The Google garden

The second of a short occasional series about suburban nature.

Who needs satellite imagery when you’ve got a ladder? You could try to Google Earth your own garden or you could just climb up on the garage roof and have a look.

From up here I can step into the middle of the wattle tree and climb a few branches. I can feel the bark on my skin and the leaves on my cheeks. I can touch the top of the apple tree and guess which branches will produce which apples – Granny Smith, Golden Delicious or Pink Lady.

From up here I can see the black hose from the washing machine curling around the backyard like a dark river weaving through the countryside. I can see the shade and the sunlight and the shape of the garden. It looks like a designer’s drawing, though naturally not so neat.

And I can see the various neighbours’ yards, though I try not to be too obvious as I glimpse a pool, a flag, a swing-set, a hedge, a line of roses, a row of tomato plants, a lemon tree, some chooks, and a trampoline.

Our own trampoline looks smaller from this vantage point. If only it were so. Much as I enjoy the trampoline, it’s not the height of horticultural aesthetics – a big black rectangle amongst the greenery.

Somedays I skip up and down on the trampoline, my eyes catching sight of the weeds rather than the flowers. It’s then that I know my weekend will involve a fair bit of time on bended knee.

Of course, that’s the ultimate view of the garden – on your knees or on your haunches amongst the dirt and the bugs and the petals. Amongst the twigs and the soil and the snails. Amongst the ladybirds and the aphids and the thorns. No need for Google Earth down here on the ground.

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