Sunday, 31 October 2010

Horror stories

As a passing tribute to Halloween and the Mexican day of the dead, I thought I'd dig up some advice from the past. From a time when wood veneer record players graced ladderack shelves, gold taps were de rigeur for avocado bathroom suites and full page technicolor adverts for Rothmans Select cigarettes sat opposite the gardening Q&A.
I found this near-pristine copy of 1972 House & Garden magazine at a car boot sale a while back. So, it being October, I thought I'd see how much of the gardening was still relevant. The seasonal advice is broadly unchanged - although heavily biased towards lawn maintenance and dealing with leftover summer bedding (no sign of making leaf mould or growing veg). The design tip was very retro - "conifers, always sensational, are now vrey much coming into their own", and Adrian Bloom's just published 'Conifers For Your Garden ' book comes highly recommended.
But my favourite is the advice dispensed to a resident of NW3, who is looking for a tree to plant in their Hampstead garden to screen them from the neighbours. The choice? Yes, of course it had to be the dreaded leylandii, that did for hedging what shag pile carpets did for floorboards. "It puts on three feet or so a year... the unwanted view would not take long to disappear."  In fact, he goes on to say, plant not one, but two! I wonder if they are still there and how tall they are now.


  1. Brilliant the comparison with shag pile carpets!

    By the way, I apologise for the timing of passing to you this link, since I believe your rhubarb now isn't producing much new growth probably... but when I tried this recipe last summer

    it reminded me of your post on your allotment harvest. Besides, the recipe is worthwhile trying even with other fruit: delicious!!

    Your blog is great, I wonderful way to distract myself in between busy days, grazie

    ciao, carlo

  2. Grazie a te Carlo. Always good to hear from you and I will try that Rhubarb recipe next year... ciao. Camillax