I will start my missive this week with a quick acknowledgement of what must surely be one of the worst examples of a Jacaranda tree ever grown, anywhere. Yet despite this, it has flowered jubilantly for the last two months in the very deepest of blues, with an abandonment and generosity far beyond its stature. Perhaps eight metres tall, with a drip line of a meagre two metres, this spindly sparse specimen is a lesson in perseverance with a dash of splash. In the words of that famous rock star: You can’t always get what you want but if you try sometimes you just might find…. you get what you need. So, I thank you Jacaranda for brightening my day and gracing us with another hue of blue in our endless sky.
I am writing to you this week from another desk in another room; same garden but different window. It will be easier to be distracted from here, as I am literally sitting at a window, this time looking out onto the tennis court. Fortunately, it is rolled and marked, ready for a hit out this weekend (in plus forty temperatures) so I have no excuse to race out and change the outlook. Though I do wish the Golden Shower, Cassia fistula, would hurry along and come into leaf again. Such wonderful little trees with cool, mid-green leaves and draped with the most breathtaking racemes of yellow flowers throughout the summer. However, it is one of those trees that loses its leaves coming into Spring, when you are really looking for some shade and verdant cover again. Its friend on the other side of the pergola is still struggling from the infamous 2014 summer, possibly with a case of ongoing and intermittent borers. Borers are so well named, for they are exactly as they are described, in both action and personality. It brings to mind that marvellous line by Oscar Wilde: It is absurd to divide people into good and bad; people are either charming or tedious. May I present the butterfly and the borer.
Another tree with the late sparse spring habit is the Indian Siris; we always think it is on its way out and then it will shoot again in November. All very well and good for it, however that first singe of summer has us looking for green and shade; I am nervously hopeful that both trees with be in leaf any day now. The pink oleanders out there are dazzling, I think an Overwhelm of Oleanders would be the collective noun for them? As I am writing this, I suppose I can make it what I wish; I do hope this weather doesn’t lead to a Regret of Roses.
New window distraction aside, I wanted to tell you about a garden area that needs overhauling here. Note I described it as an area, not a garden, as this is a corner that has always been a little too far out to be tended. The resident builder/plumber and her Pater have been busily constructing a new outdoor bathroom behind Bill’s Hut (the old schoolhouse). This new extension is open to the west and currently looks over a corner of neglect that is both uninspiring and possibly harbouring fugitives on the WONS. Certainly there is a forest of Boobialla which haunts my dreams (Mr.Moble suggests we just hedge it and learn to love it) and a myriad of rocks and garden detritus abandoned there when the wheelbarrow was just too heavy to go any further.
Luckily, there is a huge Gidyea tree to block the worst of the summer sun and a flood-out flat beyond that is soft and silver in the late afternoon light, when I assume most will be bathing. Sitting on the deck in that same late-afternoon light, we pondered on this whilst enjoying a well- earned gin and tonic. Simple and natural was the consensus. We shall resist a bubbling water feature; after all, one will be sitting in a bath. We shall clear away the mess and encourage a blur of saltbush and natural groundcovers instead of lawn and edges. Ideally, I would like to take away the garden fence, but this would mean losing the pigeon gate, so named for the row of pigeons that regularly line up on its top rail. Would they find another perch? Quite possibly.
Really, it will be a less is more plan, a chainsaw and trailer overhaul. Hopefully this will allow you to absorb the beauty of our incredible landscape filtered through the late afternoon light, all from the privacy of your own tub. Looking up, you may even catch a glimpse of a plucky Jacaranda tree, if you are here late in the year. Just don’t be alarmed if a row of pigeons is lined up with you.
Remember we have a home court advantage,
The Moble Gardener