January seems an eternally long month to me; New Year is now but a distant memory. Strangely, other months such as June and July, gallop past in a haze of falling leaves and collecting firewood. January has no rhythm for me now that the school days are far behind us. I hope all those little boarders have returned stoically and wish the weaning parents, walking the fence, strength and patience. I always brought home a car full of fruit and made jam after the January boarding drop-off; can’t say it made it any easier but we did end up with a year’s supply of jam and by the time it was all done and bottled, we had bumped through the worst of the weaning.
I have just given the Impatient Gardener some Dietes grandiflora, Wild Iris, to try in her garden. I think it is a smaller variety, but it should clump up just the same though only to about 30cm. She has taken them off with a spot in mind in a large bed around one of the Pepperina trees. I believe she has come around to the Pepperina somewhat, though she still dislikes their distinctive smell. You may recall, both she and her father held a firm Say No to Pepperina trees platform here for some time.
However, they are now tall enough to trim their skirts up from underneath, allowing for large beds to be created around their weeping canopy. These two trees along with the native coolibahs and gidgee along the creek, give her young garden structure; she has been clever with the layout of her garden beds, creating gentle curves to walk around, so you already have the feel of meandering through her garden.
The boldest move she has made, and in my mind so successful, was removing the old garden fence. This happened in stages with the creek fence going first. The impact was immediate and breath taking: the water literally leapt into her garden. Borrowed landscape is such a bonus wherever you are but is even more important when you are starting a garden from scratch. Along with the waterhole, the massive old Indian Siris tree is another anchor in her garden landscape, its dark green canopy rising from beyond her garden shed and enclosing her garden simply by filling in some of that endless sky.
The rest of her fence went before Christmas and her lawn now gives on to the curved gravel drive she created. Beyond this, the eye is drawn to the distant earth tank and the surrounding floodplain, an ever-changing backdrop of colour, drama and movement. How wonderful to watch it all unfold from the shelter of her green, shady enclave.
Not surprisingly, the Impatient Gardener is quite selective about what she will plant. All shades of green have created a garden that seems far more protected and cooler that its age would suggest and her silver Teucrium ball, clipped by her grandmother on her visits, adds a touch of drama on your way to her deck. She has favoured drifts of succulents and loves grasses, especially the Miscanthus spp. In winter, the beds along the creek trail with her other grandmother’s treasured nasturtiums; we love nasturtiums and Helen’s Moble variety are planted out each Autumn with great anticipation. I remember one wet winter they climbed up and through the Coolibahs along the creek, they were draped with spun gold.
A selection of fruit trees has been planted amongst the beds and are thriving and she is most disciplined with installing her watering systems before planting and mulching afterwards. Hereto she follows my mother and not me alas, indeed she is quite disparaging of my irrigation forays.
The Cottage garden is welcoming, interesting and restful. In three hard drought years, the Impatient Gardener has carved out her own little haven; she is creative, clever, very handy and totally undaunted by any task. Her garden radiates vitality and creativity as does its gardener. In no time at all it seems, the Impatient Gardener has become hooked on the green and for me, that is the greatest gift of all.
The Moble Gardener