When I told my head of department at work that I was writing blogs he said he wasn't a ranter and couldn't do it himself. I smiled to myself at the thought that the only blog was a rant - but - on this occasion allow me to indulge myself.
earth and planter
I am sure that many countries have civic pride competitions and here one of them is Britain in Bloom. I love flowers and you would think that this would be right up my street. I am full of admiration for the many people who dedicate their time and energies to planting out baskets and troughs every year. But hasn't it sort of lost its direction? In the town I live in we are visited by the judges in early to mid July. You would normally expect planters to have been giving pleasure to the town from early June but ours are left as bare earth and not planted until the week before the judges come... This year hasn't been quite so bad due to the dry weather but some years I have seen beautiful baskets, say, along a road junction but immediately below them 4 foot high stinging nettles! As someone who mentally weeds everywhere I go I find this so painful. Even in the central area of town by the river there are planted troughs - in much need of a lick of paint - looking very sorry for themselves because the surrounding bed has over the years become a walking track and no alternative solution has been devised. Even car parks take on a look of neglect when - ironically- blooms appear that are not planned. I know that the ownership of land is an issue and again wonder how retail stores ignore the fact that their surroundings are part of their brand statement. I do feel for those volunteers because their efforts are not part of an holistic approach to civic pride. That of course could lead me onto another rant - litter - but I will try to contain myself.