Gardening stories: Handsome Harry

Handsome Harry

The day finally came: a tall dark stranger appeared at the allotments.

He had broad shoulders, a manly chest and an unflinching gaze. He struck one immediately as the strong, silent type, seeing all and saying nowt.

He wore a faded denim shirt with pockets, suggesting practicality.  He had proper shoes. Furthermore, he was modest and played down his obvious attractions: despite the impressive girth of his chest,  he kept his sleeves rolled down and his shirt buttoned up to the neck, even on the hottest of Spring days.

Alright, there was something strange about his trousers.  But his hands compensated for that. Instead of the usual gloves that pass for fingers around here, he had – ladies and some gentlemen may want to sit down at this point – multicoloured windmills.

Oh, how they whirred in the stiff spring breeze! How they intimidated the birds! How they glittered as he loomed threateningly over the poly tunnels of broad beans, his hands full of rainbows!

I made discreet enquiries and discovered that his name was Harry.

Gardening stories: Lady of Shallot

Beaming in his general direction

On our plot, the Lady of Shallot could hardly contain herself. She beamed in his general direction and took to rotating her head, like Linda Blair in the Exorcist.

It all began to look so promising!

But why the past tense, I hear you wonder? Surely a man made of the stuff Harry seemed to be made of recognised an allotment as a long term commitment? Surely a man with such spectacular appendages couldn’t be a fly-by-night?

You are right. Harry is still there, keeping his stolid yet vaguely menacing vigil. And the Lady of Shallot still grins and spins. But the course of true love never did run smooth. The truth of their separation is a dark one.

Someone erected a dirty great plastic greenhouse betwen them.

Gardening stories: the broken sightline

Dirty great greenhouse

The all-important line of sight is now broken. Or rather, the Lady’s line of sight. For while she gazed hopefully for hours on end, Harry never did anything but stare fixedly, if thoughtfully, at the ground.

As anyone who has ever dealt with a strong silent type knows, there was undoutedly a torrent of emotions raging beneath Harry’s calm exterior.  He may have looked uninterested but the Lady knew he was just playing it cool. He was treating ’em mean to keep ’em keen. Or perhaps, though tough in matters of scaring birds, he was shy when it came to love, and only dared sneak a look at her when her head was revolving the other way.

Now, of course, it’s obvious that his downcast gaze is the sign of a broken heart.

Gardening stories: A lady has her pride

A lady has her pride

The sad thing is that the Lady will never really know for sure.

She could move to the front of our plot, where she could see Harry around the edge of the greenhouse.

But there are no crops there to protect, and a Lady has her pride.

She hasn’t said as much, but I reckon that, as Spring turns to Summer, she’s leaving it to Harry to make the next move.

She could be waiting an awfully long time.