I'm sorry, Pittosporums, for continually being so rude to you in the Moosey garden. For the last five years at least I've been ruthlessly using you to fill up my garden.
Pittosporums in the Garden
Then when you've done everything asked of you - looked beautiful, stayed tidy, contributed to the textural ambience of my garden design - what happens? You get spat on, you become expendable, you get the chop.
Selflessly Supporting the Shrubbery
And while all of this has been going on, you've selflessly been the biggest supporter in the Moosey shrubbery - providing seedlings, accepting positions far from prime in the garden (under the gum trees, for one), never complaining, never disgracing the gardener by dying. You've been severely pruned with blunt saws and have always sprung back loyally into action.
Two Pittosporums by the Old Fence
In the beginning you grew in rough bare ground, surrounded by gardening dreams, shovels, and hand diggers - no buckets of water were thrown on you in droughts, no mulch was laid lovingly at your feet. When things got more crowded you knew your place - providing beautiful textural background for your new showy neighbours.
All of this, and you haven't until very recently had a single page of thanks, a single photograph of appreciation. In fact, you've had a pretty rough deal. You're spoken about a lot in the diaries - at first in tones of quiet admiration...
- ... a bargain bin Pittosporum which I value for its foliage (1st January 2002)
- ... a much loved and admired New Zealand native (26th March 2000)
... In the middle of the year 2003 things take a turn for the worse, and the tone becomes nasty, threatening...
- ... about time that the scruffy Pittosporums are dealt to (17th July 2003)
- ... Several large Pittosporums have been cut down at the knees (17th July 2003)
- ... the Great Moosey Pittosporum Hunt (20th July 2003)
- ...I have continued my rampant slaughter of Pittosporums (July 26th 2003)
The journals for the year 2004 are summed up in two words of warning - Pittosporums Beware!
Top Four Pittosporums...
Can I please set the Moosey record straight by giving four of you the recognition you deserve?
Pittosporum One is shy and subtle. His silvery cream variegated foliage will lighten and brighten up the gloomiest of days in your garden. He'll never outstay his welcome or push into any other plant's space.
Pittosporum One enjoys a quiet life by the rustic driveway fence, hemmed in between two scratchy climbing Iceberg roses. And whenever the roses get too pushy he's happy to oblige, allowing himslef to be gently pruned and trimmed.
His leaves are elongated, and rumour has it he's a eugenioides, commonly known as a lemonwood. Wonder why?
Pittosporum Two might look like the shiny flashy type, but don't worry - he'll stay loyal. Along with that shimmer is a heart of gardening gold.
Pittosporum Two (actually there are two of him) lives in the Pond Paddock, depressingly near to some large Eucalypts. But does this difficult location put him off his stride? Never!
One of his leading stems broke in the winter snowstorm of 2003. Not a problem - he is now fully recovered.
This Pittosporum is a relative of the first contestant, from the clan eugenioides. And you should see him when he's flowering! So beautiful, yet understated...
Pittosporum Three is the ultimate blender. He's so keen to fit in with your gardening plans he'll even provide a delicate purple edge to his leaves - just in case you need it. And that green isn't dull - it's terribly trendy!
Pittosporum Three lives over the water race, where the soils are rich and moist - and deciduous trees like the flashy Cornuses get all the attention.
His nearest neighbour is a purple leafed Cotinus, with which he makes THE most beautiful colour contrast.
His leaves are quite small, but really - Pittosporums know that size isn't everything. And small is definitely an advantage for leaves when the fierce winds blow though my garden...
Pittosporum Four exudes class - he's not afraid to be stylishly small, the master of understatement, confident that his clean green look will be all that's needed to give him a prime position in the mixed border.
Pittosporum Four has the job of covering a large tree stump in the Willow Tree Garden. He was planted roughly amidst the existing tree roots - not a problem for this small-leafed hero!
I know for a fact that Pittosporum Four is highly sought after by florists, as an accompanying texture for all those show-off flowers like lilies and roses. Good for him! They wouldn't look nearly as nice in their bouquets without him...