24th and 25th of March, 2017

Friday, 24th of March, 2017

Today I finally managed to work with the plant area manager, who has been unfortunately dealing with illness since I was hired on for my trial period. She wasted no time in saying, “Clarissa, do you want to work here?!” and when I said yes she said “Oh, thank god!” and actually gave me a hug. I imagine it is a relief to her to have someone else on hand considering the girl I’m replacing is leaving soon, and she herself is not 100% just yet. Bless her heart! Either way, I’ve been enjoying my work thus far, and it all feels very comfortable and relaxed. So I’m happy to continue slogging along and brushing up on my plant know-how while I do so. It’s nice to be able to work outside once more–especially in the gradually improving spring weather, and to be able especially to get my hands dirty making planters for nice customers. Sometimes it’s crazy to think I get paid to have so much fun!

I only took a photo or two today, mainly of a plant called Bellis perennis, or English daisy. Honestly I was pretty confused at first when I googled “Why is Bellis called English daisy” because it looks nothing like a traditional daisy, but color me surprised when I find out that the wee guys we feature at work are just some crazy pompom variety.

Daisy:

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And then our guy:

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Say wha now? Who did this to you, wee daisy?

Anyway, it’s a sturdy spring plant that we have loads of, so there’s been a lot of tossing them into planted containers right and left. I couldn’t help but admire how they caught droplets of water after I gave them a drink in the sunshine.

Saturday, 25th of March, 2017

I arranged to have Saturday off instead of Sunday as I’ve done till now in order to do some volunteer bulb planting today. That’s right folks, I reshuggled my schedule at a garden centre… to do more gardening, for free, on my day off!

The event itself was to plant bluebells in the Meadows, one of the lovely greenspaces in Edinburgh that’s a quick cycle from our flat. (I took a photo of it with a rainbow and Arthur’s seat from my last post!) So when I saw that a gardening group was meeting to do this, I thought, awesome! Bluebells are such a big deal here, when they pop up in thickets and multiply they create a gorgeous blanket of flowers, like this here:

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Stunning, right?

Needless to say though, when I arrived at this event and began slapping on my gloves, people were already at work. I glanced around and could see little lumps of people up and down the way seemingly quite busy, but when I inquired as to what was happening so far, I got mumbled, vague responses from the ladies closest to me. It seems the lady who was in charge… well, hell. I don’t even know where she was!

Perhaps it’s my garden centre snobbery that got me here, but I felt decidedly underwhelmed by the planning of the event. Even now I’m not even sure who it was we were planting for and why–do the people in charge of the Meadows even know we were out there, or will they just stumble upon 50 freshly dug holes come Monday?! The bulbs were provided and that was basically it. There was also one tub of sand that we were meant to put in the bottom of the dug holes, but no way to split up the sand between people. And certainly no extra compost to help the wee bulbs settle in–I kicked myself for not having brought some compost along, I mean, if someone who works at a garden centre can’t get a damn bag then who can?!

What was left was a gaggle of wee old ladies who were really struggling to dig the holes in the hard earth, not only that, but didn’t seem sure where exactly to plant and space them out in the first place. To my mind it would have made more sense to get a strapping youngster to strategically dig the amount of holes the lady in charge wanted, then the wee old ladies could have planted to their heart’s content instead of struggling along. Boom, boom. Holes evenly spaced, everyone’s got a job, assembly-line planting accomplished.

Instead it was a totally confusing endeavor, and when the lady in charge did show up she just criticized what the WOL’s were doing. Hmph. One poor WOL left about 15 minutes in. Can’t say I blame her.

Not only that, but it’s been extremely warm and sunny since then, and I reckon nobody even watered the poor wee things. We’ll see just how many of them survive. Bless their poor, thirsty little roots.

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Best case scenario: they survive and I can claim privilege to having been there to lend a helping hand to get them established in the following years as they begin looking like that photo from above. Worst case: they all die and I deny ever having anything to do with them!! Oh well… at least I stayed several hours till the “end” which was just everyone melting away.

The rest of the day Haitham and I had a wander around Princes Street Gardens, which is just beginning to fully flush out with daffodils. Haitham observed a guy getting right into the thick of them with his gigantic camera lens. He scoffed, “I don’t get why people do that. It’s just a flower. I’m sure it looks great and the background is perfect, but really awesome photos in my opinion have people in them.”

“Uh-huh,” I said, hunkering down to find my own precarious, perfect flower shot.

Haitham’s lucky that I am willing to make a fool of myself getting the “boring” shots, so that he can take the “good” ones of me looking like a tool. That’s how partnership works, folks.

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