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U3A Writing: An Addict's Dilema

Anne’s house is inundated with gardening books and magazines. Her ironing is piling up. The cobwebs and dust are gathering. Sometimes there is no meal ready when her husband comes home..

Rose Perry writes about an horticultural addiction.

Anne has a problem! She has become an addict. A gardening addict. Her house has been inundated with gardening books and magazines. Her ironing is piling up, the cobwebs are gathering along with the dust. When her husband arrives home from work sometimes, there is no meal ready because she is either out in the garden, or busy studying her garden guides, captivated by the wonder of her new love, and oblivious to the time of day.

In the evenings she must watch gardening programmes on TV. Her hunger and thirst for knowledge on this subject has become the main priority in her life. She has discovered that her love for the garden has eclipsed all other important duties, including cooking and cleaning.

She has become a hazard on the roads, as she loses concentration when distracted by the gardens en route, especially when she spies an unusual plant. When she visits a nursery she forgets her major responsibilities, coming home with a bootload (and more at times)of really "special" plants and even ornaments, which until recently, she didn't know existed. But now she is caught up in the spell of the Gardening Bug.

As she has begun talking to herself most of the time, she realises that she has a problem so she wrote a plea to the Letterbox in 'Gardening,' a monthly magazine, pleading for help. This is the reply she received in the following month's publication:

"Dear Anne
Welcome to the Club! But be informed! There is no solution, except to rent out your house, build one room to accommodate enough for your daily needs, but, be sure to include one entire wall of bookshelves to house the books you already possess, and the ones you will and must buy in the future, because, I can assure you, now that you have the bug, you will need many books.

Every species of plant will be so appealing, you will just have to buy more reference books to enlighten yourself about proper care and conditions. Also make sure you have plenty of windows so you can see as much of your garden as possible during all daylight hours. You could have lights installed as well so you can enjoy it at night.

As far as housework goes, this definitely isn't so important when you become a gardening addict In fact the correct term is a domestic conservationist.

My Suggestions: Wear drip-dry clothing If your social life has been reduced as you say, why worry about the creases, who's going to see you anyway? Don't forget the sunscreen.

I quote you: 'I have a beautiful garden, a productive veggie patch, and the joy of picking spray-free fruit from my orchard.' Why concern yourself about preparing meals. I'm sure you could find lots in your garden, carrots, celery, tomatoes, red beet, strawberries and many other delicacies, with which to prepare the most colourful and nutritious platters one could wish for. And why not just eat outdoors, weather permitting? There's no law to say one has to dine indoors; and think of it, no tablecloths, napkins, cutlery or other trimmings! And no washing up either. Hooray. Also you will have no waste; the leftovers from the veggies and fruit will go to the compost heap to be recycled.

Regarding the insects and spiders which you say are living in your house, maybe you should buy some books on Entomology, because, after all, Botany and Entomology go together don't they?

One suggestion I make is that maybe it would be wise if you didn't drive your car to town, now that your driving is becoming hazardous. The law frowns upon anyone driving 'under the influence', but they just might bend the rules a little! Why not walk to town, just think of the exercise. You may not be able to buy too many plants at once, but I believe the nurseries and supermarkets do have deliveries.

And consider this, you could, as most avid gardeners do, carry your snips with you at all times, not forgetting a large bag also. Think of all the snippings you will arrive home with, because, after all, Garden Addicts are compulsive snippers.
Finally, from other addict to another. Enjoy your hobby; it brings one close to nature, and there is so much to learn about the joy of Creation, right in your very own home and garden! And think about what you can share with others, no matter what State you are in.

P.S. I talk to my plants too.

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