Perspective: Double D-light

By John Adams IN Chambers Dictionary, Brassica (the turnip and cabbage genus of Cruciferae) is immediately following by brassiere (or bra for short). Other than that, you would not have thought that the two have anything else to connect them. But you are

By John Adams

IN Chambers Dictionary, Brassica (the turnip and cabbage genus of Cruciferae) is immediately following by brassiere (or bra for short).

Other than that, you would not have thought that the two have anything else to connect them.

But you are wrong - if you accept a suggestion from the highly respectable Royal Horticultural Society which came out this week with what some may consider to be a rather fantastic idea.


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The nursery rhyme asked: "Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow, With silver bells, cockle shells and pretty maids all in a row?"

The RHS has suggested that an old bra could be used as a sort of pot plant receptacle. The mind boggles at the thought of those festooning the garden.

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But a society spokesman said, in all seriousness: "Due to their conical shape, bras are ideal containers for turning into hanging baskets, and if you sew two together you have what is best described as a 'hanging bra-sket'." I'm so glad she got that pun off her chest.

Gushing with enthusiasm, she continued: "Once filled with compost you can grow salad leaves, herbs, alpine strawberries and even tumbling cherry tomatoes in them."

And she added, helpfully but obviously: "The bigger the bra the more you can grow."

In a small trial of bras donated by RHS staff, the leading gardening charity says it discovered that the non-padded, bigger cupped sizes were the best for growing in.

The spokesman said: "The serious message behind the 'bra-skets' is that you do not need a lot of space or even a lot of money to start growing your own food - just a bit of imagination."

Perhaps the imagination could go wild - like an untended garden - at the RHS's public call for the donation of not only clean bras but also boxer shorts and jockey pants to its fruity summer Grow Your Own campaign. It has a special collection box at the Chelsea Flower Show this week. I wonder if the Queen and Prince Charles made donations when they were there on Monday.

The RHS informs us: "To date the charity hasn't had the opportunity to test out men's underwear but it is hoped that with some tidy sewing, they too can be turned into a container that will sport more than just radishes."

Please keep any suggestions or jokes to yourself.

Sunshine and lots of it is needed to mature fruit growing in gardens and I have a feeling in my bones that we are heading for a lovely hot summer. It's about time we had one.

I thought this way back in the late winter when the weather was wet and cold. Now even some forecasters are going along with me and predicting that we will have a scorching summer.

But we are a nation of doubting Thomases. According to research by a leading holiday company, 57 per cent of people in the East of England don't believe it will be a great summer and zero per cent have total faith in our weather forecasters.

Michael Fish (of hurricane? There'll be no hurricane fame) has a lot to answer for.

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