Shall I Disappear Under a Sea of Green?


Weeds can be so pretty. Grass going to seed in the evening sun. Gorgeous. Did I weed out the gorgeous grass going to seed? Why, yes I did.

And here is my front garden, pretty and madly overgrown across the front path.

Today I pruned it all back, and now it looks a lot less Secret Garden-esque, but at least I can get the bins out.. I love gardens that are a bit wild, a bit overgrown and mysterious, but I also like paths where you can get the bins out without swearing.

Let's face it, sometimes you also need an unobstructed path to the garden tap..

That little narrow garden on the left has been a vegie patch for the last couple of years, but despite the fact that it is right outside the kitchen door, I neglect it because it isn't part of the main food garden. Mostly this little space is covered in waist-high radish plants gone to seed, which is nice for the bees, but makes it impossible to get to the garden tap. And I value unobstructed access to the garden tap.

I am thinking of planting a fig tree here. It is right between the huge rosemary bush and the grapevine-covered deck, and it will provide figs, plus mediterranean ambience. What do you think?

Unobstructed access to the garden tap. One of the many benefits of gardening

For me, gardening is the constant conversation between order and chaos. How much wilderness is too much? How much is just right? Too little wilderness and the garden loses its soul. Too much and the house disappears under the ivy. Once someone came to visit me for the first time, and he didn't have my phone number, only my address, and he couldn't see where I lived because the fence was so overgrown with ivy that he couldn't find the house number, or even the gate, so he went home.. 

Sometimes I would like to disappear under a sea of green leaves. It is an ever-present temptation. My garden is the kind of rambunctious one where if I didn't prune for a few years, the house would probably disappear from view, and branches would begin to press in at all the windows, and no-one would be able to find me. I almost nearly want that to happen. However, I sternly send myself out with the secateurs every couple of weeks in the summer now, to trim around the edge of the gate and the street number, just in case.


Deborah said…
Yes to the fig tree. They smell wonderful in the heat and figs are delicious.
When it become tricky to get to the tap I sprayed vinegar on the weeds in the paving and thought a lot about the blessing/ not blessings of a long, wet winter. Now, of course WA is sweltering in the heat every day and even the weeds are wilting (so am I)
The plan is to wait until it's cooler, cut back, weed and add water crystals and bentonite plus more mulch as we garden in grey beach sand. That will tidy everything up for a while!

Anonymous said…
Plant the fig! I allow many areas in the property to grow wild, and let volunteer trees and plants do their thing where ever they are (not always a wise decision as some are too close to the house), this grace is not extended to weeds.
My front lawn is not grass put a wide variety of weeds, I mow regularly to keep them at bay. I am not great at weeding but I try specially in areas where I am trying to grow food. Interestingly, Iguanas do not eat weeds :(.
Have a good week, my friend.

Beznarf27 said…
Just incedentally, did you know that you can use fig leaves to set cheeses? They are also edible, make excellent wraps for dolma and make a tasty tea (dried or fresh) and there are liquers that are flavoured with fig leaves and they are very useful for all sorts of other things. If you do want a fig tree, could you fire me off an email (same address) and remind me of where to drop it. I can't remember where you live lol.
Jo said…
Very occasionally a comment posted here doesn't show up, even though it gets emailed to me, for reasons of I don't know.. so here is Beznarf27 (Fran's) first comment which I've copied and pasted (yes, her second comment posted up fine. Again, I don't know.. sigh..):

Sweet LORD I wish my garden was as wild as yours. Your's makes mine look like a full metal jungle. Our driveway washed away this year and the entire rear of our property turned into a swamp. We started to realise that something wasn't quite right when the rest of the local area started to dry up once the rains slowed down and our property was still a slow running creek.

We investigated further and found that there was a little creek running suspiciously along the rear of our boundary and we eventually contacted the water board just before Christmas and they came out, investigated and discovered that one of the mains pipes had sprung a leak. They fixed it the other day, however the rear area has been effectively watered for "nought" as my Lancastrian grandmother would have said resulting in MASS weed and plant growth especially since the weather warmed up.

I lost my gardening mojo about 2 years ago and just stopped caring. I was so very tired of fighting a seemingly lost battle with the voracious native animals and rats and after losing my job when covid struck, I just decamped inside and studiously avoided all things "outside". I am only just now peeking out to survey the damage and am gardening again so you can't begin to imagine what the "garden" looks like.

I am on a quest to reclaim the garden this year. I have all kinds of ideas about what I am going to do and to build and to create. That's why I thought I might start blogging again. I want to share the process. It's going to be an uphill battle I can tell you.

Just read about your desire to plant out a fig tree. Would you like one? I have a couple of small fig trees that I am contemplating giving away and it would be lovely to know that one of them would be useful to you if you would like it? They aren't very big but are growing fast and as you know, fig trees are quick to grow. Being smaller and locally grown would also give it an edge over a bought tree from somewhere like the local big hardware store that I have stopped buying vegetable seedlings from because they never thrive. Let me know if you would like one and I will get Steve to drop it off behind your gate.

Loving seeing your beautiful garden and completely get the desire to hide in plain sight.
Blueberry said…
Please plant a fig tree just the right spot!! Have you every made Rosemary Tea? Good for the body and soul. Take care and enjoy the garden.
Jo said…
Deborah, rain in Australia is always feast or famine, isn't it? Gardening in sand must be a trial. Have you tried mulching with fresh woodchips? I am amazed what they have done for my garden, as the micorrhizal fungi that develops under it blasts the soil microbiome into high gear. I don't know, but I'm guessing that all that fungi (the white web under the woodchips) might improve the soil structure of the sand?

Patricia, of course iguanas do not eat weeds, they wait until your prized fruit and vegies are ready and tuck in:) I also have a wild garden area, and it is getting wilder by the year. I may have to do some jungle taming in there this year. I have let some volunteer tree seedlings grow, but there are so many! Last year I pulled out a foot high elm tree seedling growing about six feet from the house, about a dozen horse chestnut seedlings and two dozen baby cherry plum trees. I imagine that if I went away for ten years and left the garden alone, I literally would not be able to see the house when I got back. It would only take the historical blink of an eye for Nature to reclaim all our cities..

Fran, sorry about the mysterious disappearance of your first comment. Technology. What can you do? I copied and pasted it above, because thankfully blogger still emailed it to me, although it couldn't be bothered posting it..
I think we all went a little crazy in out own ways during the pandemic, and leaving a garden to its own devices was also one of my own coping strategies. Who had anything extra at the time? Not me. That is why this year is gardening year for me. If you do start up your blog again, please let us know here so we can follow along with your adventures. Your Serendipity blog is still on my blog roll. As soon as you post anything it will pop up into top position:)
(Blog roll is in the menu bar. If it doesn't automatically show, click the three horizontal lines in the top left-hand corner, for anyone that can't find it)
And yes, I would love a fig tree, thank you! My people will be in touch with your people... and if/when you resurrect your garden, please come and visit. Nearly all my plants self-seed prolifically or grow from cuttings, and I am sure we can restock Serendipity Farm without recourse to the big-box garden centre!

Blueberry, I think the fig tree has a yes from everyone! I love figs! I have never made rosemary tea, but I have enough rosemary to make tea for everyone in town, so I will go straight out and do that and report back on the body and soul situation. Thank you:)
Mary said…
I share your dilemma - we constantly have to prune back anything near the house. Most of our property is heavily wooded and can take care of itself, but even though we favor a pretty natural-looking yard, it is constantly in danger of being overtaken by invasives and ornamentals gone wild. I hate having to mow the yard but if we didn't, in about two years the house would be lost in a jungle.
I love figs (so does the wildlife) and have a huge tree which I planted as a little stick about 15 years ago. It has to be pruned every year as it rampantly spreads out in all directions but it's definitely worth it.
Good luck with your technology problems.
Jo said…
Mary, it is only our constant vigilance that prevents the entire planet being taken over by The Green again. We think we are wrecking the planet, and we are, but step away for a minute and Nature will come roaring back with a vengeance. I'm still perplexed as to why the whole planet is not covered with ivy already..

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