Spring is in the air... and in the trees and all over the ground as well.
Someone once told me that here in Brazil, if you throw away an apple core then before you know it you'll find yourself with an apple tree and I can well believe it. Stuff just grows out here and especially, it would seem, in my garden. The problem is not getting it to start, it's getting it under control once it's taken root. I tell you, if John le Carré had set that novel in Brazil, the hero would have had his work cut out for him just living up to his title.
Anyway, it's true. Gardens out here take a lot of work if you want to keep them under control and looking nice, and from what I see as I wander around this particular part of São Paulo, people like their gardens to look very, very nice - the area is, after all, called the Jardins (Gardens). But then most people who live around here also have the perfect solution, which is to get someone else to do your gardening for you. After all, if you have a maid or driver (or both) on hand, you may as well get them trimming the hedges and watering the pots whenever they’re at a loose end.
I do water it occasionally - whenever I remember before it's pitch black outside - but as far as I'm concerned, if it rained during the previous fortnight, then the garden will be fine. And if it didn't, it's bound to rain again within the next fortnight so there's nothing to worry about. And yet the thing is still thriving. Weeds are stretching up strong and bold throughout the lawn, the trees out front are so tall now they're starting to interfere with the infrared security cameras and there's a vine that's made it all the way up the pole to the power cables and is probably part of the local grid by now.
There’s just one problem. We don’t have any trees in our garden big enough for the job. What you need is one of those good, solid things that’s been around for decades and can easily cope with a couple of parasites hanging off its trunk. The best we have is little bigger than the plants I’m going to stick on it and I suspect it will end up looking faintly ridiculous. Also, it’s tucked away in a corner where we’ll never really see the orchids anyway. Still, this is not going to stop me…
…well, I’d call that a limited success. Sadly I broke one of the stems trying to get it out of the pot so what ended up being tied to the tree was just a few leaves and a load of roots. The second one worked fine, except that I probably could have done with a spare pair of hands to help hold everything in place while I tied it. Still it’s there now, tied down to within an inch of its life with one of James’ old shoe laces. It may not look pretty, but it’s certainly not going anywhere in a hurry.
Anyway, this is what it should look like if you do it all properly.