BY SARAH C
So we have agreed to take part in the Mangawhai Garden Ramble this year. It's with some trepidation that we welcome all manner of gardeners, lookers and wanderers into our garden.
Sure, folks come in all the time to look at the Sarah C Gallery and explore the artworks scattered around the front garden, but this is waaay more epic!
Suddenly I'm looking at our two acre area through quite different eyes. This needs weeding, that could do with pruning. Has that died or does it just look like that in winter? I'm composing lists, looking through last year’s photos trying to recall how the garden will actually look come November. Are the hydrangeas flowering by then, will that lawn recover after the frosts?
We know not everyone will love our landscaped rooms. We were blown away and "totally wowed" last year with the glorious gardens we viewed. We knew how many hours of work and how much money went into getting them looking fabulous. Of course it’s not a competition, it's just a bit a fun… a great way to raise money for the next Mangawhai generation.
The proper gardeners will probably question why we planted this so close to that. You know, the one with the fluffy green leaves and that one that's got spikey prongs that jab into you when you're mowing the lawn. Or why we haven't attended to a particular area, sown a particular grass or chosen a different garden edging.
Neither of us are gardeners. Don't get me wrong we love buying plants. But they do sit in the potting area for a good three months before they're transported into the ground. Good intentions often get shuffled aside as another project pops up or – and this is a good one – one of us will say “It's way too hot (or cold) to plant that now."
By the time we have got the spade, compost, water, wheelbarrow, stopped Bella from eating the blood and bone out of the bag and are ready to actually plant, we are asking ourselves: How big does that get again? Does it like the shade? Does it lose it’s leaves in winter? What do I plant in the vegie garden so it at least looks palatable come November? Will courgette plants survive a frost if we get another one? What about tomatoes – what variety, beef steak, tiny toms? Rocket, lettuce – good grief, what variety of lettuce?
Ohhh well, if nothing else it will motivate us to get some projects completed. Like this fish pond that we've been tackling on and off for the past seven years. The plans and concept drawings have changed, and then changed again over that time. The latest idea is a Japanese theme, although that's probably only since we saw that cool photo on Pinterest. Thankfully the fish seem happy.
The game plan at this point, is to tackle small areas and get them sorted. If we look at the whole elephant it's just too big a mouthful. Anyway it’s only just September. Three months to go, plenty of time. Yeah right... .
Sarah C is an artist and graphic designer based in Mangawhai Heads.
THE PROPER GARDENERS WILL PROBABLY QUESTION WHY WE PLANTED THIS SO CLOSE TO THAT. YOU KNOW, THE ONE WITH THE FLUFFY GREEN LEAVES AND THAT ONE THAT'S GOT SPIKEY PRONGS THAT JAB INTO YOU WHEN YOU'RE MOWING THE LAWN.