There is something restful about choosing plants for a garden. It's the effect of all that vegetation, to start with, and in Spring it has a lot to do with the perfumes that draw you around the offerings. My daughter-in-law said that people actually go to this place for recreation at weekends, spend whole days here. There is, of course, a cafe, but that's not what the crowds come for. Last Sunday morning at 11 o'clock, the car park was full, and it's a huge car park. Luckily, some people were not staying all day!
My son is changing employers, so has a week off in between; he's been inveigled to use the week to set up the garden that has existed so far only in his mind's eye. Confident in all other respects, he has been urging me to "help" him organise his garden. I arrived with changes of clothes, new gloves, toiletries in case I needed a shower, only to discover he didn't have the plants yet. It was a valuable planning session we had, and such a joy to wander the paths of Gardenworld in Springvale Road.
The Wood Cutter came today. This Silver Princess, riddled by borer, had lost one long arm, and the second arm (pictured) would have followed soon. Too tall, they fail to withstand sudden gusts or persistent strong wind. The Wood Cutter took this down, finished off the fallen part, trimmed the lower boughs of a Peppercorn tree and removed most of the two warped and twisted trees out the front. The beauty of their lovely purple blooms was negated by the stickiness of their leaves and the toughness of branches I couldn't cut with a handsaw.
What's left of my garden (which is plenty) now has spaces to fill. The Wood Cutter is a practical man who favours the kind of wildness I've cultivated (that's a bit of a contradiction!). Peppercorns attract white ants? Nah, no more than other trees, and sometimes less as they are so sappy and wet compared to other Australian trees. Curly leaf on the fruit tree? That won't kill your tree, you just won't have fruit this year. Next year, chuck dish water on the newly emerging leaves, that'll fix it. The Wood Cutter's son is his assistant. I brought him a glass of water. He drank it down in one giant gulp, sighed, and said, "This's the kind of garden I want at my place." My thirst for approval was slaked.
The bird life continues creating lines of discovery out there as if nothing has changed.I am giving my last three Silver Princesses names: Gloria, Ursula and Marilyn.
On internet sites, people complain about birds and possums ravaging their loquat crops. I've seen birds in my tree, but most of the fruit is untouched. Today I got out there with secateurs and nifty fingers and brought in a basketful. "Jam or chutney?" I asked Mum. "Chutney!" she voted, eyes alight. Now to find a recipe for chutney. Luckily I haven't taken our empty jam jars to the Op Shop yet.