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Sunday, December 5, 2010


Currently, the most noticeable feature in our garden is an empty supermarket trolley.

The children who rammed it into a clump of bamboo beside our front door probably weren’t the ones who stole it. I expect it was passed from group to group several times along the two miles between the shop it came from and its final resting place in our garden (and abandoned and re-bagged and put in ditches and pulled out and ridden in and . . . ).

I wheeled it in through the back gate and phoned the supermarket to say we have it. Someone would come to collect it. Good. No-one has come. Bad. I keep forgetting to remind them. The trolley rusts. I’ve put plants in it when there’s been no-where else to put them and taken them out again. (There are two clumps of rhubarb still there waiting to be re-located). Sometimes I pile pots where toddlers are supposed to sit.

This doesn’t mean it’s useful to have a supermarket trolley in the garden. It isn’t.

When Ming brought the last barrow load of runner bean poles and tools back from the allotment, he was tired and dispirited. It was getting dark and he no longer had the oomph for moving the box for jars out of the way, nor the box for tins, the brown bucket for food waste, nor the huge green wheelie bin in which ‘residual waste’ is collected once a fortnight (our council is keen on recycling) nor the ordinary black dustbin, let alone the supermarket trolley - so everything simply got shoved forward a notch until the trolley arrived smack bang in the middle of the garden. Then it snowed.

The snow’s gone. The wheels of the trolley have sunk over the edge of the path onto the narrow strip in front of the box bushes where I buried bulbs a while back and where seeds are already sown ready for spring. Our garden didn’t look romantic in the snow. I tried taking photos but from wherever I pointed the camera, the un-lovely trolley was in view, harshly shaped and standing out as an angular lump amidst the softer lines of bent leaves.

I’m cross.

I should phone to have it taken away.

I’m daft. I’m writing this instead.


Liz said...


Plant ivy over it? I imagine it'd look stunning with some clematis growing through it too!

ha ha.

Easier than phoning again... maybe... but you have to buy the plants... Mmmmmm.

Mark Willis said...

Not so much daft, Esther, as "Off your trolley" :)
I share your frustration, but I expect the supermarket will never consider it worth the effort of coming by to collect the trolley. Now, if you had TWENTY of them, that would be a diferent matter!

Ali said...

Name your trolley and embrace him. I used to have one called Trevor, when I was young and didn't have a car. We used to wheel him to and from the supermarket once a week, he did so enjoy an outing.

Elephant's Eye said...

Maybe just name the supermarket? Name and shame?

easygardener said...

Solar powered Christmas lights?

Esther Montgomery said...

Hello Liz. One of my favourite gardens to look into while passing has an old car, an old caravan and all sorts of old bits and bobs in the undergrowth - yet with new plants planted there too. Perhaps I should use the trolley as the basis for my own junk-yard garden.

Well done with the pun, Mark. Collecting twenty trolleys wouldn't be that difficult. However, I'm not sure holding them to ransom would work. I might land up holding them for ever instead.

Ali - I have thought of using the trolley for shopping. It is very large and we could stock up for a month if we took it with us. Trouble is, I don't think I'd mind going to the shop with it - but would feel self-conscious walking away with it again!

Diana - unfortunately if the supermarket were likely to be shamed by its name, it would collect the trolleys. They all have it written on them.

Solar powered Christmas lights, Easygardener? Here we launch into the surreal!


joey said...

There are worse things in life ... take a deep breath and hang in there, Toots :)

Ali said...

I agree Esther that if I had a trolley now I would not be able to walk about of the shopping centre with it. Only as a student and a foreigner did I feel comfortable having my own pet trolley!

Anna said...

Maybe it could be turned on its head Esther and used as a frame for a climber. The wretched things should spontaneously combust when moved from the boundaries of supermarkets!

easygardener said...

The solar powered stars are white and not blue (unlike my LED torch which has a feeble blue light). I think they would go well on your trolley :-)

Esther Montgomery said...

Hello Joey. Yes, there are worse things in life than having a supermarket trolley in the middle of a garden. One is finding one's husband has fallen in love with it and wants to keep it!

Ali - if only we could use it for giving children rides in!

Anna - a climber . . . ? It would be rather a lump. Um. Perhaps I'll grow ivy over it and THEN deliver it back to the shop!

Easy Gardener - maybe solar powered lights would be just the thing for the trolley as we wouldn't have to plug them in. I could twinkle my way round the evening streets like a mobile decoration. Some houses round here pretend to be Blackpool theme parks in the numbers of illuminations they use in the weeks running up to Christmas. They even put collecting boxes outside! I wonder if I had a box as I wandered along . . . a bag lady with a difference!

There are new posts on both my blogs today. (December 10th.) I look forward to your comments!


Scattered Gardener said...

Perhaps if you left it out in the road one of your neighbours (or several) would ring the supermarket to complain. More likely to have to do something about collecting it.
I planted up some supermarket shopping baskets with trailing plants a couple of years ago, but a trolley is a bit too big I think:-)