Cruel and Unusual Gardening or How to Threaten Your Plants into Flourishing
Nicola Slade is a fab writer of histories and mysteries, and has a wonderful website and blog. You must take a look.
The first Terry Pratchett novel I read was ‘Good Omens’ – the book about the Apocalypse, which he wrote with Neil Gaiman. I was very taken with the way the demon Crowley kept his indoor plants healthy and flourishing. He threatened them!
Any plant that failed to thrive would be shown to all the others as an awful warning and taken out of the house. An hour or so later Crowley would return with an empty flower pot that would be left prominently on show. As the book says, ‘The plants were the most luxurious, verdant, and beautiful in London. And the most terrified.’
Not having demonic powers I can’t claim that my house plants are fabulous but they do live under threat. When they’re planted, fed or watered – or more often when the dead leaves are picked off – I have a mantra that I use…
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