As, my dears, one is sure you are all aware – having come from families that can afford to educate you as proper ladies – the world is slowly clawing its way out of the economic abyss into which it was spectacularly thrown by a bunch of upstart lower-class bankers who, never having seen money before, indulged themselves in an orgy of borrowing much like the ill-bred scum monkeys that they are. Ahem, so, carrying on one must learn to cope in these new austere times by being seen to comply with the new propriety. One of the key ways in which one can keep up appearances is to cultivate an Austerity Garden. Due to the expense of flying in one’s vegetables from the colonies in the South of the Americas via private jet – fuel prices these days being nothing short of high-sea robbery – one is now expected to grow one’s own produce in order for one’s private chef to continue with an acceptable Cordon Bleu menu.
However, before you go off like a frog in a sock and order the gardener to begin digging please note: one is expected to contribute to one’s own garden. Do not swoon, dear ladies there are plenty of ways in which to appear to plough one’s own furrow without breaking into a most unladylike bout of sweat – a lady never sweats. The first step is to order some tomes on gardening – have one’s husband’s man fetch some for you and – prior to artfully arranging them on one’s coffee table for all to see – have the maid dirty her hands in the garden and flip through the pages in order to create an air of authenticity with a range of grubby finger marks.
Secondly, order yourself some khaki pantaloons, a bisque coloured blouson and a jade-hued knit with coordinating headscarf. You shall also require a pair of kid-skin gloves – in a pale shade so as to show off the dirt – to prevent oneself from developing a nasty servant-like tanning of the delicate skin on one’s hands. Thirdly, one’s aim is to be seen by the neighbours parading around the yard in one’s outfit with purpose, a trowel clasped firmly in one hand and a watering can in the other. Obviously one will not actually be performing any gardening so it is imperative that one not forget to hire a group of immigrants to toil through the night and actually plant one’s garden with all manner of vegetables and fruits, lest someone begin to question your gardening skills when no vegetables are to be seen.
Now, in the horrifying event that one’s neighbour is displaying greener thumbs than you, we here at the Gazette-ette find that a swift application of weed killer – employed under the cover of darkness – will rapidly bring about your neighbour's demise and catapult you to the forefront of the ‘friendly’ neighbourhood Austerity Garden rivalry. And we won’t be having any of that namby pamby pish posh about having the most ‘green’ household not being a fight to the proverbial death – if it weren’t so, what would there be for the gauche, latte-sipping hoi polloi to boast about whilst shovelling faux-organic gloop into their lardy brats. One would be forgiven for thinking we’d been invaded by the Spanish.
Happy Austerity Gardening my dears!