Showing posts from November, 2015

Hiding in plain sight

Grey moth, grey bricks, perfect hiding place. I only saw it because I was checking out the state of the mortar. Hiding in plain sight is what we all do. We might call it fitting in, but it's a way of being part of the herd so we don't get picked off by predators. Every job I've ever had required a particular way of dressing. When I was selling books to school teachers, I dressed like a teacher — formal but comfortable. When I worked in the civil service, it was suits, ironed shirts, scarves, stockings, high heeled shoes. When I worked in a university, it was dressing like a lecturer — casual but not scruffy. Get it wrong and you stand out. Recently I moved to the country, generally more conservative than the city. For the first time in many years I started wearing my wedding ring again. Not that I suddenly felt more married, just that it felt right to send clear signals. It's not camouflage. I'm not hiding anything, just emphasising one attribute that is

My Coota garden

This is going to be fun! First a deconstruction. Cootamundra -- thick clay soil, relatively low rainfall in the 500 to 600mm per annum range, frosty winters, baking hot summers over 40 degrees C. Like the extremes of Canberra only at lower altitude. And our new garden, built by people who loved perennial flowers. Hmmm. My basic philosophy is, water when establishing plants or during periods of extreme heat or dryness. Other than that, they're on their own. Instead, my predecessors installed a spray irrigation system and used it often. This means the plants are used to regular water and have shallow roots. I'm ruthless, though. If they can't survive a couple of weeks or even a month of dry they can go ahead and die. Lots of them will. For example, the camellias and azaleas, planted on a north facing fence in full sun. A big ask. They're doomed. And the soil looks bad, these poor little things can't even access the iron in there if those yellow leaves are any