Property: Turfed out before the big kick-off
Sunday 07 June 1998
Yes, the Getitcheap Garden Centre annual sale finally kicks off and dozens of players from all over East Sheen will be scrambling to win the coveted Jules Rimet Trophy Tomatoes at never-to-be-repeated rock-bottom prices.
Once again the favourites are the flamboyant Fletcher family from Teddington Terrace. They will, no doubt, be sambaing their way to success with their total bargain-hunting approach to sales shopping. With their famous two- for-one formation, they are the pundits' pick to walk away once more as winners.
I sadly failed to make it through the qualifying rounds. Drawn against the dour and defensive Darwins, I lost in an agonising penalty shoot- out at the HomeGrown Products Winter Clearance. I have therefore spent a desolate few weeks wandering around the garden centres of west London whistling "I'm Growing Home" and wondering what might have been.
I know that Gazza and Romario are a little dejected but at least their team mates will be there. I, for my part, have had to make do with paying full prices for a variety of vegetation knowing full well that in a few days' time I could be competing for the Big Bargains.
Still, I must not dwell on the past. The big advantage of an early exit from the competition is that my vegetables are safely planted and well on their way to being organically farmed.
Gardening is the one big pleasure of home ownership which I really miss. Few things are more satisfying than feeding the starving birds, slugs and other assorted plant eaters of the neighbourhood.
I remember once in those heady days when I had my feet firmly on the bottom rung of the property ladder trying to grow a lawn from seed. It felt a bit like opening a McDonald's in Moscow, feeding the five thousand and appearing in a Hitchcock film all at the same time.
What surprised me was how quickly word got round the local bird community that breakfast was being served in Primrose Hill. No sooner had I retreated indoors to admire my handiwork than the ornithological equivalent of the Luftwaffe arrived diving, strafing and then gorging themselves on my Bermudan Blue All Purpose Lawn In A Box.
I had a similar experience last weekend when I purchased three allotments in a bag and filled them full of seeds, seedlings and plantlings.
Compared to the monotony of grass seeds, this was the equivalent of a gourmet feast with about nine courses and as many slug pellets as you can manage. The birds had a great time although I suspect that some of the slugs overdid it; they looked like death the next morning.
Whether anything edible will ever emerge from my bags I cannot tell. I certainly had fun with the plantation process and I can now hold my own at The Fount Of All Knowledge amateur gardener nights.
The Harvest is not due for some time. But I am a patient man and if I get bored I can always watch the World Cup.
Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way
Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat
Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down
Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree really is being made into a film
Review: Witty banalities aside, the comedian has an authentic voice
- 1 Salisbury ranked seventh-best city in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015
- 2 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Chicago voter tells Obama 'don't touch my girlfriend' – Obama stays super smooth
Oscar Pistorius: The brutal prison life that awaits disgraced athlete
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Raphael Ravenscroft dead: 'Baker Street' musician who played the most famous saxophone solo for just £27, dies aged 60
Darren Vann: Indiana man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear more
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms
iJobs Money & Business
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: The SThree group is a world lea...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £Competitive: SThree: SThree Group and have be...
£23000 per annum + pension and 22 days holiday: Ashdown Group: An established ...