Mystic Phil Sees into the Future

Cross my palm with silver and I will gaze into my crystals balls (oh stop it matron) and predict what will be happening in the future. Really, I will.

And that’s because gardening is based on looking ahead, planning and predicting the future.

digital greenhouse thermometerAll of this Mystic Phil stuff cropped up when I fitted a new thermostat to my greenhouse heater. I plugged it in and sat back. Then thought about it. I set the temperature for the heater to click into action at 2C. It’s all my plants need at the moment - a few spiky cacti that won’t take the frost and some show auriculas that will, but as they are with the cacti they can be spoiled a little. But, and it’s a big but, as the temperature falls, reaching 2C will the heater be quick enough to maintain that temperature or will in fact, the temperature drop below freezing before the heaters effects have any, well, effect? You see my quandary? Set the thermostat at 4C and chances are all will be OK. That’s forward planning. I see the future.

seed traysSame thing goes with seeds. I know now, in mid-autumn when spring still seems an eternity away, I will cram too many seeds into too small a space. I see this. I know this. But sadly, I can’t do anything about this, other than squeeze in another greenhouse and take over next door’s garden. As with all good time travel themes, you shouldn’t be able to change what is going to happen. Or is that when you travel back in time? Oh, I don’t know. I still can’t get my head around time differences between countries to be honest.


hosepipe fountainAs I sit in my shed and still have my Mystic Phil headscarf firmly on and a lot of scented candles burning perilously close to the bottom of the tins, you can ask ‘what does the future hold?’ I see swirling in my crystal balls (we’ve done that ‘titter ye not’ inference already) gardeners scratching their heads, plants wilting under a scorching sun. I see golf courses of verdant green and car washes frantically working their queues. Yep, water companies are already intimating that hosepipe bans may have to be in force next year. A dry autumn or something is being blamed. And, of course, it’s us gardeners that get ‘punished’ whilst gleaming cars purr up the driveways of lush golf courses. Water butts at the ready then. And begonias don’t need lots of irrigation. I’ve always liked begonias.

cardboard‘Oh, Mystic Phil, what does the future have in store for the environment?’

Well oh crosser of my palm with silver, funny you should ask for I can see vast sheets of plastic fading away, everyone ripping up GLG cardboard boxes (not in rage or anything silly like that - just to make better compost) and wobbling flocks of obese flightless birds - if the pigeons don’t stop scoffing all the bird food I put out for the robins, blue tits and wrens. And sparrows. They don’t get look in.

allotment sign‘But Mystic Phil, can you see anything about relaxing in the garden?’

Good question, because I can see deckchairs in front of a tiny shed but wait… they are empty, they are flapping in the breeze and, I see, wait, the image is becoming clearer… allotments. I see people busying themselves and having top quality family fun on allotments and all out of range of a mobile phone signal. I actually see people talking to each other. Yes, I see us all taking an allotment as the sign on the gate of our local site is advertising vacancies. I see arguments with the rest of the family who are saying ‘but you haven't got enough time to do the garden as it is. How on earth can you manage an allotment?’. But it’s an allotment! An allotment. And everything an allotment brings.

Great anticipation as I fill in the form:

Name: Mystic Phil

Address: The Future.

I’ll keep you posted on developments.