about this blog
I started this blog in 2008. It started mainly as a way of tracking the evolution of my dry garden, and that led to an interest in photography and in the creatures that live in the garden. It's still about the garden and wildlife, but now my passion is thinking about how we humans can learn to co-exist with wild animals and plants, especially in urban areas.
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.
When I started blogging - 9 years ago - I realized I needed to get into photography to produce nature images as well as nature wo...
Microbats are found all over Australia, and they are very important for the ecosystem because they eat loads of insects. They ar...
This is the photo of my garden in the current guide to Australia's open gardens. It was taken last October. The foreground f...
I have decided to make a list of the plants in my garden. For too long I haven’t really respected them as individuals, vaguely seeing them ...
I love sharing the garden with spiders and would never dream of being inhospitable. But ... I wish they wouldn't build their webs acro...
"It is at the edge of a petal that love waits." (William Carlos Williams). Christopher Marley is an artist obsessed with ...
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...
It was a cold, wet winter and the garden's flourishing. Here are a few of the plants growing, individually and in groups to form...
Who munched the leaves of some Derwentia perfoliata plants, leaving smooth semi-circular holes at the edge? It was a native bee, a frien...