Greenfingered Growths with Murdoch Brimley 
by James C. Holland, 3.24am Sept 10th 2021

Hello, my green-fingered friends! Bless my beard it’s a cold ‘un. As I write this my fingers are more blue than green. Serves me right for buying fingerless mittens!


I hope you are preparing for next month’s Wyrmmas when the worms head north for the winter. At this point their eight-year cycle, all the earthworms in Bear Creek seek even colder climes where they “chill out” by hanging from rocks and branches and eventually becoming encased in ice. They are often mistaken for icicles!


So, remember, kids! If you are exploring northwards and decide to have an icicle fight, be careful that the fun of throwing solid shards of ice at each other isn’t interrupted by finding a worm thawing on your face or in the hood of your jacket. It may be alarming for you, but just think how the worm feels at being awaken early from its icy slumber!


Us keen gardeners will miss their presence round these parts. Our worms eat through the soil, breaking down the rotting vegetable and animal matter into a lovely rich loam. I know Mr Tompkins, the grave digger, hates Wyrmmas! It takes that much longer for the newly dug graves to settle!


That’s right. Without them, you may find that your compost takes longer to mulch down. For this
reason, I recommend that you chew your food an extra thirty-two times before you spit it out into the compost bin, at least until April.


I’d also suggest getting out into the garden with a fork, breaking through the frosty topsoil, and having a bit of a chew on what’s underneath. There’s no particular method to this. Just grab up whatever clumps of soil you can, shove them in your mouth, give it a bit of a going over with your humanoid teeth and spit it back into the ground. Then rinse and repeat. (The rinsing is not only good for catching any soil that might have stuck in your teeth, but also give a bit more moisture to the garden.)

 

If you don’t want to do any chewing yourself, you may want to invest in some Vermillionwort. It’s
not a plant that’s native to these parts, but it has wonderful bitey roots that will tear into the soil and give it a good going over.


Vermillionwort does have a tendency to take on the form of any humans that have touched it, so remember to wear nice thick gardening gloves. But if you forget, don’t worry. As long as you smash the tendrils and roots merging into human form within an hour or two, you should be fine.


Failing that, a line of salt along the door jamb should keep any vegetable clones of yourself or your family from entering your home. I recently found a very familiar pair of feet taking shape in my back garden and, needing to nip out to get some Thainwaile rooting powder before the shops shut, the best I could do was put a ring of salt around them until I got back.


You can imagine how humorous a scene it was when I returned home to find a naked adult version of myself made out of vegetable fibre, pacing back and forth within the salt circle as if trapped by invisible forcefield! It did make me chuckle. Although I didn’t realise my belly had gotten that big!


I believe that Mrs Wrought from no. 26 may have stumbled across this very humorous scene as she was cycling home. But don’t worry! I didn’t accidently break the line of salt with my toe in the melee, the plant-creature didn’t escape and I haven’t been replaced! I just called my wife out to have a look and we had a good laugh together before I bludgeoned it to death with a garden hoe (The creature that is, not my wife. Don’t believe everything Mrs Wrought tells you!)


Please get in contact via the Gazette if you would like to purchase any of my homegrown Vermillionwort seeds. Also, if there are any Thainwaile experts out there, is it meant to have this
blue glow?


Happy gardening!


Your (flesh and blood) pal,
Murdoch