On a day where the only noises are the birds and the sounds of the plants growing, the local magpies band together like a neighbourhood vigilante group to eject the noisy miners that have ventured into the front garden. Swift they are, and the miners, interlopers to my garden and to Australia, get the message. They go looking for worms and water a few houses over.
The gum tree – what is its name again? – so tall now, and just in flower. Early morning air fills with the babble of parrots as they discover the feast. On and on, with such joy, they visit flower then flower then flower. Later it is quiet, they leave, one can only assume to take a satisfied, post-feast rest.
I transplant one more self-sown lavender from the back to the front, the third in a row, to hopefully form something like a hedge in years to come. There are more lavenders to transplant, but there is always much to do in the garden, so one at a time gets the job done eventually.
One more crepe myrtle is moved out of its pot into the row of three, now all planted, the dark leaves of this variety a wonderful foil for the blue of the lavender. Agapanthus, too, on the other side of the crepe myrtles, slowly being transplanted into an edging row. Fingers crossed they will flower next Spring or Summer.
It sounds quite formal, this patch, does it not? Never fear, there is little formal in my garden. In between the lavender, the crepe myrtle, the agapanthus, is a riot of jonquils and a few bella donnas. What might look like a formal patch in Summer becomes a bed of green over Autumn, a sea of flowers in Winter, and a layer of mulch in Spring. In late Summer the few Bella Donnas lift up their pink skirts and bless the passers by with their quaint perfume.
In my 9 months of this house, this garden, this is the first bed to near completion. I will have to be here another 10 years to get this garden to a state that reflects a little of my vision. And I aim to do it low cost. There are some expenses of course – seeds for the vegetable garden, the odd plant I can’t resist, the crepe myrtles (bless that decision, they are beautiful), some seedlings that I know will self seed for future years.
The rest has been existing plants, some seeds and small rooted plants gifted from other gardens, a cutting or two lovingly tended until it roots. Plants that pop up on their own – lettuces are lifting their heads from the last of last year’s crop that went to seed. The lavenders that I mentioned. Harlequin plants shimmer and shine in their striped glory. Amaranths lift their red cock’s combs in drifts all through the garden. Violas have sprung up and are flowering profusely.
Gardens. God’s gift to mankind.
Happiness lies in a garden.