In 2008 my wife and I bought a little cottage on a large block of land in Sydney’s far south. We had dreams of a great garden in which our daughter Rhiannon could play to her heart’s content. We bought a wooden play centre with swings and a slippery dip. We bought a trampoline.
But we neglected to consider a few facts about ourselves. The biggest of these was that neither of us is a gardener. I had lived in units/apartments for 40 out of my (then) 44 years of life. And those 4 years had been in my childhood. I had no idea how a garden worked, let alone a massive monstrosity of a garden. Nor did I have any inclination to learn. Somehow I thought that it would come naturally because my paternal grandfather had been a gardener and many generations ago I had farmers among my ancestors. Yep – I’m a moron.
Until I lost my job I did manage to keep the garden kind of neat-ish (imagine a very big “ish” on the end of that “neat”). For a few years I even managed to have a working vegetable patch with chillies and tomatoes and a few other things. Yep – chillies and tomatoes are among my fave foods so I was always growing those.
But the loss of my job, the impact of my eye condition keeping me indoors for around 6 months, and finally the breaking down of my mower meant that the garden descended into primeval conditions. That’s a positive worry because we do get snakes around my way.
Anyway, a fortnight of school holidays have just started and my daughter Rhiannon approached me with a request: can we make it a daddy-daughter holiday project to get the garden looking nice?
My mind filled with mental images of me wading through chest high grass chased by velociraptors.
Dammit! How can I say no?
I guess I will have to find a way to fit that in with my other goals. But somehow I will. Somehow.
Below are photos giving an idea of my starting point: my shameful garden with all its junk. Wish me luck.
Thanks for reading.