FistedAway EXCLUSIVE: With Hull chairman Adam Pearson having placed Phil Brown on gardening leave with nine games left of the season. FistedAway can now bring you exclusive extracts from his garden diary, sourced from his kitchen table via an unlocked back door.
Made a great start today, just call me Phil Brownfingers! Brought in a few new plants early doors in anticipation of the coming season, and what can I say – they have worked a treat. A lot of people who walked past thought that I would struggle early on, that my purchase of that flashy Brazilian plant was doomed to failure. “It’s just not suited to the British climate” they all said. Well Phil Brown has shown them, shown the ruddy lot of them. I’m not one to blow my own trumpet but I think I have the qualities needed for the top gardening job in the country. Presenting Gardener’s World on BBC television. Oh, and I am really quite good at the trumpet.
Results were promising until mid-morning, though things went downhill fairly rapidly after that. People need to remember what I’m working with here. What I’m talking about is Plantae that have been with me since before Monday. They just aren’t used to gardening at this level. What got them and the whole garden through yesterday was guts and spirit and my genius. Also, my guts and my spirit. But that genius can only go so far. I mean, I don’t want people to think this worrying decline has anything to do with me. Phil Brown does all he can for those plants, but they are the ones who have to go out there and photo-synthesize and if they don’t? It’s not my fault. Maybe I should try talking to them? Loudly, in front of the whole street.
Things are really in a bad way. Everywhere I look plants are wilting or not taking at all. When I look back now at the heady heights of Monday I wonder how it has all come to this. I tell the plants to grow, but do they listen? Like heck. I thought that giving them that rollicking in public view might have incentivised them but if anything things have got worse. I even tried bathing them in the artificial sunlight of my face. But to no avail. Several meltings. Finally I decided to use canes and string to hold up the sagging stems. I know Phil Brown thinks that he can really do something with this mix of shrubs and border plants. I just need them to stay up and then maybe my wife will let me carry on this crazy dream of mine.
Let me go home. Let me go ho-o-ome, this is the best trip I’ve ever been on! Success! I went down at the crack of dawn and they stayed up. I can hardly believe it. I serenaded the people at the bus stop for 35 minutes. Buses come every ten minutes but I scared the No. 8 and the No. 23 buses off by shouting angrily and waving a shovel. After a cup of tea I headed for Homebase, time for a little bit of replanting. Admittedly I wanted to go to one of those upmarket Wyevale Garden Centres, but my wife has severely limited my budget. Looks like Phil Brown is going to have to use his trademark charm to bag himself a few bargains. You know how I do.
**Update** Disaster. I returned home and my wife had sold one of my best performing plants to a gardener in Sunderland. It was the bedrock of my limited success up to this point. How does she expect me to achieve anything now? Only one thing cheers me up when I’m this low – so I am off for a candlelit bath…. full of fake tan.
This is NOT a Phil Brown garden. When I look upon its works, ye mighty, I despair; a mixture of dying shrubs, wilting flowers and Craig Fagan sat on a plastic chair…I die a little inside. When I started out I wanted to create a blend of Arsene Wenger’s romantic landscape garden and Tony Pulis’ vegetable patch. But this just looks like Steve Wigley’s old garden in Southampton, and the only thing growing in that was the mould on the sofa he’d dumped in it. Needed a break. Needed a latte.
When I returned from the kitchen I found that my wife had replaced Phil Brown with a “Garden Management Consultant” and henceforth I am to go on football management leave.
Back at the KC Stadium, the horticultural theme continued with the appointment of Tim Flowers and Iain Dowie, who whilst not having a garden-themed name like Tim, does have a desiree potato for a head.