Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The gloves are off

When you get carried away with the excitement of a new hobby, you want all the kit. You get seduced by the new, the shiny, the best. This can end up putting an almighty dent in your savings. But boy will you look good. So choose your hobby wisely

If it's knitting that floats your boat, you'll be fine even if you go crazy and buy vintage needles, bundles of yarn, a bike with a basket and a floaty skirt simply to cycle round the park in some 50's dream.You may even make a bob or two with your creations. If it's yachting that hooks you though, you're sunk.

Gardening, however, can be both wonderfully rewarding for small pennies or unwittingly costly if you happen to live up the road (or gorge in my case) from a fancy garden centre. I have views to share in time about garden centres, but today I just want to reflect on one of my very first garden purchase. My gloves.

At the weekend I finally decided to hang them up...

...and replace them with new ones (nearly had you there didn't I? What do you mean no?)

A year of wear, tear and very little care meant they were becoming more fingerless by the hour, holes appearing in the fabric that has held all manner of plant, soil and inadvertent cat poo (always look at the soil before putting your hand in. Always wear gloves too).

Yet I've been strangely reluctant to let go of them. I can still remember buying them, and stepping out into the garden, emotionally raw from recent events but with that sliver of hope that I could actually take my time, escape from the world outside and put all my energy into something that won't hurt. That was before I picked up the rose bush from the stalk. I felt like a proper gardener with gloves on. My grandad always had them on, and once I got started I too would walk through the flat proudly removing them after a day's toil.

Having a sentimental attachment to an inanimate object feels slightly disturbing. Not as bad as fancying a cartoon character, that's just wrong. Even if it is Jessica Rabbit. But looking back, those gloves were with me through those formative months in my gardening 'career', and for that they won't be going in the bin.

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The Hapless Kitchen Gardener

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I only feel hapless because some people make it look easy to grow 10 ft marrows or a banquet of greens whereas my courgettes got nabbed by killer slugs and I only got one raspberry. So tips and stories from people less hapless than I are more than welcome. As a disclaimer though, none of my comments should be taken as expert advice on which you can rely! © Unless stated otherwise, and with the exception of guest content where that guest retains copyright, all photos and posts are the copyright of Tom Carpen and may not be used without permission.