Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The 10-Year Rewind – Part 19 – Petty Jealousies

Every day this month I am looking back on the 10 years since I started this blog in June, 2008. Part 19 is this one — Petty Jealousies — from March 2014, in which I suffer from a mild case of the other gardener's grass seeming greener.

It was a comment from Jo in Melbourne, complaining gently about her fair city's recent lack of rain, that got me thinking about this next, not very serious, post. We're a jealous lot, we gardeners. Talk about "the other one's grass is always greener"! There's always someone else who we gardeners can envy in a very green way. Usually it's for their idealised climate. So often I wish I could do some gardening in another climate zone, just for a year or three. Where else would you like to do some gardening, if you had your wish come true?

Jo's comment arrived on the same weekend that a friend showed me a photo of her wonderful crop of fresh quinces from her backyard tree. No, that's not her quinces in this photo above. They're some I bought in our local 'Banana Joe's' fruit and vegie supermarket here in Marrickville. At least the quinces are in season now and I guess that's what really counts. But I would love to be able to grow my own. 

And so, here's my list of petty jealousies, in no particular order. 

1. I am jealous of those in cool climate gardens who can grow what I can't grow here in Sydney, in particular quinces, raspberries, cherries, Seville oranges, Cox's Orange Pippin apples, plums and pears. 

2. I am jealous of those in tropical climate gardens who can grow what I can't grow here in Sydney, in particular great mangoes, mangosteens, rambutans and pineapples. And cardamoms and nutmeg trees, too. And zillions of orchids, and flowering gingers...

3. And woe is me for residing in a place with humid, clammy summers, instead of somewhere nice and hot and dry and Mediterranean in summer (like Perth, Adelaide, or California or South Africa, or Greece or Spain) where I could much more easily grow pomegranates, olives, grapes, caperberries and huge drifts of lovely lavender. 

Before everyone leaps in and says "you can grow mangoes in Sydney, pineapples too" and "we grow olives, figs and grapes here in Sydney town too." I know, I know. But it's such a lottery when you garden in the wrong climate. Some seasons it all works fine, others are disasters. Besides, all the tropicals grow too slowly down here, and the Mediterraneans cark it in a really humid Sydney summer. In the ideal climate zones for all these crops, most seasons are good ones. Trying to grow these crops in the "wrong" climate zone, out of sheer bloody-minded "I'll show them" gardening envy, is utterly normal for gardeners, but a tragedy waiting to happen, as it does again and again. 

So this is a not-very-serious griping post for me, and I'm not really jealous of others, either. It's just sometimes I feel a little fleeting pang of garden envy, comforted only by knowing that someone else, somewhere else, is envious of lucky little Jamie and Pam in evergreen, lush, easy-grow, warm-temperate, cuddly Sydney. 

However... if I was a rich man, I would definitely buy a property in all the climate zones that I'm currently jealous of, and flit between them cultivating all the forbidden fruits I can't really grow all that well in Sydney. That's a sensible plan for a jealous man. Shame I'm poor...

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