and has had gardens for as long as I can remember. Now we have a friend who comes for two hours once a fortnight to do the things my father cannot manage. My father pays him to do things like net the fruit trees to protect them from the birds (who would leave nothing) and keep the bottlebrush trimmed to a manageable level.
There is also the almost magical arrangement of utmost simplicity which keeps the western side of our house cool in summer. This consists of poles leaning at an angle against the house. The vines from the fence grow up these and provide a shady canopy. In winter the vines die back and the poles come down letting in the light again.
My father has lived in this house long enough to have a scattering of fruit trees, an apricot, a plum, two peach trees, two apple trees, a lemon and a grapefruit tree. There is a passionfruit vine, berry bushes and a variety of tubs. There are also garden beds.
This year my father has planted pumpkins under the clothesline. I am not sure he was thinking too carefully when he did this. Some of the leaves are larger than those of a giant water-lily. Nice. The trouble is that they are also much higher. They are becoming entangled with the sheets. I really do not want that.
He came out to look at the problem the other day. There is a solution. He will get shade cloth and we will drape it over the plants and flatten them slightly until the washing dries. When the washing is in we will remove the shade cloth. Fair enough. Pumpkin is useful. It keeps. I can live with that.
But, there is no more shadecloth to be had at any garden supplier within range of his gopher. I had no idea so many people grew pumpkins under their clotheslines.