Wednesday, March 3, 2010

It all comes out in the wash...

They’re built to last – a rare thing in this age of built-in obsolescence. Maybe that goes a little way in explaining the enduring romance of the Hills Hoist. There’s no finer example where form follows function but for me, their appeal lies far beyond the utilitarian, though I adore the fact that the Hills Hoist was invented by a man to make his wife’s life easier. Under full sail, a fresh flotilla of wash windward above the earth is the very essence of satisfaction, blue skies ahead and the knowledge of a wash done well. They’re ever present and a constant reminder of a time when swinging on the clothes line was the height of risqué behaviour, something only attempted when your parent’s line of sight was obscured. And as our mum had us believing she had eyes in the back of her head, we learnt to dismount at speed very quickly. I’m a bit surprised that none of us became gymnasts!

When Magic Garden was inspected and acquired in heart and not yet mortgage, the presence of the Hills Hoist was one of the things I was most excited about. Beside myself, to be more accurate. In 2200 square metres of established gardens, this small spot of brutalist hardware completely tickled my fancy. However, Husbando (where I’m coming over all Martha, secretly I know he’d like to be a Mexican wrestler), was not so enamoured. All he sees is the ugly, explosive spike and not the promise and persuasion of sun-dried my first official project was to clear out beneath my nostalgic folly, raise the bed and create an aromatic based kitchen garden. I retained the pale apricot rose bush and there’s now a ring of lavender that will fatten up around the central pole. I’ve put in tomatoes, interplanted with basil and flat leaf parsley one side, beans and rocket on the other. There are signs the dill is coming through. A rosemary cutting from my old garden nestles against some Turkish thyme and I purchased a new sage plant because I really couldn’t wait for seeds to sprout and you really can’t live without fresh sage. Much of this stuff will grow quite tall but I’m not worried in the slightest, it’s a joy to wind up the hoist and let the wind do its work and I love the idea that my washing will dry impregnated with these scents.

Postscript: since taking these shots, we've had so much rain and attendant humidity, I'm pleased to report that there's been steroid like growth beneath my clothesline - the lavender looks plush and the tomartoes are becoming such a serious hinderance, I may have to prune them to ensure ease of rotation!

For more infomation about a true Austalian success story, check this

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