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Tuesday, 29 September 2009

From me to you to Mexico...

Oh dear, I’m in a highly obnoxious mood and I've just drained ten cups of coffee. I’m afraid I really can’t vouch for the quality of this post so perhaps we should begin with an apology: sorry. To be honest, given the Latino theme, you should just be grateful that I didn’t start off with an “hola” or perhaps an equally cliché “olé”.

Back to the point. I’ve been planning to write something about other people’s gardens for a while, and now I’ve started, I’m finding that the strongest offerings are all coming straight out of Mexico.

I’m slowly becoming my friends' “gardening friend”. People talk to their mothers about me. Although, I think that may be part of a wider attempt to drag them kicking and screaming into the brave new digital era. In my head the conversations go a little like this: “come on Mum, turn off Radio 4, don’t worry, it’ll still be there when you come back. That’s right, now turn on the computer… yep, the big ‘on’ button. No, no, don’t worry there’s far less hardcore porn and inappropriate imagery than the Daily Mail would have you believe. Come on now Mum, if you do it, you’ll get to read Rachel’s blog. You know Rachel, my gardening friend.”

Although this has all come slightly out of the blue, there are a lot worse things to have your name associated with and the up side is I get invited into other people’s gardening spaces. It turns out this is a surprisingly personal space, I’m starting to realise that the way people garden is often fairly representative of who they are.

Let’s start with Mr Mundo, my favourite person in all of Mexico. He’s always been surprisingly supportive of my gardening writing. I’m not suggesting that it’s surprising that he’s been supportive, I just didn’t realise that he had any interest in gardening. Then a couple of months ago he started talking about his own Mexican medley of a garden. I’m not entirely sure if I had anything to do with it, but can we just pretend I did? Mundo’s Mexican Medley makes me jealous. It makes me want to leave London behind and spend the rest of forever chasing the sun. He started with a coconut palm, followed by rosemary and sage all grown in old peach tins bought for 3 pesos from his local bakery. He’s also been busy growing fruit that tastes like “sour mud”… I'm not entirely sure why.

Then, of course, there’s Bella and the legal eagles who are all busy getting Chilli in the City. The lovely Bella and her lovely flatmate clearly thought Mother Nature could do with a bit of accessorising and have added a pair of Anne Klein’s to the mix… I’ve come to expect nothing less from these ladies.

They’re not alone though, apparently the whole legal team has formed a kind of chilli growers’ support network. I suppose one added benefit is that they could be offered as an antidote to work. Someone could stand at the lifts handing out chillies as people leave. Red for a bad day, green for a ‘gouge your own eyes out’ kind of a day... the eye-watering burning sensation might just take some of the pain away. Then again, maybe not.

Oddly enough, last week I met a friend who’s just got back from Mexico. She came home, promptly got fed up with London, ran straight to Wahaca for some solace and remerged with two packets of Serrano chilli seeds that she thought would be just perfect for Rachel, her gardening friend. I’m gonna get me some of my very own chilli in the city...

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