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Crassula casualty

Catherine Stewart

Catherine Stewart

November 14, 2011

Why is it that tradesmen can’t see the difference between garden and a driveway, or garden and a path? It’s a peculiar kind of blindness, which usually results in a size 12 boot standing precisely on the head of some dainty treasure you’ve been nurturing. When a tradesman arrives at your house, you’re usually so surprised and pathetically grateful that they’ve actually come to your house, it seems churlish to start pointing out all the things you don’t want them to do.

But you must grit your teeth and do it, because there’s nothing surer than that they will immediately begin to do exactly what you don’t want. Like hauling a hose right through the middle of a garden bed, as those lumps of useless green stuff you call plants should be made of sterner stuff. Or washing out a barrow or bucket of cement mortar on your plants, because they didn’t know that would be a problem. Maybe they’ve never heard of pH or that plants don’t feel so well when it goes from 6 to 10 in the space of a morning. Or just standing on top of them because they “couldn’t see them as they looked the same colour as the mulch”. Could tradies suffer disproportionately from red-green colour blindness?

Fortunately, today’s casualty was a succulent, Crassula ‘Purple Dragon’, so I can stick the broken bits in the soil around the main plant and they should probably strike and grow. But I must make myself do it next time, and go out there and explain very politely when they first arrive, what is and what isn’t garden. Just in case.