I went to my local garden centre today to buy a winter house plant, and a conversation with the lady behind the counter when she asked me about something else that I had bought earlier this year1 made me think about my relationship with plants. I think my knowledge of plants can be compared with my knowledge of Linux. No, no, let me explain: in both cases I know just enough to be dangerous. I don’t have the deep knowledge that lets me delve into the guts of the O/S when things go wrong or swap kernel modules or window managers, and similarly, although I seem to be quite good at keeping (indoor, at least) plants alive, I don’t know what to do when they start looking poorly. Nor do I know how to take cuttings or trim them back. The dark arts of What To Plant With What are a mystery to me.
In both cases, I suspect diving in is the only way to learn, in the first case by installing Linux on a computer that I regularly use, and in the second I think this has been a long and rambling way of saying that I think I’m going to have to start listening to Gardeners’ Question Time.
1 itself a good reason to support your local businesses