Jaqui's Daily Blog

Now You See It, Now You Don't

Now you see it, now you don't!

The somewhat overgrown Choisya bush in our back garden has bitten the dust. Mr B has Won The Day.

We have been debating over the fate of the Choisya bush for at least a year, if not two. Mr B has steadfastly maintained that it is now far too large and is on the point of taking over the entire garden. I, in its defence, produce the evidence of its shiny, evergreen leaves, its white starry flowers, its delicate fragrance. I quote from my much-leafed (if you will excuse the pun) manual, The Tree and Shrub Expert, by the esteemed Dr D G Hessayon. According to this complete guide to the selection and care of trees and shrubs for your garden (as in our garden) Choisya is "one of the candidates for the title of ideal Garden Shrub." Mr B says, be that as it may, it is Still Too Big.

Enter Ismail, who won the Turf War (see a previous blog) fair and square and so will spend the next few days in our gardens, front and back, laying new lawns. Ismail describes himself in his adverts as a "hard-working landscape gardener" which immediately won my heart. I do like a hard worker. He arrived today just after 8 a.m. to tackle the overgrown bush which I have reluctantly agreed must come out.

Mr B says we will be able to put the enormous space vacated by the bush to good use. The trouble is that Mr B's idea of putting garden space to good use differs somewhat from mine. While I am thinking shrubs and flowers, Mr B is Thinking Vegetables. He is dreaming of rows of runner beans, cabbages, potatoes and cauliflowers taking over the border and turning it into Veggie Heaven.

I thought I might have satisfied his Inner Vegetarian when we bought a smart, home-made vegetable trough from a friend of Ted and Margaret's. We grew lettuces, beans and tomatoes thus summer which could be considered a healthy eating success. Ted and Margaret, who are members of our Nomination Whist group, like to check up on our Trough Progress when they visit for the fortnightly cards session. You can tell they still feel slightly proprietorial towards it, as you tend to do when someone has made a purchase on your recommendation.

While Ismail was dealing efficiently with Choisya Removal I took myself to the garden centre to buy daffodils, snowdrops, primroses and winter pansies. Yes, I realise I am a little late but I need to do things in order. Turf first, planting second. What I was really looking forward to was a Solitary Wander among the A -Z of shrubs to see what would be my Replacement Shrub of Choice.

Solitary Wanders are also excellent for contemplating one's blessings. So I am eagerly anticipating the delivery of my new mobile phone, organised for me by My Boy. "I like doing things like this for you," he told me on the phone last night - so I said I was sure I could think of other tasks, just to keep him happy. He said he thought sorting out our Broadband provider and my new phone contract was quite enough for now.

Then there was granddaughter, sixteen year old Eleanor, who, on hearing I needed cataract surgery, had immediately carried out some on-line research on my behalf. She telephoned to inform me that cataract surgery is the most common operation carried out across the whole of the UK, with no fewer than 300,000 procedures a year. Plus her singing teacher had had the same surgery and said it was the best thing she had ever done. Ah my sweet Elle, how thoughtful you are to seek to reassure me by putting everything in context.


There is a lot of choice at the Garden Centre. Once I have selected my bulbs, I drift around the conifers, the fruit trees, the roses, looking for the ideal plant to fill in the gaping hole in our garden border before Mr B fills it with vegetables. I narrow it down to three or four possibilities.

My problem is that I rarely stray from my previous paths. That's why, regular readers will recall, I always arrive home from my Autumnal Visit to the Garden Centre bearing daffodil bulbs and winter pansies. Every year without fail.

It should therefore be no surprise to anyone that me, that having studied all the alternative replacement shrubs, I have finally made my Choisya....

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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