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Shrinking Violets

When visitors to the garden centre (with alarming frequency) say things like: "D'yer know what? It's really different is this place." we have to acknowledge that they aren't always referring to the varied and unusual range of stock, the adventurous, sculptural displays, or the creative and stimulating ambience of the site. Sometimes, we suspect, they are talking about us.

It seems, being odd-bods ourselves, Caro and I have (quite unwittingly) recruited a curious ensemble to make up the Greenhills team. This page is an opportunity for you to identify us individually, and appreciate (hopefully) that our philosophy of being 'distinctly different' isn't just a catchy slogan, but more - a way of life.

In Ascending Order of Height (except Dottie)

~ * ~

Elaine: I'm no 'shrinking violet' - more the stray, wild poppy in the flower bed of pansies.
I help creating displays, tending plants and making-up containers for inside and outside, as well as being part-time D.J. in the plant house and serving our wonderful customers.
That little poppy pops up unexpectedly everywhere!

~ * ~

Julie: I am the one who keeps Greenhills looking neat and tidy, so they say. I am very handy with a brush. I love to give the plants a good drink. I am happy to help the customers with their heavy purchases. I am thinking of dying my hair green to match my fingers.
I 'm no shrinking violet, but I am trying.

~ * ~

Carolyn: Caro for short (because at 5' 2'' I am, relatively). I control the purse strings, which means I can wield a sort of pedagogic power. This manifests itself as a general 'poking my nose' into every aspect of the running of the Garden Centre, making my comments and then leaving the others to deal with the fall-out.
I make a lot of tea, because I have a peculiar fixation with the subject of dehydration: I am hoping to overcome this slight foible in my character shortly by enrolling on a first-aid course.
To avoid the tedium of office work, I am often found loitering in the houseplants. I have a vehement dislike of the colour pink, but I like frogs.

~ * ~

Pete: I'm the old man of the team - that's why they make me do all the heavy lifting.
I mow the grass and cut the hedges, and I deliver to your door with a smile. I've been known to set up the odd water feature, and look better than Charlie Dimmock in a T-shirt.

~ * ~

Teresa: Apart from standing at the till (taking money and smiling sweetly), my role is to keep the garden sundries shop stocked. If you want from tools to insecticide, I'm the one to see.
I am great at worrying. This week I'm worrying about 'Bug Gun'. But I did stop smoking last year.

~ * ~

Linda: I'm the cheeky one! I'm relatively new to this gardening lark, but as an ex-designer (and definitely no shrinking violet) I like to think I add an artistic touch to the place.
You'll find me tinkering in the gift shop - soon to be thinking about Christmas. Yes, Christmas. So don't forget to call and see our 'distinctly different' Christmas display.

~ * ~

Sharon: Hello, I'm Sharon, the latest 'violet' to join the team. I can usually be found 'growing' around the shrub area - giving advice and keeping the plants looking in tip-top condition.
Occasionally, I've been sighted as far North as the till area, serving and getting under their feet.

~ * ~

Paul (Charlie): aged only 147, is an 'ancient' oriental Master/Consultant of Feng Shui and Japanese Garden Design. Paul delights in working with the Greenhills team whenever he can.
Being 'distinctly different' himself, he fits in perfectly. Always cheerful, a real joker, always ready to help, to advise and recommend.

~ * ~

Rob (Robertus florus Amorissimus): Enthralled by natural history since childhood I have been lucky enough to have fulfilled my dreams to travel through Africa, Madagascar, Asia, South and Central America, and Australasia - widening my plant knowledge, and escaping outdoor work during the coldest period of the year.
You'll usually find me - Surprise! - amongst the foliage.

~ * ~

Adam: I'm the baby of the Greenhills' Gang and the only genuinely good looking member. I'm no shrinking violet though! If anything, I'm still growing, and in all the right places. I'm easily recognisable due to my dashing looks and great personality, and I'm usually carrying a large, heavy object. Anyway, ya won't get much sense out of me at the moment, because my Auntie Linda says I'm in Lurrrv !
PS If anybody needs to know about fairies, ask my Auntie Linda.

~ * ~

Paul: I'm young, strong and handsome. I have an engaging personality, a ready cheerfulness and a sharp wit. With artistic talents and an extremely high intelligence quotient, I lead my team with charisma.
Some think I'm fantastic. Others? Well they think of me differently.

~ * ~

Dorothy/Dottie/Dot (1988-2000): A great-big-hairy-monster of a dog with a genuine Airedale pedigree, she captured the hearts of customers and staff alike. Dot made a remarkable late-life transition from: strolling out of the back door, chasing rabbits, stalking pigeons and generally worrying any object which showed a potential to be chomped, to that of: riding shotgun to the garden centre each day, inspecting the car park and, with diligence and alacrity, personally investigating the contents of any discarded packaging. During opening hours, whilst cunningly feigning sleep, she conscientiously guarded the till and watched over us all.
Dot lived her life as a true terrier - listening to no one and breaking every rule in the book. She personified being 'distinctly different'.

~ * ~

Well, that's the team so far (all twelve of us). But Shrinking Violets doesn't stop here; family, friends, customers and suppliers alike are exploiting their creative potential and introducing elements of originality and quirkiness into their homes and gardens. Yes, it's contagious. Send us details of how you are being 'distinctly different' and we just might add your name to an ever growing list of strange people.