Stories from my Sketchbook . . .
Thinking I was in charge of my own garden was a mistake I made very early on—but I was immediately (and thoroughly) put in my place when all the lovely new plants I planted died a horrible shrieking death almost as soon as I put them in the ground. (Well, judging by their remains it surely looked like their death had been painful.)
I had done everything right. I had checked whether they were the right sort of plant for the area, and whether for sun or shade. I was planting them at the right time of year. I watered them as I instructed. To this day I have no idea what I did wrong. I tried again. This time with different plants, in different aspects. Same result. Sigh. (Weeds—now those I can grow—in abundance.) It was mystifying—especially as I have always been able to grow really healthy indoor plants. (These I have to watch like a hawk as they have become so prolific as to threaten to engulf the house.)
And then one day I discovered a group of plants which seemed almost unkillable (by me, or anything else). Succulents. Hairy, furry, smooth, bumpy, green, brown, yellow, multi-coloured succulents. Fabulous. And, over a period of time, and a little trial and error, my succulents and I have now come to a tentative alliance.
As long as I don’t break the rules—it’s all good. I plant them each in a lovely new pot, place them in out in the garden in cheerful little groups of like-minded friends—and promise to never, ever go near them or touch them again—and they thrive. Garden sorted.
So, as promised in my last post, I have decided to add here a quick drawing from my sketchbook of some of the succulents in my garden. (And, just to be clear, the pots are actually standing on a garden of bark chips (not just a patch of concrete)—but I have no idea how to draw bark chips so I just pretended it wasn’t there. I also ignored the rest of the garden—the back fence, the Hills Hoist, the three madcap dogs chasing each other in and around the pots—and anything else that was too hard. I think that’s called ‘artistic licence’ . . . )
‘My rule of green thumb for mulch is to double my initial estimate of bags needed, and add three.
Then I’ll only be two bags short.’