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24 Secrets People Who Work In Garden Centres Will Never Reveal

It's a job we've grown to love.

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1. We know literally nothing about plants.

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In every garden centre there's probably a lone, senior member of staff with, like, a single botanical qualification. The rest of us just enjoy working outdoors and not having to wear a proper uniform.

2. But we do know that there's a difference between ericaceous and potting compost.

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What that difference is, we've no idea. But we can tell you which you need for a very specific list of memorised plants, no problem.

3. It takes superhuman strength to carry a 35L sack of John Innes to someone's car.

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But you might get a 20p tip for your efforts from an old man. So, pros and cons.

4. And while we're on the topic of soil, sweeping it up is a thankless task.

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You just know some kid will knock a geranium over the minute you've swept up your section.

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5. There is no lonelier place on earth than the cut flower counter on Valentine's weekend.

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No, I really like making these beautiful bouquets with lovely stories behind the flower choice. What single person wouldn't like that experience?

6. But the things we can do with cellophane and coloured tissue paper will make you weep.

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And the things we've learnt about curling ribbon around scissors is really quite breathtaking.

7. If you can't find us, we've probably made a den somewhere.

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Look, all those fencing panels and bits of wood just make very good walls for hideouts, OK?

8. There's no fear like scanning and wrapping someone's ceramic water feature.

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Don't drop the cherub, don't drop the cherub.

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9. And we know how important it is that a poinsettia never feels so much as a hint of the chill winter wind.

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More fragile than new-born babies, these things. Left unwrapped, they'll probably die between here and the car.

10. We will judge your plant choices.

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A trailing vine, huh? How unique. How very bohemian your house must look.

11. And we especially judge those of you who buy novelty wells to fill with plants.

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See also; mini wheelbarrow, teeny tiny bicycle, and wooden wagon.

12. We're as confused as you are about when we started selling so much Halloween stuff.

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Yeah, we were fine with just the plants and soil too.

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13. That said, we love getting our stores ready for Christmas.

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Spending a couple of days in the summer pricing all that stock is actually pretty fun, but nothing beats the late November evening when you get to dress all the Christmas trees. Spread those branches up and out to make them look real, guys.

14. We're endlessly frustrated by the fact that a standard carrier bag is just a bit too small for a six-plug pack of bedding plants.

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Look, it's as annoying for me as it is for you.

15. Kids that poke the plants are the worst.

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You wouldn't let them prod the pets in a store and our li'l green friends deserve the same respect.

16. Scrap that. Hungover Sundays spent in the greenhouse are the worst.

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I'm wilting like an over-watered cacti here, guys.

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17. In fact, arranging the seeds in alphabetical order is the best job to do hungover.

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Mr Fothergill and his soothing face make everything better.

18. There is no joy like watering the outdoor plants on a hot summer day.

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Spraying your colleagues with a hosepipe while topping up your tan = worth every penny of this £3.50/hour pay packet.

19. But untangling clematis when you're tasked with tidying up the climbers is a nightmare.

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Just give all the bastards a bit of a trim, it's a lot easier.

20. Customers will always walk away with way more gardening fleece than they requested.

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Look, it's quite hard to hold a metre stick up to a giant roll of fabric that's flapping around in the wind. Cutting it with a blunt pair of scissors from behind the till is a challenge too. If in doubt, just keep unravelling then hack at random.

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21. But if you kill your plants, we can't help you.

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It's not OK to bring back a pot plant back after a month because you've killed it. Especially when it's clearly one from IKEA.

22. In a moment of boredom, we will have definitely picked out a favourite pair of gardening gloves from the display.

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It's time to start worrying when you actually go ahead and buy them.

23. There is a special place in hell reserved for people who leave their shopping trollies at the bottom of the car park.

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In garden centre language, the car park is usually either the size of a field or is, in fact, a field. Rounding up lost trollies that are a 10-minute walk from the store is not the one.

24. But best of all, our friend's parents love us.

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The odd £1 plant run through the till for 10p gets you a long way with the mums and dads.