Green Lives Matter!

Garden losses.

Losses of plants are a given, and they can die in a variety of ways. Over the years most of the plants that have died have simply perished from not being suitable to the semi-arid conditions here. Others are beaten to a pulp by frost, and try as they will to recover during the warmer months, eventually they give up completely. These losses are par for the course.

More frustrating are the losses that shouldn’t have occurred: plants that have slowly died from other plants nearby taking over all available resources, other plants fail after being savaged by flocks of galahs or corellas, or munched on by sheep on the loose looking for feed before the rains come. The really frustrating deaths are of plants that have survived months of drought only to cark it after the first good rain, as if they couldn’t cope with all that water.


The sweet appleberry (Billardiera cymosa) between the trees

Out of all the ways to lose a plant the worst is by the hand of humans. I had one such loss today, when people came to fix the wire fence so that cows they were putting in the paddock next door don’t get out. I lost my appleberry creeper (a bushfood plant) to these men, who broke off the plant at ground level when they could have snipped it so much further up. That plant had taken ten years to grow. It was the only survivor of three or four plants I had put along the fence. Despite the current drought it was green and luxuriant, and I haven’t had to water it for years. Naturally I was bummed.


Winter morning

What was worse was that no one apologised when I explained to them what they had done. Four men just stood there gawking at me, the dotty plant person. Of course they weren’t able to tell that the plant they tore up was not some local weed, and I would have accepted an apology. Instead they all got in their cars and drove off.

There have been numerous other occasions where I have lost plants to people, some of them when the people were clueless like this time, and other times the damage was intentional. Like ten years ago around this time of the year when some well meaning person poisoned my cactus, a fruiting one, thinking they were getting rid of a prickly pear. That cactus I had had for 20 years, and it had been about to fruit for the first time… I wrote a poem about it. Okay maybe I am a little bit dotty. And it’s taken nine years to get fruit from the pieces I managed to save.

Before that there was a meltdown back in late 1991 when my brother accidently mowed over a marguerite daisy I had planted at my mother’s house, which I had propagated from the one I had left behind at my childhood home, and it was just starting to grow after a shaky start. Green lives matter, especially after we have survived tough times together, and I mourn them all.

And so today after all this my son says to me, “see, I told you it was pointless to garden….” You can tell he’s not a gardener.

Arghhhh! He just doesn’t understaaaaaaaand!

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My winter photo


Over the years my daughter Maya has taken pictures of me in my garden, usually in the middle of winter, starting in 2009, our first winter in this house. My husband had died the previous month, so the look on my face that year was a bit not me. But over the years things have improved, on my face and in the garden.

I did not realize that the winter photo had become a tradition until I looked back and saw that I had done it most years (except for 2012).  I have never made the photos public, because in them I am wearing my worst clothes, clothes which I very often wear in the garden.


Purple garden, five years on

Sadly, this is one of those areas which was my pride and joy eight years ago, but has been overshadowed by the newer areas. This is all I can find from the blog over the years. My poor neglected purple garden!

Pink Garden…4 years on

This was made four years ago, and like the other areas of the garden, some things have thrived for a season then died. Some areas have progressed and others are a bit neglected.

Herb bed, five years on

Okay, so putting up the carport put my herb garden in rain shadow, so now it has less herbs and more tough plants. Never mind.

Yellow garden, five years on

The pond, five years on

Gardener in a dry land – five years on

Five years since my first post! I got started on my garden in earnest in January 2011, and started blogging in May that same year. For four years, 2011-2014 I put in loads of hours getting the garden off the ground. I have been a bit off the boil the last year or two, since I started a creative writing course, but fortunately gardens happily grow without you.

My main complaint about this place is that things take forever to grow here, but these photos will prove that this is not true. They just seem to take forever.



hello readers

Please excuse the lack of blog posts lately. My writing course has taken all my spare writing energy.

But I have not been completely slack – I have been having fun with Instagram. I love how instant Instagram is, I can just snap and share, when I was taking weeks sometimes to get my photos on to the computer etc.gardener instagram

So feel free to watch the garden grow HERE




Monty Don has done it again, this time he’s made me go mad with the clippers (I have 3 different ones, secateurs, hedge trimmers and a heavy duty lopping one).

July 2015

This has happened to me before when I’ve been away and have read someone else’s gardening diary be it Monty Don or Kate Llewellyn, and last week I sat there reading The Ivington Diaries at my mother’s house while it rained and was foul all week. It was a wonderful proper winter week, sometimes the sun comes out when we head to Adelaide to see some rain. And as I read I was itching to get back home and get gardening. Only trouble I was up to the bit where he was trimming hedges when I got here…

July 2015

Think I ended up with more vegetation on the ground than on the shrubs!

July 2015

Gardening has always been like that for me… and writing and blogging too. Months of almost nothing interspersed with frantic activity.

July 2015