Yesterday I explored the wonderful world of Swansons Nursery. It’s gardeners’ heaven, full of strolling people of a certain age who mostly are clearly not worried about having to work for a living. It smells like heaven, too. Flowers. And herbs. And cane fencing material. And pots. And dirt–lots and lots of lovely dirt. And a cafe full of farinaceous objects in an enormous greenhouse, complete with koi pond.

The menu isn’t the kind of thing I’m used to anymore–mostly bread and dairy-based lifeforms. So I studied the menu intently.

I ended up with ginger and carrot soup and a salad. But sadly I forgot to order the chicken on top (so I ate some of Kelley’s Thai chicken croissant, without the croissant, and when I got home I had to scoff a pile of macadamia nuts, a couple of slices of ham, and then some more nuts). But it looked pretty. I didn’t eat the bread.

After a long, lazy lunch accompanied by the burble of water and swish and hiss of jungle foliage we gazed mindlessly at the fish for a while. They seemed to derive unholy delight from swimming under and over the pipes.

Fish aren’t really my people, but yesterday I loved watching the light play on their brightly coloured and tightly muscled bodies. It was deliciously sunny, and Kelley and I wandered about happily pointing out things we thought might work for our planned container garden extravaganza.

Kelley knows nothing of gardening. I know, well, also nothing. But I questioned the floor people closely. This year, as well as the perbs, I want to grow flowers. So I trailed about after various experts who waved their arms at petunia and impatiens, marigold and snapdragons, and a host of other things I can’t remember the names of. One of the gems passed along by one of the salespeople was that for a great container garden you need thrillers, plants that spike upwards dramatically, fillers, those that take up busy space, and spillers, that grow down in ropes and tendrils. We took lots of pictures (that is, Kelley did–all the pix here today are hers) so we could go home and measure and think. And, seeing as we knew we needed some more herbs, and some of that lovely dirt, we loaded up a cart with swag.

As we were helped by an endless succession of kind salespeople, then were smiled at by customers who found our blithe ignorance charming and just so gosh-darned cute, I realised how unguarded people are when surrounded by beauty and peace and those who appear to share their hobby. I had a very Aud-like thought: What a perfect place to run a con…

Then, very un-Audlike, I immediately started to worry on behalf of all these well-to-do, well-meaning, aren’t-we-all-just-lovely Nice People who were, obviously, about to be horribly abused by some unscrupulous con artist. Then I went home and wore out ever muscle in my body potting herbs and dragging things about, and came to my senses.