Monday, January 14, 2013

Good cheer

Of all the silly things a usually sensible person could do, I updated our accounts on Saturday, and delving into inconvenient financial facts always has a slightly depressing effect, doesn't it? And so yesterday, Sunday, was a low point for me, a cheerless day in the garden where all I did was pull out weeds and cut back a rampant ground cover in the front garden that likes to accost pedestrians in the street.

Not the greatest weekend, but it did end well with the first good downpour of rain in ages, and then this morning, Monday, wandering out into the garden had an amazingly uplifting effect on me. Everywhere I looked I saw positive signs, pretty colours, sweet scents – it was full of good cheer. 

And so, dear readers, I present a simple posting designed partly to cheer myself up but also to celebrate the benefits of slowing down and taking stock not only of the pennies in the jar but also the beautiful, natural riches around you.

This is what started it all off this morning. While gathering yet
another colander full of cherry tomatoes, the air was wafting along
on sweet tropical frangipani scents. I stood up, looked at their
lovely simplicity, inhaled another breath and my mood changed.
For the record, this is my favourite typo, cheery tomatoes.

Just as I stepped away from cheery frangipani
land I smiled at a conversation I had with an
expert gardener about how impossible it is to
grow Acacia cognata in Sydney. 

The rain brings out the scents and the colours;
this pot of mint was spicy with its tangy scent.

The mint is in flower now, a happy plant in semi-shade provided
it's given outrageous amounts of water and fertiliser.

Next door to the mint, the French tarragon is a contented low
forest of foliage. Medium water, slow-release fertiliser is all
it needs, plus one hell of a cutback in early spring.

My first go at growing Florence fennel is doing
OK. I have a whole packet of seeds here, but
only planted a few in late spring, as I had
missed the boat for the earlier spring sowing
it prefers. This autumn, I'm sowing lots more.

The strawberries just keep on coming. We started
harvesting breakfast bowls full of these back in
early October and they aren't close to finishing
yet. And to think I didn't even plant anything
there! They came up out of the compost, just
like monsters come up out of black lagoons.

And while I'm counting my blessings and
spreading the good cheer, let me recommend
radishes to you. These are French Breakfast
long cylindrical radishes, and I sowed the
seeds for these on Thursday. I'll probably
be eating some of these by early February.
And I've learned to like their flavour, too.
Super-finely sliced, not too much either, added
to a green garden salad, they are pure zing.

The Thai makrut lime fruit is ready for grating
into dressings, salads and sauces, but the only
hard thing is removing them from the tree,
simply because they look so good there, all
knobbly, deep green and just a bit weird.

There's a party going on in the succulent patch.

The Tiger Grass which is meant to become a
tropical look screen to hide the boring metal
fence is finally growing fast, now that the
heat of summer is here. That's what it loves,
apparently, heat and water, just as if it was
growing in the jungles of Thailand. One of
these days a tiger will jump out of that foliage!

If you're still with me after this marathon 'cheer up' to myself, thanks. There really is nothing quite like a spin around the garden on a cool morning after overnight rain. Quite magical, its effect.


Lanie at Edible Urban Garden said...

Thanks Jamie, that cheered me up too!

Wabi Sabi Woman said...

I loved the tour of your refreshed garden and now I'm taking a cup of coffee out to tour mine. No doubt the coffee cup will be left unfinished whilst I see some weeds to remove or dead heading to do. Sometimes I think I grow tea cups and coffee mugs in the garden as I come across them a few days later! The rain received at Albury over the last few days has been heaven too.

V. Gardener said...

It's hard to be down and out when you're surrounded by a beautiful garden :)

Chartreuse said...

You're so lucky to have had rain. Here on the Sunshine Coast we are just now getting a shower but it doesn't seem likely to amount to much. Is that a kaffir lime or some other variety? My motto: never consider finances on Sunday, not if you want to enjoy your day or rest!

Chartreuse said...

(Sorry! that should read "day OF rest".)

patientgardener said...

I'm exactly the same, I have to persuade myself to look at the finances which are Ok but always depressing. I then spend 24 hours mumbling about them etc but then a walk round the garden, some fresh air, bit of weeding and I feel better

Jamie said...

Thanks everyone for your comments, they also cheered me up.
And Chartreuse, yes, my Thai makrut lime is the kaffir lime, same thing, different names.

Anonymous said...

Well said! My frangipani is in full bloom too that scent does lift the spirits. I will go home this evening and have a damned good sniff!

Cheers Brent.

Jamie said...

Nothing like sticking your head into a frangipani tree for a while, is there Brent? Mind you, leave it there half an hour you could slip into a tropical delirium.

Min said...

Gardening and being surrounded by nature can always lift me out of the most negative mood. We are looking to purchase a little house in the inner west area in the coming months. So excited to finally have a little garden space to wander around like you have here.