Posts Tagged ‘Virginia Creeper’

Walking the dog and Autumn.

April 5, 2019

IMG_0067the Manchurian tree

Our Manchurian pear-tree

The weather is getting to the benign state of allowing daily walks in comfort. The hot blue skies and simmering asphalts have finally given way to soft rain with dove-grey clouds keen to welcome an honest autumn. Even the TV’s weatherman has taken on a calmer stance, showing a clear bias to cooler nights and crispy mornings. Two weeks ago I moved the aircon switch from cool to heat together with adding an extra blanket on our beds.

Here in the Highlands the seasons are distinctly different and is particularly inspiring to watch in the changing of garden greens and trees. Oaks, birch, claret ash, the different beeches, maples and elms are all keen to ditch their leaves. Soon the dreaded strapped on beefy looking  leaf- blowing Bowral Burghers will announce their presence.  I’ll try and summons patience and acceptance of the things we cannot change!  Gardening as a whole has become so much noisier and taken on the form of a war against the growing of things.  I often feel that over-enthusiastic bourgeois gardeners feel it all has to be kept in check and dominated and so line up on Saturday mornings, and buy all those petrol driven equipment to achieve that.

In our housing complex the gardeners are forever being implored to keep things tidy. Some ten years ago when this complex of eight town house were built a unified garden was established which included the Virginia creeper. This creeper always gives a great display during autumn with leaves turn a bright red to burnt-orange. They are fast growers and climb happily against any wall. They use tine anchors in the shape of little suckers to climb up. However, all of those creepers were removed. They were seen as not being ‘tidy’ by the management of this complex. We insisted on keeping our Virginia creeper.  It happily grows against our garage wall each year and even sometimes climbs over a section of the roof.

Milo, our Jack Russell terrier also prefers the cooler weather. He never fails to get admirers who will stop in order to pet him. Sometime he will jump up and sniff their bags. He hopes for a treat. He was lucky a few weeks ago when a woman stopped and opened her bag with hot chicken in it and gave Milo a juicy warm piece of chicken, freshly cooked. Milo showed his pleasure by wagging his tail.

Can you imagine how nice the world would be if men would treat each other in  similar fashion? I don’t know if I will ever reach a level whereby I would offer food to other people on the streets. I do give generously to people who play an instrument or sing on the streets. I went as far as losing my shopping trolley tokens last week to a man playing the didgeridoo. I just emptied my pockets on his little blanket that he had spread on the pavement. More and more people are going hungry. In ‘rich’ Australia many children go to school without even having had breakfast. Why don’t all schools follow Finland? Twice in a row, Finland has been nominated as the ‘happiest country’ in the world. All primary schools provide lunches and have done so for decades.

 

The Virginia Creeper versus Solar guard.

November 10, 2015
Just glorious.

Just glorious.

The Townhouses, Units or even Villas ,if you like, are pleasing to look at. They are simple and without pretension. That’s why we decided to buy one and move in. The architect or designer avoided the temptation to put in Tudor, Cape Cod, English cottage, or absurd Mediternean touches. They all have a small entrance. When one squints, it could even pass as a front-porch. During torrential downpours the front doors will stay dry. However, if the entrance was any smaller it could well be called an overhanging eave.

The area that we live in is proudly Australian or English in origin. It is rare that one hears a foreign accent. It was a very traditional area for the well-heeled and warm retired from Sydney to move to. The climate is cold in winter and pleasant in summer. Many houses have brass names screwed on the front gates reflecting a  Scottish or English Heritage with names either ending in Brae or starting with Rose. It is not unusual to sometimes notice an elderly gentleman wearing a double breasted dark blue jacket with brass buttons, especially leaving the Sunday morning service with a smiling Reverend shaking hands with some of his more solid members of the congregations. We are somewhat out of the loupe, which would not be the case if we lived in Sydney. Not that the locals are not friendly. There is just this slight draw- back when our accents are noticed but  in most cases it is immediately followed by a friendly demeanour.

I am still trying to get a handle on why the locals in our compound were so hostile to getting things done logically and with reasonable care and diligence. One remembers the Body Corporate and Department of Fair trading during the height of the dispute about painters. I am beginning to think that our own heritage might have something to do with it. The sheer numbers of Continental Europeans that were soaked up elsewhere did not happen here in Bowral. This area always remained solidly conventional and stoically conservative and very loyal to the Queen of England.  Don’t mention the idea of a Republic here. Even the meat pies here are  graced with Royal awards and ‘Princess Diane had a pie in this shop’ blessings.

It has its rituals and unwritten laws of behaviour and compliance. There is order in neatness of gardens and short clipped glorious lawns with obligatory Camellias. We all obey the laws of nature strips at the front on which the garbage bins are put out in strict order and  times. Not a day before and always removed back out ofsight within an hour of garbage being collected. The dogs are walked with the obligatory plastic bags tied to the leash. We greet each other and say ‘morning’ or ‘good-day’.

I am just mentioning it while contemplating a lovely Virginia creeper. It is the last one. All of our eight townhouses were planted originally by a landscape expert and like the townhouses did have some unity and simplicity. However, some years ago all the planted Virginia creepers were taken out. One can still see the suckers clinging to some walls. However, our creeper defied the odds against the hands ripping the item out and survived. We keenly look forward to Autumn. The Virginia creeper shows its height of beauty during fall, in its splendid exhibition of burn orange to crimson red foliage.

We have  been told that this creeper and it’s friend the ivy are capable of causing havoc and worse, to lower the ‘value’. Value is a word that our neighbours often use. Ivy and all creepers will wreck and damage walls and fences, they said and took them out. The painting was all talked about in maintaining value. We happen to mention that we like ivy and also our Virginia Creeper. We further said we prefer the wall left unpainted if it means removing the last of the creepers. I noticed the look of someone as if we were praising something odious or very brown in colour. I added that perhaps some of the paint could be left behind for us to use if the creeper dies.

We wait with some trepidation when our wall with its creeper will remain unpainted.” Over my dead body”, Helvi said.

We prefer the creeper to a coat of PVA acrylic, even if the paint is called ‘Solar Guard’.

We will placate as much as possible, and at the Christmas party that someone always organises, I will add some extra chilli to the marinate of the chicken wings.

Lots of Chilli and loads of Spanish garlic.