Sunday, October 01, 2006


If at this time of year you spend a week trying (and failing) to get at least one of the four book reviews finished while you clean the house, pack for a two-day Sydney trip, prepare for the meeting that said trip is about, and prioritise above all else some time out for a fleeting visit from a distant beloved, and if you finally stagger out to the cab for the airport secure in the knowledge that you've ticked everything off the packing list (except your hairbrush; bummer) and that there are biscuits and coffee for your elderly father when he comes over to feed the cats and that there is enough money in the accessible bank accounts to get you through whatever staggeringly expensive Sydney events may arise (for Sydney absorbs one's money like blotting paper) -- if, as I say, you spend a week like this, too busy to go outside, then be prepared for chaos in the garden by the time you get home.

The ground cover will be choking the pansies and violas.

The bloody blackbirds will have pulled out all the loose soil from under the lobelias.

The lovely healthy Roma tomato plant will be nearly dead.

The evil bastard bougainvillea will be growing through the garage guttering again.

The sweet peas will have started to bloom, in a neon shade of tangeriney pinky red that clashes nastily with the last of the ranunculi, which are a neon shade of shirazzy pinky red.

A new family of honey-eaters will have taken up residence in the overgrown tangle of climbing rose, bignonia, jasmine and nasturtiums that's threatening to pull the fence down, so of course you can't cut it back till this latest family of fledglings has taken off.

The bugs will have eaten the basil, just like they do every bloody summer no matter what you do.

There will be weeds everywhere, including growing up through the pavers, because you can't spray them until there's a still, dry day with no deadlines in it, and we don't seem to have had one of those since about June.

So this morning I went out into the jungle, took a deep breath, did a load of washing, hung it out, and watered the garden. And it immediately began to rain.


Mindy said...

At least it's raining there! You must have gotten one review written, cause I read it today!

tigtog said...

I keep putting off hacking back my nasturtiums, which are covering half the backyard and threatening to smother the rose patch in the front.

But at least I don't have sweet peas clashing with the ranunculus.

Blue said...

Aha! It's your fault! I'd just hung my washing out when it started....

But i loved the thunder.

deadlines suck. the end

FXH said...

I can't get the sweet peas to do anything but look sickly on bit of string. Grape vine over pergola is sprouting green and wisteria is getting flowers and leaves.

Blood and bone attracted all the neighbourhood dogs a-walking with their owners. I'm not sure exactly why but blood and bone seems to make the dogs shit all over the front bits and footpath. And only the big dogs with huge turds.

One day I'm going to set up a secret video camera and catch all those walkers who let their dogs crap over the footpath and nature strip and then bundle up the crap and take it around to their place and either smear it all over their car door handles or do the old wrap it in newpaper, set it on fire, ring bell and watch from behind a bush while they stomp it out hard, with their foot, or something.

JahTeh said...

I have one branch of wisteria which I coax over the neighbour's fence but around the corner, the wisteria has grown over a front gate archway and into the silver birch. I've taken two photographs of it, luckily before the winds wrecked it. All the citrus trees have blossom and the perfume is magic.

Anonymous said...

Baby, doncha know, just doing the washing is the equivalent of the FULL RAIN DANCE.

And at least you get some bloody sun...

Bernice said...

Aarrhh yes the washing as drought breaking tactic. I've considered loading my 5.5kg Hoover toploader into the back of the ute & touring rural NSW in revivalist mode, offering the foolproof prospect of five days non-stop deluge as soon as a load of whites emerges from the Hoover & heads toward a clothesline.

Pavlov's Cat said...

FXH -- I have two lots of sweet peas and the ones that are doing much better are on a north/south trellis with no nearby big shadows and get the sun all day. Not that that is likely to be any help to you. And not to get too gruesome, but Blood and Bone isn't called that for nothing. They think it's food and it gets their digestive systems going. I agree that people who let their dogs (or cats!) poop in other people's yards and gardens and driveways deserve their own special circle of hell.

JahTeh, perhaps you can tell me how to make sure the fruit sets on the lemon tree instead of all the lovely blossom just falling off, baby fruit and all.

Sorry about the rain and the washing, ladies. The other thing I do to make it rain is wash the car.

JahTeh said...

PC, There is only one rule in this "not a gardner's bootlace" garden, live or die. I have picked up a few tips though, don't water near the trunk, prune savagely every few years and apparently they like to be fed. Also it's not an urban myth about having a man pee on a lemon tree.