Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Flower wars

When I took up exhibition dahlia growing, I did ask myself whether it was rock and roll enough for me. Did it fit with the image? Would Johnny Cash admit to growing dahlias? Most role models in the world of the Flower and Veg. Show are Geordies called Stan, with Woodbines behind their ears and whippets on leads. So I suppose Sting might do it, but who wants to be like him. In the end, I decided it could actually add to my machismo, much the same as having Marion for his real name made John Wayne seem even less like a man you'd mess with.

The clincher came from studying women's blogs and the realisation of what my potential as mate material was. When I read, ".... he cooked me a meal and cleared up as he went!" to dozens of approving comments from the sisterhood, I saw to my horror, that if Mme. had to make a list of her top ten requirements in a bloke... and then score me against them, I'd be off having to advertise myself on Yahoo Personals before you could say 'candlelit dinners and country walks'. Evidently, they like to see your gentler side as well as your endowments. So giving them a bunch of flowers and being able to say, "I grew them myself" isn't a bad insurance policy at all.

Well, of course, all this is a load of bollox, just an excuse for me to witter about my dahlias in the countdown to the big show, in about 10 days time. Heady business. Just one chance to get it right per year. Screw up and the trophy sits on somebody else's mantlepiece while you can only gnash your teeth for twelve whole months. The problem this year is the Green Spot of Death (see pic above) where the inner petals aren't forming as they should. As any exhibitor will tell you, this is due to too much/little nitrogen or phosphate and/or over/under watering. Or thrips, of course, or virus. Whatever I do is as likely to make the bloody thing worse as to cure it.

I've just had a call from one of my rivals, saying that hers are awful this year, and she doesn't think she'll have any to exhibit. I have a sneaking feeling that this is akin to Ferguson hinting to Wenger that his whole defence has the mumps on the eve of a Cup Final, though, so I'm taking it with a pinch of salt and carrying on with my strict training regime. In fact I went out and glared at them, just before sitting down to write. If that doesn't work, it's the Tomato Fertiliser next. If that fails, it's another whisky.


Swearing Mother said...

Those bloody thrips. I personally loved that dahlia, green spot of death or no. And what a nice photo.

Here's hoping that trophy will be yours.


All Shook Up said...

Shame you're not the Judge. A bunch is on its way.

mountainear said...

Hmm. Have to admit I can't find a place in my heart or garden for the Dahlia....

Having said that I do wish you well in the mysterious business of the Big Show. Do let us know how you get on.