I have to say it! My garden is magnificient. Even in the middle of winter, as above when the magnolia Iolanthe takes over. My garden is Magnificent even if I have to say so myself. I didn't set out to have a garden worthy of Chelsea but I have one, much to my surprise!
How did this happen? The garden did it itself. It has taken over my life. I never wanted to garden but now I just have to as my garden insists. My garden loves me being ill. This is when my garden sees it's chance and takes over, does its 's own thing and amazes me. How does it do this? Let me try to explain.
The secret is to have the same garden for a least 40 years and be a little interested in having a bit more than a lawn. This way you have the opportunity, 40 years opportunity, of finding out what grows and what doesn't.
People who do lawns never get a garden. A lot of people do lawns in Auckland. The sound of mowers is heard every weekend. 40 years on their gardens look just the same namely a dull boring lawn that either has to be cut or watered or left parched and dry,
In some areas of my garden it and I are still working on which plant will grow. 40 years gives you the chance to plant everything you can think of and try and nurse the less prosperous plants into submission. My failures have been petunias, geraniums, thyme and parsley and Tea roses. I really have to try with those. Complete failure1
The answer it seems is to be dangerously ill, so ill that you have to leave your garden alone and I mean alone for at least six months, preferably a year with just minor care of say cutting the small lawn and the hedges.
My garden adores me being ill because it takes over. The weak plants vanish and the strong take over and grow and grow and plants can grow in Auckland. When I came I was horrified to find my plot was less than half a tennis court but now I am so grateful. Small gardens are best because you can get somewhere in an afternoon. It looks as if you have done something.
The first time I was dangerously ill was ten years ago. The garden thrived (see video below) and for 6 months this year my garden has again thrived without me. Other than a very hard prune and removal of the larger weeds I have done nothing and it is, wait for it .......Magnificent!
Now it has taken me over! I have to look after it! I have to water it. It demands my attention. It just says 'Look I got you through this and now you just have to enjoy me!' and I do! The garden goes on repaying me week after week. It always looks beautiful.
My garden gardens for me! Few of my friends are interested and for years it has only had me. The neighbor who loved it too and watered it for me while I was in hospital, Elizabeth Daniels, has just died but I have a new next door neighbor who is equally enthusiastic and I can share it with her and help her to avoid the mistakes I made with my garden.
This year I hope you all can enjoy it too. I'll let you know how it is perhaps once a fortnight but watch out you to may find your garden has taken over your life too!