The Gardens of Chiconia 19

I have been considering the transient nature of a garden.

Even though they are made of the most solid matter, of earth, and stone and wood, carbon and water and light, they can pass quickly from glorious to heartbreaking. All it takes is a lack of care, of water, of calm weather and sunshine. Or the need to move on and leave them behind…

Screen shot 2014-08-23 at 4.47.34 PM

The back yard when I arrived. Horrible grass and an even more horrible Lomandra in the corner. Not much else.

Screen shot 2014-08-23 at 4.43.20 PM

The back yard now. My tropical garden. Leaves, flowers, fruit, water and sunlight and shade. Oh, and a swing seat.

I am slowly beginning to contemplate the dismantling of mine. A tenant will not want to browse among the plants in the early morning, admiring new growth and flowers, removing dead leaves and caterpillars. A tenant will not want the bother of stooping to remove weeds from the cracks in the paving, or cut back that long curling arm of passionfruit vine which is threatening its neighbours.

Screen shot 2014-08-23 at 4.43.41 PMScreen shot 2014-08-23 at 4.43.55 PMI can’t take everything with me, so now begins the hard job of choosing my favourites amongst my green children. The fruit trees, of course; the flame tree, the bird of paradise, the helliconia, the frangipani, the ferns, the hanging baskets, the petrea, the hibiscus, the orange trumpet vine (if it will tolerate being detached from the fence), the potato bags, cuttings from all the succulents, pups from the ones too large, anything in pots.

It leaves me wondering how it will look once I have dug up and potted the chosen ones. I think I had better get some more mulch to fill the gaps, encourage the other things to sprawl and trail in a way I wouldn’t have tolerated before.

It’s sad to leave it. But the ones that come with me will have Paradise to play in.


21 thoughts on “The Gardens of Chiconia 19

  1. that orange trumpet of yours is is called campsis in latin ? if so it is indestructable but you’ll have to cut it to about 1 meter high, it’ll grow fast again ! if you leave a small piece of the roots, a new plant will grow !

  2. I am drooling at the names of all those tropical plants which would wither here within days. I hope they all “take” in their new home and you enjoy your new environment.

    • katechiconi says:

      There’s quite a selection of others I haven’t included because I won’t be taking them… I will give them the best start I can and cross my fingers. I think I need to go and buy some large pots and potting soil…

  3. tialys says:

    So will you still own your current house but letting it out? If so, perhaps you should interview prospective tenants to ensure a sympathetic gardener. It will be sad to leave some of your hard work behind but at least you will have the pleasure of creating a new Eden.

    • katechiconi says:

      Yes, the house will be let. The trouble is, the best tenants may not be keen gardeners, and the ones who love gardens may not take care of the house so well. The house is more important… I am looking forward to the big garden so much, it will help alleviate the sadness of leaving this one.

  4. wombatquilts says:

    It must be so exciting to be moving and to have a blank canvas to start working with. Sad to leave I am sure but exciting to see what you can do in the new place.

    • katechiconi says:

      It is exciting, and the garden is really very large, so I have plenty of space to experiment and try things out. But one of the most exciting aspects is have a large room to sew in, with good light and no carpet so I don’t lose the pins I drop! I’ll be able to have a permanent design wall, the ironing board can stay out all the time, I can have a big table for quilting, and somewhere to set up the overlocker!

      • wombatquilts says:

        Okay now I am really jealous, as is my temporary design wall which would love a place to call home permanently. Lol. I am so excited for you and i look forward to seeing your garden come together.

  5. Kirsten says:

    What about your raised beds? Are you taking those? Isn’t it typical that just as you do something major you have to change and move it all!

    • katechiconi says:

      The raised beds are coming. Two of them have been cleared; I didn’t replant as scheduled because I knew a move was coming. We just have to empty the soil, etc, into the trailer and the pods can then go into the removal van or the trailer to be transported. We’re doing the move ourselves as the house is only about 7km away.

  6. At least you get to take some with you! We once sold a house with a huge garden that I had started and slaved in for over 3 years. As I was pointing out various things to the new owner, she stopped me to say ‘Oh I’m not big on plants, we’ll concrete over’. Sigh.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m lucky that I can take stuff. Every time I’ve built a garden in the past, I’ve had to leave it just as things were getting good, or starting to bear fruit. There’s a lot too much ‘low maintenance’ stuff going on these days!

  7. It’s hard work, but our plant friends are so much more forgiving than people. Propagate them, dig them up, and they’ll still spread green grace over your old home as well as your new home. Can’t wait to see what you’ll do with your new property.

    • katechiconi says:

      Nor can I! There’s so much space to fill. But I think the first things will be getting my chicken house and run up and running. And then a lot of hard pruning – there are dozens of palms, overgrown trees, trailing things which are swallowing who knows what…

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