Un petit jardin vertical.

 

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Now that the weather is promising to get cooler one way of staying warm is to keep busy. Living on your own the temptation seems to lure one into sitting or just standing and ponder. Not that the ponder goes deep into delving or questioning the philosophical side of things, but more into what I should do next.  The ponder into doing next can be tantalisingly close to a lot more of nothingness when at my age and my singular existence, time is of such abundance. I don’t have to catch the 401 bus at  6.30 in the morning to work or have urgent meetings to discuss a takeover of a multinational.

Of course, with the practice of social isolation the art of pondering can rise to much greater heights than ever before. ‘Singular isolation’ would be a better term than ‘social isolation’ which seems a contradiction or oxymoron. The word social means , group, community, collective.

Perhaps it is meant to sooth the right wingers amongst us in accepting the word ‘social’  when we all know that word for many to be a call to arms and arrest anyone who dares to even think of that dreaded word. We all know where that takes us. Morrison must have laid awake for hours trying to navigate around it. Alas, he could not get it past some of his more reasonable minsters, and so the term Social isolation was born.

To get out of my torpor during this isolation I undertook to do more gardening. The front yard faces a busy trainline and I get a kick out of waving to the passengers on the trains on their way to Sydney or coming from Melbourne. It is as close to keeping in touch with people without risking infections.. There are also numerous goods trains, some of them carry well over a hundred carriages all pulled along by just one diesel fuelled locomotive. I also wave to the locomotive driver.

My garden is perhaps about 100 square metres in total and my intention is to transform it into a small forest consisting of many birch and other deciduous trees. In between the trees will be small bushes and on different levels. I hope that eventually I will be able to take small walks between the trees with an occasional stop to do more pondering. I started to also grow my own herbs in the garden at the back of my place.

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Here is it,

Waiting for its first herbs. I bought a flat pack box which I thought was one of those that click together without nuts or bolts or the need for tools. When I opened the flat box, to my horror rolled out a small packet of screws and nuts, 36 in total. It was a job and half to put it together and I almost gave up. I had Helen here who comes once a fortnight to help calm me down and sane. She also gave me a nice haircut. Here it is.  But, never buy a flat pack that holds nuts and bolts.

Here it is; Haircut by Helen.

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The main job for the forest has started in earnest and I have bought four birch trees so far; and that is just the beginning. The metal box shown on the photo was a delight to put together and did not need tools or used any bolts or nuts. I put it together in 5 minutes. I bought a mixture of soil, turkey and cow manure but was surprised how many bags went into this metal L shaped box.

Here it is: metal box.

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It might be hard to visualise a small forest but believe me, it will happen! I sold my old place in Bowral and will have the money to indulge in this idea of creating a magic forest. It will happen for sure. As for my previous post in my wish for a possible liaison with a soft and friendly female to alleviate the solitude of bed and breakfast on my own.  Not many enquiries so far.

I’ll keep you informed.

 

 

 

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39 Responses to “Un petit jardin vertical.”

  1. leggypeggy Says:

    Good luck with the forest. A great idea for these times.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. auntyuta Says:

    I wished I had more time to do the things I keep putting off. There is hardly ever any extra time to attack something out of the ordinary. The older I get the less time I seem to have to do these extra things that really are quite important to me. Somehow I seem not to be able to make this extra time. . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I could never live happily without a nice garden. It is as essential as eating and it nourishes me as well as nice food. To look out of the windows and see nature at work is one of the rewards that we can get from gardens even when spending much time indoors.
      I go to garden shops almost daily and usually get inspired enough to buy something. Bunnings has the most glorious assortments of cyclamen and they do very well in cold frosty areas.
      Of course, Helvi made a fantastic garden at our previous place and I can’t hope to match her sense of proportion and visual instincts, especially when it comes to gardens, but I will try.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Bron Larner Says:

    Good on you! Birches are lovely. You plan sounds excellent.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Bron, I think that my main theme of my plans for the garden will be the birch trees. They are a beautiful tree with a lovely canopy and don’t take as much space as most other deciduous trees. They remind me of Finland and the good time I had when living there.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    Oh, how wonderful, Gerard! 🙂

    A great haircut!
    A beautiful garden!
    A lovely small forest!

    Bestest of luck on the gardening and growing! Gardening (plants, herbs, veggies, flowers, trees, etc) is good for the mind, heart, and soul! 🙂

    Bestest of luck with the soft friendly female. Until she arrives, you can keep busy with your garden. 🙂

    And, yes, keep us informed. 😀
    (((HUGS))) for you! 🙂
    PATS and RUBS for Milo! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Carolyn. Each day I will try and do some work on the garden as well as walk Milo around a bit and meet some nice friends. I will try and break up the square garden in sections to add interest with a variety of bushes and shrubs but the main thing will be the birch trees.
      It will take time but of that I still have plenty, providing good health will follow on this journey.
      Hugs to you and a rub for Cooper.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. algernon1 Says:

    Well the boxes look great, Gerard. The forest will come I hope. The one thing I’ve enjoyed with the great lockdown is the slower pace. That people speak you, maybe because they had time. I spoke to a younger couple the other day who asked about our Mango tree, how old was it? I was able to tell them it was about 65 years old and produces beautiful fruit. It offers shade for the front of the house as well.

    May your forest flourish.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you, Algy.
      ,
      I did not know a mango tree could live 65 years. I try and talk to someone each day and most times that happens. When I opened the front door this morning I found small packet of foil. Inside was delicious fruit loaf. One of my good neighbours has amazing skills in baking. Neighbours like her are so rare and one reason I moved away from our previous place.
      This place has good feelings and I enjoy the passing of trains with people on the move.
      I am thinking of getting another of those metal L shape boxes. They are an Australian invention and they lock together without nut, bolts or using tools.

      Like

      • freefall852 Says:

        Yes, Gerard, the “L”shaped box looks good…but just one thing…everytime I look at that particular box pic, I see that the box is not aligned parrallel with the line of tiles…my tradie’s eye is offended!…but maybe it’s the pic perspective..I dunno…I’ll keep looking..

        Liked by 2 people

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I think the camera does play tricks and one of those is the foreshortening effect.
        I could be out a millimetre but who cares? I am sure the irises’ won’t mind.

        Like

  6. rangewriter Says:

    Oh I love that L-shaped metal box. I would like something like that in my small garden, but haven’t seen a kit quite like it. I was lured into purchasing a plastic “raised” planter box on wheels this spring. It went together easily, but it’s not very raised. The jury is out on that one.
    And now I must ask an indelicate question. I dated a man once who loved to pee into his potted garden plants. Please tell me this is not your plan for your lovely trees.

    Like

    • freefall852 Says:

      ” I dated a man once who loved to pee into his potted garden plants…” ….It is heartening to read that at least you only dated THAT particular gentlemen ONCE!…but for the life of me I cannot begin to comprehend what kind of male would confess such a fetish to a date…it is a bit like confessing to ACTUALLY liking pineapple on a pizza!

      Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I suppose the man was upfront and wanted it out of the way. Even so, I would not be so honest on a first date and say ; By the way, ‘I pee on potted plants and my name is Gerard, how do you do’? And then shake hands.

        Liked by 2 people

      • rangewriter Says:

        Actually I was stupid enough to date him for over 6 years! And he was very proud of his recycling system. I washed those veggies very thoroughly 😝

        Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Good question and I’ll answer it after giving it some more thought. I bought the last box from a very large hardware provider. I want another one but might have to drive some distance to try and get it. I too love the Lshape.

      As for peeing? Yes, a resounding YES. I can’t lie. The raised box is begging for it and so are the plants, especially the sapling Birch.

      Of course, late at night together with Milo who in his old age now needs to go during the night as well, often at 3am. It means I stumble down the stairs go outside in the freezing cold, and…. I can’t stand there shivering and holding it in waiting for Milo to finish who takes his time sniffing around, so,…Does anyone really think I would wait and go to the inside toilet? Even if I could, I can’t. The urgency is stronger than that.
      It is all part of gardening and farming.

      I

      Liked by 3 people

  7. freefall852 Says:

    Tomatoes.
    All this exchange on urinology reminded me of those times back in the late sixties when Southern Italians became familiar on multi-storey building sites and they brought with them to the smoko room those Mediterranean delights that were a mainstay of their table whereas the Aussies still persevered with the meat / 3 veg diet and fritz/tomato sauce sangas or a pie for lunch.

    One such Italian on the job I worked on kept pulling out these big red tomatoes every lunchtime when it was sneeringly considered that only wogs grew their own, and he would bite and chew lasciviously on one until one big Aussie fellah started to admire them so much that the Italian generously offered him one to taste…

    “They sure look good, Tony…and you just eat them raw?”

    “Yes, but here..put a little salt and pepper on it to give it extra flavour” and Tony proffered a small container of condiment. The Aussie sprinkled the salt and pepper mix on the bright, rounded fruit and as he raised it to his mouth to take the first bite he quickly asked if he used blood and bone to fertilize the plant…he then took a big bite and started to masticate the tomato flesh…the juice running rich down his chin so he had to turn to the side to let it drop onto the dirt.

    “Oh, hell no!” Tony looked aghast “ you never pay for fertilizer…you just take a trailer behind your car to the Bolivar Sewerage Works and when they drain the evaporation pans, they will fill it with the compost for free!”

    You know…I firmly believe that the “getting of wisdom” is obtained in that precise moment when credulity meets hard reality….the short-lived but penetrating depth of the Aussie’s stare when Tony, in his “the new Australian wants to show his appreciation to his benefactors” too keen passing of information defined that Aussie’s moment of “getting wisdom”…

    As Mark Twain related in..I think it was Tom Sawyer….”…we shall draw the curtain of charity down on the following events”….sufficient to say that the growing of shrubs or vegetables can be mightily assisted by the application of some rather doubtful fertilizers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Jo. They are the ways of real connoisseurs of the tomato. I always when buying tinned tomatoes go for the Italian imports even though we are encouraged to buy the locally produced ones. The Italian variety just tastes so much better. I doubt the tomatoes would be tastier because of the Bolivar waste treatment if that existed in Italy but more to do with careful agricultural expertise.
      My dad used to try and grow tomatoes and so did we, but no matter how well we tried to fight off the dreaded fly, they always managed to spoil our crop of tomatoes and infest them with their larvae.

      Like

      • freefall852 Says:

        In Aust’, the extreme heat of Summer can cause burning of the fruit and shrivelling of the flower if you tie the plant up on trellises…Italy has not that same penetrating heat…I have found most success growing tomatoes (although I get nothing but scorn for my method) when you just let the vine lay on the ground…sure you lose some fruit ot a lizard or two, but the bountiful crop you get when the plant both cools and confines the moisture around its roots more than compensates for the loss…I always think that nature has the best solutions and we would do well in most cases to just mind our own business and let it get on with what it does best.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I will try the growing of tomatoes again at spring. I actually prefer the small ones, both for taste and ease of growing. After arrival in Australia back in the fifties, the tomato was terrible, no taste and half the time green. It’s foliage did not have that pungent smell either. Since then, the tomatoes grown now are the best in the world and so many varieties. Of course, on the truss they are best.

        Like

  8. shoreacres Says:

    Re: fertilizers. When there still were circuses coming to Houston, the elephants were a huge draw. Everyone loved seeing them, and especially liked going to the railway station to see them unloaded from the train and then walked to the circus grounds all in a line. In those days, I think the circuses were well attended and profitable, and the elephants and other animals were well cared for.

    One the circus was over, there was all of that elephant waste to deal with. No problem. Gardeners from miles around would take their containers down to the spot where it was ripening, and pick up enough to fertilize their gardens. From the tales I’ve heard, they could grow elephant-sized tomatoes in the stuff, once it had properly cured.

    It tickled me to have you point out that “social distancing” is an oxymoron. I’ve thought so from the beginning, and abhor the term. I’ve not yet come up with one that completely satisfies me, but when I do, I’ll let you know.

    I think your haircut looks quite dapper, and your plants for the garden sound wonderful. We had birch trees in our yard in Iowa when I was in junior high and high school. Eventually, they had to be cut down, but Dad cut one into logs which Mom used to decorate the fireplace in summer. When she moved, I took the logs and kept them with me for years. Eventually, they went away, and I wish I had them back again. I don’t even know what I did with them. Sic transit gloria mundi, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. gerard oosterman Says:

    You know, Linda, my fondest memories of my younger years are those when dad took us to the circus. It was magic and I remember walking out in a trance.

    It happened in The Hague and that enormous tent and thousands of people, the roar of laughter after the clowns did their hilariously funny acts. And yes, the elephants and the gymnastics on ropes with shiny ladders. Were there also roaring lions?

    My garden will be a long term aim but already can see growth happening even though we are in fall and facing winter. We had frost already and I had to take a large peace lily inside with some damage done already. It will survive though.

    Yesterday I bought another 2 by 1 metre raised metal planter box and today I will put it together and fill with compost and soil. I had trouble fitting it in my small Peugeot but after putting the back seat down it fitted, but only just. I probably drove illegally with the end of the box next to my steering wheel.

    I hope to be self sufficient in vegies or at least in herbs in the short term.
    Helen did a good job on my hair. Thank you for your kind remark, Linda.

    Like

  10. petspeopleandlife Says:

    The hair cut looks and how fortunate that you have a friend to come over and help you out. I really like the metal box as a planter. Thinks should grow very well in that one. And I have no doubt that you will soon plant some trees. Just have to be careful that the trees will not over shadow the shrubbery that you want to plant as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I am aware that trees can make the garden dark for shrubs to thrive but the birch tree is not known for its abundance of giving shade. They look very friendly and almost a bit shy. They don’t push aside other trees and never dominate.
      Helen is a mutual friend and helps me overcome my loss, also helps domestically including making the house looks lovely and now cutting my hair. .

      Liked by 1 person

  11. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Sorry but somehow I left out “looks good” as I was referring to your haircut.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. catterel Says:

    I love it when the comments outstrip the blog post! So pleased for you, Gerard, that your new neighbours are so much kinder than the old ones. And I’m sure you’ll find a cuddly lady who looks in the other direction when you can’t resist the urge to pee on the plants 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  13. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, the new neighbours are welcoming and outgoing. I just hope I haven’t mucked up my chances with a warm and cuddly friend of the female sex.

    After all, living along a major rail line I would not want to be spotted behaving inappropriately by the passengers of the early 3.30am Sydney to Melbourne express having an innocent pee. Hopefully, the dark would give protection.

    Life can be so complicated!

    Like

  14. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Laughing, Gerard, “a soft and friendly female” would definitely help reduce the social isolation! I’m impressed with you ambition to create a forest! That should keep you out of mischief. Maybe you need a sign to wave when the train goes by: Master Gardener Seeks Soft and Friendly Female! 🙂 –Curt

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Good idea, Curt. Perhaps put the sign on the roof. “soft and friendly female wanted”.

      It reminds me of a funeral business who have a sign on the roof along the same railway line advertising their business. And indeed, in the backyard one can see a number of coffins in different states of assembly and this large sign has their phone number clearly displayed.

      Like

      • Curt Mekemson Says:

        If they can sell coffins, Gerard, certainly you can sell a little love. Heck, even the media might pick up on it and you’ll be inundated with soft and friendly women. 🙂

        Like

      • freefall852 Says:

        Crikey, Gerard…Be a bit careful what you wish for…Remember the words of Masetto da Lamporecchio in The Decameron..: “While one rooster may keep ten hens happy but ten men are sorely tasked to satisfy the needs of one woman!..” …Be warned…

        Liked by 1 person

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