I've been thinking about my enormous collection of plant pots now that spring is coming around. I think I shall plant them out with daffs and have some on the stall to sell. To this end I cycled along to New Covent Garden Flower Market this week to do an early morning reccy. It wasn't quite the scented meadow of beautiful people cuddling freshly plucked blooms that I had imagined. A sign as I went in warned me that violent and abusive behaviour would lead to court action. Gosh. And once inside it's actually just a very intimidating market. There were some splendid folk who were patient and whom I shall be visiting next week to make some purchases but there were also some awful cock-wizards (bit of an in-joke there if you've been following a while).
Markets aren't subject to many customer service rules, which can make them exciting and/or frustrating. I'm a short blonde female - eminently ignorable, obviously. The man at Pratleys ignored me completely, I stood in front of him and waved and shouted, he just walked passed . . . I stood next to him saying "hello!", he responded by making a phone call - which included sentences such as "You won't believe the f**king price of fresias mate". I spoke to one of his employees who insisted he couldn't tell me the price, that I'd have to ask the main man. What a rotten business, made me come over all Mary Portas.
Anyway, until I go back to fill up on daffs from the market I've been rescuing a lot of bulbs that a friend never got round to planting up.
They're a lot of mixed daffs and were already desperately shooting out little nubs of exploratory green in the bag.
And now they're coming along lovely - I know the new shoots are meant to make us think of growth, new hope and spring but really they just remind me of mucky little tongues.
During the snows I found a whole load of pot plants that had been dumped outside the florist - they'd obviously been left out on display and died. Needless to say I took as many home with me as I could carry: to try and revive the poor little mites. I watered them, cut off the dead leaves and waited . . . most of them were truly dead but the little pink rose on the left made a few new little green leaves and finally thrived. Only thing is that now I'm left with an ornamental pink rose by my window, I'd never have chosen it, but I guess it chose me.
Similarly the little plant on the right was given to me by a friend who accidentally left it in her car over night, I trimmed it back brutally and it's sprung up. Plants are masochists I think, they love it when you're mean to them. Maybe that's why Mr Pratley is a florist.