Tuesday, 19 August 2014

In Your Garden with Ken Dibstick

Our gardening expert writes:

Now read that again. Yes. In your garden with Ken Dibstick. My original idea for title, when first persuaded to put down trowel for pen, was 'With Ken Dibstick In Your Garden'. After much scratching of wiser heads than mine on the editorial board at Pangolin Villas, I was eventually persuaded to go with the alternative formulation now adopted. No matter. Either way, I am now in receipt of a letter from reader Mr Darren Newt of Gussage St Michael in Dorset, threatening to seek a court order and warrant of arrest for trespass, should I ever be seen to set foot in his garden.

No, Mr Newt, I shall not be entering your garden, not without invitation or works contract, which will come with several pages of legal indemnity certification along with Health & Safety notices. When I say that I am with you in your garden (yours and those of many thousand other readers), that is not a statement to be taken literally. It is a figure of speech or what is known to us in the trade as a literary device. So, stay your hand, Mr Newt, and spare yourself a hefty down-payment to the legal profession in Dorset.

Now on to loftier matters.

Garden centres are jolly places these days, packed out with coffee stops, visitor amenities and every kind of play-space for the children. They make for a grand day out. Be warned, though, that in the intoxicating atmosphere of the well-appointed garden centre, it is so very easy to get carried away with purchases and to end up buying things you may later regret.

I write this mindful of my recent dealings with a reader who contacted me for advice over problem growth outside her window. Mrs M of Scratby had, in the course of visiting a garden centre, acquired several pots from the house-plant section all containing attractive spriglets labelled Dwarf Leylandii.
They flourished on her window-sill and she planted them out. They now form an impenetrable wall around her bungalow, 89 ft tall and growing. Her only means of escape is by tunnel. These were not Dwarf Leylandii, Mrs M, but seedlings of the giant tree.

My advice to you now is to get these grubbed out fast and replace with a neat row of synthetic conifer to a height of your choosing.

Good Gardening!


  1. Mr Dibstick was very kind over the Leylandii business, but I have found what for me is a more permanent solution and have had a local artist, Eileen Foggit, paint a whole garden and a nice summery sky on the inside of my sitting room window.
    Evadne Mimms [56]

  2. Well, that's most kind of you, Evadne, and a very satisfactory solution, if I may say so. I had, incidentally, been trying to preserve your anonymity, though I understand your predicament has become something of a talking-point within Scratby itself, attracting onlookers in large numbers, whilst also becoming the centrepiece of the very popular Mystery Tours run by the East of England Coach Company. I'm surprised Ms Foggit hasn't told you or is she too busy painting trees for tourists?

    Ken Dibstick, horticulturalist & writer.

  3. Were there seven of those dwarves? Arf arf.

  4. Who writes your stuff ?


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