Tuesday, 23 March 2010

phormium in slMarch 23 Visit

C Holmes report

To the Bosketto on my mother's behalf to trace the handsome phormium she left there on March 12 in a new spirit of optimism after the convivial Mayoral meeting the day before.

Also known as 'New Zealand Flax', I learn from my encyclopaedic botano-mum.

george n MHI spot George over by the graffiti-empurpled banyan and he greets me warmly and asks after my mother.

I am not surprised to see George: he is the only ground staff we have actually met or seen regularly plying yhis trade in the garden.

phormiumIt has long been a source of puzzlement to me that he and his colleagues never had my mother's presence or purpose properly explained.

Hence the understandable outburst at a recent request for a hand: "Can't you see we are busy?"

Not to mention George's own apologetic explanation that his hands were tied until he received permission from Mr Lefteris Kuluris himself to offer freelance help.

I ask G about the phormium and steel myself for a shrug and apology that it has been dispensed with along with the many shrubs my mother planted only to be uprooted in favour of costly temporary (3-month life expectancy in the cool) cineraria.

I underestimate the stalwart. He has planted them at strategic points and he shows me each plot with a triumphant beam.

flat phormium

Unfortunately, he has been badly advised by his management mentors.

How was he to know that the phormium was to be planted en tout with the whole thing in one hole?

See the photos taken on the Bosketto team's visit to San Luca when they walked among these very plants and saw them in their intended splendour.

  • A pity and a waste that he was not advised on the correct handling of this generous gift.

  • I intended to say nothing to my mother except that she saw the humour of the situation:

    The purpose of the visit to San Luca [see photos] was to observe the plants in their natural habitat so that they could instruct the municipal staff accordingly.

    group at san lucaIndeed, here they are walking around and under and near and by the many fine phormiums dotted around.

    "Can't you see we are busy!"

    Logically, I suppose, staff are discouraged from lending a helping hand to outsiders because it distracts their focus on Municipal training such as the correct planting of phormiums.

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