Story telling from Australia
It’s only the third week of spring and Broken Hill has already seen a run of days above thirty, followed by thunder, lightning, rain and nights that have dropped to three or four degrees. It would be madness to plant anything, daft beyond belief, because we’re finally moving to Sydney, in less than two months.
So call me crazy.
At first I restricted myself to lettuce, radish and fast growing sugar snap peas. Then I thought basil might be worth a go. And really, what’s basil without a few tomato plants? Of course, now the chooks have gone the rose garden is the perfect place for pumpkin and zucchini, plenty of space for them to sprawl under there. And you know what? Even if the broccoli I planted doesn’t flower I can still snip the leaves for stir-fry. None of which explains the sweet corn, rhubarb, beetroot, eggplant and capsicum…
How can I leave? The roses are blooming, the three-year old apricot is smothered in specks of velvet and when the cockatoos work out how many almonds are on the tree, we’ll be invaded. It’s the same everywhere – an abundance of blossom on grapefruit, lemon, orange, nectarine and peach trees.
We won’t be here to pick any of it.
There’s a perverse pleasure in knowing that someone else will enjoy the fruits of my labour. I want the next tenants to be impressed; I want them to love this garden as much as I do.
That’s why I’ve sprinkled sulphate of potash, spread fertiliser, sprayed seaweed, dug up weeds, laid down a thick mulch of sugar cane and generally done everything I can to prepare the garden for its new owner, whoever that may be.
I found a pot of old pennies when we were clearing out a cupboard this week and I’m going to place them in a circle around some of the tender seedlings (don’t laugh, this might work). The copper in the pennies should stop the slugs’ nightly raid, like a magic fairy ring.
Since the local supermarket started selling seedlings Clyde’s been on a knife-edge every time I go shopping. I don’t always come back with food.
I’m finding it hard to let go of this garden.