Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Mother of all argarves

Amongst forms of procrastination gardening is one of the best.
Our garden is large, and if we (I mostly) gardened in a Southern French style, i.e with attention to the smallest weed, I would have been taken away by persons in white coats some time ago.
Recently, a man came to check the possibly of installing a well in the garden. He looked at the rampaging slope behind the house, with its collection of wild trees engaged in trying to swamp each other and knitted his brows in perplexity and fear.  "Sacré bonhomme, quel travaille . . . merde alors!" He uttered. (Jesus — how much work to do. Shit!)
Yep, no lines of begonias and well behaved fruit trees here, just nature doing its thing with me trying to coax it all into some sort of shape.

These are 'Argarve' cactus, guardians of the house. The mother of them is to the left and was brought back from Portugal by Jean-Paul, one of the previous house owners. She (the cactus) has produced many offspring which have been planted along the drive. Yesterday I started a baby cactus re-location program, which should see the hillside covered with their stripyness in the near future.

Gardening is time consuming but I think for me, like many others, totally essential as part of life. Sometimes I think I would get a lot more done if there was no garden-distraction, but then I would soon be out trawling bits of waste ground to find out who owned them, and planting tomatoes on roundabouts. We used to live in the centre of the town. Above is a photo of our balcony which was in danger of collapse due to weight of plant life . . . it was time to move on.  

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