Nightmares on the television. Gun-toting Taliban victors with disconcerting smiles. Ever-rising Covid cases in New South Wales.
So I retreat to cultivate the garden.
Once, not so long ago, I really had a garden. My garden notebook says IN BLOOM AUGUST 2009: jasmine, magnolia, pink and red camellia, clivia, alyssum, geraniums, maybush, a few bits of bougainvillea and a couple of jonquils.
Then we sold the house. Crowded tropical planting is not the fashion. In March 2012 I was silly enough to walk past. I wrote on the inside page of the notebook GONE! Margaret’s avocado tree, the frangipani, all the coast rosemary, all the ivy, geraniums, tree ferns, wisteria and its arbour, all the monstera deliciosa, jonquils, narcissus, bilbergias, alyssum, seaside daisies. In their place were a very large garage and a few lines of well disciplined greenery.
Now I have a balcony. In the planter we have a long line of liriope, a reedy lily turf with small purple flowers in summer, and a couple of tree ferns. In pots we have frangipanis and agaves. I also planted some giveaway seeds from Woolworths, the star being this pansy:
What could be more optimistic than planting a seed? What a colour combination! Eat your heart out, Monet!
One of the consolations of lockdown has been a long run of sunny winter days. The liriope thinks it’s growing season, so I have been out with the watering can and the Seasol, fertilising.
There’s a rank, dead-fish scent to it, but miracles are happening down in the soil. Gardens really do lift the spirits.