Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Green with Envy

Finished reading the book on Ayrlies.
My thoughts are as follows. I am really jealous. Or envious. Or maybe I'm just in the wrong class. Not having been to the manor born or married and become a rich chatelaine, I cannot relate to someone who just has three ponds dug in her garden just like that, and plants 500 trees. Of course, Prince Charles is royalty. He can do stuff like create seven different gardens and have a thyme walk and clipped hedges around a Country Estate. Alan Titchmarsh studied horticulture at Kew and taught and grew things for the local council in decorating their civic balls. He can have an English garden if he so desires.  Monty Don...well, I think he and his wife did gardening together and got themselves out of a financial hole, they had their own business. I am charmed by his love of plants and people and the healing effects gardening had on his soul.

But Bev McConnell seems to have done it all herself, bankrolled by her wealthy husband who didn't really have much say in it at all. But she did employ other people to help her. She brought them over from England plus had a nanny and housekeeper and all those sorts of things not many of us can dream of having. And she studied art, not botany or horticulture. And I don't even see any vegetables in her garden. There's no cottage flowers and hardly any herbs.  Maybe it's subversive, to have an ornamental garden instead of paddock. I don't know. But I'm a bit sad. I can't emulate her naturalistic planting because my section is just nearly dead flat. I can't look at my plants and just think in terms of colour and foliage and nothing else. Even if the magnolias 'paint the sky' I think of my one as the tree Iraena would have liked. I think of my daisies as the ones Myra gave me as cuttings. I think of the pear tree I grew accidentally from a seed in the wrong place that we can't get rid of. My rhubarb is from the community garden. The Chinese lantern, the Chinese Toon and the Heavenly Bamboo are my reminders of far away China. The bromeliads I got from the home show for $5. The sunflowers from seed Joanne gave me.

I wonder where Bev got all her plants from. Ordered them all from the nursery? There's tonnes of them..some rare ones nobody else has got mind you. At the back of the book are ones she thinks are really special, and of course, you would never find them at the run of the mill garden centres. I'd never heard of them anyway. After exhausting reading of latin plant names I had no clue about, I decided maybe I'm not that really kind of gardener even though truly, her garden looks wonderful and brings pleasure to all her friends and children and charities she supports. She put New Zealand on the world gardening map and is known far and wide as the Doyenne of New Zealand Gardening.

I may not be a doyenne of anything..but, in my own little world, I'm head gardener here.