In the early 1970’s, every evening at about 6pm my siblings and me would hear the words “It’s time for bed!” It was an authoritative almost regimental order barked from a head perched on a spring loaded torso.
To clarify, neither of our parents were the source of this command. I can honestly say I’ve never seen either of them relying on spring power to aid their mobility around the house. Or indeed outside!…. My mum could be highly strung at times when we were kids, but not highly sprung!
No, the perpetrator of this order was a puppet jack-in-the-box called Zebedee. In the 1960’s/70’s children’s TV show The Magic Roundabout, he brought each episode to a close with his cajoling catchphrase.
Even though he wasn’t the parent or guardian of any of the other characters, the reverence he was held in meant that his was a command that they obeyed.
Delivered in a style of “Ok kids, you’ve had enough excitement for one day. Now get to bed so Dylan and me can watch Kojak!”, the self styled leader of the bunch commanded great influencing skills over his none sprung friends.
Incidentally, Dylan was a puppet rabbit who adults proffered seemed under the influence of soft drugs. As kids we were oblivious to this, however I recall causing parental discomfort when I raised the question “Dad, what did Dylan need to go to a place called The Betty Ford clinic for?!” during the episode the stoned rabbit was written out.
I thought of the phrase “It’s time for bed!” as I looked outside at my back garden earlier this morning. A metaphor for the commencement of autumnal plant and shrub demise.
Although still displaying a cornucopia of colour, the plant sources of this aesthetic beauty have clearly embarked on their journey of decline. The start of autumn signalled by the onset of deciduous leaf colour changes and the commencement of perennial plant hibernation.
The perennials will mostly spend winter below ground hiding from the frosts above, the long dark nights and family’s bickering about whether they should watch X-Factor or Strictly Come Dancing.
They will bide their time until spring of a different type to Zebedee’s makes it’s 2017 appearance. In their sanctuary of soil, the aquilegia are holding Christmas dinner this year.
The euphorbia will not be joining the clematis, poppies and ‘Forget Me Nots’ after last years drunken pass at the sedum! Tinkering with nature is frowned upon heavily in the chambers of mud beneath my garden borders.
It will have to stay home sipping on a glass of stout or a snowball watching Home Alone 2 and snacking on Twiglets. I don’t ordinarily approve of disharmony and marginalisation of plants like that, however in the case of the euphorbia his ostracisation is warranted.
The diminishing colour and foliage that adds charm, elegance and a relaxing ambience dans mon jardin will be sorely missed by Karen and I. Between March and August this small plot of land provides immeasurable calming and other beneficial qualities.
Nature is a wonderful thing, apart from flatulence which unfortunately sticks around throughout the year, not unlike the leaves on the pyracantha bush in the opposite border.
Anyway, I needn’t rue the dwindling looks of my garden just yet. It’s loss of colour has only just started. It’ll be a few more weeks before it loses its therapeutical qualities.
In the meantime, it’s time for bed!…… Boing