Friday 11 March 2016

Garden Reflections

It's definitely Spring and garden time again.
 I am an enthusiastic gardener but without a lot of skill or know-how.
But here's an extract from piece I wrote for Ireland's Own on a climber I have.
If you want a vigorous climber this is the one to go for.


   Developing a relationship with a garden has, like all relationships, its benefits and hazards. And one such hazard is the early call to attend to its needs. Dispense with the digital alarm and awaken to the sound of pigeon coo, that odd sequence of notes that seems to stop mid bar.
   My garden has become an aviary since the demise of my black and white moggy and I have installed a stone bird table to encourage these winged newcomers. It is set beneath what I am told is the Green Man. A mischievous face set in concrete and available at many garden centres. He is like a Pan spirit whose main function is to encourage growth. I am sure that there are Saints I could pray to, but failing that I defer to Greek mythology on this matter. The Green Man hangs, like an overcast pool, against a backdrop of Cissus Striata, that promiscuous evergreen from South America that every gardener should revere.

Ivy of Uruguay, Cissus Striata, in its native clime provides fodder for Chilean cattle which browse contentedly on this fine textured vine. 

Acquiring such useless, if intriguing, gems of information becomes part and parcel of your daily routine once gardening takes its hold on you. And expect to dispel much idleness and spend many fruitful and fruitless hours googling in your attempts to discover the intricate and intimate secrets of unpronounceable Latin names.

   Planted in the South West corner of a minuscule patio I gave my Cissus strict instructions to 
camouflage the mundane eyesore of a pebbledash wall. The devious minx instead climbed sideways, in crablike fashion, coiling her tenacious, wiry tendrils in the direction of the oil tank. (You know, the big, brash, vulgar green plastic variety-ubiquitous impediment in every suburban backyard). Stealthily she crept behind, beneath and over the unsuspecting target, locking it in a straitjacket of vigorous, woody stems and succulent glossy green leaves. Her coarse toothed edges bit deep.
Seeing that the moment was ripe I quickly inserted a 6 by 4 foot trellis which is now locked in a grip so tight that I no longer fear for its stability. The tank also is greatly enhanced by this luxurious, if somewhat stifling, embrace. No doubt it wishes that it were a Chilean cow.  In autumn I expect to see the addition of black glossy pea like berries but am not tempted to graze on them.

Good Luck in the garden!

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