It's The Accountant's birthday today. He doesn't enjoy birthdays all that much - I think he'd prefer them to slither past largely unnoticed. But tonight he's invited his brother around and I shall cook something - I'm thinking steak at the moment - it's a kind of manly meal that will be appreciated. I'll do something interesting with potatoes and possibly do a mushroom, grilled tomato and wilted spinach thing that's my current favourite vegie side dish.
Over the weekend we dug up a patch at the top of the garden - the part that sees some sun - and planted vegies - green leafy ones, nothing too ambitious - no tomatoes, capsicum, eggplant etc. but spinach, silverbeet, coriander, fennel - easy to grow, no fuss kind of things. We'll see.
As a huge concession The Accountant has agreed to the planting of some hellebores in his native australian garden. I'll tuck them away in some pretty bare patches and we'll see - there's a lot of shade in certain parts of this garden and hellebores should thrive. I do love them and they are subtle enough to blend in with the Australian plants, I reckon. I'm willing to forgo roses and even bulbs (though I'm putting more in pots next year after the tulips blossomed into beautiful colour). But if I can have a few hellebores, I'll feel more as though this garden is also mine.
I guess that's one of the tricks of moving into someone else's space - and this has been a long-held space, let's not forget that! - it's a slow process carving out your own bits of that space and blending the common spaces. I think The Accountant and I have done pretty well inside - the lounge room contains our things, the walls reflect both of us, there are fresh flowers around (that's me!) and, let's face it, most of the clutter belongs to me. The study extension is all me, of course and that certainly has changed the house dramatically.
But the garden has been a much slower merger - it's so well established with tree ferns, lillypilly trees, some gorgeous creepers which drape over trees and bushes at this time of the year, native mint bushes and bottle brushes - that it's been difficult to see where I can fit in. We've made several forays to the nursery at Birdlands and chosen things together - and it's been good to see those things grow, though we lost a few little plants last summer.
I planted mint near the compost bin - I don't know if it dies down over the winter (none of my other mints have anywhere else I've lived) or the possums ate it over winter, or if Polly's grazing contributed, but it certainly died down, though it's coming back now. I also put some little herbs in pots on the deck - and they struggle on.
Suprisingly the cymbidium orchid I bought last year has a stalk of buds on it - I love cymbidiums and am particularly pleased about this because I have done nothing good for it, like feed it.
Actually, I guess when I list the various things I have done it doesn't sound insignificant - but it's never really felt like my garden - until yesterday. It was the vegies that did it. There's something wonderful about planting vegies.
And I shall look forward to my little hellebore patch as well.
So - Happy Birthday to the Accountant! (Honestly, darling, it's not that bad! Birthdays can be fun.) And thank you for all the digging, the vegie optimism, your tenderness and love - here's to many more birthdays and lots more adventures together.