My new place has a larger courtyard at the back, facing North and full of glorious sunshine. But it also has a smaller one on the southern side, which is basically walled in, and has in it the two biggest camellias I have ever beheld. They are trees, actually, of at least 4 metres in height. I've never known them to be so tall. Then there are three smaller camellias under them, and I have plans to try to transplant some of those out of there to the back (they are too close and I suspect might have seeded from the others). They are all currently covered in buds but none have opened yet, and I don't know whether they will given the lack of sun.
When I moved in there was also a splindly rose bush in the southern courtyard underneath the camellias, with about three yellow petal-blighted leaves on it, looking like it was barely hanging on in its gloomy place. So I went to dig it out to see if I could revive it elsewhere, and discovered that it was actually two very skinny fragile rose bushes that for some reason had been planted almost on top of each other.
So I lopped them right off and put them in some pots I bought down in the reject shop out the back in the sun, and the first two photos were them a week or so later. The second two are what they look like tonight. Half the appeal of roses is the way you can almost see them growing. The satisfaction!
I have no idea what kind or roses they are or what colour they might be, and I love having little pots of surprise out there.
Gardening is a balance of control and non-control that appeals to me I think. You can google plant species and follow the guidelines for ideal growing conditions, but you still never really know what is going to happen and whether they'll live or flourish or flower or how they will grow. I actually like that. I could turn this into a little Christian homily, but no, I will spare you. They are perhaps not unlike children. And maybe it's the remnants of Eden but I have so far loved getting out there ordering the tangle and rescuing whatever I might find along the way. (I could probably turn a little more attention to some of the remaining chaos inside instead of that outside now.)
I will say though, that my guideline-following has become considerably easier thanks to the most unexpected and generous house-warming present from the ladies in my Good Book Club (aka bible study) at church. I was gobsmacked when they gave me a gift, and then eyes-light-up pleased to discover in it this book.
I can't wait to read and use it. There was also a box filled with beautifully smooth local pottery by Bison, after-gardening hand products and tea. Seriously. I am so spoilt!
I am going to play in my garden, then pamper myself, then drink tea in the sun.