about this blog
This blog tracks the ongoing changes of my garden, and the wildlife I try to attract to it. It's a nature blog. It contains my thoughts and musings about anything and everything to do with nature - gardening, book reviews, philosophy, travel, science, history, art, design, politics. Catmint is my signature plant because it has all the qualities I value in a plant: resilience, beauty and the capacity to spread prolifically . Unfortunately it's not indigenous. If I was starting again I'd probably choose an indigenous plant.
Saturday, 24 January 2009
A generation ago, in the distant mists of time when my children were little (they’re in their 20s and 30s now) water dominated both garden and family life.
I had never gardened until we moved into this place in 1979. Everyone around me watered their gardens all year round so I assumed that is what you had to do. The overhead sprinklers broke the delicate lavender branches so I switched to drippers. But I hated the look of the drippers and anyway the plants kept moving and changing and somehow they were never in the right place-both drippers and plants!
Years and years later I realized that the lawn grew anyway although it died back a bit in winter. And that the lavenders and rosemaries, gum trees, and most of the plants in my garden were ok without moisture additional to that provided from the sky. In fact, I felt that water was harmful and addictive to them. It would only encourage them to be lazy and not to bother extending their roots down, down into the moist underworld when they could easily lap at a wet surface.
In the meantime the climate grew hotter and drier, and here water became a scarce resource, with strict laws limiting and controlling its use. You no longer hear the sound of sprinklers, nor do you see water running off into the street.
When the children were little, the garden was planted on the four sides of the fence line. In the middle was the lawn, a grassy play space. On hot summers they rarely wore clothes. In their little birthday suits they played together and with friends. In and out and around the sprinklers – what cool fun they had. Cool fun that my baby grandson will never know, not in this geographical area anyway.
You could even buy special toys for water play. We had a kind of water slide, which was laid on the grass and got wet and slippery. With a running jump, down the children went, sliding and slipping and laughing. And we adults joined in too, often bruising ourselves as we slipped.
And there were water pistols. The kids weren’t allowed to play with guns but who could refuse them water pistols on a hot sunny clothes-free day? That kind of play has ended forever round here.
The garden basically survived the heat and the drought of this record - breaking summer. As expected, there were a few losses - becoming op...
A recent post was about my success in rehousing a possum couple. The nest stayed empty so it seemed that the possums had settled in their...
Winter's nearly over and spring's budding is beginning. If you look for it, there's quite an air of expectancy among the...
I miss the jubilant rowdy morning chorus I used to hear each morning. These mornings I'm lucky if I hear half a dozen birds gre...
You don’t have to go to the countryside to get a nature fix. Wherever I go I look for plants and animals. Just like rural spaces...
Reading this book made me think the blog is really just a way of helping me work out how to get closer to the plants and wildlife in the...
This is the photo of my garden in the current guide to Australia's open gardens. It was taken last October. The foreground f...
If it's geographically possible, try to visit the Art Gallery of Ballarat before December 2nd. That's when the exhibition C...
Wake up sleepy-twigs, spring is here.
The Australian government website Weed Identification and Information makes it easy to identify weeds. On this Most Unwanted list I found ...