Today, Tomorrow.

Today I have been enjoying a completely free day, at home alone, with an agenda to call my own! It is rare, valuable and has been much appreciated. It has been one of those July days that hints for a few moments at Spring, while Winter sits heavily around us. The plants have shown prodigious growth over the last few months, as have the weeds! I have felt well enough to be outside pruning, trying not to grieve the loss of the ability and strength which assisted me in making the gardens around the house and office. It was designed to eventually be low maintenance and self sustaining and my plans had been fulfilled. However I just needed another year or two of maintenance work to get it into the sort of shape I had planned for. My first operation and then the second put paid to my plans and it has been hard to watch nature doing her thing, trying to take back over what was once weeds and rank growth.
The land is extremely difficult to cultivate. It is hot and dry in Summer and cool and damp in Winter. Herbs that I am instructed to plant in full sun curl up and die in Summer and in Winter may die from too much damp and cold. Sages and thymes for instance, particularly hate the conditions and no garden feels complete without them. There have been some major surprises. Lemon balm, an old favourite, flourishes, giving the two fingers as it were, to anything thrown at it. Honeysuckles, lavenders, rosemaries, geraniums, garlic, broad beans and artichokes flourish. Iris are content whatever, as are most succulents, wallflowers, Lions’ Ear, Arum Lilies, nasturtiums and wormwoods. The palette is grey with plenty of repetition and in Spring is a riot of colour. I learned early to experiment with the most likely plants and rejoice the successes and not repeat the failures. One year I planted a number of our indigenous banksias and of that number only one survived, now a six foot beauty, flowering in it’s extraordinary way and beautifully placed, considering it has no surviving stable mates. banksia-marginata-a-19496-250 The old flowers from other seasons remain, while there are new buds and open flowers – certainly hedging the bets this one!
I have spent time pruning and enjoying being outside, with not too strenuous activity, but one which gave me a great deal of satisfaction. I filled a wheelbarrow or three, with quite a few more to go before this task is completed. Little treasures are coming to light, literally, as weeds are taken away revealing a self-seeded Pride of Madeira, a horizontal geranium stem which has formed roots, lemon balm plants breaking naturally into new plants and nice spots for them all to make a new home. It is enjoyable to feel near exhaustion and full of satisfaction at work done which was needed urgently. There are hours and hours, weeks to do yet, but I learned way back to settle for today and not worry about tomorrow.
I came inside to read this piece, still with dirt under my nails. It has affected me deeply. Please read it and think about the Palestinians with dirt under their nails, trying to preserve their olive trees and fruit trees; their life, their past and their future. How can we allow this to be happening? It is genocide, a planned holocaust carried out with dedication, no remorse or care for those affected. It is cruel and being carried out by those who have every reason to understand. Are these human beings so hard that they must perpetrate on others what was done to them and where will it end?

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