Last year the library started a gardening group where speakers would come once a month and we would all gather at the library for a cup of tea and some gardening information sharing. The library this year has got very busy and so we decided to spread the load a little and have some of the meetings held at peoples houses for seed sharing and general gardening discussions. This Saturday I hosted the event.
All week long it rained..... we didnt have a rain plan (I thought the wet season was over). I had calls from a couple of kilometres away saying that it was pouring, but by midday I still had not had any rain, although the ground was sodden. At 1pm people started to arrive with plants to share, and information sheets on compnaion planting, along with catalogues to give away. I was planning where I could put a dragon fruit plant, and before I had decided, all the plants were gone! Everyone loved my folia seed packets and so I said I would e-mail the template on to everyone in the group.
There was no actual format, we had tea and goodies, then looked through seeds and plants, until someone said, "well can we have a tour of your garden?" I love to share my garden, and especially when someone points out things they like. :) That re-inforces that the features that I have wanted to stand out in my garden are actually doing the trick. Everyone liked the idea that I had used the background of my neighbours plants to seem to increase the size of my little garden. They also loved my little access paths, and my flowers got their required ooh's and aaah's to make them bloom a little harder. I do think flowers like to be admired, beauty queens of the garden they are. Especially these lipstick plants which have just started to bloom for the occasion. They look like a tube of bright red lipstick.
In the vegetable patch we discussed my use of pigeon peas as a living support fence, and everyone agreed that was a splendid idea. I gave away lots of gemsquash seeds, with everyone willing to try a new type of vegetable. I discovered that what I thought was a volunteer eggplant was actually called a devils claw. A weed, although in the past gardeners used to graft eggplant onto the rootstock to bypass bacterial wilt. It is actually a poisonous plant and so this is no longer reccomended. My eggplant is doing well - I have some in pots and some in the ground and in fact the ones in the ground are doing better. I put that down to my wonderful home made compost! A few people who have never before tried loofah took some seeds as well. I have been meaning to soak my loofas in bleach water to get them nice and white and clean, but with all the moisture around they have just been sitting in the bucket getting more mildewed by the day.
I thought my pawpaw tree was pretty average, but it seems it is also quite impressive. Also my passionfruit which reaches up to the sky! A lady who has just moved here from down south was thrilled to see that I was growing nasturtiums, so was anxious to go home and put some seeds into the ground. There were a few little drizzles, when everyone moved in closer under the gazebo cover, but everyone stayed on for another cup of tea, and left round about 5pm, so in fact it was a rather succesful afternoon.
Next month we will have another library talk,and then in May we will meet at a rather bigger property - 3 acres of tropical fruit trees and gardens. I am glad we have resurected the garden group, and in the meantime I discovered that there is nothing quite so inspiring as sharing your garden with others.