So excited were my sister and I buying new plants for the garden, that we completely forgot we had Mum and Dad with us. They’d been left sitting in the shade at the garden centre with strict instructions to ”behave yourselves”, while I sauntered around deciding what perennials and shrubs we needed. The purchases were carefully placed into every available space of the car so there was no option but to shove our parents in at the last minute.
Not only did they have to endure an uncomfortable ride home, they were also put hard to work chopping and clearing to help prepare the ground for re-planting.
You might say that is elder abuse but it was their decision to leave their small Rest Home cottage (that needed nothing doing to it) and purchase a large, neglected house. My siblings and I smile and shake our heads. We are quite used to the crazy schemes of our parents but had thought that by their late eighties they may have calmed down … apparently not, except they do require more assistance now on major projects.
This space is right by the front door and it begged to be an attractive and useful entrance. I had but weeks to help get the garden sorted before returning to New Zealand to my own one. A huge tree (yellow oval in image below) was planted too close to the house and it’s removal allowed for planting of bee attracting flowers and a herb garden. (We saved the tree stump as a feature in the new garden layout). I divided and potted up as many of the existing plants as possible for use elsewhere in this large garden.
It’s inspiring to see before and after images and how neglected areas can be loved into a new and useful existence … with a little hard labour. Leaving South Africa was bittersweet but at least I know my gifts of a workable garden layout and plants will endure and my sister sends me regular photo updates so I can now enjoy this flourishing garden remotely.
P.S. I’ve confidence the plants will stay in their place and behave. As for my parents, I rely on updates of them too!