There has been action a-plenty in and around the big Moble garden this past week. We have had some lovely visitors to stay, done some sheep work, a smattering of shearing and I have just come in from the vegetable garden to say hello to you.
The friends arrived bearing the very best kind of gifts; themselves, something made from the heart and hands, something educational and something that has and will span generations.
The heart and hands creation is an extraordinary knitted landscape of this western country, each square reflecting the colours and textures of the earth, trees and sky. Evocative and tactile, it is embroidered throughout with the story of our family and celebrates a friendship that spans four generations. As if all this is not enough, it is knitted in pure wool in another nod to this country and family and is large enough to keep the evening chill at bay. Amazing.
The educational gift was some stunning wine from the Rutherglen region which I had not previously tasted, I am always keen to learn about new wines. An open mind keeps the glass full. The new variety was a Durif, one I believe the region is known for and one which I will be more than happy to meet again. As it is described as a dry red, I thought it was a clever fit for this part of the world.
Lastly, the generational gift of an Oak tree, the venerable, majestic, wise old tree of legends. It symbolises faith, power, endurance and strength and I think we will need all four if it is to thrive out here, but we shall give it our gardening best. The tree came with its own pedigree and has been much loved by the Rogers’ family and will be much loved by the Rutledge family as well. A little bag of acorns will mean we have an heir and some spares, always a comfort.
All this had me thinking about the plants in my garden I have treasured and shared. A beautiful old white rose, found gloriously draped over a fence on a walk with my sister-in-law years ago, has been with both of us ever since. Every year I propagate a few more so I have some to share and when I play the ‘if you can only have five plants in your garden’ game, it always earns a spot. For years I called it Angela’s Rose until one day we had a rose expert visit and he told me its name was Prosperity. I was so relieved it had such a splendid name (some are quite dubious), indeed it is the perfect name for such a generous and exuberant soul.
How lucky I had shared it around as when we ran out of water, I lost all my Prosperity (in so many ways) but then dear Anna, she of the Sweet Pea fame, had propagated some for me and once again they are flowering away happily here. An old rosemary bush is another treasure, given to me as a slip from Brian’s Great Aunt Lyn soon after we were married, it was in my bridal bouquet and has been at Moble ever since. Its growth habit is somewhere between scrawling and scrabbling, nothing nipped and tucked about this old shrub, but it is a stayer and when it flowers in spring, the bees seem to swarm to it more than any of the other varieties I have here in the garden. I am taking some of it down to a family wedding next week and have a pot struck for Sweet Pea Anna’s daughter who is starting out on her own gardening journey.
We picked some Green Pussytail, Ptilotus macrocephalus on our way home from the shed this morning, they smell of a wet winter and remind me of the delicious mutton we have with winter herbage. We are going to try some wilted New Zealand Spinach, Tetragonia tetragonioides with our dinner tonight, so you see we are gathering the paddocks for vases and meals, making hay while we can.
Popped in some more Broccoli, Cabbages and English Spinach seedlings today, I see the Parsnips are a no-show so will try a new packet of seed. Parsnips with orange and butter is an all time favourite but I think that is for another day.
The Moble Gardener.