Habitual gardener

You can't supress a gardener forever..

Because our time in this house is limited, I have strongly resisted doing the many things I wanted to do in our garden.  So much so that lawn mowing has not been high on the agenda... but we're getting there.  (Amazing how many little creatures live among grass, wild flowers and the occasional weed if you leave them in peace)

Today was the first truly hot day of Spring though.  Not a day to stay indoors.

I had a bit of work to do first, but spent the latter part of the day sorting out the neglected pool, then throwing water at my heat-drooping plants.  Before I learnt we'd be moving, I invested in a couple of punnets of assorted yellow, purple and white violas, with a few lavendar dianthus on the side.  They joined some of my irises in the "yellow, purple, white" section of the yard.  They've gone nuts next to the bed of naturally-occurring nasturtiums, which also houses a scarce Erepsia lacera rescued from a high site, the root base of a shop-bought celery that has regrown, and a few snippings of assorted grape vine root from three different abandoned fields.  However, the violas were wilting and in desperate need of liquid nourishment!  Off I went with the hosepipe to liven them up.

From there I moved on to my "veggie garden".  When we arrived here, I threw around R300 worth of carefully-selected veggie seeds into a newly-cleared bed, companion-planted to ensure maximum yield.  And then we got busy with work.. and winter arrived... and the snails found a Yippee-Buffet... and the tree roots sprouted under my garden... and I discovered that the guys I had hired to clear the bed had only chopped out the visible bits of ivy that had covered everything - leaving the roots in the ground to pop up and overwhelm what they could.  Disaster, hey.  But you can't keep nature down.  I have a row of spinach.  I have a row of parsley.  I have 8 carrots that struggled bravely on and may make it to eating size.  I have a single marigold left.  I have one more root of shop-bought celery coming up in a bush of new growth.  And two of the bean plants came up - one has only 2 leaves, but one fully-formed bean pod!  All of which also needed watering.

Once I'd done my duty with the hosepipe, I did a bit more investigating and random weed-pulling, as it was just too nice a day to go back indoors.

Under the nasturtiums I discovered that the grape vine sticks I thought long dead, had not only started to grow leaves, but also something that may become grapes!

That got me looking further.  I had dumped another bit of grapevine root under the banana palms where the big spiders live until I decided where to put it - it too had sprouted against all odds!  I quickly cleared out a patch of nasturtiums and replanted it with its mates.  Added in another two bits of grapevine that were lurking in my "rooting pot" (20 litre paint container with water, rooting mix and an assortment of flora I have yet to plant out, repurposed from various gardens and roadsides), gave everything another good sprinkle.

Then I discovered the white mulberry cuttings in the rooting pot were also going nuts with berry production in spite of a lack of leaves and roots - so planted one out near the grapvines to take root.  If it doesn't there are more waiting in the wings.

With this whole moving thing hanging over my head, I have been trying not to garden - I really have.  But getting my hands into soil is not only habitual, it's one of my "happy places".  I love to grow things - especially useful, foody things that I can pluck and serve within minutes.  I love watching them bloom and produce and thrive.  And in spite of seeing my previous garden simply ripped out by the next occupants and paved over, there's still a part of me that insists on putting things in soil.  It's in my DNA.

I don't know what the next occupant here will do.  I don't know if he will fell the trees that feed at least 10 varieties of bird year round in rotation and provide housing for geckos, spiders, and chameleons.  I don't know if he will tear up the garden and pave it over.  I do know I will try to take as many of my plants with me as I can - wherever that may be (and it HAS to have a yard with real ground to put things in.  I will not survive without it).  I know that I'm trying to keep my garden portable for that very reason.  But I also know that plants do much better in soil than in pots.

Yup, I don't know what the future holds.  In the meantime there really is a great joy in these little discoveries, the smell of water on hot ground, and that feeling of earth between your hands.  Better than a therapist's couch and vial of drugs to cure what ails you anyday.