Sandy's Garden ... Yield Not To Temptation

Many years ago, when I was young, Sundays could be long and boring.

Monday, 26th April 2021, 8:44 am

I was fortunate for, although we lived in Perth, my mother came from Newburgh in Fife – a whole twelve miles distant – and her siblings still lived there.

Many a Sunday we would catch the bus to Newburgh to spend the afternoon with them.

Attendance at church was expected; and, in truth, not unwelcome, for it helped to fill a day when there was not a lot else on offer.

Falkirk Herald gardening guru Sandy Simpson

Consequently, we had a more than passing knowledge of the words of a great many hymns.

How many 14-year-old boys today could emulate us by completing this verse – “Yield not to temptation” …. “for yielding is sin; / Each vict’ry will help you some other to win; / Fight manfully onward, dark passions subdue; / Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.”

We were all familiar with these words by Horatio Richmond Palmer though none of us attended an evangelical church.

The opening four words ... Yield not to temptation … sprang to mind recently, when I realised that seven days had passed since the garden centres had been allowed to reopen after an easing of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and I had not darkened the doors of a single one.

Oh yes, I had not given in! Then I made the cardinal mistake of looking at the plants on offer outside one of the local supermarkets. The gardening area assistant was unpacking newly-arrived boxes of lavender, lovely, regular plants with lots of buds and only the odd half-opened flower, cool … but not chilled … damp … but not saturated … and positively begging to be bought.

I succumbed to temptation and bought three although, in my own defence, I did know exactly where they were going to go in my garden and, indeed, they had been planted there within 48 hours of their purchase.

I do not, accordingly, accept that this was a true impulse buy, but I did know that I had a suitable space for them untenanted in my garden.

Don’t yield to the temptation to buy plants because the flowers are a lovely colour or because the display board beside them claims that they are an unrepeatable bargain.

I hope you didn’t buy a trolley-load of lovely, tender bedding plants last week and spend one of the magnificent sunny days planting them out with loving care for the night frost to kill them off straight away with deadly malice.

Yes I appreciate the garden centres all had notices warning customers to protect tender plants from frost, but how many customers failed not only to resist the temptation to buy lots of lovely little plants but also failed to heed the warning admonitions?

I went to a local garden centre a few days after my supermarket lavender purchase and actually spent over a hundred pounds – every single penny of it on items on my shopping list.

Yes, of course some items not on my shopping list caught my eye.

jotted down a few possibilities and am in the course of considering whether, and if so, where, any of these plants might properly be accommodated.

It’s simple. Plan ahead. Yield not to impulsive temptation!