Grass and corruption

All I want for January is a mower repair man.

The ride-on gave up the ghost mid-job a couple of weeks ago and despite best efforts of kind and usually proficient  neighbour,  it has remained, to be blunt, very dead. Faulty piston or carburettor seems the prognosis. The local mobile mower miracle worker is booked out for some time, so in the meanwhile, it’s like Oklahoma here; (” the corn ( read grass)  is as high as an elephant’s eye… ”

And no matter how schmick everything else outside is looking, straggly lawn is like an unmade bed. And the long, unruly paddocks  depress me. I can’t even see the resident  roos. I suspect a few snakes are basking happily there too.

I tried concentrating instead on spreading some agapanthus cheer. Haven’t they bloomed wonderfully this summer?

This week I divided several clumps and replanted around the base of a large gum tree in my front yard. It’s a spot in my direct line of sight through the lounge windows, so hopefully they will thrive and bloom for next spring/ summer. Someone did warn me about planting things at the base of eucalypts, saying they sucked all the moisture and nourishment from nearby specimens. Has anyone found that to be the case?

Aggies are one of my favourite plants, even when they are not out in beautiful lavender, violet and white profusion. I love their strappy glossy green leaves and they way they wave,  feather and droop over paths and borders.

At a friend’s place the other night, we were admiring what  gorgeous cut flowers they make. Even their petals fall gracefully and artistically to the surface around the vase.

About 10 years ago I bought what I was told was a mixed box of lavender, deep blue and white, which I subsequently planted en masse into a large earthenware pot at my front entrance. They turned out to be all white, a disappointment at first, but now I am truly grateful for the stark and dazzling display they give me every year when they flower on long thin elegant  stalks .

That’s gardening, isn’t it.  Starting out with one plan, then changing and adapting as you go. The plants you buy are usually not quite the colour and shape their picture promises or your cuttings end up growing differently from the mother plant in your friend’s garden. But they form their own personality and memorable image at your place and you forgive and love them for their difference. A bit like children, really.

I am thankful for those friends who are now following this grapevine and look forward to hearing some good garden goss.

Emma has thrown me a garden challenge which I hope you can help me with.  Watch this space.

Happy gardening.

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5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Jean said,

    Hi Julie.. thanks for the invite to your garden.
    I just loved time I spent with you.. I look most forward to many more happy visits and happy times shared about your passionate gardening.
    Keep them articles well watered and flowing… you have such a wonderful way with words. I’ll spread your gardening blog about for sure..
    Its true.. “Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful,’ and sitting in the shade”-Rudyard Kipling.
    PS.. I had an amazing show this year of aggies down my front path, lavender, white and the mandevilla pinks creepers in between..
    Happy gardening. x j

    • 2

      I love gathering new quotes about gardening, Jean. It does bring out the poet in us all.Thanks. Rudyard Kipling can put it so much better than I, but I do love the Cicero one that goes: “If you have a library and a garden, you have all you need.”

  2. 3

    Beez said,

    Speaking of plants and their story, I’ve just had the experience of plants with a history. Our old 80-something neighbours have lived in their house 60 years. They are active in their garden every day and often pass chokos, bananas and the occasional cutting over the fence. The other day June asked if I’d like some ‘Zillie’ lilies. “They’re really called _______,” adds June, but that name didn’t stick with me. How could I resist with the history they have? Gardened as a little girl at Zillmere State School, she brought them home to her Mum. Their offspring came with her to start her married life in the new Wavell Heights. They have been shared with families and friends for generations and now I am the keeper of some of the descendants of the ‘Zillie’ lilies.

    • 4

      Love the idea of you carrying the torch for the Zillie lilies and their descendants, Beez and ensuring their ongoing flowering in your neck of the woods. How lucky are you to have such neighbours. Hope I can snaffle a cutting when I am next down with you. I like the idea of their progeny spreading pleasure far and wide. Can you post a picture?

  3. 5

    Michaela said,

    Hi Julie… Agapanthus are one of my favourites – they are so good at inhibiting weeds! We planted a tonne of them (as tiny immature plants) not long after buying our house in our back garden. I went to great lengths to buy the same amount of blue and white, clearly marked on the little pots with the aim to be planted alternately (blue, white, blue, white). They all started flowering within the year and do you think they go blue, white, blue, white? Nope! I think some of the pots got mixed up in the beginning, but also as time has passed some of the massive ones have been divided up to fill in gaps, plus a couple got accidently trampled by a tree lopper (had some massive gums removed that were way too close to the house), so gaps were filled again and it’s impossible to know what colour they are when not flowering. But they look so beautiful anyway that it doesn’t matter. Every late Spring/early Summer it’s a big long sea of blue and white that can be seen from our back door, patio, kitchen window and lounge room – wished they flowered all year :O) I even have photos of their first flowering in a frame on our dining room wall – love ’em!


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