"Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are."
"My whole life has been spent waiting for an epiphany, a manifestation of God's presence, the kind of transcendent magical experience that lets you see your place in the big picture.
And that is what I had with my first compost heap."
Spring has reached the stage where it means business in my garden. I thought I'd spend this week documenting the long anticipated unfurling of petals and leaves. Don't you love the dunce's cap on the Californian poppies?
Seen here is my first stumbling effort at plant propagation, a bit of honey in a jam jar for a short time and then bam! straight into the crumbly compost, I know, I know, I'm supposed to have some fancy schmancy soil + sand + eye of newt collected betwixt the waxing and waning moons but I didn't have any on hand and, well, this just seemed like a good idea. We shall see if roots eventuate.
Regardless of the outcome, this was my second hallelujah moment, a la Bette Midler, (see the far left column), forget the compost, now we're talking free plants! No, make that FREE PLANTS!!! For someone who spends the average yearly income of a Nepalese beartracker* on plants a month, this was truly an exciting moment. The icing on the cake is that the plants were procured from a nasty man who never walks his dogs. I broke off some bits that were protuding on the footpath figuring that if I cannot liberate the dogs, at least I can liberate the buddleia. Will keep you posted on the outcome. x
* Am not acutally sure what the average yearly income of a Nepalese beartracker would be, or indeed, if there is any such thing as a Nepalese beartracker. If you are a Nepalese beartracker and are reading this, my humble apologies.
This is not a picture of the fifth hakea I have murdered in my garden. The hakea in question has taken up residence in my compost heap, a carbonised shell of its former self. Am now officially banning myself from fraternising with any member of the genus. I imagine this will be welcome news to all the hakeas sitting on garden nursery shelves in the Canberra region who have taken to hiding amongst the wisteria when they see me coming. Not that I'm swearing off the proteaceae family all together, the above is a splendid Leucospermum cordifolium x glabrum specimen that is, at least the last time I looked, still alive. Fingers crossed that it remains that way.
I inherited this magnolia with the house and what a sad and sorry little specimen it was. I think last year there were three flowers in total and even these were only very distant cousins to what one would like to see on a magnolia. Shortly after this dismal attempt at flowering, my mother, La Grande Dame of my Personal Horticultural Circle, took to it with a pair of loppers and a sharp little saw, completely beating it into submission and what I thought would be an early grave. For a number of months I averted my eyes in a guilty fashion until one morning I happened to notice the swell of buds on the end of a branch. Big, juicy buds that made my heart go pitter pat. Fast forward to now and we are inundated with magnificent flowers at the beginning of their bloom.
Thus I have learnt valuable horticultural lesson no. 1: If all else fails go at it hammer and tongs with something sharp and watch it change its tune.
After yesterday's Jack and the Beanstalk affair, I am approaching seed planting in the manner of a stealth bomber. When the small person is otherwise occupied, I have been swooping with my Russell Lupin seeds collected from last year's plants and depositing them in little unmarked graves in the hopes that they will not be disinterred by canines or offspring for scientific purposes.
Scabiosa, a most unfortunate name for a perfectly pleasant plant. We've just been scattering seeds with wanton abandon in the hopes of great drifts of flowers in the late spring. Juding by the way the 2 year old upturned a hundred or so in the one spot, we may only get one towering plant à la Jack in the Beanstalk and I'll wake up one morning to find her shinning her way up the trunk. As long as she comes back down with the pot of gold, that's fine with me!
When we moved from Sydney to Canberra I brought with us my modest collection of succulents. Nurtured and cajoled from babyhood, they were the embodiment of my first ever gardening efforts and I valued them accordingly. Once settled in our new house I placed them in what I hoped would appear to be artfully haphazard and unpremeditated vignettes in the sunshine along the verandah.
I remember it was sometime in early July when we awoke to our first experience of a frosty morning. We spent the next hour in the garden gawping at the beauties frost had bequeathed on various plantings until we reached the verandah and I noticed my Aeonium arboreum leaning on a drunken angle in a pulpy state of undress. Letting out a screech of distress I raced from one succulent to another only to find them all in a similar state. All that is, except this Sedeveria which I now suspect would survive and thrive in a nuclear fall-out without blinking a metaphorical eyelid.
You'll be happy to know that my new collection of succulents are living the life of Riley on the window sill for the winter, patiently waiting out the many nights of the long knives for the return to spring and verandah vignettes.