A long drive

One of the garden projects I’ve been plotting for a while is clearing and revegetating the green strip beside our vertiginous, fifty metre long driveway. “Your front yard is reportable” was the dry remark of a local ranger passing through our botanical garden of pestilence.  After a long day of pulling out weeds in the sun, RB strategically averts his eyes from the tangle of asparagus fern, honeysuckle, spider plant, fishbone, agapanthus, ochna, freesias and trad on the final moments of his trek home.

My most unsuccessful plan to beat the access road into submission was undercover hedge replacement.  Slowly but surely, I figured, blueberry bushes surreptitiously planted amongst the morass of agapanthus would take over, without me every having to have a cross word with the neighbours.  Just like the state under the dictatorship of the proletariat, under the benign influence of my edible fruits the floral weeds would simply wither away.  Right.  I reckon agapanthus could give the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China a good run for its money.

My driveway strawberry patch was a less immediate fail.  When we first moved in I planted up the space between the concrete wheelruts with a couple of dozen Diggers’ strawberries.  At one stage, I had about three metres under weed matting, the strawbs basking in a good bit of morning sunlight and not so close to the footpath to actively invite passers by to help themselves.  We got quite a decent crop during recent La Nina years, possibly because the backyard critters couldn’t be bothered roaming so far from the easy pickings of the chicken run and the compost bin.  The lure of ripe strawberries at the top of the drive had the kids bursting out of the front door on school mornings.

Unfortunately the demands of ministering to this patch in the drier times have demonstrated my deep seated laziness.  Even the glute work-out offered by the stiff hike up the hill out front couldn’t get me sufficiently motivated  to stop the strawberries disappearing beneath the buffalo grass.  Ironically, since mowing said grass is best undertaken with pitons, crampons and a length of abseiling rope.  The occasional stroll, watering can in hand, would have been much less effort.

So I’ve been considering the low-maintenance alternatives.  I got as far as ordering and trying out a couple of prospects just before our recent camping jaunt to South Australia – because it’s always good to leave tiny plantlets without attention or water in their first couple of weeks in the ground, right?

Bearing in mind the can’t-be-bothered-with-the-watering-can factor I figured desert plants might be best.  So, pig face around the post-box and maybe creeping boobiala on the graves of the strawberry plants.  I popped some in to see how they got on.

But it turns out there was no need to watch and wait to find out what myoporum parvifolium would look like.  As the sun rose on the first morning of the trip and I headed into the bush, shovel in hand, for alfresco ablutions, what should I find underfoot but boobiala creeping towards the horizon.

And by the side of the road, a carpet of pig face*.

*Okay, It was probably a different variety of pigface – maybe carpobrotus rossii or aequilaterus or even the round-leaved pigface Disphyma crassifolium subsp. clavellatum (thanks Sherilee!) .  And the myoporum parvifolium wasn’t the fineleafed kind most common in nurseries.  Stop being so damn fussy and let me enjoy the coincidence!