22 MAY 1941, Page 15

In the Garden

It seems to me that we cannot hammer too much at the serious question of vegetable-prices. The local price for parsnips is fifteen shillings per cwt., the London price twenty-five: i.e., double and treble that of potatoes. In a country-town (multiple stores) indifferent lettuces are, at the moment of writing, still tenpence ; my indifferent tomato-plants are (multiple stores again) double the price of those offered by expert nurseries. What the fantastic figure of 6os. for a dozen bunches of spring onions means, as quoted by the daily papers, I don't now. Are we all the victims of a stunt? Alternatively is there a psychological explanation of a situation in which the public cares little for an article at twopence but is mad to get the same thing at tenpence? For example, it sounds fantastic, in these days of labour-shortage and other difficulties, to hear a customer at a green- grocer's order, by telephone, for delivery, one lettuce. The season has certainly been difficult (two days at least enough to make every gardener weep), but by the time these notes are read my gardener should be gathering his own salads. Meanwhile it is comforting to hear that vegetable-prices are to be the subject of parliamentary