Remember Green Card, starring Andie MacDowell and Gérard Depardieu?
I never had the luxury of a garden. I grew up surrounded by concrete, first in east London and then in Lagos, Nigeria. My cousins had cultivated a mini fruit orchard in their garden: a guava tree, plus tamarind, agbalumo and soursop. I learned to suck the sweet nectar out of the red hibiscus flowers that lined their drive. But I didn’t grow up green-fingered. Not even a houseplant, and only sometimes cut flowers. With no evidence either way, I believed myself to be black-thumbed. But that was before I moved into my first solo flat in Hackney and inherited an unkillable devil’s ivy plant. I started listening to Gardeners’ Question Time on Radio 4. I attended the Chelsea flower show. I learned how to prune. Well, I snipped a lot and hoped for the best. Reader, I loved that plant. For more than four years, we nurtured one another.
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