I have this recurring fantasy – if fantasy it is – that somewhere in the garden is Japanese knot-weed. Look this pernicious plant up on the internet and you’ll see that it gets into the stone walls of houses and can’t be eradicated. Once discovered, £400,000 houses become £40,000 houses overnight. My house has stone walls.
What does Japanese knot-weed look like? It has shield-like leaves. Half the plants in my garden have shield-like leaves. It has creamy coloured flowers. This helps but only if the plant being inspected is in bloom. If it isn’t, should you kill it anyway? As a precaution? Too draconian surely. But if you give it the benefit of the doubt, might it, when the moon is high, creep up to the masonry edge and slip in?
I suspect there is a bigger problem here, bigger even than my obvious paranoia, the problem of the not-quite-sure-what-it-is-but-I’m-deeply-suspicious. I see a lot of it around. It raises questions, no doubt about it: when to strike, when to hold back, when to say, ‘on you go, son, good luck to you.’
I’m still thinking about this one. Should I come up with an answer, I’ll let you know.