Winter is a time of hibernation, when plants lie low below the ground hiding from the cold. But it is also a time of great expectation, as the garden prepares to come alive again and burst greenly onto the vibrant stage of spring. Tenacious bedding plants like the Vadera Shriti can be found even in the darkest days pushing their little green shoots through the permafrost, bringing hope of horticultural recovery.
But gardeners beware! Vadera can be a vicious colonisier of the flower bed and will be all over the place before you know it. It is best to treat premature Vadera immediately with a powerful brushwood herbicide or even a flamethrower if you don’t want it to crowd out all the other hardy annuals. The Vadera Shriti thrives on harsh treatment and you can be sure that, unlike the Norman Lamontissis, it can be relied upon to come back for more.
The Lamontissis was a great favourite of gardners back in the 1990s when Blue plants were all the rage. But it has fallen out of favour largely because the green shoots of recovery that Lamontissis promised rarely materialised. Instead the stunted tubors of recessionary growth were the bitter reward for putting your faith in the species Conservatonisus. Ugly, brown, barren and with a fragrance of mothballs, the Lamontissis is now relegated to the compost heap along with Thatcheralus and Majorens.
But what of the other bright young things in the flower bed? Will Yvette Cooperallis deliver more than a few random buds? This light seeking plant is always poking its nose into the air but lacks the proper root system necessary to thrive. Then there is the great opportunist of the modern garden, the Mandelsonus Peterii You hardly know it’s there, until suddenly it is all over the garden, bright and brash, grabbing all the light and putting more delicate blooms in the shade. But you know that Mandelsonus is not going to deliver anything but heartache as it poisons the ground around itself to kill off rivals.
True gardners are always on the lookout for the green shoots of recovery, but there is nothing worse than premature celebration of spring. Especially when the recent harsh winter frost has knocked the stuffing out of the garden and destroyed much prospect of any kind of growth for the medium term. Perhaps the best advice for those looking to a fertile future in the political garden would be to cover the entire flower bed in a deep layer of pungent horse manure the better to prepare the ground for more worthwhile species. The answer lies, as always, in the soil.