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Sunday, January 22, 2012

gardening 103


You will have to excuse yet another post about gardening. I'm afraid aimless pottering outdoors is pretty much all we have to do around here... it looks like we may come to like it. It’s actually not that hard in such a minute garden; besides, the results are very noticeable.

Yesterday we finally relocated a cycad to the garden. It was a birthday or Christmas present from my sister and my brother-in-law ages ago. The poor thing was still encased within the black bag that it had germinated in; when we slit the side open with a handy Victorinox we found a Gordian knot of eager roots serviced by a negligible amount of soil. May it now flourish in its spacious, quiet spot under the protective watch of Maud, Mauve and Matilda - the jacaranda triplets.


After the cycad had been put to bed we tried to dislodge Rock from his Costa Concordia perch in the middle of the back yard...

... you see, on Tuesday I had a rare lucid moment and decided I wanted us to create a rocky succulent patch in a little barren section of the garden. Nothing seemed to want to live there much. During the week The One diligently prepared the bed, removing the straggling plants that were determined to survive. The garden soil is extremely rocky and we’ve been digging out decent-sized chunks all the way. I suppose all the rocks must’ve triggered some forgotten memory about a rockery...


... Rock, however, weighs more than The One and I and all seven of our pets combined. That is Seriously Heavy. After a few futile grunts, dizziness took hold and we abandoned the entire idea. Without the use of dynamite or some form of mechanical force I cannot imagine that bloody thing ever budging.


How many times in your life do you suppose you get the opportunity to say: “If only we knew someone with a tame elephant...”?

Anyway, by chance we unearthed Rock Jr from The One’s impromptu compost heap where the magic mushrooms grow. Personally I think they look more like deadly 'shrooms than magic ones. Perhaps we’ve an evil breed of faeries in the garden. Well, as long as they have their trusty faerie dust and some green fingers, they can stay.


Now, even though he must weigh a fraction as much as Rock, it still proved more than exhausting to move Rock Jr the 10m (33 ft) to his new perch in the succulent aisle. The One couldn’t even help much due to Jr’s diminutive size. After lifting, pushing and rolling around the astounding 50kg (110Ib) for 15 minutes I suddenly experienced the coveted full-body-workout-high and collapsed on the lawn.

This morning I was up at the crack of dawn. I cannot say why but I just felt like driving the 9km (2.2 miles) to retrieve all our official post. I thought there’d be something new and exciting like a National Geographic magazine, but there was only three plain white windowed envelopes. Two rather shocking ones were from the municipality for running water, electricity and garbage removal. Another from Autopage for the Internet.

When I got home, I decided I’d transplant an old potted plant from its ugly champagne glass shaped prefab asbestos pot to the succulent section. It came with the house. Poor thing was also just a bunch of dry roots. I trust it will prosper here.

The last of the trilogy of monoliths residing in our garden is Boulder, a generous chunk of what looks like granite. His smooth grey bulk is as immovable as an ancient fallen monument; he’s become embedded in the jacaranda’s root system. His realm stretches east, ending at the boundary wall. In this photo someone’s thoughtfully highlighted Rock Jr with Boulder beyond for your convenience. Boulder' the one that resembles a fossilised dinosaur skull.


Weekends these days, we effortlessly conjure the recent holiday atmosphere and continue outside as if it is still December with many empty days before returning to the Green and Orange Hell. There are many plans still to be carried out; here for instance, is the angular plan with the cycad and jacaranda bed. Yes, I know we are all gay and liberal, but we still desire the serenity that geometry and minimalism brings.


I borrowed an ancient wood saw for the weekend from someone at work. The white stinkwood's grown all out of control and I had some branch trimming to do.

Poor thing, it looks ill. Maybe that’ll make it easier to kill in cold blood later. Bloody thing’s right up against the East Wall, we’ll have to get rid of it before it balloons through. Feeling violent, I also hacked a wayward branch form the jacaranda. It was attracted to the neighbours’ washing line and was slowly investigating the action.


If you know plants, you'll also notice frangipani. Those are the ones that overthrew the wall spikes and plucked them from their high protective perch. You can see the damage on the previous two photos. We are holding thumbs that the neighbours’ electronics prove more valuable than ours so the burglars target them until we fix the flimsy bloody thing. In the mean time we lopped off a frangipani branch or two as a warning to them nasties.

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The cats are all on free pass. They’ve been very responsible and can always be located in seconds – even outside.

I noticed a bee, joyfully collecting pollen from a new dahlia bathing in the sun.


I guess life is good when your chafed, grimy, blistered palms result in these wonderful things.

Written by I

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