Hints & Tips
This season of the year, when the garden calls and it’s time to get out and put your back into it (or get into it and put your back out) it is easy to think of all those garden chores as deeply unglamorous. However, over the years, lawn mowers, hedge-trimmers, chainsaws and so on have made the big time over and over again, to the delight at everyone at MowDirect. What about Lawn Mower Man for example? OK he turned out to be a psychopathic monster bent on death, destruction and world domination but my goodness he could produce a lovely finish on a long stretch of grass. So, in honour of unsung garden machinery stars everywhere, here are our top 5 gardening moments from the movies
1. Edward Scissorhands – Top Topiary
Who can forget the hedge-trimming scene? Directed by Tim Burton, starring Johnny Depp, this film does for topiary what Flashdance did for spot welding. At a loss for things to do with his pointy digits, our Edward suddenly realises his fingers can do more than accidentally stab people and puncture rubber dinghies and has a go at Dianne Wiest’s box-hedge, standing on the lawn decked in black leather with tousled hair, looking for all the world like the lost son of the Cure’s Robert Smith and Siouxie Sioux. Topiary like this isn’t easy without powered hedgetrimmers, but Edward manages to snip the privet into some pretty impressive shapes. A surprising and delightful film, it is notorious as being one of the few Burton moves not to feature Helena Bonham Carter playing someone utterly bonkers.
2. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – Pink Snow
Yes, you read that right. Everyone always says never eat yellow snow, but pink snow is just as bad. Strictly speaking it’s not gardening, and we are definitely out of season, it but involves a MowDirect staple which, for my purposes, works just fine. I remember watching this film, with its gruesome snow blower death scene, when I was at school. I loved it.
This film has a classic Bond villain death scene. Ernst Blofeld (Telly Savalas) and his squad of machine-gun toting disposable bad guys, who couldn’t hit a barn door on a clear day, are chasing Bond (George Lazenby in his only 007 outing) across the snow of the Swiss Alps, and one of them ski-jumps directly into a huge industrial strength snow blower. A few screams and churning noises later, out flies a stream of pink snow. This falls neatly into the ‘don’t try this at home’ category because…
1) If you are out ski-ing, you should look where you are going and try not to fall foul of international spies who always shoot and ski better than you, even on one leg an…
2) If you are out snow-blowing, you must try not to let a low flying alpine villain fall into your impeller.
This death is followed by one of Bond’s casually brutal quips “He had a lot of guts”. Yeuch
3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – Tending Mandrakes
Well, for a start, he’s called Harry Potter. As if that isn’t enough, one of the scenes in the Chamber of Secrets has J.K. Rowling’s bespectacled hero tending one of these weird living plants as instructed by Professor Sprout. Mandrakes, in the movie and book, can be made into a potion to cure those unfortunate enough to have been petrified by staring into the eyes of a basilisk. To be honest, basilisks aren’t such a problem in town where I live, we’re more prone to whitefly, squirrels and Traffic Wardens, but tending pots is tending pots and I swear by my WOLF-Garten hand tools when I go grubbing around in the window box. Still, just in case you do ever find yourself trying to cultivate a mandrake, wear some ear defenders – they scream like Robert Plant on a bad day.
4. Honey I Shrunk the Kids – Big Scary Lawn Mower
You know the film, yes you do, you watched it with your kids and quite enjoyed it but won’t admit it down the pub. Anyway, diminutive ,speccy inventor Rick Moranis develops a ray that drastically shrinks things (he borrowed it soon after and used it on his career). Somehow, his kids accidentally get shrunk to the size of tiny dolls. Rather than look at the benefits this would bring – reduced food bills, cheap clothing taken from Star Wars figures, automatic casting in Borrowers movies – he attempts to turn them back to the right size. Along the way, they end up in the garden and, when one of their friends comes to mow the lawn, they are suddenly in grave danger. It’s not often lawn mowers turn into villains in the movies but this one swishes through the greenery like a petrol-powered Jaws, threatening to turn the minimised children into sashimi. They try to hide in a wormhole but are sucked out by the rotary action. They do survive, in order to make it as far as the inevitable sequels – “Honey I Blew Up The Kids”, “Honey I Lost The Kids In Tesco” and Honey There’s A Man From Social Services at The Door”.
5. Texas Chainsaw Massacre – A Cut Above
To be honest, it could be any of them, couldn’t it? Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 3 D, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Musical! (I made that one up). Someone waves a chainsaw around in all of them, it’s kind of a given. But the iconic scene for me (if that’s not too highfalutin a term for a film where a man wears a mask made of- well we won’t go into that) is LeatherFace chasing Sally as she escapes in the flatbed truck, failing to catch it and swinging the saw around, brandishing it in a gladiatorial and frustrated way, above his head. This is another ‘don’t try this at home’ moment – those things are heavy and dangerous and it’s no coincidence he is covering his face and has a dodgy haircut. Wear a helmet Mr Face.
Well, that’s my list, such as it is. Anyone got any more? If so, pop them on our Facebook page. See Ya! Holly