I have an issue with my local possums….. I hold the view that native planting should be encouraged so I took a tough approach to our garden and I didn’t water the plants regularly, I thought Australian natives liked drought conditions? I confidently announced to my family that if a plant couldn’t survive in the garden then it was the wrong choice for the aspect. My declaration soured as the hedge promptly died, not just one clump the whole hedge.
I deliberated and eventually replanted with a watering system as replacing hedge plants is expensive. All was well for a short time but then it became obvious that the plants were being eaten, by whom is the question? Off I went to my local hardware store “Can I have something for pests?” I purchased a spray gun of insecticide and happily dosed everything with the thinking I would eradicate all hungry bugs. No joy – the plants were reduced to sticks and no sign of the culprits. I went back to the hardware store ” Can I buy Poss Off” I gaily sprayed everything, including myself, I liberally sprayed the sticks that were supposed to be a hedge. Still no surrendering fat offenders and no growth. I returned to the hardware store for industrial measures – it was becoming clear these were SAS, tough, extreme type operatives. I needed a new tactical approach to this massacre in my garden planter.
The hardware store had owls as possum deterrents, humm? The hardware store had plastic bird nets – humm? Then I saw the steel chicken wire “That will do nicely” I bought meters of non nibble-able wire to build a protective cage over the twigs that were potentially my hedge.
The hardware store assistant asked with interest ” What hedge are you growing?” “I don’t know” I replied. ” Well , do they have white flowers?” he continued with questioning astuteness. “Oh no, they haven’t got beyond the stick stage” I replied and I realised I’d forgotten what hedge plant I was saving, such was my blind desire to save it!
Driven by the strong need to save my plants and now burdened with all the tactical ingredients – I just wanted to build the protective cage and salvage the twigs before I had to replant again. Oblivious to the rain that was now falling steadily I set out my tools. The Beastie watched from the laundry room, not venturing out to help. I persevered and the rain intensified. I was so wet that I thought I’d carry on through the deluge, only when there was thunder did I wince as I had chicken wire wrapped round me as lighting bolts flashed on every horizon. I must have looked like a horticultural Victor Frankenstein working madly in the storm probably watched by the possums in their warm, dry dray.
Why am I regaling this rather hysterical story about chicken wire, rain and hedges…… because carers have hobbies, interests, friends and gardens. I enjoy tangent pastimes and pursuits so I am choosing to write about an alternative aspect of my day as my activities are varied and include occupations other than everyday caring demands. Life should be full, social and varied, challenging and diverse. Carers should aim to be engaged in alternative, pleasant diversions, endeavour as gardeners, painters, walkers, singers, readers, quilters – what ever excites curiosity or pleasure. It is difficult to juggle the complex demands of being a carer hence me having to build my anti possum cage in the rain, it was the only afternoon free that week, but I am so thrilled with the resulting blossoms!