“I love this little fellow. Spontiorium Toodle-oodle-i “Wilbur Smith.” The camera panned from Minty’s grubby fingers, caressing as they were, the tiny yellow petals, to beam his winning smile across the screen.
Iris spluttered her lambrusco onto her pinny and grumphed as she dusted off the
droplets. “There is another member of this family – Spontiorium Toodle-oodle –i
“Arthur Smith”. It’s not as prolific but a lot funnier.”
“Stick it in soil. Give it water and sun and it will grow.”
Iris thought it looked like a weed but Minty was sage in his own garden. “And
now, over to Rachael who is visiting a garden in the Outer Hebrides.”
Rachael of The Thames sauntered into shot. The wind whisped her flowing hair like some ancient goddess as she tried to look graceful in amongst the rocks. Harold peered over his Evening Standard at Foxey Rachie, as he liked to call her. He swore that she was the only one who knew anything about gardening and as a consequence she was the only presenter he would watch.
Iris grumphed and topped up her lambrusco.
Foxey Rachie knelt by a piece of heather and felt as one with nature. “Plants will grow anywhere given a chance.”
“See,”said Harold “told you. That’s true knowledge that is.”
“Do yer bloody crossword and shut up,” Iris slammed.
“And now over to Joe for some heavy duty gardening,” her teeth gleamed. Harold returned to his Standard, his cockles warmed.
Joe Swallow lurched onto the screen bestride a quad bike, roared the throttle and shouted “Yeah, that’s just the jobby. We’re going to turn this patch of barren desert wasteland into a community garden which everyone can enjoy. Now, all I need is my chain saw.” He leapt from the bike like some horticultural Frankie Dettori. Off camera, Minty sighed. He’d needed some persuasion to come back on to the show and he was never really happy with
some of the rougher edges of his colleagues.
He caught a glimpse of Karen coming into view. “Eeh, there’s nout ah like moo-er than a pie an’ chips like me Dad used to eat on ‘is way ‘ome fromp ‘it.” Minty blanched. Why, oh why did the BBC have to have a token regional presenter. He knew that he was probably
becoming presenterist but couldn’t help himself.
“….and a glass of Dandelion and Burdock to go wi’it,” she continued.
“Now then, dandelions. You can grow them anywhere.”
Iris burped. Minty cut in. “Well that’s all we have time for this week. Next week. Er, we’ll be here again.” He kept his winning smile pinned in place. Above all else it was what the viewers wanted to see, he thought. And anyway, it was his trade mark.
“And whatever the weather, enjoy yer garden.” Minty flinched. Where did that voice come from. A ghost. A ghost of the past. It can’t be.
Minty glimpsed a grey figure slip through his prize beech hedge leaving nothing behind but a cheeky grin where the figure had stood.
Nothing would be the same again.