“Its funny, you don’t know whats going to be in your room until you see it, then you realise it could never have been anything else.” (Dr Who, Episode 11/13 The God Complex Toby Whitehouse).
What a great episode of Dr Who that was: the whole series that played often on our innermost fears and this episode focused totally on what made us afraid, what made us reach out for help. As the characters opened doors they found many things, several struck a chord of fear in me, the ventriloquists dummy (I am more afraid of puppets, but it was close enough, it is the unnatural movements they have, I shudder at the thought), the clown, I have never liked clowns, I have always had a fear of Santa’s Grottoes in shops. Odd that no spiders were involved, but maybe that was too obvious.
Now I am not going to say that things in the garden frighten me, funnily enough outside in the garden even the spiders are fine, its only when they get in the house I am really scared. It did make me think though, a sort of this room but for gardens, what is it that I would put in my room that I would need to shut away.
Would I find hostas in my room? I don’t like hostas very much, but I have a few now that are relatively pleasing. It could be conifers? Again, not all though, I love my ginkgo trees. I would also really love to get a Japanese larch; space says this is a bad idea but they are such beautiful trees. Dwarf conifers though, those little lime green pyramids I see in garden centres and lining people’s drives, they are edging towards the door of the room.
Petunias, I am not a fan, sorry. Bizzy Lizzies (they have mildew apparently), not keen on many, apart from the ones I like. How about begonias? Bedding begonias: urgh except, except, then I see them in a context, or a shape or form that I think, oh you’re ok I like you. I grow some begonias.
So its not going to be a plant, what about slugs and snails? Well, I don’t like them munching my plants though the main garden does not suffer too badly in general from them; I think the abundance of birdlife helps with this. Where I do suffer from them is in the greenhouse. There they hide and pop out when I least except it and eat all my seedlings. I lost all my Dahlia Merckii seedlings last year to this, I was not happy. Snails I can deal with better than slugs, snails I can pick up and throw over the hedge into the field. Teaching them to fly makes me happy. Slugs I can’t pick up. I do in extremis use organic slug pellets in the greenhouse. They do help.
Then I know what I will find: wasps, without a doubt that’s what I would put in the room. They terrify me, I try and act brave but I fail miserably. I turn into a flappy hysterical child if one comes near me. The thought of one in my car with me is sheer unadulterated terror. I know people will tell me they are beneficial and do something good in the great chain of being. Fine, I will accept that, but not near me please. I even know how many wasps will be in my room; there will be five. Three will be buzzing up and down the window, a window that will not open so I cannot let them out. One will be buzzing around in that zig-zaggy fashion, dive-bombing down towards me and then silently getting ready for the next attack. Number five will be waiting, lurking, under the sheets or under my pillow. Waiting for that moment when I least expect it and I put my hand on it or lie on it.
So what would be waiting for you in your room?