The theme this week for Jon’s JVG Radio Method on 3RRR is “GARDEN”. I had a lot of fun with this one too.

In the studio once again this week.

I rather like the irony though, here we are with a show theme about gardens and what do we talk about?

How to get a child out of a locked car. Don’t ask me, and I confess to be the one who started talking about it.

Still it was a good show this week. Dan Warner did a great version of “Garden Party” and yes I was one of the cast of dozens doing the backing vocals.

Ed Bates is on backing again this week.
To play this poem directly in your browser – just click the “play” button below:


“Your garden is considered the neighbourhood slum”
Mrs S, from next door, was addressing my Mum

Peering down from her ladder propped up on the fence
With her Sherry fuelled aura of omnipotence

Our garden, I admit, was nothing ornate
We preferred to describe it as “in a vegetative state’

“Unspoilt” as Uncle Jim tactfully put
There were pockets where Europeans had never set foot

Nature ruled unchallenged and we were but guests
While Next door was as natural as Pamela Anderson’s breasts

Mrs S demanded order from every leaf, every blade
It was less like a garden than a military parade

A sign on her gate read “Look but don’t touch”
The lawn was trimmed closer than a Pole dancer’s crutch

Rows of orange Pansy’s in a regimented file
As straight and as rigid as the Reverend Fred Nile

There were Lamb’s Ears, Goat’s Beard, Crane’s Bill and Ox Eye
Cock’s Comb, Baby’s Breath, Bleeding Heart’s and Cherry Pie

Sneezeweed, Bladderwrack, Horehound and Curly Dock
Pincushions, Silver Bells, Speedwell and Hollyhock

Snap Dragons, Cat’s Ears, Foxgloves and Cumquats
Sweet Peas, Leopard’s Bane, Spiderwort, Forget me nots

Azaleas and Dahlias, Freesias, Godetias
Salvias, Ranunculus, Zinnias and Primulas

“My Aspidistra’s are famous” she declared with a sneer
But I couldn’t tell her Digitalis from her Clitorea

Her Ivory Aruncus from her powder white Crocus
Her furry Black Eyed Susans from her fiery Red Hot Pokers

Patrolling the fence line, spray gun on her hips
Picking off weevils, mealybugs and thrips

Smugly proclaiming “No Aphids on my flowers”
My father took pity — and offered her ours

It was abundantly clear Mrs S. didn’t like us
I politely suggested what she could do with her Ficus

Our garden was a tip compared to next door
But to a kid it was Eden, a whole world to explore

Just an average backyard in an average location
But it’s borders stretched as far as your imagination

A fortress, a castle, an ancient Pharaoh’s tomb
Sherwood Forest, Treasure Island, the dark side of the moon

Where Mum could read a book and spend time alone
Where the dog could dig to China to conceal his favourite bone

Where my sisters sourced ingredients for the mud pies they’d bake
Where dad could build a Barbie to burn the shit out of the steak

Where I took a hat trick and thrashed the Poms at cricket
Assisted by the lemon tree fielding at mid-wicket

Where hundreds of balls made their escape on the breeze
To new homes over fences, down drains and up trees

Buying a home in those days wasn’t quite as hard
Most suburban houses had a fairly decent yard

Now the high cost of land has put paid to that
What once bought a house barely buys a one room flat

“Under-performing Assets” they call the old quarter acre blocks
Sold off for apartments, Townhouses and Double Occs

There’s money in your backyard but the rewards are bittersweet
Just ask the kids forced to play footy in the street

My Gran once observed, showing all her shrewd Scot nous
“The garden is the most important room in the house”

© Copyright 2008 Ian Bland

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