the day the film crew came

There were four men in the garden: director James, camera man Mark, sound man Graham and Stephen, front man and host of the show.

The result of the day’s filming will be seen in a few weeks time as a five-minute segment of ABC TV’s Gardening Australia.

It was an interesting novel experience for me. I love talking about the garden, but after a few hours my brain turned to mush and I can’t be sure what I said.

It was a bit weird seeing the garden through other people’s eyes. What they found unusual I find perfectly normal.

Like growing whatever works in whatever configurations I like. Apparently many people neatly divide their plants into categories like edibles vs. ornamentals or natives vs. exotics. I have spent years carefully working out how to make plants look as if they were chaotically, randomly, accidentally - yet perfectly - placed.

I wasn’t surprised that they found my possum - welcoming attitude and activities intriguing. People hate possums so much that I hope I won’t get death threats after the program. Or worse: I hope the possums in my garden won’t be at risk once their cover has been blown.

The next day I realized that two juvenile Eucalypt leucoxylon trees had grown sufficiently to have their stakes removed. Looks much nicer now, but I am reminded that each day is a snapshot of a real garden changing in time. Perfection is the goal, a hypothetical end point in what is an endless garden making process.

I had another realization that day, thanks to a remark by Stephen. The Wollemi pine in the front garden is not in a suitable position. With a potential height of 20 metres (60 feet!) it has no place in my suburban garden. So I am offering it to anyone who can promise it a good home. Already I visualize the front garden without it.


  1. Congratulations! It's just wonderful ... I'm so looking forward to seeing your chaotic creation! I'm not sure that five minutes will do it justice ... but I guess that's all part of putting together a show like that.

    As for possums ... you'd feel right at home here ... there's always a possum or two somewhere around ... and quite welcome!

    I don't find them a nuisance at all ... as long as you have most of your important roof space inaccessible to them, there shouldn't be a problem. Ours get into the verandah roof. I hear them scratching around in the middle of the day ... and running on the roof at night, but having grown up with these sounds it's just so familiar to me.

    What a shame about your Wollemi ... I do hope it gets a great home!

  2. Dear Catmint, Move over Nicole Kidman!! How exciting to be on television. Although 5 minutes does not sound long it is an eternity for television and will, I am sure, make interesting viewing.

    No Possums in Maida Vale - just lucky I guess!!

  3. Catmint, wow! I am so excited for you. I think the five-minute is going to be in your memory for a life time :-D If the segment is put on you tube. Please inform ok. I would love to watch it.

  4. Hi Bernie, I love to be anywhere there's nature and wildlife, and I'm sure I'd love your north Queensland place. I am committed to finding a good home for the woolemi, I am attached to this tree and care about its welfare. The woolemi website says it's OK in a pot but I think it needs to be in the ground.

    Hi Edith, thanks for the comment, probably Nicole Kidman won't find me too much competition!

    Hi Stephanie, thanks for your friendly comment. When it's on, in a few weeks, you will be able to watch it on the Gardening Australia website.

    Hi Hermes, thanks - but I don't think I'll give up my day job!

    Cheers, catmint

  5. Will you please let us know where we can watch the segment?? Even with all the Aussie transplants to the US I'm not sure Gardening Australia is on here. I'd so love to see it though!

    I find the post on the silkworms quite fascinating. I never knew. The process is pretty amazing.

    Cute possums. I had a run in with one in my garden. Actually I didn't-the dogs did. I quickly pulled them in the house and left the possum alone to go on its way. Boy do they growl!

  6. P.S. Thanks for your very nice comment about my enthusiasm for gardening. It's not always it comes thru but clearly we who blog about gardening must really love it to do it so much and I appreciate the comment about my enthusiasm being more important than the words and pictures.

  7. Catmint, what an honor for you! Congratulations. Did you mention in the filming how you have loads of international visitors to your garden each week via blog? I think that's the funnest thing about blogging.

  8. Catmint how exciting, you know how many film stars come from Australia, and now you are the newest and the brightest.
    Hope that there is a chance that it is on You Tube, would love to see it.

  9. Dear Catmint - Congratulations and how fun! Do you remember how one time you said we had lots in common, except that I am in South Dakota in the middle of the US and you are in Australia. Well, today my front garden was featured in the Wall Street Journal. Tatyana did a biton her post at:

  10. Hello Catmint,
    I will be watching out for that segment with great interest!

    I had in mind that one day I would get myself a Woolemi pine, but now that you mention that they grow to that height, probably best not to! My block is a little bit bigger than the average Melbourne block, but not that big! I do hope that you can relocate it to a good home.

  11. Looking forward to watch the show in ABC gardening.

  12. Wow! Congratulations, Catmint! What great people we have in our web-gardening community!

  13. Please do let us know when your garden is scheduled to appear.
    Re the Wollemi Pine, I know what you mean.
    i have a Huon Pine which I have planted in my yard - way too close to my house, if it ever succeeds. But I shall be long gone, by then , and the house too, probably.
    I think we are entitled to make the occasional mistakes, to worry later generations of gardeners.

  14. I'm so happy for you! I don't have TV here or I'd hunt the episode down! I've been on TV twice here in Austin and both times I was horrified by what I said (edited down to nonsense) and how I looked! Eeee gads! I wish you all the best! I love your philosophy, I'm sure you'll be great! Yippie and Congrats!

  15. Hi Tina, thanks for your comments. I will let you know the date the program will be on, and you can watch it on the website.

    Hi VW, yes you're right, we all regularly visit each other's gardens and geography is irrelevant in the blogosphere. I told them about the blog, that it is inextricably linked with the garden, so they may put a link on the website.

    Hi Deborah, I won't put it on you tube, but I'm sure you'll be able to watch it on the website.

    Hi Gloria, how wonderful - I will definitely check it out and get back to you about this!

    thanks for the comment, GG, I have found a home for the wollemi and have put it in a large pot but he hasn't picked it up yet.

    Hi MKG, I must admit I am a bit nervous about how they will turn 8 hours of filming into 4 minutes!

    Thanks Tatyana, I don't know about great, but I do love to interact with fellow gardening passionistas.

    Hi Denis, thanks for your comment. (I sound like Julia Gillard during the election campaign!) I don't know if the wollemi would have got that high during my lifetime, but realizing that kind of put me off it. I definitely prefer the space left since I dug it up and potted it while it is waiting for my cousin to pick it up. (keeping it in the family!)

    Hi Cheryl, I suspect I'll be horrified by what I'll say and how I look too. Is there a way to see your TV apppearances?

    Cheers, catmint

  16. cool! I hope you'll be able to post the segment once it airs!

  17. Catmint, I went to the ABC site. I saw a number of videos taken in Australia. Do you know which title yours is? I'd love to watch it!! :-)

  18. Hi Wendy, I might post the segment, depends if I feel I've made a fool of myself or not.

    Hi Shady,my garden hasn't featured yet. I'll give you the date as soon as I know when it'll be on and you will be able to see it on the website.

    cheers, catmint


Post a Comment