Daphne Ledward, Garden Planner, Gardener, Author and Broadcaster

Muffin's Blog

Mr Muffin organises a planting session    by Mr Muffin

March 2010

Auntie Cath Morgan suggested to Daff that we should have some herbs to sell at our Open Weekend.   Daff must have had a brainstorm cos she ordered 720 assorted plug plants.   I said to Mr Paddidog, “Does she really think we’re going to sell all those?” but he just sighed and went back to sleep.

Anyway, these herbs duly arrived, and then sat in the greenhouse at The Patch for a couple of weeks.   I think Daff must have lost the will to live, so I said to her, “Don’t you think it’s time you got those bits of weed into pots?” and she went out and bought 800 new pots because she couldn’t be bothered washing the old ones she’d saved for occasions like this which were stuffed under the bench in the greenhouse amongst all the cobwebs.

Well, Auntie Cath and Uncle Darren had previously promised to help, so they were duly called to duty last Sunday.   They arrived, bearing jam doughnuts and custard tarts and also a big chocolate cake for John, whose birthday was last Thursday.   All these goodies reminded Daff that she had forgotten to bring the gravy bones for us dogs; she looked in the dog biscuit jar in the kitchen down there but all there was were a few doggy choc drops that had turned white, so I knew we were in for a lean day.

Then Fleck, Vic and Flo all poured out of their car and – laugh!   I could have cried.   We nearly split our collars, cos they were wearing their coats!   And, not only that, these coats had the logo of another greyhound rescue charity!   “What a bunch of second hand wusses,” I said to Bluebell, and she agreed, cos we never wear our coats at The Patch, we just keep running all the time and even when it’s really cold, we always end up far too hot.

Sally and Bluebell told the visitors that there was a very dead cat- well it looked a bit like a cat, but it was hard to tell - at the bottom of the field (no, it was absolutely nothing to do with us, because it had been dead for weeks and during the bad weather before and after Christmas we didn’t go down The Patch), so we all rushed down the ride at the side of the new wood to inspect it.   Sally told Flo she’d eaten a leg bone the day before and very good it was too - very different from anything she’d sampled before.   Bluebell said there was a lot more where that came from, only every time she went near, she’d been shouted at and eventually had been put back in the car so she couldn’t get at it.   Vic asked if it was good for rolling in, and I assured him it was, but when we got to the spot, there was nothing there, not even a bit of fur, only a slight hollow where it had been.   I don’t think the visitors believed me – I didn’t find out till afterwards that John had picked it up (it rolled up just like a carpet, he said) and put it in the landfill bag.   We were all really annoyed about that, cos we didn’t half lose face.

Anyway, we did a couple of circuits of the field, and then went back to see what was happening with the potting up.   Fleck, Vic and Flo were boiling by this time, so Auntie Cath and Uncle Daz undressed them.   Fleck immediately shot off into the shelter belt and started screaming – I think he must have trodden on a bramble, and my word, what a fuss!   Limping and languishing about all over the place, currying sympathy, until something trivial took his mind off it and it was all forgotten.   How does he think I manage with my SEVERELY DEFORMED foot, and yet you never, ever hear me complain, in fact, I hardly mention it at all?

Once Flo was disrobed, she disappeared into Mr Paddy’s special triangle by the gate with him for a rest (well, it’ll make him happy for the rest of the week), and Vic, Sally, Discit, Bluebell and I went for another race.   As I was, as usual, the winner by miles, and was back with the grown (or should it be groan) ups, I didn’t see what happened, but all of a sudden Bluebell started screaming and howling and crying and snivelling, all at the same time.   Daff thought she’d trodden in the bonfire of the previous day, which was still a bit warm, and she told her not to be so soft, because she could easily put her hand into the ash without getting burnt.

Well, by now the day’s novelty was beginning to wear off as far as we hounds were concerned.   The grown-ups were busy ignoring us, filling pots and stuffing little plants into them, in between drinking tea and eating cakes every five minutes, and we dogs were quite tired.   I got into the back of our car for a nap, but Flo kept trying to get in with me, so I told her in no uncertain terms to clear off, and got shouted at for it.   Daff put some duvets and other beds that she keeps down there for occasions like these out in the sun, but as they are all so much nicer than the ones at home, I couldn’t decide which one to lie on and thought the best solution was to keep the other dogs off them all with some of my well-chosen phrases and expressions I use on occasions like these, keep them all to myself, and lie on each one in turn.

That seemed to work, cos eventually Mr P wandered off with young Rheanna, Fleck and Vic disappeared in search of something to roll in, Flo took over Mr Paddy’s triangle, and the girls lay on the concrete by the shed wall, which was warm.   It was at this point that Daff and Auntie Cath discovered the real reason for Bluebell’s hysterics.

While she was charging round the field, she must have barged into a tree.   You could tell that cos her side was all green.   Among the green was a long, red graze surrounded by a big, purple bruise – quite an interesting colour scheme, really.   Immediately, she drew maximum sympathy from everyone, the potting up was finished at top speed and we were all taken home so she could recuperate.

I have to admit, it looked quite nasty, and I was glad it had happened to her and not me.  If it had happened to our car, it would have cost £800 to put right.   To show how sorry I was, I let her have my place on the settee that evening for a whole quarter of an hour.   But she’s been going on about her poorly side all week and it gets a bit tedious after a while.   No-one seems to have noticed that I’ve got a scratch under my eye – if it had been an inch above, I’d probably be blind now.

Now Bluebell’s bruise has almost disappeared and John and Daff are fighting over who picks her scabs when they’re ready.   Since Bluebell arrived, she’s caused nothing but trouble, but what can you expect with a girl?   Anyone can have my new scab any time.


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