In the beginning there was darkness. Then God said let there be mushrooms. And there were mushrooms (badgers came much later)
At the suggestion of my mate François-Marie I’ve been spending some time in the garden recently. Here is some deep wisdom accrued from personal experience and careful study of key works on English flora and fauna by those lions Titchmarsh, de Thame and Grylls.
- Gardener (Homo projectus)
Invisible people wielding magic wands. Violently bigoted against anyone with more (or perhaps more visible) lower limbs.
- Mushroom (Amanita Lensherria)
The only type of plant which grows in an English country garden. Appear ex nihilo or excreted entire from fleas. Known to exert a weak magnetic field capable of repulsing centipedes, an effect exaggerated greatly by scorpion venom. Come in many different colours, like those “flowers” you hear about from abroad.
- Flea (Ctenocephalides excretia)
Fleas live in hedgerows or maybe pavements, certainly beyond the bounds of the garden (and the scope of this piece). The average flea is about the size of a scorpion. Evidence suggests that they dine on unwashed mushrooms, resulting in filthy mushroom eggs gestating in their fat guts before sprouting with propulsive force. They cannot or will not control their bowels.
- Spider (Hyllus giganteus)
Spiders are eight-legged mushroom-eating freaks. I’m not prejudiced, I just don’t like the way they lay on their side and float near my end of the garden, like recumbent hairy cherubs. Be warned, a bite from a spider will make the tip of your wand drop off!
- Scorpion (gittus gittus)
As observed by Caesar in Commentarii de Bello Gallico the native English scorpion is a git and will overrun your garden entirely given half the chance. Instead of using its stinger to incapacitate prey directly it scurries out of neighbouring poorly-tended gardens attacking mushrooms like something out of Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNabb. Move and sting and move and sting.
- Centipede (Scolopendra whatyaplayinatcha)
Segmented giant insect with weak magnetic properties as noted above. The garden variety also have a multiple heads hidden within their body which become independent entities upon separation (a trait shared only with Homo scolopendra).
Hope this goes some way to helping out all you “budding” gardeners. Me, I’m bored of it now. Watch out for my guest appearance on the upcoming BBC1 lunchtime series “Teching Up Your Decking” with Martin Clunes.
Apparently, if a prawn goes “all the way” he turns into a queen