There’s this thing going on the The States at the moment, where they stick their pots of annuals and perennials full of….well…sticks. It may well be happening elsewhere, but its been a while since I’ve been elsewhere.
Just back from the USA, and lingering in a state of garden bliss. In no other two- week period of my life have I accessed such a broad spectrum of garden aspiration and achievement (except, perhaps, running the same tour last year).
So I’m swanning around Washington DC, and wander into a huge bookshop, with the intention of checking out the garden books. In the pre-internet days we didn’t see any American garden books in Australia, and I’ve still got it in my head that I might stumble on a huge untapped resource of inspiring reading.
Not quite twenty years ago a single image in a movie spawned – for me – a whole new way of looking at gardens.
Firewood is now such a frightful price that you feel compelled to maximize the layers of pleasure it can provide. The provision of warmth alone isn’t enough.
OK, enough of the frivolity. This is serious. This is practical.
I’m in a kind of melt over Lilium formosanum. I’ve known it for 30 years, from gardening around it at Ripponlea, but have never (inexpicably) grown it myself until now.
Know what this is people?
So here’s the rest of the poem, following on from Monday’s post. My point was that if real plants were truly in danger of being superseded, the media and the nurseries had to take partial responsibility for devaluing or underselling both the depth and breadth of the appeal of gardening.
Well over a decade ago the Horticultural Media Association in NSW asked me to contribute to a kind of debate called ‘Gardens of the Future will have no plants’. The timing was perfect, as Leo Schofield had recently passed on to me an article from a US newspaper about a garden made entirely of plastic plants. In this garden, the plastic wisteria had plastic flowers added and then removed, in season. I called the store that supplied the plants, and it was extraordinary how many different kinds were available “thirty two different hydrangeas at all stages of growth” they boasted. I asked about lavender “Oh ‘erbs? you want ‘erbs? We have hundreds of different ‘erbs’!”
I think I’m past the plant snobbery phase. You kind of have to let it go when you observe yourself starting to really enjoy plants again that you once dismissed, and so accept what you’ve suspected for some time – that your opinions are highly unstable, and you may as well just adopt a default setting of more of less enjoying everything.
So you’ve seen organic mulch – you’ve almost certainly spread some, if not made some. You’d also have seen gravel mulch. But have you ever stumbled on monolith mulch?