“You can say, ‘What do you think of that for a geranium?’” said Celia. “Anyhow,” she added, “you’ve got to take me to the Flower Show now.”
“Of course I will. It is not only a pleasure, but a duty. As gardeners we must keep up with floricultural progress. Even though we start with pink geraniums now, we may have—er—calceolarias next year. Rotation of crops and—what not.”
Accordingly we made our way in the afternoon to the Show.
“I think we’re a little over-dressed,” I said as we paid our shillings. “We ought to look as if we’d just run up from our little window-box in the country and were going back by the last train. I should be in gaiters, really.”
“Our little window-box is not in the country,” objected Celia. “It’s what you might call a pied de terre in town. French joke,” she added kindly. “Much more difficult than the ordinary sort.”
“Don’t forget it; we can always use it again on visitors. Now what shall we look at first?”
“The flowers first; then the tea.”
I had bought a catalogue and was scanning it rapidly.
“We don’t want flowers,” I said. “Our window-box—our garden is already full. It may be that James, the head boxer, has overdone the pink geraniums this year, but there it is. We can sack him and promote Thomas, but the mischief is done. Luckily there are other things we want. What about a dove-cot? I should like to see doves cooing round our geraniums.”
“Aren’t dove-cots very big for a window-box?”
“We could get a small one—for small doves. Do you have to buy the doves too, or do they just come? I never know. Or there,” I broke off suddenly; “my dear, that’s just the thing.” And I pointed with my stick.
“We have seven clocks already,” said Celia.
“But a sun-dial! How romantic. Particularly as only two of the clocks go. Celia, if you’d let me have a sun-dial in my window-box, I would meet you by it alone sometimes.”
“It sounds lovely,” she said doubtfully.
“You do want to make this window-box a success, don’t you?” I asked as we wandered on. “Well, then, help me to buy something for it. I don’t suggest one of those,” and I pointed to a summer-house, “or even a weather-cock; but we must do something now we’re here. For instance, what about one of these patent extension ladders, in case the geraniums grow very tall and you want to climb up and smell them? Or would you rather have some mushroom spawn? I would get up early and pick the mushrooms for breakfast. What do you think?”
“I think it’s too hot for anything, and I must sit down. Is this seat an exhibit or is it meant for sitting on?”
“It’s an exhibit, but we might easily want to buy one some day, when our window-box gets bigger. Let’s try it.”
It was so hot that I think, if the man in charge of the Rustic Bench Section had tried to move us on, we should have bought the seat at once. But nobody bothered us. Indeed it was quite obvious that the news that we owned a large window-box had not yet got about.