Here’s an easy way to shed a few pounds (money rather than, or possibly as well, as weight). Take an interest in gardening. While I accept if you’ve got green fingers then you can probably make anything sprout, for the rest of us the garden is a money pit. Until we moved to the country six years ago, I could get away with not liking gardening as our London garden was roughly the size of a duvet cover. Even then it seemed too much like hard work to cut the grass or weed.
Now I’ve got a much bigger space – though it’s hardly enormous. And given that I can’t afford a gardener, it’s all down to me. And it certainly takes some cash. I paid out a chunky three figure sum to have the garden returfed last month. The Easter holidays and a football-mad 11 year old mean it’s less pristine than it was. And I have to water it the whole time: that meant a new hose plus no doubt an increase in my water bills.
But of course I want a nice garden: so that means plants. We’ve lots of really lovely garden centres nearby – the nearest is also a pricey farm shop where a woman I know once, in all seriousness, told me they sold the best grapefruit...I think she thought they grew them. The lavender bush I bought there last year is now a single, sorry looking stalk. The redcurrant bush looks happier – hey, I may even get more than a dozen individual redcurrants this year: given that I think the bush cost me around £10 then that’s a huge cost per currant.
So this year, I’m economising. The local Aldi was selling clematis for £1.79. I managed to grab two, although I was up against a scary group of elderly ladies armed with shopping trolleys hoovering them up. And I bought some seeds for £1.49 too. Admittedly when I got home the plants did look tiny, and I managed to sprinkle half the seeds on my boots. But at that price, what do I care if – as is likely – they don’t flourish? They’ve got as good a chance as the posh plants – and I’m not ruining myself to pay for them.