Sunday, July 24, 2016

'Watching Little Things Grow'

It’s nice, isn’t it. That’s why we have gardens. Until I came to Gerolstein, aged 55, I had never really had a garden of my own. The only places I’d stopped long enough to grow anything except roots were either in the heart of London, or in places which hired a gardener to look after their exteriors. The very occasional window box was my limit.

 When we arrived, Gerolstein had a rose garden and lots of trees. Then, thanks to Wendy’s work, it had several rose gardens, several other gardens and lots of trees. 

Then, thanks to bad-tempered grandmother Nature, half the trees got blown over and/or died, the gardens got flooded, diseased and, well, now it’s a work in progress all over again. And I have only half-an-arm and have gone back to one pot plant.

But when I arrived in Yamba, I discovered that, as well as having the beautiful gardens of the complex, the terrasse outside my bedroom had a little garden of its own, which my predecessor had tried to set up in herbs. Only a healthy parsley and a struggling bay seemed to have survived. So I thought I’d try to fill in the gaps. I tried the market, but alas very little in the way of herbs.

So I just planted what came along. Including my kitchen rubbish. And just when a lovely basil bush was flourishing and other herby things were peeping out, along came Yamba’s winter, both days of it in succession, and all my little things died.

So I paused, and watered, and while I paused some of the things started to respond. But what were they? Parsley, OK. And I know tomato when I see one, from school-holidays spent pruning and picking the things.

I know this is oregano because I bought it for $1 at the market

 But what is this? Decorative or edible?

And all this?

This is the bay tree, which has responded at last to my care, and is sprouting new bright green shoots, but don’t bays grow huge?

Similarly, I’m sure this is avocado stone I buried a couple of months back, and he’s growing at a rate of knots

Ah well, we’ll see if they survive the summer which starts as I leave town. (Yes, it’s WHY I leave town). Then review the situation next Easter. In the meanwhile, I'll try not to get particularly attached to any single one ...

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