Written by queen mudder
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Thursday, 5 July 2012

image for Arundel Castle head gardener in gong advice to Prince William
Giant invasive thistles are dealt with in July at Arundel

Sussex - An ancient Scottish chivalric order's initiation ceremony got a spooky nudge today from Arundel's head gardener Professor Sir Pomfret Parsnip MBE.

The Castle's chief groundsman is a fabled soothsayers whose knowledge of plant lore is unique and unrivalled - even among royal botanists at the Cinq Ports.

His weekly column gives unsurpassed advice from mulching your brassicas to... nipping things in the bud.

This morning his musings on the culling of invasive species were spookily poignant as royal ceremonial matters unfolded Up North.

At Holyrood Palace the Order of the Thistle's latest acolyte was being inducted into yet another shadowy layer of protocol deceit.

William was poncing around in ostrich plumes and velvet when a ceremony attendant suddenly grabbed his arm.

"Psst, want some ancient whorticultural advice, guvnor?" the Under-Sheriff of Ballybollox whispered sweetly into the Prince's heraldic lughole.

And at a touch of an iPad up sprang Parsnip's gardening column, its stark advice redolent with, er, meaning and, er, stuff:

'If you're bored by thistles, just remember the saying: Cut In June And Cut Too Soon; Cut In July, Tis Sure To Die!'

The new twist on the 'Never Cast A Clout Until May Is Out' adage saw Prince William turn white as a sheet as he stormed off to unhex himself before the gonging ceremony.

Onopordum - the Cotton Thistle, also known as Scottish Thistle - is one hell of a prickly bastard.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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