You won’t be surprised to learn that I’m not the gardener in our family.  I enjoy a beautiful garden, but this is not one of my passions.

Since arriving in Australia some 14 months ago Judy has shed her New York sensibilities and become a first-class gardener.

How is this possible you ask?

Well, a couple of simple reasons.  Firstly, we live in the ‘burbs’ and therefore there is a lot less to do than what’s she’s been used to living in New York.  A quiet life, in fact some might say the polar opposite of what’s her whole life has been accustomed to…

And secondly, living in a tropical climate where the plants are prodigious in terms of their growth and abundance makes for a rather fulfilling hobby.

Indeed, she’s become a frequent customer of both the local Bunnings (equivalent to Home Depot in the US) and the local garden center.

Being on a first name basis has its perks!  Well almost anyway.

Each day she’s checking on the myriad of plants that festoon our home and yard.

Each of them growing like crazy!

Given the climate which provide over 300 days of sunshine a year which ranges from a winter overnight low of 15 C to a summer high around 34C I’m not totally surprised that she’s fallen in love with gardening.

We have a lot of varieties of palm trees including pandanus, dwarf Canary, Sago, and Coconut.  Plus, wild ginger, golden cane, algarve, bird of paradise, heliconia and crotons.

Yes, a beautiful mixed bag!

Recently my little gardener has discovered pots made from real stones, and has planted some desert rose and bamboo for the alfresco area by the pool.

Of course, this fits perfectly with the aesthetic with our latest purchase of the Balinese day bed and coffee table.

Most days Judy inspects each of the indoor plants to ensure that there are no spider mites, or gnats impacting the health of her plants.

Not surprisingly, it doesn’t take much to upset the balance between a healthy and sickly plant.

Now, that is something that she’s taught me in terms of what to look for.

In terms of the outdoor garden and around the pool there is always a lot of pruning and trimming to be done as they grow so fast with the sunshine and heat.

In fact, this is a never-ending task.  Although I do help her out with the pruning and cutting back activities as required.

Don’t get me wrong I love our garden as much as Judy, but she’s the passionate one when it comes to the growing, caring and upkeep of the garden, both indoors and outdoors.

She’s the gardener in our family – for sure!

We each have our own passions… I love to write and so spend time creating and cultivating my weekly essays whereas Judy loves to put on her gardening gloves and create and cultivate the soil and plants.

Growing up Dad always have a large and plentiful veggie garden.

Although we needed to grow the veggies and harvest the fruit to live as money was scarce during my childhood.

I still have vivid memories of Dad’s garden and the smell of fresh veggies ready to be picked.  Like Judy, he always too great pride in his garden.

We also had tons of fruit trees on our one-acre block.

Including walnut, nectarine, peach, plum, apple, lemon, and quince trees. Plus, a large strawberry patch that was mixed in with his pumpkins.

I must admit it was pretty cool to step out of our house and reach up to pick a fresh nectarine from the tree that shaded the back door at home.

Country living at its best I suppose.  Although I know I romanticize this idyllic sounding childhood it wasn’t without its downside as well.

Caring for a one-acre block took a lot of manual labour, whether it was constantly mowing the grass, pruning the trees, or helping dad in the garden there was always work to be done.

We had a menagerie of animals to also take care of.

Dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, parrots, and the family of magpies that dad always had around him…

Perhaps this is why I’m not so keen on either gardening or interested in having pets…

Although to be fair we travel a lot and so having pets isn’t conducive to being away constantly.

If we had more arable space Judy would have a veggie patch as well.  Potted veggies just don’t turn out the same as when they’re planted in deep rich soil.

Judy’s mum has a veggie patch back in the states, in which she loves to grow tomatoes, zucchini and beans.   Goodness knows what we’d have if the collaborated on our garden here in Newport.

It would be hard pressed to be any more beautiful than what Judy has been able to create. I’m sure her mum would find a way to add some veggie just for fun if she was living here, but she’d also be super proud of her achievements!

Until next week