12 October 2011

Gardening: TIme to Think

I know why secateurs are brightly coloured. It's not just because the colour makes working in the garden more fun. It's so you can find them when they've fallen in to the jumble of ivy, pile of clippings or amongst the weeds.

Origin of SECATEUR

French sécateur, from Latin secare to cut
First Known Use: 1881

Pulling weeds is like therapy; elimination of the unwelcome to make room for the welcome.

As I mentioned previously this week, I sometimes get drawn in to my gardening without intending to get involved. Sometimes it is just the act of walking out to get the newspaper from the box. "Well, how did that weed get there? Oh, there's another one!"

Sometimes it is the identification of a pesky bug that I don't want sending out invitations. "Better get the spray out now . . . . or move that lady bug or spider over so it can have lunch!"

Any number of things can delay me in the garden, which tells you that I like having my hands in dirt, that I like healthy plants and I like to be surprised by chance glances that catch surprising vistas that are of my own making. Well, me and God, and my garden doesn't really have enough room for vistas.

So here I was out in the front garden, but behind the wall. I've encouraged various ivys to grow on this wall to over the ugly greyness: one ivy is ever green, the other seasonal. The wall blocks the house from street view but does little to deaden the sound of traffic. If not for that wall, I'd probably not wander around in my pajamas as much.

I had grabbed the secateurs from the hall closet after getting the newspaper, seeing that it was time to get a few things back under control.

I don't have many fussy annuals, though I do like a spot of colour. There are camellias in need of trimming, but I'm not sure how. There are New Zealand native plants too. I planted a couple of hebes that may or may not survive today's trimming. There are clivia, bromeliads, orchids, ferns, split-leaf philodendron, agapanthus, ornamental grasses and a sad, but still producing lemon tree. Describing it sounds great. The reality is not so great. Really.

Today I was pulling out pesky grass like weeds that showered little white bulbs all over the place upon eruption from the earth. I can only surmise that each of those little white bulbs will result in more pesky grass like weeds . . . . I tried to pick them up, but there were too many.

As I pulled weeds, I suddenly realised that those lovely orange coloured flowers I like so well and had planted along the wall were very similar. In fact, they are so similar that I accidentally pulled some of them! I muttered "Phooey!" as I tucked a few back in, but the trauma to their systems does not bode well for prolific blossoms later this summer. [Oh, those of you reading from the northern hemisphere, it's Spring down here and a long hot Summer is predicted.]

Next came the pitiful lemon tree . . . . most of which has been munted by termites. Five lemons hang off its one proud branch. I can't cut it down! I just can't. I did trim a bit, those opportunistic suckers will not produce anything so out they go. Ouch. Thorny monsters.

Musta been about then that I couldn't find the secateurs. I know I placed them somewhere here . . . . as I stepped back in my $2.50 black Goodwill Crocs, I stepped on my glasses which I had hung on the collar of my shirt. Bending over to pull weeds had dislodged the glasses which made them vulnerable to the Crocs. Fortunately the glasses gave in the right places and just snuggled down in to the mulch, none the worse for . . .

Jumping down from the raised bed, I then caught a flash of red. The secateurs were comfy on a bed of ivy, lethal end hidden, but obviously red handled.

Maybe I should get brightly coloured glasses or hang them on a string around my neck?

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