Nora lent against the verandah post, shielding her eyes from the harsh glare of the midday sun as she scanned the distant horizon to the north-west. A bank of cloud bubbled over the Bareback Ranges but already her local knowledge divined they were, yet again, barren. She picked absently at a splinter of wood from the old hardwood upright, as her eyes lowered to what she laughingly called a ‘garden’.
The first concession she had made, twelve years ago now, were the annuals. In one fell swoop they were eliminated from the mix, quickly followed by any pretence at a lawn. She replaced these with natives, a mix of upright and prostrate. Using these as both a windbreak and a soil retainer, she set about ensuring that her ability to grow her own vegetables was not compromised.
Her ragged nails and dry, cracked hands were testament to her unceasing endeavour.