When gardening passion wanes, who’ll water plants?
I HAVE two corpses in my backyard.
Well, they might not be dead yet, but signs of life are few and far between.
It's been six months, and my passionfruit plants are losing the fight.
I put the pair of them in with the best intentions.
The contents of my newly-purchased compost bin were dutifully buried in preparation. And a half-hour presentation on the benefits of gypsum swayed me to scatter it generously.
(Tip for young players - nothing attracts unwanted attention like standing in Bunnings staring at a wall of dirt additives for five minutes. But if you're suffering from clay soil, it may be worth your time.)
Before the passionfruits arrived, the area next to our patio was less "garden", more a tan-bark decorated graveyard for grasstrees.
I had visions of a lush oasis to come - the reality is yellowing droopiness.
It could be a cut-and-dried case of neglect.
I remember helping Dad plant a passionfruit vine. He told the story of a famously thriving passionfruit in the UK - as big as a house, he said.
Finally, the gardeners revealed their secret: they buried a dead horse under it every year.
Before I raced to find a dead horse, I Googled the story - no hits.
It occurred to me - the story came about the time I desperately wanted a pony.
I never got one - in retrospect, I wonder whether the threat of its passionfruity demise may have played a role in that.
A more likely culprit than a lack of horsemeat is the central Queensland sun (and the fact it necessitates watering more frequently than I can manage to remember to.)
At least I can admit it - I'm less Mother Nature and more deadbeat dad.
And in the spirit of horticultural honesty, now I'm deserting my green-ish babies for two weeks from Friday.
If anyone wants to pop round and water them, please get in touch!