Sunday, 11 July 2010


With only a week to go before the launch of the Boat For My Potplants, it's not only the controversy surrounding whether or not I should wear my new Captain's hat that rages on.

No indeed, there's a new eruption that's affected the Watson household, with 'erindoors declaring that she won't be setting foot on deck if I decide to go ahead with my plans that were casually brought up in conversation last night.

And I'm not talking about the Eyjafjallajökull eruption either.

I thought it was perfectly reasonable, now that I have ordered made-to-measure planters from Barry of Saffron Walden, that I should become concerned about the practicalities of daily plant-watering, and that my solution would be to use artificial plants - which are really quite life-like these days.

Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather. The room went deathly quiet. The atmosphere could have been cut with a knife.

"Artificial plants!!??!!", my wife shouted. "Yes, it's a great idea, and it would save having to carry water to the boat every day", I reasoned. But maybe I'm wrong. I'm so confused.

Who is right? Artificial or Real? You decide. I'll democratically go with popular opinion. Please advise your vote.


  1. Wing Commander12 July 2010 at 06:02

    Neil - They have to be real - Oooh! I am surprised at you Neil - what about rigging up one of those watering systems on board?

  2. Real, no arguments - the man with the black tubes can advise how...bon voyage, Neil! J&B

  3. Do you think I've been following this blog for months for you to use artificial plants? Have you seen how they look after being left out in the weather for a few months? Your boat will resemble a neglected shrine to a boat enthusiast who i now residing with Davy Jones. I'm sure that with your powers of persuasion you could find someone at the Yacht Club to water them for you if you can't be bothered. I sympathise with Jayne - someone asks her about the boat and she has to reply "Oh yes it's the complete eyesore in front of the club" - the shame! Neil, I'm sure you know in your heart the correct path to follow! Deb x

  4. You have split our household with this difficult philosophical problem. Wife insists on REAL, otherwise, she says it destroys the raison d'etre of the project, and the whole 'Boat For My Potplants' project is compromised. I say ARTIFICIAL. You can make some really pretty ones out of plasticine and bits of wire. They don't need watering, no one will want to steal them and they will blend perfectly with the boat's B&Q aesthetic appeal. J&J xx

  5. Perhaps a delicate mix of both

  6. Go for artificial.

    Assuming of course you want it to resemble the look of my local station with its ghastly fake hanging baskets (still, they do provide unseasonal colour in the winter...).

    n&g 2p

  7. There are many practical ways of ensuring that plants are watered in your absence: an easy method is to fill a jerry can (secreted in some inconspicuous place) with water, and run a length of hose fitted with a tap into the planter. Adjust the flow to provide water at a controlled rate. Water retention gel added to the planting medium will help even more. One larger container will retain water better than several small ones. Choose plants carefully: succulents will survive better than conventional English summer bedding plants, and need less water. Many have attractive flowers and leaves.

    good luck!

  8. Definitely Anonymous: I think it's best.13 July 2010 at 15:32

    My suggestion is that, if you go with artificial ones, they should make no pretence of looking real and should be really horrible, plastic ones.
    It's important to stand up to one's wife both for reasons of self-esteem and to remind them of who's in charge.

    Alternatively, go with really nice artificial ones that look just like real ones, pretend that they are real and hope for the best. Of
    course, you'll have to get artificial dead ones for the winter season.

    Alternatively alternatively, you could get real ones and pay someone to look after them for you. Tell the wife you're going out to water
    the flowers but hide in your shed (I assume you have a shed) and do something useful like reading Private Eye. You should be able to hire
    a Pole for just a few zlotys a week. You could even rent out the boat to them as living accommodation and get them to water the flowers in part payment of rent. Why not get them to plant vegetables and fruit such as gooseberries as well?