Saturday, 9 March 2013


I moved a lot of pots of roses today.  Really, that sums up my day in a nutshell, and since we have friends coming around for supper presently, if today's post breaks off in mid-flow for lack of time you won't have missed anything else of substance.

The roses were delivered at some point since I was last at work, and stood in rows at the back of the plant centre, one group of climbing and rambling roses, and another of old-fashioned, shrub, and David Austin varieties.  I didn't count the pots, and the manager didn't leave me a copy of the delivery note, so I don't know how many there were, but there were a lot.  They were in 4L deep pots, and it's a shame it rained for most of yesterday, because the compost was saturated, making the pots significantly heavier than they would have been otherwise.  I don't know how much four litres of wet compost weighs.  I ought to weigh one sometime, in the interests of precise blogging.

The delivery of new roses had to be merged with the existing stock of roses, while leaving spaces for a further delivery which is due shortly.  Over the winter the rose stock we had left was bunched up on the beds so that it didn't look too sparse and meagre, and to make space for other things.  The other things have now been moved to a new home, so as I put the delivery out for sale I had to move of all the existing roses along to make room for the extra ones and occupy the whole length of the bed.  I was thus merging the existing roses, the new roses and leaving gaps for the other new roses, while working backwards down the alphabet, since the empty space was at Z for 'Zephirine Drouhin' and not A for 'Alberic Barbier'.

Shelf stacking in supermarkets is held up as a low skill, derided job.  Graduates take out legal actions arguing that it teaches them nothing.  I have never stacked supermarket shelves myself, but I think that a computer gives you a precise shelf location for every item.  In the plant centre you start with a blank bed, and your own ability to remember the alphabet (backwards) and idea of roughly where each letter of the alphabet came last year.  The latter is helpful because otherwise you will get back to the As and Bs and find you still have four dozen pots to fit in and space for about six.  Then you will spend a very long time budging up all the pots you have just lifted once already.

I didn't quite finish.  By five to five I'd done the climbers and ramblers, but still had shrub rose 'Buttercup' and all the other Bs and As to go.  I am not a completist by nature, and was not going to put in any unpaid overtime for the satisfaction of getting the job finished in one day.  Tomorrow will suffice.  Besides, we have friends coming to supper.

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