Mother Nature and the frost-bitten female form

Share
Related Topics

More seasonal gardening advice today! You may think that January is a dead old time in the garden, but if you don't keep battling and planning, then Old Mother Nature will give you a quick kick up the backside when you're not looking, and we wouldn't want that, would we? I'll take that as a No.

Right, here we go!

Q. May I just ask in what way Old Mother Nature could give you a quick kick up the backside?

A. Well, you see, Old Mother Nature is not really a kind old lady at all. She is much more akin to a pantomime dame. A pantomime dame looks like an old lady, has the dress sense of an old lady, and pretends to be an old lady, but all she is really interested in is going for the laughs. Old Widow Twanky is not so very far from Old Mother Nature. It's big bloomers and funny laundry with one, floods, frost, failed fruit, and falling trees with the other, but they're both going for the laughs.

Q. Oh, dear. So how can we possibly calm Old Mother Nature down, then?

A. By putting little light boxes all over the garden.

Q. How's that again?

A. Well, we have known for a long while that during winter we all get depressed because we get too little daylight. The condition is known as SAD, standing for Seasonal Affective Disorder, and the therapy is to expose yourself to lots of light from a light box. So there is no reason why we should not put little light boxes round the garden next to our favourite flowers and see if it keeps them going through the whole winter.

Q. You're joking!

A. Absolutely not. It is well-known that when plane trees in London are jammed up against a street light which is on all night, the leaves stay green on that part of the tree until way past Christmas. So there is no reason why...

Q. This is all a bit New Age for me.

A. All right. Ask another question.

Q. One of the features of my garden is a display of Victorian statuary. When I see those naked nymphs out there, with icicles hanging off the poor things, I wonder if I should lag them in wintertime. Should I wrap my display up against the weather? I know that the Victorians did wrap up their nude statuary out of prudishness, and I wouldn't want to do that , but I wanted to know if it could be justified on the grounds of maintenance value?

A. Look, this myth about Victorian prudishness has gone on long enough! Don't you realise that the Victorian age was the high point of nude statuary? All the images of naked forms that we have at the back of our mind, or in our poster shops, are Victorian! All those Ettys and Alma-Tademas and swooning pre-Raphaelites, and those marble nymphs with big bums - they're all bursting with sex and they're all Victorian! Good God, every time I wander round the marble figures surrounding the Albert Memorial, and absent-mindedly run my hands over the ample haunches of the more nubile women, I wish passionately I were back in the honest-to-goodness Victorian era, and not in today's namby-pamby world where, if I were to put effigies of the nude female form into a garden, I would probably be arrested for disrespect to women at best and child abuse at worst!

Q. So should I lag my statues or not?

A. No.

Q. Is it too late to plant bulbs in the garden?

A. No, not if you don't mind bulbs coming up in the summertime, having a heart attack and falling over. Bulbs are actually coming up already, though you probably haven't noticed, because we are trained to notice things only when their season comes along. We are taught that sticky chestnut buds come in early spring, along with catkins and other things that mean that winter is over. This is not true at all. The sticky buds actually appear on the chestnuts well before Christmas. The catkins are already formed by then, too. They wait there for the warmer weather before they develop, and that is when we start noticing them - but they are all there long before we focus on them. This is a condition known as SBS or Seasonal Blindness Syndrome.

Q. Is it?

A. It is now.

Confused? So are we. Roll on springtime, that's what I say.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Senior Research Fellow in Gender, Food and Resilient Communities

£47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: The Centre for Agroecology, ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Taking on Ukip requires a delicate balancing act for both main parties

Andrew Grice
Today is a bigger Shabbes than usual in the Jewish world because it has been chosen to launch the Shabbos Project  

Shabbes exerts a pull on all Jews, and today is bigger than ever

Howard Jacobson
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker