"And what in heaven's name brought you to Casablanca?"

“Renault: And what in heaven's name brought you to Casablanca?
Rick: My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.
Renault: The waters? What waters? We're in the desert.
Rick: I was misinformed.”  (Casablanca 1942)

This could be the mantra for all gardeners.  We look at our soil, our weather, our rain fall and wonder why we decided to plant a garden here.  I suspect it is a very small percentage of gardeners who manage to be able to have total choice about where they start their garden.  Most people have job or family connections that tie them to an area.  Add to this that the perfect spot probably does not exist anyway, what you gain in rain you lose in lack of sun, what you gain in soil you lose in wind direction.  Gardening is about compromise, making do, fudging and que sera sera.  
(I am pretty much of the opinion that singing Doris Day songs whilst gardening is very important, of which two songs are particular favourites: Que Sera and The Windy City, nuff said.  Though she did do a cover of Zip a Dee Doh Dah, a fine song that will fit many a circumstance, as does Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, another song that she covered and probably sums up more than just gardening for me.  A song that I do not know the tune of that Doris also sang was ‘Any way the wind blows’. I defy anyone not to hear those words and not fall into Bohemian Rhapsody.)

Where was I – compromising and fudging, I remember….
Of course when I say compromising and fudging I am not saying that this is a negative thing.  Being forced to think beyond what you intended to do can lead to some of the best ideas.  Oh its annoying when you decide to plant that tree there, only to discover that there is half a ton of stone and virtually no soil in that spot and you need to relocate; but generally I find that the relocation is better than the original idea and leads to a whole new train of thought (or that is what I tell myself anyway).
This does not always work, the top right hand corner of my garden is a constant problem to me.  When I first moved in it was the home of a ginormous laurel tree.  Seriously, it was huge.  I paid someone to come and chop it down and take it away for I fully admit it was a) too large and b) a laurel and I do not like laurels.  The only thing worse than a laurel is a variegated laurel (sorry to all you laurel lovers, but…)  So the laurel was cut down leaving the stumps and roots, which of course to this day continue to sprout as I never did anything to stop it.  
A further complication to this corner of the garden is the abandoned ‘this is going to be waterfall that flows into a stream’ pile of stones.  There is no stream, there is no waterfall (don’t ask, it’s a painful subject, I never wanted either).  The pile of stones is too big for me to remove and are actually concreted into place.  They are the immovable object.  Fate then takes a hand, I have been encouraging anything to grow over this ugliness to hide it.  There is now a fine patch of sorrel swamping it as well as various weeds.  Lo and behold the laurel decides to make a return dash for life and so far I have left a little bit of it growing.  Maybe it will have its uses after all?
and if I have a tin of Cadbury’s Roses, I will eat all the fudge first


  1. Loved this post - it just about sums up what all gardeners go through - best intentions and all that.

  2. You are so correct with compromise, Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

  3. Yep, that is gardening. Creative compromise and foiled plans. I am totally with you on the subject of laurels. Three down and one to go here. I'm sure there are prettier things you could use to scramble over the pile of rocks...


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