Being a grass


In the 70s, aside from wearing outrageously flared jeans and growing your hair longer than your mother, there was a massive desire to display Pampas grass in one’s front garden.

In all innocence, wanna-be Percy Throwers would go to their local garden centre (or, more likely, florist, as this was the 70s) to buy up flora from the south American mountainside.

Unbeknownst to these amateur horticulturalists, having Pampas grass in your front garden advertised houses where swingers’ parties might take place.

In the 70s, I lived in a fourth-floor flat and as such had no Pampas grass our window box – no bad thing, as this might have attracted abseiling swingers – although, they’d have been given a suitable welcome by my mum, but warned about not taking off their safety helmets.

Not everyone had Pampas grass in their front gardens. Which begs the question, what might other floral displays have secretly indicated?  What did a pot of begonias hide?  The housewife inside had an even better display of begonias? Was a front garden full of poppies indicating the house was actually a clandestine crack den?  Anyone designing some massive phallus out of a privet hedge clearly saw no need for Pampas grass.

Pampas grass would always remain outside due to the leaves being particularly sharp. Anyone not knowing that could bleed to death before throwing their car keys into an old ashtray advertising Kensitas.  Always a dampener at any party, a guest bleeding to death (especially if you’ve just hoovered), unless the paramedics, who arrive, enjoy dressing up in a uniform and can throw a set of ambulance keys into an ashtray at short range.

I now live in a house but whilst I have no Pampas grass growing outside, I do have a barbed wire fence which sends the message: thank you, but my drive doesn’t need re-surfacing.

Next week we’ll be discussing people who grew Pampas grass in their back garden.

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