I got to spend a decent amount of time in the garden yesterday. It was a lovely sunny afternoon, but suddenly I felt the chill and had to come inside. I had had enough. It was mainly tidying up and it felt a little like clearing up after a party. Getting rid of all the 'empties', dead stems and leaves, and many of the plants looked like they had severe hangovers. Some couldn't last the pace and have bowed out permanently. Any calls for last orders were greeted with a frosty reception. My Shark's Fin Acacia has turned brown and its uniquely shaped leaves surround it in a circle of rotten confetti on the ground. My Chilean Lantern, Crinodendron hookerianum, which is usually able to last the pace, will be lighting up the garden no more. Its boisterous crimson beacons will be sadly missed. However some die-hards are still going strong.
And after all damage has been assessed and the debris cleared up, it is time to analyse the pairings that may or may not have worked during the revelry. Sometimes putting two plants together can be a little like a blind date. How they will get on together is unknown and only time will tell. Other times you know from experience of these plants that one will dominate the other too much or that they are just not compatible. And sometimes you effect a perfect match. Plants that stumble together may end up standing the test of time.
Soon the drinking games will start again as plants race each other to get going. At the moment the Snowdrop is ahead but soon it will be the turn of the Daffodils and Tulips to shine. And by summertime the party will be in full swing again, everything wearing its party face, jostling for space, competing for attention and performing to the best of their abilities. And then it will be time for the Gardener to just sit back and enjoy the show.