I had one of those Homer Simpson "D'oh" moments recently, when I saw a plant in another garden growing as it should grow, unlike my version of the same plant. It was in a pond that I saw some Nardoo (Marsilea drummondii), our native floating fern, doing what it should do. Float. On the water. It's a simple game. Float on water = floating fern. Trouble was, my floating fern didn't float. It kind of hovered over the water. D'oh!
Problem solved, here is my nardoo, floating on the goldfish pond like it should.
And here is nardoo doing it all wrong a month or so ago. The problem was simple. I had not put the pot deep enough underwater. That's all. The pot was sitting on a brick, with the top of the pot about 2-3 inches below water level. Wrong! I took out the brick, sank the pot to the bottom, so it was 6 or more inches below the water level, cut off all the foliage, and started again.
While it was a bit of an anxious wait to see whether my drastic action worked, it took only four weeks for the first new leaves to float into position, just like they should have all along. But now all is well with the world, the fish seem to like their new floaty cover, and I've learned something.
And so the moral of the story is to be a gardening stickybeak – you might just learn something useful. Now, I'm sure many blog-readers from around the world won't be familiar with the word 'stickybeak' but it's a fine old Australian term that's fairly close to the English 'Nosy Parker'.
In its worst sense a stickybeak is someone who pries into others' lives, but in the grand sense of the word it just describes what we all can't resist doing: having a look at something, whether or not it's often over a fence, through a fence, or from a vantage point.
Stickybeak often = get a life.
Stickybeak occasionally = national pastime.
And that's what I was doing, walking around the local area stickybeaking at others' front gardens, and in one I saw the nardoo floating serenely, just as it should. That ended my stroll in fact. Headed for home, 'fixed' the nardoo problem then and there. Good, productive, stickybeaking stroll, that one.