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.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009


I am reclaiming my precious slowtime. My garden will not now be part of next year’s Open Garden Scheme. I am so relieved. I couldn’t reconcile the idea of preparing my garden for a particular date, which in reality would merely provide a transient snapshot in a long slow evolving process of becoming.

So I have slowly started to re-make the garden after the brutal heat of summer and the removal of the cubby from the back garden. So far I’ve got rid of the dead stuff, weeded, fluffed up the soil, transplanted stuff, added compost, thought about it, dreamed about it and felt happy about it.

I’ve bought and planted a eucalypt to fill the space where the cubby was. It’s called Eucalyptus gregsoniana, or Wongon Snow Gum. I chose it because it is dwarf, smallish in height (2 to 7 metres high – is that having a bet both ways or what?) and because its multiple trunks appeal to me. It’s not local to here. Originally it comes from the Blue Mountains and Bundawang Range in New South Wales.

Unlike the impatient short lived fast growing acacias I have in my garden, this eucalyptus gregsoniana is slow growing. One day, when my gum tree grows upwards and outwards and really takes up its allotted space, the reality will match the image in my mind. Well, probably it will. And hopefully in time it will attract birds and insects and feed and shelter wildlife, even if by this time I’ve died of old age.


  1. I like the slow growing thesis. Opening your garden is a personal decision of course, but over here they do raise significant monies for good causes.

  2. Good luck with your new tree. I like the idea of planting trees for the future - though I long for the time when I never gave a thought to the idea that something I planted might outlive me (lol)

  3. Opening one's garden is wonderful, but I completely understand the difficulties with deadlines and the stresses involved with all those things that are out of your control. Thanks for your email, I'm happy that we were able to connect, Alice

  4. Hermes, here also they raise money. It actually wasn't my decision, they withdrew their offer for some reason and I felt very relieved. But I will persevere and try again even though it will be a big challenge.

    easygardener, thanks for your good luck wishes and your funny ironical reference to longing for another time. I am totally fascinated by the notions of time, history, change and gardening.

  5. Alice, lovely to hear from you again. I think my impossible-to-ever-fully-achieve ideal is to accept that so much is out of our control and just go with it. Except in the case of weeds - I'll never give up fighting them. (lol)

  6. I guess it is good that you do not have the pressure to make your garden ready for the Australian open Gardens. Now you have time to take it easy to redesign your garden which you have already started in a big way as cleaning up and preparing the soil is always a big task. Now we are getting into the cooler part of the year it will be easier too to work in the garden. Hope your Gumtree grows well.

  7. Catmint, I'm glad you were able to say no and lower your stress level. Gardens should be stress-relievers, not increasers! I dream about having an open garden one day, but hopefully it will be a bit of good stress for me. You and your garden have already survived plenty of heat and drought stress lately, it's time for a break!

  8. That's slow time? Sounds like you've been working your bippy off! I love reading about your garden on the other side of the world, always preparing for two seasons ahead...

  9. Gardening is by its nature one of slow growth and patience. You have begun a great work. :-) It will be fun to watch your progress.

  10. Hi Titania, thanks for your visit. Yes, I am definitely enjoying the lack of pressure to achieve in the garden.

    Hi VW, yes you understand me. I think I am also getting better at not giving in to stress and pressure re blotanical!

    Hi Conscious, yes it's fascinating to read about gardens all over the world. One correction though: I'm not on the other side of the world, you are. (LOL)

    thank you Shady, I am so pleased you enjoy reading my blog. I've been thinking about patience lately, so it's funny you mention it.I am trying to write a post about it, if I succeed i'll mention your comment.


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