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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Gardening

Now I've never really been one for gardening. It's hot, it's dirty and I've always found it a bit difficult. I'd look around the yard and think - well it's green and it's growing - I'll leave it be. Not quite sure what to do. Lately though, with this wondrous monsoonal weather, cool breezes and SO MUCH RAIN I've been tempted. Inspired I suppose.
Several of my good friends are gardeners. I admire them so for their  motivation in getting into the yard work on any given day, regardless of whats on tv, or what demands their children are hurling toward them. I want to be a gardener - it's such an appropriate hobby and I need more of them.
So my dear friend Leisa got us over to her Dads place, who has this amazing garden full of tropical splendour. His wife walked me through the garden, cutting off branches from many a tree/plant/bush/foliage and placing them in my arms with love. She said over the past 10 years they have given their friends cuttings from the same plants - many of whom have blooming gardens based on the produce they received the same way I was now receiving.
So we took it all home. Surprisingly 3 weeks earlier I had mulched our yard, because I thought it was about time. We have only lived here for 5 years. 3 hours and one trailer load of dirt scattered through the garden, I was exhausted but pretty bloody pleased with myself.
Heres what I know now, one week into this gardening hobby. It turns out you can cut branches of plants off, stick them in the ground and they grow. Especially during the wet season. Why do people even go to the plant shop? We now have a delicious array of crotons with leaves of deep green scattered with spots of orange and pink, stuck in a row along our fence line. Big luscious bromeliads with juicy branchlike leaves. Hibiscus and bougainvillaea in buckets waiting to be transplanted. Elephant Ears (possibly not the scientific name) looking all Jurassic Park in our delicious garden.
I am in the process of weeding out a plague of purple flowered devils, who have slowly overtaken our front garden. They won't be pulled out by hand - it's a trowel and glove job - I have the blisters to prove it. Terrifically there are about a thousand worms per square metre so the kids are completely onboard with gardening, as it seems worms are awesome. The fatter and juicier the better.
We dig in the rain, the wind, the heat. I find it strangely meditative, the sweat dripping off me, the pile of dug up weeds growing larger, the arranging of plants in a line. I've committed myself to doing 10 minutes a day, which is so easy I end up doing 2-3 times more. It's exercise, it's outside, it's rewarding. It's even free!
So. My ode to gardening in the wet season. Mild case of chafing and several (what I would consider) severe blisters, but dammit I'm sticking with it! Open Garden 2016 here we come!


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