I haven’t been doing any work in the back yard this winter.
The reason isn’t difficult to guess; you can’t garden well (or at all) if your back won’t bend and you’re in constant pain. Since surgery, I’ve gradually improved enough to look at the chaos out there and wish I could do something about it, but had say “no, not quite strong enough for that yet…”. Today, however, was different.
To make things easier, Mr & Mrs Bush Stone-Curlew have moved up the back yard and over into the neighbour’s with Junior. We can still catch sight of them through the wire fence, but it’s given us carte blanche to get the mower out at last (some of the grass was knee high!). I ventured out too, picked up a rake and pair of secateurs and got cracking, while the Husband tootled up and down on his ride-on mower. We have a ‘hedge’ of golden cane palms (Dypsis lutescens), very thick and well established. In normal times, it’s possible to walk under their canopy. Since I’ve been out of action, they’ve taken all kinds of liberties, and were sprouting densely from the base. Hack! Slash!
Under heaps of this riotous vegetation, I discovered that my Perennial Capsicum (Capsicum annuum) has blithely continue to grow and flourish, despite outrageous neglect. It was covered in brilliantly red little capsicums. I picked the best, and left the rest to do their thing. I have no doubt I’ll be seeing not only heaps more fruit from this bush, but some new bushes, if the amount of fallen fruit around it is anything to go by!
I’ve also taken the seed heads off my 2.5 metre (8ft) lemongrass so it doesn’t seed any more of its giant self. I did give the heads a small shake over an empty garden bed, just in case it felt like volunteering, but the rest have gone on the ‘rotting down’ mulch bed surrounding the palms in the centre of the back lawn. If they choose to seed themselves there, that’ll be fine. I can’t stop the original plant growing in girth, but I can at least keep its spread to sites of my choosing.
The two mature mango trees are covered in blossom. The mandarins are in flower, as are my lime tree and the dwarf avocado. The lychee, which looked as if it was on its last legs three weeks ago, is back in full leaf. The banana tree I’ve grown from a sucker taken from the old Gardens of Chiconia is now over a metre (40 inches) high, with a thick truck and large leaves. It’ll need planting soon :-).
Looks like Nature can get along just fine without my help…