Did John Wayne forget to water his Yellow Rose of Texas?
There is a memorial stone in the front garden of a West Dubbo residence.
You can’t miss it as you close the gate at the picket fence.
Step along the Ogee curved pathway and there it is, looming before you with the funereal inscription:
‘Here lies a tribute to all the splendid and beautiful plants in my garden which have been wantonly killed and slaughtered by my husband.’
Certainly it is a lament many housewives can relate to.
As sad as John Wayne forgetting to water his Yellow Rose of Texas.
The image of hubby coming home after a solid day attempting to impress his boss, while slaying the business opposition with clever policy measures and ‘diehard’ work practices is pregnant with menace for any innocent Pansy which dares to get in his way.
Sadly many a careworn housewife with a troop of children whinging for dessert before supper, will hand hubby such lethal weapons as mattock, spade, and pruners.
All done with the offhand remark,
“Do take the children into the garden and tidy-up the weeds … dear!”
At Dubbo Regional Botanic Garden, Elizabeth Park, we have our dramas.
Remember that Dubbo’s weather is traditionally unkind to most plants.
It is no accident common conversation among garden staff is both post-mortem and such impending.
We have seen the passing of many popular favourites like Gardenias, Diosma (emphasis on ‘di.’), cool-climate Cryptomeria, shallow-rooted Azaleas, and my target species, Evergreen Alder (Alnus jorullensis).
Our Alder tree Memorial is on the east side of the Tea Garden; a group of rocks over a tree stump intended to hide the failure as much as to remind me how finicky Alders can be when we withhold daily drinkies.
Needless to say our Alder is as dead as Sitting Bull.
I had to bid bye-bye-bye as it handed in its check when the water was turned off during construction of the Sensory garden.
Mind you, too much water can cause the buckets to rattle as well.
Poor drainage can flood the best intentions, as plants ‘hop the twig,’ and ‘turn up their rootlets.’
My advice is to put on a brave face, blame the weather.
Turn your back and walk away with your finger in the belt loop of your trousers, as you carelessly drape a shovel over your shoulder.
Well, it worked for John Wayne!