Private Garden Visiting
I've been thinking about doing some private garden visiting - specifically, writing wee stories about visits to other people's (possibly friends') private gardens. It should be fun. But I'll have to be careful what I say!
When I wander around public Botanic Gardens I have no shame - if I want to act like a juvenile and take thirty oddly-angled photographs of a gardener's wheel-barrow, then so be it. I'm not offending anyone personally if I say rude things about the modern rose garden. If I flippantly prefer the ambience of the Moosey garden (and say so, bluntly) no-one feels slighted. I suspect it may be much harder to write well about a friend's garden. Suppose I was to try? Here goes...
My Singing Friend's Garden
For example, I could write about my singing friend's garden (which has shocking drainage). I might just get away with showing close-up photographs of her roses, but would I have the nerve to feature her rose bed lake?
And what about her Wisteria (more gnarly and wizened than an elderly grandfather) which actually grows under her house to reappear on the opposite side? The City Council safety inspectors would be around in a flash.
Gardener with New Zealand Iconic Rotary Clothes Line
No trendy sculptures (or gnomes) adorn her garden, but a classic New Zealand icon sits proudly in the back lawn near the dahlias - a revolving clothes line.
My singing friend loves (and defends) her soggy garden full of New Zealand Natives, roses, and broad beans. Bits of her backyard garden are so very beautiful, even stylish - like the plum tree which has fallen over (that shocking drainage again) and is still growing. Best be careful though - if I say much more I may be singing solo...
Specimen Plum Tree (Artistically Angled)
My Oldest Friend's Garden
My oldest gardening friend tends a frost-free and lawn-free hillside garden by the sea. She has super-stylish succulents, proper garden sculpture, old stone walls, soft shell paths, and thousands (well, hundreds!) of amazing plants and planting combinations.
Shell Path in a Seaside Garden
A Quirky Seaside Garden and Gardener
Her lovely, quirky garden reflects her own lovely, quirky personality. What if my silly descriptions offended her? She has given me lots of plants. There'd be no more bags of reject bulbs, reject flaxes and daylilies, no more cute little lovelies in pots, no more surplus Quatre Saisons lettuce seedlings...
Stone Path with Spraxias
My oldest friend's garden shows a wonderful attention to detail, with many small interesting features - it's impossible to capture in words. She is also a compulsive mulcher and collects cow-pats when out walking on the hills - an excellent role model for other more junior gardeners (like me).
Maybe I should practice on a private garden, owner unknown? But then I have to firstly get permission, and then show them my article before publication. Eek! - I'm far too shy for all that!
No Mooseys Allowed
Then I might inadvertently insult their deeply sentimentally-valued dahlias, or their comnemoratively-planted specimen trees. I'd never be invited back - I could become a shunned, blacklisted garden visitor whose picture is circulated to warn the unwary...
There must be a garden writing course I could take - one which teaches you how to say a lot of nothing and neither bore nor offend anyone (particularly gardening friends). Then I could fill in the spaces with impressive plant names (I could even use capital letters in the right places) and get a real job - with a national gardening magazine? I don't think so, somehow!