While looking through a 1960’s gardening book the other week I noticed that the chap who wrote it was photographed doing all the jobs in a lovely shirt & tie combo and sharply creased trousers. How the hell did he manage to work in all that get up?
When I was at the council there was a guy there who everybody knew as “Mr Clean”. He would always have on a crisp white shirt with a purple westminster council tie underneath his pristine council issue coach-drivers type jacket (which he’d get dry cleaned every few months!) There was a method behind his madness as when it came to working his excuse was that he couldn’t as he didn’t want to get his clothes dirty. It paid off as I never ever seen him do any. He was an expert with his custom made long-handled litter picker and could reach deep into bushes and shrubs to pick up coke cans/weeds without actually stepping on the soil, brilliant! I doubt if that sort of thing could happen today. Nice one Mr Clean!
Funnily enough last Thursday I chatted to another council gardener who was dressed unworkmanlike as well, in a lovely pink Lacoste polo shirt with the collars turned up (that isn’t going to get too dirty is it?). After watching him pull out summer bedding and perennials I asked him did they dump them like they used to do in my day at the council. I was pleased to hear they didn’t but composted all the bedding and gave away perennials including ornamental foliage plants to schools and charities. The usual practice years ago was to pull up the plants and spring bulbs and put them in brown sacks and give them to the binmen to take away but we’d give them out to keen gardeners we tipped off the day before while the gaffer weren’t looking. Waste not want not and all that!