My apprentice enjoyed some upholstery after a day of digging in the keen, if overcast air of Ballarat.
I, too, got down to alot of digging...I won't show here all the nitty-gritty of my working holiday because it was, well, a bit gritty...
Blessed with more lichen and hovering clouds than any other site on the planet, if not any site within driving distance of Melbourne, Ballarat in winter might seem uncomfortably chilly, especially when you're on your knees without upholstery -
but it flowers profusely. I was here to plant out a million Camellias, 30,000 Roses, a truckload of Dogwoods, sackfuls of Hellebores, piles of Cliveas and just a scratch of Raspberries.
I wouldn't like to know I couldn't go to Ballarat again. Near to where I laboured, with only the odd lamb roast and glass of red to defrost me ( weep, gardener, weep ), a new development is appearing. Against the usual odds, it's keeping its ancient Eucalypts,
here beside the Ballarat Golf Club. I haven't a clue, myself, how to swing one of those irons. It would be enough just to wander around...
and smell the roses or the grasses,
or these other wonderfully alien forms ( the identity of which I claim complete ignorance ).
OK. I'd say that if you can get something like this wriggling out of your lawn you're doing well. What did I see? I saw countless front lawns without fences, windows daringly open to the street. I saw armfuls of Daffodils. And lichen covering almost everything. I didn't want to stop in case I was next -
but, as you can see, there's so much new life, the lichen will have to move quicker.
I'd entered a gate into another world, with gardens and gardening charmingly different to Melbourne's. So often, when you garden, you can be so intent on the ground in front of you, you forget what's happening down the road, or 120 km away. So now I remember. Is there room on the couch for another snoozer? Zara?