes to gardening, I have the opposite of green fingers.
A combination for me forgetting to water most things (myself included) as well as the propensity of the cats to attack anything in a pot means that any plant soon withers and dies. Even a heart shaped cactus given to me as a sign of endearment soon gave up the ghost on me. Read into that one what you will.
So I was somewhat taken aback, therefore to discover that what I took to be humble cactus at the bottom of the garden had sprouted what looked to be a giant asparagus tip overnight. I beat a hasty retreat back to the house and, having checked the botanical section of the library, reassured myself that it wasn’t a triffid.
A quick appeal to my Facebook friends revealed that it was, in fact, an Agave. (Very clever lot, my Facebook friends. When they are not inviting me to play bloody Candy Crush that is).
Apparently the Agave Americana, is a cactus that can take up to 30 years to flower. The spike, which is the bit that I mistook for a Triffid stem, can grow up to 8 metres tall, flowers and then dies.
Even more interestingly a South American friend told me that Mexicans make tequila from it (don’t tempt me) while another commented “ Dude getter the butter out! It’s giant asparagus stalk!
All I needed was a pear tree…
I had the luxury of a day off last week and was looking forward to a lazy lie in. The cats had different ideas however, as Genghis came crashing through the cat flap with a live patridge at 6am. Dawn saw me chasing a frantic game bird around the living room while fending off the attentions of two cats, crazed with blood lust. I booted the cats out of the house and finally caught said bird, which had flown up to one of the roof beams. It would have been an unlikely way to die had I fallen from the roof beams trying to catch the damn thing.
I wrapped the partridge in a towel and, realising that the cats would get it again if I just released it on the terrace, leapt into the Freeland and drove a mile up the track to release it. Still in my pajamas. After cleaning up the feathers and partridge sh*t, I recounted my morning’s adventures to TRE’s Bill Padley.
“I bet it’s not the first time you’ve chased a frantic game bird around your living room!” he replied.